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

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  • The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2013-2014 season
  • Premier Icon nedrapier
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    from ocrider’s heads-up:

    http://www.tetongravity.com/films/jeremy-jones-further/watch/

    Free to watch until Tuesday 11th – which is today, if you’re reading this today. I assume it’s an American 11th, so this evening should be good.

    Mind-blowing film, proper modern day adventuring. click HD and HDMI it onto your telly.

    Turns out Terje is quite a funny guy!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    And did I say how much fun we had in Les Gets?

    Got lucky with the snow. Knee deep pow and face shots were findable most days. Funnest laps were back and front (skiiers) right of Mont Chery and under the Pointe de Nyon lift – great fun spotting drops and lines from the lift, and your tracks from the run before.

    Fresh tracks down the off-piste tree run to the door of the chalet was a bit of a treat!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Shame they only let it stream and prevent you from downloading it (though I understand why).

    I won’t have time to watch it before it expires 🙁

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    greetings from a sweltering Morzine you lot!

    Loads of snow around, but it’s getting silly hot in the afternoons now. The blues in the woods off Prolays are riding well all day. Avoriaz bowl goes a bit mleh after noon, but nice in the morning.

    Hire snowboard is a bit crap, but I dont deserve anything better frankly. New quads and calves would be nice though. And why did Mr Intersport give me a funny look when I asked for -30deg/-5deg on the bindings? We’re not all duck-footed rad to the gnar doods you know! 🙂

    Off for a big tour via Mossette, morgins and champoussin tomorrow. If we get stuck in Switzerland, some one send a St Bernard with a barrel of beer round his neck please…

    greetings from a sweltering Morzine you lot!

    Git.

    😉

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    why did Mr Intersport give me a funny look when I asked for -30deg/-5deg on the bindings?

    Well for one thing.. -30,-5 means both your feet would be pointing backwards, which is.. erm.. unusual 😀

    Also, I think pretty much everyone rides at least a bit duck these days.

    Unless you’re doing this kind of thing:

    Try it – maybe you’ll find the hire board isn’t quite so crap after all?
    And your quads and calves might stop aching too!

    (I ride +15,-12 myself)

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    I will have a fiddle about graham, cheers .

    And backwards? Well that’s how we roll in malvernistan.

    Premier Icon chrisdw
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    I read your angles should never have more than a 30 degree difference.

    I found +15 -9 to be about right after a few tweeks. Shop set it at +9 -6 which felt terrible. It was my first time riding so didnt know any better.

    Premier Icon Alphabet
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    greetings from a sweltering Morzine you lot!

    We were there until late Sunday evening. Proper hot on Sunday. I don’t think I’ve ever skied in such hot weather even through I’ve been out there much later in the season in previous years.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
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    Another sweltering day in the Austrian Alps.
    Very busy pistes, filled with a lot of people who are skiing very badly (including moi). The apres ski starts about lunch time though and you know how good the Austrians are at that.

    No snow forcast until the day we go home -typical.
    Can ski back to the centre of town on the black, however I’m done in by mid afternoon.

    Funny to see many empty bottles of jagermiester (sp?) thrown under the chair lifts.

    One of the highlights of today – a ride on a new 6 man chair with automatic bar lift, fantastic!

    catvet
    Member

    too hot, will transform the snow low down!! Forecast for more snow next week, great!!

    2100m here in Obergurgl village and the festkogl cabin drops us off at 3050m. It’s warm but fantastic skiing on piste. Off piste is tracked and slabbed……

    Snowing on Saturday though.

    A great contest to kitzbuhel 3 weeks ago that was bone dry and getting nasty….

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    Buunyhop how is Saalbach? I was there two weeks ago and snow was vanishing vast . Was 18c in the town.

    Oh and I hated those automatic lifts, bad for snowboarders !!

    Premier Icon Alphabet
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    One of the highlights of today – a ride on a new 6 man chair with automatic bar lift, fantastic!

    I was on one of them a couple of times last week. It also seemed to have foot rests that moved forwards and backwards before the bar raised/lowered. Higher chair backs too.

    Premier Icon igm
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    GrahamS – Member
    why did Mr Intersport give me a funny look when I asked for -30deg/-5deg on the bindings?
    Well for one thing.. -30,-5 means both your feet would be pointing backwards, which is.. erm.. unusual.

    I think the stoney one was probably intending to practice riding switch that day

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Automatically lifting bars sound like a great way to create more chaos than normal on the chairlifts. People seem to have enough difficulty when they have full control of the bar themselves!

    I think the stoney one was probably intending to practice riding switch that day

    😆

    Except it’d be awful for switch too as then his back leg would be at 30 and his front at 5! 😀

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
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    howsyourdad1 – Saalbach is bearing up well and the pisteurs are doing an incredible job of keeping as much snow as possible.

    Was very warm at the top 13+. This of course means in cloudless skies a heavy frost at night.

    Personally I’m finding the spring conditions very tiring, especially the moguls of slush. As the saying goes – a bad day on piste is far better than a good day in the office.

    Our friends are going night tobogganing later, I’ve bet them half a million G.N.A.R points that they won’t go down together in tandem luge stylee, wearing the skin suits.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Tell them to wear their snowboard boots.
    Every time I’ve done tobogganing someone on the bus has knackered an ankle!

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    I twiddled the bindings to +20 – 6 and seem to be comfortable. The reason I think I had them forward was something to do with my own board not being very wide but I have massive booties and my toes had been catching. The hire board is a wide so I can have my boots straight across.

    The snow is taking a beating from the sun now. Some valleys are holding up better than others but there won’t be much that isn’t suffering by the weekend.

    I’ve got some epic panda eyes coming on though…

    TheDTs
    Member

    I’m in awe of the skiers with impaired vision at the Winter Olympics. I’ve spent hours bashing gates as a lad and have so much respect for these people. Just such great team work, trust and very tidy technique. Great stuff from team GB too.

    Spin
    Member

    For those with the skills and kit for such things there are going to be some fantastic backcountry / touring conditions in Scotland for the next couple of months.

    Bring on the steeps!

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Ok, so looking at ideas for the 2014/15 season. We might finally be able to afford a ski holiday. dd will be around 2 and a quarter so looking for family friendly package companies. Who’s good (without paying Mark Warner prices) and when will the 14/15 packages be available to book?

    I quite like the sound and what I’ve heard about Esprit. What have other folk used?

    piemonster
    Member

    For those with the skills and kit for such things

    😥

    Gits

    DD, http://www.skifamille.co.uk get very highly rated here. Haven’t used them myself.

    We’re in a similar situation for next year, but will almost certainly be doing the same as before, and a BA flight to Turin, car up to Serre Che and stay in our usual place. We’ve got folks out there we know well who’ve already offered to help re childcare, so could be a winner! Failing that, might try and persuade my parents to come along for some fresh mountain air…..!

    One thing I would suggest is to look for somewhere with a short(ish) transfer, especially with ickle people. Getting off a flight on to a 3 hour coach journey is no fun at the best of times.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    look for somewhere with a short(ish) transfer

    Noted!!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    Spin,

    Any ideas where to start looking/reading/browsing to put together a Scottish backcountry tour? Done plenty of touring, never skiied in Scotland at all. I know the names of some of the ranges and resorts, but that’s about it!

    Is back half of April totally ridiculous? – obviously there’ll be more hiking involved.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    double-d: if you are going package/hotel then the Neilson place we are staying at next week in Les Deux Alpes might be of interest.

    We picked it with our 3.9 year old and 9 month old in mind. In its favour: kids clubs, ski in/out, baby room, evening child care, children’s menu and early dinners, ski school meets right outside, rental shop is underneath, spa for mum. I’ll report back if it lives up to expectation.

    I also started this thread a few months ago and got some good responses:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/snow-where-to-skisnowboard-with-young-kids-this-year-any-good-chalets

    http://www.chaletmorzine.com/ in particular looked fantastic but was fully booked for this year.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    This year will be our fifth with Ski Famille. Used Esprit previously and prefer SF, though I hear Esprit have upped their game. You will want to consider whether you want a nannies based system (SF) or crèche (Esprit). Either way they will take the children out to play in a big gang. Email in profile if you want to discuss.

    If you can go in the next week or two SF have some very good deals in the Reberty (3 Valleys at the Les Menuires, with I think a lift straight to VT) – £1600-£1700 for 2 adults and 2 kids, half board including flights, transfers and childcare. Can’t go as our eldest is at school these days.

    Edit: transfer length and facilities for children on the bus are good points to note. Hence why we do Les Gets (please stop warming up).

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Cheers guys.

    GrahamS, you may ignore my email (which you may already have). 🙂

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Ah yes one more thing.

    Because with SF you do your own flights, you can go at sensible times of day. Getting children to an airport for a 0600 flight (plus check-in time) is not fun.

    Getting children to an airport for a 0600 flight is not fun.

    Very good point!

    Flying BA, rather than using Neilson/Crystal flights is a delight. Much better luggage allowance, too, obviously. Not too sure who flies from Brizzle to the main ski airports, though.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Getting children to an airport for a 0600 flight is not fun.

    I hear ya! 😆

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Skifamille’s webshite looks good. I like the sound of what they do. When do they start the 14/15 bookings?

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Normally May-ish I think, but ring and talk. They’re only small and you’ll probably talk to one of the bosses.

    Every year we’ve been the chalet staff had met the owners several times a season. Les Gets and Reberty are their true resorts though (until recently they were Les Get only, then added Reberty). If you read between the lines, I think at the other places they’re just buying in services.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Getting children to an airport for a 0600 flight is not fun.

    Yep. Staying at an airport hotel tomorrow night for exactly that reason! 😕

    Yep. Staying at an airport hotel tomorrow night for exactly that reason!

    FWIW, last few trips we’ve done, we’ve taken a BA flight out of LGW at around 0800 and stayed at the Hilton the night before because of the parking deal. Night at a hotel and parking for the week onsite at the hotel and therefore at the airport (Not in a remote shithole carpark) was always cheap, and very, very convenient!

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    Bunnyhop – Member
    howsyourdad1 – Saalbach is bearing up well and the pisteurs are doing an incredible job of keeping as much snow as possible.

    Was very warm at the top 13+. This of course means in cloudless skies a heavy frost at night.

    Personally I’m finding the spring conditions very tiring, especially the moguls of slush. As the saying goes – a bad day on piste is far better than a good day in the office.

    Our friends are going night tobogganing later, I’ve bet them half a million G.N.A.R points that they won’t go down together in tandem luge stylee, wearing the skin suits.

    my guess is you are Pension Enzian then? Wednesday night off for the staff?

    bajsyckel
    Member

    Any ideas where to start looking/reading/browsing to put together a Scottish backcountry tour? Done plenty of touring, never skiied in Scotland at all. I know the names of some of the ranges and resorts, but that’s about it!
    Is back half of April totally ridiculous? – obviously there’ll be more hiking involved.

    Rather than give you even more lists of stuff, I’ll just say there is loads of potential across pretty much the whole of the country if conditions are good. It’s worth checking the various SAIS blogs for condition reports updated daily for the most obvious areas (though they may end before the end of the ski touring season), winterhighland has reasonably frequent reports posted either in the forums or on the reports sections, as does UKC from time to time. There’s also a “UK backcountry” facebook page which is reasonably active, steepscotland and haggistrap are worth a look.

    Conditions in late April will depend on what you’re after and what the weather does between now and then. Although there is masses of snow (and very deep in places) higher up at the moment, the winter has been pretty warm so there has been little snow build up at low levels. How that will effect things as the cover retreats is difficult to say. There will almost always be steep gullies to go at in late April (often for really steep stuff on Ben Nevis and the like the “season” doesn’t really kick in till May/ June) and having seen how deep some of the obvious bits are filled recently I wouldn’t expect it to be difficult to find some steep stuff if that’s what you’re after. Cover for touring (i.e. on plateaus, open faces, ridges etc…) is a bit different and is more susceptible to rapidly losing cover if the weather is warm/wet. Touring cover may be OK if you’re happy to walk in, or it could be great if there is further snow and a cold end to winter.

    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 with stuff up to as steep as you could wish for (i.e. way beyond my ability and potential to go very wrong if you’re blasé). There will almost certainly be more obscure stuff around but I’d put money on these being the most visited areas.

    highlandman
    Member

    Scottish touring-
    We’re currently thawing slightly at 6-700m but little loss above that, which means huge amounts of snow at higher levels and many hill features like cairns, ridge lines etc buried or obscured.
    Yes, follow the Winterhighland and british backcountry FB reports. There’s a wealth of ideas in the Scottish Ski Mountaineering book but first time Scottish tourers might be best to hook up with locals or start out learning their way around one of the plateau areas near a ski centre. Glenshee, Cairngorm and Nevis all give direct access to 600m to get you started. The Ben Lawers area is another classic, with a reasonably high road access to reduce spring walking in.
    It’s always hard to predict at this stage how much longer good cover will last but it is worth saying that at the moment, cover above 800m is definitely still at a 30+ year high. Scotland often gets significant new snow in late March and on as far as May. Last winter, on a much thinner base, we were still doing long tours with cracking descents at the end of April.
    Nedrapier: Go for it, you won’t regret it. Let me know if you want a hand with plans. And as above, read the SAIS (Scottish Avalanche Information Service) daily conditions reports and associated blog entries.

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    Dd, I got a the brochure in for the puy st Vincent outfit mentioned in the other thread. Some good prices especially out of holidays. Will catch up with you when we get back from morzine this weekend. Have some ideas for you for 2015 as we too will be taking the boys from brizzle airport probably.

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