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I’m still on my quest for the perfect new year ski!

(23 Posts)
Whatevskev Sun 15-Sep-19 14:52:41

I think having looked at snow fall, discounted high resorts like Cervinia for the risk of wind and then no skiing due to poor visibility; discounted some of the Austrian resorts due to limited ski terrain we are back to accepting we can’t have a short transfer.

So it’s 3 valleys or Espace Killy i guess?

Difficulty is someone who hates long transfers by car or coach.
I have looked at train but it’s so long to ski train the whole way and so considered fly then train then shorter car transfer to resort but eg with Val d’Isere the train from Geneva to within 45 mins of resort is 4 hours!

Are we hoping for the impossible here and if we ski NY and want big ski area we just have to accept a long transfer?

OP’s posts: |
PestoCaffeinisto Sun 15-Sep-19 14:57:25

Three Valleys isn’t a long transfer though. Only 2 + 1/2 hrs from Grenoble/Geneva/Lyon

Aroundtheworldin80moves Sun 15-Sep-19 14:58:51

We were at Stubai Glacier in early January last year and the whole resort was open. DH had been in November and there was decent snow then.

skeemee Sun 15-Sep-19 14:59:47

We are in same situation.... We are gonna book the Geneva flights soon (before the prices start to increase), and wait until a couple of weeks before to decide on resort/chalet that we want, depending on snow conditions.

We did ski in the Portes du Soleil at NY two years ago, and the snow was the best ever! However, it did rain for a couple of days too. So a mixed bag, but enjoyable nevertheless. I try to avoid long transfers too, so have stuck to Chamonix, PdS and Grand Massif. Would like to try Tignes etc, but the coach journey just puts me off!

Expressedways Sun 15-Sep-19 15:07:42

There is a train from Chambery (the town not the airport so you’d need to get a taxi) to to Bourg St Maurice that takes about 1hr30 and from there it’s 45 minutes max up the mountain to Val d’Isere. However, Chambery airport is a literal hell and I’d take 4 hours on a bus from Geneva over going anywhere near it ever again. Most of Val D is also high above the tree line, a lot of it is exposed and windy so I’m not sure if it’s what you’re looking for.

The transfer to somewhere like Meribel is shorter (2.5 hours I think) but personally I think the skiing is better in Espace Killy. At New Year- I’ve had some truly shocking early ski seasons in the 3 Valleys, Val Thorens is usually reliable but it gets so crowded if it’s the only one with snow.

Have you looked at Avoriaz/Portes de Soleil? I think that should tick a lot of your boxes.

Whatevskev Mon 16-Sep-19 06:58:43

@skeemee it’s so hard isn’t it?!
Let me know if you find any other ideas that fit the bill

@Expressedways it’s been ages since we have skied in either EK or 3V so I can’t remember the differences really but I know how busy it used to feel at NY- but I’m guessing that’s a universal issue

Have been to Avoriaz later in the season- great resort I agree but the accommodation is terrible.

OP’s posts: |
skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:02:33

@Whatevskev
I’m conflicted tbh. Just found flights to Grenoble at similar price as Geneva, which would enable us to try a different ski area. My son really wants revisit Alpe d’Huez (he went with school), so this might be a nice change, as we’ve never been there. Not sure if Grenoble will be limiting our choices if snow not so great. Oh decisions, decisions!

Regarding accommodation in avoriaz: we have stayed in catered chalets in Montriond several times. Transfers approx 10 mins, then up the bubble to Lindaret bowl, then one chairlift to Avoriaz. It’s really easy and avoids Super Morzine etc. Also easy access from lindarets to go over to Chatel or Switzerland for a wee change of scenery.

bestbefore Mon 16-Sep-19 09:08:03

What about Les arcs? You can get the funicular up from bourg st Maurice from there?

For Tignes/ Val D Isere we have always flown into chambery and - yes - it can be hell - the journey length is not too bad, pretty twisty though.

skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:13:24

Not sure if catered chalets are your thing? They are a recent discovery of ours (ridiculous I know). The mere convenience of being picked up/dropped off, no food shopping and unlimited wine 🍷 really ticks our boxes. Prices can be quite reasonable if booked later. We have started to get quotes through chaletsdirect.com and so far so good!

Whatevskev Mon 16-Sep-19 09:13:46

@skeemee we did Grenoble year before last and had a hellish queue through passports for hours resulting in a massive extra charge for our transfer service.
Put me off a bit

Have never managed to land in chambery as twice have been diverted as wind was wrong for the runway!

I’ll look at that accommodation suggestion thanks. Most of Avoriaz seems to be ski to door but then six floors up an apartment block and all tiny modern flats. We love a wood burner at new year!

I’m after SC not catered tho.

I’m with you on the flights I’m so tempted to bag Geneva now and then see but tbh at NY accommodation is going to get short too.

@bestbefore those twisty snowy mountain roads are hellish aren’t they?! So scary. Unavoidable tho wherever you go I guess. It’s the two hours on the motorway prior to the hour up the mountain I’d like to avoid really.

OP’s posts: |
skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:17:59

The best chalet company so far has been www.alikats.eu, with www.mountainutopia.co.uk a close second.

skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:23:53

Chaletsdirect have SC chalets as an option in their search tool. I know alikats do SC too.

We had plenty of chalets bidding for our business approx 3 weeks before NY, so always something available for a small group.

skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:29:34

@Whatevskev Which resort did you visit from Grenoble? Any pointers gratefully received!

MrsFezziwig Mon 16-Sep-19 10:07:21

The most important thing at that time is that you have a high resort (so at least if there is no snow you can console yourself with the fact that no-one else has any either) grin
Have to confess I’m a massive Espace Killy fan - I’ve flown to Chambery without incident although the landing can be a bit eye popping!, yes it’s a proper scrum in the airport but survivable & then hire your own private transfer & let someone else drive - that way it’ll be relaxing for you & you won’t be going all round the houses dropping people off (though I’m presuming the person who doesn’t like long transfers is car sick rather than just high maintenance!). I’m also presuming that money is a consideration if you’re self-catering, otherwise there are helicopter transfers to both Val d’Isère or Meribel which take 30-40 minutes.
Not to be state the obvious, but if a resort at New Year had all the attributes you want - snowsure, no wind, short transfer - then we’d all be going there!

skeemee Mon 16-Sep-19 10:09:03

We stayed in Chatel in March, and loved it! Would def go back but would need to ensure the links to avoriaz etc open before committing.

poshme Tue 17-Sep-19 11:05:34

Have you thought about Norway? No winding mountain roads.
Flights can be cheap, though food is expensive and alcohol is ££££
Slopes MUCH quieter than Europe IME.

You can fly & then train to some places, or fly & bus or drive.

massistar Tue 17-Sep-19 12:37:53

We were in La Plagne last year but ended up skiing over to Les Arcs as the snow was so much better there.

Bit of a long transfer (2.5 hours) but we flew into Lyon as flights were much cheaper. I'd def go back to Les Arcs though, lovely skiing.

Whatevskev Tue 17-Sep-19 19:52:48

@skeemee we did Grenoble for Alpe d’Huez

@massistar I do like the sound of les arcs but worried about snow early in the season

Honestly I’m wishing we had planned to go February instead of new year- it just feels like we are battling the weather and the crowds to find a decent option

@poshme I was put off by the short days in Norway or Finland but will have another look thanks

OP’s posts: |
massistar Wed 18-Sep-19 10:33:40

Yeah, it's always risky going at New Year. We're going to Italy this year. 2 years ago we had the best ski conditions ever but it's a bit of a gamble!

There wasn't any snow while we were in Les Arcs last year but they seemed to be able to groom it and keep it pretty decent. It was very cold though..

In saying that we went at Feb to Italy last year and it was boiling. Slush everywhere. smile

skeemee Wed 18-Sep-19 18:26:29

@whatevskev What were your thoughts on Alpe d'Huez? And what was the transfer from Grenoble like? I can't seem to see anything other than private transfers at approx £650 return (gulp).

purpleleotard Wed 18-Sep-19 18:29:57

Have you thought about Japan?
My friend teaches at Niseko. They have huge amounts of snow, average of 9 meters each winter.
Guaranteed snow for new year.
Only a 2 hr transfer from Saporo

Gobbolino7825 Tue 24-Sep-19 13:27:03

I've been to Norway skiing in early Feb, and while it is dark it doesn't feel that bad when you're there. I can imagine it's very atmospheric around Christmas/New Year. Snow was pure fresh powder every day and they floodlight the pistes...

ItsJustTheOneSwanActually Wed 09-Oct-19 15:59:44

What about Canada? the Banff resorts will open late Nov. Always great snow at xmas/NY

Not crowded like European resorts. BUT - it can be very cold!

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