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Aussie asking random Euro ski questions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks again. Perhaps a rethink is in order.
It all sounds fun though!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stay in/move around the tarentaise valley: all the 3V; paradiski; la rosiere; espace killy; st. foy. enormous!!! what's not to like? all reasonably proximate to each other. despite what the austria-afficionados will tell you, best in europe. no doubt about it.
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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?
As far as sledding/sledging goes in Austria or Italy how does it work? Do you use your say 5 day lift ticket to get up the sledding slope? Or do you walk at no cost? Or do you buy a sledding liftnpass and do it as an 'off day' activity?


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 12-10-17 10:48; edited 1 time in total
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
We have an apartment in the Swiss 4 Valleys (think Verbier) and every time we take our main ski holiday we intend to do some driving round to other resorts. We've done trips out to Zermatt, Cans-Montana, Chamonix - but in the summer, not the winter. Why? because as mentioned, Euro ski areas like the 4 Valleys have enough for you to think "Why bother? Skiing here is good, we've not done the whole area, lunch is nice, breaks are nice, going out for dinner is nice - why drive anywhere else?" All we've ever got 'round to is driving to the far side of our ski area so that we can relax for the day, and not worry about missing the last lifts back.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do a multi-centre trip, but perhaps as mentioned, trim it down a bit.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
sbooker wrote:
As far as sledding/sledging goes in Austria or Italy how does it work? Do you use your say 5 day lift ticket to get up the sledding slope? Or do you walk at no cost? Or do you buy a sledding liftnpass and do it as an 'off day' activity?

Don't know about Austria/Italy but in France in general sledging is only done on the home slope - close to the village/station and mostly at the end of the skiing day. Some places have an option that is accessible all day, some with a moving carpet to that means less walking! Les Menuires and Oz-en-Oisan are two places that have the latter. More recently some big man-made sledge runs have been created. So for example there is one above Arc 2000 next to the Arcabulle lift. At the top of that lift is a hut where you leave your skis, hire a sledge (not cheap) and start the run. At the bottom you leave the sledge and get the lift back up. As you may have figured it's not accessible by foot or outside ski hours.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
sbooker wrote:
As far as sledding/sledging goes in Austria or Italy how does it work? Do you use your say 5 day lift ticket to get up the sledding slope? Or do you walk at no cost? Or do you buy a sledding liftnpass and do it as an 'off day' activity?


Depends on a resort by resort basis.

St Anton has one of the best. Take the the lift up, toboggan down a track, stop off at a hut for food/schnapps, sledge on down again to the bottom.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
HoneyBunny wrote:
Perty wrote:

At that end of the Alps, if you really do want to tick off another ski resort, perhaps a day/night in Courmeyeur could work, then it's a short drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Chamonix. Cham itself is a bit "marmite", yes, it's a centre for big mountain hardcore skiers, and you ought to get the cable car to to the top of the Aiguille du Midi (and back down, unless you and your youngster have the ski ability to do the Vallée Blanche with a guide).


Absolutely this! I've stayed in Aosta for a week. We skied mostly in Pila, but also had a day in Courmayeur (you can ski all the runs there in a day), and also did the Vallee Blanche off piste route which really is an experience. All that was plenty in a week.

There is an easy route down the Vallee Blanche which any capable intermediate can do. You have to go with a guide because of the crevasses, and the scenery is breathtaking.



I'm needing to nail down my plans as I want to secure flights while they're cheapest which will be when they're released at the end of next month. Can't decide between flying into Milan and driving to Aosta and skiing the Aosta Valley and checking out nearby old castles etc or flying into Geneva and driving to Chamonix and skiing that area whilst checking out the interesting things in the area.
This first 5 or 6 days will not be 'bell to bell' skiing but more cruising around getting a feel for being on a different continent. The main skiing part of our holiday would be alter in the trip when we will do 7 days at one resort. It is worth noting that the first leg will be in very early January. Will crowds be more of an issue in France? Also we would not plan our daily activities but decide what to do the day before based on how we feel and what the weather is doing. For example if the next day is going to be good weather a drive to a further away ski hill could be on the cards or if it is likely to be snowing we would opt to stay close and ski somewhere sheltered.
Thanks again for the insight.
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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!
The first week in Jan is defintely school hols in France, but I think it will be pretty busy everywhere. Till 6th. It's a popular week everywhere.
Here's a link to a school holiday calendar http://www.zigzagski.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Calendrier-vacances-scolaires-2017-2018.pdf
I love your idea of a "ski hill"...Most resorts have areas to ski in all weathers.. basically the tree line hovers around the 1800-2000m level, so that may help you get a sense of whether or not there are sheltered tree lined pistes or not.
Whichever side of the Alps you land, make sure, certainly from the Swiss side, that you can take your hire car into Italy. In Switzerland the cars are required to have winter tyres and I think you ask for chains when you book. Not sure what the law is in Italy, but make sure you book a car with "winterisation" or add it to the booking.
I'm not sure how many other "attractions" such as castles etc would be open. Bear in mind it is midwinter so tourism as such tends to be almost completely skiing related and historic buildings out of cities could well be shut.
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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.
As Perty says arrive 6th Jan or after and you will be OK and to check on winter opening for any sites you wish to visit.

Good plan to watch the weather and stay locally, in the trees on bad weather days.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@sbooker, I am with others on here warning you are trying to pack in too much. But sounds like you are doing 3weeks?
Europe resorts are completely different to the American concept.

Pila is not facing and has very good snow making so piste will be skiable. 20mins up from Aosta on the gondola or you can drive up. No snow and it is 20mins of hairpins - we took 1:30 with chains on (500m outside of Aosta) last year. Less fun still going down. Over a foot of snow dumped early morning. Pila does sound like the sort of runs you want but you will do them all in a day. Never bothers us for the week, dong the same ones.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Is it advisable to pre-purchase train tickets when travelling between cities in Europe? Example would be Munich to Jenbach? Or Innsbruck and Verona?
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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.
In the UK it can be significantly cheaper to pre-purchase train tickets as the operating companies want to be able to charge short-notice business travellers more, like the airlines do. Whether that applies for the journeys you have in mind, I don't know.
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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, The trains between Munich and Verona (includes stops at Jenbach, Innsbruck etc) are almost always very busy. You really need to book seats. You can save some money booking in advance, there are a certain number of €29 tickets available, but these are for fixed trains. The flexible tickets are not that much more so you might be better off with those but clearly seat reservations are for a fixed train. You can just get the reservations (a couple of € per seat) without booking a ticket at the same time.

In many of the Austrian resorts there is a specific toboggan run, this usually means using the lift system (long walk back up otherwise). Sometimes they are open during the day which means you can use your normal lift ticket (eg St Anton or Soll), sometimes they are only open after the ski slopes are closed so you need to get a specific evening "Rodel" ticket and sometimes you can buy a ticket which would cover you for an afternoon using the specific lift (I think Soll does this). Where there is a toboggan run you will normally find the sports shops at the bottom of the run not only hire out skis but toboggans too. A variant on all this is for mountain restaurants to run "Rodel" evenings which involve being bussed up to the restaurant, consuming various dubious concoctions before descending the toboggan run in the dark (take a torch!).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Depends on time of travel.

A Tuesday 11am train will be empty and cheap.

A Saturday 7am train to a ski resort will be jammed.
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