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Chamonix - UCPA/buddies/ski advice

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys,

Apologies in advance for a bit of a rambling post - just looking for a bit of general advice. (I'll also post this in the solo/group skiers thread).

Background: 30 year old male, I've skied approx. 13 weeks from 2004-2016, including 2 weeks in Chamonix and the PreTEoSB 2014, and would normally rate myself a confident 7.5/10 on the Snowheads scale; a fair bit of off-piste but nothing too extreme. However, I took a year off in 2017 and now feel a bit nervous about skiing this year. I'm sure I'll be absolutely fine once I'm back on the slopes and will probably be off piste again within a day or two - like riding a bike - but thought I'd mention it in case anybody fancies giving me a pep talk!

I'll be skiing solo this year, and the snow in Chamonix looks fantastic so I am keen to return (after a 9 year hiatus) and do a mix of piste and off-piste, and hopefully the Vallee Blanche (I was meant to ski it in 2009 but the weather changed when we were at the Aguille de Midi so we went off-piste up high at Argentiere instead; I think it was the Canadian or Italian Bowl?) I'm also happy to consider other resorts if good value and good skiing.


1. Anyway, I'm on a budget and am wondering if people would recommend the UCPA in Chamonix and whether I should get their pass or am better off getting the usual Chamonix pass (I've skied Les Houches a lot so don't necessarily need that included in my pass).

I'm also open to filling a spare room in a otherwise full chalet etc (or a Snowheads bash if there is one available!). I'm happy to ski all day solo ('easy' off-piste and pistes) but wouldn't mind skiing with somebody for a couple of days for variety, and I will obviously want to buddy up or possibly go with a guide for more challenging off-piste for safety reasons.

I'll probably be going 14-21 March or (more likely) 24 March onwards, and am quite flexible with dates, if anybody wants to buddy up on accommodation and/or off-piste or Vallee Blanche.

2. I'm debating not taking my own skis. I bought Head Xenon Xi 6.0 in 2008(?) and they've served me well, but I'm wondering if they're now a bit outdated or not really suitable for off-piste skiing (when I bought them, I was mostly a piste skier, whereas I'm now probably off-piste 50-75% of the time). I've also not had them edged or waxed for at least 2 years, and I'm unsure if that can be remedied easily when I get to Chamonix or if they will have degraded permanently. Does anybody know if UCPA's skis will be better? If so, it'll probably be easier for me to just take my own boots (Head Edge+ 11 2008, from memory) rather than the hassle of carrying my own skis! (It probably won't be any cheaper on the flights though - I normally go hand luggage only plus my ski carriage, and pack my clothes around my skis).

Thanks!
---


TL;DR - is UCPA Chamonix any good? Are their skis any good? Are my skis any good in 2018? Anybody want to share accommodation or be my ski buddy?
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
TL;DR - is UCPA Chamonix any good? Are their skis any good? Are my skis any good in 2018? Anybody want to share accommodation or be my ski buddy?
snow conditions     
 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?
@Aleutian, the skis seem pretty decent there, though when I went I still brought and used my own (then for some reason was accused of stelaing theirs when I checked out rolling eyes ). It's decent value - but I wouldn't recommend it personally, mostly because of the extremely bad service, not limited to the above (I know it's basic and not to expect much, but I was abandoned on the mountain by my instructor, amongst various other things). The other people staying there were great, the staff not so much.

Most people seem to like it though.

I'm happy to be a ski buddy on the odd day - I'm here in Cham most of the time at the moment, though working 4 days a week. Still leaves a few days to ski most weeks! Always up for a VB trip (with guides..., I don't quite know it well enough yet!).
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Fixx, thank you, very useful info! I'll get in touch if I head to Cham.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Aleutian, potential other good value accommodations are the Vagabond and the Vert (it is some distance out of town however). Just a thought.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Thanks everybody. Have booked the Ski Station hostel from 24-31/3. I'm going solo and will need an off-piste buddy, so please get in touch if anybody is around! Smile
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm up for a ski Sun 25th and Fri 30th - not working either day, and very happy offpiste. I am working Mon - Thurs though, and generally only have time for a quick couple of runs (so far still sufficient to break myself rolling eyes ) if I get out first thing in the morning!
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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!
@fixx - thanks, will bear that in mind and will hopefully get in touch when I arrive! Smile
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