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Poster: A snowHead
Sat 22-02-20 4:42
Replies: 20
Sitting in our hotel room in Breckenridge, Colorado on our last evening before coming home tomorrow. Breck has already had a record Feb snowfall, conditions are awesome. Epic pass for 6 days is way less than $200 per day and includes Vail and Keystone if you want day trips. Scheduled flights to Denver and 2 hour easy drive in a rental car (or just get the Epic mountain shuttle bus). Loads of accommodation options, we go for Beaver Run Resort as it is properly ski in/ski out.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 12-02-20 20:20
Replies: 12
Go for convenience for slopes, town or a bus stop. A 10 minute walk in Breck on Day 1 is a major workout, after a long haul flight and a transfer, thanks to the altitude of >10k ft. Yes, agreed. We prioritised ski in/ski out over proximity to Main Street. The shuttle bus works well if the walk is too much
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 12-02-20 17:29
Replies: 12
I actually rang the lift office and had them work out the best deal. Next week include the Presidents Day holiday which is excluded from some passes. We got 5 day Epic restricted passes plus a single day pass to cover the excluded day. For the week this turned out at $485 + $129 per person. If you have flexibility on accommodation I think there are some deals you can get for lodging plus pass, as long as you chose an official Breckenridge lodging option. My lot love Beaver Run Resort so this option didn't work for us. Also, for what it's worth, we love Black Tie Ski Rental. They deliver to the room the night before. We prebook a delivery slot at say 8pm, so can drive across from Denver, check in and unpack, then get ski delivered. With the lift passes pre-bought, it means we are good to go for the first lift (and jet lag from the UK means we are awake anyway).
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Wed 12-02-20 17:19
Replies: 12
Sorry if this is obvious, but well worth looking into lift pass prices as part of your planning. Prices are pretty high compared to Europe, enough to make some people reconsider (but not us....)
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Wed 12-02-20 15:50
Replies: 12
We are heading out to Beaver Run Resort near the base of peak 9 on Saturday. It will be our 4th visit. It's truly ski in/ ski out. Self catering apartments in Building 4, the boot room door opens onto the piste and you ski down to the Beaver Run Super Chair. We make do with 1 bed plus a sofa bed but then we are only there 7 days. It's a 10 minute downhill walk to Main Street. The shuttle bus service is great for the return if you can't be bothered to walk. Building 4 also has a huge outdoor hot tub and swimming pool. Not mega luxurious as each condo is privately owned and therefore they are not new and shiny. BUT we absolutely love the set-up there. It would be much less than $10k for two weeks.
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Tue 11-02-20 15:47
Replies: 15
Is there access to a swimming pool, it makes a nice alternative activity for an afternoon? In which case swimming nappies and swimming cossie?
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Mon 10-02-20 16:23
Replies: 36
Make sure she is as warm, well fed and comfortable as possible, at least at the start of her lesson. Definitely makes sure she has a toilet stop before meeting up for lessons. Give her chocolate bars in her jacket pockets, so she can share on the lifts or in breaks. It will help her make friends in her group more quickly. Re-assure that her instructor will speak English, allow toilet breaks or any other specific concerns. Afternoon lessons at least mean she can get a lie-in? Once she has done a few lessons and you are aiming to ski together in the mornings, how about asking her which mountain restaurant she want to be in for lunch and then just make that the goal for the morning. I found skiing to a specific destination gave my kids something else to focus on. Edited to add something:- It is v tempting to ski close by so you can keep an eye on her, but defintiely check whether this is what she wants. She might find it embarrassing or a source of extra pressure.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 10-02-20 14:20
Replies: 26
Also I think you are more likely to see extremely cold weather in North America than in Europe. We've really enjoyed Banff, Whistler and Breck but we waited until the boys were old enough to not need lessons. We just felt that Europe was a more sensible package for learners.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Fri 7-02-20 17:37
Replies: 21
Just to chuck another thought in here, I have one jacket and one pair of ski pants. They both have zip vents that can be opened to allow cold air in. I've done -20 in Feb in Colorado and +5 in Apr in Tignes in this setup, just by adjusting the zips.
And post your own questions...
Tue 28-01-20 13:08
Replies: 6779
It's been a couple of years but we been to "Restaurant le 1789" a few times in the past for steaks grilled on an open flame and never been disappointed. Very much for carnivores, bookings recommended and can get a bit smokey from the cooking, but their cote de boeuf is awesome if you like that kind of thing.
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Tue 28-01-20 11:52
Replies: 92
When my wife went for her first pregnancy appointment with our eldest, we had already booked a skiing holiday. She asked the doctor's advice about potentially skiing at 3 months gone. The doctor asked if she was going to race or do jumps. My wife confirmed that this was not in the plan. Doctor then replied "A week away from it all, with moderate exercise and fresh mountain air, can't think of anything better".... legend! That was almost 18 years ago. Now we ski all day and then enjoy an après beer or two with our two sons. Wouldn't miss it for the world.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Tue 28-01-20 11:42
Replies: 49
+1 for Chambre Neuf, not to be missed!
You know it makes sense.
Mon 27-01-20 17:55
Replies: 23
I saw that a day's parking is $30. But since we already have the hire car and lift pass, then $30 extra for the 4 of us to have a day out at Vail is not an issue. Thanks all, decision made.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mon 27-01-20 15:17
Replies: 7
When my boys were that age we used this firm quite a bit:- https://www.surfanic.co.uk/boys/winter/ski-pants/ I would buy them a size up and not worry about them being too long, it really doesn't matter when they have ski boots on. Also at those prices you can afford to replace them much more often! They also seem to have an additional discount on with code SALE15. For full disclosure, I have no links to this firm, just had 2 sets of jackets and trousers that were really good value and lasted multiple trips.
Poster: A snowHead
Mon 27-01-20 14:52
Replies: 38
I have absolutely nothing useful to add, but just wanted to say I am very jealous.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mon 27-01-20 11:50
Replies: 11
We've tried doing the daily commute from Banff to Sunshine both ways (i.e. driving the hire car, using the free coach). We came down narrowly on the side of taking the car. This was mainly to avoid waiting around for the bus or having to queue. The rest of the family loved leaving snacks, comfortable footwear and snacks in the car. We also left the skis in the car overnight, so much less faff. We usually did a quick food/beer shop on the way home too.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Mon 27-01-20 11:25
Replies: 52
My father has reported back from his trip to Italy that his knee hasn't felt this good skiing in years. He is 76 in a couple of weeks.
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Fri 24-01-20 22:42
Replies: 23
Ok, looking like Vail is the winner. Will make it a mid-weekday. Thanks to mr. mike for the parking info. Cheers all.....
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fri 24-01-20 11:43
Replies: 23
We have a week booked in Breckenridge for February half term. We have been to Breck a few times before and really love it. However, the EPIC pass also covers Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone, and we fancy a day out at one of them for a change of scenery. We are intermediate to relatively advanced family of 4 incl. two teenagers. Looking for a few black or double black runs, maybe some bowls or tree skiing. Not interested in parks or proper steeps. We have a hire car, so ease of parking and size of crowds are factors. Not bothered about the resort shopping or eating as driving back to Breck after the final run, might need to stop at Silverthorne Outlets as one of the party wants to shop. We know that Feb 17th is a US holiday so will stay at Breck that day. We are veering towards Vail, just to say we've done it, but happy to be persuaded. Anyone care to make a case for Beaver Creek or Keystone? Any other advice also gratefully received. thanks in advance, LF
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Thu 23-01-20 13:07
Replies: 52
Take a photo of your receipt and lift pass on your mobile. The paper receipt is all too easy to lose! This year the woman at the lift office also recommended taking a photo of the card itself, showing the number and bar code. She also recommended all members of the group (including children) did the same I did actually say both receipt and lift pass in the original post!!
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Wed 22-01-20 16:26
Replies: 45
You said you have done Chamonix, so leaving that one out. We are going to Solden next week for Weds - Sunday short trip. Flights to Insbruck and then around 75mins transfer. Our accommodation is much more expensive but is half board. Plenty of skiing for a few days and decent amount of apres action. Our average age is around double yours though!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 22-01-20 16:20
Replies: 1
Great Britain's Kirsty Muir took silver, narrowly missing out on gold, with a superb third run in the freeski big air at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland. The 15-year-old, who is a two-time world junior medallist, had finished fourth in the ski slopestyle final on Saturday. Many of the women's Big Air finalists found the sunny conditions difficult to combat as the melting snow meant they struggled to generate the speed needed to perform their desired tricks. Muir had no-such problems though and delivered three impressive runs to score 170.00, which was just 1.25 point behind gold medallist Ailing Eileen Gu of China. 'I'm super excited, shaking and I'm really pleased with what I put down today," said the Scot.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Wed 22-01-20 14:52
Replies: 13
To be fair to the OP, I read that as "We enjoyed some amazing skiing" rather than "We are amazing at skiing".
And post your own questions...
Thu 16-01-20 15:50
Replies: 52
My father had his knee replaced last year at the age of 75. He is going skiing in a couple of weeks. His specialist told him the new knee is significantly stronger that his remaining 'real' knee. He did need to get a specific letter from the specialist for insurance purposes.
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Fri 3-01-20 12:47
Replies: 230
My experience of North America vs Europe skiing is v similar to Toadman's above, so definitely worth a read of that. We have tried Breck, Banff, Whistler and Killington. Just to highlight two things. My family of 4 are usually limited to 7 days skiing at February due to two school age kids and a partner who works in education. We still reckon it's worth a trans-atlantic trip for that week, because it just feels like a bigger adventure. I love the Alps and will always return there, but the whole change in culture, different skiing conditions, different scenery still makes US or Canada trips appealing. We always hire a big SUV and make the transfer part of the trip. This works particularly well in Banff. The drive from Calgary is very easy. Once we were in Banff, we loved not being dependant on the coach to get to the slopes. I have done the coach from Banff to both Sunshine and Lake Louise and it's fine, but having the car was marginally better for us. As others have posted, the 'commute' to the slopes becomes part of the routine. Not better, not worse, just different.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 18-12-19 15:22
Replies: 28
I've done both bus and 4x4 from Banff to Sunshine or Lake Louise on a few trips. Last trip round we drove to the slopes everyday. We put 1/3 of the back seat down and that meant we could simply leave all the skis and poles in the car overnight (we 'borrowed' a large towel from the spa area to dry them off a bit first), so a bit less hassle in the mornings. If there hadn't been a heated boot room, our boots might well have lived there too. Also, my teenage boys left dry hoodies, jogging bottoms and footwear in the car, so they came home in real comfort everyday. You could also leave a picnic lunch or snacks too, if you're keen to avoid the cost of mountain food. Finally, the luxury of never having to wait for a bus seemed worth me sacrificing the odd beer during the day. We never had to park more than 100m from the lift but then we were getting up v early. The bus does work well though.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 10-12-19 15:03
Replies: 62
Another idea would be to find a mountain restaurant on a blue run as a base for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Your beginner mate can hopefully do some simple laps, practicing what he's been taught. But with the option to take a rest and have a beer / hot chocolate / snack at any point. The rest of you can do bigger laps circuits but swing by and join the beginner for the home run or download. Just takes a bit of planning and communication.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 3-12-19 13:36
Replies: 6779
Steve - reading your latest posts, it feels like the ski season has now officially begun. We are not coming over this season as we have the chance to go back to Colorado instead. All the best for the season and please keep posting, i love reading about what you are up to and what's happening in EK.
Poster: A snowHead
Tue 26-11-19 15:26
Replies: 74
Definitely worth looking at the direct Eurostar ski train. We've done this a fair few times and it is very civilised, especially with younger children. "From 20th of December 2019 up to the 4th April 2020 from London, and 11th April from Bourg-St-Maurice, you can hop on the Eurostar ski train at St Pancras International or Ashford International and be whisked direct to the French Alps at 186mph." https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/holidays/ski-holidays
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fri 22-11-19 17:39
Replies: 7
If you are skiing together towards the end of the week, why not plan ahead and find somewhere picturesque for a mountain top lunch or drink. Make it somewhere that is a nice skiing distance away, but emphasize the destination not the journey. When both my kids and my wife were beginners, it was interesting that they would be much more happy to ski distances if they were 'on their way' somewhere. Whereas if I asked them to ski for another hour (or whatever) that was less appealing.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Thu 21-11-19 14:28
Replies: 17
Big fan of Breckenridge, going back for our 4th week in February. If you pick the right lodging you can be truly ski-in/ski-out. There's a load of choice on runs, with everything from challenging bowls to cruisy blues. Might be worth looking at whether any of these options are in the same lift company as your local resorts. If yes, might be worth getting a season pass as it will pay for itself pretty quickly?
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Mon 18-11-19 13:23
Replies: 18
When my two were younger we found this company:- https://www.surfanic.co.uk/ We had 4 jacket and salpoettes combos from them over the years and all performed really well. P.s. for full disclosure, we have no link to them what-so-ever, other than being satisfied customers.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tue 22-10-19 13:21
Replies: 82
I promised my two kids that once they had done the 'top group' in their French ski school we would take them on a 'once in a lifetime' trip to North America. Since then we have done 'once in a lifetime' trips to Breckenridge (3 times), Whistler and Banff. We are heading back to Breck in February. We've only ever managed 1 week trips due to school and other commitments. The jetlag is a little tough on return but manageable (and worth it). I organise the complete trip with flights, hotels, car hire, lift passes and ski hire. Tips are as follows:- 1) Book early, especially lift passes. And ring them to get the best deal. Breck ticket office worked out that for next Feb I was better off with a 5 day pass plus a single day to avoid their highest season rates. 2) Car hire - you can book these with AVIOS if you have them and you get a decent rate. Or Expedia if you add it to flights and accommodation. For Whistler and Breck you don't need a car at all once you are there, but we liked the convenience for the transfer. Once you are in resort it v much depends where you are. We had ski-in, ski-out in Breck and a hotel shuttle bus in Whistler. For Banff you either need to have a car or get a longish (30-45min) bus ride each way to the slopes. We liked the car though as it meant we could chose between Sunshine and Lake Louise and not be dictated by pickup times. As for the transfer drive - for Breck, Whistler and Banff the drive from airport to resort is pretty easy. It was pretty much major roads the whole way. Can't remember any hairpins or scary moments. That said, we reckon it's worth getting a full size SUV just for comfort and space. You may well be driving on snow covered roads at some point. 3) Ski hire - BlackTieSkis.com - they will deliver to your hotel room on your night of arrival and collect from the bootroom on your last day. Also had great service when we broke a ski pole. I have no connection with them, just used them a lot and highly recommend them. If you are feeling cheeky, email and ask for any discount codes! 4) Jet lag - for one week, we never really acclimatized. That just meant waking up at 6 am, having a leisurely breakfast before getting the first lift of the day. We have had 'first tracks' on 3 lifts in a row in Breck, which was absolutely magical. It did mean early nights but then our apres was a few beers in the hot tub and after that a meal and bed just worked for us. 5) US/Canadian experience - we love the service culture. Lift lines (queues) are much better managed so go quicker. Lifties are friendly and polite. Some runs are prepped, others are left as powder. It all feels like a bit of an adventure. We usually factor in a visit to a large shopping mall on the way home (although GBP vs USD might make that less attractive now). We have also driven back down from Breck to Denver to go to an ice hockey game, which was fun. 6) Overall cost - comparing like for like, and given we are in peak season at February half term, to get accommodation with a pool / hot tub and doorstep skiing in a large resort, I reckon it works out only v marginally more expensive to get the week in North America. I'd say you should definitely give it a go once, just to have the experience.
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Fri 5-04-19 13:12
Replies: 6779
Arriving in Val Claret tomorrow as a family of 4, along with another family on their first ever ski trip. Can't wait to show them around....
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Fri 5-04-19 13:10
Replies: 1125
Coming out to Val Claret tomorrow. The forecast seems to be changing by the hour but at least there's been some fresh stuff this week. Very excited but have an afternoon at work to get through first!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 3-04-19 12:45
Replies: 22
I've only been to Whistler once and the others above have covered almost everything I would have added. Is it a really as simple as "I like the look of that down there, let's give it go" and off you pop? My answer would be "yes" from an avalanche control point of view but "at your own risk" from a cliffs, trees and other hazards point of view. You may well end up somewhere pretty gnarly. I also wanted to make a personal recommendation for ski kit hire. We used this company:- https://whistler.blacktieskis.com/ We have also used them at Banff and Breckenridge. They will bring your hire kit direct to your hotel room. We booked them for a late drop off (9pm) on the evening of arrival, which meant we could get up the lifts first thing in the morning (especially useful when jet lag from the UK means you are wide awake anyway). For returns, you pre-arrange a meet point, either at base station or back at the hotel and they collect your kit. We also appreciated their support through the week. For example, in Breckenridge we had a broken ski pole in the group. We rang them and they said "leave the broken pole at the conciege desk of the hotel at the base and ask to borrow one from lost property. We will get a replacement there within 2hrs and you can swap over". I always email them before placing the order with a cheeky "have you got a discount code at the moment?" and I usually get something deducted. For complete disclosure, I have no links to them other than being a happy repeat client. And they may not be the absolute cheapest available but the convenience makes it worth it, at least for me.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Tue 2-04-19 16:32
Replies: 64
Flying to Tignes via Chambery on Saturday. Have been to Tignes / Val D'I a load of times but either by Eurostar or flights to Geneva, so a little nervous about the Chambery experience. We are taking some friends who are going to be on their first family ski holiday. We sort of sold it as glasses of wine on the sun terraces in the afternoon but the weather forecast is looking far more like snowy conditions..... which is 100% fine by me.
And post your own questions...
Mon 18-03-19 13:47
Replies: 40
I can't really comment on the weather or snow conditions in April in Obergurgl / Solden as our trip was in the February just gone. But I would like to comment on having one of these as a base and using the other during the week. We really enjoyed the skiing in both Obergurgl/Hochgurgl and Solden. But if you are looking to rack up a high mileage then neither of these two areas would suffice for a whole week. We covered the pistes Obergurgl/Hochgurgl almost completely in two full skiing days. Spending your week in one of Obergurgl and having a few days in Solden (or vice versa) would work in theory as there is a regular bus service. But my experience was that the bus was v crowded and took nearer 45mins than the advertised 25 mins. The hassle of transferring between the two was, for our party at least, a bit of a showstopper. I think Tignes is the better option for skiers wanted to rack up the miles.
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Sat 9-03-19 10:33
Replies: 6779
And they're a friendly bunch.
Fri 8-03-19 15:56
Replies: 57
Can i just add a recommendation for kids ski clothing? Whilst my two boys were still growing out of kit annually, we found this company to be pretty good value:- https://www.surfanic.co.uk/boys/winter/ski-jackets/ They are currently showing kids jackets at £40 and some trousers at £19.99. We have jackets and salopettes from there that have already done 6 weeks, are still looking pretty good and are being handed down to some friends for our April trip. p.s. I have absolutely no link to the firm whatsoever, in case anyone is wondering....
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