The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2017-2018 season

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  • The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2017-2018 season
  • Premier Icon igm
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    Liverpool to GVA used to be a bargain.

    And because John Lennon is tiny, no slower living in York than Leeds or Manchester once getting on / off the plane and in / out of the airport was factored in.

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    Our trip to Samoens at half term comes out at about 2500*. But for that we are driving, and staying in cheap self catering accom. We’re not bothered about luxury apartments or catered chalets and are used to camping so cheaper (some may say shit) accom is fine for us and kids dont care as long as they are having fun.

    * 2 adults and 2 kids. Fuel, crossings, tolls, accom, lift passes, ski school and ski hire for kids. We have our own kit.

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    Thoughts on Arinsal/Vallnord – chances of decent snow in late Feb

    Spent the last 3 or 4 years going to Pyrenees in Feb. I liked Arinsal (snowboarder) we were there for 4 days but it’s a lot smaller than Grandvalira so could get a bit bored by the end of a full week.
    Snow has always been decent if not good in Feb. Beer is cheaper than the alps on piste as well!!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Our trip to Samoens at half term comes out at about 2500*. But for that we are driving

    Aye… that’s a 928 mile trip from up here, 15 hour+ drive according to Google Maps.

    My youngest often gets car sick after about two miles 😆

    TheDTs
    Member

    Easter seems to be the key to affordable family skiing for us at the moment.
    There seems to be a big variation in accommodation cost.
    Driving also seems to be the most cost effective, thats based on Bristol flights Vs Tunnel and 1 night accommodation en route. (775m to Samoens)
    The drive can be PITA but that is usually the bit from Lyon / Chambery / Geneva to whatever resort you choose, thats going to be the same if you fly.
    Driving is made easier if you can share the driving and the kids are happy spending the time in the car!
    If we do get away at Easter, I’m hoping we can take a bit longer over the return leg and stop somewhere nice.

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    Try the Hull Zeebrugge ferry. To cut the drive and give you an overnight on the way.

    Edit : from north east England not Bristol obviously.

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    We live in Leeds so not much further. Kids have been doing it since babies though and my sister lived in the Pyrenees so have done plenty further.

    Sweets and dvd’s ftw!!

    Ferry to Hull on the way back makes that trip easier. Timings never seem to work out very well on the way down for some reason.

    LD
    Member

    While we’re talking flights, I tried to book stuff for a week in Serre Che in March today and was trying to get Edi Turin flights but Jet2 had no space for ski/board bags. So no flight and back to drawing board! Doh!
    Just glad I didn’t book accommodation and hire car first! You don’t find this out till you put names in and go to next step and no way to get round it according to customer services.

    ocrider
    Member

    +1 for Easter. It’s the only full week we do since having kids.
    €2200 for a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms, ski school for 2 kids and lift passes for 6 (although the grandparents get theirs for free now I’m still counting them!) Right opposite the jandri express in L2A.

    TheDTs
    Member

    MiniDTs (Age 3) at Clacket Lane Services, en route to Serre Che, “Are we there yet?” Me “Errrm, not yet no, do you want a jelly baby?”

    2adults and 2 kids. Fuel, crossings, tolls, accom, lift passes, ski school and ski hire for kids. We have our own

    What about food and beer ?
    That’s not all in

    In reply to Graham…

    Ah travel insurance, got to admit that wasn’t included in my 2250. We get an annual policy.

    TheDTs
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    We have used Peak Retreats a couple of times, some prices include Tunnel with Flexi plus, which is about £400 on its own..

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Sweets and dvd’s ftw!!

    It’s a 3.5 hour transfer for Les Menuires and that’ll make full use of hudls, sweets, battery pack, anti-sickness meds and possibly disposable paper bags :mrgreen: 15+ hours in the car each way with my two is a non starter! 😆

    Easter

    Yeah that was my preferred solution, but the missus couldn’t get that off.

    Ah travel insurance, got to admit that wasn’t included in my 2250

    Even so it is still impressive. What do you do for accommodation?

    GrahamS

    Right, I don’t have full details, as I’m not the sort of person that keeps cost breakdowns of holidays for years on end, but from what I can remember…

    2017 we paid:
    £440 flights MAN -> NUE including 3 bags and one huge ski bag ith 4 sets of skis in it (bindings removed)
    £15 taxi to MAN airport
    About £40 quid petrol perhaps *
    About £10 for the Austria vignette
    I think the accommodation was 595 euros plus 49 endreinigung, so about £570 for the week**.
    Looks like skipasses were £733 for the 4 of us (2 adults, 1 9yo and one 11yo)
    No ski hire as we bought all the stuff to avoid Scottish ski hire hell in the past***
    Last year the kids had no lessons.
    £20 taxi back from MAN to home.
    Sorry, apart from that, I’m a bit vague on what we spent as the rest was cash. Evenining meals, lunch in huts, minimal (no) apres ski. A couple of evenin meals out in the evening. Beer, two cushions that the kids bought with “St Anton” written on them. I don’t know the detail but at was £2250 in total.

    * We borrowed the MiL’s car, which is of course not an option for everyone. But the train is dead easy and piss cheap. As below, MUC to St Anton was around £120 on http://www.bahn.de the following year so NUE to St Anton would be around £150 if you book it early.

    ** We bought 2 pairs of Roces adjustable ski boots about 5 years ago and three pairs of skis brand new in Germany for around £120 a pair. They have sufficed for most of the last 5 years or so. We just paid £40 to buy the ski boots that the wean used at Christmas, which will cover him for Feb half term. I guess they’ve had perhaps 7 weeks skiing out of them, so around £30 per week average. Anyway, the ski costs aren’t included in the price above because we needed them for Scotland. As everyone knows, trying to hire kit in Scotland for kids is a mugs game.

    ***Just to be clear, the accommodation was in Schnann, not St Anton itself. But it was a moderately unpleasant 15 minute bus ride away. Not much fun, but again the kids were consulted on whether they were willing to sufffer 30 minutes a day of hassle in exchange for an extra £800 to pay for a trip to Fontainebleau in May. (They deemed it an acceptable saving)

    The year before we did St Anton as well. It was more expensive as they kids did ski lessons. But still around £2400. That was train from MUC to St Anton and included everything (bar ski insurance) including the Munich Hilton for the night!

    Year before that was MAN-FRA with a hellish drive across Germany, Austria into Italy to Ortisei. That was around £2400 I think.

    Year before was Scotland and it reinforced my view never to book a week ski holiday in Scotland ever again (don’t get me wrong, my best ski days have been at Coe/Nevis, just not booked in advance)

    Year before that was a pisstake. Last minute deal to Arabba for £243 per person. Free kids lift passes (they were under 9), equipment hire for the kids, ski lessons for the kids, day off piste guiding for me. Around £2500 if I recall.

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    What about food and beer ?
    That’s not all in

    Is anyone quoting food and beer money?

    Edit: it seems you are but managed to only spend about 400 quid on food and beer for a week. I’m surprised you had any energy for skiing!! 😉

    stantonamarlberg.com is where the place for “St Anton” accommodation on a budget. Just order by price ascending and then take the first one that is on the ski bus route (Schnann and Petneu are, Flirsch, Pardol and Strengen are perhaps a bit too far out.)

    Anyway, enough numbers. Can I post this:

    Zillertal off piste a few weeks ago.

    And in reply to Pedlad’s perfectly sensible question: avalanche level was low enough for off piste route 69 to be open, yes we all had Pieps, yes me and the missus had probes and shovels, yes I’ve had training, yes we’ve practised. And yes you’re right, there is definitely a risk involved; the consequences of which are terrifying.

    Stay safe.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Holy comprehensive answer batman!

    Thanks thegeneralist. That’s great. I’m browsing through that trying to pick up some cost saving tips for future years as I don’t want to keep paying what we paid this year!

    Premier Icon mahalo
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    we always stay in a posh catered chalet, for us its as much about the fancy grub and unlimited nice wine as it is the skiing. plus i hate forking out for meals all the time and the Mrs wants a break from cooking… as others have said i consider it my main holiday and appreciate the luxurious surroundings – although i do find the level of service a little bit above & beyond sometimes. im just a normal northern bloke so i can get my own beer from the fridge or chuck a log on the fire thanks. chalet hosts stood around with their hands behind their backs like servants while im trying to chill out on the couch makes my uneasy! at ease ffs.

    of course if i didnt have wife n kids in tow id be happy enough kipping in the back of a van and living on bread & cheese for the week!!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    Yeah missus is very much against self-catering for the same reason.

    The hotel* we are in this year is proper French as are most of the guests, so naturally the food is brilliant. Four course help yourself buffet with really broad selection of mains to select from (great way to get the kids to try local dishes without committing to a full meal) plus cheeses (yum!) and help yourself wine on tap.

    I’ve been to a few catered chalets in the past and the best ones for me have been where you feel quite happy chucking a log on the fire, sticking the telly on, grabbing a brew or beer and crashing out on the couch.

    * (the Neige et Ciel, part of the Belambra chain)

    Premier Icon pedlad
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    @thegeneralist, pleased to hear that and that picture is epic – v jealous, best I’ll manage is the little session pre Christmas off the local UK hills.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    This was the greeting waiting at the chalet door for a mate in La Plagne this morning:

    😀

    Duane…
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    Right – so I’ve made the rash decision that I would like to learn to ski – or at least give it a go. I’m a fairly competent snowboarder, but always wanted to learn to ski.

    I’d like to get a few lessons in at an indoor place in the UK first before going abroad.

    For similar money, I can either have 1 hour private lesson (£105), or just under 4 hours of group lesson (group size up to 10, £50ish for 2 hours). Thoughts on which option will be most effective, in terms of both figuring out if I like skiing, and learning as quickly as possible? I’m leaning towards the 1hr private, but 4 hours is a lot more time (duh!), plus you learn from watching others etc etc right?

    That la plagne pic is great. Only a week and a half to go for us. Predicting a further metre of snow in the next week too

    dozofoz
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    Duane – just strap some skis on and give it a go for a bit before lessons. You will be surprised how quickly you pick it up. I hadn’t skied for 25yrs since first snowboarding and found the shorter carve skis quiet brilliant. Wife had never skied after boarding for 20. She did take 1 lesson but preferred just to follow/watch others. The whole sliding down a hill is usually the main obstacle for beginner skiers so you leap frog this bit.

    Enjoy – on icy days with the kids I am no longer ashamed to have two planks on my feet.

    bluebird
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    Anyway, enough numbers. Can I post this:

    Harumpf! I wish St Anton had looked like that last week, when we were there 🙁

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    duane – I boarded for c.20yrs but learnt to ski when my boys were starting to learn a few years ago (boarding around kids learning is a pain in the padded shorts). I got to grips with two planks over the course of 3 days following the boys around while they had their one-to-one lessons. The boys then did ski school and Mrs S gave me some pointers. The second year I had a morning one-two-one to improve my technique (not difficult). Now I will happily bash my way clumsily around the mountain on skis. In fact I prefer to ski unless there’s been a good dump of snow in which case it’s naturally board time. Skiing on crap snow is better than boarding on crap snow too IMO. Its nice to have the options, even now in my forties.

    Premier Icon bigjim
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    This was the greeting waiting at the chalet door for a mate in La Plagne this morning:

    Oh man what I’d do to be ducking off the piste into the powder at peisey right now

    Looking at the webcams, everything at la plagne is shut down today.
    Powder will be awesome tomorrow though.
    Please let it continue for 2 more weeks

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
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    Storms forecast to continue in the Alps through the weekend. Hoping they clear up next week, will be in Tignes from Saturday. Tignes, Val and 3 Vallees all pretty much shut down today

    giant_scum
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    Graham S from reading your discussions, if your looking at flights from Newcastle I’m assuming you stay in and around there!
    Have you looked at Easyjet flights from Edinburgh as a possibility, they fly to Geneva, Munich, Milan and Lyon/Grenoble.
    You might even be lucky if the Edinburgh half term and English one don’t fall on the same week!

    Duane…
    Member

    Thanks for replies on moving to skiing from boarding.

    I want to try skiing before I go abroad (looking like Arinsal now) just to check I enjoy it! Which means going to a UK indoor place, which means I need to have at least one lesson before they let me on the main slope on my own – hence the decision between private or group lessons.

    Jesus. 330cm of snow forecast in st Anton in the next 6 days. That’s not good…

    nbt
    Member

    thegeneralist wrote:

    Jesus. 330cm of snow forecast in st Anton in the next 6 days. That’s not good…

    Oh my word. they’re going to be on lockdown for a few days.

    Can we all please stop doing the snowdance for a couple of weeks? It’s getting a bit silly now, Espace Killy is shut again today due to the fresh snow being too dangerous

    edit – Cripes, 220cm forecast for Courmayeur *at mid-station* in the next six days. Not long till we’re out there…

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    Duane – Castleford has a rolling road style dry slope. £40 for an hours 121 and as there’s no lift time or stopping while you’re coached it’s actually pretty good value. And hard work.
    Had me from was on skis for a 2 hours lesson 20 years ago to confident snow plough, deweighting inside ski thinking about parallel (and not doing it) in 50 minutes. After which I collapsed.

    TheDTs
    Member

    Jesus. 330cm of snow forecast in st Anton in the next 6 days. That’s not good…

    Runs off to open a shovel and snorkel shop in St Anton.

    Premier Icon sweaman2
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    Duane – I`m generally of the opinion private is worth a lot more than groups unless everyone is similar skill set and ambitions.

    If you`re used to snowboarding the sensation of sliding on snow is going to be familiar. In a group setting you could find yourself with 3 or 4 people who’ve never even done that and just freeze at the top. (You might do this as well but less likely). So the instructor then has to coach them down while you wait around.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
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    Private lesson ftw really. Trying to get my daughter snowboarding using dry slope before we head out to trois vallées. An hour lesson with an instructor got her going and then we just put in several hours together. We watched some others learning in a group and there was a LOT of waiting around as the levels were so different

    Premier Icon GrahamS
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    The other chalet door is even more impressive:

    Resort is closed. Apparently they’ve been stuck inside all day playing Trivial Pursuit and cards.

    Premier Icon Stoner
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    Flying out to Morzine on Friday evening for 4 days. Hoping the storms will have calmed down by the end of the weekend. Happy to get my snow mojo on the lower slopes in the trees on Saturday.

    Premier Icon cb
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    How long do these resorts take to recover from dumps like these? I’m in L2A a week tomorrow – never thought I’d be hoping for it to stop snowing…

    Clear roads, bomb slopes, dig out lifts… can sometimes take a while. Depends if it keeps snowing or not really. We were in Chamonix for half the 2006 season and for about a week pretty much everything was closed apart from the bunny slopes. My wife was there in 1999 and the place was barely open for 6 weeks. That was a mental season though, and the year of the Argentiere avalanche.

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
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    Maybe time for best travel games for the Alps thread!

    We are taking cards against humanity, exploding kittens and uno for a start. Depending on space might take the really nasty horse racing game too.
    All for the evenings as we will be out enjoying the powder during the day….. Fingers crossed

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
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    Jesus Graham, we have the same games except we’ll probably take bananagrams instead of uno

    Forecast has improved this evening, Sunday looking like it might be great 😀

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