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!)

Please help with resort choice ...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My first post, so please be gentle Wink

There are me and my husband, i'm on snowblades, he's on a snowboard ...
I would class us as early intermediates, he is more adventurous than me, I like long tree lined runs/cruising.

Looking to go last week in January (snow dependent) as a late booking to France/Austria/Andorra. Would like good snow, no queues, uncrowded, good choice of restaurants (cheap-ish), scenic, attractive village, friendly locals (preferably), where you can walk to the lifts and not take a bus, short transfer.

Not bothered about bars/apres ski as we'll be too tired Laughing

Does ANY resort have all that??!

Thanks very much guys!

Hannah
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hannah, we're always gentle here on snowHeads. Welcome snowHead

In my (limited) experience, if you want attractive villages then you need to go to Austria or Switzerland. Certainly avoid the big French resorts.
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?
Hannah, welcome you've just described La Rosiere. Have a look in snowShops at our ad, you can check out La Rosiere via our website www.tracksvacations.com
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Course they do. Just some are better than others. Where have you skied before & what did you like/not like about those resorts?

But first things first.
Andorra
(represses a shiver) Are you sure? Really?? As well as the "Ibiza uncovered" / stagweekend atmosphere, the transfer from Toulouse inevitably takes longer than the advertised 3 hours. Course, you might LIKE that kind of thing....

Secondly, no queues, uncrowded. Pretty much anywhere at the end of Jan.

Yeah, many French resorts were a bit "concrete block", but most have been busy recladding in wood and some have been limited to chalet-only developments & resemble chocolate box pictures (e.g. Meribel). In any case for me if a French resort lacks charm, it makes up for it in ski-in ski-out, plenty of piste bashing opportunity & snow quality. And food!!! Very Happy

Elizabeth's right tho, Austria & Switz will always win the prettiness stakes. No idea myself, never been...but others will have & will be able to update you.

Best you take a squiz at the resort descriptions in the snowbase dropdown above - and the Snowheads resort pages. They'll tell you useful info like transfer times/resort&snow quality.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hannah. If you like tree-lined runs but good snow then you're looking at a low-mid altitude ski area (trees grow most healthily below 1800m in the Alps, rather thinly above), and check snow reports carefully before you make the late booking.
You could have a lot of fun in somewhere like Bad Hofgastein or Badgastein in Austria. Megeve in France has very scenic tree-lined runs, too.
These resorts would suit your ski abilities.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Manda,

I've skiied in Pamporovo, Bulgaria (first time so wanted somewhere cheap, but certainly wouldn't go back!), Sunday River in USA (excellent snow but had to get a bus to the slopes) and Panorama nr Banff in Canada (went at the very end of season and way too icy for me, plus runs were more difficult that they stated).

I think you're right about Andorra, I don't really want to be woken up by the "club 18-30" crowd.


I shall be looking at the Snowbase resort descriptions right now!
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi Hannah. Welcome to Snow heads. After skiing for the last 20 years over alot of Europe, last year we tried La Rosiere as suggested above. This year we are going again as it will have everything you wished for. The transfers are not the shortest you can find, taking 2 1/2 hours by coach but travel on a Sunday and its not too bad. Other than La Rosiere I would recommend Obertauern in Austria and for those with a bit more experience, Corvara in the Italian Dolomites.
snow 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!
Hannah - Saalbach in Austria would be ideal. Plenty of wide, long cruising runs, lovely village with good quality hotels and food. Most have swimming pools and a bar so if you want to relax and have a quiet drink then it wouldn't be a problem. Mountain restaurants are reasonably priced.

I visited at the end of Feb and still hardly queued with the exception of 1 or 2 main gondolas. The good thing about Saalbach is that if you stay right in the centre, you can walk to 3 different lifts in a few minutes. Its also only 1.5 hours from Salzburg. Snow cover shouldn't be a problem.
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.
Hannah, welcome to snowHeads! Elizabeth B, not all are as you describe! - some of the big French resorts are spread over a number of 'villages', the higher resorts may be modern developments, but the lower villages are often the real thing. This gives you the best of both worlds - easy access to the higher part of the domain if snow cover is lacking, plus the tree-lined runs at lower altitude when conditions are good.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hannah, try the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland (M favorite resort is Wengen)

Usually fair to good snow at the end of January, no queues for that week, also uncrowded that week, lots of restaurants (not very cheap though), lots of friendly locals, great village, no bus as it's traffic free, but there is a train to tale you up the mountain plus the ususual lifts etc, transfer can take an age unless you can get a flight to Bern airport ( sometimes tour companies do a sat-sat schedule ) If you want an idea of the scenery go and have a look at my website The Jungfrau Region
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Welcome to snowHeads, hannah snowHead

DG - I was wondering when you might mention Wengen!
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.
Well we've had Wengen, La Rosière, and .... no, I won't say it Wink
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
Ian Hopkinson, hey it fills 9 out of 10 of her criteria snowHead if she'd asked for good nightlife I would not have posted though Laughing
latest report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
PG, would you like me to mention Bourg St Maurice / Les Arcs for you? Very Happy

I'm sure Wengen is excellent and if I wasn't confined to the extremes of the season I'd even give it a go! snowHead
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

I'm sure Wengen is excellent and if I wasn't confined to the extremes of the season I'd even give it a go!


It's on my list of must visit resorts before I stop skiing. It conjures up an image of sophistication! Smile
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hannah, I dont think Andorra is right for you, BUT I think everyone thinks of Pas de la casa when they think of Andorra. Soldeu and Arinsal, as well as some of the smaller resorts are no louder than many alpine resorts and are fantastic fun! Arinsal is a big hit with families - would they really go there again and again if it was so terrible? I think alot of the bad reputation is to do with "ski snobbery", not every skier wants fondue, cow bells and chalet slaves!

Rant over - I really should work for their tourist board snowHead
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sorry Nadenoodlee, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my Andorra comments, its just what I have read on reviews, haven't had any first hand experience of it so probably shouldn't have commented!
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?
Chris B,
Quote:

It conjures up an image of sophistication!

Umm no I don't think so, more a bygone era than sophisticated Laughing
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
D G Orf, Smile Who says I live in the 21st Century?
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hannah,

Sorry the whole rant wasnt at you! It was just me getting on my soap box! Oops! Embarassed
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hannah, I'm with Nadenoodlee here....don't dismiss Soldeu it's a great resort for early intermediates, nightlife is buzzing but not rowdy and the ski school is second to none!
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Homphomp, I read somewhere that there is dubious grading of their runs??? i.e. grading them easier than they should be - have you heard of this?
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!
Ian Hopkinson, Wengen usually has great snow late season...so what's your excuse Wink
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.
Nadenoodlee and Hompkomp are right
we went skiing for the first time this year to Soldeu with a group of friends
we had a great time with enough night life to keep people happy and not too busy for others. We've already booked our next trip for Jan /Feb next year at Soldeu snowHead
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hannah, Nadenoonlee is completely correct about Andorra and I'd have been a lot rantier if she hadn't already ranted a wee bit! The Ibiza on snow thing is 100% only Pas de la Casa. Soldeu is actually pretty sophisticated itself with a fantastic and far higher standard of accomodation and enormously higher value for money than you would find in most french resorts.

On the down side - the transfer is a drag (last year we got stuck in a blizzard one mile from the border and had to wait for hours and hours for the road ahead to be cleared - all in the transfer was approx 9 or 10 hours!!!!). I think that some of the grading can be a bit off as well - they used to claim that the run from the top of the world right down to the village was a green run - complete nonsense - parts may have been but others were red.

Overall Soldeu is great little resort, very friendly, fab accomodation, unbelievable convenience, simply the best ski school ............. but a long transfer (average just over 3 hours) and slightly limited skiing - although maybe perfect for your level.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Crikey. I think I touched off a Love/Hate thing about Andorra. Which probably is an accurate reflection of most people's experience of it.

Yep, Pas is the Ibiza of the Pyrenees. Soldeu is heads up over the rest of Andorra (however my one and only experienece of the Principality was Soldeu 2 years ago, and I WAS on a 18-30 trip - and most other holidaymakers there were too!). I'd still suggest you don't bother until (unless?) you're sick of the rest of the wonderous bounty the Alps have to offer.

I'm biased, but my preference is for 3 Valles in France - one of the whopping big french mega resorts. PG mentioned earlier that some of these are in fact made up of smaller cute villages and that they link literally miles of pistes through various terrain. 3V is perfect: stay in any of the many cosy resort villages and bash away at the pistes to your heart's content. Fly into Chambery for 1.5hr transfer. Geneva airport is 2hrs away (if your taxi driver is a bit of a racer), or 3 hours more modestly. Helps if you like (tolerate?) the french and can parlez-vous a bit.
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.
Hannah - don't listen - Soldeu has really good skiing BUT the village is hideous and the food is even worse. I might have picked a bad week, but it was full of rude drunken Brits.
This was the only time I ventured out of Austria or Switzerland. There are resorts close to Innsbruck that are lovely. Obergurgl is small, but very friendly and not crowded at all (we were there at New Year). Lech is wonderful - and doesn't have to be pricey. My sister has been to Les Gets - and recommends that too.
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
The whole of soldeau is one big run...............you pick where you want to go............there's no character or intrigue to the runs. The whole mountain is basically a bluey green with a couple of short blacks (one under the cable car).

As i've said before i had a good time there, lots of snow (all tracked out though), but i'd not go back again due to the long and unreliable transfer, full of pi$$ed up yobs (i like to drink and act the fool but i don't go around trashing things and fighting!!!!). The town is very small. Lifts were quite fast but crowded around the main resort (as you'd expect). You are kidding yourself if you think it's going to be soooo much cheaper than anywhere else in the Alps.

If you do a search on snowHeads for Andorra you'll find lots of information. If you do go to Soldeu, make sure in the morning you try to get as far to the left of the mountain as possible, as this is really quiet and has some good long blues (.............they call the red though!). Also the sun hits them so if it's a bit icy the snow gets loosened up quickly.

You makes your bed and lies in it though Wink NehNeh
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hannah, If you can live without the tree lined runs, head to Austria, go high and go to Obertauern. No louts, no crowds and friendly locals.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hi Hannah,

David Goldsmith, The font of all ski knowledge said

somewhere like Bad Hofgastein or Badgastein in Austria

Well four of us went there last season in Febuary and it was excellent, so friendly and had all the attributes you asked for, so look no further.
Slowplough
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hannah... as if you need any more suggestions... Cool

La Clusaz might fit the bill - busy at the weekends with locals but will be quiet during the week at the end of Jan. Quite big for a "village" but has charm and plenty of good places to eat, with a good variety of runs for someone at your level. Plenty of places to stay that are walkable to the lifts / next to the piste but you can also get on the (regular and reliable) ski bus to several other villages for a little variety. Quite popular now with Brit families but "off the beaten track" as far as the big operators go.

If that looks too big, look further up the valley to Le Grand Bornand and Le Chinaillon (small village, quiet, pretty ski area with spectacular views and well laid out with fast new lifts and easy runs - and some to challenge you - friendly locals and fantastic pizza at La Floria!).

These are all one hour from Geneva so cheap flights and car will be an easy option if you can't find a package.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hannah, the only thing with the 'Gasteins' in Austria is the ski convenience. A large number of hotels are located a bus ride away from the main lifts so if you decide to go there then make sure you check that the hotel is walking distance to the lift if ski convenience is high on your list of priorities.
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?
Hannah, Badgastein excellent. Hotel Elizabethpark runs courtesy bus to and from main Stubnerkogel hill. Also somewhere like Saalbach would fit your criteria perfectly.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
hayley t,
Agreed, but most hotels have mini-buses running back and forth which was convenient, so wasn't much of an issue.
The plus side to this is that you are staying in a real town not a concrete resort.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Soldeu - now linked to Pas de la casa - lift pass covers both resorts - so plenty of choices

Manda, if you've only been to Soldeu how can you pass comment on the rest of it?
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Nadenoodlee, cause lots of people I know have and they say....well, they say similar things as everyone else about Andorra and so they must be right. "They" also said I should go jump off the Empire State building, so I'm off to pay for my transatlantic flight.... Very Happy
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Manda, I understand that if you wish to jump of the Empire state building you may need to take some heavy duty wire cutters, in order to cut through the anti suicide defenses they have in place
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!
Quote:

There are me and my husband, i'm on snowblades, he's on a snowboard ...
I would class us as early intermediates, he is more adventurous than me, I like long tree lined runs/cruising.

Looking to go last week in January (snow dependent) as a late booking to France/Austria/Andorra. Would like good snow, no queues, uncrowded, good choice of restaurants (cheap-ish), scenic, attractive village, friendly locals (preferably), where you can walk to the lifts and not take a bus, short transfer.

Not bothered about bars/apres ski as we'll be too tired

Does ANY resort have all that??!


Hannah, You seem to have lots of good suggestions above but I will add my 2 cents worth anyway and try and answer a few questions and possibly add a couple of suggestions of my own.

By booking late you should be able to maximise your chance of good snow an excellent idea IMO.

Except for the very popular resorts January is generally uncrowded so this should sort out the queue and crowd problem.

Cheapish restaurants are best found by going to unfashionable (relatively) resorts, quality is obviously a matter of taste. Personally I prefer French /Italian food on the whole to Austrian particularly if you are wanting to eat in restaurants at night.
I also would not rule out Switzerland which although not cheap often gives excellent value for money.
Most of the alps are scenic though I personally find lower areas with a mixture of wooded and open slopes more attractive than many of the higher areas.

Attractive villages are more often found in traditional settlements than newer ones. These do however more frequently have a longer journey to the slopes (When I am without my children this does not worry me.) If you want accomodation near to the slopes I suggest you contact the tourist board of resorts you are interested in and they usually provide maps with the accomodation marked on them.

Length of transfer depends almost as much on how you do it as where the resort is. If you are with a tour operator waiting for lots of flights and dropping people at accomodation before you reach your own this will be a lot slower than one with one flight and little accomodation. I usually do my own transfer either by train which is great in Switzerland and some Austrian resorts or car hire.

I have never really found unfriendly locals but smaller resorts sometimes have exceptionally friendly ones.

A few suggestions:

Italy : La Thuile
Claviere
Dolomites ( I have never been there but they sound like they are great with snow, I hope to go there this year if the snow is good)

France: Serre Chevalier (Monetier is the bit with the nice village)
Samoens ( except you have to get a bus but it really is v pretty)

Switz: Flims Laax Nowhere in Switzerland is cheap but great value
Klosters nice but not cheap

Austria : Soll (if the snow is good but you have to get a bus)
Lech Lovely but not the cheapest

I am sure many of the other suggestions above will be just as good, I may even try Andorra sometime. Puzzled
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.
D G Orf, Damn. Well, I never said "they" were sensible....
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hannah, I would back up TBar with Soll. It may be a little early for it in January though. You don't have to get a bus... We were in a chalet on the opposite side of town and walked it every day! Good warm up!

I've also been to Soldue a couple of times and would tend to back up Nade's view rather than Manda's. El-Tarter (another village about a mile down the road) is alot quieter. The transfer is a real drag though.
ski holidays



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy