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Sainte Foy - is it a good choice for us?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Oil prices, the credit crisis and the Pound's decline have conspired to keep us on the European side of the pond this year. My admittedly small experience of European resorts hasn't been great to date (I'm not keen crowds and long motorway pistes), and a quick perusal of the guide books suggests that Sainte-Foy could be an interesting alternative.

Is the skiing as good in practice as the reviews make it out to be? If so, can anyone point me to a decent resort review? We have three lads who are all pretty capable skiers - last year they spent most of the holiday blasting the resort's double-blacks - so the thought of ample powder and the freedom to explore between the pistes with an official blessing - is pretty tempting.

Also, would we last a week there or is it too small? I don't mind skiing the same runs repeatedly but the piste map does look rather compact. If we need to move on, is a day trip to Tignes realistic with kids? We'd have a 4x4 with us.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Jonny Jones,

Never been, but reckon it fits your bill, plus not far from Tignes, La Ros, & Les Arcs
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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?
Jonny Jones,

A day trip to Les Arcs would be easier, going up into the resort via the funicular from BSM.
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Jonny Jones, Ste Foy is great on a powder day but then so are most places, there is a lot of off-piste but there's a lot of off-piste throughout the Tarentaise. I used to really enjoy going to Ste Foy but IMO it's been over developed, there's a capacity of 5,000 beds a week now and only 4 lifts, so I prefer to stay in La Rosiere. However you can ski any of the Haute Tarentasie resorts within about 1/2 hour of Ste Foy, it's much quicker to access Les Arcs from Villaroger which is only a couple of kilometres from Ste Foy village, not the ski station.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Is the skiing as good in practice as the reviews make it out to be?


No!! There's an utterly ridiculous quote from someone in one of the ski guidebooks (WTS&S?) that says something like "I've skied at Zermatt, Chamonix, Val d'Isere etc and Ste Foy is better than any of them". Don't believe it...

I've stayed in Ste Foy for 3 weeks over 3 different years, and it's a lovely place for a bit of off-piste, but you'll only want to spend 2 days per week there tops, when you've got better areas like Les Arcs, Tignes/VdI and 3V all driveable nearby. It's essentially a nice place to explore the Tarentaise resorts, rather than a great destination in itself.
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I agree with David L that it's over-developed for the amount of skiing which is a shame as it's a lovely resort in other ways. We went there with two other families two years ago, all with beginner kids. The pistes are, of course, limited and by the end of the week it was starting to get painful (although the kids loved it particularly as ESF was excellent!) The bigger resorts are close but it's always a bit time-consuming jumping in a car. The off-piste between the runs is fine but generally pretty easy and still limited although there's more interesting stuff over by L'Aiguille. It's the back-country that people get most excited about but that probably requires a full day and a guide (we did hire one one day but then the weather closed in!) Still a nice resort but a better group like yours will quickly get bored unless you're ready to go off the back. They say that Sainte-Foy is where the Val D'Isere guides come on their day off but I doubt they stay on the map for long!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I really like sainte foy, as it is off the beaten track, and find that its suits us down to the ground.. It is a 10 min drive to get to to a lift into les arc system, although if I am honest the day we went over we were so horrified by the lift queues and at how busy the piste was, we wished we had stayed in sainte foy.
I have never found a lift queue at sainte foy longer than 2-3 mins and that was at easter last year. The piste map is small, but there are off piste options and if you do choose to go pm me for details of Bryan Hogg who is a fantastic ski instructor/guide. If you want to ski lots of km of piste or you like any kind of nightlife then this definately isn't for you! One great thing is that all piste pretty much end up at the same two mountain restaurants for lunch, and all runs end up back at the same place at the bottom of the lift which we find great with having kids.

I do however think that whoever rated it better than Val and zermatt was not thinking clearly.

The reccomendation is puy st vincent, although the terrain is more for intermediates and your boys might not like it!
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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!
Thanks, fizz, it sounds as if you have a similar perspective to me.

As a parent, I'm obvious concerned for the safety of my kids. To my way of thinking, crowded pistes and high speed groomers are far more likely to result in serious injury than challenging runs where accidents, if they occur, will usually be at a much lower speed - in trees and powder, it's hard to pick up a fraction of the speed that you attain on a blue piste. We've skiied in North America far more than in Europe, but our family has only ever experienced collisions on Europe's piste motorways.

We'll be skiing at half term, so a quiet resort with some decent advanced skiing - even if we have to hire a guide to access it - is what I'm after.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Jonny Jones, re your last sentence - I know some joke, but La Rosiere would fit your bill. I have skied 4 weeks there in the last 4 years; each week the resort had sold every bed (2 x half terms & 2 x Easter). Saw far less traffic there than in Tignes on their quietest January week. We will return again, but are ready for a break despite Easter last year being the best week of snow EVER (it was SOOO goood)
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hi Jonny,
Sems to me most of the comments are pretty fair regarding Ste Foy.
If the conditions allow the close in off piste is very good and given that you lads sound like good skiers there is plenty to keep them amused. Just on word of caution some of the excting off piste is easily accessible and is often closed after a snowfall. The problem is that many people ingore the signs and end if in dodgy terrain. That said this lots of safe lower angle off piste and plenty of tree skiing.
With your own car getting to other resorts is a piece of cake. Tignes Les Breviere is 15 mins and the best way into the Val/Tignes system. I would park there as I have found it tricky to get parked in Tiges in the holiday times. La Rosiere is about 25 mins away and well worth the trip though check that the link to La Thuile in Italy is open. It is fast to get to Villaroger but the lits are slow and Les Arcs os often busy. Great long run from the top of Aiguille Rouge back to Villaroger at the end of the day.
If the weather is bad/windy/ bad visibility stay in Ste Foy.
I work in Ste Foy for much of the season and skied with fizz and her family last season (hello fizz, si and gang).
Thought i would reply to you as I am already booked up for the 1/2 term weeks and could give you my opinion without seeming to tout for business! Have a great time and if you have any other questions please drop me a line.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 18-09-08 15:32; edited 2 times in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
skihog, Welcome to snowHead

What a great first post!
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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.
Thanks, skihog. That's really helpful - it's good to get a view from someone who knows the resort intimately. It sounds as if Sainte Foy might be worth a visit with 2-3 day trips to nearby resorts. That way I might be able to visit the famed La Ros without being completely sucked into its vortex Very Happy
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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
@skihog,
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Wow. 7.5 year bump.

We did go to Site Foy eventually, but not in 2009. Great place, and skihog's comments remain true.
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