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Anywhere with Pyrenees in the name is a simple plan

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by DidSurfNowSki, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Time to start thinking about 2021 @skifree

    From Powderhounds, on the French side...

    Pyrenees Ski Resorts
    To the surprise of many, there are plenty of ski resorts in the Pyrenees, including Ax, Cauterets, Gavarnie, & Saint Lary. Most are relatively unknown to non-Europeans, however the intrepid skiers & snowboarders from the UK have usually staked a claim in them at some point. Pyrenees ski resorts tend to be smaller, less developed, less crowded & less expensive than those in the Alps. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that are in fact less! The Pyrenees often get more snow in a season than the Alps & many of the resorts have high altitude bases with cold north-aspect terrain to maintain that snow in optimal condition. The Powderhounds will be checking out the Pyrenees in March 2020.

    On the Spanish side...

    The vast majority of the ski resorts in Spain are in the north of the country in the central Pyrenees along the border with France & Andorra, plus the ranges fronting the Atlantic coast near the Picos de Europa National Park.

    It is no surprise that there are many wonderful Spanish ski resorts in the high Pyrenees mountain regions of Aragon & Catalonia to the east & west of Andorra.

    In Catalonia, east of Andorra, the interlinked La Molina - Masella (Alp 2500) holds sway with the small Vallter 2000. To the west within a few hours drive are a nest of great ski resorts including Espot, Boí Taüll and the huge Baqueira Beret.

    Further west in Aragon are another group of ski resorts hard up on the border with France including Cerler, Candanchu, Formigal & its close neighbour Panticosa.

    And lastly Andorra...

    Andorra is a duty-free, winter ski haven nestled in the Pyrenees between Spain & France. With an average elevation of 1900m, the small principality relies heavily on its mountains and hence skiing to enable its tourist economy.

    Andorra presents as a low key, low cost tourist friendly ski destination with an interesting combination of over 300km of piste trails, modern lifts & extensive freeride terrain.

    Andorra Ski Resorts
    Andorra has only three ski areas, Grandvalira, Ordino Arcalis & Pal-Arinsal. All are expansive & provide a world class ski experience.

    Grandvalira ski resort is the largest in the Pyrenees & combines six base areas to occupy most of the southeast corner of Andorra. With over 210km of trails and a longest run of just under 10km, Grandvalira is a large ski resort by world standards. The village base areas range in elevation from 1300 to 2120m elevation and include the villages of Encamp, Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig & Pas de la Casa. Grandvalira ski passes are now valid in Ordino Arcalis.

    The intriguing Ordino Arcalis is relatively small inbounds, with only 4 chairlifts & 30km of piste trails on nearly 700m of skiable vertical. However, the ski area is better known for its vast off-piste, freeride & ski touring terrain than its inbounds offerings. Sounds wonderful for visiting Powderhounds. Good to know that 3 new lifts went into Ordino Arcalis replacing old clunkers in season 2018/19.

    The ski area Pal Arinsal (a.k.a. Vallnord) comprises two separate ski resorts connected by a cable car & covering over 63km of piste trails on 1000m of skiable vertical. The closest ski resort to the capital Andorra la Vella, Pal Arinsal also sits below the highest peak in Andorra, Pic de Coma Pedrosa (2943m).

    I'm in !
     
  2. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    its got the goods
     
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  3. Normo

    Normo Mostly Harmless Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like all you need is a
    “great pair o’ knees”.

    OK......
    :out:
     
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  4. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anywhere with Pyrenees in the name is ...
    That includes the Pyrenees Ranges in Vic (Avoca region)?
     
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  5. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Maybe take up surfing again, then go skiing. Is good!
     
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  6. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are you buying a dog?
     
  7. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good wine making region ! I'd be in for that too :)
     
  8. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    By "dog", I assume you mean "oversized horse".
     
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  9. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We kicked off our European adventure in the Pyrenees. Started at Ax Les Thermes for no other reason than I had purchased stuff from Telemark-Pyranees and wanted to check out some new boots. Was a nice little place to start. From there we went to Andorra. A couple of days in Andorra La Vella to check out shops but clothing we saw there was no cheaper than other other places in Europe. Grog was very cheap
    We then spent some time skiing at Grandvalira based at Canillo. As mentioned a nice big place to explore but conditions didn’t really allow for any skiing other than on piste. Would like to go back when snow is good.
     
  10. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I suspect we'll be harvesting corn.
     
  11. skifree

    skifree Sake? Thats like water but better, yes? Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Best dates are?
     
  12. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good question. I should be fairly flexible. New boss knows there's skiing in my future :)
     
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  13. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    For us it would be March and like this trip we wouldn’t lock anything down accomodation wise just in case.
     
  14. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    First stop could be Barcelona. Lots to do there if the snow doesn't look good.
     
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  15. Chux-sw

    Chux-sw One of Us

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  16. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Best flight to Barcelona (with minimal connections etc) is Qatar.

    I book flight there all the time.
     
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  17. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking at Qatar, the same plane that flies out of Canberra then goes onto Doha.



    That would work, hope they keep that going :)
     
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  18. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I looked at the Pyrenees when it was dumping in late January and we were deciding where to go after Alagna.

    Didn't select it as most of the areas have a rep for low, moderate terrain and family skiing.
    theguardian.com/travel/pyrenees ..... www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/ski-resorts-pyrenees/

    But there's an interesting option we liked - skiing off the Pic Du Midi. It's an observatory near La Mongie.
    Skiing allowed since 2003. All off-piste with lots of routes from moderate to fall and die.

    Could be fun if you get the timing right and hit it right after a big dump. Not my pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well the thing is once we get to the Schengen, you can move around without too much hassle. I know from previous experience all @skifree needs is access to beer, a feed and something to sleep in and he's happy so accommodation doesn't need to be booked months beforehand.



    [​IMG]

    I on the other hand are sometimes guilty of military precision when it comes to planning. This trip won't be one of those. Maybe. Hopefully not. Have I already downloaded all the maps to my iPhone and started looking at train and bus schedules ??? ;)
     
  20. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Train and bus schedules? Nah...........hire a car in Barcelona (if that's were you land) and do a loop around the Pyrenees. East to West across Spain, up into France then back East ending up back in Barcelona. Make sure car insurance covers France and Andorra as well. You will have to pay more for insurance to cross borders.
    Edit: need to buy chains from service station when arriving near Pyrenees. No winter tyres or chains with car hire from Barcelona.
     
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  21. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you’re going for a few weeks, maybe consider a car lease from Eurodrive. We picked up our car in Toulouse which is only a short drive to Pyranees. For a fee, you can pick up a French lease car in Barcelona.
    We have stayed in some incredible accomodations over the last 7 weeks for reasonable rates normally deciding and booking the day before. our search parameters have proximity to lifts and parking as a priority so accom can be had much cheaper than what we are spending if you can handle a drive to lifts (MrsBoof can’t ). We are averaging about $140 a night.

    Off to Cham today, locked in some accom last night.
     
  22. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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  23. skifree

    skifree Sake? Thats like water but better, yes? Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  24. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sucks to be you! I can see it :)
     
  25. skifree

    skifree Sake? Thats like water but better, yes? Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    :(