Advice needed Proposed Euro Alps 2016 intinerary

Chester

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Most shops will have a wide range of current model skis from all the top brands. Some of the other advantages of hiring are that you can rent skis to suit to the conditions, you can swap skis that you don't like or to adapt to changing conditions, and you can test new skis.
 

Heinz

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I have always taken my own, but then have had relatives in Austria to stash gear in between. Maybe if you had a central hotel to store temporarily.

For rental maybe check out Intersport - one of the biggest international chains throughout Europe. https://www.intersportrent.com/en
 

sn0wbunny29

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We were in the French alps this February. We took our own boots, like you we were travelling to UK etc and didn't want to drag the skis along too. I booked ski hire over the Internet through Intersport and they were fine. If the skis don't suit then you can go back to them. I found it cheaper to book in advance (only a couple of days though) and I also booked the ski passes so that we could just pick them up and ski. Can't remember the price but a quick Google will give you an idea. Soooooo jealous.
 
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Chester

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Intersport and Sport 2000 are the two bigger operators in France, both are equally as good. Booking in advance can be considerably cheaper (normally 20%) so if you're keen on a particular ski and find it online, then by all means do so. However, if you pre-pay it then 'locks' you into using that particular shop when you arrive at your destination. That's not a problem if they have exactly what you ordered, and a wide range of alternatives in case conditions dictate a change of ski. However I know of occasions where customers have booked a particular ski online, only to turn up and find they're not available, and then the shop tries to give them something different.

The alternative of turning up at a particular destination and checking out what each major shop has in stock can sometimes work better. Chances are that you can still get that 20% discount by just asking.
 
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Kletterer

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Intersport and Sport 2000 are biggest in Austria too. Getting to know the owners/ managers is usefull in getting cheaper prices. Go in at lunch time when its quiet and have a chat. Tell them you want to try out a few pairs with a view to potential purchase. Loyal patronage is valued highly
 

Chester

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Intersport and Sport 2000 are biggest in Austria too. Getting to know the owners/ managers is usefull in getting cheaper prices. Go in at lunch time when its quiet and have a chat. Tell them you want to try out a few pairs with a view to potential purchase. Loyal patronage is valued highly
Exactly, and much easier to build quick rapport in a face-to-face situation.
 
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Centago

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Exactly, and much easier to build quick rapport in a face-to-face situation.
Although the only language I can speak is English... is English relatively widely spoken in the Euro Alps or would I be well advised to put in some prep and learn a few phrases for each country?
 

Chester

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It's always good to at least try to greet someone in their local language and exchange a few niceties in the local language such as hello, please etc. I'm sure your efforts will be appreciated, and then the person you're speaking to is likely to speak in English once they realise that you're struggling. Telling people you're Australian usually works in your favour as well.
 

Centago

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Thanks Chester. I don't think I could bring myself to say I was Australian LOL chances are my accent will be confused for Aussie anyway!

Is there a rail pass that covers Austria, Switzerland and France (for France it would be the transfer from Zermatt to Chamonix then Chamonix to Geneva)?
 

Heinz

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Is there a rail pass that covers Austria, Switzerland and France (for France it would be the transfer from Zermatt to Chamonix then Chamonix to Geneva)?

Not that combination of countries. There is an Austria-Switzerland one and individual ones.
http://www.raileurope.com.au/train-tickets/rail-passes/
http://www.raileurope.com.au/pass/austria-switzerland-pass-7319

You would need to do the sums though based on individual trips to see if they are worthwhile. For the distances you are travelling you may be better off with individual fares.
Austria http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp
Switzerland http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
I had a few weeks skiing in Austria & France in 2013 and just got individual fares. Passes are good though if you are travelling regularly or longer distances and have used them in the past.
eg. travelling Zermatt to Chamonix if you go via Martigny only involves a very short French sector and Chamonix to Geneve may be easier by bus.
 
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Centago

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Bumping this back into action as the countdown to my departure is on - just wondering if anyone can provide links to what they think are reliable websites for weather forecasts (particularly Switzerland, Austria and France). Had a quick hunt in this forum using the search function but didn't find what I was after. A friend has mentioned MeteoBlue. Is snow-forecast.com any good for the ski areas? Any others? Thanks in advance.
 

Pat42

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Bumping this back into action as the countdown to my departure is on - just wondering if anyone can provide links to what they think are reliable websites for weather forecasts (particularly Switzerland, Austria and France). Had a quick hunt in this forum using the search function but didn't find what I was after. A friend has mentioned MeteoBlue. Is snow-forecast.com any good for the ski areas? Any others? Thanks in advance.


Hey centago,

I am going to be in a yet to be determined ski resort around Zurich from 20 January from a week, will be riding solo, have you got any solid plans? would be good to have a riding partner and maybe someone to share guide costs
 

Aida

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Every year I do skiing in Austria and I strongly recommend you to try Solden or Stubaier Gletscher.
Stubaier has a bit better prices and challenging slopes but night life is not so interesting.
 

Aida

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Also, I want you to ask one favour. I am master student of International business and I really need your help filling a survey about snow sport participants. It will take only several minutes for you. The survey is anonymous and results will be submitted in general.
It is a link of the survey: https://www.esurveycreator.com/s/1402c33
Make a good think before Christmas!!!
Thank you in advance!!!
 

Centago

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Hey centago,

I am going to be in a yet to be determined ski resort around Zurich from 20 January from a week, will be riding solo, have you got any solid plans? would be good to have a riding partner and maybe someone to share guide costs

Hi Pat42,
I'll most likely be in Switzerland at that time too but at this stage I haven't locked anything in - I plan to wait until nearer the time to see where conditions are looking best. Could well be somewhere near Zurich though so by all means get in touch closer to the time!
 

Pat42

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Hi Pat42,
I'll most likely be in Switzerland at that time too but at this stage I haven't locked anything in - I plan to wait until nearer the time to see where conditions are looking best. Could well be somewhere near Zurich though so by all means get in touch closer to the time!

cheers will do, never been a big fan of riding alone
 

Red_switch

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Hi Pat42,
I'll most likely be in Switzerland at that time too but at this stage I haven't locked anything in - I plan to wait until nearer the time to see where conditions are looking best. Could well be somewhere near Zurich though so by all means get in touch closer to the time!

If I'd thought about it sooner, there is a snow science fieldschool/workshop in Davos sometime in Feb, IIRC... damnit.
 
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Kletterer

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For those wanting a cheap weeks skiing/ accommodation, consider Kranjska Gora in Slovenia. A nice little resort and some great slopes. The World Cup run is great. Can stay in Bled and travel daily.
 

Rabid K9

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Thanks Chester. I don't think I could bring myself to say I was Australian LOL chances are my accent will be confused for Aussie anyway!

Is there a rail pass that covers Austria, Switzerland and France (for France it would be the transfer from Zermatt to Chamonix then Chamonix to Geneva)?

German is easier to understand than Kiwi.
 

Centago

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I've arrived in Chamonix. It has been a heck of a good trip so far.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a guide/guiding company for the Vallee Blanche? I'm not too concerned if I do it as part of a group or private. Also happy to take recommendations on must see/do things in Cham, and good places to eat. Cheers!
 
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Research101

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I've arrived in Chamonix. It has been a heck of a good trip so far.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a guide/guiding company for the Vallee Blanche? I'm not too concerned if I do it as part of a group or private. Also happy to take recommendations on must see/do things in Cham, and good places to eat. Cheers!
For an interesting place to eat try La Caleche - in the main drag
amazing interior of the place,
check the prices before you commit as some things are on the expensive side
we enjoyed it
 
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Chester

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I've arrived in Chamonix. It has been a heck of a good trip so far.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a guide/guiding company for the Vallee Blanche? I'm not too concerned if I do it as part of a group or private. Also happy to take recommendations on must see/do things in Cham, and good places to eat. Cheers!
@CarveMan is the resident expert when it comes to things like that.
 

CarveMan

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I've arrived in Chamonix. It has been a heck of a good trip so far.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a guide/guiding company for the Vallee Blanche? I'm not too concerned if I do it as part of a group or private. Also happy to take recommendations on must see/do things in Cham, and good places to eat. Cheers!

Guided groups can be pretty hit and miss in terms of pace etc, but the Vallee Blanche is fine - basically it's the world's most amazingly spectacular intermediate run, so it won't really matter if you've got a few stem christie-ers at the back slowing things down - just means more time to take in the amazing views & take some pics. In reality it's a full day exercise, especially for your first time. These days we will do something else afterwards but we get down the arete quickly etc etc.

I've typically gone with the Compagnie des Guides when I've done groups but there are other companies like Evolution2 that are well regarded.


Will post with more Cham tips a bit later tonight.
 
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Centago

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Thanks all. Scoped out Compagnie des Guides and I'm looking at 85€ to do Vallee Blanche with a group vs 310€ to go private. Not sure I can justify the extra cost of going private given I'll be quite happy to potter along and take it all in!
 
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Heinz

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Thanks all. Scoped out Compagnie des Guides and I'm looking at 85€ to do Vallee Blanche with a group vs 310€ to go private. Not sure I can justify the extra cost of going private given I'll be quite happy to potter along and take it all in!

Group will be fine for a first up VB. It is more of a scenic experience than a skiing one. Take plenty of pics.
Think of it as an supersized Tasman glacier but with a more "interesting" entry.
 
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