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Booking at the last moment

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Last season we went to the Dolomites for an off-piste holiday in February and discovered there was no skiable off piste remaining. Our guide had to drive us for 4 hours to Austria where we skied powder all week. However we had in effect to pay for both hotels. Similar things had happened before.

This season I have been persuaded by the group to hire a van and decide where we will ski at the last moment, according to where the snow is good. Of course this might mean we cannot stay right in the resort. And we hired the guide back in June (after which he is usually booked up).
I must say I am very nervous about this. Has anyone else tried anything like this?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@snowball, which aspect are you nervous about?

For offpiste focused trips that’s by far the best way to go. Surely more nerve-wracking booking in advance and hoping forecasts align?

Personally I’d skip the van and just book flights a couple of days before based on last minute forecasts - as long as you’re not too fussy about accommodation you’ll always find somewhere. Especially as last minute you’ll be able to cherry pick the resort(s) getting most dumped on so can skip the big famous areas and hone in on the under-the-radar powder-day gems.
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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?
I've done one trip where we booked flights on a Wed for the weekend, and my mates did the same on another trip, both due to plenty of snow and more forecast. Both worked out superb trips.

If you are going away to try and maximise time in fresh snow, then following storms has to be one of the better ways to do it surely?
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Depends how much you care about your accommodation really. Our La Grave trip turned into a fairly lazy person’s traverse to Chamonix and a lot of the accommodation was booked a day or two before (or even same day). It ranged from pretty basic but cheap (youth hostel in Seez) to nice but quite pricey (hotel in Argentiere). Not sure I’d rush back to the youth hostel but it didn’t spoil the trip. I don’t think you’ll struggle to find somewhere but it really depends if somewhere which is a bit imperfect is likely to annoy you
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I was just worried everywhere where we wanted to go might be booked up. Admittedly it worked out last year.
I don't mind basic B &B but do need a comfortable bed. A hard or lumpy one can ruin my holiday with back ache.
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@snowball, so the guide will go anywhere you ask?

And you are going to take the van from the UK and just drive to where is best?

I presume early Feb before the high season/holidays?

Should work, as others say you may have to be not fussy with accommodation.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

a fairly lazy person’s traverse to Chamonix

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!
Dollies off piste the stars really need to line up for that one booking in advance.
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Mother hucker wrote:
Dollies off piste the stars really need to line up for that one booking in advance.
Absolutely. I wouldn't be going to the Dolomites at all if I were that bothered about skiing off-piste.
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It does look ridiculously good when conditions are right tho
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Arno wrote:
It does look ridiculously good when conditions are right tho


Agree. I think it’s one of those places you book last minute on the rare occasion that the conditions are on. Problem is every guide worth his salt will be booked up so you’d have to guidebook DIY
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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.
Well, van from the UK might be possible, but no, flying and then booking a van was one idea. Van might not be needed.

It will be 2 different weeks but the same guide. He has his own van and generally we go out on Friday, have a couple of days skiing on our own and then Zeb joins us to ski for 6 days, Monday to Saturday. He knows quite a few places but is happy to ski anywhere (he always says a good guide can guide anywhere - he has also guided expeditions climbing Everest). Of course we usually have to pay for his bed and if we don't book him by June he is often booked up.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 5-09-22 15:49; edited 1 time in total
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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
@Arno, yes, but there's no getting around the fact that, in the Dolomites, one is often reliant on man-made snow even on the piste.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
snowball wrote:
I was just worried everywhere where we wanted to go might be booked up. Admittedly it worked out last year.
I don't mind basic B &B but do need a comfortable bed. A hard or lumpy one can ruin my holiday with back ache.


If you’re not bothered about staying in popular resorts should be fine. I’d guess there is a fair bit of accommodation in the ski valleys particularly mid-week.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Oops, two answers while I was writing!
Dolomites is another place we have had to cancel and move resort, but at least it was before we went out there. Our guide advised there wouldn't be enough snow.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@snowball, using huts another option although perhaps not ideal for your back
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BobinCH, yes, plus I'm not a keen tourer. I'm prepared to do it to get to good slopes/snow.
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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?
snowball wrote:
@BobinCH, yes, plus I'm not a keen tourer. I'm prepared to do it to get to good slopes/snow.


For example you can book up Cabane Mont Fort in advance and cancel if conditions not good. It’s about 80chf half board
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Thanks, I didn't know about that.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@snowball,
Sorry, but with 8000 posts on snowheads you went for a off-piste week in the Dolomites….And now you’re nervous

Just read a small book written by an Austrian psychiatrist.
Title: “Dummheit”
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@Langerzug, He's nervous about last minute booking, not skiing.... rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Langerzug wrote:
@snowball,
Sorry, but with 8000 posts on snowheads you went for a off-piste week in the Dolomites….And now you’re nervous

Just read a small book written by an Austrian psychiatrist.
Title: “Dummheit”


Why are you such a lady's front bottom?
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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!
I think @Langerzug, doesn't know that the Dolomites have some of the best off-piste.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Chances of booking a hire van with legal snow tyres in the uk is Zero?
Another plan required I feel
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Hiring would be in Geneva and/or Innsbruck for 2 holidays.
(Also, one of the group has a van. Might possibly drive it out, but that wasn't the initial plan.)
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:
Our guide had to drive us for 4 hours to Austria where we skied powder all week. However we had in effect to pay for both hotels. Similar things had happened before.

Isn’t that the same as not booking in the first place?

You ended up booking a place at another location last minute. So not booking at all in the first place removes the double payment. Why be nervous? You should feel more relaxed.
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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.
Yes indeed. It was because of that disaster that we decided to switch to last minute booking. It is just a matter of THE UNKNOWN. We found somewhere that time, but what if we were just lucky.

Perversely last season ended up the most fresh powder I have skied in many years, as we also skied powder both the week before Christmas and early January.
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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
snowball wrote:
Yes indeed. It was because of that disaster that we decided to switch to last minute booking. It is just a matter of THE UNKNOWN. We found somewhere that time, but what if we were just lucky.

What if no lodging can be found? In your last year’s trip, you’d end up driving 4 hours each day? Or would you have settle to skiing on piste for the whole week? Is that a preferable outcome? If not, you’re no worse off by not booking in the first place.

The true “UNKNOWN” is actually the weather. You can’t remove that unknown anyway. So booking and not booking are just 2 different strategies to handle that same unknown, each with its own pros and cons.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yes, as time goes on snow/weather will be less and less reliable, unfortunately.
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