Very short notice ski tip!
I’ve got 3-4 days off next week before starting a new job and realised this would be a good time to give ski/snow boarding a go. I’ve tried last minute and doing some more research tonight. I’d like to be able to do a few days for inside £500 with atleast one lesson. Is this feasible? I can get some boots cheap off a friend so all I’d need is ski hire.
Cheers!Posted 9 years ago
It doesn’t always work out cheaper to go for a few days (which you will probably have to organise yourself) compared to a week long package deal at the last minute, because you can often get good last minute deals on the package holidays if they have a room or two they need to fill. However if you can go midweek you might get a hotel with a room free, especially as we’re well into March now and away from school hols.
If looking at France, and organising yourself, search French websites for hotels, they are cheaper and better than the British run places in my experience. Fire off a bunch of emails to them and await response, I’ve done this and found somewhere eventually. Also in places like Chamonix there are climbers hostels (bunk accomodation) which are cheap and cheerful and might have spaces midweek).
Group lessons are normally based around the weekly trade so might not work out for you – another option would be to organise a one day one on one lesson, not cheap but might be the best way to get going. Are you boarding or skiing, the learning curve is different (skiing probably easier to get into at first).
But basically, go for it, I was amazed how much fun it was first time I went.Posted 9 years agotorsoinalakeMember
You could stay out of resort to save some money and it will be easier to find hotels for short stays. Depending on how far you want to go from Geneva, you have Bride-Les-Bains at the bottom of Meribel. There is a cable car up to the slopes from there. Bourg-St-Maurice has the funicular to Les Arcs, and is a short drive from Tignes. Hiring a car can make it easier to do this. Equipment hire is also cheaper out of resort. And, yes, use the French websites – the tourism offices also can be really helpful in finding deals.
There are lots of smaller resorts around Geneva too, they might be worth a try: http://www.j2ski.com/ski_resorts/Airports/Geneva.html
Unfortunately, the almighty sterling’s fall from grace has ended the ‘cheap’ ski break in France. We have just got back from our annual trip, and the cash burn rate was quite spectacular.Posted 9 years ago
You could stay out of resort to save some money and it will be easier to find hotels for short stays
That’s a good point, if you hire a car you will certainly be able to find a cheap motel a few km outside Chamonix on the A40 for example, then just get up early and drive to one of the smaller resorts like Les Houches. Although this is probably less fun than staying in the villages.Posted 9 years ago
I’d say boarding has a steeper learning curve initially, but once you get past a certain point you’re basically doing it. Skiiing on the other hand is more gradual so you can be snowplowing and using the lifts after a couple of hours and progressing to parallel in a couple of days, but it will take a lot longer to get into carving turns properly etc., whereas with boarding you might take several days just to link turns – but once you can, you’re away.
Boarding will involve the most falling over initially, IMHO. Consider knee pads and possibly wrist guards especially if it’s icy. Boarding can be very knackering for beginners as well as just getting up is hard work after a bit, and you will be falling down and getting up again quite a lot. You can at least stand still on skis 😉Posted 9 years agoaracerSubscriber
Are you set on France? Just that IME it’s far easier to find accomodation in Austria, and also a lot easier and cheaper to get to the resorts. Went to St Johann a month ago and paid €25 a night for a B&B. Getting there’s easy too – Easyjet to Innsbruck, bus to the train station and train to resort – you can walk to accommodation from the train station. I was in resort by 1pm after a 7:30am flight. Not necessarily recommending St Johann (though it’s not bad for downhill I understand – I was doing XC), but lots of other Austrian resorts are similarly easy, including Kitzbuhel which is the previous station you stop at.
Have to wonder at the wisdom of going on a first ski holiday (and planning on having as little as one lesson) just before starting a new job though!Posted 9 years ago
If you’re not afraid of being lonely, and as you’re a beginner. One idea that I try and tell everyone is if you get a cheap flight to Grenoble or Chambery. Stay in the local youth hostel and get the local bus form the town centre of either to the local resorts such as Les Sept Laux http://www.7laux.com or Chamrouse etc. http://www.skipass.com lists all the french resorts. These resorts are much smaller but as a beginner and only there for 2-3 days you’re not going to run out of things to do (you could go to a different ‘resort’ each day. A day pass with insurance is I think 29 euros at Sept Laux. You’re paying through the nose for passes at resorts like Alpe D’Huez, Val D’iSere etc that as a beginner you’re never going to make the most of.
I live about an hour and a half away, and it’s the sort of place I choose to go to when I go ski ing because it’s never for more than a day and I generally take a lesson now and again as I’m still learning. I think the ESF ski school at Sept Laux charges 35 euros per hour for 1:1 lessons. I’d definitely take at least a 2 hour lesson at first and prob another one the next day.
If set on the bigger resorts, I once stayed down in the valley form Val D’isere at a youth hostel that charged me 25 euros for a room in a dorm, breakfast, dinner and free bus service. It was a winner as it was a last minute trip to go and see some mates, and the chepaest hotel I could find in Val D’isere at the time was upwards of 100 euro’s and that was speaking french and ringing directPosted 9 years ago
And as an example of the resorts near Grenoble:Posted 9 years ago
http://www.chaletslovakia.com is run by two friends of mine. Yeah, a bit different, but it’s worth checking out the website. You can fly to Bratislava for next to nothing with a connecting four hour train journey which is less than £15…and they have bikes there.
I went to help plan some mtb routes there last year and snowboarded for the first time, all in four days.Posted 9 years agosingletrackmindMember
Try Chalets direct (google it) You ask the owners of Chalets for accomadation based on your requiremnts. Many do have single rooms or empty rooms that they will do for a short break if it doesnt run over a weekend , as Saturday is normal changeover day. Then either Snowtrain to Bourg or Easyjet , plus hire car ( £40 odd per day now)Posted 9 years ago
Tricky to go skiing alone on the cheap. For not alot more you will get a week with Skiworld or Iglu on a late availablity booking.
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