W-T-F : ski hire in france ££££ !

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  • W-T-F : ski hire in france ££££ !
  • dave_aber

    Used SkiSet last year (www.skiset.co.uk) – They get you into local (good) rental shops with a pre-booking at decent rates. Just did a dummy booking for a pair of Bandit SC80’s, no boots, 6 days (7th free) for €90 odd. Cheaper for later on in the season, natch. About 30% cheaper than walking in off the street in the resort.

    Tracey – Your picture from above La Daille is going to cost me a fortune – I need to go NOW….


    Soldeu is an absolute gem of a resort, and certainly cheaper. I’ve been five times, and had brilliant conditions for the first three.

    I’d certainly recomend it, if you can find somewhere late, and know the snow is good. I’d not go again now hoping for good snow, as it wasn’t great last time, and not worth buying a lift pass the time before.

    Not as large and grand as Val D’Isere by any stretch of the imagination, but it takes up 2/3 of a day to go over to Pas de la Casa for lunch and back. Excellent night life(ie everyone who runs the bars are Brits), and there’s lots of live, very good music every night. It’s a fairly small place, but you can eat in a different restaurant every night, never pay over the top, and have a very good meal in each one.


    I’m off to La Tania next weekend for a week.

    Flights £100
    Catered Chalet £299
    Ski Hire (Top notch ones) £70

    The only bit that has gone up is the lift pass at £200 ish quid. To be honest I wouldnt have managed to get a similar holiday any cheaper 10 yeras ago.

    IMO chalet holidays are the best value for money at the moment, with 3 meals a day and booze at night your expenses are minimal.


    Forgot to add….

    snowrental.net use Sport 2000 in France, and they are by far the cheapest website I have found.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    funky – we got 2 prs of top rank skis for 120 euros (? about 55 quid a pair)

    your basic holiday price beats the crap out of ours though (posho family holiday with esprit)


    Buy skis! I did a few years ago. I broke even on them three years on and after six trips (allowing for service and carriage). No faffing about in hire shops, more skiing time. More stuff to lug, but i prefer having skis that i know. It’s much more consistent. I now edge and wax myself and have done the odd ptex repair too.

    Skiing in France is sxxt expensive! Went to Val Thorens just before Christmas. It was rammed with gangs of university students. It was as busy as Feb. half term week – queues were a nightmare. I have never seen anything like it before (done Val T. on the same week in the past and it was almost empty).

    Food was very expensive and the French service was as surly as ever – I hate their arrogant attitude! I am not going back there for a good few years if I can help it!

    I have had a few holidays in Austria, namely St Anton. Beer and food was much cheaper there (about the same as the UK), but the last time was 3 years ago. Prices aside, St Anton is a fantastic place for skiing (didn’t see many boarders there). The skiing is generally much tougher there and higher runs are not managed to the same level as other resorts. The apres ski was legendary! The French don’t know how to enjoy a beer. Try Austria.

    Premier Icon Shandy

    I used to work in the accounts department of a major tour op. Our typical margins were 10-20% on lift passes and ski school, and up to 700% on skis, boots etc.

    Lets say there are deals to be had on equipment hire!!

    Premier Icon aracer

    Go XC skiing. No lift pass, and you can buy pretty good skis for <£150!


    “Buy skis! I did a few years ago.”

    I disagree, with a good pair of skis costing £600-£800 it makes much more sense to hire, unless you ski for 3-4 weeks a season.

    Unfortunately I only tend to get away twice a year these days, hiring you get the latest season equipment, dont have to waist time waxing or sharpening edges, and if you talk nicely to the shop you can end up trying out 2 or 3 pairs of skis in a week, plus no paying stupid prices for having a pair of ski’s on a plane, and have to lug them around.


    with a good pair of skis costing £600-£800


    Stop wingeing.
    we’ve all had great years out there when the pound to euro was 2:1. i’ve just been to tignes and yes it was more expensive than previous years but that’s just tough. You can check lift pass and ski hire prices online you know and it doesnt take a genius to work out how much it will cost. If you can’t afford it don’t go. Let’s be honest finding your ski holiday was more expensive than planned is not real hardship is it?

    Anyway the snow is better than it has been for years – go ahead and enjoy if you are going. And yes if you choose to eat at mountain top restaurants and get bladdered every night it will cost you an arm and a leg. I spent no more than 10 euros per person on lunch at tignes this year so not too bad on the whole.


    I spent no more than 10 euros per person on lunch at tignes this year

    What did you eat, Snow?

    Anyway the snow is better than it has been for years


    The snow was very tasty this year , apart from the yellow stuff!


    The Espace Killy yellow snow still tastes better than the stuff in my garden last week. Must be the extra garlic.


    Award winning Rossignol Bandit B2 skis, Rossignol bindings and poles cost me £385 delivered to the UK from Andorra. Look for end of season discounts. I’m sure you can get a good pair of skis for a lot less than £600.

    Edge and wax takes less than 30 mins. I had an old iron so just needed wax, a scraper, edge file and scotchbrite pads. I got everything for pennies on Ebay.

    When I bought these skis, airlines didn’t charge carriage. All the budget airlines charge now, which is why I often chose BA. Check the baggage weight allowances – you often get 15-20kg allowance – skis weigh around 6-7kg. If you travel with someone else who has their own skis, put them in one bag. When driving, carriage is no issue.

    If decent ski’s cost now £600-£800, that is why rental costs £100+ per 6 days. I frequently ski 8 days when we drive so if I was to rent I would be paying even more to rent.

    You can easily loose half a day queuing up for skis on a first day. The hire skis I have had generally had poor edges and chunks take out of them. I’d balk at paying £100+ for rubbish like that – regardless if they are top end skis!

    I have taken my MTB to the alps for the past 9 years. My mate has rented in the past few years. Last time he complained that the rental price had rocketted. The shop’s repsonse was that they were renting £1500 bikes whereas before they were renting stuff at less than half that value. The early rental bikes were a joke – cheap x-country bikes with spindly cheap tyres, but still £100 for 5 days. The Alpine shops always charge way too much. Last summer we rented a £15000 car for less than the £1500 full sus. mtb!


    £385 delivered to the UK from Andorra

    Bought out there, or online? Got a web address?


    buy skis/board in the sale in the largest town near to where you are staying.

    skiing in germany is much cheaper than france/switzerland. ok, so the hills aren’t as big (600m-1800) and the resorts are smaller and more compact but for families with kids and for those who are learning, i think they are ideal.

    acommodation is as razy expensive, beers €3.50, a good meal €10-15. that’s on the pistes and in the towns.

    there is loads of snow at the moment. end of feb is half term here so after that it’ll be relatively quiet.
    also, during the week the slopes are quiet, no tourists as the majority go to austria, france, italy etc. it’s only on the weekends that it gets crowded with all the locals.
    you’re much less likely to run into boozy brits too. much more traditional atmosphere.

    places such as Schliersee are good for families or learners.
    Obertsdorf or Garmisch are much more extensive, prehaps a little busier but not crowded.
    went to garmisch three weeks ago for a day trip. 2 ft powder and had the slopes and lifts practically to myself. this was on a monday, skiing at 3000m with clear blue skies.

    germany…. ja voll.


    I bought online. The deal came up in a google search. The company was run by an English bloke, but I can’t remember the name. I will see if I can find the invoice.


    Dave-Aber wrote

    Tracey – Your picture from above La Daille is going to cost me a fortune – I need to go NOW….

    It’s a small world Dave but the people in that photo are the ones that shared a chalet with me in the year before the Vieux Village. Poor things 😆
    At that time of year it would be unwise to go below 1800m for a base. Les Menuires is a bit cheaper but a whole lot less good. The skiing is on a par however. I don’t know how the Austrian resorts fare at that time of year but they are a little cheaper too. Except St Anton which is about the same. Livigno, Bormio and Sauze d’Oulx in Italy are all fairly high and cheaper but the skiing/”darkside sat on backside on piste posturing” is not quite as good. Fine for a week though. Cervinia would be worth a look but I have no experience of it.


    Tracey – Have you and yours recovered from ‘The Devil’ experience yet? I feel for your pain.


    I’m off to Austia skiing on Saturday and i’m dreading the damage that the exchange rate is going to do to my beer tokens.

    Premier Icon kimbers

    we stayed in brides le bains at the bottomof the valley from meribel, much cheaper than 3 valleys proper but still on the same cable car
    we went week b4 half term and it was great

    i got a decent board of ebay and kit from tk max a couple of years ago
    so no hire costs and 25 quid ski carriage, – much cheaper than rental costs
    croissants pan aux chocolat for brekky, made cheese baguetts for lunch each day
    when we did eat out was very pricey but youre on holiday and if you follow the happy hours drinks are at or below london prices
    i think we just had it to good in europe for too long weve got used to it being cheap


    I bought a pair of bandits and bindings at the end of last season at a sport 2000 in france for 240 quid, and they had loads for sale as well. If you have a car and time and want to buy kit its well worth driving to the nearest large town and looking in the sport shops. I’m not quite sure where you pay 600-800 for skis but I think you need to improve your negotiating skills.


    Well, I’ve only been snowboarding once, but it was fairly cheap.

    We stayed in neustift, Austria, here: http://www.schoenherrhaus.at/winter/en/index.html in one of the Zuckerhutl apartments. There was me and the other half, plus another couple and their 4yr old.
    I think hiring a board & boots was 60euros, although I seem to remember the accomodation giving us some vouchers.
    Lift pass was 160 euros and we hired a car as well.

    I highly recommend Neustift and the Stubai glacier for beginners/intermediates. Neustift is 10km from the base of the glacier, but we had a hire car so this wasn’t really a problem and there are courtesy buses running all day too.

    Premier Icon Tracey

    It was good to be out there at the same time, will be there in just over five weeks time, lets hope the snow will still be good. Abigale, Katie and myself have entered the mini DH at Chicksands the Saturday before so will have to be careful.


    Premier Icon mugsys_m8

    Shock horror. Ski ing in euroland has not got any more expensive (well it has a bit ok). The reason it costs so much is the £ is now worth nothing.
    Top resorts in France such as the 3 valleys etc has always been the domain of the rich and the Brits etc because they could afford it. Ever noticed where the French go? The smaller, less crowded cheaper resorts!

    Ok the small resorts prob not so good if going for a week etc, but there are still lots of gems out there. I think a road ski trip would be great. Sept Laux for instance inbetween Grenoble and Chambery is around 27 euros for a day and there’s plenty for most families for a day or two at a push.

    see http://www.skipass.com for a comprehenisve listing of all french ski resorts. Another idea esp for families and beginners is the Jura, north of Geneva. I was there this weekend and the snow is the best in around the last 15 years. There are some small resorts such as les rousses, Lelex, (Metabief being the biggest). It’s really a mecca for prepared x country ski ingso you should do some of that. At least try it. Time to forget the idea of a traditional week p*** up in Merribel. Lodgings massively cheaper than the alps and a hell of a lot more cultural: No real ‘resorts’ as such but just normal villages

    My wife who is French, got spoken to in English by a french waitress in Alpe D’Huez – sums it up for me!

    A bit of change, will make you see things in a different light. Make the most of the change and use it as an excuse.

    Happy to offer more alternative french ski ing holiday ideas by e-mail. I live there!

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