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Aosta valley or4 Vallees

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
20/21 season. These are the final 2 on our short list. We'll be doing 6 weeks of skiing over the course of the season. 2 at xmas new year, 1 feb half term, 2 at easter and 1 chucked in somewhere with out the kids.

Kids next season will be 7 and 5, both skied a lot already, Love being in ski school and the lunch/kiddy clubs. Italys ski club is considerably cheaper than Swiss.

Wife and i like to ski all the mountain and really enjoy the snoworks/freeride off piste guiding/instruction type of groups we've been on in the past

We'll drive with the family, fly and car hire on our solo mission.

which would you chose and why?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Which resort in the Aosta Valley?
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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?
not sure yet thats the beauty of a season valley pass. Only visited Cervinia in Aosta and that was a good while ago.
Anyone got any experience of ski schools in the Aosta valley running anything like snoworks/warren smith/piste to powder?
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Depends which trip your asking about.
Xmas/NY (and Easter?) I'd be looking at 3v; high and more reliable early snow. Any other time Italy. Quieter (especially 1/2term), cheaper, better food/coffee.

Edit... Ooops, misread the title.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 5-04-20 9:39; edited 1 time in total
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mother hucker, 4 valleys more expensive in some respects (friends used to take a seasonal chalet and it was a lot cheaper than e.g. Chamonix). Easier public transport access to certain villages. 4 Valleys arguably right up there in terms of lift accessed off piste. Some villages a pain to access full system, allegedly, I didn't notice any of that the one time we stayed in Nendaz.
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@under a new name, But the lift accessed in Monte Rosa is also up there yes? I know of a few very fruity skiers that claim Monte Rosa is the best lift served in the Alps taking everything in to account. Courmayer not bad im hearing as well.
With the Italian charm (Mrs loves everything Italy) and prices Italy is getting the swing vote.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@adithorp, Monte Rosa is high as well as Cervina. They ski from Novemeber in Cervinina on a normal year
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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!
One difference is that you've more variety of resorts to stay in for Aosta valley. If you like the variety, then you could stay in Cervinia, La Thuile, Courmayeur, Monte Rosa, Pila / Aosta for different weeks, whereas for 4 valleys you'd probably want to be in either Verbier or Nendaz, as the other locations are a bit more out on a limb.

There will be decent off-piste guiding in each Italian location, and there's plenty of good off-piste terrain across the main resorts. If you're staying in different places, then you'll (probably) have to use different guides each time (though a private guide would probably be happy to travel to different locations if given several weeks of business). Whereas if you stay in the 4 Vallees you could well find one guide that you could go with for multiple trips, if that's seen as an advantage.

Personally I'd go for Italy for the variety, price and café correttos.
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Mother hucker wrote:
@under a new name, But the lift accessed in Monte Rosa is also up there yes? I know of a few very fruity skiers that claim Monte Rosa is the best lift served in the Alps taking everything in to account. Courmayer not bad im hearing as well.
With the Italian charm (Mrs loves everything Italy) and prices Italy is getting the swing vote.


With Monte Rosa, Cervinia and Courmayeur you are well served with options. You need fronts from the South for Monte Rosa though and it gets the sun (as does Hellbronner). Courmayeur possibly more reliable with more North facing options. Certainly good for the Italian charm, food and coffee! With that pass do you get discounts to Zermatt and Chamonix? That would certainly make it an attractive option! I’m a Verbier owner and big fan and while I think the skiing (for what you’re looking for) is unrivaled it’s certainly more expensive than Italy and I don’t think you get the same experience in the satellite villages.
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BobinCH wrote:


With Monte Rosa, Cervinia and Courmayeur you are well served with options. You need fronts from the South for Monte Rosa though and it gets the sun (as does Hellbronner). Courmayeur possibly more reliable with more North facing options. Certainly good for the Italian charm, food and coffee! With that pass do you get discounts to Zermatt and Chamonix? That would certainly make it an attractive option! I’m a Verbier owner and big fan and while I think the skiing (for what you’re looking for) is unrivaled it’s certainly more expensive than Italy and I don’t think you get the same experience in the satellite villages.

The Verbier/Nendaz problem cost of the ski school/child care is almost double that of italy. Times that by 5 weeks 2 kids its a hefty sum. Also eating out and on the mountain im guessing will be considerably more.
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It's a tough choice.

But
Quote:
I know of a few very fruity skiers that claim Monte Rosa is the best lift served in the Alps taking everything in to account.


Vs. Verbier or Chamonix? Really? I wouldn't say so.

1. AFAIK, much of it requires bootpacking or touring (or a helicopter, which is almost reason enough to base in IT anyway hahaha). So it's not really lift served. Most of the classic lift accessed route in Verbier don't require any or much additional travel iirc (it's been a while since I was very intense on such, over there). Bob, is that fair?

2. & as Bob says, requires snow from south, which is not typically as reliable as north of the French/south-Swiss Alps

That said, there's plenty to do in MR - and @viv's point is an excellent one, you could do various places in AO. Although, given the relative proximities, ... I would also not that I don't think that I'd want a week in Courmayeur, for example. Can't really comment on Cervinia other than I don't get inspired by it, and I haven't skied the Zermatt side more than one run to get back from a heli drop.

If it was Monterosa, I'd base myself in Champoluc. But Mrs U's paternal family come from there so I am biased.
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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.
[/quote]

Vs. Verbier or Chamonix? Really? I wouldn't say so.

[/quote]

Their view is for cost, culture and lack of powder panic competion. Everyone is after it in Verbs and Cham.

Would the Monte Rosa particularly Champoluc keep us happy for 2 weeks? but having the valley pass opens up other options.
its the snow that scares me the most. Being on the south side as everyone says is factually drier than the north. not the start of this season though
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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
@Mother hucker, hmmm, I still would disagree, just because there isn't in my experience - which is constrained always that we're in Champoluc, so really getting deep into Alagna isn't an easy logistical option - so very much that's easily skiable straight off a lift. Hmmm, that said, I can think of some stuff above Gressoney that would fit, hmmm...

Quote:

Would the Monte Rosa particularly Champoluc keep us happy for 2 weeks?


I don't know. BUt I don't understand the "we need millions of kilometres as we like mileage and hate skiing the same slope twice" attidtude. I've no idea how much I've skied MR based C'pluc. Probs 3 weeks a year for 20 years?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mother hucker wrote:

The Verbier/Nendaz problem cost of the ski school/child care is almost double that of italy. Times that by 5 weeks 2 kids its a hefty sum. Also eating out and on the mountain im guessing will be considerably more.


Yep not sure you can get around the Swiss ski school costs. We have ours in local clubs that work out around 50chf per day on Sundays that I might be able to get your kids into but these dont exist during the week. Eating out on the mountain will cost more but this is manageable if you are selective and IMO the quality is excellent. In good conditions Monte Rosa is fab but if it’s dry and bony at Xmas or baked at Easter you might struggle. The advantage in Verbier is you don’t need a guide / instructor for the itineraries. For fresh tracks you will have to work harder but their are myriad options once you have a bit of local knowledge.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Re the snow conditions, if you get the Aosta + Zermatt option, you've got access to snow from the West (La Rosiere), and the North-West (Zermatt). Then again, that's my perspective when I often only book a few days before, whereas as you're in the peak weeks, and with kids, then it may not be so much benefit seeing great snow in, say, La Rosiere when you've booked to stay in Champoluc.

What's your view on moving between resorts for your 2 week blocks ? If you're happy to do this (maybe take a day off to explore Aosta on the transfer day), then you could give yourself a bit more coverage by doing say Christmas / New Year as a week in La Thuile and a week in Champoluc, and Easter as a week in Cervinia and a week in Champoluc / Gressoney, or vice versa. An advantage of trying a couple of different resorts over Christmas / New Year is that you could use this to help decide if there are ones you want to go back to for Easter.

For reference, I've just checked the Aosta pass, and you can choose either with or without Zermatt (€193 extra for Zermatt for the season), and it gives unlimited La Rosiere, 6 days in Verbier (though only one per week), but not Chamonix (though it must cover Helbronner)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@viv, La Rosiere did cross my mind. ESF do a freeride guiding week there as well. Im not confident to just go off skiing an un known area with just my wife, could end up in all sorts of dramas, need local knowledge for the 1st outings.
Im screwed with the kids. As you say im peak weeks and we need to book ski school and accomdation in the summer to ensure we get what we want/need.
Id have no drama changing resorts half way through, got to talk to the wife she'll get the final say i just put forward the options.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Off piste .champoluc/alagna
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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?
@yorkshirelad, whats your experiences with it?
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I'd argue for giving the 4 Vallées a try on your solo visit, basing yourself in Verbier, but take the train instead of a car, if you haven't got too much luggage. It's arguably easier by train and you can relax and enjoy the scenery. From inside the airport, direct to Martigny, change for the short hop to Le Chable and then a 50m walk to the télécabine or PostBus up to Verbier. If you haven't done the 4 Vallées before, it'll give you a good idea for future trips en famille. As BobInCH says, the itineraries around Verbier are very accessible, and you'd see what the main pistes are like (relatively empty, outside school holidays). You can manage costs as a couple, as mentioned, but I@d have to concede that daily/weekly ski pass prices are relatively high. I think that the level of English and teaching is better in CH than France, but concede that Italian schools do kids teaching well too.
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