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Les 3 Vallées 2019/20 - Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens etc

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mrecho, at the moment looking mild and dry. Hopefully will change.

@offpisteskiing, cheers!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Blissfully quiet around resort this morning after the busy-ness of last week!

Pistes firm but grippy, off piste still lots to do:





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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?
For a mid to late January holiday in Courchevel for intermediate piste skiers this is starting to feel like too many recent years - mild with tricky ice below 2000 metres. Having visited every year at the same time for 8 years it seems a long time since a late Jan holiday with temperatures way below zero. I always think these conditions are far worse for the less accomplished who cannot simply carve through the icy bits.
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Are the runs icy at the moment ?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@SecretSanta, where have you found tricky ice?
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offpisteskiing wrote:





Good pic.

Captures the steep.

Which is rare in a photo.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Get out early on the groomed pistes and they are very nice. Catch the lifts down from the mid stations if you want to avoid the ice and moguls later in the day - particularly on Aigle into Mottaret and Doron into the centre of Meribel. Great that the crowds have departed. La Masse was deserted this afternoon. Another glorious sunny day, though feeling cooling with some breeze at altitude.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
kitenski wrote:
@SecretSanta, where have you found tricky ice?


Later in the day some can be found at lower altitudes but the weather forecast makes me pessimistic about conditions getting gradually worse over the next few weeks, having seen this before in Courchevel many times over the last 10 years. Hopefully things can turn colder, especially to benefit the less skilled skier who doesn’t like to spend the day up high.
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@Perty, we let our apartment in St M de B through Agence des Belleville, and we have been happy with them. The local office means that there is someone on hand if you have any issues.
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I've got some early morning flights into GVA Fri 17th Jan, lands at 11am. I'm currently planning on doing a days touring with @offpisteskiing, on Sat 18th, so plan is to do a few hours warm up Fri afternoon with a 3 hour Courchevel pass, tour Sat, take a beginners XC lesson Sunday morning.

I'm thinking of trying to find accom in Le Praz or La Tania, can anyone recommend a hire place that does touring skis & skins, and ideally XC skis?

Also any recommendations for an XC instructor for the Sun morning?

Cheers,

Greg
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kitenski wrote:
@SecretSanta, where have you found tricky ice?


Just back from 3 valleys - last day skiing was Saturday. Pistes are holding up well, but the combination of freeze-thaw, no new snow, and heavy holiday traffic meant they were getting very firm in places, especially the resort runs lower down. Not really what I'd call ice, but there were certainly patches where you'd need both good technique and very sharp edges to get much grip. May be better now the crowds have gone.

Off piste there is still some good skiing, but the temperatures mean it's not light and fluffy anywhere, and virtually all the lift accessible stuff we skied was tracked out. We had a fairly unpleasant run from la masse to st Martin with easy breakable crust almost the whole way to the tree line. Wasn't worth the hike in and out!

Back again next week, keeping fingers crossed for a little more snow and colder temperatures.
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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.
SecretSanta wrote:
kitenski wrote:
@SecretSanta, where have you found tricky ice?


Later in the day some can be found at lower altitudes but the weather forecast makes me pessimistic about conditions getting gradually worse over the next few weeks, having seen this before in Courchevel many times over the last 10 years. Hopefully things can turn colder, especially to benefit the less skilled skier who doesn’t like to spend the day up high.


This is not specific to Courchevel... every ski area that is under this current weather system will be exactly the same...

Super-quiet as of Saturday around Courchevel which is nice! Pistes great first thing, but definitely a few firm patches. A few pebbles showing on the lower section of Brigues down to le Praz but it has held up surprisingly well (with a bit of help from the snow cannons).
Meanwhile there is still 'some nice soft 'old cold' snow around but you have to go skinning/hiking for it:


A 'Fruit-y' morning... from Simon Christy
https://vimeo.com/383088095
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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
@offpisteskiing, looks great snow given the recent temps and lack of new snow! How steep was the pitch where you got (what I assume) is an ice axe out??
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You know it makes sense.
@kitenski, only 45-ish, but funky snow as 2 friends had been down a couple of days previous, plus rocks, plus exposure over the step below...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Looking at bus connections from Val Thorens to Moutieres. The busses seems to be going from 4:00 in the night, so it should be no problem to arrive in Moutieres on a saturday morning at 7:00, right? Anyone who can confirm? Smile
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Heading out to Courcheval on the 18th for a week, so from the info above will definitely need some fresh stuff by then. Trouble is, there isn't any forecast! Confused
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We head over this Saturday which I am excited for. Sounds like good weather for piste skiing at least and a drink in then sun Smile
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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?
I'm over again next week with a friend. Think the piste skiing will be fine - but I'm bringing tuning gear!
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Yep if its just on piste mostly available.....there's plenty to choose from!

I'm not going to lose any sleep, but I recall two years ago we had similar conditions and I think I fell over about three times on the piste (first day) when I suddenly hit some cunningly hidden ice! Shock
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Rockape63 wrote:
Yep if its just on piste mostly available.....there's plenty to choose from!

I'm not going to lose any sleep, but I recall two years ago we had similar conditions and I think I fell over about three times on the piste (first day) when I suddenly hit some cunningly hidden ice! Shock


Perfect to practise then Smile Make sure the edges are sharp on any hire gear (or your own gear). Real rock solid (and you really don't find it very often on piste) you can't do much about apart from not trying to turn on it, hard/firm patches are much more manageable!!
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plenty of softish bumps to play in meribel and the blacks have been mostly groomed in Courchevel with cracking early morning fresh tracks
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Is there anywhere I can get a shower in Le Praz or La Tania after doing XC on Sunday 19th??
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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!
kitenski wrote:
Is there anywhere I can get a shower in Le Praz or La Tania after doing XC on Sunday 19th??

How about Aquamotion ? Might need to pay for a fitness session or something.
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There are public showers/lockers/changing rooms under the Med centre in La Tania (next door to the lift pass office but at street level - walk down the metal staircase between the two buildings). Don't know for sure but would be very surprised if the new Alpinium building in Le Praz didn't have the same.
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Having just looked at the Courchevel Mairie Alpinium site, looks like Le Praz is lockers and toilettes only. There are definitely showers in LT - €2/pop or so from memory. Was only built about 3 years ago, it's a good quality changing room.
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@Raceplate, thanks have a hire car so can pop up to la Tania! Is there free parking nearby??
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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.
You can literally park outside on the pavement for (I think) 20 minutes - there are two official short term waiting bays. Otherwise there are two free car parks in LT about 100m in each direction. The first one, Parking du Saz is probably easier for the changing rooms. Just walk towards the gondola from the car park and down to street level.
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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
@kitenski, allegedly there are showers in or near the disabled toilets in the village end of the Alpinium parking - haven't seen for myself yet though....
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
excited as heading across tomorrow and can test my new ski boots finally. How are the conditions currently?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
In La Tania, first and last runs of the day down Folyeres. Absolutely magic
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Powder day yesterday!!

There must have been a good 0,75cms of fresh overnight Happy - the merest dusting but actually enough to make a difference and leave some (very shallow) tracks on the early piste runs and all day long off piste...
Lower pistes (down to Le Praz) and blue down to Altiport in Meribel from Col de la Loze getting a bit thin but other than that pistes excellent and off piste nice and chalky if you stay on shady aspects, and still soft turns to be found low down in Rocher de l’Ombre bowl.
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Off to Les Menuires next Saturday, just wondering about ski passes as we are in Preyerand and it is a bit of a walk to the ticket office in La Croisette though if we buy online. Crystal can have passes ready for us at the apartment (MMV Couer Des Loges) but this method is not cheap. Anyone have any experience with the ski pass machines? There's one in the SkiSet at our accommodation - do you need a blank card to top up or will it let you buy the actual card and charge it for the week at the same time? Do the machines give group discounts e.g. Duo?
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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?
@mrecho, not sure about the machines, though I think you can recharge an existing card. You could email the lift ticket office and ask (we have found them quite helpful in the past).
How much are Crystal trying to get out of you for on site delivery? I'd be tempted to order online and collect from the ticket office on your arrival day if you can't get the tickets from the machine.
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Normally there is a large supply of blank rechargeable cards near the machines. I have no experience of the Preyerand machine location but I would have thought it should not be different to any other.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you have an old ski pass with a long number starting 01- you should be able to reload it online.
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Interesting, thanks guys. Crystal prices are about twelve quid a head more than the online Duo price, not a massive amount in the grand scheme but skiing is expensive enough. Our chalet hosts asked us to leave the passes behind last year so can't recharge online. As we arrive lateish Saturday evening we'd have to pick up passes from the office on the first morning as well as getting ski hire sorted, just makes getting out that little bit longer. We are staying on the Bettex run and apparently there are machines at the bottom of the Bettex lift - other half doesn't want to risk it though!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alpinebear wrote:
If you have an old ski pass with a long number starting 01- you should be able to reload it online.


It worked for me last season; haven't tried yet this season.
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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!
Booked last night up after much umming and arring for which resort to go to. Heavy snow forecast for this coming Friday. We arrive Saturday night so hopefully it provides a nice top up, weather for our week looks dry and sunny. Need to dig my old pass out and recharge it online. A bit excited now!
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Quote:

Heavy snow forecast for this coming Friday

Really?
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Maersk wrote:
Quote:

Heavy snow forecast for this coming Friday

Really?


The gfs is flip flopping between snow or no snow currently. One to keep an eye on as these types of highs can be stubborn but can also breakdown very quickly. So low confidence at the moment.....
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