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Best French Alps area for Greens

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
endoman wrote:
Sounds like some confidence boosting lessons are the order of the day. Conditions play a huge factor in run difficulty and an instructor will factor that in.


Yes you're right, some lessons are in order. We had a great lesson with John from new gen, really helped with my wifes confidence but then she really dipped again after that. Think several lessons might be good this year
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PeakyB wrote:
@Northernsoul65, as well as supporting the comments above about instruction, I'd also suggest not focusing too much on runs graded 'green'.
A base with plenty of less busy, reasonably wide, not too steep blue graded runs are just as (if not more) likely to help Mrs NS to build confidence.

I think you were based in Bourg St Maurice when you skied Les Arcs, so would have started from and returned to Arc 1600 each afternoon; not ideal for beginners or nervous intermediates.
In Les Arcs, an 1800 or Plan Peisey base might have suited better. My point is, that the detail of where you stay and begin/end your skiing each day is important.

I'm a confident enough and experienced skier but still switch to high alert on some runs graded green in Val D'Isere, to minimise the increased risk of collisions. I've also been known to tense up a little on those narrow green paths, winding down the mountain, with a fall off into the forest on one side, rocks on the other, icy, Oh! There's a beginner class just ahead. Smile

Considering balancing both of your needs, along with your preference to go high, one of the bases in the La Plagne area might suit. Snow sure, lots of ski in/out accommodation, plenty of relatively easy cruisy blue runs, as well as more demanding blues and reds for you. A subjective opinion, not pretty architecture. Can also get crowded at peak times. Not much tree skiing for poor visibility weather.

Timing of your trip could be important. First week of March generally much busier and more expensive than mid March. French school winter holidays continue through first week of March.

Plenty of places in Austria, Italy, etc that would work better first week of March than the big French circuits.


Brilliant advice, much appreciated.
Yes we were based in Bourg Saint Maurice last year and my wife did struggle with the return on the last blue run to arc 1600.
I think we'll take a good look at La Plagne.
I think you're right, she may well cope best on cruisy wide blue runs, those without any sections that are suddenly much steeper.
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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?
j b wrote:
I'm with @PeakyB. The colour coding can be deceptive, don't obsess about finding runs labelled green rather than blue but instead you may need a quick reconnoitre (maybe while your wife is having a lesson) to choose runs which are wide enough to allow a cautious skier to choose her route. Greens are more likely to be those narrow tracks.

The other thing to beware of is the odd blue run that has a short steep section that could easily have been graded red. That seems quite common, resorts seem to work on the basis when grading runs that they need blue run connections between different skiing areas and will grade accordingly. (To be fair, they sometimes ensure those steep sections are wider than they would be on a red run which does seem less daunting to a cautious skier).


Very good points, thanks. She has definitely enjoyed very wide cruisy blue runs in the past, those without any sudden steep bits thrown in. This next trip, if we're going to have any more, needs to just be a massive confidence boost for her. Definitely some lessons as well as sussing out the best area, base, and time to go
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
andy'n'netty wrote:
@Northernsoul65, Alpes D'Huez or St Francois Langchamp if you want big areas of greens and easy blues to progress to.
But why France?
For a beginner Austria or Italy are much less intimidating than any moonscape high French mega resort. Pretty tree lined runs and quaint villages may be a way to go?


We drove last time (we live in Lewes, a stones throw from Newhaven-Dieppe ferry) and had a stop over on the way down and back, making that a part of the hols, so hence French Alps. However, with petrol prices, that may not be the way to travel this year!
Any specific resort recommendations for Austria or Italy?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
PeakyB wrote:
@Northernsoul65, what you think of it so far?


Advice has been top!! Really appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice and I've been reading it all out to Mrs NS this morning. Madeye-Smiley
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@Northernsoul65, obviously you will have to weigh up the relative expenses for driving versus plane/train (and those prices have been increasing too) but one benefit of driving is it does open up possibilities like Les Saisies or St Francois Longchamp - or plenty of other medium sized resorts not used by tour operators.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Northernsoul65 wrote:
j b wrote:
I'm with @PeakyB. The colour coding can be deceptive, don't obsess about finding runs labelled green rather than blue but instead you may need a quick reconnoitre (maybe while your wife is having a lesson) to choose runs which are wide enough to allow a cautious skier to choose her route. Greens are more likely to be those narrow tracks.

The other thing to beware of is the odd blue run that has a short steep section that could easily have been graded red. That seems quite common, resorts seem to work on the basis when grading runs that they need blue run connections between different skiing areas and will grade accordingly. (To be fair, they sometimes ensure those steep sections are wider than they would be on a red run which does seem less daunting to a cautious skier).


Very good points, thanks. She has definitely enjoyed very wide cruisy blue runs in the past, those without any sudden steep bits thrown in. This next trip, if we're going to have any more, needs to just be a massive confidence boost for her. Definitely some lessons as well as sussing out the best area, base, and time to go


Yes agreed, the every run will have a number of factors which dictate how easy it is - colour is one of them (so obviously shouldn't be totally discarded) but should be factored in with other local knowledge - width, traffic, aspect/time of day etc. Once you get a resort in mind then someone here will be able to give you a rough rundown on which ones to tackle in order.

For example, having been to Val Thorens I'd confidently be able to give a list of which runs to tackle first, and it wouldn't just be a list of all the greens (for the reasons given above).

(PS not advocating VT in any way, just using it as an example)
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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!
@Northernsoul65,
Quote:


Advice has been top!! Really appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice and I've been reading it all out to Mrs NS this morning.


Is she asleep yet? Eyes glazed over? Brainwashed? Laughing
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Northernsoul65,
Quote:

Any specific resort recommendations for Austria or Italy?


Italy - Colfosco, with adjacent Corvara a good shout, if going 1st week of March. Also certain locations in Val di Fassa might suit. Endless skiing in and around Sella Ronda for you, starting from those bases.

Austria - Ellmau, Westendorf, Kaprun, Lech are possibilities. All with links to more challenging terrain.
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@PeakyB,
Thanks, much appreciated.
Mrs NS pretty much had enough of ski talk this morning, given we're currently on holiday in the south of Italy!
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