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LIVE TR: La Tania 23rd to 30th December 2017 - WITH PICS!!!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This will be our 17th family trip:

March 2009 - Les Menuire (Le Trois Vallees)
December 2009 - Aime La Plagne (Paradiski) - snowmaggedon on the outward journey
April 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
December 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
April 2012 - La Norma
December 2012 - Les Contamines
April 2013 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2013 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2014 - MISSED - OMG!!
December 2014 - Tignes Le Lac - snowmaggedon on the return journey
April 2015 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2015 - Montchavin (Paradiski)
April 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
April 2017 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)

Are these TR's getting boring??? Be honest now...

As per we are DIY. Driving, France, S/C apartment.

After toying with the idea over the last couple of years I've finally made the decision to take the family back to the old three valley's. The children have only been when one was too young to remember and the other too young to ski! Me and the missus have done trips there before that. I've personally stayed in Le Praz, 1850, La Tania, Val T and Reberty. Always loved Le Praz and was tempted to stay there but also have pretty good memories have La Tania and it ticks a lot of the boxes for us. Good connections, car free child friendly slope front, tree skiing/cover, plenty of apartments. Seemed to be some quite pricey apartments (nice though!) and a far amount of Pierre et Vacances (not the best value IMO) but I went to the unofficial site www.latania.co.uk and their accommodation page and found something that looked decent and had availability, pinged them for a price and it came out a reasonable £460. Not the bargain of the century but certainly within range. So the deed was done. It's in the Saboia B block if that means anything to you!

Crossing wise I've bitten the bullet and bought 10 frequent flyer tickets to be shared with the in-laws. £44 per crossing is a snip with prices creeping up over the last couple of years. And with two ski trips and a summer trip we can square away 6 leaving just 4 for the in-laws.

The missus wanted to go out on 16th but the kids are at two different schools and the eldest's isn't finishing until Wednesday 20th. So out on the 22nd to arrive on the 23rd it is. Personally I'm not fussed, the Christmas week is fine by me.

Kit wise, eldest had outgrown his boots. We squirreled a £10 pair off ebay which are a bit roomy for him but with an extra insole, thicker socks we should get away with it. Bigger problem is his ski's. His current one's are 139 and now below the chin - we think he's a bout 160 tall now. Thinking about buying some womens. Balking about buying new at £300 plus but not finding much second hand either. Don't want some old pistes ski's, want some proper all mountain fairly modern skis.

MPI annual policy still good so nothing to do there. All ski's already serviced and ready to go.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 2-01-18 17:52; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

It's in the Saboia B block if that means anything to you!



I don't know the building myself but the name rang a bell as I recall there was a major problem with it. Have a look at: http://www.latania.co.uk/blog/2017/10/20/saboia-b-official-closure-announcement-tourist-offices-merge/
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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?
That block is closed for the season, you better check the booking.

A is open apparently.

We are in the Montana from the 20th to the 27th
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Might have been A. I will check!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It is A!

The appartment is booked through skiaccommodation.co.uk
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Seems they've been around a while based on this post

Response is indeed still very sharp.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Layne, good to hear. Hope I didn't alarm you too much!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Not at all @Alastair

I'd rather ask now than get in a panic later!
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Looking forward to reading the live trip report and enjoyed last years.

I had not heard of the company you booked through so looked them up. If I found the correct website it really doesn't say much about them at all. Nothing about who they are, whether they are ABTA bonded (assume not), or where their office is. If I were looking for a really cheap apartment I would probably consider it safer to book through the resort Tourist Office website. Hopefully everything will be fine with your apartment anyway.
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@snowymum, I tried the official site and there wasn't much listed and most seemed to be too big for us so I was forced to look at alternatives.

You're right skiaccommodation.co.uk seems a bit basic but to be honest I assume it's just some bloke in his kitchen who has accumulated a bunch of ski apartments over a few years. Which is fine by me. Worst case I'm skelped for for a few hundred £'s. But it all seems legit and fine.
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Layne wrote:

Are these TR's getting boring??? Be honest now...


I love 'em snowHead

A good trip report is the best thing about this site.

Your first time in the 3V for a while I see! I'm interested in La T myself having previously stayed in Les Mis and Mottaret so your views will be interesting as we share a love of Les Coches & Paradiski

As I'm going (to Les Coches) in the 2nd week of Jan I'll also be hoping that you report epic early season conditions in the Tarantaise Toofy Grin
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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.
@snowymum, there were at least 2 threads on here last year from people who had had trouble after booking an apartment through the Tignes tourist office. Based on that I might be more inclined to take the punt on the bloke running a few apartments from his kitchen who actually answers his emails...
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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
@Gämsbock, Sorry I did not see the threads about the Tignes Tourist Office.
We haven't actually used the man in the kitchen or the tourist office as are in the habit of booking apartment plus crossing through a self drive TO Toofy Grin
I know Layne has a lot of experience of booking these types of trips and as he says the apartment is a good price. I certainly hope all goes well and am looking forward to the trip report
snowHead snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
snowymum wrote:
@Gämsbock, Sorry I did not see the threads about the Tignes Tourist Office.

To be fair I didn't either.

I usually only use a tourist office's online search or listing facilities. For La Plagne/Les Coches once you've "booked" online I've only dealt with agencies/immobliere's afterwards. With Oz-en-Oisan (ADH) it's just a listing service and I've emailed the owners directly. Can't remember exactly on La Norma, Les Contamines how the initial contact was made but certainly ended up direct. Tignes used Odaly's direct (never again). I vaguely recall calling a couple for different reasons but don't remember clinching anything as a result.

snowymum wrote:
We haven't actually used the man in the kitchen or the tourist office as are in the habit of booking apartment plus crossing through a self drive TO Toofy Grin

Who do you use for that. There used to be a company called Motours that me and a mate used a few times.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Layne, We have been doing self drive with Peak Retreats or their subsidiary ski collection for about 10 years. The prices include the flexi plus tunnel but sometimes we've booked ferry or ski train through them instead. We tend to book the higher end CGH apartments with pool, cleaning etc so pay a lot more than you are paying for your Christmas hol. However they do have a range of accommodation on their site including lesser known resorts like La norma that you have been to and some cheaper apartments. The customer service is very good. Eg. Once we were on a two week summer alpine holiday booked through PR and the second week accommodation flooded two days before our stay- they arranged for us to stay on in the first place at the same price (despite it being a more expensive residence) - we also had the option of any other CGH residence with availability. I once priced up a holiday by train to La rosiere at New Year and it worked out about £1000 cheaper with PR/Ski collection than Crystal overall for a family of four. However I doubt any TO could match what you are paying this time. We choose to pay a bit more to go through a TO.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@snowymum, I had a bad experience with Ski Collection back in 2009. Extract from my first trip report on here (link at top):

Quote:
The accommodation was a relatively posh joint due to the circs of this trip. It was a pad owned by Madame Vacances, a division of Eurogroup. http://www.eurogroup-holidays.com/xq/ASPX/EstId.165/SeasonId.... And here begins a bit of a tale. Originally I booked through this Brit agency.. www.skicollection.co.uk. Now the Ski Collection have a very good website that allows you to browse around the various resorts and accommodation. And the really good news is that they do discounted lift passes. Anyway when you find something you like you can click on Check Availability and it quickly shows you the accom options. You then fill in the form and the ring you. I cut out the middle man and rang them. We confirmed the apartment was available and they took the whole amount of the booking off my CC. To cut a long story short after a month of chasing and no correspondence they informed me the accommodation was not available. They effectively laid the blame on the apartment owners. They refunded my CC but now I was only 2 weeks from the holiday. I decided to check with the apartment owners. With a bit of digging it wasn't too difficult to find out it was owned by Eurogroup and via their website I was able to check availability and found the apartment I needed seemingly was available. Still nothing proven yet. So I rang up. It was a French booking office so language was an issue at times. The long and short of it was they gave me the apartment and at a 20% discount, that made it cheaper than Ski Collections even with the currency situ. Result. I did have to chase Eurogroup for the paperwork (sent by email).


Consequently I haven't used them since and in a way that is what got me started booking directly. It could well be that was a one off and of course it is 8 years ago now.

It's not just them to be fair - I don't have much faith in TO's to sort things out when the sh*t hits the fan. Ultimately nobody is going to be as concerned about my holiday as much me Laughing Very Happy snowHead
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne, keep the live TR coming Smile

Re skis for the eldest. Have a look for some Atomic Backland Bent Chetler Mini in 153 (I saw some 50% off in the summer and bought them for my son for next season). Line Tom Wallisch Shorty only go to 147 and the K2 junior skis go to 149 - only good for 1 season unless you see a bargain. Sir Francis Bacon Shorty have 155 or 165 (fat ski at 107mm underfoot).
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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?
@Layne,
Quote:

Bigger problem is ski's. His current one's are 139 and now below the chin - we think he's a bout 160 tall now. Thinking about buying some womens. Baulking about buying new at £300 plus but not finding much second hand either. Don't want some old pistes ski's, want some proper all mountain fairly modern skis


Our boy is very slim but quite a good skier and women's skis worked well for him last couple of seasons.
I don't buy new skis for the kids - they grow our of them too quickly even if they can be passed down (his sister will be on the women's skis this season).

FWIW I personally don't think it is good for kids technique development for them to be skiing on >100mm waist skis all the time. I'd prefer them to be on something which meant they could really work on setting high edge angles on hard pistes - if you get your skill levels up then the transition offpiste on fat skis is easy. My son will actually be on something a bit narrower, stiffer and with a bit more of traditional sidecut/camber this season (down from 94mm to 89mm so still all mountain and not a race ski!). At his weight he'll float like a boat in soft snow anyway. They grow so quickly that, assuming they have the technique to cope, you are really best buying head height or a little longer - they'll be eye height before you know it!

Where to find skis? I've found the buy and sell board here throws up some good stuff but some of the best value comes from asking in the hire shops at the end of the season. Generally they find they have overstocked some sizes / models and in any case they like to keep the stock rolling over. Even if they are not advertising the right thing for sale if you say you are looking for something in particular they will often go to the rack and offer you a ski - generally Euro 100 will buy you something that will have plenty of life left our two.
Although April is best, I suspect you could do the same in December. Indeed the first pair of skis I ever bought were used hire skis bought in Jean Blanc Sports in 1850 in December when I worked a season. Related to this is the option to hire and ask them whether, if he likes the skis, you can buy them at the end of the week. If you don't hire brand new skis you may be surprised how cheap that can be. I did that with boots for my daughter last season. Ended up paying Euro 20 to keep the boots rather than give them back.
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Cheers @jedster, food for thought
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Great to hear of good snowfalls in the Alps. Could it be that after 3 lean years conditions will be good this Christmas?

On the negative side the ECU on the car keeps flagging an "Engine Malfunction" and putting the car in "limp" mode but the mechanic has plugged into into his laptop and says no faults are listed. The worst of both worlds. If you don't fix it, this could, probably will, keep happening. But how can you fix an undiagnosed problem. Mmmm...
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@Layne, what car? What software is he using? Some are notoriously fickle with error codes and generic readers (MB being a good example). I've got some spare time this week if I can help out.
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@ansta1, it's a 2013 Ford Mondeo Estate TDCI. Not sure of the software. The mechanic is just test driving and the missus talking to him.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Usual suspect are (in no particular order)

Dpf - filter gets blocked
Egr - swirl flaps stick (though more common on vauxhall engines)
Cps - but these usually stop the engine starting rather than throw up a eml

My guess would be intermittent dpf off the top of my head, first test is to give it an italian tune up down the a5. Which is basically thrash the tits off it for a few miles. Have you been running it on short journeys around town recently with no hi speed, hi revs (for a diesel) as that stops the dpf having a clearout.
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@ansta1, "Have you been running it on short journeys around town recently with no hi speed, hi revs (for a diesel)" - the missus has did that when it happened the first time as I'd been driving it - and I drive like an old grandad. But then it came on when she was coming back from Aylesbury so seemed to rule it out.
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@Layne, thrash it down to old strat roundabout and back. See if still throws a eml light after that, if not run it like you stole it for a day or two and you should be good if it's the dpf.
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There is air getting into the fuel pipe apparently. Could see gurgling. New air filter being fitted tomorrow hopefully will work but could be a hole in the fuel pipe somewhere.
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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.
Hmmm, suspect snake oil if I'm honest, air filter or fuel filter? if you're looking at a clear fuel filter it will look like it's gurgling (depending which fuel filter it is) but if it's the low pressure filter (off the fuel pump) which is usually clear, then it it will gurgle. If it's the hp filter pre injectors........
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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
Sorry fuel filter.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Apartment keys were sent on Wednesday but haven't arrived. Going to see if they arrive Monday, if not another set will be sent. Could do without that tbh.

Pretty much made a decision not to buy laddo some new ski's as lacking time to sort it. Seems new boots fit in his old skis.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Apartment keys have arrived. Yay!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Lift pass purchased - 1238.74 EUR for 8 days, 2 adults, 2 children.

Wife and daughter are off all week. Son is at school until Wednesday. I'm in work until Friday officially though as I am moving onto a new project in January easing down!
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Forecast appears to be for clear weather, little wind and decent temps over the weekend which will be nice for our arrival and settling in. And coming on to the radar is snowier and colder conditions coming in on Tuesday. Which would of course also be excellent.
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@Layne, Enjoy, looking fwd to hearing about it.
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You sound about as excited as me, and I've got 3 weeks till I go! Have a great time. There is nothing like skiing to make me feel like this. Golf, cycling, been there done that, both to a decent level, but skiing, well it left me for a bit, but the last 3 years have been ace.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Six weeks unti I am going to La Tania. Looking forward to see how you get on. Have a good time.
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All packed and left home at 3pm. Roads were good and now waiting to be called to board. Bumped up an hour but everything delayed half an hour.
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@Layne, Safe journey and have a great time.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dinner in Buffalo grill in Calais!
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The drive to the tunnel went smoothly. The way people work these days and with the way Christmas fell it was a quieter then normal Friday. We got bumped up an hour officially but such is the poor throughput at the tunnel these days left about the time we were scheduled. We ate when we got the other side and then filled up with Gazole (1.25 E/ltr at Auchan). We then drove in three shifts straight through to Chambery where we got fuel (similar price - which was 15-20 cents cheaper than the motorway) and then went to the Casino supermarket in Albertville. We are getting better at the shop and were done by about 10. We then drove up to La Tania which was all clear apart from the final spur road to the apartment. It was great to see so much snow so far down after these lean years.

We already had the keys and the apartment was nill occupied last week so we unloaded straightaway and made a cuppa. Got a parking space on the road 50m from the apartment entrance. Eventually we got our gear on and headed out skiing at 1pm. The passes had been waiting on the dining table so it was straight on the lifts and a rumble over Courcheval way. As expected the slopes were in excellent nick and everything was open. The off piste was well skied out as expected but I'd forgotten how much of it there was here. Eventually we skied all the way down from the top of Vizelle to Le Praz. And then we got Foret back over to the La Tania sector and stayed there pretty much to closing. A long but excellent day.
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Heading out to La Tania for the first time 27th Jan. Will watch this thread with interest @Layne.

Enjoy, have a great time & Merry Christmas.
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