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Val d'Isere season

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm close to putting a deposit down on a season apartment in Val. I know Val pretty well as a punter over the years, but not to live in. I'm of an middle age vintage, taking a 6 month career break, not planning on working so don't worry about employment advice.

Given the huge range of subjects and advice that cold be offered, I though I'd keep it simple to begin with by asking people if they could list their top do's and dont's for a season in Val d'sere.

Thanks in advance,

DJ.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Do you need, does it have a decent dedicated internet connection?
Do you like to sleep at night - location, location, location!
How far is it to the nearest bus stop/piste, some bits of Val can be frustrating for quick access.
Keep an eye out for the early bird 30% (I think) discount on a seasons lift pass.
Are you bringing a car? Sort out parking early.
Arrive the week before the EK opens, its a lot easier to get established.
Insurance historically MPI plus Carte Neige (available in resort) would work for you (its does for me!).
Sort out the money! A zero transaction rate credit card and a card to give you cash may well be the best (eg Revolut which sH George VII has found to work well)

Now start looking forward to it, that's the triv sorted!
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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?
@Dr John,

Do: Brag about it - a whole season of no work just skiing
Don't: Brag about it it annoys the rest of us.

With almost 5 months in the resort I'm sure you'll figure things out.
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@chocksaway, thanks. The apartment is central with fast t'internet. Not planning to bring a car. Planning to arrive the week before. Have a currency card including cash withdrawals.

On insurance, MPI quoted be significantly cheaper than Ski Club of Great Britain did, which surprised me as they look very similar in T's & C's.

I didn't know there was an early bird pass discount. Online booking doesn't appear to be open yet, any idea when that starts?

Cheers.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Don't ski the Gorges du Malpasset without taking local advice.
Follow guides espace killy: https://twitter.com/guidespacekilly and Henry Schniewind on Twitter
Don't fall into the Iseran on the way home from a pub
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@Dr John, Full season insurance from the SCGB was not available as far as I remember last year. You can also tailor MPI eg remove cancellation insurance, I normally buy it the week before I leave and assuming I am still breathing I will be going at some stage!
Both lift pass websites will be dormant until early mid September (those Frenchies and their summer holidays!). The early bird in Val was 30% and available until end Oct, I think.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you want to read the FT cheaply, visit La Fouille Douce for a mid morning coffee when it is usually empty and the papers are fresh. (it can be kind of expensive buying one daily compared to a cup of coffee)

Without a car for six months you will be limited on supermarket food options. They do not exactly stock up on fresh fish for example, and the fresh vegetables can be limited. You might need to do a trip down to Bourg st Maurice by taxi every month. Frozen food lasts a long time. (I worked in a frozen food (vegetables) factory one summer as a student, and these are highly efficient ways of making food last a long time and maintain their vitamin quality even if the texture is sometimes compromised:

www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2449843/Frozen-food-IS-better-Higher-levels-vitamins-antioxidants.html)
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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!
What a refreshing post which I'll watch with interest as I'm planning a sabbatical season in 2019 with auto.

Who are you going to ski with? Non-seasonaires coming to stay in the mate's season flat - are you expecting visitors? Do you have room?

If guiding/taking lessons: Daily guiding, occasional guiding, no guiding at all? Alpine Experience offer 6/7(?) person group guiding which used to be quite reasonable and they offer a range of characters, skiing styles and repeat clientele (Henry mentioned in davidof's post is one of their number (as well as having another HAT - Henry's Avalanche Talks.

Check if there is a conventional oven as well as a microwave. I brought a bunch of pies and stuff for cooking in an oven only to find only a microwave...

I hope you have a great time!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Why not take a car? Road trips and stopping you getting cabin fever plus nipping down valley for big shops. I can see parking might be a hassle
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Not Val specific but for a 5 month season I would want both a small freezer and a microwave.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
There is a (relatively) large non-working seasonaire population & active Ski Club in Val, some of whom I already know through repeat trips. I'll also have regular visitors.

Appt has a separate double room and lounge sofa bed. Fully equipped kitchen including dishwasher & washing machine (I'm no student and I'm not slumming it).

Guiding/lessons - I was going to do BASI 1+2 while I'm there, but leaning more to spending the cash on off-piste lessons guiding and because I think I'd ultimately get more out of it. Becoming a fully qualified ski instructor at my age isn't really feasible.

I have friends in resort with cars and sharing Bourg trips is standard. I've no problem taking a car, in fact it would be better because I could load it up, but I'd have to buy one first and it would be a luxury for most of the time out there. Although on that subject, my main think to consider is best way to get 5 months of stuff, clothes/personal items/luxuries etc, there without a car. Current thinking is to ship over a couple of large bags/boxes. Anyone done that before?
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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.
Quote:

do BASI 1+2


Why? In one of the best off piste areas in the world and you're contemplating shadowing beginners' lessons?? Puzzled Puzzled
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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
contact Andy Hillman deliveries to the alps he does regular runs down

he does drops to my places in and around Bourg regularly we never travel over to France with anything except hand baggage these just send anything we need out with him in advance he has taken things for us from car parts up to furniture haven't ever had any problems
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dr John wrote:
I have friends in resort with cars and sharing Bourg trips is standard. I've no problem taking a car, in fact it would be better because I could load it up, but I'd have to buy one first and it would be a luxury for most of the time out there. Although on that subject, my main think to consider is best way to get 5 months of stuff, clothes/personal items/luxuries etc, there without a car. Current thinking is to ship over a couple of large bags/boxes. Anyone done that before?


There are companies that ship seasonaires stuff out if you don't want to take a car but also when we emptied our apartment last season we didn't have time to take a car so I went easyjet and just bought extra weight for luggage, 80kgs got clothing for 5 months, 4 pairs of skis back, 2 pairs of boots, duvet, 4 pillows and bed linen back!

The hardest part was getting it all in a Vauxhall Corsa and then balancing the lot on a trolley single handed as I was on my own!!

On the insurance front, I'd recommend you take it out as soon as you book your accommodation as once you've paid the 1st installment you're liable for the balance even if you don't/can't go!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@under a new name, It would be only 3 weeks out of the season, but as I said I'll be spending the cash off-piste instead.


@cheztichot & @marcellus, thanks for the info and advice, good to know.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Grinning wrote:
Who are you going to ski with?


Asking around in the seasonnaire bars sorts this out - and someone with the time to suss out the piste & off-piste conditions is always popular with those who only get one full day on the slopes per week. snowHead But remember - you don't have mates on a powder day! Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Recommend Alpine Experience. Pretty touring orientated and will prefer you to do some up hill walking.

Ski Club GB use EVO 3 in Val D'sere for their leading service. Maybe a cheap way of getting some guiding. Think it is £30 for members

I used to have a Caxton Card which i charged up for hols. Found it did not work sometimes and not as convenient as a credit card. The Halifax Clarity CC has a great rate of exchange and you pay no fees on purchases and even on ATM withdrawals if you transfer money direct into it from your current account. I have never done a season with it but the Thomsons rep in mexico was raving about it last month.

Enjoy!
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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?
@hawkesbaynz, +1 for the Evo2 ski club GB guiding - certainly in Tignes they are keen to teach as well as guide. (I have done about 6 days each season) I didn't hear much feedback on the Val side this year but Nico was very highly recommended the first year it ran. Weather dependant you could also book with the Tignes groups if you can get round in time via the Olympique and the Tommeuses or Borsat.

It may be worth asking on here nearer the time if any sHs are heading out in a car who may take out a bag. I go from Hull so not really a player!
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chocksaway wrote:
It may be worth asking on here nearer the time if any SHs are heading out in a car ...


Ha, ha. Just catching up on SH after a few months way too busy with work. I plan to head out to Les Brevieres by car first week of Dec. I've offered a friend's son first dibs on car space (as he may be heading to Val d'Isere around the same time) but perhaps keep in touch in case travel plans turn out to be compatible. Feel free to PM.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@hawkesbaynz, used AE before and plan to use again this season, will try and negotiate a multi-trip discount. Also going to sign up for some of the Instructor Led Guiding days.

Apartment contract signed. Val d'Isere here I come.
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See you in the Rosée Blanche!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You've probably seen me in there before, it's the usual apres spot after Tignes/Bellevarde skiing.
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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!
Get out of resort now and again, even if It's just down to Bourg or preferably go to Lake Annecy for a day away from the mountains a couple of times.... to stay sane. 5 months constantly in any ski resort can make you go loopy.
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Did a season in Val a few years back only working 2 days, so nearly as good!

The market that comes to town every week is a good source of different food options from the Sherpa staples, if a little pricey.
A season pass to the pool and saunas is pretty good value and gives you something different to do on whiteout days and a sauna for aching joints.
If you can, ALWAYS ski on a Saturday. It's like a different resort it's so quiet, plan your shopping trips etc for midweek.
Don't dismiss stuff like the street festival, torch lit descent etc as "tourist crap". You're only there for 5 months, you are a tourist. Shrug the seasonnaire chip off your shoulder and enjoy them.
Take 4 way multi adapter plugs. Lots of them.
If you're of middle age vintage, don't think you can drink with the kids and still ski properly. Both are valid options for enjoying life in Val, but you're not going to be able to do both, pick one.
When someone mentions doing something cool, just say yes. (with due regard to the point above!)
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Take a car.

Makes life much easier.

An old man hanging around a ski resort on his own on buses always looks creepy.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I had a pass for the Balerno in Tignes for a while. It makes a huge difference in price to buy a pass rather than on a one off basis. However, is the swimming pool not free anyway with a lift pass?

An old man hanging around the balerno in a ski resort on his own, looks even creepier! (however, there will be many of them there so there is safety in numbers)
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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.
@Bigtipper, ? balerno?
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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
@under a new name, I think that is what the French call an area with saunas and jacuzzis. (I may have misspelled it)

Indeed, I meant balneo!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Can I add one other point, try and speak some French everyday. It would be all two easy in a place like Val d Isere with so many English speakers to end the season without improving your French. This is from someone who can just about order a beer. Assuming you are not already fluent.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'd have also said to take a car, but being as you don't have one its a moot point! But if you do have mates out there with transport make sure to arrange trips with them, getting out of resort once a week just for a Super-U shop in Bourg was a refreshing change from the goldfish bowl existence of a ski resort. It's also great to try out the other Tarentaise resorts while there.

And as MikeHB says, if you can't already, learn some of the lingo or brush up on what you do have. I used the Michel Thomas course and it was invaluable. You can always get by in English but it's just much better to at least have a comfortable grasp of basic conversation.

Handy things to have/get before you leave:
A 4-gang plug or two; it's incredibly handy to have.
Go to Decathlon and buy a few pairs of cheap ski gloves. They're decent quality, and ski days that end in resort bars proved (for me anyway) a magnet for losing a glove or two. Replacements in resort aren't cheap.
Lots of ski socks and base layers.
Stock up on paracetamol, cosmetics, sun tan lotion etc, much cheaper back home.
Take a slow cooker if you can; brilliant for coming back to after a day skiing. I also took a big bag of spices, spice blends and such like.
And make sure to take some spring/summer wear! April can get surprisingly hot in resort.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The tourist information office will have an extremely large box of single gloves with no partner if you have ever lost one. Unlikely, though to be the one which is a match for yours.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bigtipper, also on the windowsill in Sherpa
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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?
Quote:
paracetamol
doesn't work.

Ibuprofen much more effective and not a problem for your liver.

Re credit cards, de Vere's "Vault" card looks interesting and they aren't trying to make money out of it as much as e.g. Revolut are.

If you're taking proper advantage of the terrain you'll have a backpack with you most of the time so just always put your gloves etc. in there when not wearing them (unless they're on the restaurant radiator Happy ) + a second pair of goggles in the pack on powder days can be rather handy.
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A car would be ideal but it's an expense I can do without. Will pack out with UK toiletries, medicine etc. Condiments is a good shout. Planning to ship skis and a couple of large bags over, lots of companies offering the service but any particular recommendations gratefully accepted.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of days away, shopping etc, and have couple of days with season ticket in Les Arc & 3V for a change of scene. Mates in St Anton late Jan so might get the train over there for a couple of days, and planning to be away for the half term 2 weeks in Feb. Definitely using the pool/gym/sauna.

I know transfer days are the the best to ski on, weekend transfers are almost 50/50 Saturday/Sunday these days so get two quiet days.

I'm most definitely in the middle age category, in body of not attitude. I tend to pace myself on a week trip so shouldn't be a problem for 5 months. Cash restraints if nothing else will hold me back, I've budgeted £50 p/d but only time will tell how realistic that is. I can drop more than that on a good lunch.

Avi airbag is my next big purchase. Mammut snow pulse seem reasonably priced, but strongly considering the extra for a Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce. Anyone with experience of them? Also can't seem to find any Avi bags that have a concealed shoulder strap hydrations system, just an external loop. I don't understand why more manufacturers don't do that like Dakine & EVO day packs, it's very very useful.

Cracking advice all round people, thank you and keep it coming.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thinking about the motor thing. I know slightly less than zero about cars, but quick look on Autotrader has some 2003/4 4x4 estates for less than £2k. Would I be mad to get one of those?
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@Dr John, As a counterpoint to the car thing, I find that it is barely worth taking a car other than the trip down and back for taking stuff out, but that includes things for improving my pad. I also cater for quite a few mates, if I was on my own all the time it would not be worth driving to Bourg really. By the time you have bought all the paraphernalia and snow tyres it probably doesn't stack up for one season. The relatively new Carrefour made a lot of difference in Tignes. There is a cash and carry in Val D somewhere behind the Laundrette which the public can access.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There looks to be a Europcar rental outlet in Val D'Isere... Presumably a lot more cost efficient to rent occasionally than buy, drive, and park a car.
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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!
@under a new name,
Quote:

paracetamol


doesn't work.



Ibuprofen much more effective and not a problem for your liver
Yes Paracetamol does work up to a point and Ibuprofen can be a problem for your gut.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Hurtle wrote:
@under a new name,
Quote:

paracetamol


doesn't work.



Ibuprofen much more effective and not a problem for your liver
Yes Paracetamol does work up to a point and Ibuprofen can be a problem for your gut.


Totally different drugs and modes of action. Medical history allowing, in combination, they are a very effective way of dealing with inflammatory pain.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Using lower back pain as proxy for hangovers wink paracetamol no better than placebo

http://www.cochrane.org/CD012230/BACK_paracetamol-low-back-pain

Admitted Ibuprofen potentially bad for easy bleeders, take Pepcid or similar in conjunction if you are really worried.

N.B. Retail doses of ibuprofen are homeopathic.

Different modes of action? Who cares what the frikking pharmacokinetics are? Paracetamol doesn't work, ibuprofen does.

(I've never found paracetamol work for anything. 1,000mg of ibuprofen however...)
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