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Best weather month for Val Thorens

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello my fellow snowhead friends!

I'm planning a ski trip with my my wife to Val Thorens and would like some tips from experienced skiers here.
I would like to go on early season this year, it starts on November 17th... I thought something between November 17th and December 15th, will stay there for 5 or 7 days.

I don't mind the cold at all, but any way to know when is gonna be more sunny ? Is there any way to check the sunny days on the past 3 years from that area ?
Also, do you guys think it's a good resort for beginner skiers ? I can handle red and some black slopes, but my wife is really beginner and stays in green and blues for now. Also we would like some nice restaurants and spas, is that a good place for that ?
I plan to go driving from south Netherlands.

Cheers! Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Big ask. Anytime at that time of year is a candidate for getting "weather" and Val T can be pretty grim in the wind, cloud, rain, hail or snow without the consolation of trees etc
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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?
Yes, it will be snowing during the nighttime and bluebird with dry powder during the day.
Who can claim they could predict weather in mountains? Only Noza could do it but his personal predictions are very pricey- check with him
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@AndreSilva, Climate-data.org shows 88mm of precipitation on average in November in Bourg Saint Maurice but only 77mm for December so maybe there is a greater chance of sun in December, but I wouldn’t book a holiday based on that difference. More to the point, December has had an extra month for it snow and the snow cannons to be running compared to November and you would ordinarily expect many more pistes to be open in any given year in December than in November. Both months are pretty poor though compared to, say, March when you would have a better chance of sunshine and a much better chance of good snow. Val Thorens is fine for beginners, quite a few nice long blue runs.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
+1. It's high and treeless. Cold and windy. You'll have blue pistes around you but no one can know how the weather will be in your specific week. Perhaps 2 weeks ahead. Choose your week to go and decide where to in the last moment, it's not like you'll be in high season.
FWIW, Solden from mid november might be your answer. You have easy blue pistes at the glacier's height. Morning free bus from the village/drive from your hotel and free park up by the glacier. Good food at normal prices. Amazing spa nearby.
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It's not a resort I would ever choose to visit except at the extremities of the season. Too much chance of half the resort (or more) being shut owing to wind.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you want sun, go in March or even April. No guarantees of course, but the likelihood increases. A high treeless ski area would also not be my recommendation for a beginner.
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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!
rambotion wrote:
@AndreSilva, Climate-data.org shows 88mm of precipitation on average in November in Bourg Saint Maurice but only 77mm for December so maybe there is a greater chance of sun in December, but I wouldn’t book a holiday based on that difference. More to the point, December has had an extra month for it snow and the snow cannons to be running compared to November and you would ordinarily expect many more pistes to be open in any given year in December than in November. Both months are pretty poor though compared to, say, March when you would have a better chance of sunshine and a much better chance of good snow. Val Thorens is fine for beginners, quite a few nice long blue runs.


Hi @rambotion !
Yeah, I get you, the closer to mid winter you get better snow conditions... would you recommend any other place for December ?


drporat wrote:
+1. It's high and treeless. Cold and windy. You'll have blue pistes around you but no one can know how the weather will be in your specific week. Perhaps 2 weeks ahead. Choose your week to go and decide where to in the last moment, it's not like you'll be in high season.
FWIW, Solden from mid november might be your answer. You have easy blue pistes at the glacier's height. Morning free bus from the village/drive from your hotel and free park up by the glacier. Good food at normal prices. Amazing spa nearby.


Hey @drporat !
I've been in Solden in April, I really enjoyed! Do you recommend any other place besides Solden ? I thought about there but would like to go to some place new. Smile
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
James the Last wrote:
It's not a resort I would ever choose to visit except at the extremities of the season. Too much chance of half the resort (or more) being shut owing to wind.

Hey @James the Last !
F***ck.... really? Well, I guess that is deal breaker, didn't know it could happen there Sad


queenie pretty please wrote:
If you want sun, go in March or even April. No guarantees of course, but the likelihood increases. A high treeless ski area would also not be my recommendation for a beginner.

Hi @queenie pretty please !
Yeah, I noticed this this year in Solden... but it was way too hot in April, got like 15 degrees and was sweating like crazy.
Why do you say a high treeless ski area is not your my recommendation for a beginner ? I'm a beginner also, not sure what this impacts Skullie
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@AndreSilva, just that if the weather is less than perfect, there is much better visibility and protection from wind amongst the trees. Experienced skiers can deal with low visibility and difficult conditions, but better to make things as easy as possible for beginners.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Solden and Obergurgl are usually perfect for Dec to March. Val Tho and all 3 V should be perfect for March to April.
Beginners in Dec? Choose the latest week possible, check the weather and decide 2 weeks before.
Saalbach Hinterglemm, Ski Amade, Les Arcs 1800 to Vallandry IMHO.
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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.
James the Last wrote:
It's not a resort I would ever choose to visit except at the extremities of the season. Too much chance of half the resort (or more) being shut owing to wind.


Well... we've skied 150 days in Val Thorens over the past 3 seasons (in every month except February) and have had significant lift closures due to wind on only 3 or 4 days. wink
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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
March.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Bergmeister, by contrast. I’ve skied 6 days in VT last season and had significant lift closures on 3 days. That’s the problem, you can easily end up with a ruined trip and there are no trees to head for.

@queenie pretty please, in my case the experienced skier will still bitch and moan like crazy when the visibility is poor Laughing

For a beginnery resort early season I’d be considering Paradiski, probably on the La Plagne side. Or do as suggested above and just make your choice a week or so before your trip based on where conditions are good.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AndreSilva wrote:
Hello my fellow snowhead friends!

I'm planning a ski trip with my my wife to Val Thorens and would like some tips from experienced skiers here.
I would like to go on early season this year, it starts on November 17th... I thought something between November 17th and December 15th, will stay there for 5 or 7 days.

I don't mind the cold at all, but any way to know when is gonna be more sunny ? Is there any way to check the sunny days on the past 3 years from that area ?
Also, do you guys think it's a good resort for beginner skiers ? I can handle red and some black slopes, but my wife is really beginner and stays in green and blues for now. Also we would like some nice restaurants and spas, is that a good place for that ?
I plan to go driving from south Netherlands.

Cheers! Very Happy


If you want to go early season and with a relative beginner I would recommend Obergurgl. We went there first week of December and found lovely conditions - the deal we were on guaranteed you a Solden lift pass if there wasn’t enough snow but there was plenty.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
queenie pretty please wrote:
@AndreSilva, just that if the weather is less than perfect, there is much better visibility and protection from wind amongst the trees. Experienced skiers can deal with low visibility and difficult conditions, but better to make things as easy as possible for beginners.

Yeah... I guess that makes sense.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
drporat wrote:
Solden and Obergurgl are usually perfect for Dec to March. Val Tho and all 3 V should be perfect for March to April.
Beginners in Dec? Choose the latest week possible, check the weather and decide 2 weeks before.
Saalbach Hinterglemm, Ski Amade, Les Arcs 1800 to Vallandry IMHO.

Yeah, maybe Solden again would be nice, I'll check about your other suggestions too, thanks man!!!
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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?
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
For a beginnery resort early season I’d be considering Paradiski, probably on the La Plagne side. Or do as suggested above and just make your choice a week or so before your trip based on where conditions are good.

Just checked their website, seems very nice!!!
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NickyJ wrote:
If you want to go early season and with a relative beginner I would recommend Obergurgl. We went there first week of December and found lovely conditions - the deal we were on guaranteed you a Solden lift pass if there wasn’t enough snow but there was plenty.

I've been to Solden already, so maybe Obergurgl is a nice alternative!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What about Hintertux ??? Skullie
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You'll need to Register first of course.
How about basing yourself in a valley location and then driving to wherever the best conditions happen to be? I don't know that area well, but I'm sure people on the forum could suggest somewhere equidistant from various resorts. Obviously, you'll lose time driving to/from each day, but this avoids being stuck somewhere which is disappointing. Just a thought.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@AndreSilva, you create a bit of confusion in the thread by having a title of "Best weather month for Val Thorens" and saying the season starts on November 17th - which is for Val Thorens but then ask what is a good place for beginners, has spas and nice restaurants.

The only reason to ski between November 17th and December 15th is that you have to (it's the only weeks you can during the season) or you can (because you can ski lots of weeks in the season) or you choose to (because you fancy it) but are fully aware of the limitations of where you can, what will be open. I'm not sure if any of those apply to you?

A good place for beginners would be a smaller ski area, later in the season.

All high mountain areas have the same big plus and minus.... they have an extended season and better snow conditions but are more affected by bad weather. Especially so in the deeper winter months (naturally). You pays your money, takes your choice. We go regularly at Christmas and my preference is to stay in Les Coches with access to a lot of tree lined skiing. La Tania is another option. However, one year when the early season conditions were really poor we stayed in Tignes (booked a few days before). And the weather was great (largely sunny) but the weekend and week after there were lots of very poor weather. When we go later season it's less of a consideration. We stayed in Les Menuires in April for example. The days are longer and poor weather tends to be less intense and shorter spells.
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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!
In short I think you need to figure out what you are really trying to achieve and what your priorities are.
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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.
Layne wrote:
@AndreSilva, you create a bit of confusion in the thread by having a title of "Best weather month for Val Thorens" and saying the season starts on November 17th - which is for Val Thorens but then ask what is a good place for beginners, has spas and nice restaurants.

Hi @Layne !
Yeah, maybe I wasn't clear, the main question was indeed about the weather in the early season in Val Thorens, and I also would like to know if Val Thorens is a nice place for spas and restaurants but didn't want to create a new topic only for that.
Based on the replies here I guess I will not go there in November/December anymore.

Layne wrote:
The only reason to ski between November 17th and December 15th is that you have to (it's the only weeks you can during the season) or you can (because you can ski lots of weeks in the season) or you choose to (because you fancy it) but are fully aware of the limitations of where you can, what will be open. I'm not sure if any of those apply to you?

I'm planning 3 ski trips this season:
1st - November/December - To be defined
2nd - January/February - This is probably be a short one, 3 days in Winterberg or some other place "near"
3rd - March/April - Based on this thread, this one will be Val Thorens
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
AndreSilva wrote:
What about Hintertux ??? Skullie

It is a high, treeless, windy and cold site, exposed to whiteouts with mostly red pistes. Wouldn't go there before March.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@AndreSilva, if you have time/money for 3 trips and no kids go in Jan, March and April. Forget November.
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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.
April
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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
AndreSilva wrote:
Layne wrote:
The only reason to ski between November 17th and December 15th is that you have to (it's the only weeks you can during the season) or you can (because you can ski lots of weeks in the season) or you choose to (because you fancy it) but are fully aware of the limitations of where you can, what will be open. I'm not sure if any of those apply to you?

I'm planning 3 ski trips this season:
1st - November/December - To be defined
2nd - January/February - This is probably be a short one, 3 days in Winterberg or some other place "near"
3rd - March/April - Based on this thread, this one will be Val Thorens

Make the Jan/Feb one a long one and ditch the 1st. And if you able slip in another or maybe a short one outside the high season (mid-Feb to mid-March).

If you don't have kids and your work allows you avoid early season and high season and fit in as much as you can beyond that.

Beginners don't need a massive ski area and you can have a lot of fun in some of the medium to small places. That said for mileage, options, variety the big beasts are fantastic places to go.
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