Europe 2010 - 2011 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

VSG

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CarveMan said:

Very nice work. 180 uphill kick turns were a standard ski school repotoire, I thought?
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I like this caption. Almost poetic. "Nicole Arriving at the Col".

Great work. Jealous.
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TOFF

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Nice CM.
I'm on my way, well tomorrow anyway.
 

Chester

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... snowed for most of the day and another epic day of perfect snow ... sunshine tomorrow, it just gets better.
 

'H' Jones

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Chester said:
... snowed for most of the day and another epic day of perfect snow ... sunshine tomorrow, it just gets better.
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schneeschleicher

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It's out there RPM if you're willing to walk. Look for shady sides (even better go with a "local") and be careful. Sitting in my living room now listening to Easy Dub All Stars make Pink Floyd listenable drinking a tiny beer, celebrating the fact I overcame my fear of tumbling down mountains. I fell off one last week, not fun. Will post some photos now. No action shots but the amount of shreddable snow didn't really allow for it. That is, top section dry and deep with fresh turns to be eeked out, lower ridden to death and sun effected.

Failing that, I have it on good authority it is going to dump from Thursday til the end of April.

The walk in.

walkin by fsmonkeygrind, on Flickr

Proof of arrival.

location by fsmonkeygrind, on Flickr

French lunch.

frenchlunch by fsmonkeygrind, on Flickr

The face from my street. The white thing to the left of the treey hill.

thatsit by fsmonkeygrind, on Flickr
 
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skiflat

Old n' Crusty
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Fingers crossed for a snowier 2012 season!!!

This cam about 1/3 way up Zermatt is very good for seeing conditions, but it it pretty low on the mountain.

The path has been bare for the past 2 months
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basically

Has been filled in with snow after the last few snowfalls but has melted in a few days

findeln.jpg



I have uploaded all my photos to my comptuer and photobucket now, 16GB worth
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Trip report will be done in the next few days!




Planning for 2012 well under way
 
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cin

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you had an extreme freak weather event across your trip Skidown, we did too in Japan - dumped before, dumped after and was a heatwave while we were there. I've been watching the Alps weather all season every season for the last 7 or 8 years and have to say that your trip length and timing should have almost guaranteed you not only some good fresh powder but a low snowline. It was just bizarre that January / February drought. I started to wonder if it was coming though towards the end of December as the weather had to switch over from freezing cold and dumping of early season sometime and January was it.
Look on the brighter side, laws of probability should have you in epic of you book again for next year for roughly same time and length. Better than that, book at same time as CM, man that guy seems to luck out everywhere he goes!
 

Born2ski

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If a resort had a crap season this year then go there next year, that way you have a good chance of getting an average to above average season. And vice versa if a resort had a great season this year DON'T go there next year. Will this always work ? No, but it does stack the odds in your favour.
 

Zeroz

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^^ Yes, reversion to the mean is a good resort selection strategy. I try to do it and had major snow dumps in my last 3 Euro trips, but it's still virtually all luck.

The basic fact of hitting major snowfalls in Europe v USA/Canada v Japan is that Europe gets less snow. A lot less.
To generalize, top resorts in Europe get about 6 metres per season, USA/Canada get 9m, and Japan 11m.

You may get lucky, but if you are looking for fresh snow, then Europe isn't the place. The attractions of Euro skiing are the amazing terrain, mountain culture, and the delicious, enormous bratwurst for lunch. Plus Paris or Chamonix offers a somewhat better tourist experience than the delights of SLC.
 

skiflat

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True!!!!
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Any thoughts on the Portes du Soleil ski area ?
 
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benchives

I forgot how to ski
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Europe 2012 is on for me I reckons.

Will it be Cham-wow, Three Valleys, Grindlewald or the Dolomities?
 

Heinz

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skidown said:
True!!!!
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Any thoughts on the Portes du Soleil ski area ?

Went there many years ago. Huge area with plenty of variety, with the ability to ski from village to village, drop into Switzerland for lunch etc. The main issue though seems to be snow reliability - it was great when I went but have heard others say that this has been an issue.
 
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cin

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I would luv to do some of the PdS, but would never book it well ahead. It really needs to be one of those things you hit if you have a month or so travelling through the alps and can play it by ear. Its fine if you live in London or Europe and can just get up and go when its good, but if your going for a week or two and booking months ahead then its risky. There are some higher altitude areas like Les Arcs but that would be safer but bear in mind should it be poor conditions when you go then all those in the lower resorts end up there and the queues would be a nightmare.

My rule book for Europe booked well ahead;
stay high (skiing areas above 2000m),
no earlier than mid January (mid to late Jan is also cheaper and less crowded), go for mountains with a combination of aspects - bit of Nth, bit of East or West, not too much South,
Go for somewhere with decent vertical - atleast 800m but better with 1000m+ and also some tree lined skiing options for bad weather.
Also try for resorts with decent lifts, heaps of old slow lifts and nutcrackers in certain resorts in the alps.


Not an easy list to satisfy all rules for most resorts but a good guide to which you can prioritise your wants.
 

Summit

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Advice please. What's the best way to get from Geneva Airport to my Chamonix accommodation ? I'm guessing it's shuttle. If so, which company to use, approx cost 25 Euro one way ?
 

skiflat

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Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm
 
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cin

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Summit, the bus straight from the airport is the go. Heaps easy and goes right out the front quite regularly.
We missed one by about 2mins and waited around 45mins for the next one IIRC.
 

skiflat

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Was going to burn some FF points for my flight across

Blardy seats already booked out on the date I want them

mrbang.gif
 
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cin

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skidown said:
Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

In my ski bible book (Where to ski & snowboard worldwide) it says something along the lines of "If there is one resort you must see before you die Zermatt is it. If you have been you are sure to return" I went, and went back 5 years later. I think HJones has been 3 times? And I bet he'll go back again too!
laugh.gif


I actually try to avoid going back anywhere no matter how good it is as the world is so big and there are so many places to ski and life is just too short. But Zermatt got me back and is pretty much the only place that has (that is OS).

I actually wouldn't ming going back to Ischgl as there is so much left that i didn't ski, and the resort was 100% open and I skied 4 long days from opening to closing lifts.

I think I'd also try St Anton which would work well as its just around the corner.

Other Swiss resorts I'd like to try are Andermatt, Engleberg and Klosters. Klosters looks like a great big area, nice mix of terrain and is nice and high where the main skiing is. Village is not too bad either at around 1300m I think?


Saas Fee is also another which is really close to Zermatt, and meant to be great . I think Smitty has been there? Or maybe that was that other young bloke, cant remember his name but will have a look through my PM's as I think we chatted before he left for Zermatt the first time.
 
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cin

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skidown said:
Was going to burn some FF points for my flight across

Blardy seats already booked out on the date I want them

mrbang.gif

Where are you looking at flying to? Was that just flying into Geneva?
I reckon you should try the other end of the alps this time. Austria is fantastic and the tyrol area is really reliable for snow. Have you tried flights to Zurich? Or Milan?
 
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skiflat

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cin said:
skidown said:
Was going to burn some FF points for my flight across

Blardy seats already booked out on the date I want them

mrbang.gif

Where are you looking at flying to? Was that just flying into Geneva?
I reckon you should try the other end of the alps this time. Austria is fantastic and the tyrol area is really reliable for snow. Have you tried flights to Zurich? Or Milan?

Singapore Airlines into Zurich, booked out on the Friday departure for a Saturday morning arrival
frown.gif


Need to flying into Zurich or Paris or London with Singapore to stay on the A380....

Geneva/Milan have VERY old seats!!!!
 
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skiflat

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cin said:
skidown said:
Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

In my ski bible book (Where to ski & snowboard worldwide) it says something along the lines of "If there is one resort you must see before you die Zermatt is it. If you have been you are sure to return" I went, and went back 5 years later. I think HJones has been 3 times? And I bet he'll go back again too!
laugh.gif


I actually try to avoid going back anywhere no matter how good it is as the world is so big and there are so many places to ski and life is just too short. But Zermatt got me back and is pretty much the only place that has (that is OS).

I actually wouldn't ming going back to Ischgl as there is so much left that i didn't ski, and the resort was 100% open and I skied 4 long days from opening to closing lifts.

I think I'd also try St Anton which would work well as its just around the corner.

Other Swiss resorts I'd like to try are Andermatt, Engleberg and Klosters. Klosters looks like a great big area, nice mix of terrain and is nice and high where the main skiing is. Village is not too bad either at around 1300m I think?

Saas Fee is also another which is really close to Zermatt, and meant to be great . I think Smitty has been there? Or maybe that was that other young bloke, cant remember his name but will have a look through my PM's as I think we chatted before he left for Zermatt the first time.

Alll VERY valid points!!!!!

I have the 2009 where to ski and snowboard book and many others
laugh.gif
must read through them!

Love to go back to Zermatt as a few restaurants were "stand out" performers.... But then again another mountain could be even better!

I do like mega mountains with lots of groomed and some easy off-piste...
 
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Heinz

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skidown said:
Need to flying into Zurich or Paris or London with Singapore to stay on the A380....

Geneva/Milan have VERY old seats!!!!

Soft! (not talking about the seats)
 
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Heinz

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cin said:
I actually try to avoid going back anywhere no matter how good it is as the world is so big and there are so many places to ski and life is just too short. But Zermatt got me back and is pretty much the only place that has (that is OS).

I actually wouldn't ming going back to Ischgl as there is so much left that i didn't ski, and the resort was 100% open and I skied 4 long days from opening to closing lifts.

I think I'd also try St Anton which would work well as its just around the corner.

Other Swiss resorts I'd like to try are Andermatt, Engleberg and Klosters. Klosters looks like a great big area, nice mix of terrain and is nice and high where the main skiing is. Village is not too bad either at around 1300m I think?


Saas Fee is also another which is really close to Zermatt, and meant to be great . I think Smitty has been there? Or maybe that was that other young bloke, cant remember his name but will have a look through my PM's as I think we chatted before he left for Zermatt the first time.

Certainly agree with the point about so many places to ski! All of those mentioned above are good options. For Klosters you can actually stay in Davos and have access to around 6 differents areas as well as the Parsenn where you can ski down to Klosters and a few other towns (runs of up to 15km!) and catch the train back.

In Austria you can add Sölden & Obergurgl for reliable snow. Obertauern is meant to be good as well (maybe check it out next month).
 
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Born2ski

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skidown said:
Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm
Did you go to the 4 Vallees(Verbier/Nendaz) in Swizterland ? They have lifts up to 3330m and Verbier is at 1500m.
 
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Heinz

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cin said:
In my ski bible book (Where to ski & snowboard worldwide) it says something along the lines of "If there is one resort you must see before you die Zermatt is it. If you have been you are sure to return" I went, and went back 5 years later. I think HJones has been 3 times? And I bet he'll go back again too!
laugh.gif

Zermatt certainly has some major selling points - the magnificent views of the Matterhorn, it's relatively high elevation, that it is a car free and very fashionable village, the access to Cervinia and some very good skiing.

But there would be quite a few other resorts that are at least as good in skiing terms, so don't just limit yourself to the better known ones.
 
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skiflat

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Born2ski said:
skidown said:
Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm
Did you go to the 4 Vallees(Verbier/Nendaz) in Swizterland ? They have lifts up to 3330m and Verbier is at 1500m.

Nope Zermatt and Val d'Isère were my resorts!

Worked from home today, and read up on the resorts, looking like

Lech/Zurs/St Anton etc and then Verbier
smile.gif


Emailed my travel agent for some quotes and accommodation ideas
 
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Summit

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cin said:
Summit, the bus straight from the airport is the go. Heaps easy and goes right out the front quite regularly.
We missed one by about 2mins and waited around 45mins for the next one IIRC.

Thanks cin, sounds like I don't need to pre-book anything.
 
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Summit

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cin said:
skidown said:
Yeh PdS is quite a bit lower than Zermatt, which is why lots of the cams show a lack of snow..

Hmmmm I really want to head back to a Switzerland resort again, FONDUE
biggrin.gif
maybe back to Zermatt again... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

In my ski bible book (Where to ski & snowboard worldwide) it says something along the lines of "If there is one resort you must see before you die Zermatt is it.


Saas Fee is also another which is really close to Zermatt, and meant to be great . I think Smitty has been there? Or maybe that was that other young bloke, cant remember his name but will have a look through my PM's as I think we chatted before he left for Zermatt the first time.

Saas-Fee has been on my radar since I first read about it when I first bought a Where to Ski and Snowboard guide about 10 years ago. The village is at 1,800 metres and it is surrounded by 4,000 metre peaks. The guide describes it as cold in January when it doesn't get much sun, but one of the best places to ski in the world in Spring. I'm going for the first time at the end of the month, 3 nights and 2 days skiing.

From the guide - "Saas-Fee is one of our favourite places - a sort of miniature Zermatt without the conspicuous consumption. And good snow is guaranteed, even late in the season: the altitude you spend most of your time at - between 2,500 metres and 3,500 m - is unrivaled in the alps. But we tend to drop in here for a couple of days at a time, so the limited extent of the slopes never becomes a problem. Top to bottom there is an impressive 1,800 metres of vertical - but there aren't many alternative ways down. Keen, mileage - hungary intermediates should look elsewhere, as should experts (except those prepared to go touring)"

The reason there aren't many alternative ways down is that there is a huge out of bounds glacier in the middle of the ski area. After a hectic 5 days in Chamonix, Saas-Fee will be a leisurely couple of days recovery before heading to Zermatt (less than an hour bus trip away). Some of that leisurely couple of days may be spent over a long lunch or 2 at Europes highest revolving restaurant at 3,500 metres !
 
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skiflat

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CarveMan said:
choc said:
Where's the update CM?

Just got back to Cham. Skied a massive couloir off the back of Les Deux Alpes today & then went paragliding. CBF doing the update, need to crash.

thumbsup.gif
 
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johncog

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My 2c worth would certainly be a vote for Ischgl, Serfaus-Fiss and Solden, all in Austria. All good with reliable snow. Serfaus-Fiss was a surprisingly good area and it often goes under the radar. Ischgl is full of mad partying Germans etc but a lot of fun. Serfaus has a very similar mountain but the town is much quieter. Has an undergound tram linking the town to the lift.
 

johncog

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My 2c worth would certainly be a vote for Ischgl, Serfaus-Fiss and Solden, all in Austria. All good with reliable snow. Serfaus-Fiss was a surprisingly good area and it often goes under the radar. Ischgl is full of mad partying Germans etc but a lot of fun. Serfaus has a very similar mountain but the town is much quieter. Has an undergound tram linking the town to the lift.
 

skiflat

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Very nice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thumbsup.gif


Looks tracked out though

outtahere.gif
 
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