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Worldwide Mountain & Snow Sports Discussion 2016/17


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It's been an absolute incredible day in this part of the Alps @gareth moo. A real treat for a weather loving, mountain loving addict like me!! It's now 24 hours since my last post and this evening (Mo

Temp down to -19c last night in the nearby valley town of Tamsweg. Currently -10c on the mountain. Picture looking SSW with the Ankogel Group in the background. The runs you see are just one side of t

Great reading all these plans and photos, thank you all. I 'hope' to do my usual in mid Jan after the Lauberhorn for maybe 6-7 days gentle skiing. Not bad at 78 if I manage it!

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Ah well, another year's ski trip over and done with and now back at work.

We liked Serre Chevalier, snow conditions were decent, especially in light of it not having snowed for over a month. Pistes well prepared and good to ski on in the mornings, a bit cut up in places in the afternoons due to pressure of numbers. Lots of good, wide blue and red runs with not too many hard/icy patches. I only tried a couple of the blacks, which were skiable but the snow was too hard for them to be enjoyable and although my youngest (9) is capable of skiing blacks I refused to take him on them. One slip could have led to a very long slide so not worth the risk. Higher up there was some off piste potential but frankly what limited stuff we did try was solid and no fun. We're mainly piste skiers anyway but I can see the huge potential the resort has for some off piste fun when conditions are right. The weather was fantastic, sunshine all week and not too cold.

I've been in busier resorts too, and despite it being New Year week we never really had much of a wait for lifts. Some old, slow lifts though. If you were smart about when and where you skied you could pretty much ski onto most lifts. New Years morning was quiet as usual, and being a Tue-Tue stay we got a taste of how quiet it is during low-season when we skied on Mon 2nd. That really was some contrast!

Major success was finally making a skier of our eldest child. We took her skiing when she was around 12 for a day and she took to it better than her younger brother (middle kid, who came with us to La Plagne 2 yrs ago) . Then it became 'uncool' to be with her parents so when we went skiing in Scotland, or when she was older and we started booking skiing holidays in the Alps she never wanted to come. She turned 21 this year and much to our surprise chose the option of coming with us skiing in France, with us paying, rather than having a party (I'm certain the latter would have cost us less). She had 2 x 3hr dry slope lessons before we went, 3 x 2.5 morning lessons the first 3 mornings of the holiday and the rest of the time skiing mainly with us. Despite problems with her boots (she suffers from 'unusual' feet, like her mum) she progressed very quickly and we had her down some easy red pitches on the last day. She's already talking of buying her own boots.

Minor failure was the wife taking a tumble on the last afternoon on a hard patch on a red run. Despite twisting her knee at the time she managed to ski down to the gondola and hobbled off the mountain. After finally conceding to it yesterday, I dropped her off at the A&E in Aberdeen on our way home to get it checked out as she was really struggling to walk on it. Nothing major, just a strained ligament, but painkillers and crutches for a few days. Got to give credit to the NHS up here as they had her checked out and waiting for me in about an hour. If we'd know they'd be that quick we'd have waited rather than me running the kids home, dropping cases off etc, then rushing back into Aberdeen. Anyway, at least she did the injury on the last day and it isn't too bad.

Oh, @Norrona2015, enjoy your trip and I hope you get lots of new snow to play in,but not so much that it stops you playing. Although we've done OK the last 3 years I'd like for once to actually be in a ski resort when it dumps.

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Thanks Ravelin, really looking forward to getting away now. The snowfall amounts are up and down for Bulgaria at present but they did get 15cm through the night that wasn't forecast. The main dump is due Thursday and Friday before we arrive late Saturday. Next week looks like the resort will be quiet as most of the countries return to work with the exception of Russia. I've been forewarned about the the queues for the uplift, best to get there early each day and to keep a keen eye out for suicidal boarders and skiers. Having watched some videos, a suit of armour might be a good idea. I'll stick a post or two up as the week progresses. 

Sorry to hear about Mrs Ravelins accident on the final day, please pass on my wishes for a speedy recovery.

 

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Hey great to hear off you all again any some details of your trips! Much appreciated.

Out of interest I am thinking of going to Val D'isere (expensive option) or neighbouring village Tignes (cheaper) in around 2 weeks.

Anyone tried these resorts??

Cheers

WW

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Hi Wintry Wales,

Never been to either sadly but one of the lads thats travelling with me on Saturday goes to Tignes every November and has done for years. He was raving about the conditions while he was there this year.  

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4 hours ago, WINTRY WALES said:

Hey great to hear off you all again any some details of your trips! Much appreciated.

Out of interest I am thinking of going to Val D'isere (expensive option) or neighbouring village Tignes (cheaper) in around 2 weeks.

Anyone tried these resorts??

Cheers

WW

Hi WW. I stayed in Tignes a few years back and had a fantastic week's skiing. After a few days of exploring the various runs in Tignes (including the Grande Motte glacier), we took the chair lift up and over into Val d'Isere. Then for the rest of the week we went straight over and skied Val D'Isere every day. There are very good chair lift and gondola links between the two resorts, so getting back and forth is easy. 

Note that Tignes actually consists of two 'resort centres'. One is Le Lac and the other Val Claret. It's too far to walk so they are linked by shuttle bus, taxi or skiing between the two. But as both have bars and restaurants, there's no real need to use bus or taxi. In my view Le Lac edges it as the better of the two, because it has the larger centre and a new fast gondola (the Aeroski) to get to and from Val d'Isere.

If money isn't an issue, stay in Val d'Isere - the apres ski is better. But to save a few bob whilst enjoying the best of both resorts, stay in Tignes.  Here's a webcam shot of one of Val d'Isere's apres ski venues - La Folie Douce. I grabbed this image on Christmas Day but then didn't post it (until now).

Val D'Isere La Folie Douce 25Dec.jpg

Hope that helps. :)

 

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16 hours ago, Norrona2015 said:

Hi Wintry Wales,

Never been to either sadly but one of the lads thats travelling with me on Saturday goes to Tignes every November and has done for years. He was raving about the conditions while he was there this year.  

Where are you skiing in Bulgaria? We did Borovets in 2013 and conditions were similar to now (100cm+) on piste. We had a good week and didn't find the queues too bad. Personally I found the piste preparation poorer than the alps and you do have to watch for the odd kamikaze but it was good value for the money paid. 

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50 minutes ago, Radiating Dendrite said:

Where are you skiing in Bulgaria? We did Borovets in 2013 and conditions were similar to now (100cm+) on piste. We had a good week and didn't find the queues too bad. Personally I found the piste preparation poorer than the alps and you do have to watch for the odd kamikaze but it was good value for the money paid. 

Morning RD,

We're heading to Bansko on Saturday, this will be my first time too Bulgaria so looking forward to it. Yesterdays unexpected snowfall attracted large numbers which caused lengthy waits for the gondola as Facebook confirmed. Turn up around 8am and queueing is not an issue, turn up 9am onwards, it's a different story. This trip was organised by one of our party and when he sen't an email out with the cost and what's included I'd thought he'd made a mistake. Fights, transfers, 7 nights in a 4 start hotel half board and a six day lift pass for a few hundred pounds seemed ridiculously cheap.

 

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Well the upper trough over Europe is certainly changing the views on most web cams. At long last with some places having their first proper snowfall since late November/early December.

Just to bore folk here is my area of concern

the railway station web cam at around 7000ft

http://www.bahnhof-scheidegg.ch/default.asp?itemid=107&lang=e

and the Lauberhorn web site. It looks great but the folk involved with the race will not be impressed, having to compact a new layer on to the one already made largely with the snow cannons.It should look much better on camera though during the race with white as the background rather than brown!

http://www.lauberhorn.ch/en/Livecam

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16 minutes ago, gareth moo said:

Good news. 30cm of fresh snow reported from my friend who is doing a season in Les Arcs. Don't know where this came from because the models were looking pretty dry.

1950 definitely looking whiter than it did yesterday and in the link below it's clearly snowing:

http://en.lesarcs.com/live/les-arcs-livecams/livecam-1950.html#ong333

 

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5 hours ago, Radiating Dendrite said:

Where are you skiing in Bulgaria? We did Borovets in 2013 and conditions were similar to now (100cm+) on piste. We had a good week and didn't find the queues too bad. Personally I found the piste preparation poorer than the alps and you do have to watch for the odd kamikaze but it was good value for the money paid. 

I used to go to Austria or Italy almost every year and have also been to Switzerland and Finland also but with increasing prices I braved Bulgaria a few years back and was pleasantly surprised. They do not piste bash slopes to same level of the alps and the lift systems may not be quite as high tech but they are catching up and have a decent increasing number of snow cannons these days.

This year will be my 5th trip to Bulgaria and third time in Borovets you just cant match the price anywhere, granted I had one awful snowless year where only 6 runs were open but when snow is good I love it there and it's friendly lively resort heavy on the apres side too. :D

 

Snow forecast looking great for next 3 days too! 

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Thanks to the snowfall over the last 24 hours I can finally relax a bit and look forward to heading off to Feldberg in Germany on Sunday for a week's skiing!! This is my big family trip involving my 2 daughters, their husbands and my first grandchild. :) And with plenty of non-skiing activities, this is a favourite with Mrs Blessed who had to pack it up some years ago. A few webcam images from this morning:

Feldberg1 05Jan2016.jpgFeldberg2 05Jan2016.jpgFeldberg3 05Jan2016.jpgTodtnauberg 05Jan2016.jpg

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36 minutes ago, Blessed Weather said:

Thanks to the snowfall over the last 24 hours I can finally relax a bit and look forward to heading off to Feldberg in Germany on Sunday for a week's skiing!! This is my big family trip involving my 2 daughters, their husbands and my first grandchild. :) And with plenty of non-skiing activities, this is a favourite with Mrs Blessed who had to pack it up some years ago. A few webcam images from this morning:

Feldberg1 05Jan2016.jpgFeldberg2 05Jan2016.jpgFeldberg3 05Jan2016.jpgTodtnauberg 05Jan2016.jpg

looks good BW, enjoy

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Looking good Malcolm, enjoy your trip!

Just back after a few hours hill walking and thought I'd check the live webcams from Bansko to see if the forecasted snow has come to much.

OMFG the weathers gone bonkers over there:

http://original.livestream.com/bansko

Check out Todorka at 2550 meters :yahoo:

 

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6 hours ago, Norrona2015 said:

1950 definitely looking whiter than it did yesterday and in the link below it's clearly snowing:

http://en.lesarcs.com/live/les-arcs-livecams/livecam-1950.html#ong333

 

I'm currently staying in la plagne 1800 and i don't think there was anywhere near 30cm. I was in les arc today and up top there may have been up to 10cm but only a small dusting on the lower slopes. In fairness they have kept the pistes in great shape with the canons and I've spent the last 2 days in les arcs...much better than la plagne! 

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On ‎04‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 15:18, WINTRY WALES said:

Hey great to hear off you all again any some details of your trips! Much appreciated.

Out of interest I am thinking of going to Val D'isere (expensive option) or neighbouring village Tignes (cheaper) in around 2 weeks.

Anyone tried these resorts??

Cheers

WW

Tignes is a fantastic all round resort with a huge variety of skiing - with some amazing off piste areas if that's what your looking for. I also agree with Malcolm that Le Lac, although not pretty, is the best place to stay if you want access to the whole area including Val d'Isere. La Folie Douce is completely mental and always worth a visit especially after 3pm when it really starts bouncing. (I have also paid a visit to the equally insane Alpe d'Huez and Val Thorens branches of the chain).  However, if you're staying in Le Lac don't be late back to the Tommeuses chair as it closes at 4.45 I think. The black run back home in the twilight with a few beverages on board is generally quite 'eventful.' Tignes is an open bowl area so visibility can be compromised in poor weather although there are some lovely tree lined runs down towards La Brevieres and on the lower slopes in Val at La Daile, Fornet and Solaise. Highly recommended -  and the central private accommodation agency is super efficient via their website if you want to go independenly.

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Yep. I think that 30cm was a snow-starved exaggeration although there may have been something more reasonable on the Aiguille Rouge. He's been there over a month and hasn't been off piste yet!!

Tuesday looks like the next good opportunity for Savoie and Isere. Fingers crossed.

 

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31 minutes ago, gareth moo said:

Tignes is a fantastic all round resort with a huge variety of skiing - with some amazing off piste areas if that's what your looking for. I also agree with Malcolm that Le Lac, although not pretty, is the best place to stay if you want access to the whole area including Val d'Isere. La Folie Douce is completely mental and always worth a visit especially after 3pm when it really starts bouncing. (I have also paid a visit to the equally insane Alpe d'Huez and Val Thorens branches of the chain).  However, if you're staying in Le Lac don't be late back to the Tommeuses chair as it closes at 4.45 I think. The black run back home in the twilight with a few beverages on board is generally quite 'eventful.' Tignes is an open bowl area so visibility can be compromised in poor weather although there are some lovely tree lined runs down towards La Brevieres and on the lower slopes in Val at La Daile, Fornet and Solaise. Highly recommended -  and the central private accommodation agency is super efficient via their website if you want to go independenly.

I agree Tignes is a great location and with the new Solaise bubble out of Val makes the whole area very accessible, and if you like itineraries then Tignes is the place. I've been a few times and will be back again next week.

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43 minutes ago, hammy_ire said:

I'm currently staying in la plagne 1800 and i don't think there was anywhere near 30cm. I was in les arc today and up top there may have been up to 10cm but only a small dusting on the lower slopes. In fairness they have kept the pistes in great shape with the canons and I've spent the last 2 days in les arcs...much better than la plagne! 

Did a month in Les Arcs March 2015 and enjoyed every minute of it. Despite there being little snowfall during my time there, the pistes were in fantastic shape. Next time I go I'll stay in 1950 instead of in Bourg.

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7 hours ago, johnholmes said:

looks good BW, enjoy

Thank you John. That's very kind of you. You must be off to Wengen very soon - are you making your usual visit immediately after the Mens Downhill this weekend? Anyway, it's great that the snow arrived in time to make the resort and the Lauberhorn course at least look like it should in the Alps in January!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

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Fresh powder snow on lower and middle runs. Currently -19c in resort and -23c at 2250m. Sunshine and squally snow showers. Mountain top storm bound and lifts closed to summit. Just love it .

C

15875223_2413431578683818_8112961567700234097_o.jpg

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2 minutes ago, carinthian said:

Fresh powder snow on lower and middle runs. Currently -19c in resort and -23c at 2250m. Sunshine and squally snow showers. Mountain top storm bound and lifts closed to summit. Just love it .

C

15875223_2413431578683818_8112961567700234097_o.jpg

How good does that piste look!

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2 minutes ago, Norrona2015 said:

How good does that piste look!

Yes Norrana, that's the piste from the top of the second gondala but at the moment is storm bound. Some lovely snow on the middle lower runs to be had but its so cold this morning. Think I will wait till tomorrow  I am busy piling logs into the fire and digging the snow drifts away from the entrance. Don't think I have experienced this type of cold this Lake Louise back bowls. Great though. Lucky for those coming out from the UK tomorrow as they will see the resort at its wonderful best.

 C

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