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Scaredy cat seeks resort recommendation

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi everyone,

My wife and I are looking for a good ski station for beginners for the first week of january 2019. We don't really party or like the crowds, but would like to enjoy some easy skiing and nice scenery.

My wife skiis well, however my only experience is a 4 day trip in Val Thorens. We really enjoyed having traditional French meals (at the Au Mazot restaurant), and after a day of greens my trip ended with a crash, a chipped ski, and having to "ski" down a blue slope on my bum with skis in hand Shocked. As a result, I'm looking for a place with lots of greens. From the web, I've narrowed it down to:

1. La Plagne
2. Alpe d'Huez
3. Les 2 Alpes

...Any recommendations for one over the other?

Thanks Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For easy....

If you can stay in Courcheval 1850, Verdons is the easiest run around. Meribel is ok, easy runs from Rhodos lift our of the Chaudanne and then around to the village/rondpoint. Gets a bit steep at the end.

I would avoid L2A. The Jandri run down is not steep and relatively easy from a skiing sense, the problem it is the main route for all skiers and gets really crowded so there is no room to maneuver.
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@backflash, I’d put those three in the same order of preference that you have.
snowHead
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I've been to La Plagne and L2A. Both have plenty of easy greens and cruisey blues. I would say that if you are going for a week in L2A and just plan to stay on the greens and blues then you may get a bit bored of the same runs. And if I remember correctly the majority of these runs are up the mountain and the green back down is a bit of a nightmare so you may have to download on a chair.
L2A is also a bit of a party town, however there are still plenty of quieter places there to go.

La Plagne, I think you'll have more choice perhaps of runs and also places to actually stay as it's actually several smaller "villages" spread across the mountain.

Have you considered Montgenevre? We went there for our second ever trip. It's a quiet town and the pistes were almost deserted at times. Some nice easy runs and just a generally nice feel about the place. If you fancied a change of scenery, you can head into Italy as well to try out one of the other resorts that make up the Via Lattea.
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@backflash, Corvara in Italy I would also add to the list. Ideal for beginners and vast amounts of slopes to play on. Plus you have the Sella Ronda if you get a bit confident and want to explore. The scenery is just stunning, plus its cheaper than France.....IMO.
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as above, either Corvara, Colfosco or San Cassiano - all are linked and most of it is all really easy blues
(or La Villa, which is also in the same sector, but the blue run back is a long slog of poling iirc)
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Saint Gervais ticks your boxes & only an hour from Geneva.
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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!
Soldeu.
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Go to La Plagne and stay in Belle Plagne - there are some great runs for begginers off the Arpette with several options to keep you entertained. Equally if you progress during your stay you can venture further afield on very easy blues (e.g. down to Plagne Centre or even down to Montchavin) and really feel like you're 'going somewhere' rather than just skiing the same run over and over again. Lots of lovely restaurants in Belle Plagne too and at 2050m it's very snow sure.
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Corvara would be my suggestion as well. I'll be there again this year for the fourth year in a row.

Stunningly beautiful, well pisted, quieter slopes than France, plenty of easy skiing if you want it but much, much more to offer if you want to explore. Great food and well priced.

Last year they had a great fall of early snow but this year we're still waiting although they have some of the best snow making around so it's almost guaranteed the slopes will be open whatever happens.

I still like to watch this video reminding me how pretty the Dolomites are


http://youtube.com/v/1Qvw0IHlAPk
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Your three are all a lot bigger than you sound like you need. Les Saisies would suit you well and, in my experience, will be quieter than Corvara in the first week of January (ie the first complete holiday week after New Year).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@backflash,
L2A and Alpe d'Huez have virtually all there skiing above the tree line , if you have a week with flat light you won't find the skiing easy no matter what pitch of the run.
La Plagne has a fair bit below the tree line. The condition of the snow affcts how easy a run is as well nowadays with snow-making you would be unlucky to get really bad snow anywhere but my general advise would be wait and see where the snow is for a low season week early in the season as conditions often vary quite dramatically between resorts.
If you want to book I would go for somewhere where you can ski through the trees if the weather isn't great which out of your suggestions would be La Plagne though other suggestions on here would work as well.
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@backflash, as others have said, if the requirement is just for green runs then smaller resorts would work well. But I guess you are looking at larger resorts so your wife can get some good skiing as well.

La Plagne has a lot of green runs but they are spread out around the villages. If you are restricted to one village, because you are uncomfortable on blue pistes, then you are only going to have say two green runs available to you.

I would pick Courchevel 1850 or Meribel ahead of La Plagne - both have a bunch of green runs in a similar place to give you more variety. For Courchevel, it is cheaper to stay in 1650/Moriond, 1550/Village or 1300/Le Praz and get the free ski bus to 1850. For Meribel ski in the Altiport area, and if staying nearer the village centre, download on the Rhodos bubble.
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Thanks so much for the help, your replies were all very informative.

I've now narrowed it down to Corvara and La Plagne. But I'm leaning towards La Plagne just because we will be at CDG airport in paris at 11am on Jan 1 anyway, and I speak French (but no Italian), so this should make planning easier!

We'd be happy with either a hotel or an apartment as long as it's walking distance to the slopes and restaurants. I saw the recommendation above for Belle Plagne, but I also read on another thread here to avoid Belle Plagne as it's a through route for getting to other places and that makes it hard for beginners. I also saw to avoid La Plagne Centre as it's supposed to be horrendously crowded? Any recommendations on which areas are the nicest to stay?
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@backflash, I don’t think those areas should be too crowded first week of Jan.

I would choose Corvara (Colfosco, San Cassiano nearby) over La Plagne at that time of year.

I don’t think language is much of an issue. I can see the benefit of France if already at C. DeGaulle airport.

I think Belle Plagne is a good place to stay if you decide on that area. La Plagne centre does get busy peak season but should be OK early Jan.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@backflash, If you're planning to ski directly after being at CDG at 11am on 1 Jan (i.e. from 2 Jan) it will be really busy everywhere as its the tail end of the New Year week.

On the other hand if you're looking at 5 Jan onwards there will be almost no one around.........
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Another vote here for the Corvara area. San Cassiano would suit nicely. Mountain Sun often have a well priced option at Albergho Frohsinn. Not rough but not high top end quality. Good value though
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I don't like to go beyond the remit of the post, but on this occasion agree other places may be better.....San Cassiano, yes, but the Albergo Frohsinn property is showing full so sticking with France I would recommend Valmeinier.....lots of wide and forgiving runs and generally reasonable - my wife would identify with going down slopes on her bum and carrying skis, though she would add unprintable language to that description- and she loved Valmeinier.
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Also do bear in mind @backflash, that you will really find life all round more fun if you take some instruction.

Green runs in anywhere I ski are either flat, or not really runs.

And you can’t really teach yourself to ski. Especially not as an adult.
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Alpe d'Huez is great for beginners and has non skiing things to do if you don't fancy 8 hours a day on skis. Courchevel 1850 or 1650 both have lovely confidence building greens and easy blues too.


I took my beginner friends to ADH last year and we're going to Courchevel 1850 this year for the same reasons as you Smile
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If you're set on France, I was going to suggest Alpe d'Huez with a couple of lessons with Masterclass. Masterclass are a great little British-run school with a good reputation for helping build confidence.
Wherever you go, I suggest you ask for recommendations of a good ski instructor who can help you with your confidence.
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@backflash, I'm with @pam w, that all those ski areas are bigger than you require. Smaller resorts will be mean cheaper lift pass and probably cheaper accommodation and restaurants.

If you go to La Plagne I'd stay in one of the villages.
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I’d be going to Kreischberg, Katschberg and Turracher Hohe (the last one is particularly lovely). Bit of a departure from your big French resorts but it’s definitely where I got most of my confidence learning to ski.
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Another vote for St Gervais. It's a lovely little spa town with genuine boulengeries
and shops, not just a ski resort. Skiing wise a bit of everything and a couple of long greens and easy blues.
We went as a family of beginners and had the best time. It's mostly tree lined so plenty of protection when the weather closes in.
I wouldn't recommend La Plagne as you could easily find yourself stuck on what can be quite challenging blues and reds.
Courchevel 1850 is very easy and cruisey but it's generally extremely overpriced and full of knobheads. That said there's lots of ground to cover by doing the three valleys if you want to expand your horizons or revisit VT.
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@HotDogger, I can’t imagine a green run skier can do much revisiting or horizon expansion without getting off green runs.

Also a good point above, you (self evidently) don’t need an enormous, linked up, expensive area...
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@under a new name, Agreed but the option's there if the op gets on well and fancies giving it a go.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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While I agree that for a beginner the areas he's looking at are unnecessarily large, the OP does say that his wife "skis well", which might explain why they're looking for a large area.

Of the resorts mentioned by the OP that I know: ADH, La Plagne and Courchevel are all good for beginners IMO. I would probably rate ADH as the better of the three based on its large green areas, but it's also true that those are above the treeline, and could get a bit bleak in January. La Plagne also has plenty of cruisey greens/easy blues, and perhaps more sheltered stuff than ADH. I agree with the recommendation to stay in Belle Plagne rather than Plagne Centre. Courchevel I know less well, as I ski the 3V from Val Thorens (can't afford to stay in Courchevel Wink), but from what I remember would also be a good choice. It might also be worth thinking about which one your wife would prefer, i.e. what you mean by "skis well".

You should also think about booking lessons, as that's really the quickest and best way to improve.
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Yes, lessons! Definitely.
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Have a few lessons in the UK before you go (Private lessons?) then maybe a few confidence boosting "leisure" times skiing without instruction at a quiet time. as for resorts la Plagne all day for me, though Ive never been to the others youve looked at. La Plagne (as a whole) has plenty of flattering blues and greens.

Can I ask how you lost your confidence? I read you had a crash, was someone else involved or was it you felt "out of control"

Maybe look at a private lesson while out in France
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