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Advice needed for Easter 2020 skiing. Newbie here!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. Looking for resort/accommodation suggestions.

We’re a family of 4 (kids 12 & 8 ) looking to book our second family ski holiday in Easter 2020. Husband and I have also done a week in France and few days in Finland many moons ago. I’d say I’m a nervous skier, happier on wide cruisy blues but would like to build my confidence up.

Wish List:

- Accommodation with separate living area/bedrooms. Definitely not all four of us sleeping in one room.
- Late season snow all the way into the village.
- Good ski school

Not needed:

- Apres Ski
- Challenging and adrenaline filled pistes
- Resorts prone to ice.

Thought I’d book with a tour operator but would consider DIY if people think that’s a better option?

Searching the web for suitable resorts/accommodation has blown my mind as there is so much, so hoping you guys may have some suggestions?
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to snowHeads @peanutlady snowHead

So many possibilities, what's your budget?
The higher/bigger resorts in Europe will have snow/snow making and Easter is not too late next year so there is lots of choice.
If you have the money then consider Canada/USA where the ski season typically lasts a lot longer and nice big condominiums are the norm not the exception.
There are lots of budget options in Europe that will have snow at Easter but the risk is that the snow might be a bit soft on the lower slopes. Aim for resorts at c1500m+ altitude if you want to be able to ski back down.
Be flexible though. For example 2Alpes has blue runs at the top with a nice fast gondola to get you up and down!
Nice food, try Italy.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hi @peanutlady, Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

The Spring Families Bash has happened the past 2 seasons at Easter and the enthusiasm at the end of the last one to do it again means there's almost certain* to be a SFaB2020.
Have a quick look at the SFaB2019 thread. It would seem to fit your description pretty perfectly: there's nowhere better for late season snow (IMHO) than Val Thorens.

*I actually already have accommodation on hold for w/c 11th Apr, just waiting for a quote from the lift company.
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@peanutlady, we went to Mayrhofen Easter just gone - see here

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=142966&highlight=

That doesn’t give you snow into the village but we were very pleased with ski school.

We did SFaB the previous Easter and that gives snow at accommodation level. However we did find it quiet icy due to the winds stripping all soft stuff of the top of several runs (NB I have been told that that year was exceptional for the wind and Easter there is normally much better).

We have booked to go to La Thuile for next Easter. I can share details if interested but obviously can’t recommend it or not as it will be our first time there.

Other locations we have done for Easter are Courchevel, Val d’Isere, St Anton, Les Deux Alpes, Belle Plagne and Gressoney. All have given us plenty of skiing. Belle Plagne was also ski in, ski out like Val Thorens
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've skied with my son the last four Easters. I've always gone DIY, booking apartments, flights and hire cars. In the school holidays I've always found this approach to be the cheapest.

Resorts wise we've been to Obergurgl, Sölden, Cervinia and Val Thorens. They've all had their pluses and minuses but crucially they're all high. There's much debate on here about height versus aspect but generally at Easter I think skiing above 2000m is the best bet.

Ski Schools vary, obviously. I'm of the opinion that most kids group lessons are childcare on snow rather than detailed lessons. My son learnt in a fridge and the mountains have been about having fun. Austrian ski schools were good, Cervinia less so and Next Generation in Val Thorens were excellent.

Hope you have a great time, this site is a great resource for recommendations.
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Thanks for your suggestions so for, it’s very helpful.
I’ll definitely check out that Spring Bash link.

Budget? Well, whatever it’s started out at I have a feeling it’s going to go out of the window.

We did Les Orres over New Year 2018 and paid £3.5k s/c with Crystal. Would i be right in thinking I won’t get anything near that price for Easter?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@peanutlady, sorry should have said welcome to snowheads sorry. DIY and self catering you should be able to do it for less.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sun 2-06-19 13:56; 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!
If you book it yourself I think you could get flights, accomodation and car hire for under £2500. I'm utterly clueless on package deals though.
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Sorry, just spotted you wanted village level snow, I think at Easter that probably means Val Thorens or Tignes. If it's warm at Easter I think most resorts don't look very wintery even if the mountain is still great.
My experience so far is French (mega) resorts have plenty of accomodation options but on mountain costs are higher than Austria and Italy (of course that depends on specific resorts)
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This is where we have booked in La Thuile and we are hoping that the same will happen next season with respect to lift pass prices.

https://www.hotelchaletalpina.com/winter-skiing

Nb our children will be 10 & 13 next season.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@grumpygargoyle, +1. Add Les Arcs 2000 to the list.
Recommending the up mentioned bash for the atmosphere plus budget control. https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=140794
Anywhere can be icy in the morning in april if no fresh snow, you can choose your starting hours and pistes accordingly (south/north)
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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.
Do you mean you want to ski back to village level or be in a snow covered village at Easter? As the former is pretty much most places, but the latter means you need to go high. We ski every Easter in the Grand Massif and always have fin. Agree with others that DIY is the way to go as you can choose really decent accomodation at Easter.
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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
Quote:

We did Les Orres over New Year 2018 and paid £3.5k s/c with Crystal. Would i be right in thinking I won’t get anything near that price for Easter?

With Easter next year in mid April you should be able to do less than that. £500 for ferry, fuel and tolls £600 for a decent apartment (but obviously more if you want 3 or more rooms). Food and drink - say £10 per night for adults (if they like wine with their dinner) £4 or 5 for children, £250 for lift passes, £150 ish for ski lessons and equipment hire plus some pocket money for eating out at lunch time if you like that kind of thing. Even Crystal will be charging less than they do for Christmas.

You don't have to make any early bookings for a DIY trip at this time of year and you can keep your eyes open for some tour operators late availability. I would also check that the resorts you are tinking of are open then . This year quite a lot of resorts shut on April 12th and Crystal actually stopeed operating before Easter this year.

As to a resort, my suggestion is, like the the others, go high and north facing. In order I would suggest: Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Val Thorens, Courchvel and Les Menuires.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Possibly Soldeu / El Tarter in Andorra. Trip report in my signature.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
admin wrote:
Hi @peanutlady, Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

The Spring Families Bash has happened the past 2 seasons at Easter and the enthusiasm at the end of the last one to do it again means there's almost certain* to be a SFaB2020.
Have a quick look at the SFaB2019 thread. It would seem to fit your description pretty perfectly: there's nowhere better for late season snow (IMHO) than Val Thorens.

*I actually already have accommodation on hold for w/c 11th Apr, just waiting for a quote from the lift company.


Oops, think I just confirmed an interest in the 2019 event! Forgive me, I’m new to this! I’d be interested in looking at the 2020 event. Will it definitely be the second week of Easter (11th?) and Val Thorens?
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
yes, definitely that week and definitely Val Tho. The only unknown is price. The current quote I have pushes the price up £60 compared to last year so I've asked them to improve on it... fingers crossed!

In my view there's nowhere better for April skiing. While an argument could be made for Tignes as an alternative, places like la Plange and les Arcs just don't come close for late season snow. Val Tho's altitude of 2300m gives it the advantage.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Possibly Soldeu / El Tarter in Andorra. Trip report in my signature.

Just check they are open at Easter.
latest report     
 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?
@peanutlady,
Quote:

Wish List:

- Accommodation with separate living area/bedrooms. Definitely not all four of us sleeping in one room.
- Late season snow all the way into the village.
- Good ski school


1. It's hard to beat France for plenty of wide cruisy blues. - La Plagne and the satellite villages e.g. Montalbert are favourites of mine.
2. Late season snow - almost all of the usual suspects will have skiable snow down to the village but pretty snow on all the roofs is marginally harder to find. Bear in mind that peak snow depth in the Alps is probably late March you shouldn't have too much of a problem. I don't think you need to go as high as 2,000m as some have suggested. 1450m or so should be fine. Do bear in mind that some resorts like Avoriaz are very high at 1800m but that the mountains are somewhat lower at just 2,466m. This means that you don't have that much skiing above the village and in a poor snow year you might be more restricted than going for a lower resort, say 1400m, where the mountains go up to 3,250m. Also, some lower skiing is not necessarily a bad thing as it means you will have some tree lined runs to ski in should you get any bad visibility days. - If it's any help, when I've skiied in recent years in the first week of April the problem, if anything, too much snow rather than too little.
3. Good ski school. Austrian ski schools / instructors have a better reputation than the main French one (ESF), but many resports now have alternatives to ESF anyway so you should be able to find somewhere good.

Personal suggestiopns based upon what you've said:
Obergurgl - high, friendly, not too huge, easy skiing, better value than France.
La Plagne - huge skiing area with what I somewhat idiotically think of as 'friendly' mountains, good ski schools. Masses of fab blues. High resort
Montalbert - same ski area as La Plagne. A bit lower but that shouldn't be a problem. More of a village feel. One of my favourite places.
St Martin de Belleville - in the huge Trois Vallees ski area. Loads of cruisy blues. Possibly a bit pricey.
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@peanutlady, Welcome to Snowheads!

My children are now in their teens and started skiing at 3 and 5. We have been to the following resorts as a family - Puy St Vincent, La Rosiere, Montgenevre, Les Saisies, Les Carroz (Grand Massif), Sainte Foy, Val Cenis, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Le Grand Bornand and also skied La Thuile and Claviere (staying on the french side of the ski area).

I would say that Montgenevre ticks all your boxes particularly for Easter. Village is at 1800m and it is one of the last resorts open in France - till end of April. (not quite as snow sure as Tignes or Val Thorens but if you are thinking early April it should be fine) Lots of wide cruisy runs on high north facing slopes. Two very good ski schools (Apeak and ESF). Family orientated and has the monty express roller coaster. Obviously the high resorts in the Tarentaise would also be good at Easter and most have wide runs. The reason I prefer Montgenevre is that being further from Geneva it is quieter and friendly (and people will speak back to you in French or even Italian!). Drawbacks are a few slow lifts and lack of mountain cafes but overall would highly recommend it. We have been there 5 times!

In terms of tour operator we have used Peak Retreats or their sister company Ski Collection for the last 10 yrs to most of the resorts mentioned in my first paragraph and they offer a good self drive deal (accommodation cost includes eurotunnel flexiplus) and friendly customer service. We have stayed in Chalet des Dolines, Le hameau des airelles and Le Napoleon in Montgenevre. Le Napoleon is the best location for Easter but the other two residences are cheaper so depends on your budget. Les Carroz and Les Arcs are also really good at Easter but I would do them in the following years as the ski areas are more extensive..so you will get more out of the lift pass if all the family are intermediate skiers.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
1. Courchevel 1850.
2. La Plagne.
3. Saas Fee.
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snowymum wrote:
@peanutlady,

I would say that Montgenevre ticks all your boxes particularly for Easter.

In terms of tour operator we have used Peak Retreats or their sister company Ski Collection for the last 10 yrs to most of the resorts mentioned in my first paragraph and they offer a good self drive deal (accommodation cost includes eurotunnel flexiplus) and friendly customer service. We have stayed in Chalet des Dolines, Le hameau des airelles and Le Napoleon in Montgenevre.


I’ve never heard of those tour operators so I’ll check them out, thanks.

Some great advise from everyone, I’ll get looking into those resorts.

Annual leave is looking more likely for the 4th April so the Bash may not be an option, which is a shame as it sounds great.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Annual leave is looking more likely for the 4th April

A couple weeks before Easter Smile good
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
johnE wrote:
Quote:

Annual leave is looking more likely for the 4th April

A couple weeks before Easter Smile good


Which does open up more options. Eg Gressoney / Champoluc would be possible but not the week after.
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I’d actually looked at Ski-2 in Champoluc. The lack of blues put me off a bit.
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@peanutlady, I personally didn’t think the reds were anywhere near as challenging as red in France. I couldn’t understand why the black linking gressoney to staffal was a black at all.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Try taking a struggling red-runner down it and it'll become quite obvious.
No, it's not the toughest black ever but width vs steepness vs camber and it's clearly more of a challenge than any of the local red runs.

Personally I don't think the Monterossa is a great area for people who aren't 'happy with reds': anybody who 'suffers reds' won't typically have the best of weeks.
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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.
@admin, fair do’s but comparing the runs there with equivalent colours the year later in Val d’Isere and they felt a grade different.
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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
If your holiday is 4 April then also consider the Dolomiti Superski or Val di Sole areas in Italy. Quite extensive runs to build confidence, lovely scenery, good food, sensible prices, family friendly. Night life will be quiet but accommodation in Italy tends to be a bit more spacious than France. There are numerous links in other posts on this site where members give details of specific resorts and accommodations where they have had an excellent ski holidays in Eastern Italy. You won't go far wrong.
Driving from UK is a bit of a trek so airports to consider are Innsbruck, Verona, Treviso and Milan. Depending upon resort you might need hire car if it's a DIY trip but the road network is fine. The motorways have tolls but the mountain roads are still quite direct (slow in the occasional small towns obviously) toll-free and not covered in snow in April!
Very Happy
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@NickyJ, agreed. More like blues.

Ski 2 were excellent we thought. Plus on mountain food was low cost. Downside not much in resort to do.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
peanutlady wrote:
Hi. Looking for resort/accommodation suggestions.

We’re a family of 4 (kids 12 & 8 ) looking to book our second family ski holiday in Easter 2020. Husband and I have also done a week in France and few days in Finland many moons ago. I’d say I’m a nervous skier, happier on wide cruisy blues but would like to build my confidence up.

Wish List:

- Accommodation with separate living area/bedrooms. Definitely not all four of us sleeping in one room.
- Late season snow all the way into the village.
- Good ski school

Not needed:

- Apres Ski
- Challenging and adrenaline filled pistes
- Resorts prone to ice.

Thought I’d book with a tour operator but would consider DIY if people think that’s a better option?

Searching the web for suitable resorts/accommodation has blown my mind as there is so much, so hoping you guys may have some suggestions?


Obergurgl fits all of the above. Not the cheapest, though mostly hotels
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
La Plagne, a paradise of blue runs and snow sure at Easter. Various satellite villages to choose from and most are ski in/out. Ive stayed in Plagne Center, Plagne Soleil and Plagne 1800, with 1800 being the least accessible. Plagne soleil has been developed further since I was there (only 2 buildings then) France is more expensive than Austria for everything. I cant comment on ski schools as Ive never used them. I see Obergurgl has been mentioned, having skiied both areas, for a novice skier I would recommend La Plagne, but everyone has there favourite resorts.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
skitech wrote:
La Plagne, a paradise of blue runs and snow sure at Easter. Various satellite villages to choose from and most are ski in/out. Ive stayed in Plagne Center, Plagne Soleil and Plagne 1800, with 1800 being the least accessible. Plagne soleil has been developed further since I was there (only 2 buildings then) France is more expensive than Austria for everything. I cant comment on ski schools as Ive never used them. I see Obergurgl has been mentioned, having skiied both areas, for a novice skier I would recommend La Plagne, but everyone has there favourite resorts.


Indeed. I prefer Austria for other reasons given the choice between two similar resorts - food and drink are cheaper (even in Obergurgl), lifts are the best there are (though Obergurgl's aren't quite up to Ischgl or Saalbach standards there are never any queues - except maybe 2 or 3 mins at the Top Express). Never really had to experience snow making in Obergurgl, but it's supposedly 99% covered and the Austrians and Italians are best at that. Obergurgl is a bit small, though shouldn't be a problem for novices. Most of the runs are really quite easy. The Top Express is a bit of a pain in that it takes 30 mins out of your day to get to Hochgurgl and back if you want to go there).
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