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Another Easter one, with complicated wish list

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello everyone,

I’m a newbie, but have been reading the discussions on here for the last few months and have been very grateful for all of the useful info that I’ve found. We’re hoping to organise a last-minute Easter trip this year, but it’s a bit complicated as we’ve a few needs that I’m trying to cater for. Husband is experienced skier, though hasn’t been for many, many years. Two beginner children, 13 & 11, who will have had a couple of indoor lessons here by then, and me - beginner (apart from a few lessons about 12 years ago), very eager to learn but a bit scuppered by chronic fatigue syndrome and another unpredictable long-term illness. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to manage, and need to try to limit the amount of trekking about I would have to do so I can save energy for actual skiing. Ideally I’d look for nursery slopes as close to accommodation as possible, but I’m not sure whether that’s a bit pie-in-the-sky for Easter (and booking so late). There’s likely to be a lot of time where the three of them are off skiing and I’m either resting at the accommodation or sitting having a cup of tea, so somewhere that we can all do that in relatively close proximity and I can get back to wherever we’re staying easily if / when I need to would be ideal. (Husband says he’s very happy pootling about on gentle runs, no interest in heading off in search of a challenge.) Oh, and we would be driving, rather than flying.

Having read various threads about Easter and beginners, I’m wondering whether Val Thorens might fit the bill?

I’d be really grateful for any thoughts.

Thank you!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to the forum @PlutoD, VT a good starting point given it's a late Easter and with snow a little sparse this season too.

A consideration https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/le-cheval-blanc-val-thorens.en-gb.html is very conveniently located with most you could want in your list right there.

Alternatively, Flaine forum, Hotel le Totem has exemplary access for your requirements, and closer to drive to. Literally huge potential for begineers very close to accommodation (it's effectively surrounded by anything you'd need) but with the reservation of altitude and snow availability as given above for this season.

A couple to consider, and no doubt you'll get some other good choices offered here too.
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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?
Welcome to SHs, @PlutoD. What's your budget? To conserve your energy a hotel would be good, but obviously self-catering would be cheaper - I don't know VT well enough to suggest blocks really close to the beginner skiing and ski school meeting place, but there must be some.

You could do worse than to book some private lessons - every day of your stay - and be flexible about whether you, or your husband, takes them. And book ski school all week for the kids ASAP.

Easter is a really good time for you to dip your toe in the water (and there will be some water.....). You won't need to be dressed in 15 layers of clothes, and lazing around (hopefully in the sun.....) for a good part of the time should be very pleasant.
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@PlutoD, Welcome to snowheads!
Val thorens would be a good start point, yes - as I think you realise the problem at Easter is snow cover, especially with Easter being so late this year. yes. You might want to look at the family bash, where you and your family might find plenty of company. The apartments are lovely and very easily accessible

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=155376
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I wouldn't bet on Flaine this Easter.
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@PlutoD, in your situation I would be prioritising your needs - your family will have a perfectly good time whatever, as long as you are also able to enjoy it.
Mrs_mg has (total) adrenal insufficiency plus a very long list of other medical complications; it's not exactly the same as CFS but does present a lot of the same challenges in terms of low energy, unpredictable overall health, difficulty with day to day activities. What has worked for her, is to be as close as possible to accessible slopes - ideally, literally outside the boot room door. Walking any distance at all in ski boots is a killer for her, so if she does have to walk, then she walks in normal shoes to the piste and then I help her put her ski boots on, deal with her normal boots etc. I carry her skis. Don't let anyone tell you that you should/must be able to carry your own kit and that relying on your husband is sexist - if that's how it needs to be, then so be it. Allow plenty of time to get ready, and again make sure you are not having to deal with your kids as well, that will sap your energy.
Also consider the route home at the end - it's no good if you have to ski a tricky piste or walk a couple of hundred metres when you are exhausted.

I don't know many of the residences in VT well, though the general set up would work for your needs I think as the nursery slopes are very central, then there are plenty of easy options from there. the SFaB would work well with one proviso - you would need to be happy to ski a blue piste at the beginning and end of your sessions, that can be a bit intimidating at times. Its not hugely steep or difficult, but can be busy first thing (and scrapy icy at Easter) then gets bumpy in places later on. For a typical beginner with a week under their belt it would be fine, but it's not pleasant if you are nervous or trying to conserve energy. If you are not assuming to get out first thing and ski all day, it's less of an issue. If you go the same week, you can always be "in the area" and meet up with others on the bash, which would give you a ready source of skiing/cafe-ing friends.
Lessons wise, definitely private not group for you - a group will struggle to cater for you if you need to stop for 10-15 mins just to rest, whereas a private instructor isn't limited by other students (and should be able to teach you stuff, if you are interested, whilst resting).

If you can get it all to work, then IMO the effort is well worth it - there are few better feelings than being up in the mountains, with your family, and knowing that you've overcome barriers to be there.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@PlutoD, would it be worth talking to your doctor about the effects of altitude on your chronic fatigue syndrome? You'd be spending all of your time above 2300 metres in VT.
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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!
@PlutoD, which week are you looking at? If the 9th/10th April this gives some more options.

Especially thinking of @Riccardo, comment. How about Mayrhofen.

Yes, yhe accommodation is in the town, but this place, is exceedingly close to the lift, and the lift is at the top of escalators so it is an easy ride up to the skiing and nursery slopes. Also once at the top of Penkenbhan you have lots of restaurants etc there for breaks in

https://www.sunweb.co.uk/ski/austria/zillertal/ski-zillertal-3000/mayrhofen/appartementen-kaplenig?Participants%5B0%5D%5B0%5D=1991-03-20&Participants%5B0%5D%5B1%5D=1991-03-20&Participants%5B0%5D%5B2%5D=2009-03-20&Participants%5B0%5D%5B3%5D=2006-03-20&Duration%5B0%5D=8&Mealplan=LG&Month=2022-04-01&DepartureAirport%5B0%5D=LGW&TransportType=SelfDrive&Allocation=2


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 1-03-22 12:30; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

Don't let anyone tell you that you should/must be able to carry your own kit and that relying on your husband is sexist

Of course it's not sexist. I carried my husband's skis when he was suffering from coronary artery disease.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@pam w, of course it isn't. Unfortunately, from time to time on SHs someone will post about carrying skis (or similar) for their wife/girlfriend/partner, and usually there will be number of responses along the lines of, "you should be able to do this yourself, why do you need someone else to help you"? Usually it's with a male carrying skis for a female, but not always. I wouldn't want anyone to be put off, simply because others don't understand the limitations they have to work within.
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@PlutoD, welcome to snowHeads snowHead

@Riccardo makes a very valid point. I think there are some good accommodation options in VT that would cater well to your needs, were the altitude not to be a consideration.

At 1800m, La Rosiere might also fit the bill, assuming they have the snow depths (I haven’t checked, or looked to see if they’re still open but I have skied there at Easter in the past). Being South facing, it can get slushy to very slushy from 11.00/midday. However, there are some good accommodation options near the slopes, it’s great for families and beginners. Also perfect for sitting and resting in the Spring sunshine.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Val D'Isere has pretty good nursery slopes and good gentle slopes to progress to that are snow sure with the caveat that downloading for nervous beginners is adviseable as most of the runs back down are not that straightforward . The other caveat being that you secure accommodation close to the slopes. There is very good accommodation with easy access to the slopes close to rond point des pistes but there is a lot that is not convenient so you would need to be choosy.
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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
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
Thank you so much for all of your replies and helpful suggestions. I’ll have a look at the places that have been mentioned, and I’ll find out about altitude - really sensible suggestion that I hadn’t even considered, so thank you @riccardo. Really good idea about not walking in boots @mgrolf - taking those little things into consideration will make all the difference. I’m heartened to hear that your wife has been able to enjoy skiing. There are times when I wonder whether I’m crazy for even thinking of trying, but as you say just being in the mountains will be such a tonic.

And yes I was thinking that private lessons would be the only suitable option. We would be hoping to go 9th/10th April.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@PlutoD, if you decide on Mayrhofen, this is where i will be on those dates. I booked flights with Lufthansa to Munich from Heathrow which were reasonable and booked private transfer with Alps 2 Alps.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I would also suggest Belle Plagne if you get accom near top end near the commercial hub/ centre. It has a compact centre with supermarket, restaurants etc all very close. Check the ski school meeting points for closest hotels/apartments.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bit of a schlep from most accommodation to the start of the skiing in Mayrhofen, compared to somewhere like Val Thorens. I'm one of those who would berate anybody over 8 years old, who has no health issues, who expects anyone else to carry their skis for them, @mgrolf. wink Nothing to do with gender. I skied once with a friend a few years older than me, and a less experienced skier - he and his wife were staying in our apartment. He always offered to carry my skis up the short distance from the edge of the piste to our apartment - he was a real gent. I generally thanked him but refused, as I was undoubtedly stronger at that point than he was, and much more used to carrying skis. Then one day we encountered very poor visibility and he really struggled. At one point his hat blew off and I climbed up a little way to retrieve it - not far, but it was exhausting. When we finished skiing he was really done in, physically, and also, I think, a bit shaken at how much he'd struggled. At the end, having got him back, turn by turn (he insisted I go in front so he could see my red jacket through the mist, the piste markers were invisible but I knew the piste well) I just held my hand out for his skis, and gave him my poles. The fact that he let me carry his skis, with no protest, said it all.

I have no problem with a stronger person taking some burden for a weaker one - and I gratefully take the seats I am invariably offered on London trains - but any female who automatically expects her skis to be carried by some bloke gets right on my tits.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, hence my link to accommodation which you literally cant get any closer to the lift. It isn't the prettiest BUT location is hard to beat. Sleeping at altitude can be quite and issue for some with certain health issues (my aunt had issues in Breckenbridge .... that is even higher but still)
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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?
Lifts aren't ideal, especially for someone who just wants to get quickly back to their accommodation and put their feet up for half an hour. When I was last skiing, at the pre-Birthday Bash, with my health problems, I found having to take skis off and climb up (or down) steps to and from a gondola was much more tiring than skiing onto, and off, a chairlift. But the altitude point is a good one.
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pam w wrote:
Lifts aren't ideal, especially for someone who just wants to get quickly back to their accommodation and put their feet up for half an hour. When I was last skiing, at the pre-Birthday Bash, with my health problems, I found having to take skis off and climb up (or down) steps to and from a gondola was much more tiring than skiing onto, and off, a chairlift. But the altitude point is a good one.


And why highlighting that there are quite a number of restaurants at the top of the Penkenbhan.

I have done both Val thorens and stayed at HdK in Val Thorens at that time of year (SFaB).

I found VT a LOT busier. Also me and my Dad ended up having to walk UPHILL up that VERY steep slope, as all lifts shut down due to wind so the magic carpets were a horific scrum, which would have safed the uphill climb but still would have a meant a walk through the town. Now we could have been seriously unlucky, but does make me hesitate to recommend it in their circumstances
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Easter is late this year and anything below 2000m could be very marginal. You don't want to ski onto ice first thing.
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@PlutoD,

Welcome to Snowheads! Very Happy

I have sent you a private message about possible accommodation in Val Thorens.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thinking about this, the Flaine suggestion is a good one IF it stays comparatively cool. The beginner area right outside the Forum accommodation and cafes is very convenient and there's a beginner's chair giving access to a wide and very gentle slope. But it is at 1600m so could be a slush-fest which freezes overnight. I'm going on 19th March and almost expect soft/ worn conditions low down. It should be good higher up though and Flaine is the closest big resort to Calais.

But I don't know VT so I'll leave it at that, but good luck @PlutoD, I hope you're able to find somewhere which meets your needs.
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