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LIVE TR: Les Coches 22nd to 29th December 2018 (PHOTO PORN ADDED)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This will be our 19th family trip after:

March 2009 - Les Menuire (3V)
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)
December 2017 - La Tania (3V)
March 2018 - Les Coches (Paradiski)


Getting this Live TR started early this year. No reason.

Will be our normal routine: DIY, driving, France, S/C apartment with crew of me, missus, son and daughter.

It will be our 9th trip as a family to Paradiski and my 12th if I remember correctly. Clearly this place has got a hold of us. And in particular now Les Coches is our go to place to say.

The apartment (in Residence Les Pentes) plus 6.5 day lift pass was 1273 Euros. Which is actually 21 Euros cheaper than it was in March (Easter). The "free" half day has reverted to being the Saturday afternoon prior to starting rather than the Saturday afternoon after, which was the case in March. This is much better because we tend to arrive in resort mid-morning and ski a full day the second Saturday. Again will use samediski for that - 35 Euros each. Immo for this one is Glaciers in Montchavin, who we've found to be more pleasant than Ski & Soleil in the past. Not that you know that when you book through the La Plagne official website.

Tunnel was booked using Tesco vouchers. Outward journey on Friday evening at 21.50 was £89 and the return on Sunday at 06.25 was £71. At least it's easier to booking times than with Frequent Traveller.

Car (a diesel) has gone well through the 100k mark but I think we are going to keep her running for as long as possible. Much as we'd love to stop shafting the environment, financially and hassle wise there is little incentive, nor clarity on what to buy.

Our annual MPI insurance policy is still active so nothing to do there.

Kit wise, main activity has been on my son's kit. He's been growing! Now 13, I have had to source new boots and ski's. Got some good quality boots for £40 on Facebook Marketplace. I'm actually finding this quite a good place to buy and sell stuff. I've sold my two sets of junior skis on there whilst having no luck on here or on gumtree. And avoids the crippling fees on ebay. Ski's a bigger issue. #1 it's hard to find decent second hand ski's as there is so much tat around and anything half decent is overpriced and #2 as he's growing and may go up another boot size before he needs another set of skis and they may get passed on to his sister and for ease of resell I wanted some with rail/demo bindings - which are uncommon. However, glisshop saves the day and I managed to pick up some 2017 Dynastar Glory ski's with Xpress bindings for £220 incl postage. These look decent enough all mountain skis.

I am off for a boot fitting/buying on Monday at CEM's place. It's gonna hurt financially but my Atomics are 20 weeks old and beginning to fall apart a bit and you gotta think of it as a long term investment right.

My daughter will be on the Vamps I got last year and that will be that otherwise.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 25-01-19 2:52; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looking forward to reading this.
I may even start my own mega live ‘Aussies do Europe’ trip report. Very Happy
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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:

I may even start my own mega live ‘Aussies do Europe’ trip report

Yes, do. It's interesting to see how these things develop - half the fun is in the planning and anticipation, after all.....
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sbooker wrote:
Looking forward to reading this.
I may even start my own mega live ‘Aussies do Europe’ trip report. Very Happy


In tribute to the late Mark E Smith one assumes

https://g.co/kgs/wqkP7i
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
sbooker wrote:
Looking forward to reading this.
I may even start my own mega live ‘Aussies do Europe’ trip report. Very Happy


In tribute to the late Mark E Smith one assumes

https://g.co/kgs/wqkP7i


I’m was not familiar with Mark E Smith.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

I may even start my own mega live ‘Aussies do Europe’ trip report

Yes, do. It's interesting to see how these things develop - half the fun is in the planning and anticipation, after all.....


I’ll leave it until a couple of weeks out. It should then be able to cover some ‘no snow anxiety’ and the difficulty that is packing for a combined ski/tourist holiday for a family of four to somewhere about 15000 kms away.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
So boot fitting done today at Solutions 4 Feet. Feel really good by the end and looking forward to using them in earnest on the slopes in a little under 8 weeks time.

We believe that is all the kit requirements for the four of us sorted.

Signed documents emailed back to the agency and so accommodation all confirmed.
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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!
I was a big fan of Les Coches when I stayed there but I found myself spending most days going over to Les Arcs to ski Laughing
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Layne wrote:
We believe that is all the kit requirements for the four of us sorted.

Spoke too soon. Got a call back end of last week from glisshop...

Because the Dynastar Glory skis are womens the bindings do not have a big enough range for my sons new boots which are 335mm. Order cancelled and back to intensive browsing - mens only!
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@Layne, have you had a chat with Spyderjon as to whether he has anything suitable in the ex-demo stuff?
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@NickyJ, yeah I've looked but I'm really bargain hunting and they are still a bit pricey for us. Will get there eventually. Wondering about waiting until Black Friday!
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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.
So glisshop had extended their 10% off offer until end of yesterday. No doubt there will be another offer along soon but as the weeks tick by stock will reduce and I just wanted to get this deal over the line.

So purchased Dynastar - Legend Pro Xpress skis (size 170) paired with Look - Xpress 11 B93 bindings. After discount and including postage it was £306.97. Missus was still baulking at paying £300 for a 13yo to ski on. But the with the rail binding they will have good resale value. We go a free basic ski bag with them - which we may well sell as we don't need one. But it only retails at £17 anyhow.

These skis are going to be a real challenge for laddo. He's 168cm tall at the minute and coming off kids skis. But the assets of the skis are described as Manoeuvrability, Easy-to-steer, Grip - so hopefully he'll got on with them pretty quickly.
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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
Layne wrote:
Son has last his phone at school today!

This turned out not to be true. On about the third day he found it in his rucksack that has all his stuff (books, writing paper, pencil case for the journey and holiday). Seems it was the first thing he did when he got home from school. Then a while later when he went to get it out of his schoolbag he couldn't find it and assumed he'd lost it. He took some flack for this for the rest of the week Laughing Very Happy


Last edited by 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 on Wed 2-01-19 11:49; edited 1 time in total
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You know it makes sense.
Tunnel crossing was a slight delay on the bumped up crossing so didn't gain much but still had time in hand anyway so was cruising at around 65-70 mph the whole way. Fullish moon and lack of any mist or fog made for comfortable driving. The rain showers came and went continually. The missus having driven the leg to the tunnel, it was me that was first up in France. We split the driving equally until the missus bailed on me at 4am. I had 10 minutes nap, some coffee and some energy drink and then did another hour and half. Stopped at the Casino next to the motorway through Albertville for car fuel and human fuel for the week. There was some traffic approaching Moutier which slowed us down a bit and we go to Montchavin at 11:30. We got our apartment details sorted and got the keys. Then drove up to Les Coches, unpacked, had a bit of lunch and got our kit together for a ski!
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@Layne, I'd be the walking (skiing) dead after driving through the night! Did you manage a decent ski, or just a few runs to blow the cobwebs away?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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mgrolf wrote:
@Layne, I'd be the walking (skiing) dead after driving through the night! Did you manage a decent ski, or just a few runs to blow the cobwebs away?

The weather wasn't too great (dull, cloudy, a little rainy in town) so the crew weren't overly keen. So it was about 1.30 when we got out. And there was a bit more faff. Missy (11yo) had trouble getting into her new planks. Hard to tell if it was her not really trying or the bindings being a bit tight. We later took them to a shop to check and it appears to be the former! Nothing up top (Inversen/Roche De Mio) appeared to be open and anyway vis wasn't great so we stuck to the tree lined runs above Les Coches. Laddo was on new boots and skis (both a tad on the big/long side but designed to get the growing sod through a couple of seasons!) so he needed some time to get into those. Because of the temps (too warm) there was nothing doing off piste. Also a lot of runs are not open. I am guessing because of thin cover and a general holding pattern on opening everything. But we had a good couple of hours blast nevertheless. I like to get on the slopes after the long drive despite not necessarily feeling full of beans. Gets the long drive out the system, the ski legs back and makes for a very good nights sleep!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Apartment has a very dated bathroom and kitchen. And the leccy can't cope too well with the hobs and electric heaters running at the same time. But it's all liveable. The lift pass deal that came with it makes it very cheap.

Sat eve we had a pre-cooked chilli and pasta followed by lots of cheese. All accompanied with wine and beer of course. In bed by 10.30. Sleeping like a baby by 10.31!


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 15-03-19 3:02; edited 2 times in total
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On to today....

Again it was dull, greyish and a bit too warm. We had a leisurely start to the day not overly rushing to get out. My son decided to board and we decided to head over the VE to ski up to just above the tree line on the Les Arcs side. Some of the pistes are a bit thin in places, some are closed. And we really need a drop in temps. We just cruised around. It felt like a bit of a nothing day. Were we somewhere new you'd be doing a bit of discovery but we know Paradiski so well it feels like a bit of waiting game. Still better than the office.

Probably best ski of the day was coming down the top half of Combe. It doesn't attract the crowds and the snow felt decently grippy and well covered. The bottom half is closed.

This evening there was a welcome drink (vin chaud or chocolate chaud) in the commerce square. It was a nice atmosphere and well done for them for putting something on. After a nice dinner we had a games session (Uno, Jenga and Kniffel) and then cheese. Time to crash!
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@Layne, we are in arc 1600 and like you we are finding a lot of the resort closed. In fact on Saturday I thought less than half was open. Sunday was better but today looks particularly miserable with once again about half the resort open. Thankfully there are not a lot of people about. No lift queues and quiet pistes.

I agree about the top of combe being good. I just wonder if the drag lift was closed. I remember a track from the bottom back to peisey but that might go up hill. However my favourite runs of the day were bosses and belette. The grand col was good as well my creaking knees made it from the schuss to pre st espirit non stop.
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johnE wrote:
@Layne, we are in arc 1600 and like you we are finding a lot of the resort closed. In fact on Saturday I thought less than half was open. Sunday was better but today looks particularly miserable with once again about half the resort open. Thankfully there are not a lot of people about. No lift queues and quiet pistes.

Yeah, another day of the same. Higher winds higher up means nothing higher up open and visibility upwards of 2500m pants anyway. Best to not stray much above the treeline. The last 3 days is exactly why I like staying in Les Coches because either side of the VE there is still a lot of skiing to be done in this weather. The biggest downside at the minute is the temps aren't dropping. Off piste lower down is too heavy or crusty to work with. Still some decent piste skiing to be had.

johnE wrote:
I agree about the top of combe being good. I just wonder if the drag lift was closed. I remember a track from the bottom back to peisey but that might go up hill.

You're correct it's only the bit that goes to the drag that is closed.

johnE wrote:
However my favourite runs of the day were bosses and belette. The grand col was good as well my creaking knees made it from the schuss to pre st espirit non stop.

Yeah Belette is at the altitude sweet spot at the moment. Having made it over the 2000 bowl and the likes of Grand Col yet but looking like things are going to clear up from tomorrow though I am concerned that freezing level is set to continue at a high level for the rest of the week.
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It's just about freezing in arc 1600 at the moment.
We did very little skiing today. High up the viz was poor, low down getting soft. It looks as if it was only ski schools out.
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Yesterday, Christmas Day, was a big let down as far as the skiing goes. We were out relatively early and the sun was shining but so many of the pistes were smooth and/or icy. We stayed over in La Plagne, gradually manouevering ourselves from the Les Coches sector over to the Montalbert sector, over into the Champagny valley and then back again. Ironically one of the best pistes of the day was the piste Natur aka mogul field Bosses from the top of Verdon Sud. So many pistes are officially closed this week and we have observed the notices but on this occasion we didn't. To be honest I'm sceptical about some of the closures. Anyway the moguls down Bosses weren't too icy and it was a nice long challenging ride.

We had a really early lunch at the Le Formelet picnic area above Moantalbert thinking the sun might soften some of the pistes but it didn't really make much odds. Skiing down from Le Formelet passed the forlorn looking Envers chair down to the bottom of the La Roche chair was wacky races at times. And quite near the bottom at a narrow section some bloke came hurtling down beside me and hit the rutted side and had the full yard sale, resulting in a nasty lacerated face.

A little later we went off piste down the side of the Kamikaze piste, nasty breakable crust, and the missus took a tumble. She'd banged her knee playing volleyball a few days before we came out which had been giving her a bit of jip, so this was the sort of the thing wasn't what she required. Of course it was all my fault because I'd "talked her into it". As it happens it became more slushy further down and almost fun for a while.

We didn't help ourselves with our choice of lifts/timing in the afternoon and hit Bergerie and Alpette at peak times and so ended up doing a bit of queuing. The resort in general is busy this week though perhaps the conditions are making things seem a bit worse. Anyhow, we had a full day and were suitability tired for the day. So much so we had an early night!


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 15-03-19 3:04; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Today was more of the same weather wise. We had a vague plan to go up the Aggy Rouge but as it happened we didn't make it that far. We had a more leisurely start anyway, getting our first lift about 10.30. Once the other side of the VE we went up Peisey and skied down Aigle to Grizzly and then down Belette I think to Derby and then we did the long Traverse, because we never have to 1600. We headed up Cachette and down to the Snowpark, where we did a couple of runs through. They've put some rails alongside the T-bar near the top which is a great idea. After that we went down to the Arpette lift and had lunch sitting on the big plastic foam seating pads they've got up there. We then did a couple of runs of piste down the Arc 2000 side, vaguely adjacent to the Ours chair lift. A real mixed bag but probably as decent as off piste is going to get this week. We then did another run down towards 1800. And then started heading home. It was actually a pretty good days skiing and the mood in the camp much better. Lots of chilling, food, card games and drinking this evening.
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Teenagers and their mood swings. Wonder when he'll be human again!
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As some of you may know I'm not fond of faff... videoing brings in a whole new level of faff.
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The week has been technically challenging. Hence no photos until I get home.

Another pleasant sunny day with some decent piste skiing and a bit of variable off piste.

Biggest lift queues I have experienced in La Plagne.
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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:

Biggest lift queues I have experienced in La Plagne.


the usual bottlenecks, bellecote area?
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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
Russeh wrote:
Layne wrote:

Biggest lift queues I have experienced in La Plagne.


the usual bottlenecks, bellecote area?

TBH it's all over. My missus, not prone to acts of violence, flung an arm at another lady whilst getting on the Vagere gondola. To be fair she'd just taken a pair of skis to upper body/head.

Having a Paradiski pass helped at the lifts that allowed priority.
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You know it makes sense.
Short report on todays skiing... Weather was cloudy but still pleasant. We headed straight over the VE to the Les Arcs side and then over to 2000. We headed down to check out the new Comberciere lft. It's a great improvement. Not so sure about the new Secret piste, although I understand the need to justify upgrading the lift. Anyhow, we went down the officially closed black. Note: we are geared up for off piste and viewed it as such. Though to be honest I think the only issue was thinnish cover lower down. Anyway, we really enjoyed it so did it a second time. We then headed up Pre Esprit and down and up Vagere before skiing of the sides of the black piste. It was really nice but lunch beckoned and we ended up back at the top of the new picnic platform at the top of the Comborciere. It's a really nice sort. We then deja vu'd back down and up Pre Esprit/Vagere to pick a different line down. We then took an amble back home.

We are as packed as we can be. We are skiing tomorrow before driving home in the evening. Will report back on Sunday!


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 15-03-19 3:08; edited 1 time in total
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@Layne how are conditions on piste holding up? I'm out a week on Sunday, doesn't look like we're getting any fresh snow between now and then!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Layne, how did you manage to get from the pre st espirit to the vagere lift?

Anyway we have been following a lot of your reccomendations today. The blacks under the varet lift were in good condition but our enjoyment was destroyed by the sight of a helicopter and badly injured skier at the bottom. I hope they recover quickly.

Combourcier was good at the top looking much better than secret, but the shrubbery at the bottom was interesting. I suppose a season of skiers will chop them down.

The piste that are open are in fact, on decent condition with 99.9%snow coverage and no stones not even at the usual places such as plan violets. The snow is firm enough that the busy traffic of this week will not make much difference
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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johnE wrote:
@Layne, how did you manage to get from the pre st espirit to the vagere lift?

Sorry, was wrting in a hurry Happy Either that, or I have lift name dyslexia!

johnE wrote:
Anyway we have been following a lot of your reccomendations today. The blacks under the varet lift were in good condition but our enjoyment was destroyed by the sight of a helicopter and badly injured skier at the bottom. I hope they recover quickly.

We saw a number of helicopter and blood wagon rescues in action. Combination of busy slopes and icy pistes no doubt.

johnE wrote:
The piste that are open are in fact, on decent condition with 99.9%snow coverage and no stones not even at the usual places such as plan violets. The snow is firm enough that the busy traffic of this week will not make much difference

I was seeing the odd stone popping through towards the end of the week.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 2-01-19 11:50; edited 1 time in total
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hats off to solutions4feet anyhow. I purchased some Atomic Hawx Prime 110S boots fitted with Superfeet footbeds from them back end of October. All in it was £470 but due to the care and customisation I had barely a twinge all week. The missus was super jealous. Way I'm seeing it, if I get 20 weeks skiing out of them with no pain and complete comfort (I didn't undo the buckles all day) then the price per week in context is perfectly reasonable.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 15-03-19 3:09; edited 1 time in total
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Layne wrote:
Son has last his phone at school today!

This turned out not to be true. On about the third day he found it in his rucksack that has all his stuff (books, writing paper, pencil case for the journey and holiday). Seems it was the first thing he did when he got home from school. Then a while later when he went to get it out of his schoolbag he couldn't find it and assumed he'd lost it. He took some flack for this for the rest of the week Laughing Very Happy
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Monday morning cloud and another day to stay below the treeline

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Wibble


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 25-01-19 2:00; edited 1 time in total
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It's Christmas!

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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mist(r)y on the Vanoise Express

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It's Christmas - part two

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New skis, new second hand boots, new pants, new charity shop gloves and poles

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