The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2019-2020 season

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  • The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2019-2020 season
  • 2020. Yep, 2020.

    By this point, I assumed we’d all have hoverboards, but we don’t. We do, however, still have skis and snowboards, so here’s the traditional start to the season! Please accept my apologies for not starting it in the first week of August, as seems to have become traditional, but I was busy messing about in/behind boats in Greece instead. Whisper it quietly, but I don’t waterski, I wakeboard…

    Anyway, let’s go, shall we? Normal format as ever, the usual sharing of experiences, advice, and general bonhomie. Anyone discussing blades will be shot on sight.

    GO!

    NZCol
    Member

    Booked Flaine for New Year, off piste in VdI for Feb and somewhere for Easter most likely. New ski’s on the horizon to replace the QST92’s that are relegated to Scotland duty (if it snows this year). Bring it on !

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Subscriber

    Aha at last.
    Åre for Xmas, then obergurgl for a January trip.
    hoping to do some off piste on both trips, just need to look at guides.
    no purchases planned this year as I replaced my jacket after discovering a hoodie style hood is crap in heavy snow and my dakine backpack filled up with melted snow.
    can’t wait now

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    We’re debating where to go end of January.
    nbt wants a week of ‘off piste’ too, I’m not confident to join him for a full week, meaning it may be a week piste skiing for me and 2 for him.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    @grahamt1980 you are coming to my neck of the woods in Sweden. Spännande!   First time?

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Long weekend in Chatel in February then a couple of weeks in Cervinia at Easter

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Going to Les Arc for Xmas with Mrs Dubs brother & family. Hopefully get a weekend away with friends in Feb/March time.

    Will invest in some Burton Step-Ons this year. My Cartels are still serviceable but I fancy a change 🙂

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Subscriber

    @howsyourdad1 yep first time for me, staying in bjornen.
    probably not going to do a massive amount of boarding as this is primarily a snow xmas holiday with kids, but even if I have to walk up the mountain I will do some riding on Christmas day

    willard
    Member

    Possibly Idrefjäll if we can get a place to stay early enough this year. I tried to tempt GF with a trip to Japan, but it looks like I spent too much holiday skydiving this year, so that might not work.

    Otherwise, more XC in Darlana like last year

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Hoping for some snow in Scotland – going to make use of our new getaway in Aviemore hopefully.
    Feb trip flights booked, but not settled on a resort.
    Maybe an add Easter option if the Scottish season is as poor as the last one 🙁

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    @grahamt1980 Nice, yes that is the family place, excellent. I can guarantee you darkness and snow!  I highly recommend a Valle afterski show for the kids they love it!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/nVQdiz8CXs2AQhPPA
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    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    Eyeing up a (long) week to the Aosta valley doing a couple of days in la Thuile, Courmayeur, Cervinia and a day in Pila.

    Anyone done anything similar to this? We’re mainly off piste skiers and will probably take the skins so we can explore out of the resort boundaries.

    Was debating doing a week in Cervinia but fancy trying a load of new resorts and this seems to be a good way

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    @oliverracing I’ve done a few weeks in Cervinia, so if you have any specifics, fire away.

    eskay
    Member

    After much pondering and trying to do it in the cheap (see my Bulgaria thread) we have just booked Christmas week in Levi Finland. Been a few times before and it is very laid back during December. Skiing isn’t massive but good fun.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    I don’t waterski, I wakeboard

    awww, It’s OK flash, some people do find it difficult 😉

    Week in Kitzbuhel in Jan and a week in Mayrhofen in Feb so far for me

    Fingers crossed for great conditions for everyone

    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    oliverracing I’ve done a few weeks in Cervinia, so if you have any specifics, fire away.

    (1) We can’t afford to stay up in the main village but have found some nice accommodation down the valley in Paquier/Singlin – do you think staying here is going to mean driving up each day we might want to do Zermatt?

    (2) On that subject would you vote for the Zermatt pass or the Cervinia only pass we’re both good skiers and will be doing a few touring itineraries so may pop over into the next valley as I’ve read that it’s a good route.(Chamopluc)

    (3) I’ve read the Cervinia pass also includes the rest of the Aosta valley? Have you skied in any of the other resorts and if so any feedback relatively to Cervinia?

    (4) Is Cervinia as flat/cruisey as people claim?

    (We’ll be going early mid march for reference)

    some people do find it difficult

    That’s not how you spell “boring”. 😁 I can waterski, just find wakeboard more fun/challenging.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    (1) We can’t afford to stay up in the main village but have found some nice accommodation down the valley in Paquier/Singlin – do you think staying here is going to mean driving up each day we might want to do Zermatt?

    Depends when you are going, but the gondola from Valtournenche gets you up from there with the options of skiing back too. Early and late in teh season might be a bit sketchy though.
    Alternatively, there is a shuttle bus which runs up the valley regularly. If you do drive, there is a big free car park at the Plan Maison gondola / cable car station.

    (2) On that subject would you vote for the Zermatt pass or the Cervinia only pass we’re both good skiers and will be doing a few touring itineraries so may pop over into the next valley as I’ve read that it’s a good route.

    Defo get the international pass – the swiss side offers so many more options, and the difference in price is small.

    (3) I’ve read the Cervinia pass also includes the rest of the Aosta valley? Have you skied in any of the other resorts and if so any feedback relatively to Cervinia?

    No, but some friends we were with in January had a day at Champoluc – Monterosa when the wind closed the upper slopes at Cervinia

    (4) Is Cervinia as flat/cruisey as people claim?
    There’s plenty of that, but it probably feels more that way because there are no trees.
    There are only a couple of true blacks.

    Hope this helps.

    A couple of other tips.
    1. Coffee and ice cream from the Sweet Side of the Matterhorn
    2. Drinks in Ymeltrob
    3. On piste food from Pit Stop

    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    Thanks for that! Makes our decision much more difficult! Assuming we get a 9 day pass it’s €395 for the whole Aosta valley including the skyway monte bianco and Cervinia but not Zermatt, or the Zermatt/Cervinia pass for €446 but that doesn’t include the rest of the Aosta valley. Seems you can pay €34 a day to add Zermatt to the Aosta valley pass though if we decide to go that route.

    nbt
    Member

    Consider your location carefully. If you base yourselves in Cervinia, it’a hack of a drive down to the Aosta Valley and then a further drive back up to the other resorts.

    I’ve skied the Monterosa from Gressoney – great skiing, perhaps a little limited in terms of pistes but access to plenty of lift served off piste and even more if you are touring. Courmayeur likewise, both from the main ski area and then from the Skyway, though I’ve not done off piste there personally.

    EDIT – suppose what Im trying to say ism, if you do fancy visitnig the different resorts that much, either prepare for a lot of driving from a centreal location in the valley, or even mor driving from a location in one of the resorts, or consider moving location.

    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    Yeah, neither of us mind driving a bit each day if that means we can access the best skiing as we’re used to a ~30 bus or train ride or drive every morning where we normally go. (Staying in Interlaken, skiing in Jungfrau region)

    Only worry is staying in Aosta if there’s so much snow the roads are shut we’ll be stuck skiing Pila, but I guess if it’s that snowy there’ll be plenty of powder there!

    nbt
    Member

    the main road is more or less always clear, it’s the main motorway from turin up to the tunnel, so you can easily get to Aosta / Pila and Courmayeur. Getting up to the Monterosa or La Thuile might be a little more difficult

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    @Oliverracing depends how long you are planning to go for, but Cervinia + Valtournenche + Zermatt is a lot of ground to cover and should keep you occupied for a week or so at least, without having to drive anywhere.

    tetrode
    Member

    After my second snowboard trip in March and finally ‘getting it’ and linking turns and enjoying it, a group of us are planning on a week in Chatel in February. We were in Chamonix in March and while the scenery was absolutely incredible, I’m definitely glad I won’t have to take any buses this time.

    When do people think the best time to book is? We’re probably looking at getting a self catering chalet.

    surfer
    Member

    Boy wonder on his sandwich year so gets normal hols and can join us on a lads trip in Feb. More than excited that we can ski together. Skiing is his favourite thing and he has missed the last 2 seasons 🙂

    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    Yeah, we really fancy exploring s load of new resorts, it’s whether an hour or two driving each day plus €30 in fuel and tolls is worth it.

    Gonna have to think about how we do this. Should have 8 days in total, with a possible 1/2 day at the start.

    We both quite like the look on Chamopluc and the Monterosa ski area so may see if we can do two different accommodations up each end of the valley to get best of both

    pedlad
    Member

    Did a lads trip based out of Aosta a good few years ago and drove to and skied a differnt resort each day. Cervinia, Champolac-Gressoney – Algna, Courmayer – bloody brilliant times and don’t remember the driving being far at all. Mainly piste bashing though.

    toby1
    Member

    Samones in late March with some family, not expecting too much skiing I think they do the morning then a boozy lunch. Sooo, also an end of Jan trip probably back to Tignes again as it was good last year 🙂

    Going to need new trou’s I think as I’ve lost about 6inches from my waist, and at about 10 trips in they are starting to show a lot of wear and literal tear, coat will just look more parkrat than before.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Subscriber

    Mayrhofen for me next year. Can’t wait, this will be my second year boarding after a long layoff. Boards seem to have moved on quite a bit from the 90’s. Thinking of booking some lessons, almost feel that the new stuff needs a slightly different riding style. Used to have most of the weight on the front of the board, whereas now using the whole board seems to work better.

    Premier Icon colp
    Subscriber

    Feb half term flight Liverpool to Salzburg – just under £600 per person!
    Blimey Charlie!
    Have to make it 2 weeks and drive I suppose.

    sprootlet
    Member

    Literally booked it yesterday, Flaine from 4th January until 1st February.
    No new toys unless I splash out on some Hestra Army mittens.
    Just hope the sensation comes back into my shin after my recent knee surgery, crossing everything for that.

    TheDTs
    Member

    Lots of ideas and no firm plans at the moment.
    Somewhere at New year on the cards, don’t want to spend another week off work at NY here when we could be out there. Much easier now that the kids don’t need lessons every day.

    Big family trip, not sure where yet, need somewhere with a bit of village character and 150k + of piste is the brief. Probably Easter for 12 peeps self catering, & Driving. Dad is the one pushing this, he is worried that he may not have many weeks left skiing😔 but after doing lots more than he expected last season he is keen to do as much as possible.

    Would love to get more touring in after a great week in Austria last season, but I may be pushing it. Hasn’t stopped me looking at new tech bindings & skis though.

    We are booked for Val Cenis with the HMV pass. These are on sale at the moment with discounts ranging from 50% to 29%. We got 33% of a week pass valid for Val Cenis, including one day at each of the other HMV resorts.

    Last year we were at Aussois, and had great afternoons away at Val Cenis, La Norma and Val Frejus. This season we are basing ourselves at Val Cenis as this will still be great for the kids morning lessons, good for the adults, and accessible to the other resorts. At €139 for a 6 day pass, it would be madness not to.

    EDIT: Still to decide which Scottish Season Pass to go for. Maybe Nevis, maybe Glencoe.

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Back to the 3 valleys in Jan and the customary end of season in obergurgl 😎. I’m thinking of taking the plunge and buying skis this year as I think I’ve plateau’d in terms off my poster skiing and I’m going to be a slow learner of piste.

    Anybody seen any deals around for skis they might fit the bill or suggestions of where to look?

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    I’ve bought skis from ekosport.co.uk a bit like sport Konrad and similar online continental European – based discount sites.

    Still to decide which Scottish Season Pass to go for. Maybe Nevis, maybe Glencoe

    I admire your optimism.

    sprootlet
    Member

    My last skis came from Ekosport and they were great
    Pair before that was from Glisshop and they too were great.
    Both have sales on at the moment, I bought some ski boots that had £250 off. Buying boots without trying them on is risky but you can return them and when your feet are 21.5 finding suitable ski boots is a challenge (to say the leas)

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Feb half term flight Liverpool to Salzburg – just under £600 per person!

    We are heading that way for half term too but flying into Vienna instead – much cheaper!

    TheDTs
    Member

    If used skis are of interest then SkiBarn seller on eBay is a very cheap option.
    Have also used Ekosport and Glisshop with no prob.

    Premier Icon colp
    Subscriber

    We are heading that way for half term too but flying into Vienna instead – much cheaper!

    It’s a good option, and the Westbahn trains direct to Salzburg are fast and cheap

    sprootlet
    Member

    This one is for bunnyhop – the ski club GB do off piste week long courses in flaine for all levels. Some courses have accommodation included and some are just for the instruction.

    Had some private lessons with Diane who is one of their regular instructors and she was just great, cannot recommend her enough really. Excellent, passionate teacher and really focussed on you improving, not about her having a good time at your expense. Her English is very good too.

    There is also UCPA in town which includes lessons and they do do off piste courses too.

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