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Driving to resort every day ?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are looking at Champoluc this year and the self catering chalets in our budget are all roughly a 10 minute drive away. There is a ski bus but that seems to run twice an hour and can be stressful in ensuring all members of family are ready in time. A

Is it easy to drive every morning to Champoluc and easy and free to park. Are the roads cleared ( of snow) is there a morning rush hour !! Is there enough parking? How far is parking from lifts? I imagine it’s easier to hire a locker at the lifts - cost ?? If you want to go out in evening I guess you drive again.


We have 2 kids, 13 and 10 - so old enough to cope with logistics but still young enough to moan !!

Any experience gratefully received.

Thanks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Hils68, it's normal life here. Stay somewhere central, drive to a different ski area each day. Lift base stations have ample parking.

In fairness, I have never been to Champoluc but I have been to Courmayeur, Cervinia and La Thuile where there's plenty of parking at base stations for day trippers. You don't need to limit yourself to one ski area, just make sure you have a hire car that's big enough for the people and kit. A ski rack might be an idea.
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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?
Just get the bus. If the kids moan then just tell them they can stay at home next year if they want.
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We stayed around 3 miles outside Madonna this season just gone and drove up every day. Car parking was 3e.50c per day right on the lift and it also gave us the option to drive down to Pinzolo to ski that area without having the restricted last lift imposed on us.

Just make sure you leave your shoes in the cab if you have a pick up like me rolling eyes

It also means a post ski beer is more comfortable as you don't need to sit in your boots.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Switch to a cheap ski-in-ski-out resort, like Les Menuires or Flaine.

Much easier than messing about with cars and buses every day.
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These days we prefer staying in the valley away from all the hurly burly. We’re currently in Termignon and today drove to La Norma - about 20 minutes each way. It’s a great way of exploring smaller resorts that are nearby.

You need to be comfortable driving in the mountains and be organised enough to make sure you take everything you need.

I’d recommend it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Drive, ten minutes is nothing. Do not get a ski bus if you have a hire car.

Assuming your hotel has secured car parking, leave skis in car.


Only time to use ski bus, is when heavy snow imminent
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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've often driven in North America. My tip is to hire the biggest 4x4 you can afford. That way you can keep skis, boots, backpacks, helmets and a spare kitchen sink in the back of the car, and mornings will be supremely comfortable and stress-free for the whole family.

There is nothing worse than turning up in resort and finding that little Billy has left his helmet in the hotel. Trust me...I've been there!
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Theres a lot to be said for ski in and out or at least staying near the lifts.
Mrs fancies a nap because of her headache but your feeling on it, Kids spill hot chocolate all down themselves, car breaks down, youve forgot you inhalor/google/gloves/sun glasses/wallet etc etc etc
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dublin2 wrote:


Assuming your hotel has secured car parking, leave skis in car.




But don't leave your boots in the car. I learned that lesson the hard way in Peyragudes and started the day by putting on a deep frozen pair of boots. Embarassed
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
10 mins on a bus at that age should be doable. I find that loading into and out of the car, while it seems easier is more hassle as putting on boots etc in acar park can be a hassle and the kids tend to lean on the car and get filthy or get in the way of other cars.
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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.
@Hils68 We've stayed a good few times in Champoluc, and also at St Jaques, as well as Antagnod. We generally drive to the lifts each morning, and parking is rarely a problem except for popular sunny weekends, when the car parks can get a bit busy.
You have choice between the main Crest gondola lift station, with a large free carpark about 3 minutes walk, or the Frachey funicular station a mile or so up the valley. That also has a free car park directly in front of the lift, but is popular and can fill up if you're starting later on a fine day, and at weekends. Which one you choose is really a matter of preference for lift type, and maybe where you want to finish your day. The Crest lifts have bars at the bottom, if apres is your thing, and the Frachey funicular not so much. Both areas link easily on skis, just don't go back to the wrong one at the end of the day if you foget where you parked that morning. The buses are there, but have always seemed a little sporadic to us.
To the best of my knowledge, there are storage facilities at Crest, but can't say I've seen any at Frachey. That said, we tend to keep the skis overnight in the truck (one of the many joys of a Mitsubishi L200!) and dry the boots in the apartment. Seriously, as @sequoiaborg says, frozen boots not a good way to start the day.
TBH, even if we have parked in Frachey, we'll often head to the village carpark after skiing to use the shops, get an ice cream etc. Yes we do often drive back to Champoluc in the eveings for Pizza (Churen; enormous range, good value), or posh nosh (Il Balivo; very nice, fine dining type, not so cheap), but as one of us is teetotal, that's never been a problem either. Having said that, there are some nice places to eat in Antagnod, and if you're looking at St Jacques, there is (the infamous) La Grange, so there are places you can walk to without taking the wheels out.
As regards snow and road closure, we've never encountered a problem, as snow ploughs seem a regular feature when its dumping down. On occasion we have found the Monterosa lifts closed due to high winds, so have driven to La Thuile or Pila for the day for change, and I guess Cervinia is also an obvious alternative. Overall, I'd say Champoluc is a good place to drive to lifts as you have a choice of base, free parking, and reasonably quiet roads outside of weekends. As a guide, we drive from near Liverpool, and reckon on about 10-11 hours from Calais via Mont Blanc. It's a lovely resort, not lively from an apres point of view, but great for a relaxing ski-eat-chillout sort of holiday. Have a great time!
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