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Long-wide-blue runs aka. Cervinia vs. Alta Badia

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello there,
I have tried to find information that I need via ForumSearch and with no luck. So my first post is a new subject. Apologies if this contradicts forum ethics.

We are looking for a resort with many long-wide-blue runs with no (or almost no) flat parts for a "beginner+" snowboarder. Currently our flight options are either to Milan or Venice. But we could also fly to Lyon.
We have read that Cervinia or Alta Badia might meet our terms. Any advice on them; which one to choose, when to go (we want to avoid crowds), where to stay etc.?

We would also appreciate recommendations of other resorts that might suit us and is easily accessible from Milan, Venice or Lyon.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Havenít been to Cervinia but have experience of the cruisy blues of Alta Badia. Only run 6 is a flat menace. The top of 5b would need a short walk, the very bottom of 11 into San Cassiano gondola needs a bit of speed to get round the edge of an underpass. The runs linking to Armentarola (in and out) get flat. Otherwise I think you could get from the top of Plans in Colfosco to Bec de Rosses above Arabba via the lifts above La Villa and San Cassiano without getting unstrapped, except to get on gondolas. You wouldnít need to us any surface lifts either.
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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?
Haven't skied Cervinia but drove up there one January to have a look. I think the only thing I can add is "what time of year"? Cervinia seemed a bit bleak in January on a slightly grey day - whereas Dolomites have trees and more personality for January. For march may be more an equal decision and for April I would think Cervinia might be better snow given its height.
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Normally skiing, I went to Cervinia to start on a board with zero experience.

Couldn't be better in regard to piste usability. Initial lessons at mid station, very mild piste back to village from here which seems to be the flattest of all in ski area but for a raw beginner was ideal as just enough gradient to keep going and progress our initial skills.

Excellent instruction at Italian ski school got us reaching alot of the area after 4 days, and managed the top station on glacier by end of week.

I'd have no reservation in saying it fits your criteria for stated skill level. We felt it had a good high mountain feel to the village with many places to stay and all virtually on or with a few minutes walk of getting onto the snow.

From Lyon airport, I'd look at Val Cenis. Again, very usable piste for progressing with flattest piste being Escargo, a green that runs from mid station to village with just enough gradient to keep you moving and very wide to work some technique and gentle speed into building confidence.
Mid to top lifts are very good area with blue piste grade available from every lift to give access to wide open bowls that are ideal to bring skills along and assist progression.
Lansvillard and Lanselbourg the principle villages with walk out onto the snow access along a very long snow front. All lifts in this area are good with no drags needed to get around.
Good village setting and good food at decent cost, well worth consideration.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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what...snow wrote:
Havenít been to Cervinia but have experience of the cruisy blues of Alta Badia. Only run 6 is a flat menace. The top of 5b would need a short walk, the very bottom of 11 into San Cassiano gondola needs a bit of speed to get round the edge of an underpass. The runs linking to Armentarola (in and out) get flat. Otherwise I think you could get from the top of Plans in Colfosco to Bec de Rosses above Arabba via the lifts above La Villa and San Cassiano without getting unstrapped, except to get on gondolas. You wouldnít need to us any surface lifts either.


If you can get some good speed up from braia Fraida lift, then top of 5B should be ok
Agree re blue 6, absolute pain at the start and end. Would use blue 7 from Bioch instead as a better alternative
Think also blue 24 from Bamby to La Villa required lots of poling, unless I'm mistaken and it was blue 11 to San Cassiano? Certainly it was one of these two, not all the way but for a good part.
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I always recomend Les Saisies for anyone looking for wide blues. There is a "hillside" full of green and blue motorways with extremely consistent gradients.

Have a look at the photos on this blog page: http://yuki-no-tenshi.over-blog.com/tag/actualite/4

Easy reach from Lyon
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
^^Would second Les Saisies, as many here can attest. It's a beginner/intermediate paradise with stunning views. Don't think there are any dreaded flat spots, too.
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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!
Quote:

Don't think there are any dreaded flat spots, too.

There are a few - but nothing hideous. For Les Saisies, as anywhere in France, avoid the 4 week French school holidays February/March. The first week AFTER the French holidays - that'll be from 9 March 2019 - is probably the optimum week to choose, if you have to book ahead.
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Two hugely different resorts. Alta Nadia for an older, more food orientated clientele. Cervinia high, snowsure, purpose built, not the prettiest but awesome link to Switzerland. Very long, cruisy blues. - quite like many French resorts in many ways. Although high, not the best orientation so very slushy in Spring.

Alta Badia - lower, trees, classier, amazing links to Suoerski Dolomites, pretty little towns, unbeatable scenery. No real nightlife, limited off piste, glorious food.
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Fellow Snowheaders, thank you all for your replies.

We have decided to go with Cervinia, since resort being the highest in Europe and all. Other factor is we will going in March.

For advancing our skills we might hit a beginner resort early in the season. Aside from the above mentioned resorts (Val Cenis, Les Saisies) any other suggestion on resorts with many long-wide-blue runs with no (or almost no) flats? Perhaps Wildkogel or other Tirolian resorts?

We would appreciate any advice on when to go (we want to avoid crowds), where to stay (relatively cheap) etc.
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Cervinia is a great choice. Very long easy runs at high altitude. There are higher resorts but not many with so much easy skiing at such height. The sun hits the sourh facing slopes so, despite the high altitude it can get very slushy in April, but in March it should be perfect. If you're feeling confident at the end of the week you can ski over to Zermatt which has some very serious skiing and scenery.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Les Saisies, grateful if anyone can advise best airport to use and transfer options other than self drive
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Skied both. As not so good and maybe better skier. No hesitation in going back to either or recommending for less advanced skiers. I hope you enjoy Cervinia. Really all depends on snow but to impress wifeys Chalet Eítoile for food and Val Tournence(sorry canít remember venues) for hot choc. Canít advise re kids. 😊
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