Cheap xc skiing location?

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  • Cheap xc skiing location?
  • Premier Icon MSP
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    Can anyone recommend a fairly decent location for a cheap xc skiing week. Not overly bothered about off piste facilities, as long as I can eat, sleep and have access to a reasonable range of trails. I just fancy getting away sometime over the next month or so and having a decent week exercise.

    Premier Icon aracer
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    Have you done it before? Do you need instruction? Need kit hire?

    Surprisingly enough it is possible to do Norway fairly cheaply if you’re careful. Flight to Oslo, train to Lillehammer, stay either in the YHA or in a little place called Gjestebu (which is cheaper, but more basic). Even supermarket food isn’t that cheap, but not too horrendous if you cook for yourself. Then you get a bus everyday from Lillehammer up to the trails – and the trails up above Lillehammer are superb.

    Premier Icon wonny j
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    Aviemore 😀

    Premier Icon aracer
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    …alternatively I’ve also been to St Johann in Tirol a couple of times – flight to Innsbruck IIRC, train to the resort, stay in a B&B and eat out somewhere cheap. I think that actually worked out a bit more expensive than self-catering in Lillehammer though. One other place to check is Seefeld which is very near Innsbruck and has very extensive skiing – I’m fairly sure you can also get the train there from Innsbruck, but you can get package deals there, which may well work out cheaper (the one time we went there was on a cheap package with a UK tour company).

    sweepy
    Member

    Aviemore

    I wouldn’t bother at the moment 🙁

    piemonster
    Member

    Aviemore

    LOL, it’s a bit rubbish so far this year

    GregMay
    Member

    We were debating a trip to Aviemore in Feb, but if snow does not get better it’ll be somewhere more northern.

    aracer: Did you hire around Lilliehammer or fly with your own skis?

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Would have said Seefeld. I hear it’s more of an XC place than Alpine, but I’ve never been. Less of a trek than Aviemore, and there’ll be more likelihood of snow.

    Premier Icon aracer
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    aracer: Did you hire around Lilliehammer or fly with your own skis?

    I own my own skis (6 pairs!) Fairly sure you can hire kit in Lillehammer, but not sure of the cost or convenience. XC kit is relatively cheap to buy though – I have kit which is the same as what top elite racers were using at the time I bought, and the full set (skis, boots, poles) was less than £500. Basic recreational kit is rather cheaper.

    GregMay
    Member

    Basic recreational kit is rather cheaper.

    Definitly the level we are looking for 🙂 We’ve both piste skied, me some touring, but fancy a week of XC type skiing to complement the biking/running we do. Might take a peak at Ebay/Decatlon to see what sort of prices we are talking.

    Any idea of cheap accom. in either Lillehammer or Seefeld?

    Premier Icon aracer
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    As mentioned above, cheapest I’m aware of in Lillehammer is Gjestebu – that’s where I’ve always stayed (apart from once in December when I got a good deal in the Fjellheimen in Sjusjoen – though I think that’s a lot more expensive at this time of year). No idea about Seefeld – we had a package trip there, though you can search for B&B accommodation on the tourist board website.

    Try http://rollerski.co.uk/buyskis.html http://www.biathlonsport.com/ http://www.braemarmountainsports.com/ or http://www.crosscountryskis.co.uk for XC ski kit (some of those may only be high end kit, but it gives you an idea).

    Premier Icon MSP
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    I have been to Seefeld before, it was again my first thought as it got some quite easyish long trails, and it looks like its possible to get B&B for around 200 euros for 6 nights.

    Wondered if there were alternatives, maybe in Slovakia or the Czech republic that might have been equally cheap.

    I keep meaning to have an xc skiing holiday every year, but somehow it always gets left till its too late.

    gonefishin
    Member

    but fancy a week of XC type skiing to complement the biking/running we do

    Really? Are you sure about that? My experience of XC skiing was that it was a lesson in pain and falling over! Having said that skiing at night without much in the way of lights is perhaps not the best introduction.

    Also the words “Norway” and “cheap” are normally spearated by the word “isn’t”

    Premier Icon aracer
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    Also the words “Norway” and “cheap” are normally spearated by the word “isn’t”

    Hence why I started off with the word “surprisingly”. Though it’s the food and accommodation which make somewhere expensive, going self-catering helps a lot with the food, the place I mention isn’t too bad for somewhere to stay. A lot of other places you go there isn’t the option to save yourself money by self-catering (though now I come to think of it, Pontresina has a YHA which might make Switzerland bearably priced).

    GregMay
    Member

    aracer: Thanks for the links, kit is not as bad as I thought it was, may try and pick something up before we go. Is there much difference in the type of ski you chose for the type of skiing you adopt? ie classic vs. skate? Have only ever tried the classic style!

    Deffo thinking Austria over Norway now though after looking at prices…damn sight cheaper!

    Premier Icon MSP
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    My view is rent for classic, next year I fancy going to Norway and doing some ski touring, so will probably look at buying some kit for that.

    GregMay
    Member

    Looks like we are thinking similar lines MSP 🙂 Have some touring goals in my head that need to get done. Idea was this year get some experience on the XC side then move up.

    konabunny
    Member

    Would have thought that Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic would be good spots for XC skiing – and with cheap flights from the UK and beer too. For example: http://www.pl-info.net/poland/tourism/winter/cross-country.html

    Mind you, I tried XC skiing and thought it was hell so I’m probably not the right person.

    natrix
    Member

    There are some great xc trails in Levi Finland, you might be able to find a good package deal.

    GregMay
    Member

    Just remembered that the OH has mates in Sweeden, near Umeå…think an email may be in order 🙂

    lucien
    Member

    My experience of standard alpine types resorts is that;

    Former ‘eastern block countries are cheapest – Bulgaria, Poland etc and generally English not a problem but resorts, equipment, facilities can be limited.
    Italy – always good value for money as is Austria
    Switzerland, France can both be stuuuupid expensive
    North european places like Sweden and Norway more expensive again. Pick the country first then find a resort.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Kind of. Depends where you live 😉 . Czech Rep and Seefeld can be reached from here by car after work on a friday within a few hours. Wonder if there’s anything suitable in the Vosges? So that’s all potential weekend material.

    Schladming, Zauchensee, Flachau area might be worth a look too. Non-stop train goes there 🙂

    (Still think I’ll stick to alpine though)

    Edukator
    Member

    La Féclaz above Chambery for days out from a base.

    If you want to get a feel for touring near to Hessen then the Fench/Swiss Jura route is excellent. I did a trip with a rucksac staying in gites that could often only be reached from the pistes. As I was skating the rucksac was a pain so I spent a couple of nights in each place so I could have alternate days at full speed.

    Edit: The gites/hotels on the Transju’ were from 12e to 25e.
    2nd edit: I did a trip to the Silvretta area and ended up doing more downhill than X-C. They didn’t groom the X-C pistes every day so it was icy or too deep. I found Austria expensive compared with France.

    Premier Icon aracer
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    Pick the country first then find a resort.

    Not necessarily that clever an idea for XC. Also note that the suggestions I’ve given will tend to work out a lot cheaper than a typical DH skiing package.

    slugwash
    Member

    Norway’s a crackin’ XC destination if you don’t have the overheads of (plush) accomodation and eating out. There’s tons of marked and unmarked trails and they are often accessable by public transport (start in one location finish in another or a big loop). Plenty of trails around Oslo, some with lighting so you can carry on into the evening. The week long travel card ain’t that expensive either & a mug of coffee and a cinnamon bun in a trail side forest cabin ain’t going to bankrupt you either.

    The pound’s a bit weak against the Krone at the moment but if you’ve got a sofa to crash on (or other cheap accom, as mentioned by aracer) then it’s worth a visit.

    I’ve only done XC skiing in Norway but have checked out the XC trails at several Alpine resorts whilst on MTBing manouveres and always thought they were a bit thin on the ground compared with the Oslo area.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
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    For the closest thing to a nordic type plateau with prepared xc (ski de fond) trails outside scandinavia but close to the UK it has to be the Jura, mentioned by Edukator, coldest place in France, completley different to most peoples thoughts of frnech monutains, and not just some short token loops around downhill pistes.

    Look at the La Grande Traversée du Jura (GTJ) website for some inspiration.

    It is non metal edges, skinny track skis style on prepared trails though (‘classic’ or ‘skating’)or do you mean ‘nordic touring’ on slightly beefier skies not needing a prepared piste?

    donal
    Member

    My OH is Swedish so I have spent a bit of time skiing around Stockholm (when there is enough snow) and around Mora (which was really good and easy to get to by train). Sweden is not that expensive when compared with Norway and flights can be cheap once you are flexible with times. If you fly into Stockholm you could pick up skis there as there are a number of good shops very close to the central station and it would save paying for shipping, and then for the extra flight costs.

    Compared with cycling kit, xc ski stuff will not break the bank. http://www.polder.se/ is a good site and will give you a feeling for the price of stuff. Fitting is the only problem and it is important to get the right ski. Also, there is a difference between the classic and skate skis and boots as they are designed to do different things (but you can get combi ones I think). You would also need different length poles for each discipline. I am no expert, so I am happy to be corrected by those that know more.

    Edukator
    Member

    Cheap is relative. There’s about £500 of wax in my X-C box.

    The CRC of X-C is Worden, based in Féclaz. 8)

    GregMay
    Member

    It is non metal edges, skinny track skis style on prepared trails though (‘classic’ or ‘skating’)or do you mean ‘nordic touring’ on slightly beefier skies not needing a prepared piste?

    Taking the GF with me, so non touring/randonee style. Looking for the fitness not the abuse 🙂 So XC style prepared trails.

    Have done a bit of the former, have plans for the next few years in that direction having walked the Haute Route in the past, but thinking even bigger.

    I have a lot of reading to do on kit today 🙂 Thanks for the ideas folks.

    donal
    Member

    “Cheap is relative. There’s about £500 of wax in my X-C box.”

    True. However, I don’t have £500 worth of wax in my xc box, nor do I have any XTR or CK on my bike. Nevertheless, I am only new to the black magic of waxing so there is still time.

    GregMay: It is a great “sport” in so many respects and complements cycling and running very well. Enjoy.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
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    Grand Bornand area in the French Alps has some really nice XC skiing and, being a bit off the British tourism beaten track, is more reasonably priced than a lot of French resorts.

    Premier Icon dknwhy
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    Mate of mine owns this place in Slovakia:

    Chalet Slovakia

    He’s just posted on FB that they have space until end of Jan on B&B basis for £159pppw.
    Flights from UK are cheap (£60ish last time I looked). It’ll then be a train transfer from Bratislava to Liptovsky Mkulas and they’re 5 mins from the station or you can pay him to collect you from Bratislava.
    You’ve got a choice of mountains but the nearest ski resort is Jasna.

    Food and drink is extremely cheap and the town has loads of apres ski.

    GregMay
    Member

    OK…had not thought of Slovakia, that could be cool!

    Premier Icon aracer
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    Though unless I’m missing something there’s not any obvious sign of any XC skiing there.

    Premier Icon dknwhy
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    Some but not loads, depends if you want to travel to Slovak Paradise or do the short ones in Jasna:

    Jasna

    Thermal baths are local too. Depends what the OP wants. Full on XC might be more suitable elsewhere. For a rounded, skiing trip somewhere different, Slovakia might suit.

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