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Resort with loads of Chairs but NOT Gondies/Cable cars (Claustrophobia)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello Everyone

I am not sure if this question has ever been dealt with before as it is quite esoteric. I am looking to organise a trip for 3 of us somewhere in the alps (Austria preferable) but one of our party is claustrophobic and basically refuses to go on Gondolas or chair lifts unless they have open air bits of windows so big you can jump out of them!

Having been to many many resorts and trawled the pistes maps of most places we have managed to navigate around this on most trips but just wonder if there is any place you well informed and experienced people might know of that might serve this purpose?

From a search I can see plenty of people scared of chairs and not so much Gondies and as person who also isn't great with heights I understand this but this is the opposite and on quite an extreme scale.

Any suggestions would be massively well received.

Thanks all.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Montgenevre - I am pretty certain both its gondolas are chondolas (ie you can choose a chair on the same cable)
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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?
In Italy the via lattea ski area and in particular sauze d'oulx don't have any gondolas iirc it was all mainly chair lifts.

It is a probably about 6 years since I went so it might have changed but is worth checking noit
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Levi finland. Only 1 gondola. Lots of t bars though wink
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Wildsmith wrote:
Montgenevre - I am pretty certain both its gondolas are chondolas (ie you can choose a chair on the same cable)


Thanks, we actually passed Montgenevre on the way to another resort (i want to say Serre Chev?) so will check that out.
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impingu1984 wrote:
In Italy the via lattea ski area and in particular sauze d'oulx don't have any gondolas iirc it was all mainly chair lifts.

It is a probably about 6 years since I went so it might have changed but is worth checking noit


Thanks, will check it out, think that might be the same area as Montgenevre!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Axamer Lizum and Kühtai can both be done with chair lifts only. There may be others in the area, but most have a gondola from the base.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
klang180 wrote:
impingu1984 wrote:
In Italy the via lattea ski area and in particular sauze d'oulx don't have any gondolas iirc it was all mainly chair lifts.

It is a probably about 6 years since I went so it might have changed but is worth checking noit


Thanks, will check it out, think that might be the same area as Montgenevre!


It is the same area... I stayed in sauze, didn't get over to montgenevre but the Italian side of the area I can't recall using a gondola all week.
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PaulC1984 wrote:
Levi finland. Only 1 gondola. Lots of t bars though wink


Haha having just looked at the map I can confirm there are a LOT of T bars!
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impingu1984 wrote:
klang180 wrote:
impingu1984 wrote:
In Italy the via lattea ski area and in particular sauze d'oulx don't have any gondolas iirc it was all mainly chair lifts.

It is a probably about 6 years since I went so it might have changed but is worth checking noit


Thanks, will check it out, think that might be the same area as Montgenevre!


It is the same area... I stayed in sauze, didn't get over to montgenevre but the Italian side of the area I can't recall using a gondola all week.


Nice, that could fit the bill especially if it is a bit cheaper owing to being in Italy rather than France where prices usually seem to be a lot more!
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Flachau has one gondola but 2 other access points by chairs. If you happen to ski down to the gondola you can get the shuttle bus back to your base. Don't go over 'back" of the mountain as they are both gondola.

Flachauwinkl doesn't have any gondolas...I think. Neither does Forstau/fageralm....2 rickety 2 man chairs and lots of tbars


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 3-01-20 16:10; edited 1 time in total
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@klang180, I'm a bit like your friend - not mad on gondolas and actively hate the old type of cable car where more and more people cram in. For me it's not so much the claustrophobia in terms of the enclosed / small space, it's that there are so many other people in there too... Agoraphobia perhaps...

Arosa Lenzerheide is not too bad. The big new lift that links them is so enormous that I don't mind it and it's only quite short.

Paradiski is also quite good. Most of the la pagne side can be done without gondolas and if you time your use of the Vanoise Express to be around lunchtime that's usually pretty quiet. Once in Les Arcs, again it's mostly chairs if you avoid the beastly Transarc.
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Scarlet wrote:
Axamer Lizum and Kühtai can both be done with chair lifts only. There may be others in the area, but most have a gondola from the base.


Thanks, the former looks a bit small and the later potentially "moony" i.e. no trees but then I didn't stipulate that so not complaining Very Happy
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klang180 wrote:


Nice, that could fit the bill especially if it is a bit cheaper owing to being in Italy rather than France where prices usually seem to be a lot more!


Sauze is pretty cheap compared to some resorts. While not the cheapest in the resort the best located hotel is the Stella Alpina. I think it's a Neilson hotel if you going with a tour operator. But im pretty sure you can do it independent

Also check out the sauzeonline website and YouTube channel.. they post regular condition updates.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@klang180, Yes, I wouldn't necessarily advocate either for a whole week, but they do work well for a multi-area holiday. Kühtai does have trees, just not on the piste wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
red 27 wrote:
@klang180, I'm a bit like your friend - not mad on gondolas and actively hate the old type of cable car where more and more people cram in. For me it's not so much the claustrophobia in terms of the enclosed / small space, it's that there are so many other people in there too... Agoraphobia perhaps...

Arosa Lenzerheide is not too bad. The big new lift that links them is so enormous that I don't mind it and it's only quite short.

Paradiski is also quite good. Most of the la pagne side can be done without gondolas and if you time your use of the Vanoise Express to be around lunchtime that's usually pretty quiet. Once in Les Arcs, again it's mostly chairs if you avoid the beastly Transarc.


I think what you describe is similar to my friend in that she doesn't necessarily hate the smallness of the space it is more just being trapped and unable to move/get out, even though you wouldn't want to do the latter when you're dangling 100m from the ground.

Arosa sounds intriguing, we'll take a look at that.

We have done Paradiski before and felt it was a bit too much of a "mega resort" in the French ugly image BUT having said that it is good riding and easy to get to as well, so not a total no no.

Thanks for the additions.
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The whole of the Espace Diamant (just under 200kms of linked pistes) is gondola-free and there are no enclosed chairs (ie chairs with weather covers). Pretty, varied, skiing, definitely not a mega resort.
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pam w wrote:
The whole of the Espace Diamant (just under 200kms of linked pistes) is gondola-free and there are no enclosed chairs (ie chairs with weather covers). Pretty, varied, skiing, definitely not a mega resort.


Thanks, i haven't heard of that so well worth a look!
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@klang180, It is not unusual for people not to like gondolas. Most of my friends hate taking their skis off and ever since I bought a pair of twin tips I find slotting them into the little boxe on the outside of telecabines a real pain.
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If you go to Sauze then visiting Sestriere requires a cabin to get back as does visiting Claviere/Montgenevre via SanSicario.
From memory they're both relatively roomy (ie. Not 1970s 3.5 person eggs) and not particularly busy.
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Not Austria but Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil should fit the bill. Very big ski area, almost all of which is accessible on chairs.

Caveats would be:
Self drive and park up in/make sure your tranfer actually takes you to Avoiraz (some transfers drop you at Prodains to take the gondola up - though I'd guess you could book a taxi up from there).
Avoid the runs to the very bottom of the mountain at Prodains and Ardent (you can even ski to Chatel, then take the bus, rather than gondola out via Morgins or Pre la Joux).
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The Espace Diamant definitely suits your criteria as @pam w suggests. Indeed, I believe it's the largest ski area in the world with no gondolas or cable cars.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Flaine and just avoid the DMC? In the rest of the Grand Massif you use Gondola for uplift from the bottom villages but can stay at 1100m at Morillon or 1600m Samoens and just use chair lifts.
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La Rosiere does not have any gondolas. I think there is one cable car on the La Thuile side it is linked to but think there are chairlift options to avoid it. Montgenevre/Claviere also good. The only gondolas are on the telemix lifts and you can choose the chairs instead.
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PaulC1984 wrote:
Levi finland. Only 1 gondola. Lots of t bars though wink


Or anywhere in Scandinavia. The only places that I know with a gondola, are the kabinbana at Åre (it’s more a tourist thing, totally avoidable) and VM8 and one at Hemavan, but those latter two are both mixed chair/gondolas with three or four chairs between each gondola.
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Montgenevre was my first thought as somewhere you can easily access all slopes without gondolas. There have been quite a few very good alternative suggestions too, so hopefully that sorts your group for the next few years.
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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.
holidayloverxx wrote:
Flachau has one gondola but 2 other access points by chairs. If you happen to ski down to the gondola you can get the shuttle bus back to your base. Don't go over 'back" of the mountain as they are both gondola.

Flachauwinkl doesn't have any gondolas...I think. Neither does Forstau/fageralm....2 rickety 2 man chairs and lots of tbars


Spent yesterday on Flachauwinkl/Keinarl and not a gondola in sight.
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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
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Hahaha Trysil has button lifts and t bars galore and the very small number of chair lifts are never more than 5-8m from the slope! Pretty much the same in Geilo as well. So Norway would be a good choice NehNeh
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Themasterpiece wrote:
PaulC1984 wrote:
Levi finland. Only 1 gondola. Lots of t bars though wink


Or anywhere in Scandinavia. The only places that I know with a gondola, are the kabinbana at Åre (it’s more a tourist thing, totally avoidable) and VM8 and one at Hemavan, but those latter two are both mixed chair/gondolas with three or four chairs between each gondola.


This is indeed true, and i love the charm

Im not a gondola fan, skis on and off, baking in a greenhouse etc. Love a good t bar whist having a chat with my little man!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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[quote="PaulC1984"]
Themasterpiece wrote:
PaulC1984 wrote:
Levi finland. Only 1 gondola. Lots of t bars though wink


Love a good t bar whist having a chat with my little man!


Agree. Plus there is the excitement of getting off at the end Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
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In Andorra, you can get up from El Tarter and Soldeu without gondola then around Grandvalira too.
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I think you can do much of the Arlberg without gondolas..? You'd have to skip Rendl (and not uplift from the Nasserein end of town), but if you take the Gampen chair up in the morning from then on - I think - you can ski pretty much everything else with by chair.
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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?
As some others have said, via lattea would suit your friend, bearing in mind there is 1 gondola joining sestriere and Sauze. So if you're staying sestriere side then skiing will be limited! I'd stay in sauze and you'll have plenty to ski, including Montgenvre.

Good luck!
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Just in case you don't have enough options already Valmorel could be done avoiding gondolas all together, it's a nice varied mid sized area and a lovely resort centre.
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Obertauern only has 1 gondola and is pretty accessible without using it
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Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. It looks like the obvious winner is Via Lattea which has been mentioned more a few times. Some great other options too including Are but i wonder if it might be just a tad too cold and/or dark in mid March? Anyway, thanks to everyone, you've given me plenty to go on and I will report back in due course.

Of course please feel free to continue your suggestions!
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klang180 wrote:
including Are but i wonder if it might be just a tad too cold and/or dark in mid March?


Days are decently long by March. Sun rises and sets at six. You only notice the short days around Christmas. Wind and weather though can be anything.
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Leave the friend at home wink
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Whitegold wrote:
Leave the friend at home wink


I did think that, but didn't dare say it!! Shocked
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Tignes. Only 1 gondie (Toviere). Few more on the Val d'Isere side.
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