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Half term drive down - live journey chit chat !

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Great thread , i've always enjoyed the logistical planning/packing for the journey through France , but alas this year we are on a plane to Austria , and i cant find anything about that journey that is remotely interesting . Usual routine is to get to Albertville for a Friday night leisurely meal and overnight stop and OTR by 7.00 or 7.30 am , get to Moutiers without any jams at all . 3 years ago we were a little later getting OTR ( only 8.00 am ) and it was a nightmare , one of our group queued for 40 minutes for petrol , needless to say we didn't wait , the numpty should have filled up the night before like the rest of the group . Bon Voyage and safe drive to everyone
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I got a eurotunnel last tuesday around 2pm, we normally get a later crossing due to leaving after work but the OH finished early on tues. It was the quietest i have ever seen it. Blissfully so. Literally no queues anywhere. I am going to make a point of traveling mid afternoon from now on rather than first or last thing.
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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?
Quote:

Then an early departure from Lyon around 6-7am Saturday morning to head to Courchevel.

@Gazzza, you might need to be considerably earlier than 7am leaving Lyon to get to Courchevel ahead of the traffic. If an early arrival is out of the question a late afternoon arrival might be better.
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Quote:

as for the hoards leaving later Friday and saturday it might not be so simple


I don't think anything's simple about Eurotunnel on the Friday before February half term........

In previous years we've arrived in time for our tunnel normally booked for around 2200hrs but the queue to check in, then get through security then finally onto the train has been so long we've ended up being put on a later train (2hrs later last year), I'm just hoping someone is late or cancels and we can sneak on earlier.

Also in previous years we've come off the A42 at Jct 8 and taken the D1504 which brings you to Chambery. It's a smaller road but has never been busy for us and some of the scenery is great, and it's freeeeeee!!! Friends have gone the other way (either down the A6 from Macon or kept on the A42 and then the A432 past St Exupery) and hit traffic on the A43 not far out of Lyon. We've arrived in resort quite a bit earlier and spent the money we saved on tolls on a round of drinks.

This Saturday is going to be busy, you can guarantee it. We use Waze which has taken us around alot of it in the past but the Gendarmes seem to close more and more side roads every year.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
packing tonight! cannot wait. Although I'm getting Eurostar direct on Saturday evening this year rather than driving.

excited for the Powder!!


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 7-02-18 15:53; edited 1 time in total
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You'll need to Register first of course.
We are on the 15:00 Eurotunnel on Friday, stopping in Chaumont overnight. Hope the weather is OK.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You'll not win on the tunnel. You get their earlier a lot of the time they won't bump you. And even if they do the queue's through border control, security and loading means you get leave the time you were meant to anyway.
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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!
Quote:

you get leave the time you were meant to anyway.

Exactly!!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I wonder how many children will suffer an illness that keeps them off school this Friday Toofy Grin
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I know of two!!!!!!!! LOL....

only kidding...we ve told the truth....we re on holiday
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Some of us can’t skive off early in the Friday.... not when one of the party is the HeadTeacher!
Merinet is not showing any snowfall until Saturday night... so hopefully I’ll be in a bar watching the rugby by that point.
Snow forecast is showing nothing
Meteoblue agrees with merinet.
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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.
stefoy4me wrote:
I know of two!!!!!!!! LOL....

only kidding...we ve told the truth....we re on holiday


Likewise. And we got an 'Enjoy your holiday!' which is more than we ever got from Primary school Smile
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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
@jamescollings, bergfex.com sometimes gives a different forecast. It's another option to chose from to find the weather you're hoping for. Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
cheers @Avago, I did check sanef my account the other day, and it said the battery was in good order, not sure how it knows though: ~/ .
if I remember right, the first paege (and maybe more afterwards) you can use the doofer in either the manned or automatic lanes, so I will try the attended lane first. If it works, I will be confident enough further on to drive up to the automatic lanes afterwards.
the missus can sleep most of the journey then!!!

I have also just thought of a game to keep me amused whilst driving, I am going to try and work out how many other UK drivers heading to the slopes are snowheads, I have run out of SH stickers (they are plastered over my skis!!) or I would have stuck one on the back of my truck.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jamescollings, cant the head teacher make it an inset day Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jonathancarty
"Oh, and isn't the Super U at Salins-les-Thermes after the Belleville turn off?"

Yes. That's correct. You need to take the turn off for Meribel, Courchevel & Brides Les Bains for the Super U. It's only a minute or 2 up the road from the turnoff/roundabout.

And I agree. This is a great idea for a thread! We are not going until next weekend but it's great to hear about the trips of others to get in the mood.

But the recurring theme is brilliant. i.e. how fantastic it is that a ski trip can get "grown ups" (in physical terms at least wink) so excited! Very Happy Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
What a lovely thread, its making me feel very nostalgic! Reading the last couple of posts I just wanted to say to make sure your snow chains are easily accessible right from the start of your journey. I can`t remember whether it was Xmas or half term but one year with 3 small boys in the back, we had to use chains on the autoroute not far out of Calais! The snowfall was very heavy and northern France is not set up to clear snow from roads quickly in the way the Alpine areas are! We were towing our caravan but with the chains on we kept going in the outside lane, most vehicles were simply stopped in the inside lane! Did not have to use chains that year in the Alps at all lol.
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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?
Whenever we had the last big snow in the southwest (2010???) we put our chains on 3 miles from home and were the only car on the A30 out of Cornwall with 4 sleeping kids in the back (we left at 0400hrs). Snow was at 6 inches deep on the road. At one point we dug ourselves out with plastic beach spades we had in the roof box.......
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Obvious, but worth reiterating: as well as the Thermos, take some filled rolls, cans etc. As mentioned, this makes you independent of having to stop at a big service station and you can swap drivers and break at any aire.

Oh, and rubbish bags located liberally around the car for the kids, so you can eject them when you stop. The bags, not the kids.

Our Library service has an app for free talking book downloads.

I keep a damp chamois in a plastic bag and have a small supply of water to rinse it with: the screen can get pretty encrusted on a long drive.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Snack size/mini pork pies travel well, as do cooked chipolata sausages. They don't go soggy like sandwiches. Pies for the humans, sausages for the dogs. Very Happy
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I'm beyond excited. So many people (some are skiiers!) are astonished that we would drive to the Alps until you explain patiently that you'd set out at the same time or earlier if you were doing it in a day flying, you don't have to stand in a 90 minute queue waiting to check your bags at Gatwick, you don't have to wait for 120 minutes in a hot coach while harrassed young folk try to locate lost punters at Lyon and the days of getting blasted on a crate of Desperados on the coach are long over anyway. And pork products do make the journey fly by... The only thing I would say is for some reason the journey back always seems to pass more quickly even if it takes the same amount of time. Strange phenomenon...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
gah! just checked the battery on my doofer for the tolls and it's "near expired". I had no idea you could check until I saw Avago's post.

About six hours too late to get a replacement before I go Sad
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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!
@Spin Doctor, depends on where you're setting off from. If you're 'inside the M25' then driving might make sense. My next trip is to the PDS - according to via Michelin that would be 20hrs driving from where I am. Instead I can get a hotel/parking deal at Edinburgh airport for the Friday night and an early flight to Geneva Saturday morning, pick up a hire car and be skiing by noon. Much quicker, less tiring and less stressful.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@CaravanSkier, @jonathancarty, it was Christmas 2009........we managed to get on the very last Eurotunnel before they shut it.......complete carnage immediately as we left the train, jackknifed lorries everywhere. It took us 28 hours from Calais to the SkiWelt. We were very new to the whole ski-drive thing back then and learned LOTS of lessons. Wish I'd had the benefit of the SnowHeads community knowledge before that trip snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Swiftoid Very true. Inside the M25 does mean the tunnel (which I still get excited about driving on to - big kid) means it's v convenient and not a chore. Throwing money at the problem (scheduled flights to Geneva from HRW, hiring a decent car) has taken much of the pain away on the odd occasion in the past but no longer within my price bracket at half term with two teenage Spins in tow.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Looks like the forecast for northern France for Friday looks like it's bringing snow earlier...... not exactly ideal......
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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.
@Spin Doctor, yeah, horses for courses. As I'm not restricted to school holidays it's cheaper to fly and hire a car than it would be to drive (and pay for a night's hotel each way) than drive and for 5 days off work I can get 7.5 days skiing that way.

Anyway, have a great trip!
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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
Whatever your plans for a half-term drive to the Alps, be prepared to change them.... go with the flow.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Does look a bit lively Friday afternoon around Reims etc. Bonne chance tous... for those out there be really interesting to hear how you are getting on...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
All packed now, we have a VW California so the fridge is on and full of food, cupboards loaded with snacks and more food, kids DVD players are in and the Tol tag has been found after removing it to get a new windscreen. Can’t wait to get going.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
http://www.meteox.com/forecastloop.aspx?type=1

band of snow sweeping south pretty much all of Friday now and lingering around sat am which could make the usual bottlenecks even more aggro than usual

can t change it, just hope we are ahead of it. Convey of three with two other cars that swear they d never drive................until they saw the easyjet flight costs this year for HT!!!

LOL
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
next dilemma......Dijon - carry on on the A6 at Dijon or branch off to A39.......

A6 I know is shorter but not much in it

A39 quieter as less Paris traffic.

Only been doing this for 15 years and still undecided!!! LOL
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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?
@stefoy4me, always the A39 for me.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
A39
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There's extra snow this year - as you know - so please make sure you have snow chains and or winter tyres with you

Also excellent French website showing live traffice information http://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/routes-en-hiver,10525,langen.html
plus driving tips
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Great thread Very Happy

The waits nearly over an the annual anticipation is becoming overwhelming, it never wears off.

Eurotunnel tomorrow mid-afternoon, onto hotel in Troyes and then head for Chatel on Saturday morning, via Lausanne, and hopefully skis and boots collected and settled in ready to sit back with a beer or 3 and watch the rugby.

Packing tomorrow - boys told to have stuff they want to take ready tonight for us to pack, otherwise it will remain where they've dumped it. School informed of their "dental appointments" and we'll whip them out early afternoon and head to tunnel. Flexi-plus so hopefully limited queuing.

Good luck to all on your trips and enjoy the snow snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi KK!

We are staying in Troyes too and I am a half term driving virgin! What time are you planning to leave on the Saturday morning to get into resort in good time??

Cheers
Dan
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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!
Hi Dan

No later than 7. A few years ago we overslept and got away around 8:30 and caught in the jams around Bourg en Bresse with the meeting of the A39 & A40. Not an experience I wish to repeat.

As we're heading to Chatel, we'll be avoiding this by taking the Dijon, Besancon, Pontarlier, Lausanne route. Where are you heading?

KK
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
LaForet wrote:
.... so you can eject them when you stop. The bags, not the kids.


Very Happy Toofy Grin

Hells Bells wrote:
Snack size/mini pork pies travel well, as do cooked chipolata sausages.


Yup good call, added to last minute shopping list for tonight ready for tomorrows journey picnic. Pork pie and scotch eggs for in-car breakfast whilst at the tunnel pre-loading area Happy

pam w wrote:
@Gazzza, you might need to be considerably earlier than 7am leaving Lyon to get to Courchevel ahead of the traffic. If an early arrival is out of the question a late afternoon arrival might be better.


@pam w I did wonder that. Maybe we'll have to go for 6am. We're staying in Masssieux to the North of Lyon on the A46, right next to the auto-route and we'll have cartons of OJ and some snack type thing for the kids, so no faff or breaskfast, it'll be in the car and go. Normal traffic journey time to Courchevel would be 2hrs 20min.

I'd like to do a fuel top up at some point so I've got some mountain spec diesel in the tank, but again I'd rather get past the main drag of Chambery, Albertville Moutiers before conisdering a stop. Does the Super U in Salin-les-Thermes have filling station ?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Bergmeister wrote:
But the recurring theme is brilliant. i.e. how fantastic it is that a ski trip can get "grown ups" (in physical terms at least wink) so excited! Very Happy Very Happy



^ This. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy snowHead
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