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Somewhere other than 3 valleys or La Plagne

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Apart from 1 week in Pas De La Casa I have only skied in the 3 valleys and La Plagne (about 8 times). I sometimes wonder if I am missing out on what else is available in other resorts. I and have got used to and like being close to ski lifts and ski to and from the door. Last time out in Plagne Soleil the chalet was practically on the piste and the furthest location was about an 800m walk to lifts. In my opinion the skiing is brilliant with lots of varying runs, a good lift system, good off piste and its high up. Yes it can be a bit crowded at times on main routes back to base late in the afternoon though I have to say I don’t find mountain restaurants are overly expensive (average cost of lunch this year was around 10 euro’s). I like these resorts a lot but I feel like I need a change and to experience more of what is available elsewhere.

I have in the past thought about going to places like Chamonix, St Anton, Soll etc (even across the pond) but I get the impression from reading resort info and from talking to people that getting to the lifts often involves a bus ride. This does not really appeal, as I would rather ski than queue for a bus first thing in the morning. Also Austrian resorts tend to be a bit low and are often linked to other villages, hence the bus trip. Looking at piste maps is also worrying when compared to the 3V or LP they all appear so small. I am used to going off in the morning and travelling around rather than up and down the same mountain. As I prefer to stay in chalets rather than a hotel it can also limit choice especially in Italy. I don’t want to come across as overly fussy but maybe the 3V and LP are not the ‘average’ ski resort (that’s not meant to sound patronising) but I don’t want to be disappointed when I get there.

Any suggestions for a resort with challenging skiing that does not involve bus journeys, and a good choice of chalet accommodation?
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I'd recommend Val d'Isere (haven't been to Tignes) since a lot of accommodation is within close walking distance of the lifts. If you stay in a chalet further out obviously you have to get a ski bus, but there is a fair range of different accommodation round the corner from the big lifts.

Obviously it's a big resort as well, so plenty of skiing and nightlife. Been there twice and would happily go again (although the second time I was there, the chalet wasn't quite walking distance of the slopes).

You're right that Chamonix isn't ski-in/out. It's about as far from that as you can get - the different areas aren't even linked! Having said that, there's a tremendous variety of terrain for all levels (although a bit thinner on beginner greens). Downside is the bus/car journey for ANY slope.

Off to Courchevel on Saturday though!!!
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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?
Seconded on Val d'Isère, you've also got the option of Les Arcs, ski in ski out possibilities there. And of course if you're feeling homesick, you can hop on the Vanoise Express and spend a day in La Plagne!
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I've stayed in Val and Tignes, and you stay in Val for the nightlife, with most places being a walk away from the piste. You stay in Tignes for easy access to the skiing. Either Val Claret or Tignes le Lac will do nicely.
If you like la Pagne for its size you'll love Espace Killy.
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Colin wrote:

Any suggestions for a resort with challenging skiing that does not involve bus journeys, and a good choice of chalet accommodation?
Val d'Isere has challenging skiing (in fact, fantastic skiing), but can involve (short) bus journeys and is not full of chalets.
I would suggest Verbier instead. Short transfer (1 hour form Geneva), lots of challenging runs including superb off-piste. Can usually walk to lifts. Lots of chalets. Lively bars and restaurants.
If you are not fussed about "apres ski", than take a look at La Thuile (http://www.lathuile.it/english/index.htm).
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You could think about Flaine - virtually all the accomodation is just a step from the piste, I've never been anywhere so well laid out...including La Plagne! But there's very little nightlife, it's virtually all self catering only a couple of hotels and is the ugliest place on the planet! That said the skiing is absolutely great - something for everyone.
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Colin - seems we share similar priorities! The first things I look for in a resort are convenience and an extensive snow-sure ski area. As has already been mentioned, Les Arcs should definitely be on your list, along with the Espace Killy - Tignes is stronger on convenience and Val D'Isere stronger on apres, but even in VD you shouldn't have more than a 5 minute walk to the main lift stations (and there are plenty of chalets there). I'd also suggest you look at St Anton - whilst it is not quite your 'ski-to-door' convenience, it's only a very short walk to the lifts from wherever you are in the village, and it's certainly a good deal more convenient than most other Austrian resorts.
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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!
Thanks for the info. I did'nt mention it but I have skied Les Arc twice for a day, quite different from LP in several ways ie wider runs but generally thought reds were more blue, quite impressed by skiing quite long distances without the need for too many lifts. I'll definetly think about Val D etc for next year though its about time for a change of scenery. Masopa, enjoy Coucheval you lucky wotsit.
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Colin Vince, I've been to a few more resorts than you, but not as many as some of the other 'heads.

Without being in any way flippant, I'd say that all resorts are good. There are differences of course, but the "perfect" resort doesn't exist. Just make sure there's enough skiing for you for the lenght of your trip (so you don't get bored), and you'll enjoy yourself anywhere.

Did that sound flippant? Yeah, OK, maybe a little Very Happy
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Colin, I'm with you on this. I like La Plagne and have been about 6 times. I am now taking my 2 kids (8+10) so have to return to the bottom at lunchtime to pick them up from ski school. This is v. easy in Belle Plagne. I also want to try other resorts but I don't want to find myself going up and down through bottlenecks twice a day. We are looking at a change for next year but don't want to make a mistake.
Can others provide an idea of resorts they have tried that are easy for lunch returns to resort/apartment/chalet?
Resorts I know are OK:
Avoriaz
Morzine (just about)
Valmorel
Belle Plagne (and most of the other Plagnes)

NOT:
Arinsal
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Michael B, Obergurgl. Lovely compact resort with good skiing. I learnt there and returned 4 times. Last time was when Rosie was 4 months old (now 15 yrs!) and still being breast fed. Grandma babysat while Angela and I went skiing. We were still able to whizz back for each four hourly feed. So not only good for lunchtime meet-ups, but recommended also for breastfeeding babies.
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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.
Not going there again, but thanks for the thought. Never even thought about Ober.
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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
Thought you might be interested in checking out Italy and a company called Elemental Zone Adventures. Website is www.elementalzone.com. Thay are fantastic.


Moderator's Comment:- we feel that blatant "plugging" of one's own company in this way is an abuse of snowHeads' hospitality and should be discouraged. Hence the other similar posts by previtha in this forum will be deleted. This one is being left by way of explanation ( and the "Boys stag party" since there is a welcome from PG there)
Alan Craggs
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Help!!!! Where's a moderator when you need one! The Resorts section needs some drastic pruning!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just passing through PG - I think Mr Previtha needs a memo from admin! Or shall I just get my big chopper out.....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's 'Ms' according to the website.... I'm sure she means well Wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'd go for Val. Inghams have a chalet (Etroits) right on the slope in La Daille which is great for ski in ski out and getting the first funival/telecabine up to the top of Bellevarde. Unless you're into partying in the early hours you can always get the bus back from the centre of Val to La Daille, which is less than 5 mins. Even then it's still walkable.

Tignes is also good, especially if you're in Val Claret, but depends what you want in terms of night life - most of the bars are in Le Lac or Lavachet.
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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'd have no hesitation in recommending Vald’Isere/Tignes but I do think you should give Avoriaz a try. Some very rewarding skiing if you explore a bit (just like La Plagne). I would avoid LaThuille (boring), Megeve (buses needed), Flaine (pot holes), and Morzine (too low). rolling eyes
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John Scott, welcome to snowHead snowHeads! snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
John Scott, buses in Megeve ? I don't understand.
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To get to the main area, Mont d'Aboir, you need a bus unless you take a roundabout route via Rochebrune. Also, unless you like walking, you beed a bus to get to Le Jaillet.
Don't get me wrong I like Megeve but if the criteria are doorstep skiing and snow sureness, Megeve fails on both counts.
After many years of skiing I had a week in Megeve for the first time last year. We were very lucky with the snow and it was excellent, and the restaurants are even better than in Courchevel.
ps Thank you PG.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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It's strange isn't it that the originator of this thread wants a different experience to the 3 valleys and La Plagne and largely gets the clones of Val D'Isere, Tignes, etc suggested as an alternative! Why do skiers insist on these 'Anglo Ghettos'?
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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!
kevin mcclean, too true Colin Vince, how about La Rosiere. or my fave place, Serre Chevalier, so much so we are buying a place there next year. I do like La Plagne (4 times) but last time was a bit disappointed, not sure why, We learnt to ski there. Serre CHe isn't ski-in ski out, but if you choose carefully, accomodation is a very short walk away.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 12-08-04 17:11; edited 1 time in total
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If Colin wants somewhere diferent from the mega Tarentaise resorts I can suggest a few more but not all have door to door skiing. I love Serre Che, pity my wife has taken an irrational dislike to it - I,ve had 4 or 5 weeks there, she only had one.
Try Ste Foy, Gressony/Champoluc/Alagna, Dolomites, Megeve, Avoriaz, or even one of the resorts near Soll.
Ones to avoid include La Rosiere (boring) and Les Deux Alpes (boring and busy).
Can't think of any more at the moment, I must be lo Puzzled sing it.
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I'm just like Colin. Want somewhere else this year. Really like La Plagne (door to door, large circuit) but been 4-5 times now. Looking at Val T, Tignes, Les Arcs etc. What resorts are within say 3 hours of Nice airport besides Isola 2000 and are they comparable to La Plagne et al? (good flights prices to Nice). For my 1-2 weeks a year I don't want to be disappointed.
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Michael B, I think Risoul/Vars is probably the biggest thing that far South, although it might still be touch and go to be within 3 hours esp. in bad weather.

Not been there myself but I don't think it would come close to Paradiski, 3V or Esapce Killy in size and variety.

www.vars-ski.com
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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.
The most exciting skiing in the southern Alps is La Grave, but it demands stamina and a love of wild skiing. Alpe d'Huez is the best piste resort. Puy St Vincent is worth a shot - quite a funky little intermediate resort. As Brian says, Vars is probably well worth looking into, but I've not skied there.

Not sure about transfer times from Nice for these places. It's not an ideal ski airport, unless you're skiing the Alpes Maritimes.
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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
John Scott wrote:
To get to the main area, Mont d'Aboir, you need a bus unless you take a roundabout route via Rochebrune. Also, unless you like walking, you beed a bus to get to Le Jaillet.


That's Mont d'Arbois actually, the lift runs from town to the Rochebrune which is the main area for Megeve. There's a two minute lift from Rochebrune to Mont d'Arbois. You do need a bus to Jaillet but it's basically a different area. I can't imagine you'd try use the buss to get to Mont d'Arbois when it only runs ever 20-30 mins or so. I don't know Megeve so well but we've had a flat in St Gervais for a few years so I know the area pretty well. It's not a ski-in/ski-out area and all the better for it. In fact, it's one of the most underrated areas in Europe I'd say.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
None of the Southern Alps resorts compare to their Northern Alps counterparts, Risoul and Vars are probably the biggest and they are nothing special. The main reason is the lack f snow cover only about 10 -15% of total snowfall in the Alps falls on the Southern resorts. Isola 2000 is reputed to be a 'snowhole' but the resort is (or was) ghastly, went there once and decided never again. I have to take exception with John Scott's re La Rosiere I've never had a boring day there but I've only been there for the past five years so maybe there's something I've missed.
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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@traxvax, i thought that about Serre Che until I went, maybe I've just been lucky but in 5 visits, snow has been excellent 3 times, good twice and iffy only the once. In 4 visits to La Plagne, only once has been excellent, 1 good and 2 iffy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In the last 2 years, the southern alps have (anecdotally!) had really good snow.
Not sure what the stats say though...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Dear me, I do seem to have upset some people.
So sorry that I spelt Mont d'Arbois incorrectly! I can assure you that the bus (not buss) is quicker (runs every 15 minutes or so in the morning) unless you stay on the far side of Megeve. Of course Jaillet is seperate from Mont d'Arbois and Rochebrune, that's because it hasn't been connected.
I may be missing something about La Rosiere but rows of parallel lifts, all of the same gradient, all moonscape barren, do nothing for me. I really would like to know what the attraction is, can't be the link with La Thuile 'cause that always seems so bleak. Perhaps you should try somewhere else David. snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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I've just read my last posting and it does sound like I'm being rude to David. I apologise wholeheartedly. I have heard people say that La Plagne is boring - it can be if you just stick to the main pistes, but the off-piste is as exciting as you dare make it. Perhaps the same is true for La Rosiere and I just didn't look hard enough or in the right places. I have only skied there for a few days, on day trips whilst staying at Ste Foy, a truly non-boring resort.
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flying_squirrel, http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/reports/historical/report.asp and http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/reports/historical/report.asp.
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John Scott, please stop mentioning Ste Foy, we're trying to keep it to ourselves Wink Btw, here here here and here are some pictures of the truly excellent skiing to be found at La Rosiere Razz
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Alan Craggs, Skiing, Skiing.... Those long flat things are supposed to go on your feet!. What you powder hounds need is a serious, debilitating major joint injury. Excellent for getting you back on the lifts and piste.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alan, those pictures look like the sort of places I end up in whatever resort I visit but particularly the place I won't mention again.
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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!
Ste Foy Tarentaise, unfortunately, is due for some major expansion, Alan. No doubt in 5 years time the yuppies will be raising the Union Jack, a la Val D'Isere, etc..
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Kevin, they're already there, had a day in Ste Foy at the end of last season and the only voices we heard on the slopes were English. Sounded just like Surrey. John I'm not the one who has missed something, the skiing in La Rosiere and la Thuile can be some of the best in the Alps. It's very snowsure because of the proximity to Mont Blanc, when you know where to find it there is some fantastic off-piste. The north face of the fort for example is as steep as anything I've skied and the off-piste itinteries on Mont Valezan are challenging and because it's primarily a resort for families, it doesn't get tracked out in hours. You can still find untracked powder weeks after a snow fall. The runs down through the trees into La Thuile are also steep and long, in my opinion they'll give anyone a serious work-out especially when they're icy.
If you've only skied in a resort for a few days, you're hardly likely to get to know it or be qualified to judge it's potential. Another good reason for using a local guide you'll get to see parts that the other skiers miss.
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Frosty the Snowman, I did dislocate my left shoulder - but that was on cross country skis rolling eyes
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