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First European Trip - Im so Nervous!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mountainaddict, Laughing

To be fair, I once went to Vail/Breckenridge/Beaver Creek & was completely underwhelmed by the skiing, scenery, food, atmosphere etc. And to cap it all, it was full of Americans!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
personally I would avoid Chamonix, while the mountains and skiing is great the town doesn't really do it for me and the bus transfers to the different areas gets annoying. For the money and going on a 'big EU' trip there are much better resorts you ought to check out first. Namely:

Zermatt (IMO arguably Europe's best all-round resort)
Verbier
St Anton
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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?
@LaForet, Gosh .. you stayed up late to put all that info together. rolling eyes

It looks like you probably have somewhere to live in Nendaz?
The back door to Verbier, must be great.

Lirong
I think your teenagers would probably prefer the raucous apres ski of St Anton rather than the exclusivity of Lech and you'll be skiing both on the same pass, I'm still not sure why your not so keen on Austria. But the atmosphere is more fun than France. (for some reason the French seem to go to bed at 8pm)
Fly via Zurich

If you can afford it, Zermatt is probably the place. You have access to Cervinia when the weather is good. Its quite a long transfer though, the last hour is by narrow gauge railway. But your luggage will be transported directly to your hotel from Geneva Airport.

If you want it a bit shorter, then Verbier is the place, and you may bump into @LaForet there.

Its Geneva Airport for the French Resorts as well, but its 3.5 hours (on a bus or Taxi) to the high spots like Val d'Isere/Tignes or the Three valleys area of Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens
These French resorts are wonderful but your not going to get the atmosphere of Austria.

I'd like to go to some eastern Swiss resorts such as St Moritz & Davos, but I cant afford it Crying or Very sad
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Gordyjh wrote:
@mountainaddict, Laughing

To be fair, I once went to Vail/Breckenridge/Beaver Creek & was completely underwhelmed by the skiing, scenery, food, atmosphere etc. And to cap it all, it was full of Americans!


Bloody hell!

So you aren't happy with immaculately groomed runs, bumps, steeps, super steeps or glade skiing ? Shocked Puzzled

What type of skiing do you like?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"If you can afford it, Zermatt is probably the place."

The budget is up to $7k for the week so I can't see affordability being a problem Very Happy
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Bergmeister, the answer is probably too rude to post. I was just totally underwhelmed by the whole American thing. We went because flights were cheap following 11/9 but I prefer the whole European experience. The food on the mountain is a massive part of a ski holiday as well as the quality of the skiing, both of which were pretty ordinary in Vail.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mountainaddict

Well, I can speak about french resorts :

Transfer : It will of course depend on your final airport. If you want something close to the airport you must land in Geneva, or Lyon with a connecting fight.
Crowed : French resorts are usually not crowded at this time of the year.
Snow : At this time of the year, you should aim at a ski areas that reach 3.000 m and over.
Ski areas and resorts that I can recommend :

Espace Killy :

Val d'Isère : nice resort, thought pricey, with great night life. Wonderfull ski area, mostly on the Tignes side.
Tignes : The resort is not as nice as Val d'Isère, but it is slightly cheaper and closer to the best part of the ski area

Chamonix :

Great "mountaineering" unique atmosphere, scenic views, great domains. Fantastic off piste at the Grands Montets. Domains (Balme-Vallorcine, Brévent-Flégère, Les Grands Montets) are disconnected so you need to take a bus or a car to go from one to another. It is very close to Geneva airport (40 mn or so).


The Three valleys :

Reading your post I would only consider Méribel : huge global ski area, nice resort, good atmosphere...

It is certainly in Chamonix that you will find the most unique atmosphere and scenery. As a US skier it would be probably my best choice. I am not sure though about how crowded it can be at this time of the year. Val d'Isère would be my second choice. Tignes and Méribel the third one.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 13-06-19 13:32; 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!
proskilab wrote:
Well, I can speak about french resorts :

French resorts are usually not crowded at this time of the year.

I am not sure though about how crowded it can be at this time of the year.



Hmmm.... Confused.com Puzzled
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Gordyjh,

The type of skiing you like is "too rude to post"? Shocked

My imagination is running riot! Toofy Grin
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
proskilab wrote:

The Three valleys :

I will only consider Méribel

Ironically Meribel is the one place I wouldn't stay. But then I don't do apres which is probably the biggest draw for Meribel.

I've stayed in Le Praz, La Tania, 1850, Les Menuires, Val T - they're all a little bit different but good and I'd have no problem staying their again. Early season I like to stay lower (La Tania say) with some immediate tree skiing as it's the heart of winter and the weather can close in for long periods.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Layne, I agree. Meribel is one of those Marmite places.
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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.
@Bergmeister, Toofy Grin
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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
@frankacorn, I am not sure I would recommend Milan as the best route from US to Zermatt. The problem is there is no train link. You either have to get a train into Milan (quite a long ride itself) and then fight through a busy Milan Central station or get a bus (which is not that regular) to Domodossola station. Most major US cities have flights to Zurich (or to a lesser extent Geneva). Both those airports have train stations in the airport with direct trains to Visp/Brig where you connect with the train up to Zermatt.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
How about flying from the US to London and then London to Sion. Sion is only about an hours drive from Zermatt. Or train from Sion to Visp then train up to Zermatt. Flights to Sion tend to be quite expensive but very convenient.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Paul Holroyd wrote:
How about flying from the US to London and then London to Sion. Sion is only about an hours drive from Zermatt. Or train from Sion to Visp then train up to Zermatt. Flights to Sion tend to be quite expensive but very convenient.


I think the bigger issue with that is that the only flights to Sion from London are half term (i.e Feb) and only on a Saturday. That was last season. I am not sure Swiss airline has announced its 2020 schedule yet. A startup airline, Powdair, tried to launch a rival service a couple of seasons back but it collapsed before it got started.

Back to the original post, I am not sure I would recommend someone coming from the US to the Alps at Xmas. Yes, lots of the resorts mentioned in this thread can be magical. But the days are short and there is nowhere you are certain of good snow. The last two seasons have been generally good across the Alps at that time but the two seasons before that were not. If I was doing a first ever trip and spending all that money I think I would want to do it in March: longer, sunnier days, near 100% certainty of everything open and very high likelihood of plenty of snow (at least on the ground - no-one can say when it will be coming out of the sky).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
+1 re avoiding Christmas (and New Year). Unless you have no other option thanks to school holidays or work schedule. We usually go the last week of Jan / 1st week of February: much quieter all 'round and flights are cheaper. Snow is more reliable but I'd admit the days are shorter than in March.

Re flights, a couple of years ago I was on business in Boston and flew Boston->Heathrow then Heathrow->GVA, then got the train from the airport to Martigny, then connection to Riddes, where I was picked up by my daughter who was already out there. I got into the apartment in La Tzoumaz about 22:30 and it was a surprisingly stress-free journey all-in-all. You could do something similar if you were going to Verbier.
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