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Poster: A snowHead
Fri 17-11-17 12:50
Replies: 42
Haha, my post above makes no sense at all when it's at the top of a new page - if anyone's interested it references the "tube" map posted by luigi on page 1 :)
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 15-11-17 12:00
Replies: 42
I wish my daily commute was from Venice to Passo Falzarego rather than Clapham to The City!
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 13-09-17 13:34
Replies: 21
Some snow around the SR today! https://bioch.panomax.com/ https://valgardena.panomax.com/dantercepies https://colrodella.panomax.com/ :sH:
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Fri 7-07-17 12:21
Replies: 18
AirBnB actually very good, typically. +1 - used AirBnB with great success in Cham several times over last couple of years.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 3-03-17 10:34
Replies: 360
Courmayeur is included in the MBU pass (as long as it's more than 2 or 3 days iirc), not sure about Verbier but I think so. When you get there, you still have to go to the lift pass counter though to get it authorised for the day. There are daily buses to Courmayeur - they goes from the bus station in Cham Sud, the first one goes at 8.30 and there's another about an hour later and it costs 15pp, there are 2 returns at the end of the day. Don't think you have to book but they say you need to be there at least 15 min before departure. Not sure how early you'll be able get down to Cham Sud from Argentiere on the bus though.
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Thu 2-03-17 12:21
Replies: 360
There is a green at Flegere - runs down skiers right (direction east) from the Flegere mid station under the Trappe chair, it's very gentle and has a fun and easy ski/board cross adjacent (on the skiers right) to it. My kids love it but there's not much else for beginners there. Great on a sunny day though and worth a trip imho. LH more varied and better if weather's closed in a bit.
Well, it's only polite to Register
Thu 9-02-17 14:17
Replies: 80
I fitted the Michelin Cross Climate tyres to my B-Class Merc and thought they were excellent - they do have a full winter rating (i.e. a snowflake) but they're a hybrid tyre. I also live in London doing generally limited mileage and ran them all year with no issues and (apparently) very little wear. I drove to Chamonix on them last Easter and they were superb in the wet on the autoroutes, definitely noticeably better than the previous summer tyres, I felt they dispersed the water better and there was no aquaplaning at all. It wasn't particularly cold or snowy in Cham though so I can't attest to their real winter performance although there's lots of good reviews and youtube videos of them driving up snowy slopes. If you follow the hype, they're a new type of hybrid in that they're winter tyres with some summer features as opposed to most hybrids which are the opposite and (according to Michelin) therefore more compromised - I believed it but didn't regret the purchase. I have, however, since sold the B-Class and got a Disco (for load capacity and towing reasons), off to Cham again this Easter - a little less concerned about getting around town but a little more concerned about getting there in the first place! (and the cost of treble the amount of Diesel!!)
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Tue 7-02-17 12:42
Replies: 6
Sounds like I'm a similar build to you although a bit shorter and lighter and I've had the Blizzard Bonafide in 180 as a general purpose all mountain ski for a couple of seasons now and it's an amazing ski on piste and in crud/soft bumps etc, a real charger. It's fine in deep snow but a bit too stiff to be a real powder ski and not really wide enough to float a gentleman of substance! This year, before I went I was actually considering getting something narrower as well (e.g. Latigo or RTM) because I was worried that we'd be limited to just hard, icy piste skiing but time (and budget!) didn't allow for further investment. I needn't have worried, I ski 3 times a season and in my head, before I go, I seem to regret buying an all mountain, wide ski and wish I had the perfect tool for each trip and then every time I get on the snow with the Bonafides they do everything I ask of them extremely well and I have a blast! Also, for what it's worth, a few years ago I had some Vlkl RTM 84s in about 177 and they were the best piste-oriented all mountain skis I'd ever had, really quite remarkable skis - especially for heavy (but fit and strong) blokes. I think they've tinkered around with the widths and don't do the 84 anymore but if you're more piste focused and want to progress, you can't go far wrong with the RTM range.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Fri 3-02-17 14:59
Replies: 360
@alfgrey, don't worry, I was there last weekend, the condition of the pistes is very good. When people moan about conditions in Cham, it's nearly always because there's no thigh deep powder up at the Grands Montets and the rest of the off-piste is all icy moguls. They've done a great job maintaining the pistes in a challenging year this year. It's a good job you're up for a challenge - the reds and blacks in Cham (especially at Grands Montets and Brevent/Flegere) are a lot steeper than in just about any other ski area - and they're steep for their whole length, not just the odd pitch. They are also some of the best and most scenic runs anywhere in the world though, enjoy!
And post your own questions...
Thu 2-02-17 14:14
Replies: 16
The trouble is there are many more places to eat than days in the week! +1 - this is a genuine problem (entirely of the 1st world variety, I know but a problem nonetheless!) For the ultimate gastro experience (and 1mEuro loos. Very Happy ), go for Refugio Emillio Comici's off of Piz Sella, Selva. Ahhhh, Comici. Got lunch on Valentine's day booked there :)
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Tue 31-01-17 15:31
Replies: 16
You're a bit spoilt for choice to be honest, the whole area is a gastronomic tour-de-force for every budget! Near where you're staying, Utia Pic Pre on the left half way down the red into San Cassiano is a lovely little sun-trap in the trees and good, basic food and very good value, Rifugio Bamby also good value. At the top end you've also got Club Moritzino at Piz La Villa where the food is amazing, but so are the prices (although still good value given the very top-end food!) A little further afield, Rifigio Col Pradat above Colfosco (top of 2nd bubble (Col Pradat) going off to the right) has gorgeous views and decent food (there's a cheap'n'cheerful buffet which is certainly OK and also a la carte option which is a bit more). Diametrically opposite you on the Sella Ronda is Rifugio Friedrich August above Canazei (on the Selva side) - great food, good value and well worth a visit but a bit of a mission to get to and from from La Villa - very doable if you're all decent intermediate skiers though. Those are particular favourites or ones that've stuck in the memory but there's so many options though and wherever we've stopped, we've never had a bad meal - but we tend to avoid stopping at the larger, canteen-style places you find at the obvious busy points (like the bottom lift stations and resort centres etc) but I've no experience to say that they're not very good as well! (they might be more likely to offer more kid-friendly food like pizzas etc though) Veggies generally well catered for I think - especially in the more traditional places strangely enough where pasta, dumplings and spaetzle style dishes are the norm (as well as schnitzels, ribs etc for the carnivores!) although, as it's not a consideration for us, I don't know if the various sauces are meat-based or not, they may well be made with meat stocks etc... just ask, service is nearly always very friendly.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Mon 30-01-17 11:31
Replies: 360
Seems the world and his wife were in Cham this weekend - didn't feel that busy! Did Courmayeur Friday: Very cold, snow stayed nice all day, base looks much deeper than Cham, overcast but good day. Did GM Sat: Wonderful morning lapping Herse and Bochard with a couple of cheeky blasts down Pierre-a-Ric, booked a top bin and went up about 11.30, stayed above the Glacier on the right of the ridge and it was in lovely condition given lack of new snow - late morning perfect time up there - went all the way down to La Cremerie for lunch. Continued much the same as the morning after lunch but by about 3pm the runs off Bochard especially were very scraped and down to ice in some places, the gullies that are ski-able remained quite nice though. Up Brevent yesterday morning, lapped Cornu and Brevent in beautiful sunshine on really quite nice snow and not busy at all - walked straight on to Brevent lift 4 times! - was very warm though and grass/rocks starting to poke through by lunchtime. This weekend was one of the few times I've actually felt sorry for the people of the CdMB and the amount of work they're having to do to keep everything open but they're genuinely doing a fantastic job. The next couple of weeks looks promising weather-wise so fingers crossed! Back at Easter so hoping for a very stormy Feb/March!
You know it makes sense.
Tue 10-01-17 21:52
Replies: 24
It'lk all be pretty busy. French school hols Really? I thought they started on 4th Feb? Anyway, if it is school hols, definitely don't queue for the Bellevue - either do the 3 chairs as @dp says or go to Prarion - btw, you can ski down to Prarion from the top of the first chair if you don't want to walk.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 10-01-17 17:01
Replies: 24
@debtors#2, From the top of Bellevue it's a fairly gentle blue down to Voza Prarion chair which takes you up to the top of Prarion and from there it's a short easy cruise down to the top of the Prarion Bubble. Should be manageable by anyone but a total beginner - if it's her first ever go, head to the Prarion bubble on the first day though. In terms of snow, am not out until until end of Jan so can't give you a 1st-hand account but if you're there from the 20th you look to have timed it perfectly! LH should be lovely by the time you arrive - it doesn't need as much snow cover as the other areas as is mostly meadow underneath rather than rocks/scree but it's forecast to get 40cm this weekend and more next week.
Poster: A snowHead
Fri 6-01-17 14:57
Replies: 6
head to Verbier round north shore and then to Argentiere via Forclaz after skiing. If you're traveling ski-ready, this is a GREAT plan!
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fri 6-01-17 12:34
Replies: 6
Argentiere (GM) is probably holding up better than the other areas in Cham as it's north-facing however if it's no good and you've got a car, Courmayeur is much closer than Les Contamines and has good snow at the moment, also, Verbier is roughly a similar drive-time (as Les C.) from Argentiere... (obviously much more convenient to go to Les C. if doing so on the way up from GVA). Another problem with Les C is that a lot of the punters who've nothing to do in St. Gervais and Megeve will be heading there (if it's good...)
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 14-12-16 11:36
Replies: 76
Merino baselayers definitely not a false economy (not that they need to be that expensive either - rewoolution, available occasionally on sportpursuit are excellent) I personally buy more expensive gear, generally made in Europe/US from brand names because it's better quality, lasts longer and (one pair of acid-yellow gore-tex trousers aside) I use all of it year round for cycling/dog-walking/generally-being-outdoors as well as skiing. The cheap stuff simply doesn't put up with the abuse I give it.
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Wed 14-12-16 11:12
Replies: 202
Anyone know of a good dog-walker in Cham? Thinking of bringing the pup with us at Easter next year but he'll only be 11 months old and is not used to being left alone for more than a couple of hours so we'd need someone to come to take him for a walk late morning...
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 25-11-16 11:43
Replies: 78
Taken boots in hand luggage in a small wheelie bag on BA many times, Airport security not connected with airline and there's no security policy stating you can't take them.
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Wed 23-11-16 12:08
Replies: 30
The Hidden Valley is perfectly possible from Canazei the only problem is that by the time you get there (late-morning at best) it'll be very busy - we did it from Selva last season (admittedly at 1/2 term) and had a 20-30 minute wait on the bus from Armentarola up to Lagazuoi, and then a 45min-1hr wait to get on the cable car. The run itself was beautiful but also very busy - even crowded in some places where it was narrow and/or steepish and people had become stuck (which was surprisingly frequent)
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Mon 14-11-16 13:33
Replies: 202
@JeanPaulValley, I've got a Cham RapidCard for the boys weekends etc but, like you, last season took the family to Cham for the first time and found the MBU the best pass - certainly for the amount it includes (the GM Top Bin, AdM, the Luge and the Swimming Pool are decent benefits - LH less so as we were there at Easter..) but also for the cost - last season there was a good discount if you got a family MBU - i can't remember if it was one child free or 1/2 price if you bought 2 adult passes - made a lot more sense than me trying to build up loyalty days on my RapidCard. Probably less compelling for you if your Mrs is not skiing. I had many grand plans of trips through to Courmayeur or round to Les C etc but the reality was we did 1 day up Brev/Fleg, 1 at Le Tour and the rest were up GM - again, largely dictated by conditions but also kids were very happy to do other stuff in afternoons so proximity to accommodation/town was helpful. That may be because we do a more full-on (for the kids at any rate) ski week in the Dolomites at 1/2 term so 1/2 day's skiing is enough for kids at Easter but if you're going to stop after lunch, you want to know you're getting value from your passes and using it for whatever else you do do in the afternoons!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 7-11-16 17:01
Replies: 72
Got a pair of 14/15 Bonafides (the one before they put some carbon in) and they're superb off the sides, in crud and soft bumps. Big, hard bumps is harder work, as is hardpack if you're turning a lot but they're great for charging down a motorway. They go well in deep stuff but you need to concentrate, they don't float too readily and can be a bit hooky but they're surprisingly manageable for such a stiff, heavy ski. For me, they're really at home in chopped-up crud in and around the pistes though. Maybe the addition of carbon has made them lighter - might suit you even better?
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Thu 20-10-16 9:58
Replies: 1461
I will take sandwiches, a beer and a flask up in my sack when I ski, probably will cost about 2.50 a day instead of 12. Yes, but that 2.50 might cost you the same in s that last season's 12 did...
And post your own questions...
Wed 19-10-16 13:27
Replies: 1461
It'd be a brave (suicidal?) government that starts rolling back the workers rights that have been implemented recently - especially around holiday and parental leave. Strangely enough they were very popular with the workers (who're obviously also the electorate!) Anyway, to revert to the thread title: 1st 2017 ski trip - Dolomites at 1/2 term - was 70% paid for in March so a comparatively good deal. However just booked the same apartment in Chamonix we had at Easter this year and it's 40% more expensive for same period next year :( I suspect a fair amount of that will be AirBnB cashing in as well as the exchange rate as I doubt the owners of the property have raised the price much - if at all given how late Easter is.. The balance of the 1/2 term trip is going to hurt, and if FX rates don't recover a bit I doubt we'll be able to afford to book it again for 2018 :cry: (Unless we don't go twice and that is NOT an option!)
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Thu 13-10-16 23:18
Replies: 5
@rachelharrisonsmith, that's great info, thanks. Not going in a van (I hope) but good to know we can change a standard ticket for a car with roof box.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Thu 13-10-16 22:55
Replies: 5
@terrygasson, thanks, yes a flexi ticket might be the way to go for the outward journey. And yes, I meant Eurotunnel.
You know it makes sense.
Thu 13-10-16 14:21
Replies: 5
I've only ever booked the Eurostar months in advance (usually 8-10 months and never less than 6), does it get much more expensive nearer departure date (i.e. <2 months)? and do they charge loads for amendments? Reason is: Looking at driving to Alps 2nd week of Easter holidays next year. Currently, due to work commitments, we can only leave on Sat 8th - we'll get a crack-of-dawn Eurostar and do it in one hit. It's possible that the work commitments may change though, allowing us to go on the Friday morning, which would be preferable but we won't know that until much nearer the time - i.e. early Feb at the earliest - so the question is: should we book now for Sat 8th departure and amend the booking nearer the time if work allows or wait until we know for sure what date we can travel? Which is likely to be the cheaper option? Cheers! (accommodation is flexible and no problem and evening departure/overnight drive (or a pit-stop) not an option)
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mon 5-09-16 14:39
Replies: 22
Skiing Arabba when based in Selva is a doddle. it's half way around the SR. Whilst that's true, if you wanted to do Arabba every day - and if you're after steep and challenging terrain; you do - it'd be between 2 and 3 hours of the same slopes/lifts getting there and back every day from Selva. If you want to ski mainly in Arabba, stay there. But, in all honesty, if you wan to party and ski steep stuff then heading west from Insbruck is probably a better option than heading south east. +1 to this - The Dolomite resorts in general are not party-central for powder hounds, St. Anton is a much better bet for that if you're flying in to Innsbruck.
Poster: A snowHead
Tue 12-04-16 13:06
Replies: 3
Bought my wife a pair of Blizzard Cheyennes 163cm in the sale at end of last season, she's 170cm and c.58kg and a strong but slightly cautious intermediate skier who skis mainly pistes and dabbles off the sides. After initially complaining she didn't want her own skis, wasn't interested in them and that she could never tell the difference between all the rentals she'd had in the past, (wasn't the best birthday present she'd ever received last Oct!!) after 2 weeks on them this year she's an absolute convert to owning skis and says they're the best skis she's ever used! They're quite piste-oriented, not that wide (I think 78mm underfoot?) with a small tip-rocker and are fairly lightweight. They were great for her on-piste but she ski'd very well on them in knee deep powder off the top of Les Grands Montets a couple of weeks ago too!
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thu 11-02-16 15:41
Replies: 386
@8611, lift openings are well publicised on the CMB website. They are, but not necessarily accurately... On Sunday morning CMB website said everything at GM was open except the top bin and Herse. Got there to find only Lognan, Marmottons and Tabe running - and a liftie at the bottom telling everyone to go to Le Tour as nothing else would open up due to the wind (As if you're going to head to Le Tour when it's windy!!) Anyway, went up and the wind was nothing like as bad as forecast but it still took them an hour to get the bottom bubble going and a further hour for Bochard and Herse - but that did coincide with heavy snow starting up so the couple of runs we got in from Bochard were fantastic! None of us were complaining particularly as we know well, and happily accept, the foibles of the CMB but just a cautionary tale to the uninitiated to take a lot of what they say - either on the web or in person - with a healthy pinch of salt.. (except of course, and before everyone howls, the avalanche levels!)
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Fri 5-02-16 1:16
Replies: 582
@Millom, thanks again, we're all good skiers so will try to persuade the others to head over there. Meanwhile, I've just arrived in Chamonix for a long weekend. It's -2 in town and snowing hard. It's a tough life :)
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Thu 4-02-16 15:27
Replies: 582
@Millom, thanks - will investigate the week after next!
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thu 4-02-16 14:57
Replies: 582
luigi wrote: Yes, looks like a great lift with the twin cables for extra stability. It opens up Alba & Penia as very interesting places to be based. For now though, it's only one way out of Alba. Very Happy There's no lift serving the top station at Belvedere and it's on a raised ridge. I hike would get you there. I assume that this will be dealt with over the Summer. New linked area sounds interesting always looking for new areas to explore - but just so I understand it: you can get this new cable car from Alba to Belvedere (to access the Sella Ronda), but not the other way around - i.e. if you're coming from the SR (Arabba/Selva etc) and want to get to the slopes above Alba, you'll still need to go down to Canazei, get the bus up to Alba and then the bubble up? Out at 1/2 term, webcams looking lovely now and more to come :)
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Tue 2-02-16 14:48
Replies: 80
Blimey @Gerry, calm down son, it's only the internet and a guy asking if he'll enjoy going for a ride in the best ski domain on the planet! (That's in my opinion by the way, others share my opinion, I like those others, some others don't, those others should be shot - or forced to take lessons until they agree with me!) Anyhow, I'm out in Cham Fri-Sun and as I know my way around fairly well, I'm going to REALLY enjoy it, Woohoo :) !
Well, it's only polite to Register
Tue 2-02-16 12:34
Replies: 80
@danieljw, As others have said, Brevent/Flegere area is definitely your best bet, you'll be fine up there. It's your closest lift, the whole area's in the sun all day (if it's sunny!) the blues and greens are all fairly benign and if you've done many hours in the dome and can do all of the things you say with a reasonable degree of confidence then even the runs under the Cornu Chair (Brev.) and the Index chair (Flegere) shouldn't be beyond you. You're not there during the school holidays and in Cham, the good/fast skiers don't really ski on the pistes much anyway so they'll be fairly empty - especially midweek. I wouldn't go up the top cable car at Brev as that can really mess with your head if it's your first time (I know from personal experience!), the Floria drag in Flegere isn't a good idea either. I'd also avoid the liaison run between the top of Cornu and and the cable car between Brev/Fleg (called Liaison) as it's largely a steepish narrow track - there's a small chair to bypass that anyway. Les Houches is a nice area with a good variety of terrain and a lot of people head there on poor weather days as there's a lot of pistes in the trees which helps you to see where you're going and it's really not far on the bus. A good tip is always to check the webcams though as it can sometimes be the case that there's a layer of low level cloud in the valley which makes it seem quite grim but actually the skiing at Brev/Fleg is all in the sun above the cloud! Have fun!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 28-01-16 15:00
Replies: 37
If you can get your hands on Rewoolution base layers (often on Sportpursuit) they're excellent - good range of 190g and 280g merino base/mid layers in variety of styles.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Wed 27-01-16 13:30
Replies: 5115
Good news - especially for the passes and higher bits - could be quite a lot of rain in the towns and villages though... Hopefully followed up by a week of sunshine for 1/2 term. Can't wait :)
And post your own questions...
Mon 25-01-16 11:46
Replies: 386
The rapid card only really makes sense if you're going to do more than 6 days in the Cham valley in a season - after 6 days you get your 7th free and you get various discounts throughout the season - especially for mid-week low season days and early/late season days etc but you'd have to be out there to take advantage... The discounted rate of 25 is only available if you order it before the end of Dec, otherwise it's 50. It does seem auto-renew every year for free though (at least, I haven't paid for either of 2 renewals thus far - hope this post doesn't scupper me!) Once you've paid for a day at any of the areas you basically have the same pass as a season MBU (except the Evasion Mont Blanc (St.G, Les C etc) areas) so the top bin at GM is included, as is the AdM (and the Montenvers and LH Tram) so if you're getting a guide and might be doing any/either of those multiple times, it could still be worth it even if you're not doing several trips. As with the Evasion MB, it doesn't work (or give you any discounts) in other near(ish) areas such as Verbier or Courmayeur etc either. I've had one for a few years now and it's certainly very handy for by-passing queues at the pass counters. There was no hassle signing up with a UK address and credit card and it was delivered within 3-4 days of ordering it - all the info's here: http://www.compagniedumontblanc.co.uk/en/lift-passes/chamonix-rapidcard
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Wed 20-01-16 15:36
Replies: 130
It's not about money. It's about getting them out of the garage and looking a them. Standing them up in the kitchen for a week before you go and thinking 'I'm the only one on our street with a pair of these - I'm a skier - I'm James Bond, I am' I leave on Friday and go them out yesterday. Can't believe how happy it made me. I thought it would make me loo more attractive and manly to my wife but apparently not. I felt more manly anyway. As I will when I walk in to the airport with a ski bag over my shoulder on Friday morning knowing that all the airstewardesses think I'm a sex god because I have me own skis. that is why you need your own skis and need to take them on holiday. Haha, great post. However much we deny it, there's a little bit (OK a lot) of this in any ski owner - on top of this, in 2 weeks time I get to take my ski bag on the tube and to the office for the day before leaving a little early for my evening flight to Geneva, all the way basking in the awesomeness of all the other miserable commuters looking at me and thinking, "You lucky (and awesome) bas**rd!". Even just once a year, it's a thrill :)
And they're a friendly bunch.
Tue 19-01-16 15:35
Replies: 11
Our kids (6 & 8) both have a couple of pairs of wed'ze mitts: http://www.wedze.co.uk/wedze-first-heat-childrens-ski-mittens-black-id_8284509 They're cheap, effective and have a little elastic lanyard to loop round their wrists. They don't seem to have any problems getting the 2nd mitt on. The oldest also has (had) a pair of nice red Hestras which we picked up 2nd hand for a tenner but he chewed through the leather on one of the forefingers as it "tasted nice" - last time we will "invest" in premium ski gear for the little bu**ers until they can look after it! Edit - That smiley's meant to be an 8 followed by a ) but i'll leave it as an accidental smiley as I quite like it!
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