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France 2017-2018 :Alpe d'Huez, Oz, Vaujany, Villard, Auris

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Maybe 5cm in resort overnight just to freshen things up for the new arrivals.
A busy few weeks ahead.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Had a ski yesterday in Alpe d'Huez with the kids and it's the most snow I've seen in resort since we moved here in 2012.

Queues not bad, just a couple of minutes then nothing over lunchtime.

Woke up this morning to 10cm fresh snow in BDO and just arrived in Auris for work with blue skies starting to appear.
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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?
Heading to AdH in 10 days, very excited.
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Dumped down with snow last night and continuing this morning. Happy days!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Marvellous

Just hoping we can get there!!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
When do you arrive?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Flying from Bristol on Sat am, due in resort at c2pm

Leaving Bristol maybe the issue.........
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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!
By car or transfer? More snow due on Saturday
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Bens bus from Grenoble at 1145........
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
And snowing again Smile
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Been dumping with snow since about 8am this morning. Smile
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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.
Heavy snow also forecast for tonight ?
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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
Now flying from Heathrow, arriving at 1445, hopefully be able to get to AdH before dark!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Snow is forecast to stop later this afternoon followed by another 20cm tomorrow with a snow-rain limit of between 1300 and 1500m
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sun now out, great last couple of hours of fresh powder.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Interesting changeover day ahead. Heavy snow from the start of the climb up to resort.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Really difficult driving conditions today. Just read on FB that main Alpe d'Huez road from Bourg d'oisans is blocked by avalanche.
Edit it's Villard reculas road blocked.
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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?
Just terrible road condition last Saturday. Got stuck on the road from our hotel in Bourg d'Oisans half way to Vaujany as the road was icy with new snow and Hertz had supplied wrong size chains (for which we got a 50€ refund later...). And yes, we had actually gotten a car with winter tyres at reasonable extra price in Lyon. So we could not put chains on but could sneak carefully down to Allemont and throw the car in the parking lot swearing at both weather gods and rental car companies. Soon the Oz navette came and we happily entered the bus which had chains on. To little help as 5 minutes into the road it was jammed both up and down to Oz. We ended up spending 3 hours in the bus at the same spot, then everything was suddenly cleared and we were able to get on skis from 12.30. In heavy snow, not to our liking at all but also we did not really miss the slopes much during the hours of heavy wet snow. It was much better the next two days.
We thought staying in Bourg was a nice idea, but the place really lacks flexible solutions for ski buses. Not to mention, it should have a lift from the valley floor like Brides ! The bus service is either catching the Grenoble-to-Huez (or 2Alps) bus around 7.30-8 in the morning with difficult return, or the Vaujany Navette (at 7.40+8.10 morning, only one return at 17.35 so pray you are not wet, taking 40 minutes or so). A world apart from any Austrian or Italian resort we have been to before, for example. Bourg has a serious problem in bad weather when you can not really trust to drive up to the mountain even if they spread salt and clear as fast as they can, the lowest and probably easiest starting point Vaujany being at 1250m meaning lots of snow is quite possible these days. Bourg (720m) to Venosc (950m) for L2Alps is of course better but also a problem in heavy snow. The infrastructure of living in Bourg in not good. There are only 2 decent (but often crowded) restaurants, 1 ski hire, no pubs really (or they close at 22), and honestly not a good looking village (in the winter time) that has next to no ski bus possibilities. We were disappointed. I would stay in the resorts if we had the choice for a Thursday-Tuesday trip as we just did.
I believe the road past Moutiers towards Les Arcs etc is not much better in such a snowstorm.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 8-03-18 9:41; edited 1 time in total
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@Geh, You have picked the snowiest time for years to visit the area Laughing Just out of interest for you there are, supposedly well advanced, plans to build a lift from Allemont, which you will have passed through on your way from Bourg d'Oisans to Vaujany, to connect with OZ station. Maybe next time for you.....

I have stayed several times in February in the valley in previous years and have been lucky in never having had a problem, apart from the odd Saturday of course, with getting to Alpe d'Huez, Vaujany, Villard etc.

In fact a big proportion of the resort workers travel up from the valley every day, as indeed I think @howiet above does.

Sounds like the start of your problem was the clown who put the wrong chains in the car............
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I must defend my village!

My wife also got caught on the Oz road. The problem was a transit van had a snow chain come off and was tangled inside the wheel. That was why there was a traffic jam. Very rarely are the main roads to resort blocked by snow, just the drivers trying to work out how to put chains on. So in my opinion it doesn't have a serious problem especially as the ski resorts are the main employers for the town.
The main road to Alpe d'Huez has been blocked once by a rock slide earlier this season when there was a lot of rain.

Bourg is quiet outwith its main season which is summer. In saying that many places I'm sure didn't look very good with the weather! You did well to get a bar open till 22h!

We would all like a ski lift from the town but who has the spare millions to get this done.
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I rather like Bourg. And it is quite attractive. Pretty sure there are more than 2 decent resturants there (tho perhaps lots shuts in winter ?). Like Howjet says - it`s at its best in the summer. Certainly wuldn`t base my winter ski holiday there.

Re Allemont - is this going ahead ? I`ve a friend who is thinking of buying there. If the lift is indeed built, prices will go up. I suppose even without the lift, the free bus will get you up to Oz in 25-30 mins.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Off to Oz for a cheeky 3 days next week....
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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!
jonty wrote:
I rather like Bourg. And it is quite attractive. Pretty sure there are more than 2 decent resturants there (tho perhaps lots shuts in winter ?). Like Howjet says - it`s at its best in the summer. Certainly wuldn`t base my winter ski holiday there.

Re Allemont - is this going ahead ? I`ve a friend who is thinking of buying there. If the lift is indeed built, prices will go up. I suppose even without the lift, the free bus will get you up to Oz in 25-30 mins.


Actually it is not such a bad idea to base yourself in Bourg d'Oisans, like I said I have done it, and Allemont, a few times. If you want to visit a few places in one week, ADH (and you can get in via Vaujany, OZ or Villard easily, all with free parking), LDA, SC, LG, Col d'Ornon, Alpe du Grand Serre etc then it saves the up and down 21 bends some of the time. I am not a big nightlife person anyway, but the food in the Douce Montagne in Allemont is fine. Have not eat out in Bourg to be honest.
What I missed most was the fact that in Alpe d'Huez I normally go for a swim in the evening, nearest indoor public pool is Vaujany ?

Navette from Allemont to OZ is 15-20 minutes from the car park below the dam.

The last report I saw in the local paper was that Allemont Council had sorted out a new site for their depot as the existing one was allocated for the bottom lift station. So it sounds like its on it's way or there is some serious bluffing going on, which I suppose is a possibility Laughing

I should be in Alpe d'Huez next week so if you are around ?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Another snowfall last night and today is bright blue skies.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Rain as expected today. Beer pub and rugby if I had the option today.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Having spent a few skiing holidays in most large French resorts but only one day in Alpe d'Huez (a long time ago), I am thinking of going there next year.

Area appears very large but how well is the lift system? There seem to be many many gondolas and cable cars which to me often mean long queues? I much prefer high speed 4-6 seater chair lifts...

Any other comments or recommendations re: AdH?
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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.
A conservative estimate of at least 20cm in resort this morning.
Blue skies make it a potential epic skiing day!
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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
We were up in ADH today for the closing weekend, from bitter experience we don't go on the very last day as they tend to start closing everything early afternoon. Just the main area open including the Sarenne.

First up we took the Marmottes trilogie up to the Sarenne glacier then the little chair to the Pic Blanc



It was around 11am when we made it to the summit, the snow was still relatively cold, at least above 2500 meters and the skiing good to the end of the glacier but the snow turned "choppy" afterwards, needing a bit of finesse on the skis but generally very good skiing. Usual crowds at the last ramp before the valley run. Around 16 minutes top to bottom according to Strava - good for a warm-up but not really in the spirit of the mountains.

The Charbonniere was closed, we spoke to the pisteur who said there was a serious risk of avalanches after 11am so we didn't even consider risking it. The Riddles avalanche at Verbier should be a warning that Spring avalanches can be a serious affair. A run down the Macle then a couple of "straight line" sessions on the home run (there were virtually no other skiers) and we went over to watch the "Challenge des Moniteurs" ski competition.

In the afternoon we went up to the Pic Blanc again where we did a "live", it seems incredible that you can broadcast live from 3000 meters altitude with nothing more than a mobile phone. The BBC would need to send half a dozen technicians as well as a star reporter!


http://youtube.com/v/OMvx1QN1Ohw

Then a zip down to the tunnel for our second live, not quite such a good signal here


http://youtube.com/v/8g63j7pFFC8

The exit of the tunnel was nicely moguled this year but good skiing nevertheless. The rest of the afternoon we zipped around the home pistes at ADH but the snow was very soggy with the April heatwave.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1522280357/segments/38000014750
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