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Poster: A snowHead
Sat 13-02-21 9:19
Replies: 49
I did go around with earphones in a couple of days when I was by myself, but it didn't really improve on the experience of being in the mountains. Now I rely on earworms. 'Loser' or 'Lord Only Knows' by Beck conjure up afternoons carving along the wide motorway pistes of VT in the spring sunshine, when I had those tunes running through my head almost constantly.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sat 13-02-21 9:08
Replies: 20
@kettonskimum, I'd echo the comments on here. All of our family trips have been at Easter, and I'm happy to say have been great successes. Hearing comments about heavy traffic and toll booth queues on the drive down and back, I can say that I haven't experienced those at all when driving at Easter. That said, the looming presence of A levels and GCSEs is making me consider half term over Easter for next year, but it does seem perverse to go at absolutely the peakiest of peak weeks. Easter is still a strong contender.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Thu 11-02-21 11:59
Replies: 41
On the point about basing in one location and driving each day to ski here or there - that's something I'd consider if it were just me and a mate, but it's definitely not the way I would choose to spend a family holiday. Particularly not if we had just spent a long time in the car getting to wherever in the first place. Still, this is all in the realms of 'fantasy ski holiday' at the moment. I'm learning a lot of interesting things about routing and the relative benefits of this or that way of getting through the mountains: MB, Gotthard or St Bernard tunnels, Vs Brenner pass. All could be bottlenecks, all could be severely affected by normal winter conditions.
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Wed 10-02-21 22:33
Replies: 41
Wow, Snowheads never disappoints! I'm very grateful to you all, much to ponder here. The Sella Ronda is definitely on my wish list. Based on the advice here, maybe not for a family road trip in February. Maybe I'll just have to enjoy it on a Birthday Bash. Agreed, it does seem crazy to plan to drive across the Alps in winter time. Some interesting suggestions on route, I'll have a play around with GoogleMaps but you can't really beat repeated personal experience. The right way to do it must be by flying into Italy and approaching from the south. I think we are past the era of cheap flights, if they ever were very cheap in the peakest of peak weeks in February. Buying flights and transfers for 6 people can work out pricey, but may be better for everyone's sanity than a couple of days in the car! I'm going to look further at the Aosta valley. I do remember that thread about driving down, so will trawl through that.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tue 9-02-21 22:34
Replies: 41
Planning a family trip for half term 2022... just planning, but thought I'd poll the collected SnowHead hivemind. I would like to take my family to Italy, and am weighing up Aosta Monterosa ( Champoluc? Gressoney?) against Dolomite Sella Ronda resorts (Val Gardena? Arrabba?). Does anyone have experience of a family self-drive from the UK to either Monterosa or the Dolomites? And I'm guessing it would be a hotel rather than a chalet. We are a family of intermediate cruisers, fond of the blues and reds of Val Thorens on SFaB trips. But even the delights of Val Thorens in springtime have their limits. For our next trip, I want trees, and nice lunchtime stops! Timing has to be half term. @emmaj is a teacher, and various junior Js will have exams in 2022. We would be driving there. We are fairly experienced in driving to 3 V, stopping on the way. I'd imagine stopping somewhere like Bourg en Bresse for Aosta. I don't know where one would stop on the way to the Dolomites - Innsbruck? Of course, as it stands all bets are off for planning trips. Who knows if any trips will be possible; there are many threads elsewhere on SH where people who want to can debate the likelihood of Covid or Brexit putting the kibosh on travel. I'm asking this on the basis that we would be able to drive to the mountains to ski.
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Sun 31-01-21 22:45
Replies: 8
That is so cool! Whereabouts in Wiltshire? Up on Salisbury Plain?
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Sun 31-01-21 11:25
Replies: 34
@Pippo9, thanks for starting this thread, it's been helpful to learn more about the Dolomites and Austria as family destinations. I've only taken my family skiing at Easter, only in France and of that, mainly the 3 Valleys. If you can bear self-catering, the Spring Family Bash (SFaB) could work - a week of SnowHead families in Val Thorens, staying at the Hameau du Kashmir. It has worked very well for us. Val Thorens offers some great Easter skiing.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thu 28-01-21 21:12
Replies: 34
I've been following this thread with interest; how do-able are the Dolomites resorts for a drive and self-cater family holiday? Having signed up for this year's pre-BB, I've been looking at the stunning images on the Sella Ronda webcams; the whole area looks amazing!
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Mon 25-01-21 8:51
Replies: 317
why does ski sunday have to be about racing? +1 I don't agree with @Mr.Egg, on many subjects, but strongly do on this!
And post your own questions...
Wed 13-01-21 21:07
Replies: 52
Good on you, @tangowaggon! Great attitude, we should all be inspired!
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Wed 13-01-21 15:59
Replies: 7
+1, my youngest daughter is booked on a school trip to Alpe d'Huez for the second week of April, travelling by coach. I doubt it will happen. But it hasn't been cancelled yet, so she lives in hope! :-)
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 6-01-21 16:22
Replies: 134
Just before xmas we remembered the Nintendo Wii, which has sat un-loved for about 5-6 yrs - now set up working again and with the Wii balance board the closest I'll get to skiing this season We passed a very happy couple of hours on NYE playing Just Dance with our teenagers, using our long-neglected Wii. Such fun. Nintendo games are just so easy to get into. We also have the balance board, I can see that coming out to play this weekend.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 5-01-21 11:00
Replies: 134
There is a very good Facebook group, with a TON of info on doing this very cheaply in the files section. Group is called ZPCMR - Zwift PC Master Race Yup, I found that excellent group thanks to a recommendation from SnowHeads. It has given me the kick I needed to give this a go.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 5-01-21 8:33
Replies: 30
You should find that direct drive turbo trainers are back in stock now - they sold out through most of last year. The high demand has brought scammers looking for dupes; my neighbour thought he'd bagged a 2nd hand Tacx on Amazon marketplace, sent his money and... nothing!
Poster: A snowHead
Mon 4-01-21 20:50
Replies: 134
Smart turbo trainer and a subscription to Zwift. A few cases of different gluten-free beer. A few cases of different coffee beans. More laptops, so that the kids don't fight over them when they finally settle down to doing some online school work. I'm planning to get through the next month by building/cobbling together a PC specifically for running Zwift, out in my garage. If it weren't so cold out in my garage, I'd put my desk, chair and Aeropress coffee thingy out there too, and ignore/escape my family entirely!
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sun 27-12-20 17:57
Replies: 179
And in the meantime the Oasis has gone out if business. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/19/oasis-band-name-swindon-leisure-centre-to-close
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Mon 7-12-20 10:53
Replies: 22
@snowdave, +1 A very succinct explanation of chargeback, and Section 75 rights and what that means in practice. It is almost certainly a lot cheaper for the travel company to receive your payment by bank transfer than by card, but in so doing you are giving up a great deal of protection. In the current climate, I just would not give up chargeback and S.75.
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Thu 29-10-20 9:27
Replies: 104
I've ordered a turbo trainer to spend more time on my bike over the winter. Some will go into the family holiday pot for whenever we are next able to do a family holiday. Spending more time at home means I'm more aware than ever that the house is looking scruffy and needs some TLC and a bit of money spent on it.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sat 17-10-20 8:38
Replies: 35
Yup. Bless the EU for their regulation of roaming charges. I worked for Vodafone at the time, arguing the economic case against regulation. We lost, consumers benefitted. Ferries and cruise ships operate their networks in international waters, outside EU or national licensing. Your network would incur wholesale roaming charges from DFDS, which they pass on in their retail tariff to you. Not EU roaming, so no regulation for it to be free. Yours is a cautionary tale. I bet that DFDS didn't go out of their way to inform passengers that their shipboard mobile network would incur roaming charges?
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Sat 17-10-20 8:07
Replies: 35
Yup, sad but true. Ferries and cruise ships operate outside of national licensing. They can operate their own shipboard base stations on the standard 2/3/4/5G frequencies and link to your network provider using standard roaming protocols. Because they are outside of national licence regimes, they are similarly not subject to the price controls on roaming that the EU imposed on member states. They can charge you, and they do.
Well, it's only polite to Register
Sat 3-10-20 11:44
Replies: 73
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 7-09-20 9:30
Replies: 102
Another one for the dark side! The force is strong in these young masters...
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Fri 24-04-20 13:58
Replies: 159
{IMG23891_6417_right} From my first bash, EoSB 2013. Whiplash injury from a fall while hooning too fast on an empty piste one morning! And from the day before... {IMG23891_6419_right} {IMG23891_6420_right} {IMG23891_6421_right} {IMG23891_6422_right}
And post your own questions...
Fri 24-04-20 8:38
Replies: 62
Very nice - the best by far! #7 was pretty good too. #10 looked like someone had barely spent 5 minutes on the design!
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Sat 14-03-20 14:32
Replies: 27
@NickyJ, I sympathise with your frustration on the reclaims. You and many thousands of others are in a similar position this weekend as Easter holiday plans unwind. I would anticipate you getting a similar question from your credit card provider - what is the evidence that the merchant has failed to provide? Yes, you (and most people on here) understand that the flights are practically useless if you can't ski, but that probably isn't going to cut it with a contact centre agents who are following a process with little discretion. At a pinch, you might get somewhere on a s.75 claim for the flights as consequential loss on the other parts of your trip. If you booked all on the same card, and if the card provider is minded to be generous, you might be able to get them to understand the connection between separate transactions. This is the risk that you bear when you DIY, I'm afraid, as opposed to booking a package with ABTA/ATOL protections. Any chance if the Optiontown can extend your flight options to the summer?
And they're a friendly bunch.
Fri 13-03-20 15:48
Replies: 4270
https://www.valthorens.com/en/useful-informations/covid-19-valthorens Current situation in Val Thorens Last update: 13/03/2020 - 10:00am Here is the information we have for the moment : All the lifts in Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys are currently open and functioning normally. The French government does not envisage the closure for the moment of the French ski areas. At present, no suspicion or proven case of Covid-19 has been detected in Val Thorens. However, as a preventive measure, we are planning a certain number of actions: All the cabins of the Setam ski lifts will be disinfected twice a day. Setam has decided to temporarily limit the capacity of the Funitels and cable cars in the Val Thorens area.
You know it makes sense.
Thu 12-03-20 8:39
Replies: 84
On the debit card point, the Visa and Mastercard schemes both have provision for dispute and chargeback. The category for the dispute is that the merchant (in this case Neilson) failed to provide the contracted goods/service *in its entirety*. Dispute and chargeback is not a legal right, it is a feature of the schemes designed to encourage use of these payment cards. Your card issuer (your bank) processes the dispute on your behalf. They will need evidence from you that the merchant failed to provide the service. As this is not an entirely cut and dried case, it may go to arbitration between your bank and Neilson's bank, which can extend the timeframe to 3 months or more. So get on to your bank, with your facts straight on dates and what you did and didn't receive. [Payment on a credit card is different. Then, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, your card issuer is joint and severally liable with the merchant for the provision to you of the goods/services. For transactions over £100 (and capped at £35,000 IIRC). That joint and several liability translates in practical terms to giving you a refund at the expense of the card issuer in the first instance. ]
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 10-03-20 16:14
Replies: 8
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/51820711
Poster: A snowHead
Thu 5-03-20 16:55
Replies: 594
Cool, sounds do-able. We usually break the journey down to the Alpes anyway, so will look at a journey plan. I'm sold on Italy for the better cooking and coffee! Having done most of my skiing in the 3V, its definitely time for a change. Maybe we should persuade @admin to run an Italian Family Bash!
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thu 5-03-20 13:52
Replies: 594
@Snowysarah, did you drive to Italy? I've been wondering whether the resorts of the Aosta valley are doable by car (thinking about next season already)
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 26-02-20 20:08
Replies: 38
Self catered for cost, flexibility and the freedom of the family to sit on the sofa wearing 'jamas and eating crisps, if that's what we want to do. For the last few years, the EoSB and SFaB have served us very well, with very comfortable apartments. Before family life, I took whatever was a good deal, last minute; hotel, chalet, SC apartment.
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Sun 23-02-20 22:41
Replies: 74
So far 3/4 of mine have been on the school ski trip, and each time have had a brilliant time. The interesting point from my perspective us that #3 was in the 'top' group on her trip, despite not being a particularly experienced or confident skier. She enjoyed herself and kept explaining that "the Yr8 boys were so annoying they kept falling over." She didn't feel over stretched at any point which probably says something good about their instructor's skill in leading a group of mixed teens. For the last couple of trips the school has only been able to offer skiing in formal ESF lessons, whereas previously the children had been able to add on a hour of free skiing with their school teachers. Insurance limitations, as far as we can tell. A teenager who has been skiing most years since they could stand, as some Snowheads children have, might find that a bit frustrating.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sun 23-02-20 21:46
Replies: 36
@SarahMWolf74, Thanks very much for coming back and telling us all about it. You went into this with excellent planning and, most of all, the desire for you and she to have a nice holiday. And that's what you had by the sound of it! So your daughter didn't take to skiing, "tant pis" as they say in France.
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Sun 16-02-20 20:47
Replies: 18
@barba14, you're going to have a great time - you're on your board, what more do you need? I must have spent four or five trips on my own while learning to snowboard and, like many others have said, it works out fine. I always found it slightly less intense when I later started going with groups and needed to keep an eye on where everyone else was headed. I find that I usually push harder and get more tired when I'm riding alone than with others. Most of the time I just enjoyed cruising the big wide pistes (mainly Val Thorens, as it happened) where there was plenty of space that I could get into a rhythym of carving my turns. Repeat a run as many times as you like, or switch to another lift if it has a shorter line, or if you just need a break. I haven't been to either of the three places you are looking at, but I'm sure you'll find good runs in each of them.
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Tue 11-02-20 20:30
Replies: 146
wouldnt things like lights, heating, AC, window demisters, etc. eat into the battery range? Lights not very much at all, but Aircon/heating/demisters/seat heaters do have a noticeable impact on the realistic electric mileage I get from my plug in hybrid. As do cold, wet mornings. @snowdave, has it about right at 10%.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 10-02-20 22:26
Replies: 6
Frontside and backside are snowboarding terms used to describe a spin, depending on which way you turn when you jump. Backcountry is a N American term for terrain not served by a lift - I think it came from literally going the other side of a ridge from the main skiing bowl. In N American resorts it might also mean area outside the patrolled resort area, which is more of a formal concept in N America than in European resorts. I've never find myself actually needing to use these terms, unless I want to sound like a total bellend.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Mon 10-02-20 16:31
Replies: 146
A friend in the motor trade reckons battery driven cars have too many drawbacks. He thinks fuel cells are the future. So does a friend of mine who worked at Johnson Matthey, who mine/refine various elements for use in catalysis. From his & their point of view, the problem is ideally to be solved by a fine metallic catalyst... much as they provided fine metallic catalysts to remove exhaust gasses. While the industry goes through such a fundamental change, it is quite normal to see the solution in terms of what exists today. FWIW, I think that the 'solution' for the majority of urban/suburban transport will be shared and available on demand, leaving the long journeys to the Alpes as the exception. For those taking shared, short journeys of the sort that @ozboy mentioned, it may turn out that Uber is a better solution than buying a car of any sort. Looking at my own teenagers, I'm wondering why I need the expense of their learning to drive. Then I remember that we live in the countryside and that taxis and public transport are thin on the ground! Of course, there are many people who's daily work today involves many long journeys that are long, irregular, not amenable to the kind of solution that favours those whose journeys tend to be <10 miles each way. But I reckon the majority of journeys will be amenable to some form of transport on demand, with the longer journey requirements satisfied by a rental. We aren't there yet, though. For today, it feels like @ozboy would be able to make it to the Alpes with a bit of creative planning, but an electric car isn't suited to the standard full-on charge down the autoroute that many of us do today.
And post your own questions...
Mon 10-02-20 12:41
Replies: 146
@Ozboy, then you're one of the edge cases where it works, lucky for you. On a longer journey, you'll be paying 5-10% more in fuel, but if you've shelled out >£50K for the car then I suspect that won't be a consideration. Not sure that @ozboy is such an unusual case for urban driving. For myself, a hybrid works well for a family runabout in a rural area. I commute ~13 miles to work in my Golf hybrid, and then lots of local journeys as parent taxi at the weekend. All mainly hilly country lanes. I do almost all of my miles on electricity, with petrol for the occasional trip further afield. I probably get through about 30l of petrol in an average month, whereas before I was getting through about 30l of diesel a week in my previous Golf. On long motorway runs at 80mph I get ~50mpg. Not stellar performance compared to a diesel. The main benefit on longer runs is the auto coasting when the engine isn't needed, and the boost that electric can give the engine when you need to do an overtake.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Sat 8-02-20 12:52
Replies: 82
There's always a line running through my head, a mixture of self-instruction and musical earworms Relax... No, really, relax... Whoa... on the brakes... give that school snake a wide pass... Count heads in the group... all OK Relax... breathe... Breathe for pressure, don't say I don't test ya... psychosomatic out of control, dive, dive, dive, inhale, exhale... Relax... Work my legs... no, *work* my legs... Wow, it's a beautiful day! Count heads again Where *IS* she?!? oh there she is... Fly away on my zephyr... And so on
And they're a friendly bunch.
Mon 3-02-20 8:51
Replies: 30
You might try cycling bib tights. These come in a range of thickness, and you should be able to find a pair *without* a chammy pad as I'd expect a pad to be seriously uncomfortable when skiing. Something like this, maybe? https://www.wiggle.co.uk/endura-fs260-pro-thermo-bib-tights-no-pad/
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