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Early season, cheap, big ski recommendations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We're going the week before Christmas.

Went to Pila at the same time last year, so clearly we're in need of guidance!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've done Val d'Isere and Courchevel during that week on several occasions and have always been pleased by the amount of skiing available. For many of the tour operators this is the first week of the season and prices can be low to tempt people to fill at least some of the under-occupancy that I've always seen. Lowest price I paid was in a budget chalet in Val with Ski World - £199 for half board, including flights and transfer.

If you are travelling as a single don't pay a single supplement but book with a TO who offers same-sex sharing. I've done this a few times and invariably ended up with a room to myself because there are so few people who book that week.
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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?
moot_point, Tignes. Biggest glacier - most ski potential. Week before Christmas usually good value. Get used to aggressive tactics on the skibus tho' Twisted Evil
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moot_point, pre-Christmas I've had one week in Cervinia, and 6 or 7 weeks in Tignes or Val d'Isere over the years - it's nice to get away from all the fog, drizzle and Christmas shopping back home! The conditions obviously vary a lot, from glacier-plus-artificial-runs-to-resort if you're unlucky, to full-area-open if you're lucky. Any resort with a summer-skiing glacier will be a good bet but don't write off places like St Anton, Lech, Ischgl, BadGastein as well...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Val Thorens - been there first and second weeks of Dec and being a paranoid snow report checker - it has always been amongst the best. This year for the first time we are going a bit later - the week before Christmas like you - and hopefully the 3 valleys links should then be open.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
ski wrote:
moot_point, Tignes. Biggest glacier - most ski potential. Week before Christmas usually good value. Get used to aggressive tactics on the skibus tho' Twisted Evil


Yep, Tignes is top of the list at the moment. We're considering staying at les brevieres; reckon it will be more relaxed with the same terrain on offer.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
moot_point, check out the other forum where you posted first. Some replies there. Make sure you realise how far it is from Le Breviere to the slopes with guaranteed ski-ing. Le Breviere is (or was) nice, but is a long way down the hill and quite low I think.

ski, I'm not at all sure that tignes is the biggest glacier. It may be the longest (in France) - we are the widest, and used to also claim to be the biggest, but not any longer Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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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!
Longest glacier in Europe is I think still the Aletsch Glacier at over 20km sadly it has no regular ski runs down it, in the old days you got the first train up to Jungfraujoch in the morning and usually arrived back to Wengen on the last train at night, now with the aid of a helicopter things are a lot faster
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
D G Orf, I always thought the largest glacier in Europe was the Jotun-something-or-other in Norway (or at least that's what the local tourist guides said), above the Sognefjord. Anyone know if there's any skiing around there? I did see a reference once to a holiday company doing schooner trips along the Norwegian coast with ski-tours each day up into the mountains from different inlets. Definitely one on the to-do list.

I'm probably looking for somewhere to go in the week or two before Xmas too (have holiday I need to use up). Tignes looks a very probable - not least because a SCGB rep is there from beginning Dec, so at least I'll have someone to ski with.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
GrahamN wrote:
D G Orf, I always thought the largest glacier in Europe was the Jotun-something-or-other in Norway (or at least that's what the local tourist guides said), above the Sognefjord. Anyone know if there's any skiing around there? I did see a reference once to a holiday company doing schooner trips along the Norwegian coast with ski-tours each day up into the mountains from different inlets. Definitely one on the to-do list.


I love the idea of skiing in some of the more obscure places. I bet there are loads of unchartered areas in Norway.

But for the moment I am the skint student and will ski anywhere that's cheap...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
GrahamN, You may be right, the Aletsch is definately the largest glacier in the Alps, it covers approximately 120 square kilometers with a depth of up to 900 M in places (so don't go falling into any crevasses)

On Checking NASA seems to think the Aletsch is the largest glacier in Europe, however I suspect that the Norweigan Glacier is not entirely a Glacier but may also include a large area of Snowfield, I understand that Norway has the Largest snowfield in Europe, I'm sure we had something here not long ago about the difference between a Glacier and a Snowfield
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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.
D G Orf, I wondered whether that may be the issue. This page gives the size of the Jostedal glacier (in Jotunheim) as 480 sq km, and an approximate length of 60km, thickness up to 600m. It may still be that it's classed as an icesheet though. There are also references to it being skied as a 3 day tour.

As for a pre-Xmas holiday, I've just seen SCGB has instruction weeks in St Anton, Val d'Isere and Tignes 10-17 dec (which is actually the week I want to go). Val d'Isere looks most likely as the Tignes course is below my standard and the St Anton one is geared primarily at the those even nearer thir dotage than me. Any experiences of snow cover in Val Despair that week?

moot_point, they (the SCGB) also have an under-20s week in Plagne the week you're after - cheap for them at £445, but maybe not cheap enough for you (and it'd probably be full of 15 year olds)?
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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
moot_point yeah I think it's Tignes, Tignes, Tignes, Tignes, or Tignes.

Or maybe in a pinch, Tignes.

While rob@rar.org.uk says he spent a week in Courchevel pre-xmas and found it ok, I spent a week in Courchevel pre-xmas a few years back and there was only 1 run open. For the whole week. During which TOs relocated their Courchevel guests to Tignes. Val Thorens was open, but everyone was saying that Tignes was better.

Pre-xmas Tignes is the only truely reliable snow-sure resort this side of the Alps that's easy to get to.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Manda wrote:
moot_point yeah I think it's Tignes, Tignes, Tignes, Tignes, or Tignes.

Or maybe in a pinch, Tignes.

While rob@rar.org.uk says he spent a week in Courchevel pre-xmas and found it ok, I spent a week in Courchevel pre-xmas a few years back and there was only 1 run open. For the whole week. During which TOs relocated their Courchevel guests to Tignes. Val Thorens was open, but everyone was saying that Tignes was better.

Pre-xmas Tignes is the only truely reliable snow-sure resort this side of the Alps that's easy to get to.



Tignes it is. Booking my flight next week. It's what student loans were made for.
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