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!)

Second and third ski trip (Scotland, 3V?)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We just got back from our first ski trip to Zermatt. I've started writing up our experience for another thread, so suffice to say we had an incredible time. That said, despite the spectacular scenery, I absolutely wouldn't recommend Zermatt to a beginner, especially if you've got a particularly strong sense of self-preservation, which my wife absolutely has. We spent all our time on the nursery slopes and pistes 5, 6, and 7, though only I did 7, as the gondola up spooked my wife. So, whilst we had an amazing time, the lack of easy slopes where you can work on your technique and build confidence limited us both.

Looking to the future, I think we can fit in one long weekend and one week before the end of the season. For the long weekend, we're thinking Scotland this month as we can drive up after work on a Friday (done no research yet, so welcome any suggestions). For the week, we're thinking somewhere in the Three Valleys in late April – our Zermatt instructor strongly recommended Courchevel, which is apparently great for beginners (the British Ski Club website agrees). Just curious what people think. We'd definitely like somewhere in the French Alps, but appreciate it's late season so options are limited.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@inthecold, I would probably avoid Scotland unless you live nearby, as snow conditions aren't great currently. May of course change, but the long term forecast isn't particularly promising for significant improvement.

For late April in the French Alps for beginners: I think Val Thorens is the obvious choice.

Not quite sure what the person who recommended Zermatt in midwinter to you for a first ski holiday was thinking. But glad you had a good time!
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?
Courchevel is indeed great for beginners and I’d say beats Val T in that regard, but Val T in late April might offer better conditions with excellent beginner slopes. Skiing mush (a problem that develops as the day goes on) is hard work, so you want to head somewhere high and cold, ideally with north facing slopes. That said Courchevel can be great at that time too, . Many are the times we’ve done the counterintuitive thing in April and skied over to Courchevel and La Tania in the late morning, especially Folyeres- the blue run into La T-can be totally deserted. I agree Zermatt is far from ideal for a nervous beginner. What are far more fulfilling and confidence boosting are gentle slopes down into the resort. Given the time of year you intend to travel, it might be worth waiting till the last minute before making your choice.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
We went to Austria at Christmas. The comment about a strong sense of self-preservation rang true about my husband as we encountered icy runs with steep bits that knocked his confidence.

I received this amazing advice on a thread I posted about La Plagne at Easter that might be of interest to you. We've since taken this advice and are now booked to go to Arc 1800.

Macker13 wrote:
Owlette wrote:
patrick! wrote:
I love skiing in La Plagne, but wouldn't stay there - especially for Christmas. In fact we also rule out Val Tho on the same grounds. It obviously depends on what you're after (parties, quiet village, just skiing?) but for a family xmas Tignes was a better balance for us last time. With friends, because we still love Paradiski after all, I'd vote for a stay in Les Arcs (Peisey Vallandry) and hop to La Plagne for a day or two.


We are after wide, cruisey blues as my husband had his confidence knocked at Christmas, coming down some steep blue sections in Austria. The next trip needs to be a confidence building one.
Around a 10 hour drive from Calais
Slope side accommodation. Doesn't need to be ski in, ski out, but a 2 minute walk to the lift and ski schools, maximum.
Good sized ski area.
Excellent ski schools with a maximum of 10 to a class.

We're a family of 4. Children are currently 11 and 9. We want a holiday where we can have fun skiing, especially with the children.


Stay at Arc 1800 then. Use airbnb to find one of many apartments on the snowface. They are very good value. £600ish a week but last time I found one for £350.

Arc 1800 has the Mille8 area which is perfect for a confidence boosting run before heading up the mountain higher. Its a great little slope for practicing turns and even has a few snowpark style obstacles and tiny jumps to use if you are so inclined. You can walk to the lift in 2 minutes from the apartments.

Then once you've had a practice. Go up Transarc 1 to the first stop and ski across the mountain on the "Plan Bois" blue run to the bottom of the Derby chairlift. Go up this and ski down the "Renard" blue run towards Peisey/Vallandry and stop at the little restaurant called Les Enfant Terribles. Its a great pit stop to rest the legs and grab a crepe.

Now ski down through the "Foret Pitchouns" a fun little practice area with obstacles until you reach the "Maitaz" blue run and head along this all the way back to Arc 1800. If youre lucky youll spot the Milka Cow skiing on this and catch him for the kids to get a chocolate. When you get to Arc 1800 you can either ski down the steepish finish back to the Transarc which can get icy in the afternoon. But if you are still wanting to keep it comfortable. Hang a left and ski behind the L'Aiguille Grive Chalets Hotel before you get to the final 100m of the piste. You sneakily miss out the steeper section if needed by skiing behind the hotel on the track.

Next up head up The Transarc to the Col De La Chal. Ski down "Plan Vert" Blue run and then "L'arc 1" Blue run. Nice easy blues that end near the Igloo. Stop for a drink and a break and base yourself here. You can now access all the blue runs in the Arc 1950/2000 bowl before heading back to Arc 1800 up Boir de Lours and skiing along the "Charmettoger" blue run at the end of the day. FInishing in La Folie Douce for a boogy.

Whole day of blues, none are scary and I've taught my other half to ski from scratch on these runs.


Thread is here https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=163247

I also posted a thread looking for wide, cruisey-blues, which sounds like what your wife is looking for. Not all suggestions will be suitable for late season, but a few are.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=162471&highlight=
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@inthecold, was it the gondola itself that spooked your wife or seeing the runs below it?
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Owlette wrote:
We went to Austria at Christmas. The comment about a strong sense of self-preservation rang true about my husband as we encountered icy runs with steep bits that knocked his confidence.

I received this amazing advice on a thread I posted about La Plagne at Easter that might be of interest to you. We've since taken this advice and are now booked to go to Arc 1800.

Macker13 wrote:
Owlette wrote:
patrick! wrote:
I love skiing in La Plagne, but wouldn't stay there - especially for Christmas. In fact we also rule out Val Tho on the same grounds. It obviously depends on what you're after (parties, quiet village, just skiing?) but for a family xmas Tignes was a better balance for us last time. With friends, because we still love Paradiski after all, I'd vote for a stay in Les Arcs (Peisey Vallandry) and hop to La Plagne for a day or two.


We are after wide, cruisey blues as my husband had his confidence knocked at Christmas, coming down some steep blue sections in Austria. The next trip needs to be a confidence building one.
Around a 10 hour drive from Calais
Slope side accommodation. Doesn't need to be ski in, ski out, but a 2 minute walk to the lift and ski schools, maximum.
Good sized ski area.
Excellent ski schools with a maximum of 10 to a class.

We're a family of 4. Children are currently 11 and 9. We want a holiday where we can have fun skiing, especially with the children.


Stay at Arc 1800 then. Use airbnb to find one of many apartments on the snowface. They are very good value. £600ish a week but last time I found one for £350.

Arc 1800 has the Mille8 area which is perfect for a confidence boosting run before heading up the mountain higher. Its a great little slope for practicing turns and even has a few snowpark style obstacles and tiny jumps to use if you are so inclined. You can walk to the lift in 2 minutes from the apartments.

Then once you've had a practice. Go up Transarc 1 to the first stop and ski across the mountain on the "Plan Bois" blue run to the bottom of the Derby chairlift. Go up this and ski down the "Renard" blue run towards Peisey/Vallandry and stop at the little restaurant called Les Enfant Terribles. Its a great pit stop to rest the legs and grab a crepe.

Now ski down through the "Foret Pitchouns" a fun little practice area with obstacles until you reach the "Maitaz" blue run and head along this all the way back to Arc 1800. If youre lucky youll spot the Milka Cow skiing on this and catch him for the kids to get a chocolate. When you get to Arc 1800 you can either ski down the steepish finish back to the Transarc which can get icy in the afternoon. But if you are still wanting to keep it comfortable. Hang a left and ski behind the L'Aiguille Grive Chalets Hotel before you get to the final 100m of the piste. You sneakily miss out the steeper section if needed by skiing behind the hotel on the track.

Next up head up The Transarc to the Col De La Chal. Ski down "Plan Vert" Blue run and then "L'arc 1" Blue run. Nice easy blues that end near the Igloo. Stop for a drink and a break and base yourself here. You can now access all the blue runs in the Arc 1950/2000 bowl before heading back to Arc 1800 up Boir de Lours and skiing along the "Charmettoger" blue run at the end of the day. FInishing in La Folie Douce for a boogy.

Whole day of blues, none are scary and I've taught my other half to ski from scratch on these runs.


Thread is here https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=163247

I also posted a thread looking for wide, cruisey-blues, which sounds like what your wife is looking for. Not all suggestions will be suitable for late season, but a few are.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=162471&highlight=


Glad I could be of service and even more glad you booked! You will Love Les Arcs! Perfect for blues but just as good for experienced skiers with all the off piste.

If you are eating out - La Cabane Des Neiges in Arc 1800 (Villards area) and also L'escale Gourmand in Arc 1800 (Charvet area) are excellent.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

was it the gondola itself that spooked your wife or seeing the runs below it?

I wondered that too, as it would be a major damper on your skiing careers if she is spooked by gondolas in general.
latest 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!
@denfinella, thanks for the info. I note the location under your name – is there any particular Scottish resort you'd recommend that's good for beginners/early intermediates and more likely to have snow? I'll keep an eye on them. Regarding Zermatt, that's all me. I'd been wanting to visit Switzerland for years. The holiday started as a 'let's train around the country, do the main sites, and a little skiing' to 'those train journeys are long, how about just skiing?!'. I based pretty much all of my research on the British Ski Club website (and Snow Heads), which, despite rating it 2/5 for beginners, states 21% of Zermatt's 360km of pistes are blue. I booked the trip before I found out not all blues are created equal!

@Perty, excellent, thank you. Note we can move the week around in April, we just can't do anything earlier as we've ran out of annual leave and it resets on April 1st. Our thinking is late April avoids the school holidays, so it'll be quieter (?). We've seen photos and videos of long lift queues and crowded pistes, which does not look fun.

@Owlette, thanks so much for this. I've only read the part you quoted but I'll definitely read the rest later!

@sugarmoma666, the run below and how exposed it looked on the mountain. The instructor did say not to look at the particularly steep parts, as we'd take the gentler routes/lines, but this didn't really help – you can't unsee right? The instructor was convinced we were technically good enough to do it, but she was just totally spooked. We managed to get her on the mountain though, as the instructor offered to ski backwards and stay very close to her. She got about 25m down before kicking her skis off and walking back up.
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.
Glencoe and the Lecht are probably best for beginners in Scotland. BUT - do not come up here until and unless you know conditions are good. And be prepared for a lot of queueing if they are! We normally have better conditions in the spring so there is time yet for it to come good, but I would not recommend it for now.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@inthecold, school holidays don't create the same problem with crowds in April as they do in February. Early April shouldn't be a big problem.

From my memory of those resorts, I would favour highish in Les Arcs or La Plagne over Val Thorens. But Courcheval as well is a rewarding place for early stage skiers.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 7-02-23 11:16; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@inthecold, forget Scotland. I've nothing against it per se. But as the people say above and what I've read on conditions are all over the shop and if great places get rammed. You need to be local and/or take a holiday and ski if you get lucky.

If you want to do a weekend go to Alps, try to stretch to 3/4 days if you can, but get some flights that work - evening/early morning out and evening back to max the skiing time and go somewhere a short transfer away.

If you can go after April 1st you are good to go many places. It's not busy even though it's school holidays. Question is if you need the size of domain such as Paradisk or 3V - both great and with plenty of all grades of piste. But there are smaller (and therefore cheaper) places that would suffice too.
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.
Quote:

school holidays don't create the same problem in April as they do in February. Early April shouldn't be a big problem.

The school holidays don't start until April 9th with some areas like Paris not starting until April 23rd
snow 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
Excellent, sounds like early April is better than we thought.

@zikomo, @j b, noted – thanks both.

@Layne, disappointing but understandable, thanks. We live about 1 to 1.5 hours from both Manchester and Liverpool airport, so a 3/4 day stretch isn't out of the question, I just find airport travel exhausting. People seem to factor in the flight time, rather than travel, parking, airport security, waiting around, transfers, and so on. On the French Alps, can you recommend any smaller resorts with a variety of long, wide, cruisey blues that's still good in early/mid April?
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@inthecold, it sounds as if your wife has a major problem. Have you thought about having some lessons in one of the indoor snowdomes. Once she has more confidence in her turns (and the environment is much less intimidating than a slope in Zermatt) she might cope better. But this "vertigo" type response can be very difficult to shift once it takes hold. My brother in law suffered from it and even on a really easy slope he could ski with no bother at all, if there was any kind of "edge", even in the distance, he would just freeze up.

I agree with all the advice about avoiding Scotland until you are much more experienced! When conditions are good there will be BIG lift queues. Early April in France will be fine, but you do need to take advice on resorts with good north facing slopes (altitude is important by that time of year and, as always, there are no guarantees). And find somewhere where you can get good ski lessons - lots of advice here on that.
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Les Saisies would be an ideal resort for you (very unintimidating skiing, lots of wide greens and blues) and I will be there in the first week of April myself, with extended family. But I couldn't honestly recommend it for so late in the season as the skiing tops out just below 2000m.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
inthecold wrote:
@denfinella, thanks for the info. I note the location under your name – is there any particular Scottish resort you'd recommend that's good for beginners/early intermediates and more likely to have snow? I'll keep an eye on them.


If the snow is good, they can all be fine for beginners. Perhaps Glencoe best for your level (i.e. not total beginners, but need gentle slopes). It's the snow, weather and crowds (weekends, holidays) that are the main factors. Snow can vary massively from day to day and from resort to resort, it really depends on the weather pattern / wind direction. I would be relatively confident that none of them are likely to be worth travelling a long way for during the next couple of weeks. Skiing in Scotland is usually completely different from the Alps - it's probably difficult to emphasise that enough. Not always worse, just completely different. I would also just point out good snow doesn't always mean crowds and queues in Scotland, but it takes a bit of practice to work out which days to avoid.

I agree with the comments about early April usually being better than late April - that would potentially open up quite a few more options. Probably in order of preference: Les Arcs (1800), La Plagne (Centre / Belle Plagne / Bellecote), Courchevel (1800), Val Thorens. Maybe Val d'Isere (avoiding the runs back to resort).

All of the above should be safe options in early April. If the snow is good, other options might come into play, such as Les Saisies (as @pamw mentioned). You could consider booking flights and car hire now, then leaving the rest until later. For France in April, you'd be looking for flights to Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble or Chambery (not sure if the latter does car hire - worth checking first!).
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There are hire cars in Chambery (a nice man from the car hire office came and tried to jump start my car once when I'd left it in a freezing car park for a week with the lights on Embarassed Embarassed ) but not many flights in April, I think. A lot of flight options drop off after March.
latest 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?
inthecold wrote:
We live about 1 to 1.5 hours from both Manchester and Liverpool airport, so a 3/4 day stretch isn't out of the question, I just find airport travel exhausting. People seem to factor in the flight time, rather than travel, parking, airport security, waiting around, transfers, and so on.

You and me both (finding it exhausting) but needs must. But if you have 1 to 1.5 hours transfer this side and the same on the other it can work.

inthecold wrote:
On the French Alps, can you recommend any smaller resorts with a variety of long, wide, cruisey blues that's still good in early/mid April?

Close to Geneva:
La Clusaz (open until 01/05/23)
Samoëns (open until 16/04/23)
Les Carroz d’Araches (open until 16/04/23)

But first thing to do is look at flights from Manchester and Liverpool to an airport in striking distance of the Alps that would work and then find resorts within an hour and a half from there.
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I wouldn't risk booking in advance for either La Clusaz or Samoens until their closing dates. But advice to book flights then wait till much nearer the time to book accommodation is good. I've had great skiing in Les Saisies (where snow conditions are very similar to Flaine) in early April. But not always.....
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@inthecold, I hope your wife doesn't have The Fear - I have a bit of vertigo and I struggle in the presence of very high mountains (I literally couldn't breathe around Mont Blanc and higher up around the Matterhorn), and once the aspect or pitch of some slope up high is in my head I get the nerves badly. It's not pleasant at all. Also not keen on exposed slopes and ridges/drops. However, I have got to the point where I can snow plough turn down even if I'm frozen with fear once I've remembered how to breathe...

So (notwithstanding you've said you want to go to France!) I suggest going to some lower, more northerly place rather than heading up high for your April holiday, and allowing your wife to learn to ski without the potential of putting her off. We learned in Trysil, excellent instruction and a relatively late end to the season. Gorgeous wide and empty blue slopes to practice on, all very relaxed. I've also heard that the Lapland resorts are great in this respect, and they are open late due to being so far north! Might be worth a look? There are probably decent packages to be had with some of the TOs.

It sounds like you both have the bug! Once you can ski safely and in control, it will be easier to come out of the other side of any panic about lifts etc (and lessons, lessons, lessons, forever! And never take your skis off!). That's my experience anyway.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@pam w, honestly, I think it was just confidence. We spent most of the first two days practicing technique on the nursery slopes and piste 5 (easiest slope in Zermatt, so I'm led to believe), then did piste 6 (much longer and more varied) on day 3, which went really well, but rather than get more confidence on that, the instructor suggested doing piste 7 (higher, steeper, longer) before the lesson finished. In hindsight, I think we should have done lessons on days 1/3/5 rather than 1/2/3, and spent more time practicing on piste 6 before trying somewhere different. I'm confident she'll be fine, she just needs some longer, wider slopes to practice and work on her technique (myself included!). Also, it didn't really help that our previous instructor said "I don't know how that [7] isn't a red" – I saw her eyes widen when the next instructor suggested doing it. Also, it's worth noting that it's definitely me that has the height/vertigo issue. I'm fine on planes and, surprisingly, gondolas, but I can't do tall buildings or the top of the Eiffel Tower. I remember going to the top of the Empire State Building in NYC... the world's strongest man couldn't ply my back from the wall at the top. I was in full melt down. Though, interestingly, I found the top of the Rockefeller Center fine... I think because it's in the centre of Midtown, so it's surrounded by massive buildings unlike the Empire State? That said, I did manage the ascent to the 'Glacier Paradise' in Zermatt, which was something special... the stop/start gondolas and wind had us on edge though.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
johnE wrote:
Quote:

school holidays don't create the same problem in April as they do in February. Early April shouldn't be a big problem.

The school holidays don't start until April 9th with some areas like Paris not starting until April 23rd


We break up on March 31st. Though me and mine will be 'ill' that day so we can make our 1330 Chunnel. We arrive in resort on the 1st. I was still able to book lessons yesterday with less than 8 weeks to go, but the following week (Sat 8th onwards) was completely booked up. We can't do that week, so sounds like it might well work out well for us and not be too busy.
latest 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!
That's a very good point, @Owlette. Lessons will be in shorter supply than accommodation in April - there will fewer instructors around and less choice.
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.
@denfinella, @Layne, noted – thanks both.

@ElzP, thanks for the reassurance, and you're absolutely right on catching the bug. Scandinavia is a good shout. I guess we were thinking France because of the instructor recommendation, altitude (as we were originally thinking late April), and food (neither of us liked the offering in Zermatt, but we both love French cuisine). The British ski club (https://www.skiclub.co.uk/norway/resorts/trysil) has Trysil at 5/5 for Beginners! We're both keen to ski there at some point, but I've only looked into the French, Swiss, and Austrian alps. Time for more research...
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
inthecold wrote:
Time for more research...


There is always more research - it gets worse the more you get into it. Soon it will take over your life, and your google search history will be just 'ski run 14 in XX video'...

Laughing
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
inthecold wrote:
Scandinavia is a good shout. I guess we were thinking France because of the instructor recommendation, altitude (as we were originally thinking late April), and food (neither of us liked the offering in Zermatt, but we both love French cuisine). The British ski club (https://www.skiclub.co.uk/norway/resorts/trysil) has Trysil at 5/5 for Beginners! We're both keen to ski there at some point, but I've only looked into the French, Swiss, and Austrian alps. Time for more research...


Trysil certainly is great for beginners and the instruction is very good but I wouldn’t put it up there for food, eating out can be basic and quite pricey. If food is your thing then Italy is the place.
ski holidays
 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.
[img][/img]
ElzP wrote:
inthecold wrote:
Time for more research...


There is always more research - it gets worse the more you get into it. Soon it will take over your life, and your google search history will be just 'ski run 14 in XX video'...

Laughing


+1.

I'm convinced that Mr. O only agreed to our upcoming trip to stop me sending him my research. And all my ads on social media are ski related.

Friend of mine had a ski lesson in Finland in early December as part of a Lapland visit. Loved it and said the slope wasn't scary at all.
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
@ster, interesting - I remember the food being generally quite good, and there being a couple of nice restaurants. I do like a bit of Elg though. Laughing

Expensive, definitely. I'd agree that if better value food is the focus Italy would be great but might be a struggle for the easy skiing in April.

One of the best steaks I've ever eaten was in La Plagne (the next holiday after Trysil - there's a brilliant long blue called the Tunnel which we managed as relative beginners!) So maybe La Plagne should also go on the list! snowHead
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@inthecold, French easter school hols start on 9th April, so going the first week in April is a really good option. (Not that it's busy like the NY or Feb holidays during the easter hols in any event).

A few things things you might want to know about late season skiing.

If temps have dropped below zero overnight, pistes can feel very hard and icy first thing. They then warm up and the skiing can be good. However, if the day time temps are very mild, the mush starts to develop about lunchtime. The lower the resort, the warmer and wetter the snow. Once it gets cut up by skiers, it can feel like skiing lumpy bumpy mashed potato. It can be very hard on the legs, quite intimidating and pretty soul destroying for beginners and early intermediates by early afternoon on busy slopes. Sadly the busy slopes are usually the ones you ski on at the end of the day as you head back to the resort (I'm speaking from bitter experience). At a certain temp and consistency, you may feel that the mush is almost pulling your skis and slowing you down. This is the time to retreat to a deckchair with a suitable iced beverage and top up your suntan.

North facing slopes can be icier first thing, but less mushy later in the day as they are not exposed to the intensity sun as much.

Though the default conditions are usually along the above lines, you can get fresh snow and low temperatures in April, especially in the higher resorts, though rarely for a whole week.

French cuisine-in the Alps, it's pretty rustic and hearty-and I can't think that it's that different from Zermatt (though marginally cheaper!). The core of any menu still involves spuds, cheese, cream, eggs, ham. Most restaurants do good salads, great burgers, decent pasta, pizzas (very cheesy).

I also completely get the vertigo thing and the sense of a slope plunging away from you and you brain plunging with it. I've been up the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix and had to walk around with my chin up staring straight ahead as looking down freaked me out. The high mountain bleakness can be intimidating too. I still think VT could be a good option, but I'd be tempted to take a punt on Courchevel Moriond (1650) or, if you can find reasonably priced accommodation, Courchevel 1850, for just the sort of skiing you are after. A large part of the lower area has got a more "pastoral" feel too it-nice trees, gentle slopes. Nothing to freak you out at the end of the day.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ster, @ElzP, how expensive are we talking? To put into perspective, the Swiss charge for tap water – 6.50 CHF for 500ml (in more than one restaurant we visited). One restaurant charged 32CHF for what I can only describe as a cheese and ham toastie. I expected it to be unreasonably expensive, but not quite this much. And, honestly, I wouldn't have minded as much if the food in any way justified the price, but it didn't, and every restaurant appeared to offer the same menu. Maybe the food situation is something I have to deal with as a fact of life in the Alps, as @Perty suggests, but I can't bring myself to pay that much for a meal. Also, I should say I am not somebody that my friends or family or colleagues would describe as frugal... I like food, eating out, and am very used to paying London alcohol/food prices. But the Swiss take it to a whole other level (at least relative to the GBP exchange rate!). I really want to go back and do Wengen and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, but we'll definitely use Airbnb and cook ourselves when the time comes!
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@inthecold, a chap I was sitting next to on a chair lift in Trysil a few years ago compared Norwegian prices to Switzerland. But then there are Swiss prices and there are Zermatt prices which I think you are referring to.

There are quite a few Trysil restaurant menus in line, go to the Skistar website or TripAdvisor to find them and see what you think. When we went we self catered as a family of four eating out would prove a costly business, and don’t even look at the booze prices (take your own duty free).

But having said that I didn’t find the transport, accommodation or lift prices terrible, not far out of line with big Euro resort prices .

And it is a great resort for beginners, no gondolas and good for late season skiing. We’re going at Easter when thats in April this year as it was the time before we went and the snow was good.

All about pros and cons.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 7-02-23 21:59; edited 3 times in total
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can't speak for Norway, but Mr. O and I visited Iceland in January 2019, which I think is on par.

Around £10 a pint, and a meal in a bar of burger and chips each, pint for him and a soft drink for me cost us £50. I bought a wrap to eat from their version of a Spar. Cost me £8. Picked up a near identical one in a Tesco petrol station on the way back from Manchester airport the next day for around £2.50.

Have never visited Switzerland, though I'd love to, but those prices are currently what keeps us away.

We've always found Austria to be reasonable, even when you're a captive audience on the mountainside. No good for your late season trip this year, but somewhere to bear in mind for next year perhaps?
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?
@inthecold, we've just left Sweden, and I think Norway is slightly more expensive from what we heard there. In Åre it was about 15 quid for a very good burger, up to maybe 25 quid for a main course plateful (unless you were in one of the posh restaurants with small plates and cocktails and oh no what happened to my credit card). When we went to Trysil it was similar, but now I think you're looking at 30 quid for a decent main - I may be wrong. Nice things like venison or steak I mean, not a cheese and ham toastie!!

Booze in Are was between 5 and 8 pounds for a large beer (not sure there's a standard size, we were given a massive tankard at one place). I imagine it's more like a tenner in Norway. Wine is expensive but quite good quality.

Horses for courses - we like to eat and drink well, but in Scandinavia apres isn't really a big deal so you're not sinking shots or necking vast quantities. I ordered a scotch after a meal and drinks in Sweden and the waiter remembered me when we went back in a few days later. Laughing
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
We were in Trysil last year for our first trip in early Jan when France was locked down. We honestly didn't find it any more expensive than France, but the on slope food was much better.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ster, that's fair – I should have said Zermatt, rather than Swiss, but Zurich restaurants didn't seem much cheaper. My wife doesn't drink much, so I typically get a bottle of whisky from duty free anyway.

@Owlette, @ElzP, OK, great. I spent a bit of time in Sweden, mostly Stockholm, in my last job, and those prices roughly align with what I remember. Every evening meal just exceeded my allowance, which was around £30 from memory. I don't remember eating a bad meal either.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@inthecold, 3V on mountain food prices at the moment (excluding Courchevel 1850). Depends on the restaurant and the valley/resort you are in. Plat du jour is around €16-20 in your average table service restaurant , salads the same. Burger tends to be 20-25. The more I think about it, the more I think it can be summed up as- main courses prices tend to be “mid -high teens” euros min up to around 25. In resorts in evenings, prices range from that to a lot more, food a bit more interesting. We’ve been to Zermatt many times and you are right about prices being ludicrous for what you get. I think France is better, but for real magnificent grub at reasonable prices thr simple answer is -head to Italy..yum, twice the grub, half the price and totally delicious..
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I live in Edinburgh and used to ski in Scotland but have done 1 day in the last 14 years. My ski equipment is all in France for the winter as I hope to have 5 - 6 weeks there and no point in transporting it all back and forwards. Luckily our son is an instructor in 3V so we can leave it there with him. Currently Aviemore has snow but is closed due to winds of 81mph!! I have seen scottish pistes change from full cover to no snow overnight due to wind. If there is snow and the weather is OK then come to Scotland but never book in advance. Best day I can remember was one October when Glenshee had early snow and we skied powder off piste, but that was about 30 years ago. Best to try for a few days near one the alpine airports. We have done long weekends like that in the past.
ski holidays



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy