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ski resorts you won't return to, and why?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm going to be a bit controversial and say Chamonix.

I don't like the unconnected nature of the 5 areas, or the queues to get up GM early in the morning. I also didn't like the attitude on GM. It was as though if you weren't a seasonaire or sponsored skier, you weren't welcome there.

I loved Vallorcene/La Tour but it's a slap up the valley and driving back from a day on the hill is never fun... especially if you need to put chains on to drive back.

In the town, the nightlife was good but staying in the town is expensive and noisy. Staying in Les Praz is cheaper but you could die there and no one would know.

I really wanted to like it, but wouldn't go back.
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xyzpaul wrote:
Chill out haters, this is a great idea for a thread. The OP asked for people's opinions, not scientific analysis.

It's a fun thread, list the negative instead of the positive of each resort.

But just like listing positives, I may very well dislike what you consider as positive. So naturally, people argue about what's negative or not.

The opening statement of "you won't return" is a bit strong. So the strong reaction is to be expected.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Whistler - Liked the town, but didn't find the skiing very interesting. Also the lack of sun and the wet heavy snow were no fun.
St Anton - No real reason, just didn't like it.
Alpe D'Huez - I didn't like it when I spent a week there, but having a guide take us from top to bottom off-piste for an awesome couple of days, when conditions weren't great in La Grave made me realise that you can't judge a place until you've seen the best it has to offer.
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Quote:

I wouldn't choose to return to Mayrhofen as you can't ski back to the town.


Mostly correct but you can from the Ahorn. Snowed so much one year we were there we skied right through town to our guest house.
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I would return to everywhere we have skied but the one I would be least likely to book again would be Passo Tonale due to the limited ski area. Fantastic hotel but in my opinion not a huge choice of runs.
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I don't mind this thread, it highlights the diverse list of aspects people want from their skiing experiences. If we all wanted the same thing there would be no diversity on offer.

Personally for me it is not only about the skiing on offer, or the conditions, or even the accommodation. There's more to it. I seek something more wholesome. Being somewhere with a pulse. A living, thriving location which happens to have great skiing, but also other amenities, shops, cafťs, things to do, the sight of people going about their daily lives, kids walking to school, elderly people chatting in the street, snow-heavy trees, maybe a market, a festival, beautiful architecture, a year-round economy.

I'm not really a summer holiday person, but if I was I would have no interest in an all-inclusive tourist enclave. I don't see any life there, just people in search of alcohol, skin cancer, and/or over indulgence.

Each to their own eh?
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muddewater wrote:


Interesting! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin




Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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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!
An interesting diversion, or broadening out from QB. My first response to the thread was to say that I will never go back to St Anton.
I'm entirely in agreement with the second paragraph - we're motorhome skiers, away for months, and with our dogs, and enjoy getting to know the resorts/towns beyond the tourist strip. There is no pressure to ski every day and we've seen parts that we never knew existed when we flew in/out on a week's package.
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In reality none, being in the mountains and skiing beats being at home, but given the choice, I'd not return to L2A, seemed to see more blood wagons and heli sretchers being used there than anywhere else I've been. Also Obergurgl, disjointed area and limited piste skiing.
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I'll add Zermatt to this thread. Found the place highly overrated, poor lift system, no real inspiring runs and lack of ski-in/ski-out options. The village was nice, but we found a very arrogant crowd.
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I wouldnt return to any purpose built resort or big french station and definitely not in a chalet or self catering nothing to do with the skiing more an age thing on my and oh part. When younger with a young family in tow found them great but now older much prefer a nice hotel run by a family who have lived in the place for years and appreciate their village and my custom
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bar shaker wrote:
I'm going to be a bit controversial and say Chamonix.

I don't like the unconnected nature of the 5 areas, or the queues to get up GM early in the morning. I also didn't like the attitude on GM. It was as though if you weren't a seasonaire or sponsored skier, you weren't welcome there.

I loved Vallorcene/La Tour but it's a slap up the valley and driving back from a day on the hill is never fun... especially if you need to put chains on to drive back.

In the town, the nightlife was good but staying in the town is expensive and noisy. Staying in Les Praz is cheaper but you could die there and no one would know.

I really wanted to like it, but wouldn't go back.


nothing controversial about that, a lot don't like it.

it should be removed from the list though as its not a ski resort lol wink
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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
I have to say that Iím not in a hurry to return to Cham either.

Sure, the scenery is great but itís an expensive pass for some old and unreliable lifts with fairly limited piste skiing. Iím sure itís fine if youíre a skiing god but I donít think I have enough time left to reach that status.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Have to agree with previous comments about St Anton - I used to love the place, tried to get there as often as I could during the season in the mid-late 90's - went back a couple of years ago and couldn't see it far enough. Might be an age thing, but found it too young and full of people who were more interested in clubbing than skiing. The skiing is amazing, but dodging stag parties killed it for me.
I wouldn't head back to Soll in a hurry either.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Le Corbier - the 'front de neige' is the ugliest 60s purpose-built concrete monstrosity I've ever been to. Some so-so skiing didn't make up for a really dismal place.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
StAnton is really getting a pasting! Mind you, I made a similar observation in another thread not long ago. After 12 visits since 2001 I have come to the conclusion that being over in Lech or Zurs is the best option for that neck of the woods. Talking skiing here. I don't care much for the night life anymore. Book and a few beers in an apartment for me. Even better with the connection to Warth and Schroken now.

Soll? My first ever trip and if I'd never been I quite possibly have never ever skied. I might visit for a day but.....

Similarly, me and 'er did 5 seasons in Brand! Yes, I know! I have visited since but only for the day.

Just back from Wengen. Always wanted to go. The Eiger, the railway connection (bit of a railway enthusiast) supposed lack of traffic. Been there, won't go again. Not a very convenient place to be based. I was always watching the weather and time in the afternoon in case we deeded to escape fast. No, you can't rely on the train to get you back.

Won't go to the States again. Gone off long haul though if somebody would 'beam' me there I would return to Telluride or Aspen.

Tried Whistler once. Very lucky with the lack of rain on that visit! Probably better now Blackcomb is connected at high level but not good enough for the trek.

Lots of places in between but none that particularly would get me to return.

So next time? Looks like LZ but might give Fiss a try. Not too far in from StA (we drive usually) and I liked Serfaus when we went about 25 years back and now it seems all connected up with Ladis as well....
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eddiethebus wrote:
it should be removed from the list though as its not a ski resort lol wink


Using that analogy would remove anywhere that isn't purpose-built, i.e. most of Austria, and many elsewhere.
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queenie pretty please wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
it should be removed from the list though as its not a ski resort lol wink


Using that analogy would remove anywhere that isn't purpose-built, i.e. most of Austria, and many elsewhere.

There's a winky at the end.
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L2A - Would take the kids but that's it

Sauze D'Oulx - read my review. Probably a little unfair as there's lots of good things about it but I won't be returning in a hurry until snow reports are more accurate / lift system / piste bashing improves

Vail - because I can't get an excuse to go without the family, and cant justify the cost of taking them . . . .
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@queenie pretty please,

I agree with your list of criteria, so what are some of your preferred resorts?
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@mr. mike, I live in Ski Amadť in Austria and most of the towns here fit the criteria such as Radstadt, Altenmarkt, Schladming, Wagrain plus other Austrian towns such as KitzbŁhel and Saalbach. I've also enjoyed visiting the towns of Courmayeur and Madonna in Italy although the former has a very small ski area.

I spent one day skiing in Zermatt too which looked like a lovely town, I'd love to go back one day.
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Ok, I'll bite - Meribel. I've never been so glad to get out of a ski town so quickly.
The skiing was great, the snow was excellent. But the town just seemed to suck the soul out of everything that I think skiing means.
I can handle purpose built ugly resorts, I can take low villages with poor snow. What really grated was the over population of Brits, the terrible gap-yah nature of all the bars, and price of pretty much everything in resort. So many chalets so far out from the lift system, overabundance of 4x4s driving like idiots ferrying their clients about, too many people skiing back home drunk after a boozy lunch. And yes, I know this makes me sound like a grumpy anti-social old man (which I'm not...)
I'd go back to the 3V for the terrain, just try and stay higher up in VT.
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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!
Andorra. It is just full of people so far out of control you can't relax and enjoy the skiing, which is tame and hilariously over-graded - we skied blacks that would be barely blue in France. Several near misses literally every day while we were there. Fine for partying if cheap booze and cigarettes are your thing, but don't bother skiing there.
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Digger the dinosaur wrote:
Andorra. It is just full of people so far out of control you can't relax and enjoy the skiing, which is tame and hilariously over-graded - we skied blacks that would be barely blue in France. Several near misses literally every day while we were there. Fine for partying if cheap booze and cigarettes are your thing, but don't bother skiing there.


Cheers for the heads up, we're going Andorra in 5 weeks... Laughing Which resort did you stay in?
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Digger the dinosaur wrote:
Andorra. It is just full of people so far out of control you can't relax and enjoy the skiing, which is tame and hilariously over-graded - we skied blacks that would be barely blue in France. Several near misses literally every day while we were there. Fine for partying if cheap booze and cigarettes are your thing, but don't bother skiing there.


I hardly see that. Maybe I'm the one taking everyone out ( Laughing ). Maybe I just choose my rides, time-of-day and resort well. Maybe my standard of judging out-of-control is different. I don't see any more prats around here, that I've seen in any resort I've been too - I personally think US resorts are far worse.
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Digger the dinosaur wrote:
Andorra. It is just full of people so far out of control you can't relax and enjoy the skiing, which is tame and hilariously over-graded - we skied blacks that would be barely blue in France. Several near misses literally every day while we were there. Fine for partying if cheap booze and cigarettes are your thing, but don't bother skiing there.


I haven't felt that there was more people out of control there than anywhere else. I also feel you might of over stated the grading a touch.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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Not something I noticed either.

Also itís not cheap at all now
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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
The Dolomites! pisted to death, the only ski area that I could almost fall asleep on my skis, some runs get a little bumped up at the end of the day but some moron comes along at night and flattens everything, I would say the same about Andorra, Grandvalira but at least the ski school is good for the kids.
(Tignes les Brevieres at Xmas was excellent, some runs bashed flat for carving, others left to go natural including blues so that intermediates could try the bumps without having to go on a steep black.)

St Anton this year was a bit disappointing, too busy even in January, as others have said, staying in Lech gives better access to the skiing,

I'm more about who I ski with rather than where, so there's lots of places I would not choose myself but would go there as part of a group.
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You know it makes sense.
Very interested in all your opinions about Andorra - is any resort worse/better than another? How's the infrastructure - lifts, piste bashing etc?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Scamper, I haven't spent much time there but I liked it. Where are you going? I stayed in Soldeu, which is nicer than Pas de la Casa but not really a village. Really liked the skiing, resort is well maintained with good lifts. It's not cheap. The food isn't great. I stayed in Ordino recently and skied Arcalis and really liked it there. Nice town, great food and great skiing. Different resort to Grandvalira though
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@Scamper, Iíve been to Soldeu a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Big ski area, with a great ski school, and reputation for sunny days!

Canít really disagree with @tangowaggon, the piste bashers are excellent and the slopes are groomed and well maintained. Of course, it depends whether you like that sort of thing.

The thing about Grandvalira is it depends on what youíre looking for. Advanced or off-piste skiers will probably be disappointed but beginners or mile hungry intermediates wonít be!
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Scamper wrote:
Very interested in all your opinions about Andorra - is any resort worse/better than another? How's the infrastructure - lifts, piste bashing etc?


I've only skied the GV area apart from a day in Arinsal 20 years ago, I've spent more time in GV than any other area because a friend of the family has an apartment there so we could have two weeks for less than the price of one elsewhere.

The lifts are fairly good, even at half term, the only bad queues are at the links to Pas de la Casa and the gondola out of Soldeu 1st thing Monday morning.

I have very little experience of ski school elsewhere but have been very happy with the Soldeu ski school and child care, I have used the ski school myself dozens of times for social skiing as much as anything.

It's pisted to death, love this or hate this, you will find very few moguls or challenging piste skiing here though the wide black running down to Soldeu is great for carving, there's often some small ridges that you can catch a bit of air over.

It's a beginner / intermediate resort so the reds & blacks are often quiet, I've often come to the top of a groomed red to find it deserted and done the full run in super g turns without any backing off, the other side of this coin is that the home runs to resorts can be chaotic at the end of the day.

Offpiste is fairly limited but doesn't get tracked out as quickly as some places, there used to be some excellent challenging tree skiing but this area has been closed as a nature reserve now Sad
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Quote:

The Dolomites! pisted to death, the only ski area that I could almost fall asleep on my skis, some runs get a little bumped up at the end of the day but some moron comes along at night and flattens everything


Funnily enough, the above would suit me (or should I say my skill level?) perfectly Twisted Evil

Not been to a resort yet where I wouldn't return, but at the same time I've not yet gone back to any Ė only started skiing a few years ago and we generally don't go more than once a year, so I'm happy trying different places at the moment. I've enjoyed everywhere I've been (3V, La Thuile, Serre Chevalier, Alpe D'Huez) and although some days are always better than others, the variation for me is mainly weather/condition/crowd dependent rather than location dependent. In all of the places I've been, I've found myself on some amazing quiet runs where I've felt on top of the world, skiing around enjoying the sunshine and the views (or the snowfall and the silence in some cases) Ė which are the moments I remember the most. It's really interesting though to hear people's experiences of various resorts and to get ideas for future trips!
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Thanks v much for the replies about Andorra, you've put it back on the list for us. No definite place in mind as we are nomadic motorhome skiers ( can wild camp for a couple of days but prefer the "luxury" of campsites) who fancied including Andorra in our journey.

We've both come to skiing in our later years and prefer piste'd runs so Andorra sounds good to us.
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I don't think I would bother to go to Aveimore again,
It may have improved since 1976 but I doubt it.
I thought it was a ski resort when I went up there, but I realised when I got there that that was only a rumour.

I was very disappointed with Neiderau ... "Ski Jewel" my Rs.

I see Cervinia takes a lot of flack, I liked it, I think its great.

I got caught out taking a "pot luck" with Crystal a few years ago .. ended up in St Wolfgang, which turned out to be a summer resort that is only a 1 hour bus ride from some skiing. Thank you Crystalski, I learnt my lesson.
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Scamper wrote:
Very interested in all your opinions about Andorra - is any resort better than another?


ArcalŪs, IMHO.
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I've been to Pas three times and its always been good. The runs are pisted but that's what I like so I'm off to the Dolomites now because of just that.

The town is not pretty but as our hotel was on the slopes and had everything we needed we didn't bother to wander about much. It has never been too busy either and not too expensive although that is changing. It's on the side of the Grand Valira, you go through a couple of valleys to get to Soldeu.
Arinsal is for beginners but not any the worse for that. Arcalis is nice but it's kind of on it's own. We had to get buses there from Arinsal but that was quite a few years ago now. I don't think there is any accommodation there although that might of changed.

Would I go back? No, coz there is so many other places to ski and so little time.
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DrLawn wrote:
I don't think I would bother to go to Aveimore again,
It may have improved since 1976 but I doubt it.
I thought it was a ski resort when I went up there, but I realised when I got there that that was only a rumour.

I was very disappointed with Neiderau ... "Ski Jewel" my Rs.

I see Cervinia takes a lot of flack, I liked it, I think its great.

I got caught out taking a "pot luck" with Crystal a few years ago .. ended up in St Wolfgang, which turned out to be a summer resort that is only a 1 hour bus ride from some skiing. Thank you Crystalski, I learnt my lesson.

Another one for Neiderau/Oberau/Auffach. Can't see me skiing there again. Too low, bland and limited. Summertime though different kettle of fish. Great walking trails and apparently one of the best places going to try out paragliding, though I'll give that a miss.
Passo Tonale will probably join the list too, simply because we've been there 3 times now and there are loads of other resorts that need visiting before we shuffle off the mortal coil.
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I thought Niederau/Auffach had a reasonable amount of variety and the snow record quite good isn't it ?
Loved the black under the 4 man chair in Niederau, but I did have it all to myself (March 2013 I think) Smile .
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Blimey, this proves just what a marmite thing a ski resort is - i'd disagree with so many comments on here.
There is only one resort I've not liked - Valmeinier in the Maurienne in France. Lots of narrow runs, not much variety, very ordinary choice of restaurants and too few for the resort, frustrating lift set up, had the trots midweek, poor grooming etc. However, would I go there rather than not ski at all?? Of course I would, I'd be back there like a shot and the Valloire side was much nicer.
A lot depends on who you are with and whether the conditions are good.
Some people have said La Rosiere is quiet: it wasn't each time I was there. The main bar Petite Danoise or Le Comptoir was fun and I left it smashed on a few occasions, saw some good bands and drank well. Also La Roz and La Thuile combined as a venue are great: loads of variety and some showpiece pistes: Black 2 and 3 on the Italy side and loads of snow every time I've been. Also, amazes me that people call La Plagne boring. It's got loads of skiing and loads of variety outside of the main bowl and Les Arcs is a joy. I've stayed both sides. In the right company most ski resorts are great. Although low ones scare me now - I loved Valmorel, charming little resort and Morzine - but skiing in the pissing rain is awful
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