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Andora (Arinsal) - Jan or March?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

Looking to go on my first proper ski trip and there's a group I could go with to Arinsal for a week either from Jan 5th or from March 10th. Can anyone suggest when the best time to go would be? I believe both are just outside of the most reliable snow period and there can be strong winds in January. March trip is more expensive so if there wasn't much in it I'd go for Jan.

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have been in both those months and I would opt for March. Whilst Arinsal has lots of snow cannons if there are high winds they close the resort, or the higher lifts, and this is much more likely in January.

Weather will be nicer in March - as for the snow, who knows that’s the million dollar question.
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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?
Haven't been to Andorra but have been to pyrrennees in Jan and weather was not great. I think there is more of a risk of Atlantic influence than in the Alps so slightly less cold in march and more light. If I went back to pyrrennees it would be march next time. Remember the smoking is quite high up there in many places certainly than Austria and eg Jungfrau in Switzerland.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks both - sound like March is the better option.

countryman: not sure what you mean about the smoking? Did you mean "skiiing", and are you saying it's a good height or better to go elsewhere?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@calisp, I would never base a decision solely on weather. After all, there are no guarantees. January is likely to have better snow, colder temperatures, but possibly more wind. March is more likely to have warmer temperatures and therefore slushier snow. But conditions can change very quickly in the mountains and pretty much anything can happen at any time. What other deciding factors are there? Price? Availability of flights? As a beginner you are more likely to be based on nursery slopes, where are they and how likely are they to be affected by inclement weather?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
I'm actually not a complete beginner, will be going with my kid (9) and we're actually snowboarders (I meant ski as a general snow holiday term). First experience was when I was in Zakopane 10 years ago - hired a board for 3 days and progressed quite well, getting down the black run OKish on the 3rd day - just riding down it, not trying anything clever. Then spent about 10 days in the snow domes with my kid over the last year and we've started learning basic tricks (360s, butters, etc). There was a table top (6-7ft long) set up the one day and we could clear that. Based on my pretty clueless perspective in Zakopane, I don't think the kid would have any problem with reds and probably be OK on the blacks by the end of the week. A park with a beginner section (which Arinsal has) would be good.

The trips I'm looking at are actually with one of the snow domes. These seem good as they are well priced, include coaching with the snow dome instructors (I'm sure I'm full of bad habits being self-taught) and will be with a group of people to ride/socialize with. The trip looks ideal, it's just the risk of no snow time that worries me. Holidays for me are about sporting activities and I'd be bored out of my mind being there but unable to get on the slopes. The kid would probably be as bad.

The Jan trip has happened for the last 8 years and had good snow. Last year wind did close Arinsal and they got the bus to Pal. March is a new trip. Price-wise, March is only slightly more expensive.

If the risk of bad conditions is too high, then a more expensive trip without a benefits of the group would be an option but hopefully I'm just worrying too much.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@calisp, I wouldn't really consider there being much of a risk of the the majority of the pistes being closed due to lack of snow. It's fairly high, North facing which helps preserve the snow, and they have a decent number of snow cannons. Resorts have got very good at managing their snow and making it last. Even in a very poor snow you would expect most of the pistes to be open in somewhere like Arinsal in both January and March. If there is a significant saving to be had then I would say go in January. My personal preference would be March over January but there is not a lot in it and you could get excellent or sub par conditions in either month, same as for February.

https://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/palarinsal-la-massana-vallnord/test-result/snow-reliability/
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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!
That's very reassuring!

Jan is 10% cheaper but that would be worth it for a better chance of better snow/weather.

March would be better for the kid - he gets cold even in the domes (whereas I find it too hot with a jacket on) - especially with the wind. I remember a day in Zakopane where I didn't feel at all cold on the runs but the wind on the lifts was agonizing.
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