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Question Chamonix during French school holidays

Discussion in 'Europe' started by BoofHead, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I’ve never never been to Europe so heading over next year for some skiing. I’ve locked down 2 weeks at Chamonix second half of Feb and have just discovered that my dates coincide with French school holidays. Booking.com so I can cancel.
    How busy/crazy does Chamonix get? In town and on the hill.
    Cheers
     
  2. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty busy. But that will be the same at all French resorts.

    Still totally worth it. Make sure you share your pics on here.
     
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  3. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Busy but still less than Aussie resorts on a weekend..

    DO NOT CANCEL
     
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  4. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We are in Europe for up to 55 days so am flexible. I definitely want to checkout Chamonix so I could look at going somewhere in Italy over the holiday period. I have also locked down 2 weeks/first half of Feb at Aosta.
    Seeking all opinions and suggestions.
    Cheers
     
  5. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you could shift the Cham period to the early feb time you're in Aosta that would probably be more ideal.

    But the holidays aren't that bad, you just need to be organised at the start of your day, if you're early you'll hardly experience the crowds but if you get going at the crack of 10.......
     
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  6. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you’re skiing with a guide the crowds probably won’t be a problem anyway.

    Chamonix is big. I’m pretty sure it’s busier in summer than winter, so it can accomodate the crowds in town I’m sure.

    I’ve been twice but for the life of me can’t remmeber what time of the year I was there, other than it being “winter”.
     
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  7. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Am going to discuss this with Mrs Boof and keep an eye on accom prices. I currently have the 2weeks in Aosta for $900 and the 2weeks in Chamonix for$2400 and am very happy with the prices given both are smack bang in middle of town.
    Cheers
     
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  8. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    It can be hard to take a vehicle in and out of the middle of Aosta each day so consider that.
    I agree that switching the two would be best if you can.
    Be sure to check out La Thuile and the linked La Rosiere in France.
    Also it may be best to have a week at Aosta and a week in the Monterosa (Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna) up the road a bit.
    You’ll be in a magic part of the world wherever you end up.
     
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  9. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Was hoping I could get by without a car at both Aosta and Chamonix. What are your thoughts on bussing?
     
  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bus is fine in Cham. Suspect you would need one in Aosta, esp if you want to ski more than just Pila, and you will.
     
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  11. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    I agree.
    Bus will also go to Courmayeur and La Thuile. But you’ll probably want to get to Cervinia/Zermatt to get a photo under the Matterhorn. Maybe you could get a car for just a portion of the time there?
    Oh a visit to one of the local medieval castles is worth doing too.
    Jealous.
     
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  12. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks for info folks.
    Would a month in Chamonix be too long? I
    I’ve never spent longer than 2 weeks at a ski destination but I like the idea of settling in somewhere. Mrs Boof not so much so I need somewhere that has a bit going on other than sliding.
    All up we will have approx. 55 days arriving around the 10Jan. But the choices are mind boggling.
    Cheers
     
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  13. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds awesome!
     
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  14. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It is but the choice is frying my brain. Latest mid life crisis (although I’m well past mid life). I’m taking all of 2020 off. I’m really hoping we like Europe as a ski destination. My longer term plan is spend 2-3 months there each year over Winter when I eventually pull the pin at work.
    Cheers
     
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  15. Swede

    Swede One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    You can never spent too much time in Cham :)
     
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  16. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Normally I would agree with @Swede but to be honest the lack of the Grands Montets cable car does restrict you a little.

    Now I’ve literally just returned from a month in Cham, and it’s a place you can spend a lifetime, and a great place to settle in, but the lack of that lift just takes a little gloss off.

    Cham is excellent for down days / non skiers though.

    Reading between the lines would the 2 extra weeks in Cham come at the expense of 2 in Aosta? If so I would definitely recommend keeping Italy on the agenda. Also rental cars are super cheap in Italy.
     
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  17. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    If you have that much time it may be an idea to spend a week in Innsbruck or somewhere in Tirol. A different atmosphere and plenty for your other half to do. On second thoughts somewhere around Saalbach or Zell am See would give easy train access to an excursion to Salzburg.
    As you said - so many options.:)
    The train from Austria to Italy is scenic and easy.
     
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  18. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    That’s a plan!!

    I would like to try and arrange a year in the Alps in 2023. Depends on the tin lids and stuff.
     
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  19. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We would still go to Italy and have also discussed starting the trip in the Pyrenees and road tripping around a little bit stopping at smaller hills along the way. We have budgeted for a car lease but wondering if we can reduce our time with a car to try and save a few bucks.
     
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  20. Snow Dog

    Snow Dog Addicted

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    G'day Boof - we've lived here in Cham for the past 14 months.
    In terms of busy - Xmas and the last 2 weeks of August are really busy. Then comes UK mid-term in Feb and then Paris school hols in Feb - these are not too bad at all. However, you do need to understand the place - it is made up of 5 areas, each with about 4 or 5 lifts. So you pick one each day depending on the conditions and what you want - and that can be a bit confusing (you really need a bit of local knowledge). Buses are ok - but with a car you are more flexible in exploring the various areas.
    BUT one of the hidden features of Cham is its central access to other amazing areas if you actually use it as a base:
    • Verbier - 50min (we've done it a couple of time this season - great day out)
    • Megeve / St Gevais - 30min to the Betex gondola
    • Courmeyaur - 35min
    And within an hour, there are probably another 10 areas to explore - we were up at Grand Bornand a couple of weeks ago for the Haute Savoie U12 regionals - never heard of the place, but pretty amazing, super quiet and stunning.
     
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  21. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Based on the good info here and some friends, we have locked down all of February in a nice sized place at Cham.
    We’ve decided to lease a car for the full 55 day trip to keep our day trip options open.
    Currently investigating a long term visa; Italy, France, or Spain depending on what’s easiest. Just have to get our heads around the accomodation leasing requirement.
     
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  22. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds awesome.
     
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  23. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anyone heard further about LGM cable car future?
     
  24. Snow Dog

    Snow Dog Addicted

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    Nothing definitive. Chatter is that it will be abandoned. Work on the new flegere gondola has just started.
    Bochard reopened this week. Good for this weekend as we are expecting 50cm+.
     
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  25. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ta
    Where's the flegere gondy going?

    Edit: lucky you
     
  26. Snow Dog

    Snow Dog Addicted

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    Look into buying an unlimited season pass - it will then cover you for Cham, Les Houches, the midi, Verbier, Megeve, Coumeyaur, bunch of other resorts in HS, passes to the local spa etc etc
     
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  27. flippa

    flippa Hard Yards

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    @BoofHead
    Chamonix is affected by french, Swiss, UK and other european school holidays. To make it even more complicated each country has zones which go on holidays at different time. So picking the 'best' time can be tricky. You can try using something like this: http://www.zigzagski.com/calendar2019/.

    I went to cham this year in first half of feb and it was the least busy I have seen it so we were lucky.

    If you are going for a while my thoughts would be to try different places as Cham is amazing but not without it's cons. Each country/resort has a different vibe so it is worth trying a few out.

    When in Cham it is easy enough to get to different resorts in Italy and Switzerland. This year we did Praz Sure Arly, La Thuile, Courmayeur and Verbier. The conditions on the day can often dictate the best place to ski.
     
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  28. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This.

    You've got a few 4000m walls around the place that direct the weather and it's remarkable how different places so close can be.
     
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  30. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    @flippa and others, what are some of the cons to cham?
    Speaking to MrsBoof, it looks like our stay has to be in Feb ie we need to get back to Oz in March:(. Some rubbish about having to get back to her job.
     
  31. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cons

    Disjointed valley
    Crowds
    Powder fever
    Föhn
    Crevasses
    Avalanche danger
    Not really a resort, per se

    This can mostly be managed to good effect
     
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