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Poster: A snowHead
Thu 28-05-20 14:28
Replies: 926
Alpine Elements not saying anything after a message that refunds will have to wait until end of January 2021. We are very unlikely to be able to ski next year, and have told them this. Bev has now started a Section 75 claim as she paid it on her credit card. :sH:
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fri 8-05-20 10:33
Replies: 926
This is our most recent communication from Alpine Elements. It seems we are compelled to give the company an interest-free loan until January next year. Unless we wish to book with them again, which seems unlikely. Why are you not offering me a cash refund? The unprecedented scale of Covid-19 has had a significant effect on the travel industry. This situation has led to an extremely high volume of refunds, due in a short space of time. ABTA has therefore changed its guidance to travel companies and is advising we offer Refund Credit Notes rather than cash refunds. Your Refund Credit Note will in no way affect your right to a cash refund. They simply act to protect your money under ATOL/ABTA until their expiry date on January 31st, 2021, giving you more time to decide on a new holiday and for Tour Operators to process cash refunds. I don’t want to rebook, so when will I get a cash refund If you do not use your Refund Credit Note by January 31st, cash refunds will be processed on or before the expiry date, in line with ongoing guidance from ABTA and the Govt.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Fri 10-04-20 10:36
Replies: 926
Man from ABTA was on BBC Breakfast this morning. The gist of it was that the law relating to 14 day refunds applied, but that they simply hadn't got the money. Might take 4 months, but all ABTA/ATOL bonded holidays would be refunded eventually. I am still waiting for Alpine Elements to refund. :sH:
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Sun 29-03-20 16:19
Replies: 926
I think we might be stuck in a loop, here. We, in this case, being those of us who had ABTA guaranteed TO holidays cancelled by the operator before departure. Being prudent, we booked ABTA holidays with TO, had comprehensive travel insurance with cancellation cover and paid by credit card. Belt, braces and more. It looks as if they are all expecting someone else to pay! :sH:
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thu 19-03-20 19:55
Replies: 4264
I am not sure what writing you saw on your wall, but I saw the French ski resorts saying they expected to finish the season. This was two days before the whole system was shut down. 20/20 foresight? :sH:
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Thu 19-03-20 11:49
Replies: 4264
@cameronphillips2000, Sorry to hear of your troubles. I don't think you have inserted any entomology into auricular orifices either. (This bit is not addressed to Cameron.) We booked our first ski holiday in three years with an ABTA ATOL bonded TO precisely in order to be covered by their guarantees. We also made a point of, rare for us, paying with a credit card. Again, this was to take advantage of the protection offered by the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. As a general point, if laws and bonds of this sort are breaking down then all of society is breaking down. There is nothing we can rely on. That is a worry. :sH:
Well, it's only polite to Register
Thu 19-03-20 11:36
Replies: 926
I have picked up a whisper, (I think it was something I saw on Twitter) that the Thomas Cook collapse practically cleaned-out the ABTA funds, so those of us with faith or hope in the ABTA guarantees for TO refunds might have to do the credit card route. :sH:
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 16-03-20 22:57
Replies: 926
Alpine Elements have suggested asking our insurers if they will pay for the package which was cancelled by them 8 hours before flight departure. They are ABTA. Rather surprised that they haven't offered full refund immediately, but that is what we expect from them. I believe other ABTA companies are offering full refunds. :sH:
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Sun 15-03-20 11:01
Replies: 482
We were lucky in as much as we got the message not to travel to the airport about 10.00 last night. People who went out on Saturday will have had the journey for nothing and might be in trouble getting back. Feeling a little sorry for ourselves as we were hoping for one last ski before Bev has her ankle surgery, which will probably make it impossible in future. Even more sorry for the people of La Plagne, whose only source of income is the mountain. More than anywhere, La Plagne is a special community and facing hard times. Sorry also for the seasonal staff, who now find themselves out of work. Bev spoke to Veronica (I think it was) at the Graciosa last night, and she was a stunned by the closure as we were, especially after the brave words of the previous day. Best wishes to all at La Plagne. :sH:
And post your own questions...
Sun 15-03-20 10:37
Replies: 4264
Skis and bags still in the car. We got the "don't go to the airport" message 8 hours before take-off was due. Glad not to have gone on the Saturday, and be stuck in a closed resort trying to get home. Very disappointed, obviously, but it could have been worse. Feel very sorry for the people and businesses that have lost their fragile, seasonal livelihood. Thanks for all the helpful information on here. One final thought - just remember that all the official information and advice coming from our government is from people who think Brexit is a good idea. :sH:
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Fri 13-03-20 17:58
Replies: 4264
One might also argue that there is a social responsibility to support an industry that is fragile and seasonal. You can't shut down everything.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Fri 13-03-20 17:46
Replies: 482
So, long-time absentees from the virus-ridden West Midlands are still being admitted. Might see you there next week, @Jonpim, .
You know it makes sense.
Mon 9-03-20 10:44
Replies: 482
Envers listed as opening today. :sH:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sun 1-03-20 22:07
Replies: 17
Stayed in Campitello once, and found it easier to get the frequent ski bus to Canazei to get started. The queues look bad, but move at walking pace. As Cameron said, Marmolada is not worth the hassle. It takes ages to get there, ages to go up the three cable cars, and the ski down is no better than OK. A good trip out from Campitello is to stay on the Canazei ski bus and go to Alba. Gradually make your way round to Pozza, and then get the little bus round the corner. Takes you to a nice little area which is seldom visited. (and, you are right, I can't remember the name.) I love the Hidden Valley, Cinque Torri et al, but can do without the horse tow. You came across taxis offering to take you over that way for modest sums. Worth it. Do the Sella Ronda each way round once. Colfosco is worth a visit. Very pretty area. :sH:
Poster: A snowHead
Wed 29-01-20 21:42
Replies: 41
Latest news is that Bev has had her fusion postponed for the trivial reason that she has a stress fracture of her lower leg. Needless to say, she has been carrying on as normal with cycling, horse-driving and walking. The consultant has dangled the possibility of replacement rather than fusion. It seems that the latest generation of plastic replacement joints are much improved, and he might be willing to give it a go. Either way, she has a six-month stay of execution, allowing her to take in a couple of cycling holidays we have planned. She has even wistfully suggested that if she does get a replacement, she may be able to ski again. :sH:
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 22-01-20 11:24
Replies: 20
I went to La Plagne 1800 a few years ago in the last week of the season and you could not ski back to the chalet. Plenty to ski on higher up, though. I would think (possibly wrongly) that as it is only your second week in the mountains you would be in ski school. In that case, you will not need a huge amount of snow and the instructors will find decent snow for you. :sH:
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Tue 21-01-20 22:24
Replies: 41
Well, nearly nine years on and we are back where we started, more or less. Neither of us has skied for a year or two, as I managed to do an ACL in a moment of incompetence at La Plagne. I miss it more than she does. Bev has given up riding now, but still manages to get out with pony and trap. She got into a very bad way with pain so bad she could barely walk last summer. As a result, she has an appointment at Oswestry next Monday. Her GP has given her a nerve-blocking drug called Pre-gavelin (or something like that) which has helped a lot. She hopes to keep on going for at least another summer, but fears that she will be doing more damage the longer it goes on. :sH:
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Mon 20-01-20 22:12
Replies: 58
The story featured in The Times today. :sH:
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 6-01-20 16:46
Replies: 84
That little scene was playing tricks in my mind too....
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Sun 5-01-20 16:56
Replies: 58
This very interesting thread made me recall two experiences. Firstly, I was in the tourist office in St Antonin Noble Val (Midi-Pyrenees) when an English tourist committed a bit of a faux-pas by asking if the office had anything on the area during the war. This was deep in the heart of Vichy, and the site of the concentration camp at Sept Fonds is only a few km away. (There is a tiny notice at the site.) I would have suggested Sebastian Faulks Charlotte Gray, but said nothing. The second experience was at Deux Alpes a while ago now, when I was visiting a school group and skiing with them. Their instructor was a well-preserved, but obviously elderly ESF man called Raymond (maybe @Claude B knows him...). Sharing a T-bar, I asked him how old he was. Old enough to have been around here in the war? Yes, he said, I was 15. An odd reply, but quick arithmetic brought me to 1944. The year of the resistance uprising in the Oisans. "Where you in the resistance?" I asked. "No," he replied. "My father was, but I just carried guns and ammunition round the mountains." Well, I thought that was good enough to qualify, but he didn't want to elaborate. As the thread demonstrates, there is a lot of hidden pain buried deep in the communities we like to ski in. :sH:
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Mon 26-11-18 13:37
Replies: 21
@boredsurfin, And I would love the chance to go again. :sH:
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sun 25-11-18 12:15
Replies: 185
@cameronphillips2000, Spot on. I would add that there are a couple of more intellectually valid reasons, as well: Time spent waiting in hire shops can be spent skiing. You can ski those odd bits of days when you arrive in resort early or are leaving late. You can be certain what you are clipping into. :sH:
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Sun 25-11-18 11:56
Replies: 114
I don't know of a better place to park my goggles without them getting misted up from my sweaty forehead. There may be some benefit other than this, but that is enough for me. :sH:
And post your own questions...
Sun 25-11-18 11:25
Replies: 21
No, I have been to La Plagne in late January and stick to my comment quoted above. It can get busy at going home time at "choke points". :sH:
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Sat 24-11-18 12:21
Replies: 21
I don't think snow cover will be your problem at that time of year. I think you problem will be the crowds. La Plagne is deservedly very popular and attracts lots of people. The way the resort works, there are places like Plagne Centre that are choke points at busy times, which can lead to big queues. The lift system is very efficient, but all the same, it gets busy. In no way am I trying to put you off. La Plagne is excellent, and the snow will not be a problem. :sH:
And they're a friendly bunch.
Thu 22-11-18 17:19
Replies: 20
If there is good snow, then you might find the place getting busy in the holiday period after Christmas. We used to go to Kitzbuhel every year. Magical at Christmas. Skiing entirely as normal, most places. The family celebrations will be on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is like a Bank Holiday. :sH:
You know it makes sense.
Tue 12-12-17 17:38
Replies: 16
Covered by Dolomiti Superski, though Cinque Torri is in the Cortina area.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 12-12-17 16:59
Replies: 16
Cinque Torri os a lovely place to ski, and though it is not too difficult, can be a bit tricky to ski to and from, though it is possible to ski there and back from Laguzuoi. The restaurant is also excellent, and worth the effort to get to. As rg1 said above, you take the old cable car as if doing the Hidden Valley and as you start off at the top, keep well over to the right. There is a piste down, which is graded red on most maps, though some have it as a black. I assure the public that it is not black in any way and is a pleasant run. Cross the road at the bottom and head for the lift station in front of you. Take this chair up and as you come back down keep over to the right. This gives you access to a track to the right about 3/4 of the way down which, although it appears unlikely, takes you via a switchback route to the fast chair at the bottom of Cinque Torri. Be careful not to run into @maggi on the uphill bits. There are a couple of quite challenging blue runs taking you back to the fast chair which are most enjoyable and bear repeating. From the top you can see tunnels, gun emplacements and trench lines from the First World War, as this is a significant part of the WW1 tour. You used to have to take a tow line and a rickety single chair to go over the top to Fedare, but there is now a new lift. The run down to Fedare is OK, but not quite so entertaining. What is entertaining, is trying to ski back. Off to the right of the Fedare run is a narrow track leading to a chair which seems to run through a crack in the rock (possibly, because it does.) You then have a narrow and, I thought, quite difficult icy track back towards the lift system below Laguzuoi. You have to use all the lifts here to get back to the cable car, up Laguzuoi and back into the system down the Hidden Valley. You can, of course, take the bus or taxis back to Armentarola which gets you back into the Sella Ronda area. If you don't fancy the horses on the way back (an 80 skier pile-up with added dung is not a prospect I relish) then look out for the cafe after the first bit of poling. There are always taxis there, which will get you back to skiable terrain for a modest fee. Sounds like a lot of faff, but definitely worth it. A very very beautiful place - and it has its own little piste map, which you can pick up at the lift office at the start.
Poster: A snowHead
Tue 14-02-17 14:53
Replies: 20
Not just Welsh, but near-permanently blotto, too! I know he got a bit carried away at times, but I like. Dylan Thomas too, not just your surreal phone.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tue 14-02-17 14:16
Replies: 20
I really would like to know where you got your "Dylan Thomas impersonator" app from, @cameronphillips2000, ! Or is it Mr Apple choosing things at random? Depending where you are going at the end of the Hidden Valley, it might be worth avoiding the horses and getting one of the taxis that are to be found just to the left of the second and final cafe. You thus avoid all the flats and the horses. OK to do once, but can be a longish wait and if any of the 80 or so people hanging on to the rope crash, then you are going to be in a pile. You also get sprayed with brown snow! As regards the run itself, I think it is a reasonably challenging red from a child's point of view. It starts off quite steep and lumpy, and has other quite demanding bits. Give it a go, sure, but take it easy, would be my advice. It is a great experience and a bit of an adventure.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Sun 12-02-17 18:26
Replies: 648
Bev's snow report for Saturday's beautiful conditions was that it was the best snow she had skied on for years. Telemetro being tried out but not back in service yet. People going out for half-term will be fine. Enjoy.
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Fri 10-02-17 14:29
Replies: 648
@Otherworld, I was thinking the same thing regarding helmets. Almost universal adoption now. As for La Plagne, The sun is shining, Mont Blanc is clear and the skiing looks wonderful. Bev, who has been out on her own, says that the resort is busy, but holding up. Some places are showing a bit of wear, but the pisteurs put it right. The new chair was being tested this morning, and the telemetro has its new wires, but is still not back in action. La Plagne continues to defy the French resort stereotype by being friendly, welcoming and helpful, especially to walking wounded, which is me.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thu 9-02-17 10:14
Replies: 648
Sunshine and cloud today, with that magical dusting of snow on the trees. Looks like plenty of snow for all.
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Wed 8-02-17 15:28
Replies: 648
Still snowing and piste conditions are lovely. Visibility is not great, and in a moment of comparative brightness today, I overdid it and had to be body-bagged down with a damaged ACL. So that is my season done then, after 2 and a bit days. Might be the gods' way of telling me I am too old to ski. Anybody coming out to La Plagne in the next weeks (half terms, of course) will find plenty of snow on piste. Can't comment about off piste.
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Tue 7-02-17 16:57
Replies: 648
Two days done in Plagne Centre at our usual chalet base and it keeps on snowing. Quite a decent layer now on top of a harsh and scraped base. Most pistes of any declivity cut up quite quickly into snow mounds, but conditions are really good. There is plenty of snow for holiday piste-cruisers, which is us. Off-piste is way above my pay-grade, but I believe there are some options opening up. Up high there is a bit of a lack of visibility, so we have mostly been going down to Montalbert, but Tunnel was great this morning. The resort is busy, but the only really bad queues we have seen were down at La Roche where all the ski schools converged yesterday. For the guy wanting to get down to Plagne Centre for lessons from Aime 2000, the Telemetro things seems to be seriously broken and is not running. I believe there is a bus replacement. With regard to getting down from there by ski, the flat road has been re-graded as RED (???) and the steep alternative, is still blue. Wrong way round, methinks, but the locals think it is all about keeping the traffic down for Club Med. In summary, the conditions are great. Wax your skis!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sat 21-01-17 22:19
Replies: 27
It is like skiing in glue. Everything has to be done slowly and with a lot more pressure. Very hard on the legs! probably why it is supposed to be good for the technique, as you cannot just skid your way out of bad turns. :sH:
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Fri 20-01-17 17:28
Replies: 56
I went to Tamworth of Christmas Eve and found it excellent. The snow was deep and grippy and the skis had edges. I have been going since I started skiing there 20 years ago, and have never found it in better shape. :sH:
And post your own questions...
Thu 19-01-17 18:53
Replies: 114
@GorillySticks, You will need lessons. Mountains are bigger, steeper and trickier than a fridge. Fridge time is a good intro, and might take you to lesson 2 rather than lesson 1, but you are a total novice and need lessons. :sH:
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Mon 16-01-17 21:46
Replies: 538
Been there and done that. Mouflon above Meribel. The couple I colected laughed as they were struggling with the icy snow too! There are accidents. :sH:
And they're a friendly bunch.
Mon 16-01-17 21:26
Replies: 17
@billb, La Plagne is an excellent choice, in my view. Just be aware that, in my experience anyway, the piste gradings are not all that helpful. I know that snow conditions are more significant than steepness, but La Plagne blues can be anything from largely flat to really quite steep in places. If you have people who are nervous of steeper bits - and most groups do have - then check local knowledge. :sH:
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