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Aussie asking random Euro ski questions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@DrLawn,
Thanks for the train tips. That will come in handy. The ski safari things sounds fantastic but we might have to leave it for another time.
@TQA,
We’re going to stay at the Portovescovo I think. Thanks for the suggestion though.

I’ll make sure I post a trip report. Thanks again for the replies.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
sbooker wrote:
@DrLawn,

@TQA,
We’re going to stay at the Portovescovo I think. Thanks for the suggestion though.



The above looks good but if you want close then look at the hotel Mesdi we stayed there and it is virtually ski in ski out.

We got to be friends with the Malita owners as they were also Ducati owners and welcomed bikers in the summer. A rideout in the Dollys is special.
ski holidays     
 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?
If you plan on driving around you are very unlikely to need snow chains. The only people I know around here who even have them let alone use them would those who access mountain huts involving driving on uncleared private roads or tracks. A four wheel drive vehicle with winter tyres will cope with 99% of conditions you might come across. When roads do get closed it is usually because of avalanche danger. Some years (like last season) various resorts can get cut off for short periods because of this.

Snow clearing is very efficient, occasionally a very heavy sudden snow storm causes issues if the roads get blocked with vehicles and the snow ploughs cant get through but it is rare. All the main resort access roads are kept clear and even those high passes open in winter eg Flexenpass, Arlbergpass will be clear pretty soon after the snow has finished.
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Some of the US and Canadian resorts have guided tours from volunteers so you can get to know the mountain. Does this happen in Europe? It’s not important - we’ll be happy to check things out ourselves if need be.
Also I understand the rules about skiing ‘off piste’ are very different in Europe. Are there any areas that have been avalanche patrolled but are not ‘bashed’ as you call it? I assume the mogul runs are fine to ski with no act gear?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sbooker, The "rules" vary from place to place, in general there are no specific rules. If you decide to ski areas officially marked as closed that's up to you.

In Austria and some other places there are "ski routes". The exact definition does vary, some are simply paths which are too narrow to qualify as official pistes, many are pisted to some extent though some are completely unprepared, there are usually a line of poles to mark the route and this area has been checked so that it is not threatened by avalanches. However they are not patrolled and the snow quality might be variable. They are often the most interesting piste (of a kind) skiing and often have mogul sections. For example in the Arlberg area a good number of the most well known runs are now ski routes, some are basically pistes which can be skied in reasonable conditions by most competent skiers eg the Madloch runs, some are mogul fields eg Osthang others are really expert only routes eg Langerzug. There are usually many piste side areas that are heavily skied but are really off piste, the line between being "properly" off piste ie needing to have avi kit and a good local knowledge and just taking a minor detour ie not really being off piste is pretty fuzzy, often the subject of arguments around here.

Some of the Brit tour companies used to organise guided tours of the type you mention for their clients, however that now been ruled illegal in France (basically you need a proper qualification) and not sure if it continues elsewhere. The Ski Club of Great Britain does have a system where they have volunteer reps in some resorts (outside of France) who offer various guided trips see https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-leaders. I suspect this is likely to have to be abandoned at some point due to similar legal issues as in France but was in operation last season.
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We’ve never done the ‘half board’ thing. If we went for that option what time of the evening is dinner normally served? Specifically if anyone has stayed at the Portavescovo in Arabba what time is dinner there?
Thanks again.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi @sbooker,
You don't get that free and friendly guiding service in Europe as you do in Canada Sad

The ski schools seem to have it all wrapped up, by selling lessons.

I don't understand why they don't offer guiding groups around the mountain, they could make a fortune by having groups of about 10 and not charge too much.
Someone will tell us why this is such a bad idea.
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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!
sbooker wrote:
We’ve never done the ‘half board’ thing. If we went for that option what time of the evening is dinner normally served? Specifically if anyone has stayed at the Portavescovo in Arabba what time is dinner there?
Thanks again.


It varies hotel by hotel in my experience. Most allow you to sit down between certain times, a few have a set time to be seated.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
sbooker wrote:
We’ve never done the ‘half board’ thing. If we went for that option what time of the evening is dinner normally served? Specifically if anyone has stayed at the Portavescovo in Arabba what time is dinner there?
Thanks again.


At the Portavescovo it's between certain times. I can't remember the exact times you're able to go into the dining room to be served, but I think it's something like 7pm to 9pm (perhaps other sHs who have been on the Birthday Bash there can confirm?)

Failing that you can always contact the hotel and ask what their evening dinner times are. Madeye-Smiley
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks. It’s not that much of an issue that I would check with the hotel. 7 to 9 is perfect.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Any ideas on how much I should pay for a rental car from Milan central train station for a week? We need something large enough to take 4 people and three large bags - so a mid size SUV or estate. We need winter tyres.
Prices are coming in at about $900 euro. Is it just me or does that seem steep?
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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.
@sbooker, sounds a bit steep but who knows? Be careful Milan is not known for fitting winters, at least, not from the airports.
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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
@sbooker, are you returning it to the same place?? Think I was getting quotes if £300 ish for an estate for 4 over new year week
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Have you checked Malpensa and Linate too? Certainly the last car I had from MXP was a lot cheaper
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks for the replies. It seems to be significantly cheaper from Turin and Verona. That may not be a big deal - a bit more driving or a bit longer in a train.
I’m looking at WinRent who offer mud/snow tyres on some models.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@sbooker, check here https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-car-hire
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I can’t remember if I’ve already asked but is it common to see water fountains (where you can get a drink or fill a water bottle) in the European ski resorts? Or do you have to pay the extortionist prices for bottled water?
Thanks again.
ski holidays     
 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?
@sbooker, you just fill up from the tap in your hotel room, most water fountains in resort will be frozen in January
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@kitenski,
I drink a fair bit of water while skiing. I’d need to top the bottle up a couple of times during the day.
I guess it’s not the end of the world. I’m happy paying for beer at the end of the day - buying a couple of bottles of h2o won’t kill me.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sbooker, why not just from the tap in the toilet?
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@sbooker, you can get free tap water in most (all?) restaurants, at least if you are eating there.

@under a new name, as long as it's potable. A lot seem to have signs up saying it's not.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Gämsbock, ah, in fairness, that’s a good point.

I was thinking of taps in main lift stations which are usually mains connected and not hard to find. So if it’s really a concern, just don’t forget to keep filled up.

However, true, many esp smaller and higher mountain restaurants have water from a local and uncontrolled spring.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@under a new name, I agree that finding free drinking water throughout the day one way or another is unlikely to be a big problem.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
sbooker wrote:
I’m looking at WinRent who offer mud/snow tyres on some models.
I was interested to hear about this, so googled to learn more about them. They seem to get some very poor ratings on Trustpilot, even allowing for the fact that people are more likely to review companies if they are unhappy. uk.trustpilot.com/review/winrent.it
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@sbooker, I've just done a car rental for an Italian trip. I don't do car rental that much but my trust car rental companies in general with their false damage claims, add ons, etc. is very low. And my research before this trip only served to support this. One message came through loud and clear - don't go cheap. If you google companies like Goldcar you will see a list of dissatisfied customers as long as your arm. But don't assume the most expensive will be trouble free. In the end I used Europcar which seemed to be one of the best of a bad lot. It helped that it got discounted because we linked from our flight operator and partner Easyjet - which got the price to a reasonable amount - £215 for 6 days. And the rental and return went smoothly. Only issue being empty windscreen wash!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Layne,
Thanks for the tip. I’ve generally had satisfactory service from car rental companies here in Oz and other countries. I’ve not been to Europe though so I guess this will be the new frontier for me. Very Happy
I’ll be sure to run a fine tooth comb over the car before I sign off on it.
ski holidays     
 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.
@sbooker, Portavescovo is a great mid range choice I think. From memory, 7-9pm for dinner sounds about right. Food is plentiful and great quality.
I've not stayed in the Mesdi but location is excellent and reviews very good too.

+1 for advice from @Layne about scrutinising car rental deals. Most of them would steal the milk from their grandmother's tea!

WinRent is one of the more reasonably priced rental firms that claims to guarantee snow tyres when requested in advance. I think Sicily Rent Car was another. If you're able to find a direct phone number to an airport rental desk for the company, I think that's better than just relying on your website booking resulting in exactly the vehicle with key features that you need. Occasionally you might even get a better deal talking direct, especially low season. snowHead
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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
@PeakyB,
Lol at me calling an Italian office. I could use one of the 6 words I know in Italian to try to fumble through the conversation.
Admittedly that 6 words should be over 10 words by winter.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@sbooker,
Quote:

I could use one of the 6 words I know in Italian to try to fumble through the conversation.

Very Happy Me too....but rental desk staff almost invariably speak English fluently.....and can get by in Australian.
'Parli inglese, per favore?' usually gets the ball rolling.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The two rental staff we spoke to in Pisa (one at the desk and one at the return station) both spoke very good English.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We’ve got a list of words written down on a piece of paper that we’ve stuck on the fridge at home. Words we think will be important. We are trying to learn the Italian and German for those words.
Just looking at the list now they’re highly concentrated with words relating to eating and drinking - alcohol mainly. Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sbooker, sounds like you've got your priorities right! Madeye-Smiley
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