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Saint Lary - what's it like?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello!

I'm trying to find a place to ski in the Pyrenees this winter, and am considering St Lary (mainly because they are replacing the telecabine in Bareges). My question is this - the piste map looks reasonably impressive, and the prices are low, so why does no-one ever talk about the place? I've noticed pictures of the village are hard to come by, which to me implies that it's a dump. Is that so? How about the snow? Thanks!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
lrx28, welcome to snowHead snowHeads! snowHead While waiting for someone to comment on St Lary, you can delete your duplicate post by clicking on the little X to the right of the entry - but only as long as no one else has replied!


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 11-08-04 20:58; edited 1 time in total
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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?
lrx28, Welcome to the madhouse!! Sorry can't help with the question...........and hope i'm not stating the obvious but try http://www.saintlary.com/default-a.htm
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The Pyrenees used to be featured by several UK companies long, long ago....skiers presumably became more discerning or affluent and moved on to the Alps. I skied St Lary for a day in the '78/'79 season...memory foggy....was happy to get back to the Spanish side....but maybe that was because of the 'carajillos'(coffee with Sp. brandy)!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
lrx28,
Way back in 1984 I spent 2 weeks in Pla d'adet, which is a satellite ski station just above St Lary. This was my first skiing holiday without school and I was only 17 at the time. Primary reason for going there was a reasonable extent of skiing and cheap prices.

The skiing itself was excellent, good snow cover and you could certainly cover a few miles in a day, although unlike the larger resorts in the alps you do find yourself skiing the same runs. The ski area is pretty much divided into two areas, connected by a narrow road (red piste) on the way out and a bus for the return journey. The best skiing with the best snow was at the extreme end of the resort, which seemed a long way back then but in comparison to the larger resorts of the alps is really a doddle, only about an hour away by skis if you don't hang about, less if you use the bus. If the lifts haven't been updated in the last 20 years I'd be worried though. There were some tediously slow chairs and the most uncomfortable golndola I've ever witnessed.

Pla d'adet is located a few hundered metres above St Lary and is reached by Cable car. This can get very busy in the mornings and was the main reason we chose to stay in Pla d'adet, where we were a stones throw from the slopes.

We went down to St Lary for a couple of evenings and it was pleasant enough although again could have changed a fair bit since I was there. It was here that I was introduced to French apres ski discos and still have fond memories Wink . The town is quite compact, I don't think anyone in the resort had more than 5 mins walk to the cable car.

I'm now a thirty something with two kids and have often pondered going back there for a week just to see if it has changed at all ... I like all these nostalgic visits. We went with Thomsons who keep flirting with St Lary from time to time in their brochure. I'd definitely give it a try but do be aware of the cable car bottleneck in the mornings. Let me know if I can help more.
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lrx28, another welcome. From our very own snowBase the official web site Dan has given above doesn't have pictures of the village(s) but does indicate continuous development of lifts etc so masmith would see some changes on a repeat visit. If you go to the Hotels section of the site there are thumbnail photos and it doesn't look too bad. A mix of traditional and new architecture.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks all for your welcome and advice! I will certainly consider Pla d'adet. With the exception of one week in Chamonix,I grew up on Scottish ski-ing so really anything in the Pyrenees will seem absolutetly wonderful! I'm also considreing Ax les Thermes, and La Molina (I'm carless) so if anyone has an opinion of those two I would be very interested to hear about it......thanks again, Liam
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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!
kuwait_ian, I actually googled it..........didn't even think of snowBase Embarassed
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Just a word of warning, Pla d'adet is fine if all you're intersted in is skiing. Apart from the hotel bars and one or two bars there's not much to do, although I vaguely remember a night club ? Having said that it was a long time ago so things may have changed for the better or worse. It worked fine for me as that was all I was bothered about back then.

The cable car to/from St Lary used to run up to about 11pm, ther's a fair bit more apres ski down there but unless you're back early or you get lucky then it's a bit restrictive.
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I' ve passed through Ax les Thermes (and stopped for butties) twice, on the wqay to Andorra. It;s not really near "real" mountains and Id reckong that any skir resort there would be quite small and quite low. However, I may well be wrong, as Isaid it's only been flying visits.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I've been looking into the Pyrenees for a while for a less commercial ski holiday. Found some good sites and a few English companies that go there. For general information there is a nice site at http://www.pyreneesguide.com/, and I know there are a couple of ski touring oufits run out of Ax by Brits (if you feel the need for a proper cup of tea). I think you can buy a Neiges Catalanes pass which covers Ax, Font Romeu, Les Angles and some smaller places. Looks like I'll be going around New Year to take a look. Let me know what you turn up.
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