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Have you been to a world cup race and what happens in resort?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been following the FIS world cup races for the past 6 or 7 years and absolutely love it!

I'm skiing a couple of times a year but am really keen to tie a late Jan trip in with a race. Kitzbuhel DH and Sl races are on over a weekend in late Jan so am thinking of headed there for the week. I'm interested to hear peoples views the affects of the resort hosting a WC race. Does it limit the ski area, is it too packed in resort, are prices hiked up for accommodation and eating out etc?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Never been myself but often been nearby (Austria) a week before or after, and heard some horror stories via TO Reps about all and sundry being turfed out of pre booked accommodations which are suddenly re-let for much higher prices, etc.
Not sure that TO prices are any dearer for the weeks in question, nor whether are more or less popular - but suspect privately booked stuff would be more pricey.
Given the Circus being in town, I'd maybe choose to stay somewhere else, but nearby, and get bus/train/taxi to the actual races?
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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?
Went to Kitzbuhel for the DH a few years ago. Great day out but lots of drunks.

Got the train from St Anton. Hahnenkamm has it's own station. Lots of resorts you can stay at and have a day trip by train.
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I think the most famous races (Kitz, Schladming night race etc..) do have 'accelerated' pricing during the race periods. But it is often only around the weekend of the event rather than the entire week.

I have lived here over 10 years now and never heard of any accommodation failures so I think this may be a bit of a rumour.

The resorts are exactly as normal really.
The racing piste will be closed for up to a week before the event for prep.
The bottom of this piste will also be a bit hectic due to building the stands and stadium.
The rest of the resort will be open as per usual without that much difference as to how busy it is.

The day after the race it'll be like it never happened!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I cannot believe stories of people having Accom cancelled on them.
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We have World Cup downhill, slalom and combination here in Wengen every January. For skiing it's a good time to come - most accommodation in the village is taken up by competitors / coaches / media so the ski area is relatively quiet.

Bars and restaurants are another story. Much busier than usual for obvious reasons. On race days the village is rammed with 30,000+ partying spectators so it's pretty crazy. Once again though, these people aren't skiing.

Prices in hotels are slightly higher than usual during race week.
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I watched the downhill and super-g in Saalbach-Hinterglemm two years ago.

As @flangesax, says, the racing piste is closed for a week. In S-H this meant that about two-thirds of the width of piste #12 on Zwolferkogel was closed, as well as the black #15 at the top of Zwolferkogel. It also meant that it was possible to ski the open part of #12 and stop at various points to watch the skiers come past both on the training days and on the actual race days. There were big screens at the mid-station of Zwolferkogel and a VIP viewing area, but you could watch the screens and hear commentary from the side of the course for free. Tickets for the finishing stadium were about €10, but again, you could see the skiers, watch the big screens and hear the commentary for free just by standing just above the finish area.

The finish area was surrounded by grandstands, but in Hinterglemm this was in a meadow that is not usually skiable anyway. On race days this part of the village was heaving with good-natured spectators. If you went 200m through the village to the Reiterkogel area you wouldn't have known anything was on.

The rest of the Ski Circus was totally unaffected. Accommodation didn't seem to be an issue. That vast majority of spectators were day-trippers who were bussed in from park&ride locations further down the valley. The day after the Sunday race everything was packed away and gone - you would hardly know that anything had taken place.

Kitzbuhel may present issues in terms of accommodation and prices as it is an annual event, so gets booked up well in advance, but you could easily stay somewhere else and just do it as a day trip, especially as there is a station right next to the course. Suitable resorts would include Zell am See, St Johann in Tyrol, Fieberbrunn or Leogang.
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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 was in Kitzbuhel back in the days when Klammer was king.

" The Bells The bells "
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I went to Sölden for the opening weekend of the world cup in October a couple of years ago, it was the first and only one I've been to so I can't compare, but I reckon it's a good choice as you get the Ladies race on the Saturday and the Chaps on the Sunday which you don't really get at any of the other rounds.

The Steilhang is pretty spectacular and offers pretty good views if you get a good spot near the bottom. I don't recommend taking skis up on either race day, unless you intend to stay over on the Tiefenbach glacier instead (which kind of misses the point of going anyway) as the queues to get on the gondola from the finish area get pretty silly between the 2 GS runs. I suppose it lacks the ski into resort type thing that some people prefer, but the buses from town up to the glacier are free and frequent (I wouldn't recommend trying to take a car up on either day too).

The town is pretty lively of an evening and although the prices are a little higher, the lack of folk actually there for a skiing holiday at the time of year, and the fact that there is plenty of accommodation in Sölden anyway seems to spread things out a bit. They have the bib draws on a stage in town the night before the races, usually with parades and live bands and stuff too.. it's a good knees up, highly recommended Razz

Oh, and I was there as part of an early season tour of the glaciers, you used to be able to get a 10 day pass for the 5 glaciers (Sölden, Pitztal, Stubai, Kaunertal & HIntertux) that was pretty good value, and valid through from October to the end of the season. Not sure if they still do it though.. but it was valid for the World Cup weekend Madeye-Smiley
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I went to the World Cup Kandahar race in Les Houches in Feb 2016.

We got a fairly cheap (Read: sheeite) hotel right next to the Bellevue lift and from memory it wasn't horrendously more expensive than such a hotel would normally be for peak season. We were also pleasantly surprised that the local bars and restaurants didn't seem to have hiked their prices (so, being France, you just got completely fleeced... as opposed to completely fleeced and then some as I'd expected)

The really bizarre thing though was that in the evenings you'd never know you were in World Cup village. You really wouldn't. I think most of the crowd probably stayed in Chamonix town, and caught the bus in each day (or drove. The motorway running past Les Houches shuts one lane for the race, and they use it as a car park). In the restaurants in the evening, it was as easy (difficult - France...) to get a table as it was normally and the bars were as quiet as Les Houches' bars normally are. It was really bizarre... huge crowds all day then back to sleepy village by night.

For me the main reasons not to go were:
- The queues for the main lifts (IE the ones you can't avoid) were pretty massive and, being full of families / idiots etc, very slow moving as they stop them every 30 seconds for some spanner who's managed to get on upside down or 5 people trying to get on a 4-seater, etc. Funnily the only time I've ever fallen off a lift was here... and it was a policeman! His son ended up next to me and the policeman decided he didn't want his son going up alone, so he squeezed through the barrier behind me. Thus when the chair came round to pick me up, there was already somebody on it and he proceeded to push me over! Fortunately the lifty saw it and in the normal French approach... loudly berated the policeman for his actions and sent him round to the back of the rather sizeable queue.
- Lots of skis were going missing. The hire shop guys told us it was just pandemonium, because of course the hire shops start each season by buying about 100 sets of the same type of ski. So he said the Les Houches hire shops spend the whole week afterwards swapping all their skis back, as some dozy idiot who hired Experience 80s from Skimium will have picked up somebody else's Experience 80s from Intersport, and not realised until handing them back in that all week they'd been on the wrong skis. (The hire shop guy said it also invariably ends up in several calls from the hospital... with people going in with injuries from incorrect DIN settings because they were on somebody else's skis!)
- Lunch on the mountain was nigh on impossible, all the restaurants were packed out from 11am - 3pm. Take a packed lunch would be my best advice. Town was no better because it's where all the people watching the finish line got their food.

Generally though it was fun, it seemed to be well managed and as people that knew Les Houches already, we quickly sussed out the quiet areas and had a good time of it.
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@dp, I think a. it's not really WC village as such as the circus population itself isn't that huge (I think all the techs stayed at the Prieure in Cham f'rinstance) b. Most/many fans are day trippers.

That said, one of the reasons that the Kandahar hasn't been at Les H's in recent years is infrastructure. The parking was majorly painful.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hmmm.... good and bad...depends on your take.

FIS WC Femmes direct experience.

Lots of techs and military in town setting up barriers etc.
Good: nice guys. Bad: pistes shut for 10 days, lifts rammed with gear at certain times.
Lots of competitors in town.
Good: great to see the club skiers doing timed runs. Bad: no space in our favourite haunts in bad weather due to being chock of competitors and techs.
Race day fun
Good: to spend a bit of time piste-side to watch. Bad: can't park since the car park is temporarily shut.

If racing is your thing - huge fun to get close to the action.
If skiing is your thing - generally a pain but the resorts need the income....
If socialising is your thing - lots of new people in town
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I'm planning on being in Val d'Isere for the men's event on 9/10 Dec this year.

I would like to have seen the ladies event the following weekend, as it finishes outside our apartment. Lindsay Vonn normally parks her motor home outside our door Madeye-Smiley
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@valais2, It depends on the size and layout of the resort too. Saalbach-Hinterglemm has 270km of pistes spread out along a long valley and nine gondolas for mountain access, plus Leogang and Fieberbrunn over in the next valley, so closing one piste and 2/3 of the width of another really had little impact - i.e. 3 km out of 270 km. Similarly, only one of the two Zwolferkogel gondolas was affected in terms of kit etc. but this was open from very early in order to get the kit, crews and competitors to the top in time for the racing, which from memory started at 10.00. Ordinary guests turning up after 09.00 would not have been significantly delayed.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We've been in Val for the gents last year and the ladies the year before, was great experience both times. Our skiing wasn't remotely compromised (other than not being able to ski down Le Face, for which Mrs Sangers was grateful, as it gives her the collywobbles). Great vantage points, brilliant buzz around town for the draw...and as others have said, once the race is done, apart from faint blue lines, you'd not have known anything had happened about 3 days later!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@under a new name, I don't blame them really. Parking is a major ballache in Les Houches even when you're just skiing there, let alone holding a World Cup race. The town is rubbish and it's no wonder nobody stays there, just some dump hotels and basic chalets. Only a couple of nice places really in the whole village.

Personally though (off topic) I have a secret love for that area though. I think it's a lovely place to ski and everything is perfectly skiable for all abilities... there is nothing too nasty even on the more difficult graded runs. For days out with varied-ability friends it's better than any of Cham.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have been to the WC in Les Houches and thought that the parking was well organized, I was directed to park in the quarry next to the Arve but there were shuttle buses to take you to the finish area and to take you back to the cars after the race.

I was told that the reason for not holding a WC there for several years was that the slope needed remodelling.
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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?
@bar shaker, ...lots of shouting from inside the motorhome, then...

'...YOU C-A-N-N-O-T BE SERIOUS>>>!!!....'

VonnBot at work:


http://youtube.com/v/TXAAdWQYrZQ

Nice socks....


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 14-07-17 17:50; edited 1 time in total
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@rjs, the current hiatus looks exactly to be that. I'm reasonably sure the previous one was due the ensuing chaos.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks guys. I am razor keen to go to Kitzbuhel in Jan now! Blush
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Quite by accident our boys trip to Tignes a few years ago coincided with WC races in Val d'Isere. The only pistes closed for racing were Face and OK (I think?). I didn't think it was any busier or pricier than any other big French ski area I'd been to. Getting a lunch stop during the men's DH was a bit of challenge but we managed it.

Watched a some of both men's and women's races but not too much as it was cutting in to skiing time Toofy Grin
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While I've never been to a WC race I have at various times seen some of the World Champs, FIS Moguls, and X Games. Of the 3 the downhill skiing is by far the worst spectator experience. Worth taking an hour or so out of your day - not sure it is worth missing any more skiing than that. Stock up on the freebies like lipsalve, hats and granola bars from the surrounding circus plus there are usually athlete poster signing sessions etc.
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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!
@halfhand, ...exactly...

bit like boarding

I could, by contrast, be enjoying myself....
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i would recommend kitz. last jan i organised our group for saalbach in late jan. then i realised the D-H was on so made it a 10 day trip. accomadation was very expensive in kitz so i got very cheap accomadation in oberndorf and trained it. kirchberg would be ideal location aswell. the skiing was unreal they had just got a metre of snow before we arrive, the piste were disserted, best skiing i ever done. the training and the race is class, the mausefalle jump is worth going for alone
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A number of Downhills ,SGS,GS & S Women & Men Aspen & St Anton
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stanton wrote:
A number of Downhills ,SGS,GS & S Women & Men Aspen & St Anton


Jibberish... as usual.
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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.
When Val D'Isere hosted the Mens' Downhill on Premier Neige week (which they then lost one year due to lack of snow), I was lucky enough to be there that week on a couple of occasions....though staying in Tignes Val Claret.

As was said above...only the relevant run down to La Daille was closed....and because it was so early, prices were actually cheaper. The only thing I noticed, was a delay getting lunch in the Hotel Paradise (no longer there), as that is where a lot of the Downhillers appeared to be staying.

Happy Days.
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