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Struggling to find somewhere for 26th Feb

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dear all I'm looking to tap into the hive mind as I'm currently short of options for 26th Feb.

It needs to be this week as it's the only week my son can do this year, however it coincides with Paris half term as well as half of Holland. Plus the fact that it's the week that Fasching falls in. This would, very simplistically, rule out Austria and France.

But. My son wants to brush up on his technique which means guaranteed good and English speaking instruction which, equally simplistically, rules out Italy. And it needs to be cheap, which rules out Switzerland and Scandinavia and anywhere outside Europe. Happy to go with a package deal or DIY.

In terms of the skiing, a reasonably sized resort (75km+) with a variety of pisted runs rather than a high altitude mega resort, and one that currently has good snow cover, good reasonably priced food on the mountain, and quick and easy access to the slopes.

To be honest most of what I've written points to Austria except that I'm really struggling for any availability using Igluski or Sunweb, I'm guessing due to a combination of Fasching and Dutch half term; I also wondered about La Thuile and whether any of the recommended British instructors based in the Tarantaise would be prepared to meet on the French side. Are there resorts that would be quieter even in Paris' half term?

Thoughts? Very Happy


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 25-01-22 13:57; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Have you looked at Crystal? I find their website much easier to use than Iglu for searching.
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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?
Quote:

My son wants to brush up on his technique which means guaranteed good English speaking instruction which, equally simplistically, rules out Italy.

Shocked Certainly simplistic. Some Italians can both ski and speak English, you know.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

My son wants to brush up on his technique which means guaranteed good English speaking instruction which, equally simplistically, rules out Italy.

Shocked Certainly simplistic. Some Italians can both ski and speak English, you know.


Where? Who?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How's your French? I've used this site for DIY 2022 (needed to cancel a few weeks back and got 100% deposit back). Just did a quick search for La Plagne for your dates as an example and more than 20 places available. https://www.abritel.fr/
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@Riccardo, Andorra? Spain e.g. Baqueira?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
pam w wrote:
Quote:

My son wants to brush up on his technique which means guaranteed good English speaking instruction which, equally simplistically, rules out Italy.

Shocked Certainly simplistic. Some Italians can both ski and speak English, you know.


Where? Who?

Actually, you have a point, I wasn't precise enough. I've changed it to 'good and English speaking instruction' as I want the instruction to be first class, not the spoken English. I'm sure that doesn't rule out all Italians either, I just don't know where or who they are.
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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!
@Riccardo, Are you crazy?!!!

Plenty of English speaking instructors in Italy. Have you ever been? Or even researched even a little bit?And lots of resorts that would suit you.

As others have said, Andorra is also an option.

Switzerland is not that expensive in my view, certainly when compared to large French areas.

Give me more detail on what you are looking for and I am sure I will be able to come up with several options. Whats the budget? What standard of skiers are you? Hotel or self-catering? Airports that work for you?
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With people having to cancel due to Covid there must be late availability deals to be had? Just be packed ready to go so you only have to deal with the paperwork last minute Eh oh! .

A few years ago we went ‘of piste’ regards resorts by going to Schruns and it’s associated resorts. I know it’s still Austria and it’s Fasching week but the resort / area seems to go under the radar a bit so it might be worth a look?

It was easy to get to (train direct from Innsbruck), there were a number of other resorts on the pass - and the area was quite affordable at the time.
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I am always amazed at the number of UK skiers who don't even consider anywhere not in France. The more adventurous might go to Austria. It's like the rest of the alps don't exist for some!

Maybe it is a comfort thing, people wanting to go somewhere where there will be a lot of other brits. Same thing seems to happen for summer holidays. Frankly we prefer the opposite, i.e. less Brits as we and the kids are more likely to experience fully what is like being in another country and culture. But I can understand that some want a more comforting experience.

I know lots of people here do go to Switzerland and Italy (and further afield), but there would still seem to be a majority of the "help me where to go" questions from posters that have never been outside France to ski. And more disturbingly lots of the answers to these questions from posters who only seem to consider France. Austria quite often comes u too but less frequently.

@Riccardo, if you need to be surrounded by lots of brits why not have a look at Sauze D'Oulx in Italy? Not my favourite place but lots going for it and would tick most of your boxes. Other than the fact that it is in Italy!
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@Riccardo, Skip the operators, go DIY.
Even in resorts like Lech and St.Anton I'm finding very reasonable accommodation available for that week.
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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.
iski? skizoom?
just a quick google is giving a good few options......
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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
zikomo wrote:
Maybe it is a comfort thing, people wanting to go somewhere where there will be a lot of other brits.

TBF, the Dutch do the same thing.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Riccardo, You shouldn't have a problem finding English-speaking instructors in Italy, especially if you're looking at a few hours of private lessons for your son. Just turn up at the ski school office and ask, if you can't arrange it before hand.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Riccardo, Do you want to book through a tour operator or are you happy to sort everything out yourself?
The ski school that I work for is based in Hochfügen, Zillertal, Austria. We also offer lessons in Hochzillertal. There are 3 native English speaking instructors in our school who can all deliver good instruction.
Unfortunately, there aren't any package deals that come to this end of Zillertal from the UK, so you would have to book everything directly yourself if you want to come here.
www.best-of-zillertal.at is the tourist office website for this area where you can look for accommodation. To ski in Hochfügen, you would probably need to look for somewhere to stay in Hochfügen (which is expensive and probably fully booked by now) or Fügen. Fügen is down the valley and a free ski bus ride to Hochfügen.
To ski in Hochzillertal you could look for accommodation in Kaltenbach, Ried, Aschau or Stumm. The villages further away, e.g. Stumm has a regular, free ski bus going to Kaltenbach, which is where the Hochzillertal gondola starts.

Our ski school website is www.skicheck.at We also have schools in Alpbach, Spieljoch and Kühtai. I don't know the instructors in the other schools, so I have no idea if they could provide what you're looking for.
If you decide to come here, let me know (in a PM, so I don't miss it!) and I'll make sure your booking is assigned appropriately.

I hope that helps. If you need more info, just ask. Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@rjs, I like the Netherlands and the Dutch. Have worked there a lot over the years and have made good friends. But I do not enjoy them on mass in ski resorts. But then am not a fan of English dominated resorts either! High preponderance of drunkeness, rudeness and dangerous skiing seems to ensue. Don't seem to have those problem so much with Italians or Swiss.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Riccardo, Garni Esperia opposite the lift in Alleghe if they have space. 235 euros pp bed and breakfast. Fly to Venice if fares are reasonable, use the Civetta transfer service to minimise costs and contact the Civetta ski school regarding instruction. Satisfies your requirements for ski area and there are easy day out options if required. Plenty of serious skiers on this site are keen to return to Alleghe every year so there will also be an answer to any question you have about the area. Read the currently ongoing PBBWUW thread for info about the mountain and village. Oh and the property houses it's own brewery if that influences your decision (either way)
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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?
@zikomo, I think you'll find @Riccardo was being funny. Conosce bene l'italia......
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Too many people here leaping in without reading the thread properly. Quite amusing, really.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, I often fall into this trap! Am just too literal a person.....
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@Riccardo, few deals on Crystal ski:

Hotel Cristallo, Courmayeur £497pp B&B
Hotel Del Viale, Courmayeur £577pp HB
Hotel Monzonim, Pozza di Fassa, Dolomites, £614pp HB
Hotel Savoy Edelweiss, Sestriere, £710pp HB

That's the sort of thing I'd be looking at in your shoes, but depends on your budget I guess.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@Kettonskimum1971,Thanks, that looks the sort of thing I was after. Google translate and I will peruse it later tonight.

@under a new name, 2 good shouts, I remember some threads about instruction in Andorra, I'll research. I can't remember any about instruction in Baquiera but currently there is a huge amount of snow there apparently.

@zikomo, No, not that crazy. I've skied a few times in Italy, 4 of the last 6, thinking about it. We had a great week of instruction from a guy named Conor who was employed by the now defunct Ski2 set up but apart from that I have yet to hear of a really good experience (skiing) with an instructor in Italy. And I do ask, and have paid for.

@oldsnowy, I don't think last minute is going to help much in this case as the demand isn't from the UK but from the rest of Europe.

@Langerzug, yes I've DIYed a couple of trips to Austria and it's been plain sailing. It's just with the additional hassle of covid related bureaucracy, I'm feeling I could do without the additional stress of organising all the constituent parts. But it may come to that.
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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!
@Riccardo, Ok well good luck to you. I have had some great guides in Italy. My kids have had some amazing instruction in Italy.
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Wherever you go make sure you have ringfenced an instructor before you book. If I had a £ for every person desperate for lessons in Feb this year in Morzine, i’d have enough to retrain as an instructor.
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Continued...

@zikomo, Ironically, in the 47 years since I learnt to ski, last month was the first time in France and only then because of the quality of instruction on offer. I don't need to be surrounded by Brits, I can't work out why you think I would.

@andy'n'netty Thanks will take a look.

@agw, on this particular trip I want good lessons and I want to guarantee they are good. In my limited experience, wandering into the nearest ski school office in Italy is about the least likely way of achieving that. I know there are vast numbers of exquisitely stylish skiers in Italy and they must have been taught by someone but I am yet to spot that someone on the mountain. My experience is completely different in Austria which seems to have a different culture with regard to instruction.

@SaraJ, Thanks for the detailed reply and I'll look at what's on offer but Zillertal was where supply was really limited on my first look. But we like Austria and will definitely visit the area and say hi at some point but probably when the dates work out more favourably.

@toyah807, I've been on the PBBWUW! And I'm keen to go again. I don't remember anyone saying there's an instructor they'd recommend but a couple said the opposite.

@pam w, Funny weird or funny ha ha? But yes, it is amusing what people think I've said versus what I think I've written.

@swskier, Cheers. Budget-wise you're in the right vicinity. Just got to sort out the instruction part.
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zikomo wrote:
I am always amazed at the number of UK skiers who don't even consider anywhere not in France. The more adventurous might go to Austria. It's like the rest of the alps don't exist for some!

Maybe it is a comfort thing, people wanting to go somewhere where there will be a lot of other brits. Same thing seems to happen for summer holidays. Frankly we prefer the opposite, i.e. less Brits as we and the kids are more likely to experience fully what is like being in another country and culture. But I can understand that some want a more comforting experience.

I know lots of people here do go to Switzerland and Italy (and further afield), but there would still seem to be a majority of the "help me where to go" questions from posters that have never been outside France to ski. And more disturbingly lots of the answers to these questions from posters who only seem to consider France. Austria quite often comes u too but less frequently.

@Riccardo, if you need to be surrounded by lots of brits why not have a look at Sauze D'Oulx in Italy? Not my favourite place but lots going for it and would tick most of your boxes. Other than the fact that it is in Italy!


Pray, where in the original post do you see Riccardo saying he needs to be surrounded by lots of Brits?! rolling eyes
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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.
agw wrote:
@Riccardo, You shouldn't have a problem finding English-speaking instructors in Italy, especially if you're looking at a few hours of private lessons for your son. Just turn up at the ski school office and ask, if you can't arrange it before hand.


I adore skiing in Italy but on the whole when I have taken ski lessons there, in good English, I have ended up paying for what amounts to a mountain guide and I have been damned lucky if I have got one tip/pointer per lesson. The best instructor I had was a female in Bardoncecchia but because, again experienced a few times by me, they have a huge range of abilities in each class, it was an awfully slow crawl around the mountain for the first half of the week, then as the less skilled and the tired dropped out, by the last 2 days I was finally beginning to get some instruction and do some mileage to my level. There was no option to go up a group and I have been in this situation again in Italy only a few years ago, which involved much complaining (about the blue runs they were about to send me on, instead of at least reds) before private lessons were sorted. These turned into the do a lot of miles, here is the tip for today, guiding sort of lesson, with added leg squeezes on the chair lifts for good measure. Laughing


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 25-01-22 19:58; edited 1 time in total
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zikomo wrote:
@Riccardo, Ok well good luck to you. I have had some great guides in Italy. My kids have had some amazing instruction in Italy.


Thank you. They do seem great with kids.

I suppose I should go into more detail about where we are with regard to instruction. My son is a tidy skier who can get down most things happily and is/was probably beyond the top group in most holiday ski schools. However his last time out, in freeze/thaw conditions in April in Kitzbuhel, he was given a rude lesson in how good he was by swathes of Bavarian weekenders. And so he's after something similar to the PIPAU that I was fortunate enough to go on in terms of instruction.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cinsha wrote:


I adore skiing in Italy but on the whole when I have taken ski lessons there, in good English, I have ended up paying for what amounts to a mountain guide and I have been damned lucked if I have got one tip/pointer per lesson. The best instructor I had was a female in Bardoncecchia but because, again experienced a few times by me, they have a huge range of abilities in each class, it was an awfully slow crawl around the mountain for the first half of the week, then as the less skilled and the tired dropped out, by the last 2 days I was finally beginning to get some instruction and do some mileage to my level. There was no option to go up a group and I have been in this situation again in Italy only a few years ago, which involved much complaining (about the blue runs they were about to send me on, instead of at least reds) before private lessons were sorted. These turned into the do a lot of miles, here is the tip for today, guiding sort of lesson, with added leg squeezes on the chair lifts for good measure. Laughing


I didn't like to rule out leg squeezing in case I came across as even more anti Italian than I already had. Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
zikomo wrote:
I am always amazed at the number of UK skiers who don't even consider anywhere not in France. The more adventurous might go to Austria. It's like the rest of the alps don't exist for some!


I couldn't agree more zikomo. I'm always amazed by it but it's soooo much worse this year with France being closed.. I can't believe the number skiers that only go to France and somehow assume that Austria and Italy are substandard! Quite the contrary, I'd suggest that in almost every measure France doesn't top the charts!

I've done most of my skiing in Italy and only a handful of times in France..... dont get me wrong, its good, to a point but its the last on my list..... way behind Italy and Austria
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't know why this thread has turned into a moanfest about people who only ski in France. Against whom is this finger-wagging directed? The OP has done lots of holidays in Italy and Austria and indeed gave @zikomo valuable information about Italy a few months ago.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w wrote:
I don't know why this thread has turned into a moanfest about people who only ski in France. Against whom is this finger-wagging directed? The OP has done lots of holidays in Italy and Austria and indeed gave @zikomo valuable information about Italy a few months ago.


No moanfest Pam. I merely picked up on an observation from Zikomo and I agree with him. I've been to your neck of the woods about 6 times and really enjoy it......
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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?
Thanks for all the help, I'm obviously lacking in the skills to elicit the information I'm after.

I was looking for something along the lines of,
'Go to [Insert Resort Name], it's not usually busy in this week; ask for [Insert Instructor Name], they are [Select from: World class, Great, Decent, OK if your desperate, Handsy]

I'm looking at Wengen currently, just have to work out how to get to Manchester Airport by 6AM.
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@Riccardo, the thing is, EVERYWHERE is pretty busy on 26 February. And every instructor worth his or her salt is likely to be booked up. You are not lacking in the skills to elicit the information - nobody here is sitting on a little mine of gold nuggets for you.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, Not moaning at all! Just an observation, Brits in general seem somewhat fixated on France for skiing. I wonder if it is an historic thing, or that many people like resorts that have high volumes of UK visitors (maybe more fluent English insturctors etc.)?

My only "moan" was about the suggestion that it is not possible to receive good instruction in Italy. I have had the opposite experience and disliked the negative characterisation of Italy.

Some of the ESF schools are appalling and I have had some pretty poor experiences from "independent" ski schools in Switzerland and France also. And Austria still has some old school instructors with big classes. Italy no worse and often better in my view.
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pam w wrote:
@Riccardo, the thing is, EVERYWHERE is pretty busy on 26 February. And every instructor worth his or her salt is likely to be booked up. You are not lacking in the skills to elicit the information - nobody here is sitting on a little mine of gold nuggets for you.


Probably so, but I thought I'd do a little more panning just in case. snowHead


That's panning for gold, not panning Italian ski instructors. rolling eyes
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Riccardo wrote:
pam w wrote:
@Riccardo, the thing is, EVERYWHERE is pretty busy on 26 February. And every instructor worth his or her salt is likely to be booked up. You are not lacking in the skills to elicit the information - nobody here is sitting on a little mine of gold nuggets for you.


Probably so, but I thought I'd do a little more panning just in case. snowHead


That's panning for gold, not panning Italian ski instructors. rolling eyes



Laughing Laughing Laughing
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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!
You'll have no problem finding English speaking instructors in Baqueria and other than the weekends it'll be quiet at the end of February...
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@Riccardo, If I were you I would consider Grimentz or Sass Fee in Switzerland and use Ski Zenit. The best instructors I have had, so if technique is important try and book a series of private sessions. They also do race camps which would be good if your sone is keen to improve technically.
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+Andorra
Go to somewhere like Arinsal/Pal - but its a helluva (3.5ish hours) transfer but for that reason it doesn't get weekenders. The "dominant" holiday skiers are British/Irish.
Ski schools have a good reputation - and my children received great instruction from excellent English speaking instructors
Prices are reasonable.
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