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Am I mad?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, yeah, I know I am but specifically.....

Since having our children and them being of school age we've gone skiing Christmas week (occasionally week before) and when the schools break up in Spring (late March/early April). Partly this was because it was tricky for the missus to get half term off and partly because of you know, it's bl00dy half term. We've had some good years and bad years snow wise but when they were younger it didn't matter too much. Now they are 11 and 13 and we do a fair amount of off piste, and after a stonking two weeks last year kinda don't want to tale a step back. We'll defo go Christmas week again but Spring term ends April 5th this year. The missus has no issues taking off half term now. And I am thinking about switching the second trip this year to Half Term. For us that is 16-23rd Feb smack in the middle of the French school hols and the prime UK week. On top of which it would be driving to a French resort... because that is what we do.... So my question is: Am I mad?

There is a supplementary question....

A couple of Christmasses ago I put on a deposit down on a place in Le Sept Laux. Because of a lack of snow it didn't open and we did a last minute switch to Tignes. I was thinking if I did go HT about going Sept Laux. Back then the kids were doing a bit less mileage, bit less off piste and we'd done a couple of smaller resorts but since the it's been Paradiski, ADH and 3V. I know not many know it but would there be enough to do in Sept Laux!? Will it be quieter (as it's not a Brit destination)? Will the lift system cope? Should I play it safe? Or go a bit mad and do it?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne, I would suggest looking at wider options. By limiting to where you can drive to... into an area that is also in the middle of their local school holidays you are lining g yourself to busy areas.

Last Feb we flew to Oslo and hired a place in Sälen, Sweden and hired a car to drive there.

Previously we tried Bansko, Bulgaria but that was insanely busy.

This coming Feb we are flying to Salzburg and staying with flangesax in Haus Suzanne, Radstadt in the Ski Amade.

There are so many different countries and areas out there. I also looked at Canada as compared to what I had been finding in flight prices that was surprisingly affordable. Then I found snowdave thread on how to get affordable half term flights, which made the Austria trip we have planned reasonable.
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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?
Here’s the link for flights

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=137668&highlight=

As a result of this we have two sets of return flights from Gatwick to Salzburg (covering Feb half term and Easter holidays) for the family of 4 for just over £1k. We have booked a cheap self catering place in Mayrhofen for the second week via sunweb.
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If you are used to Paradiski, ADH and 3V etc and want offpiste then Sälen is too small. For Scandinavia it’d have to be Åre for something comparable (flights from Gatwick that HT week £450 or £650 inc bags). Or a different type of trip up to Lapland, for offpiste and touring, in which case April would be better anyway. Conditions were also great in Åre at Easter.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Layne,
You could post requesting specific information about Les Sept Laux in the resorts section to get more information. I know Davidof has skied there.
I have no knowledge of it but I would not assume that because it is not a known international resort it will be quieter in French holidays.
I had friends who lived near the Pyrenees and would go to Austria during the French holidays because their normally delightfully quiet resorts became rammed and unbearable.
I have to say my own instincts would be to head elsewhere driving to the nearer Italian/Swiss /Austrian resorts is not that much more difficult and likely to be no busier.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
T Bar wrote:
@Layne,
I have no knowledge of it but I would not assume that because it is not a known international resort it will be quieter in French holidays.
I had friends who lived near the Pyrenees and would go to Austria during the French holidays because their normally delightfully quiet resorts became rammed and unbearable.


=> This.

@Layne, I've skied the French school holiday weeks in France a few times (before I learnt the error of my ways wink ). My impression was that in most resorts the British half term has no noticeable impact on busyness, over an above that created by the French. I skied at New Year a few times as well, which is comparably busy. I found that the mega resorts with more international visitors have a more efficient lift system and are better at coping with the numbers. The huge queues are worse at the smaller resorts. It does also depend on whether 1 or 2 French zones are off. Both Christmas week and Easter are much quieter than the main French holiday weeks. I've personally tended to have better off-piste conditions later in the season. At at busy time it will get tracked that much quicker.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you were asking about your 3rd trip of the season I'd say go for it but even as late as Easter is this year there will still be great conditions in the higher resorts and much quieter so.....
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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!
maybe not go to france?
Sure you could hit a few Austrian resorts in an extra hour or 2 more travel time?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

I would not assume that because it is not a known international resort it will be quieter in French holidays.

I'll endorse that, too. I generally cleared out of Les Saisies for the French school holidays in February/March despite having free accommodation and a season lift pass. Small French resorts will be full of small French people. And big ones. For reasons I have never understood a lot of French families without school age children still seem to flock to (and from) the mountains on Saturdays during those busy weeks. Go to Italy (not much further to drive). Look for Sunday/Sunday accommodation and think hard about how to time your journey to avoid the worst of the traffic.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Stick with Easter. I've skied every Easter holiday with my kids since 2010, no matter which week Easter was. Usually Les Arcs, Meribel or Val D'Isere. Anything eay to get to by Eurostar. Even in the drought year of 2011 we had a great trip (Val D'Isere that time). I've also done half-term and I definitely don't like the crowds. Long sunny days at Easter win hands down even when conditions are not ideal...but then I do lurve slush skiing in the afternoon when everybody else has given up.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks all for the responses. Flying is probably not an option simply because we are fully geared up for driving and self catering. If I was going to fly anywhere it would probably be States, Georgia, Japan but that's probably not on right now or a half term thing. I'm not overly concerned with the driving as we drive overnight and happy to get into resort early and leave late the second Saturday.

On balance Les Sept Laux seems like a bad idea.

Seems a choice of:

#driving to Austria/Italy
#sticking with Paradiski/3V and let the lift system do it's work
#stick with going in April
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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.
Layne wrote:
Thanks all for the responses. Flying is probably not an option simply because we are fully geared up for driving and self catering. If I was going to fly anywhere it would probably be States, Georgia, Japan but that's probably not on right now or a half term thing. I'm not overly concerned with the driving as we drive overnight and happy to get into resort early and leave late the second Saturday.

On balance Les Sept Laux seems like a bad idea.

Seems a choice of:

#driving to Austria/Italy
#sticking with Paradiski/3V and let the lift system do it's work
#stick with going in April


drive to Andorra or french Pyrenees?
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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
@Layne, stick with what you know. You know the choke points and times from experience. They will be busier, but you can avoid the worst with your knowledge.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Paris/ile de France half term is one week later, doesn't start the 16th, so you'll miss the worst.
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