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Recommendation: Last minute trip to the Alps

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello,

I am looking for recommendations on what resort to go to for the week of March 17. This came up last minute and have never skied in Europe so I am somewhat overwhelmed with all the different options. I am comfortable skiing all blacks at resorts like Whistler and Revelstoke and a good portion of the double blacks. Powder, tree skiing, and open steeps are not a problem. When it gets very narrow and steep is when it gets very uncomfortable for me.

What I'm looking for in order of importance:
- Somewhere where the snow has been good recently
- Variety of runs without having to venture in the back country. I may hire a guide for a day or two but I would not go on my own.
- Good food and apres-ski. Not looking for three star dining but just good local options that I can walk to in the village or stop slope side. I will be traveling solo so I am not looking for very active nightlife, just somewhere to have a few local beers or wine in the evening.
- Budget lodging options (<150 euro/night) to be able to stay in the resort close enough to walk to lifts and restaurants. Would like a village with some local charm.

Getting to the following airports work for my schedule and budget:
Geneva, Zurich, Innsbruck, Basel, and Salzburg

I was considering Chamonix and staying in the Argentiere area. Zermatt was also on my list but the snow seems better in Chamonix this week.

Any other resorts that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance,
Dan


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 8-03-18 20:22; edited 4 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I write as someone who skis mostly in France. Austria enthusiasts will be along shortly I expect.
Village charm generally means a resort lower than 1600m, which can mean more afternoon mush. However, what you want is access to the higher altitude skiing.

It will be easy to fly to Geneva. From there there is an almost bottomless list of resorts to head to.
If you need transport, and don’t want to hire a car, then you head into Switzerland by train to Zermatt or Verbier. Zermatt is a shade under 4 hours by train from Geneva.

Zermatt is not exactly blessed with budget accommodation options, and eating out is similarly pricy. It’s an iconic resort and has to be visited at least once. They have had epic snow this season (as have all the Alps in general). Can’t speak for the snow “this week”, but I think most places have had a top up.

Chamonix...is somewhere people love or pass on. The ski areas are rather disjointed for recreational level skiers, and it’s perhaps more attractive to big mountain ski mountaineer types. However, a day skiing the Vallee Blanche (with a guide) would put it up there. Quite a thing to do for your first trip to Europe. It would blow your mind. Easier to get to with plenty of transfer services operating out of Geneva airport.

If things are warming up, you may want to head up high. Staying somewhere in the Trois Vallées would give you the full on humungous ski area experience. We are big fans, so I may be accused of bias. For village charm, St Martin de Belleville ticks the box, and you still get great access to 600km of piste and the higher but less charming resorts like Val Thorens, which will have the best snow.
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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?
If you’re looking for budget I would avoid Switzerland and France.
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Thanks for the info Perty.

I realize that budget is relative. I'm good with 100 to 150 euro per night for lodging. As long as it is in a good location and the room is clean. Something very basic will do, no need for a luxury hotel.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@matrixed82, do you already have your entry to Europe airport settled or is that completely wide open also? if it is settled, add that info, and folks can help limit it for you.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
edit: duplicate


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 8-03-18 19:12; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
edit: duplicate


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 8-03-18 19:12; edited 1 time in total
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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!
I will be in Amsterdam for work and leaving on my ski trip from there. I have not yet booked my flights to the ski destination.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
then my advice is to see where you can get an inexpensive nonstop flight to from Amsterdam that fits your work schedule and other constraints with Geneva, Zurich, Innsbruck, Turin, Basel, Lyon and Salzburg as your primary options. Odds are a few of those locations will not work from a price or schedule standpoint, leaving one or more that do. Then update this thread with your most likely destination city or cities and ask for further recommendations. Conditions are adequate or better everywhere in the Alps this year, and you will be going outside of the really busy periods, so I would narrow it down logistically before trying to figure out the ski destination.

Regarding budget, in general, Italy and Austria are less expensive than France and much less expensive than Switzerland.
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@matrixed82, IMHO See if you can get to Innsbruck then head for St Anton or Ischgl, both huge Austrian resorts, good snow records and with a variety of hotel accom available.

Both these places have huge well connected ski areas with modern lifts and ski itineraries.

In Ischgl we stayed at the Hotel Nevada last April for € 84,00 per person / per day inc breakfast http://www.nevada.at/

Chamonix is a lovely village and on lots of peoples bucket lists, but you'll have to get a ski bus to the slopes each morning, whereas St Anton and Ischgl you should just have a short walk to the lifts.
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We have last minute central apartments available next week in Les Gets, which is a lovely village and meets all your criteria, good restaurants, everywhere within walking distance, access to loads of pistes locally and the Portes du Soleil, loads of snow with another 50cm due before Saturday. Feel free to send me a message on info @ agence-lacentrale.com if you'd like me to send you options (obviously take the spaces out first....)
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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.
Val d'Isere.
Zermatt.
Lech.
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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
Stay Le Chable, ski Verbier ticks your boxes. Nowhere better for marked itineraries (see the Etygeon video in the link below for an example). Snow conditions not too shabby 😉 http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132925&start=200
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@BobinCH, Arlberg is better for marked itineraries. Dozens of L'Eteygons, without having to get into a bus afterwards...) No snow in Le Chable I noticed....160 cm in Lech-village...
@matrixed82, choose Lech. Excellent conditions (just returned yesterday). Very good connection both Amsterdam and Rotterdam (excellent quiet airport alternative to Amsterdam) to Innsbruck with Transavia, from there train+taxi (1,30 hour transfer)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Langerzug wrote:
@BobinCH, Arlberg is better for marked itineraries. Dozens of L'Eteygons, without having to get into a bus afterwards...) No snow in Le Chable I noticed....160 cm in Lech-village...
@matrixed82, choose Lech or St.Anton. Excellent conditions (just returned yesterday). Very good connection both Amsterdam and Rotterdam (excellent quiet airport alternative to Amsterdam) to Innsbruck with Transavia, from there train or taxi (1 hour transfer)


I’m not sure if you bothered reading the OP criteria? Lech is one of the most expensive towns in the Alps, lovely though it is. Verbier has record snow levels this year. Arlberg’s highest mountain, Valluga is 2800m, needs a guide to ride the crappy lift and is frankly underwhelming. There is nothing to touch Mont Fort, Mont Gele, Tortin etc I had a good trip to Arlberg but i’m sorry it is no match to Verbier for a good skier
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BobinCH, Lech is definitely possible for 150 euro. And yes, much prettier than Bankers-Verbier. And food and skipas probably better than Bankers-Switzerland...
I know both 4V and Arlberg very well. Arlberg has so much more than 4V.
Valluga, Schindlerkar, Mattun, Schöngraben, Bachseite, HinterRendl, Langerzug, Tannegg, Ochsenboden, Zürsertäli, Kriegerhorn, Stuben, Warth
Pistes, routes, snow, hotel/acco quality, atmosphere, food-both on piste and in the village. All better.
Referring to Mont Fort being higher than Valluga is a bit childish. Mont Fort skiing is underwhelming (apart from the backside.. Toofy Grin
Oh, and crappy lifts....not mentioning the Veysonnaz side are we.....Also part of the so called 400 km pistes of 4V (notorious fake mileage...)
Verbier definitely is nice. But in same league with St.Anton. But Nendaz/Veysonnaz cannot keep up with Lech-Zürs-Stuben-Warth....No way near
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Langerzug, you can change the subject to the Veysonnaz drag lifts if you want to avoid the comparison with your signature lift. A bit like your comparison of Lech to Le Chable. And you clearly don’t know Verbier very well if you think Mont Fort is just about the backside, although you are right that the 1600m descent (that you think childish) pisses over anything in the Arlberg. And you ignored Mont Gele and Tortin, lift served 1000m descents and gave me Schindlerkar and Mattun in response 🤣. I’ll let the facts do the talking 😉

Enough of the pissing contest. They’re both great resorts. (Verbier just better 🤣)
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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?
@BobinCH, You clearly missed something...
Schindlerkar and Mattun have 1300 m each,
Valluga-Stuben another 1200 m.
Hinterrendl 1300
Langerzug, Tannegg, Stierloch > Lech 1000 m each.
Albona >Stuben 1000 m

(my main point actually is: Zermatt has 2200 m. But all mediocre....)

You started crappy lifts...

4V=Verbier (rest can be ignored)
Arlberg=St.Anton-Zürs-Stuben-Lech-Warth


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 12-03-18 19:45; edited 1 time in total
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Verbier and its associated satellites, of course.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Langerzug wrote:
@BobinCH, You clearly missed something...
Schindlerkar and Mattun have 1300 m each,
Valluga-Stuben another 1200 m.
Hinterrendl 1300
Langerzug, Tannegg, Stierloch > Lech 1000 m each.
Albona >Stuben 1000 m

(my main point actually is: Zermatt has 2200 m. But all mediocre....)

You started crappy lifts...

4V=Verbier (rest can be ignored)
Arlberg=St.Anton-Zürs-Stuben-Lech-Warth


We started on itineraries and now you have moved to piste descents elevations. The Valluga itineraries go to Zürs not Stuben. I can’t be bothered with your pivoting. You started this by saying Arlberg has plenty of Etygeons, that would be a lift served itinerary (NO PISTES - got it?) of 1200m descent. In fact the Arlberg has none. And if you ever go to Zermatt ski the Schwarztor. Descending from 3850m in amazing glaciated terrain under the Monte Rosa massif with the Matterhorn in the distance. Mediocre? I don’t think so.
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@BobinCH, @Langerzug,

Do you each enjoy your job for the respective tourist office? Puzzled Toofy Grin
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Fly to Geneva and take the train to Verbier
or
Fly to Zurich and take the train to StAnton (or there may be a bus)
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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!
Bergmeister wrote:
@BobinCH, @Langerzug,

Do you each enjoy your job for the respective tourist office? Puzzled Toofy Grin


Sharing the love 😉 I like Zermatt too

He clearly works for the Daily Mail with the garbage he’s spouting 🤣


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Mon 12-03-18 20:29; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You clearly have forgotten the bus at the end of Eteygon? (A bus, seriously?)
And really, Eteygon is not that interesting. Oh, and apart from the bus; talking about crappy lifts...
Even the common Madloch-Lech really is nicer than Eteygon. Truly thought it rather mediocre, compared to the 'fame'

Ok, concentrating on itineraries:
Langerzug and Tannegg in Lech have 1000 meter, and lift-lift served.
Stierloch-Lech? Another 1000 meter, lift-lift
Hinterrendl-St.Anton, 1000 meter, lift lift
Schöngraben-St.Anton, 1000 meter lift lift

But again; it is not just about vertical. Arlberg has so much more, often very close to the main area
Oh, and shall we talk (fresh) snow....Not so much of it in Valais is there...
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Langerzug wrote:

Oh, and shall we talk (fresh) snow....Not so much of it in Valais is there...


Are you Donald Trump in disguise?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
You are saying the hard-icy pistes throughout the season, because of the Inneralpine location of the Valais, and hence limited snowfall, is fake news?
(This years unique season probably is the exception to the rule)
Pistes in Lech are pleasantly powdery from Christmas to Easter...with regular refreshment. Every season.
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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.
@Langerzug, oh bug you’ve got me....
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132925&start=200

And just to show that I also rather liked the Arlberg. (Apart from the crappy Valluga setup)... http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132925&start=200
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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
@matrixed82,
good suggestions above but don’t think any mention of Italy yet.
Flight to Venice Marco Polo airport. Cheap comfortable shuttle up to Arabba.

Enjoy all that the Dolomites has to offer. Attractive towns & villages. Well over 1000kms of trails on and around the Sella Ronda. Stunning scenery. Wonderful food. Excellent lift system. Reasonable prices. Snow very good and forecast to get better by 17 March.

I could recommend lodging but Arabba tourist office is excellent and would sort it all for you.
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