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Avoiding the Crowds at New Year

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Tatman's Tours wrote:
@Penry, Realistically you probably wouldn't bother if you had to ski down again for ski-school, although it would be feasible - first lift (Kohlmaisgipfelbahn) at 8.30am, arrive at Bergeralm 8.55am, consume breakfast by 9.30 and ski down to ski-school meeting-place for 9.45.


Many thanks, as you say, realistically I won't bother. But how refreshing to have lifts open at 8:30 after 2 holidays in Norway where lifts open at 9 and ski school starts at 9 which makes ski-in ski-out a bit pointless.

I've booked a centrally located B&B which had pictures of ham included in the breakfast buffet so if I could get them to rustle up an omelette...

So I've done flights and accommodation, what's left?

Transfer from/to Salzburg - Holiday shuttle is annoyingly scheduled for our flight.
Ski school - I'm thinking Furstauer and they do ski rental packages too.
Ski pass - any advantages to buying early/late?

I'm ready to go, bags packed and waiting by the door. Have I forgotten anything?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:
Champoluc?

NY day busy but not really apart from that.

Www.ski2.co.uk do packages, but easy to DIY...


Went with your suggestion for February half term in the end. Many thanks for the tip.

This was after having mapped out every last detail of a family trip to San Cassiano to better suit the more timid half of the family. Was just debating whether to hire the polo or octavia from Innsbruck airport when my daughter announced she didn't want to go. Cue sigh of relief from her mum and it's a boys only trip, mkII.
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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?
The ski season is getting shorter, particularly at The front end.
The high altitude French resorts have been rammed at new year as people migrate higher in search of the white stuff.VT is very very busy.
Snow making has become critical to New Year. In recent years the Dolomites have offered the most extensive skiing despite sparse snowfall.
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Quote:

The ski season is getting shorter, particularly at The front end.

A controversial subject that keeps cropping up on this forum. Could it not be argued that the heavy investment in snow-making capability has actually extended the season? I remember that, when I used to organise annual skiing groups in the 80s and 90s, I used to regard early February as "safe" from the point of view of guaranteed snow cover. I wouldn't have contemplated skiing as early as Christmas. However, in the last 10 years, I have enjoyed some excellent pre-Christmas conditions, and the extensive snow-making has enabled resorts to open on time in early December, as well as to reassure those planning early-season trips that there will be adequate early skiing, at least on-piste.
Useful dumps of snow, even in relatively low resorts, are still half-expected during November, and last season was a good example, when heavy snow in mid-November enabled resorts in the NE Alps to open ahead of schedule (e.g. Saalbach was open during the last two weekends in November). There followed a snow drought for several weeks; however the temperatures were seasonably normal - i.e. sub-zero for much of the time, allowing the natural snow that had fallen in November to be topped up with plenty of the manufacturedl stuff. At least half (possibly at least 60%) of Saalbach's 280km of pistes were open when I arrived on 10th December - and of course it's by no means a high-altitude resort.
The collective wisdom that I've seen previously expressed in threads on this subject is that there is as yet insufficient evidence of a definite trend, and that data would have to be assessed over a much longer period for any definite conclusion to be reached on whether the season is getting shorter. I haven't kept records, but my perception over the past 10 years is that the pre-Christmas snow has been good to excellent in about half of those years, and passable in probably another one or two. The last three have been disappointing, notwihstanding my comments above (about last season), but I think that there has been only one Christmas Day in the last 10 years when I didn't think it worth putting on my ski gear.
As for the late season, I haven't noticed any significant deterioration of the skiing that has been on offer during the first two weeks of April. I called it a day on 15th April this year but recall that a cold snap arrived simultaneously. Friends were skiing at Kaprun in late April and commented that conditions were "like January".
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tatman's Tours wrote:
Quote:

The ski season is getting shorter, particularly at The front end.

A controversial subject that keeps cropping up on this forum. Could it not be argued that the heavy investment in snow-making capability has actually extended the season? I remember that, when I used to organise annual skiing groups in the 80s and 90s, I used to regard early February as "safe" from the point of view of guaranteed snow cover. I wouldn't have contemplated skiing as early as Christmas. However, in the last 10 years, I have enjoyed some excellent pre-Christmas conditions, and the extensive snow-making has enabled resorts to open on time in early December, as well as to reassure those planning early-season trips that there will be adequate early skiing, at least on-piste.
Useful dumps of snow, even in relatively low resorts, are still half-expected during November, and last season was a good example, when heavy snow in mid-November enabled resorts in the NE Alps to open ahead of schedule (e.g. Saalbach was open during the last two weekends in November). There followed a snow drought for several weeks; however the temperatures were seasonably normal - i.e. sub-zero for much of the time, allowing the natural snow that had fallen in November to be topped up with plenty of the manufacturedl stuff. At least half (possibly at least 60%) of Saalbach's 280km of pistes were open when I arrived on 10th December - and of course it's by no means a high-altitude resort.
The collective wisdom that I've seen previously expressed in threads on this subject is that there is as yet insufficient evidence of a definite trend, and that data would have to be assessed over a much longer period for any definite conclusion to be reached on whether the season is getting shorter. I haven't kept records, but my perception over the past 10 years is that the pre-Christmas snow has been good to excellent in about half of those years, and passable in probably another one or two. The last three have been disappointing, notwihstanding my comments above (about last season), but I think that there has been only one Christmas Day in the last 10 years when I didn't think it worth putting on my ski gear.
As for the late season, I haven't noticed any significant deterioration of the skiing that has been on offer during the first two weeks of April. I called it a day on 15th April this year but recall that a cold snap arrived simultaneously. Friends were skiing at Kaprun in late April and commented that conditions were "like January".




I think, unquestionably, the natural season is getting shorter at the front end. In the 80s and nineties there were the odd seasons where Christmas was baron but they were seen as disasters rather than the norm.
The pre season word cup races such as Val d'sere and Val Gardena regularly took place against a backdrop of white mountains and valleys. A romantic Christmas in a snow covered village would now be seen as a surprising bonus by most punters.
The late snow still seems to fall and this, coupled with huge investment in snow making and grooming have made for great late season skiing on most resorts. I've heard it said by many in the mountains that the big snowfalls seem to be hitting later and later, 3which may explain why end of season seems to be good.
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I trot this out frequently, (wish I could find the original source) - back in ~1930s odd Kitzbuhel council decided they couldn't advertise Xmas week for winter sports as the snow wasn't reliable...

So it's not a recent concept...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@cameronphillips2000, I`m sorry but I have to disagree with you, Xmas has always been questionable for reliable snow. As far back as the 70`s when I first went skiing, even New Years week was considered "iffy"! Smile
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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!
I guess the only way we d know for sure is if we looked at historical snow fall records. I skied new year almost every year from the mid eighties and only remember one really bad year
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-10/how-much-snow-is-there-in-the-alps-this-year-for-skiing

The graph here shows the decline over the years. It also shows some years that were very poor in the 80s andnineties
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@cameronphillips2000, And I`m guessing there will have been lots of variations from area to area.
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I guess so but I think the general consensus is less snow across the Alps since the 1960s
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
...
The high altitude French resorts have been rammed at new year as people migrate higher in search of the white stuff.VT is very very busy.
...


Err, Really?




New years eve, 3V. (everywhere else was as "rammed"). But you were right about "Snow making has become critical to New Year. ", they did a tremendous job. After we left here on new years eve we skied Les Arcs (empty) and two days in La Rosiere/La Thuile, the latter did have quite good snow. (empty)

[/img]


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 13-06-17 14:12; edited 2 times in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-016-1806-y

This would suggest a bigger problem at the end of the season. I teresting
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
andyrew wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
...
The high altitude French resorts have been rammed at new year as people migrate higher in search of the white stuff.VT is very very busy.
...


Err, Really?




New years eve, 3V. (everywhere else was as "rammed"). But you were right about "Snow making has become critical to New Year. ", they did a tremendous job. After we left here on new years eve we skied Les Arcs (empty) and two days in La Rosiere/La Thuile, the latter did have quite good snow. (empty)

[/img]



the st Martin link is hardly the heart of VT. There were loads of comments on this forum along with pics showing how busy VT was. Granted, after New Year, in early January, there s some very quiet skiing to be had
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=32289

I think this is a more accurate picture.
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