- Where to go skiing in europe??
Have you skied in Europe before?
If so then where did you go and what did you think?
There is a huge difference between European and American resorts IMO.
Especially in terms of scale, quality of snow, attitudes and nightlife.
Personally I'm a big fan of Austria as I find that most resorts still have some charm and it isn't outrageously expensive. But then we like it for the Apres which is not your thing.
So maybe somewhere a bit more upmarket. Switzerland?Posted 8 years agosimon_gSubscriber
I liked Sainte Foy last year, off the road between Bourg St Maurice and Tignes. Nice quiet village, not a huge resort with only four lifts but a good mix of long reds and blues with a huge amount of unpisted play areas between pistes. Lots and lots of great off-piste if you have a guide too. Plus if you want variety, it's only a short drive over to Tignes or Les Arcs for a day out.
We stayed with snowology who were absolutely brilliant.Posted 8 years ago
Never skied in europe at all, really like Crested Butte/Summit County, Keystone/A Basin, Steamboat.
Get ready for a culture shock then!
[*]the runs are much shorter. You can usually see the bottom from the top.[/*]
[*]the runs are probably narrower and busier than you will be used to[/*]
[*]the snow is (generally) not as good[/*]
[*]the lifts may be a bit older and creakier than you are used to[/*]
[*]there will be greater aggro and barging in the queues[/*]
But…Posted 8 years ago
[*]the cakes and on-piste eateries are good[/*]
[*]they have proper beer and real cheese[/*]
[*]the atmosphere and nightlife are fun[/*]
[*]there are "proper" spas to recover in[/*]
[*]no jetlag is definitely a bonus[/*]
the runs are much shorter. You can usually see the bottom from the top.
Really? The Ventina piste at Cervinia is reckoned to be one of the longest in Eurpoe. If you start at the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt, it is about 11-12km long and drops from 3820m (the highest lift in Europe) to 2100m in Breuil Cervinia… in fact the combined Zermatt / cervinia area has over 300km of runs!!Posted 8 years ago
Really? The Ventina piste at Cervinia is reckoned to be one of the longest in Eurpoe…
I didn't say Europe doesn't have long runs. According to
thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com the world's longest ski run is 13.7 miles in Chamonix. 🙂
But outliers aside, yes, I'd say that most runs are shorter in Europe.Posted 8 years agomeesterbondMember
We went to Montgenevre last year and were very impressed by it – not much in the way of nightlife, but the snow was great (in March as well), very quiet in comparison to the more well known resorts, the off-piste wasn't bad (and very easy to find) and a quick hop over to Italy for lunch and the food was great…
That said, I'd still go to Chamonix every time, but the prices in France are getting stupid now, particularly for food and drink..Posted 8 years ago
That said, I'd still go to Chamonix every time, but the prices in France are getting stupid now, particularly for food and drink..
Yep, that is certainly true…. Skied in Chamonix for a long weekend in February. 20 euro for a very basic pasta and 8 euro for a beer.
Oh, and btw – on the subject of Chamonix, I wouldn't include the Vallee Blanche as a piste. Sure, it is lift served, but you'll need 70-80 euros for a guide down the glacier. Well recommended, although I've skied it from Punta Helbronner rather than the French start point at Aiguille du Midi.Posted 8 years ago
The Italian Dolomites. thread closed, beacause:
The lifts are virtually all brand new. More gondolas than chairs.
1200km of piste on your lift pass, of which 600km ish is all linked together
Long, mellow wide runs, mainly above tree line.
The most snowmaking in Europe
Best snow record in the Alps
fun, friendly apres, usually starts at 4:00, and finishes about 7pm, in time for your lovely italian meal (see above)
Good value compared to france
Friendlier than france
less crowded than france
Lots of nice dutch people (don't know why)
nice quality hotels, most with spas, a few nice chalets, usually without.
I would recommend Corvara (Called Alta Badia). Beautiful scenery, amazing hotels.
Hotels? check these out – I have been in them all when in a previous job:
Mail in profile i fyou have any questions on the area. or post on here.Posted 8 years ago
gonefishin: Fair enough. I'm only commenting from my own experiences, so I may well be talking complete bollox. Wouldn't be the first time. 😕
(I've ridden quite a bit in Austria, but only had a couple of trips to Switzerland and France.Posted 8 years ago
I can compare that to Steamboat, plus the Canadian resorts of Whistler, and Banff).FunkyDuncMember
"the lifts may be a bit older and creakier than you are used to"
I would agree with that comment in Italy, but not France.
As to vertical, most resorts have a greater vertical than many of the US/Canada places.
I think what you will find strange are groomed pistes, and volumes of people on slopes, especially the bigger resorts in France.
Oh and France is incredibly expensive due to the Euro.Posted 8 years ago
Sorry to say I disagree with a lot of what GrahamS said (sorry).
To suggest that runs in the Alps are generally short compared with North American resorts is nonsense. Typical large resorts e.g. Trois Vallee, St Anton, Verbier, have runs that drop from 3200m to 1500m over many kilometers.
To suggest that runs are generally narrower is also silly. E.g. Cervinia is IMO mostly tedious 8 lane wide snow motorways of moderate gradient. (go to Zermatt on the other side of the mountain – way more interesting, if rather expensive)
And that lifts are old and creaky – really not true unless you are talking only about minor resorts. Very few resorts now rely on surface drags except on galcier, and most chairs are high-speed 6 pack detachables, often with bubbles; except where there are gondolas – cable cars are rare now.
But I do accept the point about etiquette – there's very little! But no-one will care about you riding off the back of the mountain if you want to. Piste-patrol is pretty light. Do be aware of recent legal developments in Italy (Piedmont I think) which are making off-pisting (you would call it backcountry) difficult.
Assuming you avoid the self-service restaurants, on-mountain eateries are often amazing – often very rustic huts with amazing trad food and beer.
Snowfall in the Alps can be more erratic that the Rockies, though to be fair I wasn't overly impressed with snow in Colorado the year I went. My favourite Euro snow hotspots (coldspots) include Flaine (France) and Arlberg (Austria). The main snows have been coming later in recent years, with February being a bit of drought.Posted 8 years ago
Dolomites snow making is excellent, though altiude is generally higher than most austrian resorts. Sella ronda area is the place to head to if you want to put some miles under your skis. If you want to enjoy something a little different Kronplatz is worth a look, (italian name is plans de corones). still in dolomites, but based arounf one big mountain. Amazing snowmaking with a season that often runs into may, (with artificial snow)Posted 8 years agoRHSno2Member
GrahamS: You are wrong.
I've skied Whistler (Season) and Jackson. Whistler has most vert in N America and is comparable to Europe aka 1500m vert.
I've done 4 seasons now in verbier and the runs are huge. 3300 to 1500M and if you are lucky to 900m.
We have had 2 years of bumper snow but generally the more eastern resorts in the Alpine chain get more snow but with lower altitudes. Austria is VERY good IME for dep winter as it gets cold and is the first place to get northern storms. Great trees and some good alpine.
France. St Foy is shite (only kidding), Les Arcs is nice (family orientated), Val and Tignes are huge! HUGE. I have also been to Risoul in the Maritimes Alpes which was very quiet and good skiing. The southern alps do get quite a lot of snow.
Switzerland. Verbier is great but crazy busy. Zermatt obvious. Some smaller resorts in between which offer similar terrain (who actually needs 300km's of piste for a week?). Any of the resorts in the Val D'Anniversaire (St Luc, Chandolin and Zinal) would give superb skiing, classic Swiss views and quietness.
Engelberg. Great place but not much piste.
Further east like Davos, St Moritz etc..loads and loads.
If you like mountains and skiing the Alps blows N America out of the water and there is a lot more happening especially if you visit instead of getting on a bus and arriving at purpose built resort (most French ones).Posted 8 years ago
GrahamS: You are wrong.
Fairy snuff. As I said it was just my opinion/experience.
I'm not convinced that total vert really matters to everyone though. I think many folks just go up a lift, down the piste and repeat. So it is the length of that run, rather than the size of the entire mountain that they experience.
And IME, taken individually the American/Canadian runs seem longer than the stuff that I've ridden in Europe.
Emphasised by the fact that they are far less crowded (I've done several runs in Canada where I didn't see anyone else at all!)
Maybe I just need to ride more of Europe though. 🙂Posted 8 years agoFunkyDuncMember
I agree that many people do not do full vertical in one go, from the top of the Grand Montets 3300m down to Argentier 1275 is a bloody long way and even going at a fair lick takes about 20-30 mins! You certainly cant see the bottom.
I agree with the comment about Risoul France, to say its so far south it has a good snow record, is quiet and offers some pretty good safe off piste.
I hate Tignes/Val d'isere its just feels disjointed, and all the piste tend to naturally make me congregate to certain runs.
La Grave is fun though 3500 to 1450 not a piste basher in site and relatively quiet.Posted 8 years agotheflatboyMember
i've been skiing/boarding quite a few times in europe, and last christmas went to la plagne for the first time. we stayed at belle plagne so you can ski straight out of the door. i've never been anywhere else with the scope you get there – unbelievable amounts of runs and variety. you could literally spend a week there and never do the same run twice, it's absolutely massive and really good quality stuff. so there. 🙂Posted 8 years agoEcky-ThumpMember
Kronplatz is worth a look
Ahhh Jimbo…. you've outed my secret place.
I guess its time to spill the beans and share something good.
Been going to Kronplatz with family for about the last 8 years. Brilliant place for families. No real "big ticket" scare yourself to death stuff but loads of wide & fast carving stuff (yet steep enought to get 60mph+ according to the GPS tracker we had!!). Lifts are all new and uplift capacity is fantastic so you don't queue much at all.
As a "solid intermediate", you might get a bit fed-up of doing the same runs but you can now connect by bus to the Sella-Ronda which is on the same Dolomiti Superski ticket. Its a nice easy scenic loop to do in day,
I've skied Steamboat a couple of years ago and liked that… Yes, I know there's no comparison really – but If you like the "feel" of that, then you might like Kronplatz/Dolomites.
Cheap flights to Venice Trevisso too but we usually go by car Hull-Rotterdam overnight ferry and then blast down to Munich and over the Brenner.
Also like just about anywhere in Austria but really can't afford to eat/drink with family in France and its no-where near as character filled so I'd always drive straight through it.
Hope that helps.Posted 8 years ago
Ecky Thump – good spot eh? only skied it for a day when I was checking out Kronplatz for Neilson holidays a few years ago.
More gondolas than chairs, access to the sella ronda, and a brilliant town brunico just a few miles away.
le ET said, kids clubs are excellent, and based at the top of the mountain, so it's dead easy to go check on little people halfway through the day without having to trek across a resort. It's also nice for the kids as they do get a feeling for a ski holiday. really friendly there too.Posted 8 years agobenzMember
Have to admit to being out of my depth more than a few times there – scared the sh1t out of me!
Hell, if there is decent snow, a bit of sun and some great scenery, then wherever will beat the 9>5.
Wonder if the cable car at Punt Helbronner is still like something out of 'Where Eagles Dare'…probably not…but a combination of wind, belly full(and bowel loosely holding onto…) of chilli grappa and vertigo as standard not a good combinationPosted 8 years ago
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