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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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Well another winter ski season is almost at an end for most resorts. I to would like to add my thanks to J10 for the excellent blogs- they really are an upgrade on the old Ceefax days! When seeing it reporting snow in Innsbruck was your only indication of any snow in the Alps!!!

Thanks also to Blessed for his insights and reports, C for the 'Austrian angle', John Holmes for his annual Wengen adventures, Paul, Seaside60, Reefseeker for their regular contributions and all the others who've posted pictures and updates from various locations.

Enjoy the summer and see you all back here in the autumn when the webcams are watched and the search for the first flakes begins again.

Roll on season 2017/2018!

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^ Thanks for the very kind comment @Betleyblizud.

I thought this was an interesting article in the French press today. They've long been worried about the long-term trend of declining numbers of skiers, so it's no surprise to see that there's an increasing interest in switching focus onto summer visitors. Extracts:

Summer sport and relaxation at altitude

58fe563f39a0c_Summeractivities.thumb.jpg.5724e0bc2c7c97942220333b1ed769f1.jpg

At the end of a contrasting winter, the mountain shows its summer face and rediscovers its attractions ...... it's the second destination of the French in summer on the same space as (that which supports) the activity of the ski resorts.... the massifs step up a gear to make themselves more attractive.

With 82% of the accommodation in second homes, it is difficult to establish a reliable view of the seasonality of the massifs, evaluated in terms of the commercial sector and strictly limited to the perimeter of the ski areas.

But a study by Atout France published in February reveals the true weight of the summer mountain: "Longer stays than in winter and a higher tourist expenditure per stay. In the end, the 4 months of summer accounts for 45% of the expenditure (made) by the French in the mountains, when the 5 months of winter accumulates just 40%. "The future becomes all the more clear...... "

Full article in French: http://www.ledauphine.com/loisirs/2017/04/24/un-ete-sport-et-detente-en-altitude

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On 23/04/2017 at 21:35, Betleyblizud said:

Well another winter ski season is almost at an end for most resorts. I to would like to add my thanks to J10 for the excellent blogs- they really are an upgrade on the old Ceefax days! When seeing it reporting snow in Innsbruck was your only indication of any snow in the Alps!!!

Thanks also to Blessed for his insights and reports, C for the 'Austrian angle', John Holmes for his annual Wengen adventures, Paul, Seaside60, Reefseeker for their regular contributions and all the others who've posted pictures and updates from various locations.

Enjoy the summer and see you all back here in the autumn when the webcams are watched and the search for the first flakes begins again.

Roll on season 2017/2018!

Agree with everything you write there @Betleyblizud, such a nice thread to keep us all feeding our snow questing, with some very nice and knowledgeable chaps/esses in residence. My usual go-to webcams at Les Arcs are a depressing sight today, as the white vans move in around the hotels and bars, and the snow ploughs clear away the snow in the ski area; there is not a skier to be seen, yet only a week ago the whole area was buzzing with Easter tourists. It is good to see the @Blessed Weather news article about the summer season, as I like to think these areas continue to have life, even when the snow-seekers leave for another year. I still watch the Iceland webcams, as there are still bits and pieces of snow to be seen, and I fell in love with the place when I went there a year ago. But it's the Caribbean webcams for me for a while - especially Aruba where I just got back from:D And there are the live Storm Chase streams following @Paul and the crew which become my next focus, if I can stay up late enough to catch them.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in here all over again in six months time:drinks:

Edited by Reefseeker
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Sorry, couldn't resist - a snowy foggy morning in Les Arcs village:) EDIT: Update this morning, 28th April, as @seaside 60 has alluded, it is like a winter wonderland there this morning, with falling snow, all the rooftops white, and a few intrepid walkers battling against the flakes. #notenvioushonest

Screen Shot 04-27-17 at 10.20 AM.PNG

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Hi BW

The Jungfrau area is always busy during the summer, walkers, climbers, folk just pottering about, railways, cable cars, lakes with frequent regular services on the two main lakes in the valley astride Interlaken. All done with the usual Swiss efficiency, steamers, mountain railway, bus,train etc all arrive, connect then depart like clockwork. Fascinating to watch, almost like a ballet choreographed movement. I have no idea of the % summer taking compared to winter but would guess it is not much different to what you quote from the French article.

It took me 10 years of persuasion from the owners wife at the Alpenrose hotel before I started going summer as well as winter. The flaura change from the valley bottom to 8-9000ft is absolutely wonderful to see. So yes go back to your favourite place in summer for the contrast. The food, beer and wine stay the same!

 

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Its really frustrating, I think there is more snow now than the last 3 months esp in the Eastern Alps.

So this winter it snowed lots before the season and after the season, but in many places not a huge amount during the season. 

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2 hours ago, seaside 60 said:

Its really frustrating, I think there is more snow now than the last 3 months esp in the Eastern Alps.

So this winter it snowed lots before the season and after the season, but in many places not a huge amount during the season. 

I know, so frustrating! Seeing pictures of loads of snow in Val Thorens the day after we left - but good news for the Dutch Week crowd who are all still there

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Here is a picture of Obertauren . Skied here for a couple of weeks in early March. A super snow assured resort with lots of wide runs into the village. This resort is not well know to Brits as  tour operators only operate out of a few hotels. Worth booking online many of the good value hotels and get a cheap flight to Salzburg. Many hotels will arrange taxis transfer at a extra cost. I have skied many places in Europe and Canada but this ranks as one of the best. Booked to go again next March. Its a gem.

C

obertauern5.jpg

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10 hours ago, carinthian said:

The road this morning down into Katschberg village from my old home.

 C

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Back in Yorkshire now. Miss my Katschberg home! Already counting down for next season.

IMG_20170305_082540.jpg

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15 hours ago, carinthian said:

Back in Yorkshire now. Miss my Katschberg home! Already counting down for next season.

IMG_20170305_082540.jpg

We have one of those hearts to lol..

Why on earth did you move to Skipton and give up the slopes.

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Well if anyone fancies a 'last gasp' skiing trip to the Alps this season, Tignes in France is looking as if it's still providing great skiing and on almost completely empty slopes!

This article in the French press today:

Last days to have fun on the slopes
Refreshed by the snow of the middle of the week, the stations begin their last days of opening. Val d'Isère will close its doors tomorrow (Sunday). The opportunity of a last glide or enjoy the yoga festival and the gift shops. Tignes extends the pleasure until Monday, May 8th.

http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2017/04/29/revigorees-par-les-chutes-de-neige-du-milieu-de-semaine-les-stations-entament-leurs-derniers-jours

This webcam shot confirms how wonderful it would have been skiing in Tignes today.  A lonely boarder enjoying an empty piste under blue skies. If only Mrs Blessed would let me sneak off for one last trip.....

59063f23d0c93_ValClaretTignes30April2017.thumb.jpg.372ce4142c36bf205f5a518f419e6f28.jpg

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Here is a picture going back to 1980 in the resort of Lech  with yours truly posing in the striped jacket with the team. Just note how long and thin those skis were and Ski helmuts unheard of in those days ! Why I post this is Lech and St Anton  resorts are now connected by the new Alberg cablecar  that also links Zurs,St Christopher, Stuben,Lech, and Ober Lech making this area one of the giants of world ski-ing with over 300km of downhill slopes. Will have to make a revisit one day. A wonderful ski-ing experience under the mighty Valluga Mountain with long magical runs, almost ski nardia from memory .

 C

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Never been to Alpe d Huez , so cannot judge. Have skied quite a lot in France during the 1980s but not overly enthralled with the experience. Possibly, Meribel/ St Martin De Bellville would make it into my top 10 Euro resorts.  Everyone to their own, as they say.

For what its worth , here is my top 10 Euro resorts from a personal experience:

No particular order .

1. Verbier/Nendez

2.Meribel/ St Martin de Bellville

3. Klosters

4. Gargellen

5. Serfaus.

6.Obertauren

7. Lech

8. Rauris

9. Katschberg

10. Kronplatz

C

1481818319.jpg

Edited by carinthian
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Fresh overnight snow in Swedens premier resort of Are. This picture posted from my daughters apartment this morning. The lift close here on 1st May , however due to the very cold spring over there, 68km of cross county ski terrain remains open with 55cm snow depth on the mountain. Even these hardy folk are getting fed up with the persistent cold and long for warm sunshine to return.

 C

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Its been a vintage season in the west coast. Whistler recording massive amounts of snowfall this season with great powder ski-ing. Whistler the No 1 destination in North America for UK visitors by a mile. Still 350 cm up on the higher slopes.

 C

powder-skiing-in-whistler-large.jpg

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On ‎08‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 16:05, carinthian said:

Never been to Alpe d Huez , so cannot judge. Have skied quite a lot in France during the 1980s but not overly enthralled with the experience. Possibly, Meribel/ St Martin De Bellville would make it into my top 10 Euro resorts.  Everyone to their own, as they say.

For what its worth , here is my top 10 Euro resorts from a personal experience:

No particular order .

1. Verbier/Nendez

2.Meribel/ St Martin de Bellville

3. Klosters

4. Gargellen

5. Serfaus.

6.Obertauren

7. Lech

8. Rauris

9. Katschberg

10. Kronplatz

C

1481818319.jpg

You may notice a little known village of Rauris listed in my top 10 Euro . Its a real gem and ranks as one of the most scenic resorts in the Alps. Located in the Pinzgau Region of Salzburg in the Hohe Tauern National Park and over looked by the massive Gross Glockner Mountain Range. Its only a little resort but the scenery is one of the best you can get as you glide down mostly easy ride lovely open and tree lined pistes .. The mountain restaurants offer stunning views and great ski fodder. This is on my list to visit for next seasons ski tour. A couple pictures attached : Village located in the Valley of the Golden Eagle with Gross Glockner in the back ground and other view of the very quiet pistes for the most part.

 

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28a5a3a81a.jpg

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8 hours ago, carinthian said:

You may notice a little known village of Rauris listed in my top 10 Euro . Its a real gem and ranks as one of the most scenic resorts in the Alps. Located in the Pinzgau Region of Salzburg in the Hohe Tauern National Park and over looked by the massive Gross Glockner Mountain Range. Its only a little resort but the scenery is one of the best you can get as you glide down mostly easy ride lovely open and tree lined pistes .. The mountain restaurants offer stunning views and great ski fodder. This is on my list to visit for next seasons ski tour. A couple pictures attached : Village located in the Valley of the Golden Eagle with Gross Glockner in the back ground and other view of the very quiet pistes for the most part.

 

100057.jpg

28a5a3a81a.jpg

Hey, thanks for the list. Despite the fact that it is the end of the season, I am now looking forward to next winter and already doing some R&D. Having done a bit of a whirlwind tour of the big French resorts this year, I'm keen to try Austria again now that we can ski. Snow reliability is a worry at Christmas (probably my next chance to ski), but I think we could easily do a DIY trip via Innsbruck or Salzburg when the conditions look good, maybe in late Jan or early Feb, so your list is really helpful. We have been spoilt by ski in/out convenience in France with my mileage hungry brother, but maybe a slightly more relaxed couples ski break is in order, and if we have to bus it to the pistes so be it. Serfaus and Obertauren look like tempting options.

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Well, like @dubmuffin, the end of the season just means a switch to planning for next season.

I've probably mentioned it before but due to Crystal being **** we've binned tour operators and are buying a motorhome, which we take delivery of in July, fingers crossed. Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry is already booked for 23rd Dec and we're heading from there to Austria. The plan is to stop and have Xmas day in Germany, then on to Austria, arriving in Mayrhofen on 26th, staying at the campsite just outside the town (booking confirmed yesterday). We're booked in until the 2nd Jan so 6 skiing days minimum there before we start heading back. The return ferry can't be booked yet but we're aiming for the 6th Jan, probably from Zeebrugge as I'd like to spend a day in Brugges. If conditions are good we might try to fit in a day or two skiing after we leave Mayrhofen, possibly in Germany (Garmisch or Feldberg in the Black Forest) on the way back North.

All we need now is for there to be decent snow in December i.e no repeat of the last two poor starts to the season. Although if it's not great then we'll adapt and still enjoy ourselves.

At a rough calculation, just for ferries, fuel, campsite fees we're looking at £1400-1500 for 3 adults and one child (me, wife, 20 yr old son, 10 yr old son). Pricing up with Crystal is coming out at £3000-£3500 for a B&B in Mayrhofen depending on whether you choose Xmas or New Year weeks, but that's for 7 nights compared to our 15 nights (although I'll concede there will be a fair proportion of that spent driving). There is of course the cost of buying and maintaining the motorhome, but we'll use that for more than just 2 weeks a year skiing.

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A brave move Ravelin. Can see where you are coming from. Gives you the flexibility of see many more different resorts than offered by the UK tour operators. However, the thought of all that driving would not appeal to me now at my age. Just a lazy sod who likes things done for me !

 C

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19 minutes ago, carinthian said:

A brave move Ravelin. Can see where you are coming from. Gives you the flexibility of see many more different resorts than offered by the UK tour operators. However, the thought of all that driving would not appeal to me now at my age. Just a lazy sod who likes things done for me !

 C

Well the driving will be split between my wife and myself, around 2000 miles for the return trip, with probably no more than about 400 miles max in any one day. So around 200 miles per day each max, and I've always found driving on the continent much less stressful than in the UK. Also, we could make the trip cheaper by using the ferries out of Dover but the 'traveling whilst sleeping' aspect of the Newcastle & Hull ferries was just too appealing, especially combined with avoiding the roads in SE England.

If the weather throws up problems, well we're driving around in our accommodation, with our food supply etc so just find somewhere to park up and sit it out.

Sounds idyllic to me, but I'll report back on the realities in January. :D

Edited by Ravelin
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15 hours ago, dubmuffin said:

Hey, thanks for the list. Despite the fact that it is the end of the season, I am now looking forward to next winter and already doing some R&D. Having done a bit of a whirlwind tour of the big French resorts this year, I'm keen to try Austria again now that we can ski. Snow reliability is a worry at Christmas (probably my next chance to ski), but I think we could easily do a DIY trip via Innsbruck or Salzburg when the conditions look good, maybe in late Jan or early Feb, so your list is really helpful. We have been spoilt by ski in/out convenience in France with my mileage hungry brother, but maybe a slightly more relaxed couples ski break is in order, and if we have to bus it to the pistes so be it. Serfaus and Obertauren look like tempting options.

Dubmuffin, Serfaus/ Fiss is not really well known to Brits and not listed by UK operators. Can be expensive taxis transfer from Innsbruck to the outer reaches of the high Tirol but well worth it when you get there . At around 1500m the villages is snow assured  and top runs up to near 2500m offering some wonderful long runs back for intermediate skiers especially. Nice village as well with some good eateries and bars. Obertauren is offered by Crystal and Inghams but can be expensive to stay in these hotels. The resort is snow sure from Nov to May at 1850m absl and the ski-ing is door to door in a 360 circuit skied clockwise or anti clockwise ( you come back to where you started ) If you can make a self made holiday the Hotel Schneider and Hotel Alpin Austria are great ski in/out locations and both can be booked on line and will arrange taxis transfer from Salzburg at a competitive cost. Obertauren is a bit of a party resort with the usual singing, dancing in mostly  smoke filled bars but great fun . Although a purpose built village , really looks like true Austrian ambience atmosphere. I like both resorts for different reasons but both true ski resorts with snow assurance. I have arranged a week in each of the following for next season, Corvara, Kronplatz, Rauris and finally Obertauren with a visit to my old stomping ground in Katschberg for a day. Serfaus and Gargellen on are on the agenda for the following season unless I win tonights Euro Lottery.  Good luck with your choice .

 C

Edited by carinthian
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1 minute ago, Ravelin said:

Well the driving will be split between my wife and myself, around 2000 miles for the return trip, with probably no more than about 400 miles max in any one day. So around 200 miles per day each max, and I've always found driving on the continent much less stressful than in the UK. Also, we could make the trip cheaper by using Dover ferries but the 'traveling whilst sleeping' aspect of the Newcastle & Hull ferries was just too appealing, especially combined with avoiding the roads in SE England.

If the weather throws up problems, well we're driving around in our accommodation, with our food supply etc so just find somewhere to park up and sit it out.

Sounds idyllic to me, but I'll report back on the realities in January. :D

Good man. I know my wife likes to drive in Austria as she can read the signs. I am quite comfortable sat in the passenger seat sipping coffee and looking at the mountains. As I say lazy sod !

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Great to read all the enthusiastic posts above about various options and outline plans for next season. :)

Like @dubmuffin I was intending to do a trip to Austria next year. The resorts that @carinthian has been describing sound terrific and fit with my loose objective of trying to visit less well known resorts and not just the well known names.

And I love the sound of what @Ravelin is planning! The Austrians and Germans are well into mobile homes so there's loads of great sites about. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a favourite with me and my mates - a wonderful town and you struggle to fit all the skiing options available within a short drive into one week!

My own plans have been impacted by my daughter, husband and first grandchild emigrating 2 weeks ago to the Yukon, Northern Canada. :( But on the plus side, I'm rather excited to be planning a trip to the Yukon this December for a lengthy stay with my daughter. And just down the road from them is a small ski resort on Mount Sima that has a 4-man chair and drag lifts serving 10 pistes. :D

Here's a few pics of Mt. Sima. I love the caption on the first pic which says they "may open for the season this weekend if the cold eases off"!! Yep, I understand it gets cold up there!

591c26c34cdb7_MtSimaYukon3.thumb.jpg.dfcd6a2dcfebd1c58c24520670064b1a.jpg591c26d00b94a_MtSimaYukon1.thumb.jpg.9b932d3e7025649c7c45c4a53d6392c6.jpg591c26e95149d_MtSimaYukon2.thumb.jpg.adee9bf50ed1b27b6b02e87870af4436.jpg591c26f10064c_MtSimaYukon4.thumb.jpg.c90bb6a8bad2519b6c9fc6beef6a8a7d.jpg

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