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Non Skier Access to the Mountain

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello All, and thanks in advance for your replies.

My Wife and I are going skiing with a group on the 12th Decemeber and we haven't chosen a location yet. My wife won't be skiing as she's pregnant so we want somewhere where she can get a lift up the mountain to join us for lunch. Given the time of year were going we also need somewhere high. Currently we are set on Val D'isere as it fufills these requirements but would love to here some other suggestions.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There won't be many places in the vicinity fully open on 12 December. Tignes is one obvious contender because you can get from Val Claret up to the Grande Motte quickly on a warm funicular. The restaurant up there is much improved - tasty food at reasonable prices. And majestic views.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Les Deux Alpes? You can catch the first gondola up to an area with a couple of restaurants.
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When we were in Ischgl last Easter we had one in our group who did not ski but made good use of the lift system to meet up for lunch. Excellent lift system with covers on chairlifts for inclement weather and with some heated chairlifts as well. The non skier also quite liked wandering around Ischgl during the day. Good skiing and probably as snow sure as most high ski areas.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have had non skiing holidays in Ischgl, (injury) foot passage easy in lifts with a choice of eateries on top of the mountain. A real village
for non skiers with easy walking available if required
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Saas Fee
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Lech in the Arlberg: I was injured in Lech, so used to take the free bus up to OberLech where my friends could ski to meet up at lunchtime

As likely as anywhere else to have snow early season, and a proper Austrian village with character...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ischgl is a good call. I've been several times in early December and had no issues with snow cover.
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Yep, Ischgl. You've got 3 gondolas up the the ski area with restaurants in the top station buildings, with another 2 that should be walk-able in the Idalp bowl if she's not too pregnant/conditions are good under foot. Means you're not always eating in the same place when she comes up the mountain.

Provided there's the snow the runs back to the village that can actually be quite good fun during the day too, so you also have the option of skiing back down and meeting her for lunch in different restaurants in town.
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I think Ischgl is definately good for mountain access but one down side is there is no smoking ban (or if there is its ignored!). Not sure if this would be an issue for the wife when pregnant. Having said that IME, in the restaurants at least most people seemed to respect others and refrained from smoking at the table but still smoked at the bar. Just so you are aware
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M Grandma also enjoyed Ischgl a few years back, and was able to meet us up the mountain.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Lech+1
Lech is one of the most charming villages in The Alps with perfect pre-Christmas atmosphere.
And, as mentioned, Lech's satellite Oberlech, where a bunch of restaurants is located, is within easy reach by cablecar, and by road, serviced by the free local bus.
Lech is expecting approx. 70 cm snow this coming weekend.
Imo Lech is much much more charming for non-skirs than Ischgl. Ischgl's Idalpe is simply ugly, whilst Oberlech is one the most beautiful spots thinkable
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These all sound like good suggestions. I would suggest you would be well advised to look at Austria and Switzerland in particular as they have a number of resorts very well geared up to non skiers, largely because many of them were alpine hiking and walking destinations before skiing came along. I have spent a holiday in Val D'Isere whilst pregnant and to be honest I wouldn't repeat it. Fantastic resort for skiers, but very poor access for non skiers on the mountain. In fairness this was a few years ago so it may have improved from that perspective, but I still think you would be better elsewhere. We know Zermatt best, and I can certainly suggest you add that to the list above to consider. I accept it has got a lot more expensive given the strength of the franc, but there are ways to avoid the five star prices. And it is certainly charming, pretty snow sure and good for non skier access to the mountain.
Have a great time, wherever you end up!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Wengen is a good call in Switzerland. You can travel between places by train fairly easily and cover quite an area without skiing or boarding. Some iconic places to see there.

Ischgl on foot is also possible as others have mentioned above. Many cafes, bars and boutiques to browse through. Many saunas and spa's too in the town. Fine dining to suit your pocket either on the mountain or in the valley.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Is 12 December possibly a bit early for Wengen?

My daughter would absolutely have refused to go in a bar full of smoke when pregnant (or any other time, come to that).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Having skied quite a few years in Ischgl I never noticed smoking in the mountain restaurants at lunch and whereas I am not that sensitive to it, at least one member of my party is and it was never a problem.
Can't say about the evening as we self catered.
A fair bit more attractive option for the non skier than Tignes.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 19-11-15 16:35; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w wrote:
Is 12 December possibly a bit early for Wengen?

My daughter would absolutely have refused to go in a bar full of smoke when pregnant (or any other time, come to that).


Probably right....didn't pay attention to date.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I haven't been since 2012, but I'm sure there wasn't smoking in the mountain restaurants at lunchtime. I am not sure about the bars, as we generally did our apres outside in a bar at the bottom of the slope. I wouldn't swear that there was no one smoking at the bar in any of the restaurants as this wouldn't particularly bother me, but I don't remember it, and certainly we didn't go anywhere where there were a number of smokers or the air was very smoky.
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I've yet to find a bar full of smoke in Ischgl, or anywhere else in Austria for that matter - even the cocktail/cigar bar. In fact I only became aware you could smoke inside on my 3rd or 4th Austrian trip when we took a smoker with us who took it as a sign to chain-smoke - till I reminded him I had his misses number and knew they had both given up together... Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Langerzug wrote:
Lech+1
Imo Lech is much much more charming for non-skirs than Ischgl. Ischgl's Idalpe is simply ugly, whilst Oberlech is one the most beautiful spots thinkable


Gotta be more going on Ischgl town to keep a non-skier occupied though? I don't know Lech well so might well be wrong, but it seems a lot smaller and quieter.
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Mjit wrote:
I've yet to find a bar full of smoke in Ischgl, or anywhere else in Austria for that matter - even the cocktail/cigar bar.


TBH you can't have been trying that hard!

Restaurants are generally non-smoking, but most bars still allow smoking.
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Another vote for Lech. Easy for her to get up to Oberlech and meet you for lunch, and if the weather obliges, sit on a sun terrace wrapped up watching the skiers go by. They have plenty of nice, gentle walks that they clear the footpaths for, eg along the river. Also the option, should she feel like it, of getting the bus and then train for a day in eg Innsbruck, or the wellness centre in St Anton.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Gotta be more going on Ischgl town to keep a non-skier occupied though? I don't know Lech well so might well be wrong, but it seems a lot smaller and quieter.



Lech might be a bit smaller than Ischgl, but Lech really is a prettier village. Also the valley is wider than at Ischgl, giving more sun (not unimportant around 15 December...)
Maybe most important: In Lech, the village is much more alive during daytime, because the village is very much part of the skiing area, with skirs crossing the village-main street to get from the Oberlech-area to the cablecar to Zrs. Lech has many pistes ending in the heart of the village, which are also used during daytime. In Ischgl people only come down at the end of the day. Additionally Lech has a very pretty childrens and beginners area with three lifts near the church. A very nice area to walk around and additionally enjoy the views to the opossite side where the main skiing area is.
In fact, instead of the lady going up to Oberlech, skirs can just as easy come down to ski to some valley restaurants (ie Schneggarei, Gasthof Post, Hotel Arlberg, Krone, Tannbergerhof) These are all truly at the piste, or with just a few steps walking from the pistes (and lifts of course)
In fact this feature is one of the main attractive things about Lech imo, and that make Lech so special and beloved.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 19-11-15 19:12; edited 3 times in total
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JoeKersh wrote:
Les Deux Alpes? You can catch the first gondola up to an area with a couple of restaurants.


There is actually walking access to Diable au Coeur (very nice restaurant) via the Diable chair, La Patache restaurant (OK) via white eggs, Panobar (noisy house music late afternoon) and with a slight up/downhill walk Chalet de Toura (nice pizzas and more) via first stage of Jandri Express and Glacier Restaurant (not my favourite) via 2nd stage.

A fair walk up but there is also Kanata on the Pied Moutet side.

My favourite mountain restaurant is Chalet de la Fee but unfortunately there's no walking access.

Obviously as a glacier resort snow is guaranteed that week Happy
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