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Where to go?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking for a bit of advice. I am going skiing with some friends in mid march and looking for some suggestions of where to go. We are a mixed group form beginners to advanced. It will need to be fairly high to be snowsure. We don't want it to be overly expensive so I've ruled out the likes of the 3 valleys and Val d'isere. Also if possible not an absolute mission from an airport. All i can think of that meets the criteria so far is sauze d'oulx and ive been there a good 3/4 times so ideally wanted to try somewhere new. I'd actually like to steer clear of france as ive mostly skiied there the past few years. Any other good suggestions for Austria/ Switzerland (probably too expensive) Italy? I also though st anton as it fits most of the criteria but the skiing is probably too difficult for some of our group. Any advice welcome. thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mk28, If you want to try Austria and are put off by St Anton (no need to be though it is not ideal for nervous near beginners) you could look at Lech (though it might be on the expensive side) Ischgl and Serfaus / Fiss all of which are pretty high and have extensive and varied skiing areas. Other places to look at would be the Zillertal (a number of areas up and down the valley) and Sölden / Obergurgl. A lot of the other places are likely to be perfectly OK in mid March though, as ever, it is not possible to know now what conditions will be like in 5 months time.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@mk28, If you want Italy then try Gressoney, but don't expect it to be cheep. Almost all the accommodation is is hotels rather than self catering which adds significantly to the cost. Or try the Dolomites: Wolkenstien, Canazei or Arabba would suit beginners and advanced, but in the main will require the use of ski busses to get from hotel to the lift. All that is really missing are good on piste mogul fields for the advanced skiers.
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mk28 wrote:
Looking for a bit of advice. I am going skiing with some friends in mid march and looking for some suggestions of where to go. We are a mixed group form beginners to advanced. It will need to be fairly high to be snowsure.

Mid-March is a very snowsure time of the year - everywhere. You do not need to restrict yourself on that front.

mk28 wrote:
We don't want it to be overly expensive so I've ruled out the likes of the 3 valleys and Val d'isere.

Doesn't have to be. Really depends how you do it. But anyhow is this a TO trip? Do you normally go catered chalet, hotel or S/C? What is your budget?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
i was thinking the likes of soll, zell am see etc may just be struggling a little snow wise at that time. we normally go hotel although would be open to catered chalet. Budget wise well we did Val d'isere last year which was around 1800 for hotel then youve got 370 for your lift pass. ideally under 1000 for 2 people accom and 200 lift pass? i actually just found a hotel for 1165 in ischgl that looked good but i think the skiing may be a little too difficut for some of the group.
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We did Austria for the first time this year. Saalbach. Close to Salzburg, good prices etc.

The snow mid-march was fine higher up. And you could ski back down to the town albeit, it got quite slushy late afternoon. However we also had a powder day so result. But we loved sitting out on the terraces soaking up the sun. Great ski area as well.
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@mk28, Paradiski? La Plagne and Les Arcs. High, snow sure, will probably be less expensive than 3V's and EK (Val and Tignes) but a similar transfer time.
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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!
Ziller valley as you have the option of glacier if snow is not good.
I find austria cheaper than france. Easier to get around with public transport so cheaper transfer and cheaper on the mountain prices.
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@mk28, An obvious choice would be Saalbach, which seems to tick all your boxes. FWIW mid-March both last season and the season before was one of the best times to be there, with excellent (fresh) snow and cold temperatures making for perfect skiing conditions.
You may hear the occasional moan about its south-facing slopes deteriorating in the afternoons when the weather is sunny in late March; however that applies to any resort that has south-facing slopes, and Saalbach is such a huge area (408km this season with the opening of the new link to Zell am See/Kaprun) that it is easy to find good skiing in mild weather on the north/west facing slopes of the main Glemm valley, as well as at Leogang and Fieberbrunn. I reiterate that mid-March has been great for the past two seasons, irrespective of the orientation of pistes.
Another factor to bear in mind is that Saalbach village is around 300m (1,000 feet) higher than the likes of Zell am See, Kitzbuehel, Soll, Mayrhofen and many other resorts that seem to have no trouble in remaining open until early-mid April. This can often make the difference, not only in the quality of the snow, but between precipitation falling as snow or sleet/rain.
In terms of the size of its interlinked ski area, the speed and comfort of its lift system, and the quality of its catering establishments (including apres-ski venues), the Ski Circus is considered by many to be Austria’s premier ski area (certainly a top ten Alpine resort), and, if you liked Sauze, you should find it very much to your liking.
If you would like a copy of my comprehensive guide to Saalbach, send me your email address via personal message.
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Quote:

@mk28, Paradiski? La Plagne and Les Arcs. High, snow sure, will probably be less expensive than 3V's and EK (Val and Tignes) but a similar transfer time.

You don't want to go there. I'll be in Les Arcs that week so wouldn't reccomend it. Also an 8 day les arcs lift pass costs 361 euros, much more than the 200 you want to pay.

@mk28, are the prices you are quoting per person or per room? Half board, B&B or full board? Do they include travel costs? (TBH I cannot hink of many places with lift passes less than 200 euro)

My memory is for hotels in the Dolomites during the summer we typically end up spending about 60euro per person per night 1/2 board.
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@mk28, Ischgl has plenty of easy skiing suitable for beginners, though the home runs from the mid station are not for the faint hearted, best get the gondola back if you are unsure. The area at Idalp in front of the main gondola is an ideal nursery area, good snow with wide easy pistes. If you can get a good hotel deal it would sound like an attractive alternative to France as although there is no real ski in / out the village is mostly pedestrian only and most places are in easy reach of the lifts. Personally I would steer clear of Skiwelt and similar. Yes you can get plenty of fresh snow in March but you can also get warm sunny days, some years it will be great other years less so with lots of slush in the afternoons.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

lots of slush in the afternoons.

Poor man’s powder wink
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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
Quote:

lots of slush in the afternoons.

Poor man’s powder wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Check this for Tignes: http://www.locatignes.com/appart/lac-21.html
https://www.tignes.co.uk/bs_date_saturdays.php
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I’ve not skied there but my research says Serre Chevalier should be great at that time of year. There’s a lot of north facing terrain and whilst it’s not incredibly high it has enough elevation to offer good conditions.
I don’t believe it’s a pricey as the Tarentaise resorts either.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mk28, for mid March, even with a decent sized group, a late booking would make sense I think.
Significant savings on catered hotels and chalets. Good idea of snow conditions and forecast for different areas. Other than 7-14 March, which tends to be popular with Brits.
snowHead
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@tatmanstours, thanks for this information. saalbach efintely sounds like its worth looking in to. thanks.
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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?
Had you considered staying in a valley location somewhere central to a range of higher resorts? Downside is the daily travel and rendezvous at the end of the day if you split, but upside is you can go to wherever the best snow is at the time. And you'll probably get better value-for-money at a valley hotel as opposed to one in a resort.

This approach can be attractive if you have members of a group who aren't particularly bothered about skiing each and every day. And/or if partners have been put off coming because they simply don't ski. In which case, if you chose the right location, the non-skiers can go off and do their thing and everyone's happy. It also means even the keen skiers have another choice of activity if the weather is so bad it makes skiing pointless.
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Fridge03 wrote:
We did Austria for the first time this year. Saalbach. Close to Salzburg, good prices etc.

The snow mid-march was fine higher up. And you could ski back down to the town albeit, it got quite slushy late afternoon. However we also had a powder day so result. But we loved sitting out on the terraces soaking up the sun. Great ski area as well.


The one disadvantage(?) of S-H is that the majority of runs are south facing. I've been twice in Feb half term and both have been unseasonably warm (but also sunny), and the lower slopes have been very soft pm then.

But, huge ski area, and even at half term virtually no lift queues (apart from stupidly arriving in Leogang at about 10am, and getting stuck in ski school queues back up).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mk28 wrote:
Looking for a bit of advice. I am going skiing with some friends in mid march and looking for some suggestions of where to go. We are a mixed group form beginners to advanced. It will need to be fairly high to be snowsure. We don't want it to be overly expensive so I've ruled out the likes of the 3 valleys and Val d'isere. Also if possible not an absolute mission from an airport. All i can think of that meets the criteria so far is sauze d'oulx and ive been there a good 3/4 times so ideally wanted to try somewhere new. I'd actually like to steer clear of france as ive mostly skiied there the past few years. Any other good suggestions for Austria/ Switzerland (probably too expensive) Italy? I also though st anton as it fits most of the criteria but the skiing is probably too difficult for some of our group. Any advice welcome. thanks


Ischgl, Obergurgl and Solden fit the bill for snow sure but the first two (at least) are not cheap. Obergurgl may be too limited for advanced but now it and Solden have a combined lift pass (20min bus ride). All within 90mins of Innsbruck. I've done Obergurgl 3 times in March and the snow is excellent, pistes are quite quiet and no lift queues, only one slightly soft run (down to Untergurgl).

Ischgl I have only done in Januarty - skiing more difficult than Obergurgl and ideal for intermediates; beginners area a bit more limited. Best skiing is away from the Idalp bowl as quieter. Loads of reds, snow should be good in March as mostly west facing like Obergurgl.
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Quote:

the majority of runs are south facing.

@buchanan101, One of these days I shall sit down with a piste map and calculate the total length of all the runs that face in other directions (primarily on Zwölferkogel and Schattberg, and at Leogang and Fieberbrunn, but also including a few good runs on the back of the Reiterkogel). That’s ignoring those on the Schmittenhohe, which are now easily accessible.
I wonder if the total will exceed 135km (which would be half the pisted area of the Ski Circus)? My guess is that it may add up to around 100-120km.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Quote:

the majority of runs are south facing.

@buchanan101, One of these days I shall sit down with a piste map and calculate the total length of all the runs that face in other directions (primarily on Zwölferkogel and Schattberg, and at Leogang and Fieberbrunn, but also including a few good runs on the back of the Reiterkogel). That’s ignoring those on the Schmittenhohe, which are now easily accessible.
I wonder if the total will exceed 135km (which would be half the pisted area of the Ski Circus)? My guess is that it may add up to around 100-120km.
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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!
johnE wrote:
Also an 8 day les arcs lift pass costs 361 euros, much more than the 200 you want to pay.


You might have to go Eastern Bloc (Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic or Slovenia) to find lift passes at that price.
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Yeah £200 for an 8 day pass is wishful thinking.

Certainly for a walk up price.
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