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I've only done a small bit of skiing/snowboarding (holiday advice needed)

(15 Posts)
iknowwho Tue 02-Oct-12 20:25:15

Me and Ds2 (13)have only had long weekends in the Cairngorms skiing or snowboarding.

We fancy going a week somewhere in the February half term.
I have heard about the ski train to get to resorts. We would prefer a self catering appartment and be able to hire snowboards.
We are having improvers lessons at the Chill factor for snowboarding.
Can anyone give advice on places to go, tips and any general info?

I have thought about Slovakia or Switzerland

Nigglenaggle Tue 02-Oct-12 22:03:38

I dont know about the ski train, but Cervinia is great for novices (although I am a skier not a boarder) - lots of easier runs. Self catering should be fine in most places if you book early. You can always hire snowboards. smile You can go over the border to Zermatt in Switzerland if you feel confident

iseenodust Tue 02-Oct-12 22:10:34

Having had a lot of ski lessons, I would suggest Austria. They have by far the best instructors (after USA). Often Aussies over for the winter. Suggest take a look at Mayerhofen or Zell am See or Kitzbuhuel as resorts that can cover all abilities & have good range of accomodation.

PigletJohn Tue 02-Oct-12 22:38:48

if you possibly can, go to a dry slope at least four times before your trip and take classes.

You can fall over for £20 an hour instead of £400 a day. It's a bargain.

By the time you get there you will not be falling over so much and will have fewer aches and pains as you will have stretched and strengthened the necessary muscles.

Don't wear anyhthing smart or valuable as the slopes are dirty and abrasive. Wear mittens or leather gloves. If you have your own boots you can use those.

MrsCornish Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:31

This is a very good website for info on ski trains.

massistar Wed 03-Oct-12 10:53:23

I learned to board in Scotland. Trust me, after that, anywhere else will seem like heaven! Sunshine instead of freezing sleet if you're lucky and groomed pistes without the odd predatory rock or patch of grass waiting to trip you up!

PigletJohn Wed 03-Oct-12 11:26:14

Cervinia is very high, so has dependable snow (this has been quite a problem in recent years due to global warming). As you are on the South side of Monte Cervin/the Matterhorn it tends to be quite sunny. If you can afford Zermatt, which is the other side of the same hill, it is more picturesque and efficiently run.

The Austrian resorts are generally lower and so they usually have softer snow, and sometimes less of it.

toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine Thu 04-Oct-12 01:23:12

I second Cervinia in Italy (fly to Turin). Great for intermediates, short drive from airport, very beautiful scenery & high so snow-sure. Avoid Switz unless you want to spend a lot of money, bad exch rate. Courcheval has a lovely central section of green runs but from memory quite a long airport transfer & pricey.. Portes du Soleil resorts (Avoriaz / Morzine etc) might work & are close to Geneva. Avoid Chamonix, a lot of it is pretty tricky. Val D'Isere has some nice green / blue stuff up high, but resort fairly expensive & lacks character, I did not like it too much.

If you are not going to be skiing hundreds of km every day there are many smaller resorts to choose from where lift passes will likely cost less than Val etc. Alpbach in Austria is a pretty ski village with nice intermediate skiing, good for families, on the low side though.

iknowwho Thu 04-Oct-12 08:28:51

Thanks everyone for the advice!
I go to the chill factor quite a bit to board but I have booked in for some lessons as a bit of a boost.

I've never snowboarded abroad before and I have got February half term off so I am quite excited about making plans now.

Nigglenaggle Thu 04-Oct-12 19:56:05

I was also going to add Courcheval - lovely for beginners and nearby Meribel is not too bad either, although from memory some of their greens are pretty flat in places so better for skiers than boarders.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 04-Oct-12 19:59:39

Courcheval, Morzine are lovely. We like La Thuile in Italy too - small resort with good lift system.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 04-Oct-12 20:02:54

Avoriaz has a lot of ski in and ski out self catering apartments.

Only about 1 1/2 hours from Geneva.

OneMoreMum Fri 05-Oct-12 13:00:40

We went to Avoriaz for our first boarding holiday (like OP had learnt on an indoor slope in the UK). It was great as the central location of the apartments means you can go back mid-day for a rest (and cheap lunch) then head out again later in the day.
We booked 3 private afternoon lessons for the 4 of us rather than a whole week of lessons, since we had done the beginner stuff at home, was a pretty steep learning curve though..
Our second week abroad was in Les Coches on the edge of La Plagne, it would also make a good first trip abroad (and accessible by Eurostar but that's crazy money at hakf term), although a much quieter resort that Avoriaz.

Belgianchox Fri 05-Oct-12 13:00:50

St Sorlin d'Arves and La Toussuire are both good resorts for beginners/intermediate skiers. They're part of a much bigger ski area too, called Les Sybelles, altho you can just purchase the resort area, and get an extension for the bigger ski area if you're feeling more confident at the end of the week. Access is easy from Lyon or Geneva airports (2hrs) or Chambery and Grenoble airports too, there's a shuttle service in place to get from the airport to the resorts. I live locally, and am always surprised how few British tourists there are here, given the quality of the skiing.

Jeann Mon 15-Oct-12 16:51:59

agree with iseenodust, Austria is the best. go somewhere unkown while you are still learning, you won't need expensive snow!

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