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Alp D'huez

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
S Trying to find somewhere for a week in March and I've seen a holiday on Igluski here, which looks good value. Can anyone tell me roughly what the ski pass costs, how long transfers are from Lyon and should the snow be good 19th March for a week? Not been here before.

Timid Intermediate and mad expert be happy here? Thanks. Smile
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Alpe D'Huez is a far way from Lyon, past Grenoble and its been a while since I was there. I have to say that although the skiing is good, very high and a good mix of runs, the resort is awful. I always think of it as Basildon with snow. The accomodation is mostly apartments in large blocks, the village was actually built for the 1968 Olympics. I believe the main problem is that every run back to village channels back through the blue/green beginners runs. I lost count of the accidents and near accidents I saw. A much better alternative, IMO, is to stay in Vajauny, a super little village with a gondola link directly into the Alpe D'Huez ski area. Ski Peak go there and the local tourist office are very helpful. The only downside is you don't get to see the road up to Alpe d'Heuz, the most famous stage of the Tour de France bike race, climbs 2kms in 10 kms with 23 hairpin bends, how they race up it God only knows.
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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 admit the village isn't pretty but the skiing is good. Lots of info on alpedhuez.com which they have finally translated into English! We went first week in Feb this year (not school hols) but the main lift up the mountain (DMC) was always crowded and we waited 40 mins to get the lift to Pic Blanc. Once you get out of the main area though it's fine.

Having said that, there's lots to do other than skiing. Make sure you go in the outdoor pool (29 degrees, so warm enough). It's quite weird swimming with the steam rising up from the water. It's also free if you show your lift pass. Men have to have swimming trunks not shorts though, so dig out those old Speedos!

Mountain restaurants are not brilliant but are OK, if expensive, like most of France. I'm sure you'll have a great time though. It was hot and sunny when we went but snow was good. But the weather is always in the lap of the gods Smile

Richie will tell you what the hospital is like Sad
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Yeah, it's a fair way from Lyon - probably 3 hours or so. Grenoble's a lot nearer but I'm not sure if anyone flies there anymore.

From the www.alpedhuez.com website - a six-day pass will 178.50 euros. About £120 or so I guess.

It's a pretty varied resort - most levels of skier would be fairly happy I think. I went with a mixed ability group and everyone had a good time. The mad expert should try the Tunnel - great bump run (at least it was when I was there). It's also got the longest black run in the world as well (I think) - the Sarenne - which has some challenging stuff at the top but is fairly straightforward after that.

Re: timing. It's pretty high so the snow record is reasonably good for late season. But it's in the French southern alps so it can get pretty warm in March, which obviously isn't ideal for the white stuff (but is good for the tan). Everywhere seems to be having a good season so far, so I expect you'd be fine. The SCGB (boo!) has some historical data - not sure how reliable it is though.

I'll second David's comment about it being pretty ugly but it didn't bother me to be honest. I guess it depends on what you're after. And the climb is a wonder to behold - I found it tiring sitting in a coach.

Hope that helps - I expect you'll get some more knowledgeable advice from others!
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And if there's a Timid Intermediate try Masterclass for tuition - details are in the Bend Zi Knees section Very Happy

(Damn - gone over 100 now...)
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Oh dear, not so sure now I've read these threads. Trouble is, we splashed a fortune on a wonderful Scott Dunn holiday in Zermatt last month and so are looking for something reasonable. I'm a little worried that after Zermatt, Alp dH might prove to be too much of a difference. Confused I'll visit their website.

Thanks for the info.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Beverley - Alpe d'Huez is great - what did we say that put you off? I'd definitely recommend it.
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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!
Ok, ok! Embarassed

I suppose I'm not too worried about scenery (Tignes isn't exactly brimming with charm and I loved it there!). In fact, it was at Tignes in Dec last year that we received excellent instruction from Stuart and Olly of Masterclass. The SCGB had hired them for the week. It's not ruled out and it seems good value. Thanks!
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good snow record but you will probably hve lots of sun while you are their, average of 300 days a year. Ryanair fly to St, Etienne or Easyjet to Lyon.Both are about 3hours away.Try saying in the satelite town of Auris, as it is very french, cheper , no ques and links up with Alpe D'
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Just back on Saturday had a really great week, the only down side would be it's not got much variety for the second/third week skier. But we had an excellent week skied the whole area. The snow was getting a bit thin with slush and ice down towards Auris. But the Oz and Vaujauny areas had good conditions. As last week was half term it was busy but if you got away from the central bowl the pistes and lifts were a lot quieter. Very Happy The village ain't that bad I've stayed in worse, Flaine to name but one. Also would recommend masterclass we used them 6 years ago best thing I ever did. Laughing
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I went to Alpe d'huez in the first week of april, the runs were ok- a bit icy at the top and slushy at the bottom. The sun is really really strong- whilst we weer there loads of children were going to the clinic with huge burns on their faces! so wear sunscreen! I like Alpe D'huez its not picturesque but your not there to look at the buildings all day- you're there to ski!! All in all I would go back x
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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.
Nadenoodlee, welcome to Sn snowHead wHeads. Glad to see someone else on here living North of the Border!
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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
It's superb for greens, and the Pic Blanc accesses more fantastic skiing than any single lift I've seen with the exception of the Grand Montets. If the mad expert gets a chance, hire a guide and do the Grand Sablat - an amazing, huge and not difficult off-piste run off the back of the Sarenne. I don't think it's the best intermediate resort though, and the "village" is truly hideous - even worse than Les Manures or Tignes IMHO. For mntn restaurants, check out the Chalet du Lac Besson.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I have always liked Alpey Dee. Its perhaps my favourite French resort. The ski=ing has always been good for me, and there is lots of variation, you just have to get away from the main bowl a bit. And there are some terriffic mountain restaurants there too - again, you have to get about a bit.

I will have to agree that the main lifts and runs home can get a bit crowded, but you only use them at the start and finish of the day if you do it right. And although the town lacks in prettyness, I always found it to have a sort of soul - people there seemed much more cheery than many French resorts, which is something I always put down to it being a proper all year rpound town, rather than just a ski resort with live in workers. You even get the lifties sharing a joke and smile with you. Madeye-Smiley
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Went there in January, Beverley, and had a great time. Snow was excellent then, but that doesn't help you much. Not a picture postcard village but the views from higher up the slopes more than make up for that. It was my first time in France & the locals were much more friendly than I had been led to expect. Your lift pass covers a days skiing in Serre Chevalier, Les deux Alpes & somewhere else that escapes me at the moment - that may help if the snow is iffy. I'd say a good enough spot for your extra week.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm off to Alpe d'Huez this Saturday for a week with a crowd of 20 varied ability.
Not been before but the Guys say it's great skiing for a mixed ability group.
Looking forward to Sarenne run but I think I'll give the Tunnel a miss (I like my legs the shape they are)
Fresh snow this week so just some sunshine required!

Beverley,
If I was going for the aesthetics and architecture I’d go to Prague
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Beverley - you didn't by any chance, have in your group 3 guys Ben, Paul and a Scottish chap called Jim? They were out in Tignes when we were there during our stay. From what I remember they were also doing a course and the SCGB were also being trained by the same company that I think you must have been with.

Just curious, because they were originally staying in the Alpaka and were lively to say the least. I know they weren't members of the SCGB, but if they were in your group, then the company you were ski=ing with might have some contact details.
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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?
Beverley,
You'd know it if you met them,
Great fun
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Don't remember them. However, there were 34 odd of us on the holiday and we were split into blue/red/silver instruction groups so they could have been in another group during the day. Have to say though we always met in the bar and ate as a group and can't really think of anyone that stood out as 'great fun'. Our hotel was the Mark Warner one, a minute's walk from the Alpaka, which incidentally I thought good. Nice cosy bar, roaring fire, big, big dog and strong beer!!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I suspect they would have been in the silver group and they moved from the Alpaka over to Val Claret for the week's course.

As Slowplough said, they were a riot.

Thanks, anyway Smile And that was the biggest dog I've ever seen. Don't mention the beer, though - a couple of 2.00am sessions ruined at least one morning's ski=ing
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I had a pretty good week there in January, although it snowed pretty much all day, ever day... Toofy Grin

Transfer was 1hr30 from Grenoble, which many of the tour ops/ charter seem to be flying to now Smile

Stayed in a chalet about 2 minutes from the slopes, skiing was good, although there are a lot of drag lifts...

And they dont seem massively bothered about pisting every day...

I think you'll have a great week there Smile
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Mmm, don't understand the negative comments here. Came back a couple weeks ago and had a fantastic time. Basildon on snow.....rubbish...Maybe Sauze not there. Very few french resorts will win prizes for being pretty, but Alpe D isn't that bad at all. The main street is OK actually.

The terrain is ideal for mixed groups with excellent nursery slopes, intermediete blues and Reds and quality blacks. The Sarenne is a great run.

We flew to grenoble and the transfer was fine. I woudl go back and yes it did come across as a very friendly resort. All the lifties saying good morning to you!

I would go.
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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!
Its a top resort, although not a particularly pretty town. I only got to enjoy one day as I got struck down with Appendicitis and spent the next 7 days in Grenoble hospital. From the many stories that I have heard from the remaining 9 in the group its the best place that they've been.......and that list includes St Anton!!
We were in a catered chalet and right next to the bucket lift. Perfect.....apparently. Very Happy
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No apparent about it Richie.....it was perfect. Thanks for booking it! Razz
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Went end of March last year ,really enjoyed it.good snow aswell.Good tan to boot.Did snow for a day & did it dump.
Would go back.But actually preferred La Plagne for variation & number of runs.Just nightlife lets it down.Though staying next door to a bar was a result. Razz
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Kevin Robertson, Glad you all enjoyed it........gits Wink
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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.
Richie hi Ritchie you weren't at Les Cimes by any chance were you? if so is it any good? Very Happy
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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
Beverley, go for it. Spent a week there at the end of January, and was pretty impressed with the varied and extensive terrain. Main down-side for me was that to move from area to area everybody always has to route through the main station, thus more queues than you'd find at many other resorts - particularly at the main gondola mid-station. Also too many gondolas for my liking - I hate taking my skis off, hate the queuing and hate the crush (give me chairlifts any day!)

Also thought that most pistes were undergraded - seemed to be several greens that had some very blue bits, and some blues that would be red elsewhere (though my last trip was to Cervinia, which may explain my change in perception!). However the black Sarenne had nothing more challenging than I've experience on many reds!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Agree about the piste grading the supposed green hirondelle form the top of the signal had bodies all over it last week. Yet there are some excellent beginner pistes there.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
DAVID F,
No. We were at Pere Josef. It was fantastic. Well, due to my illness I was mainly at Gronoble Hospital.....ho hum. I don't think you will be let down wherever you go to be honest. The place is pretty much quality from A to Z as far as I understand.
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And some cracking bars
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Absolutley! Wink Lively by French standards.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Beverley, I live in Grenoble and ski in Alpe d'Huez a lot. It's about a 3 hour transfer from Lyon (1.5 from Grenoble) except on Mad French holidays (over now). It's a great resort - the town is ugly bit the views are great from anywhere above 2,000m and astounding on the glacier.

There is some wonderful varied skiing for beginners right up to experts - there is some awesome off-piste. The Sarenne is a must for anyone with a bit of confidence - it's not particularly challenging but is the longest black in Europe and runs through the Sarenne gorge (incredible scenery); from the bottom go up to Auris on the other side of the gorge - normally a very quiet area with reds and blues to keep everyone happy. If you're not up to the black, take the up and over lift to Auris (known locally as the scare chair!) - it goes down into the gorge and up the other side).

Mountain restuarants are of a generally high standard and reasonbly priced - it's one of the cheaper large resorts IMO.

It is snow sure due to the glacier, though as it's primarily south facing lower runs can be a problem if there hasn't been recent snow. It can also get crowded on Sundays as locals from Grenoble pour up the mountain (get up and out early), but is fine during the week (and Saturdays). I'd agree about staying Vaujuany as it's much prettier, however the road to Adh with 21 hairpin bends is something to be experienced.

ps I don't work for the tourist board...
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We went last year and really enjoyed ourselves, didn't look at the village...too busy looking at the mountain views. Outdoor pool is a must. Only downside is that the runs back in the afternoon, all funnel into the M25 - it can be a bit hairy if you don't pick your time. That said, we were there at half term.
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