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Weekend 7/8 December...?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I might have a chance to slope off for a long weekend 7/8th December, any tips on where to go?

I’m used to going to Austria, Gatwick to Munich and a hire car. I’m thinking it’s a little early for Austria, and the flights are not as cheap as normal.

Gatwick to Geneva flights are looking good, car hire I think is best via the French side from reading the forum - just where to go ski????

Thank you, Keith
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bump 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?
Well it's been dumping in Austria and Dolomites area of Italy, so either would be a good bet right now wink
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@Keith_b, so far it's a record breaking start to the season all over so more or less take your pick. There may yet be a little thaw so aim high. ValD/Tignes in France, but in Austria I'd recommend Munich > St Anton by train. One change then sit back and enjoy the stunning journey, the train station is 5 minutes walk from centre of town.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Plenty of options-the obvious being Tignes/Val D'isere or Val Thorens. But I might wait to see how the snow depths develop over the next couple of weeks. A number of resorts are scheduled to open on 7th and I think there is optimism (for a change) that they will actually have some half decent pistes to ski on.
You could look at Zermatt-bit pricier and a longer transfer on arrival day means you don't get to ski-not much use if you are only away for one night. The late (9.40pm) flight back from Geneva means you can ski till about 3/3.30 before coming off the mountain and heading home.
Reports from Cervinia on the other side of the mountain from Zermatt look very good for this time of year-see the Zermatt Cervinia thread here. Perhaps you could look at flights to Turin or Milan.
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@Perty, Agree Cervinia will be a good bet, as long as you don't need gnarly blacks or off-piste. ~2 hours from Turin if memory serves.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you go to Verbier on 7th., and are willing to don a Father Christmas outfit, you can ski the area for CHF 5 http://www.verbier.ch/fr/opening-session-fp39000.html

If you don't have one already, the cheapest outfit I could find on the web was £3.98, so that's a saving in my book.
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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!
Laughing Laughing Laughing

Loving the replies thank you.

I've not "done" France before so I think I'll head over to Val T/Tignes unless there's a ton of snow that brings reports closer to Geneva into play - I've booked my flights now - arr very early Saturday, leave last flight Monday.

Looking at Val Thorens accommodation, there's little on offer on the local site/booking.com below £80/night and they're all apartments. Any tips on getting this down? I'll have a hire car and I'm there to ski, so happy to stay out of resort and get changed in a gondola car park.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 19-11-19 15:47; edited 3 times in total
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@Keith_b, hopefully that will be the first weekend of the season for me. Fingers crossed for reasonable snow in the Arlberg though the forecast is for a good period a mild föhn weather so the snow might suffer, it might have to be Ischgl instead. Obergurgl / Sölden seems to have plenty open already. The big snowfalls have been mainly south of the main alpine ridge so high spots in the Italian alps could be worth looking at. Many spots in Italy are easily reachable from Munich by car.
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Thanks Munich_Irish - I've had a lot of success with the Gatwick - Munich route over the last few years however, it seems everyone else has now cottoned on to this route Very Happy . The prices are much more expensive.

Italy rocks, I had a awesome trip in 2017 to Val Di Fassa, the scenery is stunning.

I prefer Munich airport for car hire as you get winter tyres, Venice took some negotiation and more cash than I had planned. I am expecting Geneva French car hire to come with winter tyres, same as Munich.
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The Mt.Fort Swiss Lodge in Le Châble is actually in the base station of the télécabine next to the Le Châble railway station. The lift goes from the same building, up to central Verbier. 3 nights £151 (but check yourself, probably a bit more for a single room/single occupancy). The car park is big and free. Although you could just take the train from Geneva Airport to Le Châble via Martigny (https://www.sbb.ch/en From 'Genève-Aéroport' to 'Le Châble VS, gare') 100m to the hostel, so a car not really needed. See http://www.verbier.ch/fr/fppoi-mont-fort-swiss-lodge-3184-8109.html

Remember to bring your St.Nicholas outfit (has to be a miter not a bobble-hat, plus coat and beard as a minimum).


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 19-11-19 22:34; edited 2 times in total
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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.
@LaForet - I will be looking into your suggestion here, sounds proper fun.

Checking this option out now....
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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
@LaForet - I've booked a room with a cancel option for a week or so at the hotel you suggested, a lot cheaper than VT/Tignes (I suspect they're not setup for random days like I want to book) - the drive time is much less as well. Ski pass is slightly higher than VT but that's easily offset by travel travel time/santa outfit option/accommodation costs of alternative options.

Anything I need to be aware of taking a French hire car from Geneva Airport to La Chable please?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
... will be keeping an eye on the webcams in Verbier..... Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Les diablerets....Skiing glacier 3000. Easy drive from Geneva and accommodation should be easy to find and not ridiculously expensive.
If you are looking at 2 or 3 days skiing then it's an ideal opportunity to look at an area that perhaps you wouldn't consider. With all the early snow the link from Les d' to Villars could be running, well worth a punt.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
[Anything I need to be aware of taking a French hire car from Geneva Airport to La Chable please?]

Cue the French Hire Car at GVA discussion: Yes. You will need a Swiss Vignette and winter tyres (yes, Le Chable is in the valley, but the worst winter journey I've ever done was on the A9 around Lake Geneva: think M25 plus snow and slush with no reduction whatsoever in traffic speed!). If this is Ferney Voltaire (rather than T51 airport car park) then that's well outside the airport perimeter, so leave extra transfer time. Personally, I always hire from the Swiss side, but then I get a discount from Hertz through my professional association. But then if it was me, I'd go by train unless I was going to arrive very late into GVA.

If a vignette isn't supplied, you can buy one at the border, but if it was me, I'd get it online from somewhere like the Swiss Travel Centre in London before you go. Just in case you end up driving late at night.

Apps: There's a Verbier 4 Vallées app. (not fantastic, but has the webcams on it) - For weather, I use the MeteoSwiss app which is the national weather forecaster - Geneva airport has a good app GVA which will be useful if there are any flight delays or airport problems.

DO NOT SPEED in Switzerland: keep to the limits. The traffic police are very hot on this and they have hidden cameras. Fines are pro rata to you income. Hence the world's most expensive speeding fine of €650,000 in 2010. Do not fail to carry a vignette if you use the autoroutes - police are similarly very hot on picking up on this. An autoroute is not necessarily what you would recognise as a motorway, either.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Keith_b,

These lot might be able to sort, accom, transfer, ski hire, ski pass all in the chalet hotel Melezes.

http://mountainsunltd.com/specialoffers/autumn-ski-board-camp-tignes/

http://mountainsunltd.com/home/

Ive stayed with them early Autumn and it can work very well. Note the `complimentary` transfers are normally a set time.

regards

I think the e-mail is joanne@mountainsunfrance.com
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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?
@Keith_b, don't drive, take the train.

The airport has its own station.
@LaForet vastly(!) overstates the distance from the Le Chable station to your accomodation at 100m.
It is 50m at the most! Very Happy
The trains are scheduled superbly, minimal wait time at Martigny for the train change.

However if you arrive late evening at Geneva then train not so good as you may only get to Martigny, a taxi will be 100chf to Le Chable (a lot for 15kms)
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Thank you for following this up. I was looking at trains and the travel time is >2hrs, a change plus "waiting for the next train" time, adds up to more than "grab a hire car from the terminal".

My flight gets in at 0845 - my priority is to get on the slopes dressed as St Nick as fast as possible.

Have I missed something here?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've gone back and looked at the trains again - maybe its the better option in terms of cost and hassle, and it is around a similar door to door time....

10:02
Genève-Aéroport, Platform 1
Martigny
arr11:42
Martigny, Platform 2
dep11:51
Martigny, Platform 50
Train
R 26118
Direction Le Châble
arr12:17
Le Châble

The train gives me somewhere warm to get changed.....

And (and I think this is where I'm catching up here) the rail station is next to the gondola and the hotel.....?
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@Keith_b, if you've not done France before then try and stay in Val d'Isere. It's an actual French village with a high street and character, as opposed to a collection of high rises.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks Dr John - appreciate the tip
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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!
Keith_b Yes, the railway station, hostel and gondola station are all together in the same place. As @rungsp says, my 100m is way over. Take a look at Google Earth STreet View.



The railway track is in front of the cars. The hostel is the building with the blue windows and the gondola up to Verbier is the building next to it. You can see the train at the station on the far right.

And this is now all rebuilt with a whizzy new station over the tracks (http://www.verbier.ch/en/the-new-chable-train-station-is-open-fp44258.html) and the walk to the buildings is all covered. So this is why I said that personally, I'd go by train. Although viamichelin says the drive is 1h41m that's only once you get going. EVen if you're picking-up from P51 (i.e. the more expensive Swiss side) it's going to take 30-40 minutes after arrivals before you're actually driving the car away. If you went for a French hire from Ferney Voltaire take a look at where that is - some way outside the airport.

I'm assuming that the hostel will take your luggage and store it if you arrive early. But presumably we're only talking 15 minutes to drop it off. Then you're away. The ticket desks are on the ground floor of the télécabine building (or were, last time I went to Le Chable).

I will also be skiing there, but coming over from La Tzoumaz/Savoleyres. Although if a reasonable amount of Savoleyres is open and quiet, I may not come over to Verbier. If I do, you'll recognise me by my very distinctive St.Nicholas outfit ....


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 19-11-19 22:32; edited 2 times in total
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@LaForet and RungSP - I've now made the journey to your way of thinking and will be getting the train, I really appreciate your patience on this topic.

This is a perfect setup for a couple days skiing somewhere new for me - a great Snowheads result.

Keith
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Keith_b And to complete the service, here's a plan I did for some clients of where to go in GVA. Fairly simple, just turn left out of Arrivals, walk past the UBS ATMs, and various shops, to the end and through the revolving door, then down the escalator to the ticket hall level. Once you have a ticket, the platform level is below you.



My only other advice is to be careful with your valuables on the train from, and particularly back to Geneva Airport. Thieves do look out for tourists on the GVA train who will often be preoccupied with the journey and not paying attention. As anywhere, keep your passport and wallet on you and don't put valuables in a rucksack on the overhead storage etc. Not a big deal, and I would never let it put me off travelling by train, but like anywhere, not everyone is honest.

Have a great trip.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks LaForet
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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.

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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
A quick follow up to my trip, in particular to say thank you to La Foret for their help.

The trip was as simple for transport as I’d hoped for. There was little slack in the UK train/flights and with no travel hitches I made it to my flights either side with no hassle. The Swiss side For train transport was super easy, I’d bought my tickets on the Swiss trains‘ website up front and the journey was well communicated. I am now a converted ski trainer user.

The accommodation in the gondola at La Chable was exactly what I needed. Perfect for ski and trains. The hotel room was very simple and clean, and the owner was super helpful and welcoming.

I had a great time skiing, the Santa discount made a lot of difference to the ski pass costs Laughing. The views were breathtaking - but to be fair I get that at any mountain resort Very Happy .

I managed to think only about skiing and have a few days to myself.

Awesome result from Snowheads.
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