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3 Month Aosta Ski Season / Holiday

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am in the lucky position of being able to have Feb / March / April 2019 off of work with the better half... so what to do? or where to go?

Currently thinking of stayong in aosta, As you can get an V Nice apartment for 3K all in or a small house in Saint Pierre for the same price.
Also there is the aosta ski pass+ that covers all the regions resorts and Zermatt so will be easily covered for skiing, Not forgetting that Pila lift starts in Aosta.
Accepting we will drive 4 days a week to other places and also lots of touring (Our hols are very much 50/50 lift accessed backcountry or 100% skinning)

Bride les bains has a similar setup but doesnt readily offer the terrain, (I know it links into 3V as have stayed here but driving wise it doesnt have the variety of aosta)

Bourg St Maurice - same as above and the price is a lot! more for rentals, ie £4k a month verse £3k for 3 months in aosta.

I looked at austria but struggled to find long term accommodation.

In an ideal world i want to ski the same resort a few days a week, a few days at another and then a few skinning. (Hence the aosta region pass looked good)

Have i missed any where? before i go and spend 10K for 3 months of skiing!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Aosta is where I'd go.
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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?
@PROJECT_MANAGER, chamonix? Brig? You could go very many places.

Aosta not a terrible idea though Happy
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I failed to say ive done chamonix 3 times (1x 1month, 1x 3months and a week with UCPA )
agree its good, but the lift situation with GM and at Le Tour has somewhat put me off)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Aosta sounds like a great idea. Do you speak some Italian? If not, then I think you could get a good return for a modest investment in learning.
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Aye agreed, I always learn the lingo (Read that as: try) as you state it always go along way. Assuming it ends up being Aosta we will take up Italian once a week at the local college. (I can book a restaurant on the phone etc and say hello but not much more!!!)

Were both agricultural folks hence thinking aosta as its totally different as neither of us have ever lived in a city!

Also noted there is a multilingual ski touring club 'the Flintstones' based in the valley too.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@PROJECT_MANAGER, i don’t think (! The La Tour sit is as bad as publicised...

But Aoste is rather nice and if I can find the name there’s an excellent steak to be had
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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!
Aosta will be good.

Somewhat spreadout, though.

The 3 Vs in France is best, for miles of slopes in one place.

And will have better neige in April.
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Ive probably miss sold what im looking for, We very rarely ski pistes for pistes sake, their more for getting to another bit of off piste. But agree the 3V is a fantastic resort but would prefer to stay in Les Menuires if i was there as its quick to link into the other valleys for the routes but struggled now to find anything for 3 months at a sensible price, But by all accords this was/is on the list until me n the missus really nailed what we want to do...

My main concern with 3V would be that its a faff to get down and out to go touring.

Where as in april from Aosta its a 50min drive? up to Cervina or Champoluc or 30mins up to skyway montebianco for high altitude ski touring which is one of my prime reasons for wanting to be skiing feb / march / april rather than Jan / Feb / March.

As an example if we stayed in Aosta planning on:
The 3 main bowls of Courmayeur + the descent down to La Thuile
La thuile has lots of good side stashes + Mont Vailsan (sp?)
Toula Glacier from Skyway Montebianco
The resort 'that mustnt be named' and the North side of it + plenty of tours in this valley which is always open due to the main road
Shwarztor down to Zermatt
Monterosa - I would go here for 3 months but the quietness of it has put the other half off.
Also planning on a 5 day Grand Paradiso Tour.

With the above in mind the 3Vs doesnt come close and the lift pass is even more costly and i would end up skiing the same pistes repeatedly to get back to the house / flat.

I guess my original post is just fact checking my thought process before i jump in, so ALL suggestions are great as there are many pros and cons to each resort. ie 3V would be more ski bum where as Aosta would be lots of traveling and new places
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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There's a lot to recommend Aosta, but if I were in your position I'd also consider:

Switzerland:
Get a Magic Pass (www.magicpass.ch). It's not as cheap as the initial price, but still at CHF549 till 12th November. You could stay somewhere down valley, like Martigny or Sion
Or, in the (mostly) German speaking parts, Chur could make a decent base, though I don't know if there are any good ski pass options
You might be able to get lucky with 3 months accommodation, as a common Swiss work visa only allows 9 months work a year, so a reasonable number of people go home for a 3 month block, which could give some cheap accommodation. However, it's more common for the 3 months to cover mid Dec to mid March

France:
Maybe the Maurienne valley, or Briancon.

Austria:
Innsbruck might give better accommodation options
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Looks difficult to get so much of your interest elsewhere to match Aosta.

As @viv, suggests though, valley Maurienne is very interesting for range and cost. Location of Modane or Lanselbourg worth investigating.
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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.
Aosta should be great apart from the hoards of school parties infesting Pila most of the season. Might be worth buying one of the heavily discounted MB tunnel mutiple passes if staying a few months to broaden your options even further.
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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
If you're looking for a city with a bunch of offpiste and touring options, Innsbruck is the other logical option.

I an't say which is better between there and Aosta for skiing, as I've only spent time in Aosta in the summer (kayaking).

From those few months there, it feels to me like Innsbruck has more of a city feel, and easier to get by in English if you need to (Aosta you really need Italian or French; at least then in 2009, few locals spoke English).

IBK would certainly satisfy your skiing requirements, but I'm pretty sure Aosta would too. D'you prefer pasta and wine or schnitzel and beer?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
+1 for Briancon. Stay in the old (medieval) city - very atmospheric. For big resorts, Serre Chevalier and Sestriere are nearby. There are also lots of small resorts, and access to loads of lift served off piste, and great day tours. And La Grave is just up the road.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@PROJECT_MANAGER, 3 months off, fantastic, have you thought about Canada/USA/Japan as something a bit different?

Nice problem to have, make sure you post some Trip Reports wherever you chose!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Lucky so and so. I did 4 nights in Aosta on a mates trip a while ago and loved the ability to easily get to a different resort each day. Did Pila, Courmayeur, Cervian and Monte Rosa. That plus Italian food and drink sounds like a fantastic life for 3 months.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
many thanks for all the responses.
We had discussed america / Canada etc but my work were quite keen for me to be able to hop on a plane and attend meetings if required as a small % of our work is consultancy based and the aim is i head this up remotely during the 3 month trip. (only a few hours a week)

Briancon is an interesting idea as is Maurineene (which i only know from the summer as have stayed in Termignon and Lansvillard (sp) over the years for climbing etc.

My french is ok but German non existent but that wouldnt put me off. (Just something else to learn)

Thanks for the infos, Few more hours looking at Innsbruck / briancon etc
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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?
Aosta sounds a great starting place. We ski Pila most years and always see the Army out skinning up the mountains.

Lots of specific routes too that are avalanche controlled.

Not to mention cheap coffee and wine and brilliant food everywhere.
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Acosta sounds like a great plan, I just wanted to say how jealous I am.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Having spent all last winter in Courmayeur, 5 months, I did a fair bit of mileage around the Aosta valley. As someone else mentioned it is the main base for Interski which is mostly school trips, so lots of kids at all the resorts, especially Pila. I personally would plump for Innsbruck if you can find accommodation at the right price for you. Lots of options within a short drive of the city and a great city to spend time in. Aosta can't compete on that score.
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Hi @PROJECT_MANAGER, I have a strong suspicion you will have a fantastic time in the Aosta valley, with what you have described of your skiing and how you are planning things. Please do give us updates on your season on this thread.

I have been tempted to do something similar for a couple of years now, but it is still on the "to do" list. Maybe next year... The Aosta valley pass looks like a great way to go, giving so many top resorts on one ticket.

If you can get by in French that is a handy asset as the Aosta valley is "bi-lingual". I use the inverted commas as it's very much a second language these days for the locals, but does mean that they speak it nice and slow and you can do pretty well with even schoolboy French.

Would be keen to know how you are thinking of sorting your accommodation. Do PM me once you have organised that (assuming you stick with the plan).

Cheers, Bob.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Aosta is a great small city and has everything you need. Italy far exceeds the other offerings in terms of cost and general quality of food imo! You can still get an Espresso on the mountain for around 1 euro to 1.20, Pizza for 5-7 euros and ice cream for a couple of euros....try that in Switzerland!!

You seem like a decent set of skiiers, so you may need to travel a bit around but you have a huge amount of terrain available to you and travel is easy there. Cervinia is around 50 mins to an hour traffic and weather dependent. La Thuile has some great skiing and La Rosiere has just opened 3 or 4 new slopes that you can access. I keep planning to do the Valle Blanche, its better reached from the Italian side by all accounts. The Toula glacier looks pretty hardcore, the whole area is pretty stunning!

Plenty of people speak english in the Valle D'Aosta especially in ski resorts. In the local villages its more Italian then French but people are friendly and you won't struggle especially if you learn some words and phrases.

I love the Valle D'Aosta in general...Go for it!
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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!
This year will be my third Aosta season. It’s fantastic, go for it. Ive previously done seasons in Chamonix and verbier and Aosta is better.

Some advantages in no particular order.

Huge area with lots of resort options incl some sweet little ones.
VB options.
Good coffee, and cheaper grub on the hill.
Better weather in the valley bottom.
Insurance incl in the pass.
Straightforward pass options and no need to buy early.
Monta Rosa incl. in my view as good as it get for offpiste and touring.
Not as crowded as many resorts and copes well in high season.
Other sport options, ice climbing, snow shoeing, plus Nordic skiing area incl on the lift pass.
Aosta a real town with plenty going on.

Any questions fire away.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As above, Aosta looks perfect for you. With Courmayeur (including Toule), Cervinia/Zermatt and Monterosa you have 3 fantastic off piste ski areas and doubtless countless other local options. Plus Italian food and cheaper than France / Austria. Go for it and report back!
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Just keep off the motorway from Ivrea up which has got to be the most expensive bit of road I have ever traveled on.
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Definitely a good plan, mate of mine rents a place in Entrèves 5mins from the SkyWay and travels out most weekends!

He knows a couple of guides really, really well, for more demanding terrain eg after using the Skyway and has now had two stabs at trying to do Mont Blanc but beaten by the weather on both occasions.

They are Italian, and not outrageous rates, PM me if you would like their details.

As you probably know Valgrisenche is close by, I've done three days touring there, was meant to be a day of heli, but weather was not good.

Meant to be a superb area, not that we actually saw a lot of it due to the inclement weather and ironically we ended up going to Pila getting the lift up from the center in the B&Q car park and scored some great conditions up there.
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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.
I've done a similar review, and I keep coming back to the Aosta valley as the best place to base one's self for a long stay with a lot of variety for skiing and manageable prices. Would you base yourself in Aosta itself, or in an outlying town?
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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
Super Steezy wrote:
Just keep off the motorway from Ivrea up which has got to be the most expensive bit of road I have ever traveled on.


Dumb Aussie question.
If I’m driving from Milan to Aosta how do I avoid not going past Ivrea?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@sbooker, What is wrong with Ivrea ?

You could always go over the Simplon into Switzerland, along the Rhone valley to Martigny then back through the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel.

Just stay on the Autostrada.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
For at least a couple of thousand years the folk of Aosta have made their living from people passing through.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rjs wrote:
@sbooker, What is wrong with Ivrea ?

You could always go over the Simplon into Switzerland, along the Rhone valley to Martigny then back through the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel.

Just stay on the Autostrada.


Nothing wrong with Ivrea as far as I know but the comment was made not to travel on the motorway north of Ivrea due to cost. There’s no way to avoid it is there? And what sort of cost are we talking?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sbooker, A useful website for travel directions is Via Michelin as it will show toll costs for each route.

The SS26 runs alongside the Autoroute from Ivrea to Aosta but will be slower, how much of a rush will you be in ?

I often avoid the autoroutes in France, but I drive there a lot and know where I'm going. Italians shouldn't be allowed to have cars.
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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?
rjs wrote:
@sbooker, What is wrong with Ivrea ?

You could always go over the Simplon into Switzerland, along the Rhone valley to Martigny then back through the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel.

Just stay on the Autostrada.


just a small detour Laughing
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rjs wrote:
@sbooker, A useful website for travel directions is Via Michelin as it will show toll costs for each route.

The SS26 runs alongside the Autoroute from Ivrea to Aosta but will be slower, how much of a rush will you be in ?

I often avoid the autoroutes in France, but I drive there a lot and know where I'm going. Italians shouldn't be allowed to have cars.


No great hurry and we may take to opportunity to call into Fenis castle.
Thanks for the tip.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Entry to some castles is on the lift pass!
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@sbooker, Milan airport to Courmayeur was about €26 this year each way, and can be paid by credit card, takes about 2hrs easy drive.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
^^^^
This holiday must be costing about 25 grand so another few Euro won’t hurt. Laughing
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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!
Just putting this up as its always a lot cheaper to go on holiday for long duration's than short ones, The below is a fair quick cost break down,

Aosta valley lift pass 1239 x2p 2478 euros
Accommodation 1000 x3mth 3000
Food 40x7x12wks 3360
Travel 100x12wk 1200
Getting there/bck 500

All in that comes to £10538 (havent bothered with Euro or Sterling as its that close)
10538/12/7= £125 per day or £62.73 per day per person

I already pay yearly for multi activity insurance so have not included that.

Of course in reality it probably will cost more than stated, but because i have chosen it to, I once did a season living only on pasta as i wanted to climb every day rather than work!

Equally its the sort of trip that if i didnt go on that i would regret forever, And the way to opportunity is to say yes!
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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 think you will have a great time in Aosta. We tend to go in the summer on day trips from our place in Les Carroz and always come away saying - we should spend a few days here. It is a real place and so has cultural stuff and wonderful food at reasonable prices. If you want more culture a side trip to Turin is well worth it and you can of course head off pretty much anywhere. Lovely to be able to do it.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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PROJECT_MANAGER wrote:
Just putting this up as its always a lot cheaper to go on holiday for long duration's than short ones, The below is a fair quick cost break down,

Aosta valley lift pass 1239 x2p 2478 euros
Accommodation 1000 x3mth 3000
Food 40x7x12wks 3360
Travel 100x12wk 1200
Getting there/bck 500

All in that comes to £10538 (havent bothered with Euro or Sterling as its that close)
10538/12/7= £125 per day or £62.73 per day per person

I already pay yearly for multi activity insurance so have not included that.

Of course in reality it probably will cost more than stated, but because i have chosen it to, I once did a season living only on pasta as i wanted to climb every day rather than work!

Equally its the sort of trip that if i didnt go on that i would regret forever, And the way to opportunity is to say yes!


Have you decided where to stay yet? as i dont think you would do 100 a week in travel unless you were driving up and down the valley each day from say Courmayeur to Cervinia. That being said fuel is not cheap in Italy. One of the cheaper stations is after Pre St Didier and before Courmayeur just after the Courmayeur cable car on the SS6. Its an Eni station and i always use it when i am in the area.
Also you probably wouldn't spend 40 a day on food unless you were eating out then you would spend that or more. If you are cooking at home i doubt you would spend 240 a week though. The Famila supermarket in Morgex is good and better value that the Carrefour in Aosta especially if you get one of their loyalty cards which gets you certain offers that are usually very good!

Don't forget to make sure your insurer lets you stay away for 90days on your policy as some have limits. And to get proper eurobreakdown cover that will repatriate your vehicle...i speak from experience!

I'm excited for you! Cool
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