Hi all, I realise there are a lot of Europe "advice needed" threads out there already, however instead of a blank canvas I'm attempting to come in here with a reasonable idea of what I'd like to do and where I'd like to go, so I'm hoping for more specific advice tailored to this. I’ve been having a tough time narrowing down my original list to just a few resorts and coming up with any clear idea of an intended itinerary for my trip next year. I’ve never travelled to that part of the world nor skied overseas before so I’m finding the sheer number of options a little overwhelming! At this stage I intend to have ~4 weeks in the Euro Alps. From that I’m thinking 1 week in Austria, 2 weeks in Switzerland and 1 week in France. I thought to leave late-January so that those 4 weeks in the Alps will be in February. So a little about me (this might help you give me some advice based on what I outline below). I’m 27 from NZ and travelling alone. I don’t mind a drink and late night partying. But on this trip for the most part I’m more keen to keep a lid on the drinking, i.e. a beer on the slopes at lunchtime, and a couple drinks in the early evening sound great, whereas I’m not so keen on drinking/partying late into the night (to help limit spending and also to avoid feeling like shite on the slopes the next day). I think I’m a strong skier, and am confident on all piste and pretty much all off piste (the steepest and most exposed off piste would put me out of my comfort zone but I’d like to think I could still ski it). I’m quite content cruising groomers and popping into the off piste as the opportunity arises on this trip – not too worried about scoring the freshest untracked and gnarliest off piste terrain all the time (although I’ll get amongst that if/when I can). I really appreciate mountain scenery and will love seeing the landscapes over there – the more scenic the better. So for week one in Austria I’m thinking Lech. Q1: What’s the main differences (if any) between Lech and St Anton? Both in terms of ski terrain and the towns themselves. Lech is top of my Austria list, but Sölden and Serfaus are 2nd and 3rd. Q2: Would you recommend Sölden or Serfaus over Lech, and if so, why? Weeks 2 and 3 in Switzerland. Week 2 - At this stage I’m thinking of a bit of non-skiing time so that I can sight-see a little of Switzerland as I travel from Austria to Zermatt, but I’m likely to ski where/when I can. This week would be my most flexible of the trip. A couple places I’d like to see are Grindelwald (for Eiger and Jungfraujoch) and Lauterbrunnen. I have a friend in Davos so it’s a possibility to head there. I also like the idea of taking a dedicated scenic train trip or something like that during this time. Although I assume I am likely to get plenty of scenery as I travel though the Alps over the whole trip. Q3: Is this sort of sight-seeing possible in winter or is it a logistical nightmare, and would I be better to spend this time just staying at one place? Week 3 – Zermatt. This has been recommended to me left right and centre and looks an amazing village to stay, with great skiing. And I like the idea of dropping down into Italy on skis during the day too which I understand is possible from Zermatt. Zermatt is top of my Switzerland list, but Verbier is 2nd. Q4: Any reason why I should seriously consider going to Verbier instead of Zermatt? Week 4 – Chamonix, France. This place is like Zermatt to me – a name/place I’ve known about since I was young and so I’d love to see it with my own eyes. Also keen to ride the cable car up Augille du midi and ski down (that’ll test my comfort zone I’m sure! And I understand a guide is critical to do this). Val d’isere (Espace Killy) is 2nd on my France list, Meribel 3rd and Les 2 Alpes 4th, with an honourable mention to La Grave (which I’d probably prefer to leave until a day I can afford to have along a guide with me at all times). Q5: I’m quite set on ticking off Chamonix and leaving those other resorts for subsequent trips, unless there’s a major reason I should re-think that? As I understand the Alps are very busy during February due to Euro school holidays. Q6: How busy is it (e.g. what influence does this have on lift lines and accommodation availability), and is it a deal-breaker (i.e. should I seriously consider switching my trip to a different time of year)? I realise the places I’m looking at are pretty mainstream. I do like the idea of spending time at smaller resorts and getting a more ‘cultural’ experience, but I figured it would be good to tick some major resorts off the list on my first trip and I can start branching out to the lesser known resorts on subsequent trips. This is quite an essay so thank you for taking the time to read it. I’ll be most grateful for any insights and advice offered.