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Easter - snow sure, beginner friendly.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My partner is a beginner who was frustrated by a single nursery slope up from Montchavin last season, so wants more variety.

Me. I like snow.

Where meets both our wants?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Peter Leuzzi,
Beginner friendly - Flaine, Les Arcs 1800, Courchevel (1650 and 1850).
Snow sure at Easter - Probably Courchevel 1850 from the above three.
Snow sure and beginner friendly - How about Obertauern, Austria? (see previous topics on Obertauern)
Another option could be Cervinia, Italy - plenty of altitude and motorway cruising, although reports suggest getting to and from lifts is not that convenient.
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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?
In my experience Courchevel is extremely good at snow management if there's not much around, so I'd recommend 1850 for a late holiday with plenty to keep both you and your partner happy. Courchevel has the added benefot of a couple of excellent British ski schools if either of you want lessons.
http://www.skinewgen.com/
http://www.supremeski.co.uk/

Regards

Rob
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How about Val d'Isere? It is really cruisy and easy for beginners yet has some great back country for the more experienced. snowHead snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Peter, you couldn't do better than La Rosiere 1850, very snow sure and a superb resort for mixed groups. Most of the slopes are south or south-west facing so sunny all day, the pistes are mostly blues and reds so beginners aren't stuck on the nursery slopes for days on end. Check out www.larosiere.net or go to our website www.tracksvacations.com for more information.
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I'll third Courchevel. I can't imagine anywhere better for beginners. There is an incredible variety of greens and blues which can be reached by gondala or chair from the centre of 1850. It is fairly expensive though, dunno about prices late season though. But if you need cheaper 1550 is short(ish) gondala ride from the centre of 1850 and has a reasonable blue back. Not been to 1650 but heard decent things about that, though if you board you will have to take a drag to get to the main areas.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snow sure try Belle Plagne at 2000m. ESF classes all assemble within short walks of the accommodation. Good nursery areas in the 'bowl' between BP and the higher ground towards the Champagny side.
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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!
Alpe d'Huez is pretty good, we've been there late season and had great snow, it's a nice all round resort with something for everyone.
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Quote:

Another option could be Cervinia, Italy - plenty of altitude and motorway cruising, although reports suggest getting to and from lifts is not that convenient.


It's the steps up to the cable car that everyone goes on about. Personally I had no problem, but I can see how beginners might. There are three ways round the problem they cause:

1) Stay in hotel/apartment where you don't have to use them to reach the station. This is not as difficult as you'd think.

2) Store your skis (and boots) up the top (not sure how easy this is, but some in our party did that a few nights).

3) Stay in a hotel/apartment block who drop you off at the door to the station by minibus. Several do.
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While agreeing with much of the above, (re Courcheval in particular) I think Les Arcs takes the biscuit. The big plus is that there are free lifts at 2000 that give you access to well graded blues and you won't need a lift pass until later in the week. There is an excellent variety of skiing and some attractive scenery. Nice blacks and reds for later on too!
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As a newbie here I offer advice with trepidation.
I would point out though that your requirement for good snow is exactly the same requirement as your partners. After one week they should no longer require nursery slopes but a variety of blues and easier reds with a decent instructor to get the most out of them. The vast majority of resorts that I have skied offer a decent selction of these runs. However to enjoy themat their best a near beginner will want the same snow reliability that you require.
Easter is reasonably early this year and resorts that have skiing >2000 metres on north facing slopes should have good snow, south facing slopes become very soft and slushy in the afternoon at this time of year. I wold go for any resort with a good snow record and decide what else I/ my partner wanted eg decent food/ hotel/ atmosphere /nightlife etc. and take it from there the skiing should then look after itself.

T Bar
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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.
Welcome to snowHead snowHeads snowHead T Bar..... good advice. Not much fun for beginners who'll be spending a lot of time at resort level, to find themselves skiing in slush. Difficult and tiring.
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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
I'll also agree with that. There's also the "what's the point" syndrome. If the nursery slope is down in the valley and they're there all week, they miss the enjoyment that being up high gives. So resorts with nursery slopes up high gives them at least the views while they're learning - plus the possibility of meeting up for lunch.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Exactly the point skanky.

So - what resorts do you have in mind with respect to >2000 metres and with north facing slopes. Where can I source such information.

Also, would La Rosiere be able to cope with the sun at Easter?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Although I can see the advantage of high level nursery slopes, I do think that it is demoralising when beginners need to take a ski lift back home at the end of the day when everybody else can ski back to the village. That's one of the reasons I recommend Courchevel 1850 - good range of gentle slopes to progress on to, high level village with good snow management for late season skiing and easy for all levels of skiers to ski back to the resort without needing to catch a lift.

Regards

Rob
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Peter, it's quite suprising for a mainly south facing resort but the snow records typically show over 2 metres late in the year. Last year we were skiing right back to the village on the 27th April and there was still well over 3 metres of snow on the Pass San Bernado. In fact it was so warm, that it was the first time I've ever skied without a jacket all week. The points Rob make with regard to the nursery slopes exactly fit La Rosiere with the added advantage of interantional skiing in Italy where the slopes are mostly north facing. PM or email me for more information, I give you as much information as I can.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Peter Leuzzi, Laax and Cervinia have high nursery slopes, but not necessarily north facing (Cervinia's easy enough that she could quite quickly get off them, too - Laax has a few too many t-bars for many beginners). Haven't skied in enough places to be able to reel any more off (and I do tend to sound like a stuck record in my resort recommendations).

rob@rar.org.uk, one good illustration against that though is Zell am Zee where the nursery slopes are in a shaded/sheltered part of the valley, a bus ride from the town centre meaning the bloke who went for the first time when we went there couldn't believe what he'd been missing when he got the gondola up to the blues at the top. on the last day. It probably saved his ski erm,..life. The beginners who had to get the lift back down said they quite enjoyed watching others struggling down the black. Also, at the end of the season, it's not always possible to ski back down in some resorts.
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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?
skanky, that's why I suggest a high resort like Courchevel or, as David has suggested, La Rosiere. As an example of what I'm saying compare Val d'Isere with Courchevel from the beginners point of view: both resorts at a similar altitude and with a similar world class reputation. There's plenty of gentle skiing in Val d'Isere, but it is at the top of the Solaise or Belevarde areas and it is disjointed so it's not really possible to take a tour from one area to another. Skiing back to the village is impossible for beginners. Courchevel on the other hand offers just as much easy skiing, if not more, but it is easily accesible and even allows adventurous first-week or second-week skiers to ski across to 1650 on the other side of the valley and back again.

Regards

Rob
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rob@rar.org.uk, i see what you mean about Val D'Isere now thinking about it. There are lots wonderful greens and wide blues runs up the top of the Solaise lift - the one that goes up over the "free" areas. The one route back down is simple enough but at the end of the day if you are a beginner you would be scared and it'd probably takes ages with all the inconsiderate idiots around, especially the snaking ski schools. The lift is very easy to take back down though.

There are also lot of easy runs up the other side - Olympic lift, towards Tignes, but to get back down you come down a gully that gets very mougled up so a tired beginner would take ages, it also flattens out and would leave them with a very long walk Evil or Very Mad .........not good for group harmony!!

You could take the lifts back down but i feel like that's cheating, use lifts to get up, use gravity and sliding to get back down snowHead I wouldn't strike Val D'Isere off a beginners lift but you'd need to go with someone or talk to someone beforehand who has been there - it will make life a lot easier!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

compare Val d'Isere with Courchevel


I can't, I've never been to Courchevel.

I'm not really disagreeing with you, there's just two ways to have a high-level nursery slope and whether one type or not is (much) better than the other will depend on the person in question. For example, none of the beginners in our party had any problem getting the lift back down at Val d'Isere. Maybe after another week or so they might have, but by then they could have got down the run from Solaise.
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Dan, are you sure that the run down from Solaise is simple? Isn't this the red that runs parallel to the Solaise bumps, then becomes a narrow blue (no more than a road's width in some parts)? If this is the same run that we're talking about I would advocate beginners avoid it at all costs! The run down to La Daille is (was?) marked as a green piste, but whenever I've skied down it there has been ice, small bumps, many skiers and poor sign-posting (it's easy to end up on the bottom section of the Men's DH course). While I think Val is a great resort in many respects, I think it is particularly unfriendly towards beginners (as I found to my cost when I organised a trip there for mixed ability group).

Regards

Rob
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rob@rar.org.uk, i thought it was Twisted Evil , and i took a beginner skiier down it on his second day but due to the idiots rushing down (end of the day) and snaking ski schools he sat at the side waiting for a clear path down. I guess it's not overly wide and the traffic adds to the difficulty. If i remember right it's a blue that snakes back round to the free learner areas, there is a shortish red that you can go down as well. I don't have the lifts the wrong way round do i? Embarassed
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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!
Peter Leuzzi,

Why not consider Canada? The Banff area hills have good snow at that time of the year, a good variety of trails from beginner to expert and great instructional programmes.

See the long thread about Banff on this forum.
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Dan, I think we are talking about the red piste 'Plan' which becomes the blue piste 'M'. I don't think that either are suitable for beginners (and perhaps not even 2nd-week skiers). The alternative is to come down the Solaise chairlift; perfectly acceptable, but it smacks too much of "kiddie skiers take the lift down, real skiers ski down" for the beginner skiers I've skied with.

Regards

Rob
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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So - what resorts do you have in mind with respect to >2000 metres and with north facing slopes. Where can I source such information.

Also, would La Rosiere be able to cope with the sun at Easter?

You have to dig out the information a bit yourself from various sources, however no recent skiing guide that I have seen is particularly reliable on slope direction.
Bearing in mind that I have certainly not skied all the below and cannot vouch for the suitability for beginners, afew suggestions for resorts with reasonably high skiing some of which is North facing, which should be OK late March.

France: Pretty much all the big name Tarentaise resorts (Val d'Isere, £3 Valleys ,Les Arcs etc.)
Les Contamines, Bonneval Sur Arcs, Montgenevre, 2 Alpes, Serre Chevalier. Flaine,Puy St Vincent

Austria: Obergurgl, Galtur, Ischgl,Obertauern, Lech/Zurs, Stuben,Solden,Hintertux.

Switz: Sass Fee, Zermatt, Engelberg,Davos/Klosters

Italy: La Thuile, Claviere, Livigno, Bormio

Other people could probably name a lot more,but you should be able to find something that meets your needs from that lot.

You have already had a reply on La rosiere from someone who knows far more than I do. However I would point out that to get to the North facing slopes will probably take a wee while from La Rosiere and the link is not always open. The slopes at La Rosiere itself although having a snow sure reputation are likely to have a bit of the ice in the morning slush in the afternoon that is a usual accompanyment to south facing sunny slopes at Easter time. All resorts have some caveats however and if it appeals generally and you feel like hoping over to Italy for the afternoon, why not?

T Bar
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Quote:
to get to the North facing slopes will probably take a wee while

New investment with new owners in the La Rosière infrastructure, two new highspeed chairs for the coming season, notably one replacing the dreadfully slow one up from the resort (name escapes me).

Can be a bit slushy on the lower lying south-facing slopes.. still, I took [url=http://hannou.alpesprovence.net/sabre_album1_files/Photos/rosiere_13%20(web)2.jpg]this photo[/url] last season from the top of the Aiguille Rouge in Les Arcs, looking across the valley to La Rosière, right at the end of April... tons of snow, (and La Rosière had been closed a few days).
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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.
Who are the new owners of La Rosiere? Is it CDA by any chance?

Regards

Rob
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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
Rob, No, there are no new owners, the lifts were leased by the commune last year to the company that owns Val d'Isere's lifts. CDA were one of the bidders. The two new lifts are built and will be opened in Dec. There is a six man detachable high speed chair replacing the old and slow Roches Noir triple. That was the main lift out of the village and there will be a new high speed detachable chair up from Les Echerts. The only slopes that close early are the runs down through the trees to Seez, they go down to 1200 metres so not too suprising, and the runs that go down below Les Echerts. Getting to Italy is very quick I can do it about 40 mins and that includes 2 chair lifts. Coming back is faster, I can get from La Thuile back into the La Rosiere domain in about the same time. Last year, last week in April we were still finding fresh powder above San Bernardo, the slopes around Fourcalz and San Bernardo are North facing and hold up really well. I was also able to show some other snowheads the snow piled up to the 3rd floor windows of the Refuge, must have been a good 5 metres.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yes, the STVI effectively runs La Rosière now, and are investing heavily. The CDA would love to swallow the family-owned business up, but the holding company SOFIVAL and its 79 year old Parisian chairman have no desire to sell, by all accounts. Understandable, at 22% profit gross. Jean-François Mouflier and Bernard Blas have gradually built up holdings around the resorts - Avoriaz, Valmorel, La Rosière....

Ownership was putting it too strongly perhaps, but it virtually boils down to the same thing, given the influence local authorities appear to have over these multi-resort operators.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Amazed no ones talked about Saas Fee - great easy slopes top & bottom plus lovely swiss resort.
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