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Good Enough for La Grave?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there

We're thinking about heading to Les Deux Alpes towards the end of January, with a mixed ability group. The main reason for choosing LDA is that a few of us are hoping to hire a guide and go over the top to La Grave (Hopefully, if there's good snow!). I've been reading the posts on SH and I'm wondering if we might be biting off a bit more than we can chew? Some posts say it's only for the gnarliest mountain men with the biggest beards and the fattest skis, whilst others suggest that a competent skier could handle it. I'm definitely more in the latter camp! I can get down any black piste, in any conditions (I think!), although without any style and I most certainly am not fluid in moguls. Off piste, I'm still a newbie a - couple of days with a guide, but that's it. The plan is to spend a week doing an off piste course somewhere, before going over to LDA and joining our friends. If La Grave would be too challenging, then we might choose a different resort to LDA, as the main appeal is the off piste in La Grave.

What do you think? Also, can anyone recommend any large apartments (10-20 people) in LDA.

Thank you

PJ
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've done it, so no, you don't have to be a skiing god.

Be aware that the link usually doesn't open until the end of January/beginning of February (depending on snow conditions). Though you can always drive round and start from La Grave rather than 2Alpes.
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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?
More macho bs is talked about La Grave than almost anywhere else. The skiing, though, is exceptional but varies from the comparatively easy through to the terrifying.

The main routes vary between red run and black run gradient. Neither is especially hard but there are the full range of mountain hazards present. It is hard to really stuff things up unless you stray off one of the main routes, in which case you may find yourself in very deep water indeed. Obviously don't go following tracks but a decent skier with a bit of avi awareness, a guidebook and the 1:25 map would probably survive the experience.

Either the guide bureau in LDA or La Grave itself will be able to help you out. Quentin Delavignette over in ADH is also very good.

I would also suggest you get an instructor in LDA to run you down Chalance and some of the other off piste routes in LDA. Toura down to St Christophe is nice and not overly challenging either. Same goes for St Christophe via the col de la Lauze.
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Just be aware you don't have any pistes for respite, there is no official ski patrol, reaching P1 may be a a very bumpy traverse and if it's your first day you'll be highly recommended to take a guide or instructor and pay attention.

It really isn't that tough if you follow the main routes but a couple of days skiing offpiste and not good in moguls makes it sound like you might be better waiting til you'll get more out of it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
eversolazy wrote:
If La Grave would be too challenging, then we might choose a different resort to LDA, as the main appeal is the off piste in La Grave.

eversolazy, if the weather isn't playing nice there's plenty of decent away from the piste skiing within L2A's lift network too. Regarding La Grave, L2A's 'European Ski & Snowboard School' do guided days & they assess prospective skiers to check they're good to go using the slopes of L2A beforehand. You don't need to be able to abseil or jump turn your way down 50 degree slopes to negotiate Vallons & Chancel but just feel comfortable and confident in variable snow, narrow, bumpy, woodland traverses and short, mogulled gullys.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 12-06-11 22:17; edited 1 time in total
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You'll need to Register first of course.
eversolazy, I've done it too. Get in touch with Easkiski who is an instructor in LDA, you can probably book some lessons, and if you are good enough she will take you there. Vallons, which you can ski with an instructor, is adequate for your first trip there.

. fatbob, agreed on the very bumpy traverse to P1. Shocked . You do need to like big moguls (I don't).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hells Bells, I actually began to enjoy those this year... am I a bad person rolling eyes
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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!
Scarpa wrote:
am I a bad person rolling eyes


If I were you, I wouldn't start a poll! Laughing
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
maggi, Laughing
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
maggi, Laughing Laughing
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
eversolazy, one of my favourite topics, surprising to see so many sensible answers! As gorilla says
Quote:

More macho bs is talked about La Grave than almost anywhere else. The skiing, though, is exceptional but varies from the comparatively easy through to the terrifying.




The skiing itself on the trade routes is not very technical at all varying between red (Chancel) and Black (Vallons) in difficulty. If you can ski Sapins in Deux Alpes then technically you will be fine. Even the lake couloirs aren't that steep, Banane for example is only about 30 degrees despite the plethora of impressive photos. That said the routes are fairly long so you need some level of fitness as there isn't anywhere to stop and the bottom will invariably be a traverse across massive, oddly shaped, moguls with rocks and tree roots thrown in for good measure. The other thing is the fact the terrain is all off piste and as such uncontrolled. Although the guides and lifties will have a look at it first thing and ski cut dodgy looking parts you shouldn't be taking this or the number of other skiers as any guarantee of safety. This means being able to cope with things that could go wrong: avi awareness & rescue, first aid, and being able to choose a safe line e.g.not hanging around under the seracs.

As far as route finding goes if it hasn't snowed for a while and you have a good idea where the lines go then if you have the above experience you should be OK. You don't need glacier gear as you can get down the pisted track on the glacier.


In your case I would imagine you'd be fine with a guide or a 2Alpes instructor: as you can avoid the glacier off piste instructors are fine to take people over from L2A. This guy (an occasional snowhead) always looks like he's having fun: http://www.lungostyle.com/EN/Home.html
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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.
NB: Sapins is now calle Oeufs Blancs, if you're wondering why you can't find it on the piste map;
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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
Here's trip report I did a few months ago, from the perspective of a non expert/non gnarly skier.

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=75308
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
This was our group when we spent a day there a couple of years ago. Quite a few children (12 - 17 at the time), all decent skiers, along with a few parents. Easiski led us down. My daughter is in beige at the front, I was behind the camera. It was a great day, every Easter when I visit I'm hoping it can be repeated, it hasn't yet.

La Grave, La Meije
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks everybody, that's put my mind at rest. Sounds like there's some good skiing in LDA and maybe a trip over La Grave too. I like the look of the guides too. Great!
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