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Favourites for off-piste boarding (France/Europe)?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Snowboarders - what are your favourites? Our small group wants to explore a new spot, most probably in France, but experiences from elsewhere in Europe are welcome too.

To give some parameters, we tend to enjoy a couple of hours' hard hiking into a back valley to hunt for powder. We do carry transceivers, rescue gear, maps, but we're lazy and effete enough that getting back by public transport is very welcome, and frankly, we'd prefer one big climb and lots of downhill as opposed to a ski-skinners paradise. Crampons and ropes are not so much our thing, so we'll have to skip the _really_ interesting couloirs...

And one goal is a totally new experience, so we'd try to avoid ones we've enjoyed (or not) before:
Chamonix - superb, worth many visits
La Clusaz - bad luck with snow, can't say
Les Trois Vallees - didn't find the back slopes from the crowds =)
(Engelberg, Verbier, Zermatt, St Anton, Damüls -- superb, but out of the area now)

So what would be the one place you find yourself pining for?

Cheers,
//ata
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Do you hire a guide or want to do things on your own?
I probably don't have to mention La Grave - but I wouldn't ski there without a guide.
Alagna/Gressoney might be the one (or is this outside your area?) See this recent thread: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2138292&highlight=gressoney#2138292
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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?
Either, or maybe both.
La Grave sounds very interesting based on forum stories, but from the same and from acquaintances who have been there I get the impression that it might be nicer for skiers - a bit more midway flats to cope with and so on - and that romping around requires those ropes. Maybe that's not a problem with the guides, keeping our minds open on La Grave.

Checking out the Gressoney area. Rooms seem a lot more reasonable than some of the northern areas. All that could be put toward guide expenses...
I wonder what to expect of the snow this year.

Thanks!
//ata
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
La Grave is very tough for us boarders, unless the snow is brilliant and then you've got to go.

Other choice could be Saint Foy in France. It's brilliant there - not too much piste and lift coverage (30km maybe) but extensive and legendary back county stuff.

Other BIG bonus is Tignes being 20 minutes away and Les Arc access 10 minutes. Epic place.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ste Foy is good but not as extensive in its possibilities as the other two (especially if the front is skied out). However, it makes a good base to explore the Tarrentaise (Val d'Isere/ Tignes just up the valley and Les Arcs/ La Plagne just down the road (actually, just across the valley to Villaroger, the back door into Les Arcs).
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

Checking out the Gressoney area.


I have spent a season i Gressoney, and can recommend the Monterosa ski area. Huge areas and possibilities for offpiste, and not very crowded. But one problem can be that many of the runs ends with a long and flat return to the skiarea (I snowboard myself). I didn't find that a very big problem, but then I knew the runs and had some skiers in the group that made a track the last part. Also don't expect any afterski or nightlife...

There is a very good guide book that has descriptions on more or less every offpiste run you can do in the area, Polvere Rosa.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
atamar wrote:
- a bit more midway flats to cope with and so on - and that romping around requires those ropes. Maybe that's not a problem with the guides, keeping our minds open on La Grave.

Not flats but certainly an awkward, long traverse. Only a small number of ways down need ropes, and anyway, that isn't a problem if you have a guide.

Actually some rather good off piste at Montgenevre but if you go, don't go the direct way from Montgenevre to Clavier because half of it is a long, very flat flat.
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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!
Not sure how it is for boarders but surely you have to look at Gressoney / Alagna. Loads of o/p there, in fact quite a good thread here somewhere recently on this with a great link to a map.

Edit - here's the thread http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2136607&highlight=gressoney#2136607

Excellent schematic half way down and the book mentioned I'd highly recommend - I'll try and dig it out and see what it says about boarding if I remember when I get home
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