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Sestriere for Xmas?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Evening Snowheads!

I'm looking for a bit of advice about Sestriere, I've seen a good price to go skiing there over xmas and I'm comparing it to a similarly priced deal for El Tarter in Andorra.

With El Tarter, I know what to expect, I did a lot of ski holidays there with my family when I was a child/teen, so I know that apart from hotels there's pretty much nothing there, but you can get a ski bus up to Soldeu for a bit of nightlife and a taxi back at the end of the night.

I have read a trip report on here that told me that Sestriere was "completely dead" when the reviewer was there, so I'm just wanting to know what sort of nightlife there is really. I don't really care about nightclubs, but is there a choice of a few decent bars at least? I did a few seasons in Mayrhofen, and I realise that nothing in Italy is going to compare to it, but I don't fancy sitting in a hotel all evening playing scrabble.

As for the skiing, I know that Sestriere is going to outclass Soldeu/El Tarter massively. But, I'm going with my girlfriend who is not up to the same ability as I am, so does Sestriere have enough to keep us both entertained? Of course, I've looked at the piste map already, but I find that Blues v Reds v Blacks are open to a lot of interpretation.

Anything else you have to add about Sestriere, I would love to know.

Cheers,
Huw
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sestriere 'over xmas' will be busy enough.

Your girlfriend will be fine.

The rest barely holds comparison.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Sause will be a lot livelier and connects to Sestriere.
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second on sauxe, and we were there last xmas, the slopes are not busy, its easy to get to sestriere, but of the two id much rather base in sauxe, connections to montegenevre as well
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
huw_jenks wrote:
I have read a trip report on here that told me that Sestriere was "completely dead" when the reviewer was there, so I'm just wanting to know what sort of nightlife there is really.

I'm with @iskar & @TQA on Sauze being the better option for nightlife. Sestriere is predominantly an olympic village. It's fragmented and hasn't got the same soul that the village of Sauze gives you. If I was heading to the Via Lattea for Christmas, I'd want plenty of options for a drink and a bit of food!! Don't forget the romance of a cobbled street in the snow...

huw_jenks wrote:
As for the skiing, I know that Sestriere is going to outclass Soldeu/El Tarter massively. But, I'm going with my girlfriend who is not up to the same ability as I am, so does Sestriere have enough to keep us both entertained? Of course, I've looked at the piste map already, but I find that Blues v Reds v Blacks are open to a lot of interpretation.

There is oodles of skiing to be had in Sestriere that will suit both your abilities. The red slopes in this region are accessible to most skiers with a week under their belt. Long and wide and well serviced by fast chair lifts. "Girlfriend Skiing" is important... you dont want to scare her and risk future ski trips! However, if she has a morning off, hit the gondola to the top of San Sicario and hit the Olympica black... point them downhill and you will grin from ear to ear! It's a beautiful slope!
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If your girlfriend isn't comfortable on reds I would stick with Sestriere. The nightlife isn't the same as Sauze but there's still enough bars and restaurants.

The blues in Sauze are narrow, there are some good easy wide reds but depending on your girlfriends ability she might not be comfortable. We went with a family member who was a nervous 3rd time skier and she struggled in Sauze. Slopes would have been much better in Sestriere.

Also, Sestriere is higher for early in the season so more likelyhood of better conditions.

I've not been to Soldeu so can't compare it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The deciding factor for me would be the snow ( or lack of) For the last three seasons there has been very limited snow in Sestriere/ Sauze/ Montgenevre at Christmas. I would hold off booking until late to ensure there will be enough snow or you are satisfied that they can produce enough artificial snow to make it worthwhile. To make sure you are going to get snow-You might look at Val Gardena as an option as the snow making there is extensive and impressive.
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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!
@GarryC, Did you ski in Montgenevre last Christmas? As I heard conditions there were better than most of the northern alps. The conditions in Montgenevre do not always follow the same patterns as Sauze/Sestriere.
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not last Xmas but the two before. Headed to VT for last Xmas to make sure we had snow and there was snow but no snowfall since early Dec. Has made me quite wary of Xmas skiing.
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@GarryC, I'm hoping that the news regarding new snow making in the Via Lattea will give early season visitors a bit more confidence.
http://sauzedoulx.net/news/ wrote:

The Via Lattea will have new snow cannons for winter 2017. The cannon modernisation programme will provide an improvement of about 30 percent in terms of efficiency both for extending the operating temperature and snow production range. The completion of the work is set for October 28, 2017 so well in time for the ski season!
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Only if they open the slopes. For new year 2 years ago there was a big snowfall post Christmas (You may remember the stories about people getting stuck in cars and staying in schools ) and all the slopes on the side of the Rocher D'Aigle to Sestriere were not opened as was one side of the mountain in Montgenevre for the week of new year. Even though I think Montgenevre/Via Lattea has potential to be a great resort- closed lifts and slopes for new year even when they had snow turned me right off. When I complained at the Ski centre they were unapologetic and I don't plan to return.

They would need to up their game on this as there were a lot of dissatisfied customers that year.
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