Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Driving down for Feb half term

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I agree with KK. Try to get a lot further south than Troyes if possible. You’ll just get bored arriving there at midday and just killing time!

I’d aim to get well past Dijon, and then, as said before, just make sure you leave early the next morning.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes although appreciate it's a pain if you've already changed hotel once - for context we got SE of Troyes for an overnight last year from the Midlands (4hrs to eurotunnel first thing) and that felt right. Go to Morzine by lunchtime. Your kids are younger though...
ski holidays
 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?
Thank you for your replys. I'll take a look but I suspect all hotels will be booked up now. We'd plan to leave between 0600 and 0630 from Troyes. I think I was lucky with the Novotel Troyes as it just popped up they must have has a cancellation and to put it in perspective I booked the IBIS Reims for £120 inc breakfast (about 8 months ago) and I now need to cancel, the Novotel is £200 without breakfast which we won't need anyway so we're paying for the late booking although it looks to be a far better hotel.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
James77 wrote:
Morning All.

Got the Flexiplus so we’ll aim to get to the tunnel early on Friday morning, bearing in mind it’s a 2 hour drive to get there. I had booked to stay in the IBIS Reims but since Friday is an inset at school I’ve also booked the Novotel Troyes centre it’s only an hour or so further but probably sensible to get as far south on day 1 as we can without causing too much stress to the children (aged 7 and 4).
I think I have thought of everything, enough drinks, food, entertainment for kids, and the Emovis tag. We have winter tyres on a second set of alloys and a wonderfully overpriced set of side fitting snow chains that I desperately hope I do not need to use! We have a Volvo XC60 T5 AWD so with the winters we should do ok in the snow and we're about 175cm high so ok for the Flexiplus lounge.



I think you are right not to be too ambitious with your first days' drive given that it is the first time you have driven, have primary age kids and that one loses an hour due to the time difference on the outward journey. However I think it would be better to drive to Dijon or Bourg en Bresse if possible the first day. I wouldn't personally stop any further south than that. We have previously stayed in Novotel Dijon Sud and the Mecure in Bourg en Bresse but I'm sure there are plenty of other accor hotels to choose from in those areas. Enjoy a relaxed supper with the kids on the Friday evening and hope that they are amenable to an early night. I would then aim to leave the hotel at 7am on Saturday, grab a quick coffee if you have a kettle in the room and drive for a couple of hours before having breakfast at the service station stop. If the kids get hungry earlier they will probably have some goodies left in their food bag from the Flexiplus kiosk to munch on! The next stop should then be Super U in Cluses before the drive up to Flaine.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We have driven to the Alps with our kids quite a few times now and have done it with overnight stopover in a motel. The trouble we found was that the kids were so excited they couldn’t get to sleep! I consequently didn’t get much sleep either and I arrived at the conclusion the overnight stops were a waste of time and money.
Latterly and this half term I have opted to take a late evening crossing and drive through the night. Kids and wife have always managed a good sleep in the car and we arrive in the mountains for breakfast get kit sorted and I get a couple of hours sleep ready for the next day.
I know that’s not to everyone’s taste but it certainly works for us and we always avoid traffic jams and generally the inconvenience of arriving with the masses.
Just another angle to consider it from anyway.
As your plans seem pretty set already I too would endorse the view of get as far south toward your resort as possible. That one day of long miles broken up with a few breaks will be worth it in the long run. My experience of kids in cars is that they hate traffic congestion way more than adults and if you’re getting “are we there yet” syndrome it’s hellish.
Anyhow good luck relax and enjoy whatever you do, remember it’s a holiday after all not an endurance expedition
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@James77, @snowymum, based on last year, if you want to be avoiding traffic you'd need to be on the road earlier. We stayed in Macon and left at 7am and queued for hours. Over New Year we left MAcon at 5:30 and missed the worst - but it was still busy.

We may have just had a bad year as that was the only Feb Half Term we did
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Taken on board the useful comments and have managed to secure the IBIS budget Saint Apollinaiure Dijon, that's far enough for us in a day. No frills but we just need somewhere clean to unwind and the boys stretch out. We'll start out around 0630 on the Saturday and hope for the best.
In your experience how long do you think it will likely take to get from Calais to Troyes and Dijon? I read c3.5hours to Troyes so 4.5 to Dijon?
latest report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've got some friends who are driving to Austria at half-term, they're booked on the Eurotunnel at 01:00 early in the morning of Saturday 15th. Anyone got any idea of how busy it will be at that time?

I reckon they'll be lucky to make it to Flachau by 15:00 on the Saturday afternoon.
latest report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@James77, am with @knackered knees and @Cheesie168, definitely aim to get a lot further south on the Friday. We're only heading over on a 6.20pm chunnel as don't have the "luxury" of an inset day and will be going as far as Reims. We did Reims to La Clusaz (a similar distance as to Flaine) last year on the Saturday half term and it was 9 hours with traffic. I would aim to get at least as far Dijon if you can - we also drove last Easter and had all the Friday, leaving south London about 9am and even stopping for a longish lunch we were in Dijon by 4pm, your timings sound like an earlier start than us. The chunnel, inevitable toilet stops and holiday adventure so the children will probs be more OK than you think. Even if you can't get into your accommodation until later on the Saturday, you might find you'll be able to park and if you have socks and snow stuff easily to hand then you could get hire kit sorted, get your bearings a bit and have a much more chilled out Saturday evening than you would have had after driving for 9 hours!
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@James77

Our 3rd year of driving to Les Gets with 1 now 7 year old. We are going on the friday too but using the ferry rather than eurotunnel. Last year was so busy that even though on the way out we were nicely on time we spent a good hour+ in the queues at the terminal. We were not Flexi though. I thought with potential Brexitness the ferry might be more reliable. We are booked into a hotel in Reims both ways, hopefully on the way down we will be there in time to have a look around. We drove straight down last year which was a bit too long, hence overnighting again this year.

It's mostly a really dull journey! First year was more interesting as the weather on the way down was wintery all the way, last year it was warmer so nothing to look at. When you get to autoroute des titans to all gets much more interesting. Amazing road through amazing scenery.
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
James77 wrote:

In your experience how long do you think it will likely take to get from Calais to Troyes and Dijon? I read c3.5hours to Troyes so 4.5 to Dijon?


Dijon is around 2 hours on from Troyes, so about 5.5 - 6 from Calais.
snow report
 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.
I mentioned this before without answer - but the 15th sits in the middle of the Paris 2 weeks - does anyone know if they all travel at each end of that fortnight, i.e. should be a quiet travel day until you get near the alps or is the A6 Paris to Dijon likely to be rammed?
snow report
 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
Quote:

does anyone know if they all travel at each end of that fortnight

no, they mostly go for one week. And yes, the A6 from Paris likely to be rammed. Avoid the A6 if you can. Not that the other road (Autoroute des Anglais) is likely to be a whole lot better.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The Saturday between the two Paris weeks is possibly the worst of the year on the motorways between Paris and the Alps.
snow conditions
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
jirac18 wrote:
We have driven to the Alps with our kids quite a few times now and have done it with overnight stopover in a motel. The trouble we found was that the kids were so excited they couldn’t get to sleep! I consequently didn’t get much sleep either and I arrived at the conclusion the overnight stops were a waste of time and money.
Latterly and this half term I have opted to take a late evening crossing and drive through the night. Kids and wife have always managed a good sleep in the car and we arrive in the mountains for breakfast get kit sorted and I get a couple of hours sleep ready for the next day.
I know that’s not to everyone’s taste but it certainly works for us and we always avoid traffic jams and generally the inconvenience of arriving with the masses.
Just another angle to consider it from anyway.
As your plans seem pretty set already I too would endorse the view of get as far south toward your resort as possible. That one day of long miles broken up with a few breaks will be worth it in the long run. My experience of kids in cars is that they hate traffic congestion way more than adults and if you’re getting “are we there yet” syndrome it’s hellish.
Anyhow good luck relax and enjoy whatever you do, remember it’s a holiday after all not an endurance expedition


+1 to all of this. The overnight snowball run works for us - the drive is easy with minimal traffic.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Four day week at work is almost exciting as going away this week! As well as checking weather reports, also now checking news websites as we're off to Les Contamines - I hope..
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
As tempting as a one-shot blast through the wee hours is, I suspect I'd be figuratively and possibly literally dead at the end of it. Doubt Always29 would be up for a stint of autoroute night driving.
ski holidays
 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?
@always29, I don’t mean to sound smug, but only a 2 day week for me this week. Travel back home to bath Tuesday evening, then start the list of last minute things to do before we set off Thursday afternoon when kids finish school.
Wednesday is a few admin jobs, truck MOT (though not due till early March so not a show stopper) hair cut, practice snow chain install, get a minimum amount of euros for travelling and get all paperwork ready. Then, Make sure the girls have packed adequately, including for a couple of overnight stops

Then Thursday morning is final run through the list to take with us, and last minute purchases, then pack the truck ready for “le grand depart” Thursday afternoon.

Weather forecast for the 3 valleys is snow tues/weds and Friday then clear the following week, after the snowfall last week, it is all set up for a good week.

Happy days!!!!!
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@terrygasson,
Quote:

truck MOT (though not due till early March so not a show stopper)

As long as any failure isn't deemed 'dangerous'. If you drive your vehicle with such a fault you can be fined up to £2500, or even receive a ban! The failure is recorded at the DVLA.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@tarrantd, cheers, shouldn’t be any issues, was recently serviced. I checked all lamps over the weekend, a re-test is annoying for the sake of a £5 lamp!!!
tyres are nearly brand new, including the spare, and the brakes were done last month.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
We came back on Eurotunnel a couple of days ago, after 3 weeks in the 4 Vallées, so a few observations that might be relevant on your return trips:

At Coquelles, the physical layout of bollards has changed (compared to the summer) between both the checkin->terminal and terminal->boarding. Nothing major, but it will be useful for your passenger to help out a bit with which way you should go and which lane you should be in. Don't expect the layout to be the same as when you last travelled. We were followed by a couple of white vans whose roofs got scraped by the height chains - I don't blame them, the drivers were on their own and the signage and lane layouts were very confusing.

Whilst there were four French passport booths open, there was only one UK car and one UK coach/van passport lane open. It didn't seem to be causing many delays, but it's probably worth erring on the side of caution in terms of expected processing time. If this ratio persists, then expect queues at busy periods, but it may just have been the setup for a quiet day.

They started with two car queues then closed our one (it was very quiet) while we were in it, but processed all the cars already queued-up. I realised that we were actually in an 'EU Only' queue but it wasn't a problem.

More and more of the trains don't have working toilets. There are additional toilets by the boarding lanes.

On a broader note, it's disturbing that every time I travel on Eurotunnel, the trains seems to have more and more faults. This time, as well as the usual non-availability of any toilets through the whole train, our carriage front doors wouldn't shut, and the escape door next to the car was broken. I wonder how long Eurotunnel are going to wait before replacing the current rolling stock.

Re snow conditions - the 4 Vallées survived the previous week's almost 2 days of rainfall at medium altitudes surprisingly well. The base stayed solid and then got topped-up by 2 days of medium/heavy snowfalls last Mon-Tues as +12°C at 1500m flipped to -7°C and stayed sub-zero. More snow is forecast this week, so if other areas in the W.Alps are similar, the snow conditions on piste should be very good.
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
terrygasson wrote:
@always29, I don’t mean to sound smug, but only a 2 day week for me this week.


Thanks - Monday so far is grim so it might feel like a full week for me even tho on paper it's not.

Hope you manage to get through your list of stuff to do before you're off!
latest report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We too are driving down on Friday afternoon (Devon/Somerset to La Plagne) and I'm knee-deep in lists right now!

Can anyone give me a definitive answer on whether winter tyres are mandatory in the French Alps this winter? There seems to be a fair bit of conflicting content out there. We have snow chains and all season tyres.
latest report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
No the are not as chains pass as winter equipment. Note that not all all-season tyres are all-season eg Pirelli Scorpions on Land Rovers. They need to have the snowflake / 3 peaks symbol to qualify. We use Michelin Crossclimate+ and never had to use chains.
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
My understanding as long as they have the 3psmf/snowflake marking you're fine. Crossclimate or similar. I opted for a dedicated second set of alloy wheels shod with winter tyres for a couple of reasons, firstly, my car has only done 7k miles so oodles of depth on the standard tyres and secondly, I've read that a Crossclimate type tyre is fine in the UK all year but doesn't do well in a hot soutern France summer, where we spend every other summer driving down from St Malo. So for me made sense to purchase a second set and swap over, plus I can sell them when the car is changed in a couple of years.
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Helpful observations@LaForet, I agree re: Eurotunnel. We found similar in December. My husband threatened to get a She-wee after all the moaning from the last journey, I’d rather go into retention but my 9 yr old thought the idea a hoot Laughing
I’m rather envious of those going down Thus/Fri, it makes the journey more palatable and brings the holiday fun forward. Ironically, we do have an inset day but work commitments and accommodation Sun-Sun means a Sat journey for us. I shall be following, from SW London, your journeys ahead of us to pick up tips. Safe driving to your all.
Volvo in for a service tomorrow (and I’ll head outside now to check if we have a snowflake symbol, thanks
@Ozboy), hound and cat care sorted, organised piles of ski gear ready to pack; nearly done and only single digit sleeps Very Happy
ski holidays
 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.
we're staying in the ethic etapes in Dijon Friday. School inset day for us fortunately.
Its my 1st time at Feb half term in France. How busy should i expect it? busier than new year?
ski holidays
 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
And a bit of advice about the chains. This year is the first time I've come close to getting stuck. I unfortunately had to drop one of our group off at the station in the valley late morning, well after the initial 7:30am round of showploughing and clearing, and in heavy snow. No problem getting out of the village, nor getting back up to the village. The problem came near the télécabine, when I had to start-and-stop on very churned-up, slushy snow because of skiers and pedestrians walking in the middle of the road on a hill. Thanks to winter tyres, an LSD, traction control, and my keeping calm, I managed - just - to get going each time. But it was touch-and-go. I made it fine in deeper snow down to the apartment block.

But in retrospect, I would have done better to have stopped before the hill, tried out how easy/difficult it was to get going, put on the chains, and then continued up the hill able to stop and restart without issues. Just a thought.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
over night ferry Portsmouth to Caen on Thursday and bumble down to la Plagne - hope to arrive by by 4pm having had a good lunch.
Its my first time taking this option, I'm worried about Paris traffic as it looks like the route takes you along the south edge, can anyone offer advice.
I've taken the tunnel without incident dozens of times so i'm not quite sure why I've changed other than 1. for a change and 2. for the following - yet to be tested!
I normally collect the lad from school and head off to the tunnel and drive to Saint-Quentin before crashing in a hotel for the night. La Plagne is C. 7.30 hrs down the road.
It takes me 3hrs to get to the tunnel or 1 1/12 to Portsmouth. The cost of the tunnel and a hotel was more than a cabin on the boat.
In theory, Caen to La Plagne is 8 1/2 down the road so all in all its seems similar - but its not been tested yet!
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hello, all.

Any thoughts/advice on this plan for a first time driver down to the slopes - les Deux alpes?

Due to work, we are leaving this Saturday afternoon with a 8pm ish Shuttle.

I’ve booked a hotel that we should arrive at at about midnight on the Saturday night in Northern France.

Am thinking of getting up and out by 7am and arriving in Les Deux Alpes around 3ish then checking into accom and picking up hire gear ready for Monday skiing.

However, am having second thoughts...should I just ignore the hotel on Saturday night in Northern France and keep on driving through the night?

Decent car, three kids who are good travellers in the back - I’m used to driving long distances. But it’s 800 odd miles door to door from Wilts.

Any thoughts/advice/guidance welcome.

Many thanks in advance
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Tricky38H, We found that stopping in northern France was largely for the benefit of the drivers (already tired after work/packing etc).

If there is only one driver, then I would say that an overnight sleep is sensible (better in a hotel than on the motorway!).
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Tricky38H, If you don't mind long drives in one go then I'd always go for the option to do it in one through the night. The driving is easy and clear and you'll be in resort early Sunday morning and can get some skiing in that day. You'll also save on the cost of a hotel on the Saturday and all the faff that comes with getting in and out of the hotel which is wasted time imo.
ski holidays
 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?
@Tricky38H, Have you got snow tyres /chains for the car - driving thru the night is not great, you end up knackered with no place to go. I think its better to stop at somewhere like Reims and have a good rest and head off in the morning. If self catering remember its best to shop before the valleys, Sunday traffic should be fine. on arrival sort out your digs get passes and skies before 6 and head off for a beer and dinner. Hit the slopes on Monday - have a great holiday.
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
[quote="Charliee"]@Tricky38H, you end up knackered with no place to go

You go skiing...


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 10-02-20 16:02; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Tricky38H, Very difficult one to answer - only you know what your tolerance is for staying awake through the night. I could do it, but won't as it would wipe me out for days afterwards. Even then I think I'd have to have a power nap around 2-3am - based on the odd night shift I've done!

For your first trip I'd personally stick with the hotel and then review for the next time - but that's me!

For many it works as @Page23, proves, for us (three late teens in car) a long drive on Friday means that holiday starts at overnight hotel with a decent meal and a few drinks. Early start next day gets into resort Sat morning and afternoon's skiing.

Horses for courses
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Tricky38H, You don't say where you are coming from in the UK. If it's close to the tunnel then it's different to a few hours drive to the tunnel. Also are you the sole driver?

As @Boris, says, you know you and I agree with him that you stick with the hotel and review in the future.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's worth checking the skiing pass/lift situation as well. A day's lift pass can be surprisingly expensive, some places have a 1 or 2 free lifts on Saturdays. For Les Arcs (where we go) you can buy a pass which includes the Saturday afternoon.

Same for ski hire etc

Basically no point driving through the night if you can't ski when you get there IMHO
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Tricky38H, Ive done it all ways.
Drove straight through, drove and power napped at the services drove and stopped at a hotel.
Personally i want to break its back and have a shorter drive in the morning but still leave the hotel early to miss the traffic.
We've drove all different times but never at Feb half term but hoping the same rules apply
latest report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
We do it in one go and so does the family we go with. They leave earlier than us and tend to get there early and open a bottle of wine!!

As said before on this thread it's the 0200hrs-0600hrs bit which is tricky but it's amazing what a 30-30 min power nap in an Aire can do.

I'm 46 and have done it for years, infinitely prefer it to flying but as you can see it's not everyone's cup of tea.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

30-30

20-30 obviously. I may be a bit tired....
latest report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy