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Poster: A snowHead
Tue 26-01-16 21:48
Replies: 1
I'm flying back to Helsinki with Lufthansa in just over a week. Flight is GVA - MUC - HEL. Phoned Lufthansa today to check snowboard would be ok and was told they don't have any remaining space on the MUC - HEL leg. Apparently 50 sets of skis / boards are already booked on that flight... So I plan to get to Geneva early and see what happens, but any suggestions of what to do if Lufthansa refuses to check in the snowboard bag? As I leave in Helsinki, and won't be urgently needing the board, it doesn't matter if it arrives a few days later. Thinking about potential cargo options. thanks,
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fri 22-01-16 22:31
Replies: 19
I was in Sofia and up in the mountains near the Rila monastery in September 2015. Nobody asked for anything else except Lev. Most places were also happy to accept cards (even the little hotel near Rila where they had to stand outside with their credit card machine to get a signal...).
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 14-10-15 21:37
Replies: 19
I've lived in Helsinki for ~6 years. Levi is the best option in Finnish lapland for other activities, availability of accomodation and restaurants. The downhill skiing is pretty limited but it is a very good to learn. Its also a really good place to try cross-country skiing. If possible fly to Kittila which is only 15 km from Levi. There is a service bus (coach with a hold for luggage) that is timed to meet all Finnair flights. However driving even in winter is very easy (as long as you avoid the reindeer!). I've seen the northern lights on 3 out of 5 trips to Lapland, twice in Levi and once in Pallas (near Yllas). In Levi you need to walk out of the town a little bit (down to the lake for example) to see the northern lights well. There are companies that do northern light spotting trips where they take you out of the town. Finland is not cheap. A pint of beer will cost about 7 euros in a bar, a bottle of wine in a restaurant at least 30 euros, but only about 10 euros from Alko (state run alcohol shop). Accomodation us usually of a high standard. Yes it can be cold, I've experienced -30C (in January) which is really cold on a drag lift! Make sure you've got good clothes and can cover your face completely. I've had frozen eyelashes before just by quickly taking my goggles off to adjust them! However most of the time it is really not that cold and since it is usually dry with very little wind even -15C doesn't feel that cold.
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Tue 18-11-14 20:56
Replies: 62
We've flown with 2 snowboards + 2 sets of boots in one coffin bag with BA multiple times with no problems. As long as the bag is under 23kg they really don't mind. I've done the same with a bike in the summer - one road bike with shoes, helmets, clothes etc stuffed round it. Again never had to pay extra (only taking one checked in bag = bike)
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 1-04-13 20:59
Replies: 3
I am a British citizen, resident in Finland, and I'm interested in joining FFCAM. I spend about 5 weeks a year on holiday in the French mountains and would like to benefit from FFCAM discount rates in refuges and also take advantage of their optional extra insurance policy. Can anyone tell me if it is possible for me to join, or do you need to affiliated with a local french club? Also, if someone could point me to the correct place on their website I'd be grateful. I assume it should be here somewhere http://www.ffcam.fr/adherer.html Thanks
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Tue 19-02-13 22:55
Replies: 79
Hells Bells - yep we were on the Pres du Bois to avoid the queue at the Cretes drag to get back to Chantremerle. The alarms bells should of been ringing as we were the only two people anywhere near it!
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Tue 19-02-13 21:53
Replies: 79
près de bois in Serre Chevalier. 1. is super steep 2. it pulls, slows almost to a stop,and then launches you forward again without any warning 3. you need to navigate over a narrow bridge right at the start 4. it goes through pretty dense trees so if you come off you are pretty well stuck, and also they cant get any machine up there so it becomes rutted. It was not a lot of fun on a snowboard (I came off twice right at the start and then stayed on all the way). However, there was a helpful lifties, which is definately rare in France!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 6-02-13 21:02
Replies: 27
not really. We persuaded a French friend to join us skiing in Mayrhofen last week and the man in the ski hire shop did seem mighty confused by a frenchman coming to Austria... However, our french friend did comment that Austria was cheaper and that the mountain restaurant staff were much friendlier than in France!
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Mon 14-01-13 21:54
Replies: 6
Also, there is a Bureau de Guides at the bottom of the Luc Alphand that probably does off-piste touring in winter. We used them in the summer once for a glacier walking / ice climbing trip at La Grave and they were excellent. We paid for a guide for 3 hours, ended up with about 5 hours as our guide said he was happy to stay and enjoy the mountains! Not sure if that office is open in winter though but they have ones in Villeneuve and Briancon if not. Lift passes - just buy there. Same price and usually hardly any queue.
And post your own questions...
Mon 14-01-13 21:48
Replies: 6
Our friends used Regis Sport (Skiset) in Chantermerle (about 20m from the lift) to rent skis from and they were allowed to leave they're stuff there overnight. Even better thought, they allowed me to leave my own stuff there free of charge. You can leave your own boots and skis (at your own risk, but it seemed pretty safe to me - nothing dissappeared) but you can't leave your own poles. One of our friends rented brand new, top of the end ski's from there so they have pretty decent kit.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Tue 25-09-12 21:31
Replies: 29
Good choice with Briancon. We've been there quite a few times in the summer and winter and it is probably the best value French ski resort in my opinion. Towards the end of the season the snow can be a bit rubbish coming back into Briancon as the slopes really get the sun, but there the gondola to download on. A few things you should try and do. Visit La Grave, but I'd recommend a guide. You'll need avalanche safely kit but I think you can rent this locally. Try cross country skiing in the Nevache valley. Snow shoe up to the refuge on the col d'Izoard and ski back done. (haven't done this yet but a local guide recommended it to us last year!)
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 19-09-12 21:32
Replies: 20
Hi Chris, As a cyclist who has done some touring I'm very jealous of your adventure! For finding long term accommodation in the Alps you could try this website: www.chaletsdirect.com. There are forums for both short stay accommodation and long stays. Post your requirements and see what comes back. I've used the short stay forum successfully for winter skiing holidays. Its mainly French properties though. However, if you'd consider France, I would recommend that you look at the Serre Chevalier region in the southern Alpes. Its generally much more affordable than similar sized resorts and also has the advantage of having a proper, functioning town (Briancon) with a quick gondola at one end of the ski domain so access to decent supermarkets is not a problem.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 18-09-12 22:28
Replies: 9
I have a ride promise and it has been a brilliant 1st board for me. Its fairly stiff so not ideal for jumps but brilliant in deep powder and on piste. I've had this board for 3 years, bought it after 2 weeks snowboarding, and it is a solid intermediate board. It seems to be pretty much bomb proof. However, I am thinking of replacing it soon, maybe with a GNU board. Don't worry about looking at women specific boards - it just limits your choice. And if you want non girly graphics, look at Lib Tech (who make pretty awesome yet pricey boards)
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 18-09-12 22:14
Replies: 43
I live in Helsinki so have had a few trips to Finnish lapland. I think Levi is the best option in terms of activities, nice restaurants and decent accommodation. There are also a few Spa's there now and the town is pretty easy to get around. The log cabins in the forest look really nice. Levi is easy to get to as it is only 15 minutes from Kittila airport. If you decide to give the tour operators a miss there is a service bus that meets all of the scheduled flights from Helsinki and stops at various hotels in the town. We go to Levi to X-country ski and there is no better place to x-country ski; skiing across frozen lakes and through forests is lovely. There are also cafe's en-route for hot drinks. I converted from downhill skiing to snowboarding due to a knee problem but find X-country skiing fine. I do classic style, not skating style, and find there is very little strain on my knee. There seem to be plenty of other activities to try - loads of advertising for husky rides, snowmobiles, snow shoeing etc. but I can't comment as I've only ever x-country skied or snowboarded. Downhill skiiing / snowboarding is pretty limited - we managed to do every run before about 3pm one day and we spent most of the time on t-bars. However, there are some amazingly scary snow parks where watching 10 year oldsdo 720s on their snowboards is entertaining yet depressing..... About the Northern lights - I've seen them in Jan, Feb and March. January was dark and cold (-30C) and I doubt I'd go back at that time of year. Finnish schools have a "skiing holiday" in February and like France it is in 3 different zones. You want to avoid the Helsinki week (18 - 22 Feb 2013). Any time in late Feb or March would be good. Saariselka is another option but I think it is more limited on activities and accommodation than Levi and also the town is much more spread out so it is difficult to get around.
Poster: A snowHead
Tue 17-01-12 21:05
Replies: 14
I don't have a stomp pad but make sure there is no snow or ice on my board before I get on the chairlift. Getting off I ram my back foot against the binding and hold on to the front of the chair once I've stood up to make sure I've got my balance and it takes some speed of if its a steep ramp down from the chair. I also find one footed heel edge control a lot easier so try to get on the left ish side of the chair.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 11-01-12 23:07
Replies: 8
I don't recall it being super scary steep except the drop ins, so maybe you'll be ok. Still take a guide for half a day or so just to be safe. There is a bureau d'Guides in La Grave right near the gondola that can help (call in advance though) Also I think there are 2 intermediate stations on the gondola so you don't need to go board to the very bottom each run so less jumping tree roots required!
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 11-01-12 22:20
Replies: 8
I've only seen it up close in summer when we were up there climbing. Its interesting to say the least. I'm a confident intermediate / advanced boarder (6 weeks on a board plus a bit of skiing before) and I would give La Grave a go in good conditions but only with a guide. There are some pretty scaring looking drop-ins near the top, and is definitely challenging ski terrain - steep + glacier crevasses + rocks + drop-offs. I'd recommend a guide first time regardless of your ability, unless you are a competent mountaineer carrying rope + harness etc and don't get spooked easily!
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Sun 19-06-11 22:34
Replies: 46
I switched to snowboarding in my early 20s. I hated snowboarding for 2 days and only stuck at it because I'd paid for a week of lessons (ESF, surprisingly v. good!). Most skiers who try snowboarding don't like it because you fall over a lot for the first two days and you feel like a complete beginner on the slopes again, which sucks, so I'd not be surprised if after a day in the fridge your daughter decides she doesn't like it. About a board, I'd rent one for the first week. I learnt to ride on a board that was 149cm (I'm 165cm and 60kg) but the board I bought once I was a confident intermediate is 154cm and suits me really well. Recently, I had a go on a friends 149cm board and it felt way too short! Buy the boots though, and don't skimp on them. If you get heel lift in snowboard boots you end up doing twice as much work and also get really sore calf muscles. Also, sounds like a another expensive, but snowboard socks are quite different to ski socks! I don't have step in bindings and never found the ratchets a problems - if you are used to doing up ski boots then you won't have a problem. I can easily do my bindings up without sitting down - dont know why so many snowboarders sit down to do this?? If it is of interest I have a ride promise board (154cm), ride DVa bindings (Medium) and burton mint boots (size 6.5 - 0.5 bigger than my shoe size). Boots bought after one week of snowboarding, board + bindings after my 2nd week. Will replace the boots soon though, and probably the board in a year or so.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 25-04-11 12:53
Replies: 56
The rollers aren't quiet but I wouldn't say they are excessively noisy. I use them on a wooden floor and the noise is a "whirry" type from the rollers rotating. There is no thudding from the rollers hitting the floor. I also live in an apartment and as of yet nobody has complained!
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Sun 24-04-11 21:18
Replies: 56
I'd recommend a road bike too as its been pointed out you can get a turbo trainer to use indoors but still have the option of going outside when you have a few hours to spare. I also find riding outside much more enjoyable. plus you wont overheat as much! The other indoor option is a set of rollers which are more compact to store and easier to set up than a turbo trainer as you dont need to attach the bike to the rollers you just need to balance the bike on the rollers. That said, rollers are scary the first time you ride on them, but I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of them. They are also good for making you cycle properly (evenly, straight, etc) so when you do ride on the road you will be much more efficient. I have Tacx rollers which I think were about £100 a few years ag0.
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Thu 10-03-11 20:10
Replies: 57
Levi in Finland is a great place for XC - 230km of trails for both classic and skating, some of which are floodlit. The trail map is quite good and marks the difficulty of each track. There is a lot of flat stuff (on frozen lakes for example) and there are also quite a few cafes beside the tracks. Levi is only 15 minutes from Kittilä airport and since it is Finland's largest downhill ski resort it has plenty of accommodation and facilities.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 10-02-11 21:37
Replies: 15
We've travelled on the corail lunea sleeper quite a few times. Usually, we leave our luggage and venture a bit further afield for food. There are left luggage lockers at Gare Australiz which are coin operated (will easily take a decent sized rucksack) and in the same place is left luggage for larger pieces (snowboard bag). We tend to head up to Rue de Mouffetard, (south / south west of the station - 10/15 minute walk) to eat. There are lots of restaurants which are pretty reasonable in price and generally provide good food. We've had a 2 course meal with wine for around €20 per person. The area is quite pleasant (much more so that outside Gare Australiz) and waiters tend to be friendly. Luggage space on the trains - we've had 6 people plus luggage, including 2 snowboard bags, in a 6 person compartment. It was a squeeze but once we were organised it was quite comfortable. Snowboard bags go underneath the bunks. There is loads of space above the corridor and also you can stack stuff up at the window end of the compartment.
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