The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2013-2014 season

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  • The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2013-2014 season
  • Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    howsyourdad1 – We’re staying with Ski Miquel. Yes it was the staff’s night off.

    DD – nice to see you on this thread. One more point to remember with kiddies is the cold. It maybe better to condsider taking them late Feb. early March.

    Talking of the cold, it was boiling today. Many strange outfits on the piste, shorts, T shirts, jeans, skinny tops etc.
    Saw butterflies, bees and lots of lovely birds. T’was 20 deg c around lunch time.

    The snow really is disappearing fast. Although we did manage the ‘ski’circus’ yesterday.

    Bunnyhop

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Cheers stoner, enjoy!!

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Has anyone used Decathlon for ski servicing? I normally get my ski’s hand-serviced but i’ve just not go round to it this year and since we won’t be on resort till later on in the day I can’t be bothered rushing around to get them done there, so looking at dropping them off at Decathlon tomorrow so they’re ready for Sunday. They use the same automated machines as you get on resorts so in theory should be a good service.

    Cheers

    Premier Icon PaulMc
    Subscriber

    Dd, the Puy St Vincent outfit Stoner mentions are Snowbizz.co.uk, run by Michel and his English wife. We used them for two years and they were absolutely brilliant. They have their own ESI ski school, run by Michel who personally oversees everything ie he is there at the end of ski school each day to speak to instructors and parents, monitor kids progress and generally make sure everyone is happy. They use a crèche format, staffed by English girls. The ski instructors were all French but all spoke English and our kids loved them. They use compact and basic but entirely adequate apartments (like all ski apartments) in one block above the shops and restaurants. The ski school meets right outside. Puy has a very good snow record and minimal queues even at half term. We stopped using them simply because our kids are accomplished skiers and preferred to ski full days so no longer had time or energy for the after-ski kids’activities so we decided to save money by going independently.

    Spin
    Member

    IMO the most obvious places for touring in late April this year will likely be the higher plateaus. For gully stuff then Cairngorms, Lochnagar, Creag Meagaidh, Aonach Mor, Ben Nevis, the Mamores, Glencoe area and An Teallach will likely be in condition

    This is an exceptional winter but by late April you can probably narrow it down to the Gorms for proper touring and steeps (and even that might involve a bit of carrying) and The Ben and Aonach Mor for steeps.

    Skiing on An Teallach is a bit of a holy grail for many!

    Other than that bajsyckel is pretty much spot on.

    2nd of June last year I skied from the summit of Braeriach to within 300m of the track in Glen Einich. There was one 5 min walk to link patches but apart from that it was about 2.5k distance and 700m of vertical.

    bajsyckel
    Member

    ^ Spin, I knew An Teallach might raise an eyebrow, but you never know if you get the right timing… 😉 . I would definitely include Creag Meagaidh – there is an obscene amount of snow high up, and easy gully is more banked out than I’ve ever seen it (unbeliveable cornices on the Post Face though (and might not meet good skiers definition of steep?)). Obviously you are likely to have a longer walk in. Same with the Mamores and other bits in the West, there has been some massive deposits in places and if conditions are favourable (or there are further significant falls in the spring) then there will be stuff other than the usual suspects to consider for a while. If there is a hairdryer or prolonged wet spell, then its a different story of course.

    As an aside, last year I skied on the Cheviots in June. But probably with more bike: ski ratio than your route on Braeriach (nice combo, especially if the travelator is relatively complete). Ben Alder another one for bike/ ski trip that I missed last time.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Couple of photos of Altas Mountains Morocco taken after first big snowfalls in late Jan (delay in posting these).

    Village with Mosque and Minaret and in second photo ski resort with lift just visible on horizon 3000m+, we couldn’t get closer than 5k as road was jammed with weekenders, who would have expected it. Had hoped to get my first turns in post ACL injury last year but sadly it wasn’t to be, it would have been one for the scrap book, we did manage a token snowball fight ! Off to Peisey Vallandry next week, fingers crossed will be a very nervous skier on the blue runs.

    piemonster
    Member

    So it appears that I’m due to be in Verona, Northern Italy last weekend of November.

    What are the Italian resorts like for snow at that time of year? Any particular ones I should be looking at?

    meames
    Member

    Tonale is approx 2.5hrs from Verona, is pretty high and has a glacier that goes above 3200m so should be good early on in the season, ideal for a weekend and some really nice steep tree lined runs in the connected area above Temu… the drive up past Lake Garda is worth it alone!

    http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Passo-Tonale

    I was hopeful of squeezing in a last minute trip this year (we were in El Tarter, Andorra 3 weeks ago) but the weather conditions mean it may not be worthwhile.

    nbt
    Member

    well, that seems to be it for our ski season. We’ve an evening flight home tomorrow so we could ski till about 2 pm but to be frank the conditions aren’t worth it. if you’ve already booked for Saalbach-hinterglemm you will be ok, the pisteurs are doing an excellent job of maintaining the snow, but if you haven’t yet booked I’d recommend looking elsewhere. the north facing slopes are bearing up well, but you can almost see the snow melting on the south-facing slopes. there are pistes open to town that are skiiable, but they’re very slushy, and some of the linking pistes – I’m thinking especially of the link from the Reiterkogel heading towards Hasenauerkopfl – are on the verge of closing, so getting from one are to another on that side of the valley will be very difficult. We hear too that many of the mountain restaurants will be closing after this weekend. Nonetheless it’;s been a good week – after all, a bad day on the slopes is so much better than the best day in the office

    Solden is slushed out too, nice at the top but hopeless below mid stations after 13.00

    piemonster
    Member

    Tonale is approx 2.5hrs from Verona,

    Cheers for that. Any thoughts on Cervinia?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Parts of the porte du soleil holding up very well.

    Nearly killed myself on a hire board with no edges on a frozen chamossiere yesterday morning though. Parts of les gets and lindaret good even late in the day.

    Anyone else sitting in GVA on the free wifi waiting to fly home? I’m the one with a red Rose in my lapel and panda eyes.

    Panda eyes? Were you rocking the gaper classic of sunnies with a helmet?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    helmet? I ride in a fedora!

    Seriously the gnarliest thing I do is fall off the telesiege at the dismount.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    With your centre of gravity being around 5 feet off the ground, I can imagine chairlift dismounts being quite the struggle. 🙂

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Cervinia is a fantastic resort, though in truth I probably spent most of my time over in Zermat. But its high so conditions will be as good as anywhere at any given time.

    I’m off to Selva on Sunday. Can’t wait. Don’t mind the slush so much, far preferable to ice, so bring it on.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Sunnies and a helmet is where it’s at on the hot days CFH.

    Given I’ve put myself in hospital for a week with concussion previously (bike related) the helmet is non-negotiable, and googles in hot sweaty spring conditions? No thanks..

    Base layer, helmet, sunnies and gloves for me. The fashionistas can go jump off a chair.

    Even in late season Serre Che sun, it’s goggles all the time for me. Never felt too hot in them.

    Of course, I always have a pair of pimpin’ sunnies for lunchtime wear.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Yep, always, always, always goggles, except when hiking, skinning or posing.

    Edukator
    Member

    On the helmet front I’ve been following the local papers and all the victims of fatal accidents in “zones sécurisées” this season were wearing helmets. The ones where cause of death was stated were head injuries. Their surnames were’nt Schumacher so I doubt they’ve made the British press.

    Between risk compensation and the limited protection they offer people would be wise to slow down a little and take more care rather than rely too much on the helmet. Wear a helmet by all means but don’t ride like one. My favourite Winter chair overlooks the pistes and on a totally subjective season-long observation I conclude skiers and boarders that look out of control or are clearly risk taking have a 97.4% chance of being helmeted.

    Had my first day touring on Wednesday this week and it’s was a true epic…got to the back of glenshee(bottom of glass maul) for 820ish.then started up…..did 30k in almost perfect conditions.were all experienced skiers but never done a day like it….lots of up and unfortunately not enough downs but was still really good.ive not seen that much sun over the last season but all day we had a cloudless sky…was epic,I’ll post pics when I sort em out..

    Saw a chap with no feet or hands at one top.much respect,we all felt bad moaning about sore feet etc.he skied off on teles in quite a relaxed fashion…

    Deveron53
    Member

    I’m currently scanning the weather reports. Just a day on the piste for me. Will it be Glenshee or Cairgorm? Saturday or Sunday?


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    I’d say glenshee as cairngorm was shut today and maybe tomoro….check the sites first thing.

    Nbt are you here now. My last day today before I drive home later! 3 stews all in saalbach. Where did you guys stay

    nbt
    Member

    Yes we’re here now, we’re with ski miquel just near the waterslide place. not skiing today, not worth it with the current snow conditions, especially as the bus comes at 2

    wobbliscott wrote:

    I’m off to Selva on Sunday. Can’t wait. Don’t mind the slush so much, far preferable to ice, so bring it on.

    Selva should have a fantastic base so conditions should be better – they had almost three meters in *one storm* back in the first week of feb. Saalbach’s not had three meters all season so there’s no base, the snow’s just vanishing

    I think there are about 25 people in our hotel. FOUR have been hit by other skiiers from behind while on the pistes, one serious enough to fracture her vertebrae – she’s in Zell Am See hospital and a private ambulance is taking her home. I think in general there’s a more “gung-ho” attitude on the slopes with skiiers not knowing or caring about the basic “rules of the piste”, there seems to be a large percentage of skiiers who are too cool to have lessons and since they can get from top to bottom without seriously injuring themselves, they are obviously “really good skiiers” and can ski really fast. Really gets my goat. I’ve skiied for almost twenty years and I’ve reached a stage where I’m happy enough with any colour of piste, but I know I’m not a great skiier and I never will be.

    justatheory
    Member

    Off to Morzine for 4 days tomorrow. Only booked yesterday 😀

    I’ve noticed it too. There is a couple in our hotel who can just about fall from the top of the slope to the bottom and have deemed lessons not worthwhile.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    have fun justatheory.

    Can I recommend the following runs held up the best in the sun:

    Lindarets: In the woods under the Prolays lift, and below Mossette.
    Les Gets: The runs under la Rosta lift (although the black was just starting to show dirt, the 2x blues and red were skiing well into the afternoon) – Campanule may only be a blue, but it’s always been my favourite piste. The reds below Ranfoilly also holding up well.

    justatheory
    Member

    Stoner, Cheers for that. I like the Lindarets area so that’s good news. Runs off Ranfoilly are also brilliant.

    Did you get over to Mont Chery? I really liked Marmottes the last time I was there.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    No, we considered it, but the south face would have been rotten in no time and there’s not a lot on the backside to make the yomp through the village worthwhile. We were staying on the switchbacks on the avoriaz road above Morzine so preferred to hit the slopes from Nyon or Ardent.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    Not sure we’ll be back holidaying with ski miquel in the near future.
    It’s coming to the end of the season and corners have been cut. Very mean breakfast, running out of bread yesterday.
    Rooms not clean or main areas. Food was basic with small portions, although very well prepared.

    Going to find a chalet next year and fill it ourselves with friends.

    Edukator
    Member

    X-C at Hautacam today. We poked the snow at 9:00 but it was solid so we went back for a snooze. We skied a couple of kms at 10:00 but it was still too hard so we went and read a book. At 11.00 it was perfect, for about an hour.

    When I’m director of my local resort I’ll place a big air bag just after a blind brow and stand there to take the pass off anyone that crashes into it or lands on it.

    piemonster
    Member

    X-C at Hautacam today.

    Ahhhh, now there’s some memories flooding back. Last went there in 2003, snowshoes out to some hill away to the east. I’ll have to google to remember.

    Few months later in early summer went up there on both the road and mountain bike, sat on the grass looking over Argeles Gazost and Lourdes, back up the valley with the high peaks still snow capped. Glorious weather, lovely.

    How have the Pyrenees been this winter?

    piemonster
    Member

    Some damage has been done to the bank balance in ski shops this week.

    Might need to push the Sea Kayaking holiday back a month 😯

    piemonster
    Member

    I’ll have to google to remember.

    Pic De Montaigu

    Anyway, can someone point in the direction of good ski review websites?

    Edukator
    Member

    A good season in the Pyrenees. Plenty of snow for anyone happy to ski in all weathers.

    If you speak French Skipass for peer review and Glissalititude or many others for professional reviews. Beware any review that doesn’t include the biggies: Atomic, Head, Fisher, Rossignol, Dynastar… .

    Rockape63
    Member

    Getting reports from Pals at St Anton and Verbier today. Great mtb conditions, snow disappearing fast! 😯

    Bloody hope not I’m off boarding to La Plagne next week.

    dashed
    Member

    Yeah, St Anton was baking last week – lots of snow melting low down and warm enough to enjoy an apres beer in a t-shirt! Place is full of “gap yar” **** though. Never skied there before and prob won’t again – really didn’t like the vibe in the town. The terrain around is amazing though, but would stay in Lech, Zurs or Stuben if going back.

    I was also nearly taken out by a decent skier going too fast on a narrow blue – I’ve skied a lot so not exactly dawdling or skiing erratically… Anyway, apparently it’s my responsibility to look back up the slope behind me. English bloke so we were able to converse very “freely” and I was able to bluntly explain what I thought of his opinion. And don’t get me started on the lift queues!! 😉

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