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!)

Alps driving recommendations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stunshot wrote:
Porte du soleil sounds tempting, any village preferred ?


Look at the piste map, you want easy access in all directions. Les Gets (for example) is at one edge of the area so just getting to the Swiss side would be a challenge without spending time exploring it. Morzine is the most obvious base, and has lots of accommodation. Chatel has its adherents.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stunshot wrote:
Porte du soleil sounds tempting, any village preferred ?

Of the three villages that I have stayed in my order of preference is :-
1= Chatel, Les Gets, Morzine.

Chatel, especially if you base yourself close to either the Super Chatel Telecabine or at Lac de Vonnes gives really good quick access to massive mileage and variety. Les Gets offers great skiing and Mont Chery which because it's right at the end of the PDS stays quiet. Morzine can be a bit like Marmite, it can be great but if you get your location wrong it can be terrible, skiing, like all the PDS, is great though.

12 villages to choose from.
snow report
 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?
@Timc, +1 for Chatel.
Central & good for snowboarding as plenty of access to parks and free-ride.
Morzine - central, good après, can get busy.
LG, out of the way, but MT Chery is great with fresh snow.
Avoriaz - car free, ski in / ski out, good for boarding, but busier than the other resorts.
St Jean - disconnected, but small, friendly with a nice circuit to the Roc d'Enfer.
Abondance - disconnected, v small, low, cheap, nice abbey in the village and great cheese.
La Chapelle (hidden gem) - like Les Gets its on one end of the circuit, but easy access to Switzerland and Chatel, lifts are a little dated, but it has 2 fabulous restaurants and a really good microbrewery which does good food.
On the Swiss side, Morgins is nice.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I’m a bit biased but have skied the PDS for over 30 years and visited all the villages lots of times.

I still reckon Chatel has the best overall access but would put Les Crosets out there as an option. One fast chair and you are over to Lindarets which is really the central point of the PDS or two chairs and you are above Avoriaz.

You could make a case for Ardent as the best access point.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Timc wrote:
stunshot wrote:
Porte du soleil sounds tempting, any village preferred ?

Of the three villages that I have stayed in my order of preference is :-
1= Chatel, Les Gets, Morzine.

Chatel, especially if you base yourself close to either the Super Chatel Telecabine or at Lac de Vonnes gives really good quick access to massive mileage and variety. Les Gets offers great skiing and Mont Chery which because it's right at the end of the PDS stays quiet. Morzine can be a bit like Marmite, it can be great but if you get your location wrong it can be terrible, skiing, like all the PDS, is great though.

12 villages to choose from.


I must admit I don't really get PDS it's too spread out and a haul to get about particularly if you're in Les Gets. Les Gets it lovely, great village lots going on decent places to eat and drink. The skiing is a tad on the basic side Mont Chery black is ok but the rest good if you're starting out. Also as a resort itself too small to keep me going all week and I'm fed up of getting rained on, when the snow is falling I enjoy it when it's raining (which in my experience can be every other day) it is miserable.

Morzine has a large town but the skiing itself is again too limited and I think poor quality terrain, whenever I've been through Morzine I've not enjoyed it. There is good off piste though if you're lucky enough to be there after many dumps.

Avoriaz again is small and a heck of a haul from les gets you can go on the bus but I don't want to take the bus I want to ski!

If you want to get to Chatel from Les Gets that's a full on trek avoiding a bus as much as possible.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@James77, you make a fine case for Les Gets not being the right place if you don’t want to ski the whole PDS. If the snow is decent it would make a good base for the Morzine/Les Gets/Mont Chery areas.

If we ever decide on skiing that area we tend to drive over and start from the car park under the Pleney to avoid last lift anxiety on the way home.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
DJL wrote:
@James77, you make a fine case for Les Gets not being the right place if you don’t want to ski the whole PDS. If the snow is decent it would make a good base for the Morzine/Les Gets/Mont Chery areas.

If we ever decide on skiing that area we tend to drive over and start from the car park under the Pleney to avoid last lift anxiety on the way home.

Same only we start at the car park in the Col d'Encrenaz (Chery Nord) as it avoids the Pleney.
snow 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 done it all all sorts of ways: Dover/Calais, Tunnel, Hull/Zeebrugge, Hull/Rotterdam, French motorway, French normal roads, via Germany, drive overnight, with an overnight stop.

Absolutely get winter tyres and chains (or rent them) and practice putting the chains on before you go. Surprise, surprise, it isn't as easy as the pristine supermodel in her Gucci gear makes it look.

If you're renting a place you need to factor in that you will (probably) need to be in resort before the key pickup place closes. Personally I would go for the French motorways every time and get the tag/doofer that allows you to fly through them. French tlls costs me approx. £100 heading to/from Switzerland (and there's a standing annual charge for the doofer of around £7). Swiss toll is a flat 40CHF. My car (Audi A6) is surprisingly good on fuel so it's around 3 and a bit fill ups total. Which I think is pretty good cost wise, certainly compared to fly/rent car. I only drive if it's 2 weeks plus though, for a week I'll do good old Easyjet and rent a car.

If you live in the South and will share the driving equally, I'd say do the overnight run with the intention of getting to resort around 2pm. Plenty of time to find key pick up place, park plus get to appartment, rent gear, get lift pass. Jeez the overnight run really is a pain but you'll have time to relax, grab a meal, have a beer etc. in the evening when you get there.

If you live a good distance from Dover or up North, then it's more debateable. Personally I do Hull/Zeebrugge and French motorways but I'm going to my own place and arriving late evening (4 vallees) isn't a problem. I also stock up in the last French supermarket before CH (google ATAC, Jougne, France) which may be an option for you if you're heading to PdS and self-catering. It's quite a bit cheaper (plus for me resort places will be closed by time I get there).

btw Be careful with SatNav in the mountains. It can, literally, take you down all sorts of strange paths.

As someone already pointed out, if you're driving that far, another 30 mins here or there is nothing. I pass the signs for Verbier, Chamonix, PdS on my way but haven't skied the latter two so can't recommend a base. Nendaz is an option, if you fancy some challenging runs (once you get over to Siviez/Verbier). Lot's of accomm. choice. Verbier would also be a (more expensive) option. Ideally get a place with parking included. That can be a real pain/irritating additional cost.
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.
DJL wrote:
@James77, you make a fine case for Les Gets not being the right place if you don’t want to ski the whole PDS. If the snow is decent it would make a good base for the Morzine/Les Gets/Mont Chery areas.

If we ever decide on skiing that area we tend to drive over and start from the car park under the Pleney to avoid last lift anxiety on the way home.


I'm no trying to down play the area being on snow anywhere is fantastic and les gets is a very nice spot. Saw a guy wearing a 'T' once which said something like 'Better a bad day on the slopes than a good day in the office' I spend most my time working out how I can get the the slopes more often.

I think I'll take your advice in the future and try Les Crosets.

Off topic, apologies to OP.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Obersdorf, in Germany, is the nearest and cheapest major Alpine ski resort to the UK by car.

There are closer and cheaper resorts in the UK (England, Scotland), France (Vosges), and Belgium (Val de Wanne), but they are tiny.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Whitegold wrote:
Obersdorf, in Germany, is the nearest and cheapest major Alpine ski resort to the UK by car.

There are closer and cheaper resorts in the UK (England, Scotland), France (Vosges), and Belgium (Val de Wanne), but they are tiny.


Except it’s not. The usual BS
latest 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 had to google Oberstdorf. Closer than Garmisch in Germany and well connected by road, but only 130 Km skiing which is one reason it never previously made it to my radar (below my criterion for "major").

In terms of road travel time, it would be as quick to get to the A40 in the Arve Valley for the northern French Alps, but fair enough it might take very slightly longer to head off it to any of the resorts.
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
Courmayeur? We had a v successful drive Trip to the aosta valley in feb And this town would give you bars and restaurants, Italian Style, local slopes as well as The La Thuile / La Rosiere area.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Don't rule out Austria: Kitbuhel and Saalbach are just a days drive from Calais or Dunkirk via Belgian and German motorways. No tolls, just a vignette for Austria.
Cross the channel early, arrive in France 8am ish, 10 hours will get the job done, preferably on a Sunday (outward).
Alternatively, as @Markymark29, suggests North Sea ferry from Hull if in Northern England, but an early morning drive from the north is easy and fast- 4 hours, maybe less.
Swiss Engelberg is doable also. Vignette needed for Swiss mway.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Don't rule out Austria: Kitbuhel and Saalbach are just a days drive from Calais or Dunkirk via Belgian and German motorways. No tolls, just a vignette for Austria.
Cross the channel early, arrive in France 8am ish, 10 hours will get the job done, preferably on a Sunday (outward).

Indeed do not rule it out, and if you hit it right you could manage it in 10 hours, just as you'd make Les Arcs in 8. Beware, however, crossing Belgium is not easy especially around the Brussels ring road and check the state of the German motorways when I last drove to Austria we were held up for hours on the German motorways. It may be faster and certainly less hassle to take the French motorways to Strasbourg.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

No tolls, just a vignette for Austria.

A vignette is not necessarily needed - depends on your destination. We leave the motorway as we cross the border and head directly to Saalbach by the shortest route.

Quote:

German motorways when I last drove to Austria we were held up for hours on the German motorways. It may be faster and certainly less hassle to take the French motorways to Strasbourg.


We used to take that route, which is probably longer but quicker. Nowadays we take the toll-free route via Belgium and Luxembourg, and we do it over two or three days, which actually can make the journey a relatively enjoyable experience.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
[quote="tatmanstours"]
Quote:

, and we do it over two or three days, which actually can make the journey a relatively enjoyable experience.

Is that to change the horses!! Very Happy
snow conditions
 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?
Quote:

Nowadays we take the toll-free route via Belgium and Luxembourg, and we do it over two or three days, which actually can make the journey a relatively enjoyable experience.

Do you manage to get any time to ski when you get there?
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@johnE, he gets the whole season, so the journey down doesn't have to be a mad dash. This year, he got the season and then a nice long spring break which has turned into still being in a low-infection country well into the summer Happy

Our preferred route for half-term is Calais-Lille-Mons-Namur-Luxembourg-Stuttgart-Munich-Rosenheim-StJohann-Lofer-Saalbach - avoids any French tolls, avoids the Brussels ring road, and also avoids the need for an Austrian vignette (the €10 for a 10 day vignette is neither here nor there, but the stop and queue to buy one is painful - though now you can do it online in advance).

One the way there we stay overnight on Thursday near the Channel Tunnel, cross about 6am, drive to Rosenheim in 10-12 hours during Friday and stay overnight, and then drive to Saalbach to be on the slopes by 11 on Saturday. On the way back, we leave at 6am on Saturday and drive all the way home, arriving around 10pm. Total of 15-16 hours, two drivers, 2 tanks of diesel each way (one in Luxembourg in each direction), and a total cost of about £250 (tunnel crossing paid for entirely in Tesco vouchers) in fuel plus €120 for an overnight hotel and meals, compared to flights for 4 at £350 each.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:


Quote:

, and we do it over two or three days, which actually can make the journey a relatively enjoyable experience.

Is that to change the horses!!




I insist on doing all the driving - easier on my nerves - whilst Mrs TT snoozes fitfully.
Last time we actually remarked on how we’d not at all minded all the travelling. On the outward journey we generally stay at Bruges and linger there for an extra day, then stay for a night in the Pfalz area of Germany (west of Stuttgart). We choose nice places from booking.com or Airbnb. Interaction with hosts and a good restaurant, and even some late evening music entertainment, make for an enjoyable trip, and also make any motorway holdups more tolerable.
Quote:

This year, he got the season and then a nice long spring break which has turned into still being in a low-infection country well into the summer

Resigned to staying until it feels safer to return. Bought an Austrian car and a couple of e-bikes. The summer tourist season is underway here, with outside bars pretty busy, and lots of mountain bikers. There are worse places to be stranded!
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

There are worse places to be stranded!


A lot lot worse
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Lille ring road can be pretty ghastly in rush hour - anything is preferable to Brussels ring road as the Belgians are dreadful drivers. I normally cross late in evening and arrive at a cheapo prebooked automatic key pick-up motel in Calais very early morning. Means one can be on the road again reasonable sharpish but avoiding Lille rush hour. 'fraid I am a skinflint and wont pay ridiculous price for Le Shuttle.
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!
Quote:

I normally cross late in evening and arrive at a cheapo prebooked automatic key pick-up motel in Calais very early morning.
snow 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.
Quote:

I normally cross late in evening and arrive at a cheapo prebooked automatic key pick-up motel in Calais very early morning.

Quote:

'fraid I am a skinflint and wont pay ridiculous price for Le Shuttle.

These two statements appear contradictory. Le Shuttle is only slightly more expensive than the ferry. If you were a true skinflint you wouldn't book any motel but sleep in the car. Or just keep driving
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
As others have said, there isn't that much of a difference driving to PdS/Chamonix and Tarentaise resorts - around 12-14 hours for us door to door from SW London. We hop onto shuttle around 3AM Saturday and arrive in resort just in time to pick up keys from agency around 19:00 - 20:00, with 2 long stops for breakfast and lunch, countless short coffee/snack/wee wee stops and a final shopping/fuel stop right before last push up the mountain

And I have to agree about PdS - it's vast but too spread out and poorly connected. Not to mention potentially poor snow conditions early in the season, may be with exception of Avoriaz.
We stayed in Chatel and even though the school was technically in Super Chatel, we were told to take a bus to PLJ every day and there was no end to kids moaning and asking why are we here and not in 3V.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 16-06-20 11:13; edited 2 times in total
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
johnE wrote:
Shuttle is only slightly more expensive than the ferry.

About 120 ferry versus 200 for me next Christmas as an example. Whether that is "slightly more expensive" or not is in the eye of the beholder. I guess that £80 could stretch to an F1 for the night on the way there/back.

Personally as I am DIYing - driving and self catering - and usually driving through the night too, I am saving more than enough to cover the extra on the shuttle - which I find just a bit quicker, easier, more reliable, more crossings in off peak.

If I was driving further in the UK, I'd probably appreciate the ferry break more.

It's all part of the mix I guess.
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 was comparing to le shuttle flexiplus, £130 more one way than their standard fare on a January 2021 crossing, as le shuttle's t&cs are very strict on missed crossings whereas DFDS allow greater flexibility, and there is for me the M25 to negotiate.
latest 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:

le shuttle's t&cs are very strict on missed crossings


+-24h is strict?
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Layne, £120 return for the ferry is very good. I must re-examine their prices. When I last looked (for March this year) the price difference was about £20. I've just had a look for a trip to the Dolomites in August and yes the ferry is a lot cheeper than the tunnel - £160 as opposed to £200. However with a nigh on 1000 mile drive back from the Dolomites and the very real risk of disruption on the German motorways I think I'll choose the tunnel with its 4 hour window of crossing time

Not sure about appreciating the ferry break more. On the shuttle I usually have a snooze in my car seat, something that cannot be done on the ferry. Now the shuttle has become more reliable we use it more or less all the time. At one point you never knew if you were to have a 1 or 4 hour delay before boarding. For the last half dozen trips it has actually left on time.
Quote:

It's all part of the mix I guess.

Yes, lots to consider and lots of options. With all these journeys there are lots of trade offs to be made. For example on the trip to the Dolomites I could fly or drive (the train is very expensive). If I was flying, do I change in Amsterdam or Frankfurt, or even Paris, do I fly to Venice or Innsbruck, or perhaps drive to Manchester and fly to Bergamo. It all needs careful examination.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Anyone know when P&O are releasing Hull/ Rotterdam ferry timetable/ bookings? Tempted to take an early punt on a crossing once released.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
countryman wrote:
I was comparing to le shuttle flexiplus, £130 more one way than their standard fare on a January 2021 crossing, as le shuttle's t&cs are very strict on missed crossings whereas DFDS allow greater flexibility, and there is for me the M25 to negotiate.

Cost of Flexi is indeed ludicrous on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. My Christmas trip Return was £181 and Fleixplus is £483. I've no idea the justification for it. I think for most people the Standard fare flexibility is enough.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE, the ferry break was useful when the kids were younger. We used to drive down Friday afternoon/evening. There would be the excitement of the boarding, then they would have a play in the soft play area, would be fed and watered. And then they'd pretty much sleep the whole way driving through the night! Return journey was less useful.

As I say I can imagine if someone was driving 5+ hours to get there a longer break might help.

But as with yourself these days we usually tunnel it (and indeed have a car nap if required!)
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?
@Layne, The ferry was more of a hassle when our son was younger. He would have to be woken up, carried up the stairs. He would be grummpy and half asleep on the ferry then the procedure would be reversed. He would then sleep all the way to Albertville. On the shuttle he would mumble "are we there yet" at the end of our street then fall alseep all the way to Albertville. It was by far the easiest way to take him skiing. Now 20 years later it is more or less the same except now he wakes up to feed the toll machines Very Happy
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@johnE, would have thought you'd have a doofer!
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

would have thought you'd have a doofer!


Why? He only needs nudging 5 times on the whole journey since he now wakes up in Chambery.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Anybody got a discount code for DFDS? Thanks.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
johnE wrote:
@Layne, £120 return for the ferry is very good. I must re-examine their prices.


We always use DFDS multitrip for both cost and convenience. They start at £92 return for 3 return crossings and drop to £78 for 12 or more. They are totally flexible in that you can change them right up until the last minute, even putting them back in to your "pool" to use later within their year of validity., can be transferred freely to friends and family. There are a few key dates that either attract a supplement or are excluded none of which normally affect us. P&O run a similar scheme.

The difference in travel time between train and ferry makes little difference to us for the total journey time, especially when adding in an extra comfort break for me when using the train.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Timc, I did the Eurotunnel FT scheme one year. It's sh*te. The validity is 12 months from purchase but as there are limited allocation of slots you have to book a good while in advance which then massively shortens your 12 month window. It's a good price for sure but it didn't work well for me for the aforementioned reasons. The ability to share with one other person is a good thing though.
snow conditions
 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.
@Layne, Our daughter uses one of our DFDS ferry trips for her family's summer school holidays trip and doesn't normally book until a couple of months before and hasn't had any problems with availability. The DFDS scheme isn't limited to just one other person, I had one year where I passed 3 trips on to different friends and family.

I normally buy mine in November and December to cover my planned journeys in Jan, Mar, Jul and August, January and March, low season, July and August definitely high season.

For me not only is the ferry cheaper it is also much less stressful, so a much better start and finish to the holiday.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
"If you check-in within 2 hours either side of your reserved time, within the validity of your ticket you may be offered a space on the next departure with availability without charge.

If you check-in more than 2 hours but no more than 24 hours before or after your reserved time, your booking may be exchanged, subject to availability and payment of the difference between the price you paid and the price applicable to the departure for which your booking is exchanged.

If you arrive more than 24 hours after your booked departure time, your booking will be invalid and cannot be exchanged."

Note the happy use of the word "may" - something I was always taught was a "weasel" word.

whereas dfds for £20 each way allow me a flexi booking with a 72 hour window. Never bother with P&O.
snow conditions



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy