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Val Thorens tips / favourite runs etc.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm not sure if this should go in the resorts section, but this is definitely snowboard-specific.

4 of us are heading out to val Thorens (Jan 12th - 19th), consisting of the following:
  • 1 advanced - Jules
  • 1 confident intermediate - me
  • 2 complete beginners (first ever dryslope lesson booked for Wednesday evening this week) - the girls

Me and Jules will be getting a 3 Valleys pass, and will be looking to get away from the crowds and find snow which is as undisturbed as possible. We're definitely not interested in too much sun-lounging or apres-ski (2 packs of cards and a crate of beer will do us nicely as we don't want to get too wrecked or stay up too late when there's boarding to be done).

So, questions as follows:
  • Any recommendations for where the girls should hire boards/bindings/boots? We don't reckon they should buy until they've had a week on rented equipment and loved it
  • Any point in beginners getting more than a Val Thorens pass?
  • Where can is the best place for me and Jules to build our just-off-piste kickers without having to contend with too many Lego men* getting in our way or French people in ESF bibs yelling at us?
  • Is it worth going to any of the other nearby resorts which our pass would cover us for a day (e.g. Paradiski, Tignes)?
  • Any comments on the VT park? We're not all about the park but we'll have a few runs through, especially later in the day nearer the end of the week. Are there any other parks nearby we should consider?
  • Any bars/restaurants people have strong feelings about either way? I've read what's available on the web but there's nothing like a personal account.
  • Is the 4th Valley as good as people say (not many people there, good snow, some easily accessible off-piste etc.)?

That's about it for now, but I'd be very grateful if anyone has any thoughts on Val Thorens (or the surrounding area like Les Menuires, Meribel, Courchevel etc.) especially boarder-specific thoughts.



* Small children in helmets whizzing about the slopes at enormous speed with the disregard for the laws of physics** which only small children possess. We reckon they look like Lego men from a distance.
** specifically kinetics, e.g. what happens when a 125kg object travelling at 40km/h hits a 40kg object which is travelling in a different direction (without looking where it is going or proper parental supervision) at a similarly high speed
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Shallimus, can offer a couple of thoughts on Meribel and Courchevel if they'd be of interest? (I should warn you, they'll mostly be of the Father Ted "go on go on go on" variety though wink )
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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?
Let me start by saying I have spent many winters so here are my thoughts on your questions

Passes.........for a week there is plenty of runs etc on just the VT pass. You can also buy the Valley de Belleville pass that gives you access to Les Menuire and St Martin. The 3rd option is to buy a 3 valley pass. I would suggest the Vt one only.WHY?because u have 2 beginners and if u want to go over u can just upgrade your tickets for the day.A word of warning do not drop down of VT at the bottom to go to Les Menuire the run is painful 4 boarders, much better to catch 3 valley 1 and 2 to get up.

Other resorts....if staying in VT and I do seasons there, there is little point going over to Tignes (90mins)etc unless u like sitting in cars. there is plenty enough 4 a 6 day holiday.
VT park is getting better and busier but a way 2 go!
Bars, I like Oconnels run by Stig (no live music, a proper pub) but there is loads of choice.
4th valley is excellent in the right conditions. Great on and off piste to play on and u all end up in the bottom at the same place , so ideal for mixed ability groups. Also a chance to build 2 your hearts content away from the patrols!

I have a website with loads of info on and big discounts on rental www.snowbrainer.co.uk but if u need any more info please just ask me and I will try and help
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Tete Ronde red, awesome fun Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowbrainer, I'm off out to VT for the season on Friday; do you sell as well or just hire? Will be looking to test a few skis out before buying, will definitely need some skis for a bit before I get sorted though.

Whereabouts in the resort are you?
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johnnyboy please let us know what conditions are like when you get out at the weekend.

I've got 4 trips to VT planned between now and end of Jan after which I have to be at home on stanby for the arrival of Jnr C Very Happy

I'll be there Dec 15-17 then again 27-31 with a couple of friends who are beginners so would be good to have someone else to do a couple of runs with........

I'm renting a place in Lac De Lou from another snowHead, where are you based? Would also be keen to hear which watering holes are the best/have the cheapest beers - I'm sure you'll be carrying out some research in this area Toofy Grin
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Roger C, Sure thing. Looks quite good on the webcam but will update as soon as I can work out where I can get online.

I'm going to be in the Temple du Soleil building, and will do as much research into the local watering holes as I can before you arrive. Laughing Laughing Laughing

Not sure I'll be able to accompany you with skiing; only a beginner myself as only done 2 weeks and a bit up on the glacier at L2A, but be happy to catch up when you're over there.
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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!
johnnyboy will pm you my mobile no, would be good to catch up for a beer........

look forward to your snow report next weekend!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Roger C, No problems, we'll catch up over there for sure.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
If you decide to go over to Meribel avoid the ours green run like the plague. Of course you may like taking your board off and walking. In which case you really ought to take up a take different sport. snowHead
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
First off thank you to everyone who has replied and sorry for not checking in properly earlier... I've been a bit busy for most of the last week.

So, in order...

Yes please snojito I would indeed be interested to hear your thoughts on Meribel and Courchevel please as we'll probably be spending some time in the other valleys.

Special thank you to snowbrainer for a long and thoughtful post. You might be right about the Belleville pass, but there's not that much difference between it and a 3V pass for the week if you factor in 2-3 days' worth of upgrades. The girls (i.e. the beginners) are likely to be spending more time with an instructor than with us (for the sake of sanity of all 4 of us!) so we won't be moving at their pace most of the time. We'll be sure to avoid the trek to Les Menuires... looks fine on the map so I'm glad for this tip before we found out the hard way! A good pub without loads of music like O'Connells will be top favourite with me and Jules at least... the girls might want louder apres but I'm sure that can be arranged. Lastly I'm not sure if they've sorted their board rental yet but I'll direct the girls to your site as it seems to have crazy amounts of info... kudos!

Frosty I've had my eye on Tête Rond ever since I saw the piste map so will be sure to try it out asap on arrival.

johnnyboy enjoy your season you lucky son of a gun! Looking forward to reading more of your season report (once you've made it past the supermarket and bar Wink )

Lager: we hate pushing (who doesn't?) and usually avoid greens at all costs anyway, so thank you for the pointer.
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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.
Shallimus, delighted old chap. Let me begin by saying that I like Meribel - we spent a week's holiday there two years ago and had a really enjoyable time - but I must admit that if I was in Val Thorens I'd probably be most likely to think of Meribel as "the bit I've got to ski through to get to Courchevel".

That's not to say there isn't fun to be had there, because there definitely is; the park and the "zen" playground next to Plattieres is good for a giggle and the runs off the top of the Mont de la Chambre are good (which is handy because you can do both of those on your way down from VT!) but beware - take a wrong turn down here and you will indeed up pushing your way through the forest on the ours run. Basically I'd say get down into Mottaret, jump on the Pas du Lac bubble, get to the top of Saulire and be looking down into Courchevel.

From Saulire (and Vizelle) there's loads of fun to be had - it's all black and red fun though, so perhaps don't take the girls. For quieter runs and decent snow we found the Chapalets and Rochets reds at the very far edge of 1650 were good - both reachable by the Signal chair. In general I'd guess that you'll find the stuff above 1650 to be a lot quieter than that above 1850. I'm afraid I don't know much about the runs down into Le Praz or La Tania, but don't worry, someone else is bound to! Watch out as well for the flat bit below the altiport, on the blue prameruel run (the lower of the two links between 1850 and 1650). There's sufficient slope before it for you to carry speed and make it through the flat but watch your edges; it will have been schussed smooth by skiers, and the run rises slightly over a little hump backed bridge. Believe me when I tell you this a painful and humiliating place to accidentally find a toe edge! (in my defence it was only my second holiday on snow)

I'd just say one last thing - on the way back home, watch out for the lifts up to the Col de la Loze leading back into Meribel. There's some good runs back into the Courchevel valley BUT, on the Meribel side, if the blue Boulevard de la Loze is closed because of avalanche risk (as it was when we were there, and suspect it might be again - it's essentially just a traverse across the - ooops, edit - afternoon sun side of the valley) then you'll be stuck with either a black (if that's open) or the frustratingly narrow & crowded pic noir blue -- it's fine lower down but the top was torturously full of ski school hazards in helmets, making turns at random times and not making them when you were hoping for one. I'd recommend going home via Saulire again.

Kickers? Make some closer to home in VT Smile

Phew. Well, you did ask. wink


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 11-12-07 8:43; 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
Shallimus, go to my site under skiing skiing section and download the various tours i have put together......
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
skimottaret, just took a look (hope you don't mind) and that's a fantastic amount of info! Wish we'd been able to do the Mont Vallon runs you mention right at the start - it was March 2006 and chucking it down, and the gondola was shut for most of the week. Those reds off the top do sound awesome... snowHead
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
snojito, Vallon on or off piste is some of the best skiing around IMO. dont mind at all having a look thats why i put it togehter snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Shallimus, Plein Sud bar followed by the last lift on the strange gondola back up then down the black and blue back to town, don't be tempted by the blue all the way from the top: you'll be walking. All the reds in the tete ronde area including some good stuff off the sides. Good stuff of the side of the col red too, much better than the run itself IMO.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Swirly wrote:
Shallimus, Plein Sud bar followed by the last lift on the strange gondola back up then down the black and blue back to town, don't be tempted by the blue all the way from the top: you'll be walking. All the reds in the tete ronde area including some good stuff off the sides. Good stuff of the side of the col red too, much better than the run itself IMO.
Hi Shallimus,
Hi

If you wish you can come Turkey for snowboarding tour. you can get more information's (demavendtravel) a local agency in Turkey.
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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?
Mike44, more spam with that sir? Seriously you must be good to ride from ValT to Turkey in a day.
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Swirly, Perhaps Turkey is a variant of Daffy wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Swirly, Laughing
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skimottaret, right, I'm going to go and check it out. Long weekend in VT it is, bought 'n' paid for, 10th-13th Jan. Tete Ronde and Plein Sud here we come... Shallimus, see ya up that mountain Very Happy

DebbiDoesSnow, Swirly, how did the photo shoot go? Twisted Evil


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 11-12-07 13:21; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
snojito, wink 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!
snojito, Swirly, Shocked
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 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.
I hadn't considered Turkey for my snowboarding holiday, actually. Although they do have a national team (including one or two quite attractive girls Very Happy ) I'm probably still going to go to Val Thorens given that it's closer, it's one of the best places to go in Europe... and I've already paid for the holiday.

skimottaret: I've already read those tours in their unmodified form as available on Meribel Unplugged though (as you note in the intro) so it's not really new info to me. Having said that, your apartments look great though!

snojito: thanks for another great reply Very Happy based on the replies received, and thinking about what I really want to know, when you're on a snowboard it's mostly about places to avoid. After what you've said I'm more inclined than ever to dedicate at least one day to a trip to Courchevel. I wasn't planning to spend too much time around 1850 anyway as I doubt I can even afford to breathe there, let alone get a drink NehNeh

As for the rest of you... behave! wink

PS http://www.caddebostan.com/snowboardteam_2_25.htm
PPS please note I respect women snowboarders just the same as men, I just find them more attractive Razz
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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"Believe me when I tell you this a painful and humiliating place to accidentally find a toe edge! (in my defence it was only my second holiday on snow)"

ha I remember that - if I remember correctly I hit the heel edge at full speed on the way up to that bridge with hilarious head board head board face style, picked myself up and dusted myself down in time to see you catch the toe edge in similarly spectacular style!

ahh memories Smile

want. to. board. NOW!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'll make sure someone videos me as I go over that bridge for the first time so you can all enjoy my interpretation of the issue Razz
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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.
truespin, I think the now-familiar bellow of "Oi! I just did that!!" was the only thing that got me through the shame.

Shallimus, don't give your camera to a skier, you'll get a really shaky picture as they wet their salopets. And don't give it to a fellow boarder, they'll break it when they stack into the floor.

(it's not really that bad - we were just crap back then...) Embarassed
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