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Where to go in Europe


utahbob
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I am planning to fly from England to mainland Europe and wonder where are the best places to carve on the in the Alps and the best deal. It seems like England loves package deals are there any good companies that people rate highly or ones to avoid?

Thanks in advance,

Bob

:)

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From england the huge package deal stuff are organized to France and the main "industry" resort..

- Tignes / Val d'Isere

- La Plagne / Les arcs

- Les 3 vallées ( Val Thorens - Les menuires - Courchevel )

- Les deux alpes

this for the biggest names and the lack of mountain spirit ( ugly constructions, huge amounts of brits and dutchs ;) ..) but great quantity of slopes and freeride when the conditions are good.

then you can choose small resorts, such as Serre-Chevalier, La Rosière, Montgenevre, La CLusaz etc.... Those have more a Village spirit, and less crowds...

One of the main tip for travelling France: avoid school holiday since its VERY crowded then: - dec 23- jan 03 / Feb 1-30 / March 25 -april 10th.

Basically out of these dates no problem appart from sunny week ends....

Check for snow reports too, and if you really like freeride, might be nice to check the cham valley, or La Grave ( with a guide )...

Carving gear is VERY rare even in the biggest resorts for rental, but u are likely to find a few Hot Blasts or older Rossis or F2 in a few places.... Same goes with the bindings and boots for example! Best is to bring your stuff here with you, or organize it before travelling ( once u know where u go: yellow pages of the resort and phone all shops one by one!!)

Hope this helps!

Nils

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  • 3 weeks later...

St Anton sucks, especially for carving.

This resort is way overrated.

The price-quality-ratio simply is way off.

Your skipass is at least as expensive as for "3 Vallees" in France.

But in 3V you get 200+ lifts, 600+ kilometers of slopes, and all of them interlinked.

In Arlberg you get about 90 lifts and 260 kilometers of slopes. But that is divided over 3 non-interlinked areas.

In addition to this:

Slope preparation is sloppy to say the least.

Slopes are full of idiots going way faster than they can control. Even worse, the resort doesnt do anything about it. Never have I seen so many accidents and near-accidents due to uncontrolled speed.

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Ah Megeve, owned by the Rothchild family so not exactly cheap. The lifts are all somewhat dated and the grooming is not super smooth. Having said that, there are a number of big wide pistes that run a for a good length, but do tend to end in narrow lift chutes.

It is best to go in January and February, and to avoid weekends when the crowds from Geneva arrive.

I was there a couple of years ago, couple of carvers around let me know if you end up there.

Al G

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It seems like England loves package deals are there any good companies that people rate highly or ones to avoid?

Well I live in England, but I don't bother with tour companies. Their philosophy is to take care of everything for you, which is fine if that's what you want. You will be herded into nasty aeroplanes with hordes of brightly coloured, excited and overweight holidaymakers. You'll be bussed to your resort, where you'll stay from changeover day to changeover day irrespective of snow conditions. They will expect you to take group lessons and will buy them and your lift pass for you. Some people like it.

The bigger companies are all much of a muchness in my view. They change their names and take each other over every now and again. There are a number of smaller "specialist" companies who tend to focus on one or two resorts. Often these do the "chalet holiday" type of trip. It's kind of like the English dinner party transported to the alps. Sometimes they have free alcohol: draw your own conclusions.

You can have great holidays with any of these. Just book it with a credit card (gives you some protection) and ensure they're ABTA listed.

If you're a bit more adventurous then you can either drive (13 hours or so to Tignes from North London) or fly (easy jet - from about £25 to £100 each way depending on timing) to the alps and get on with it. This will cost you more, but you'll be able to eat what you want and go where you want.

If you want "deals", then you may need to stay in an unfasionable place (eg Morzine instead of Avoriaz etc), or book last minute. I tend to opt for the latter, as that way you can go where the snow is...

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Al,

Thanks for the info. A friend of ours has a chalet in Mageve, and has offered it any time we can use. On the other hand another good friend has offered his place in Klosters, so I am on the horns of that classic dilemma.... My recollections of Gotschnagrat are of a mountain that was not entirely carver friendly.

all I need is time and money, what a problem..

Cheers,

John

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Been to tignes, three valleys several times, can't go wrong.Val Thorens is higher than Meribel and Courchevel(s) butr is often more crowded, Meribel is a good location to stay as you are between val and courchevel. In my opinion Courcheval is the best for carving out of the three as it has better grooming, ie more chord not mash potato ****. The pistes are wide too. This opinion was seconded by a racer who works in a rental shop on the main street in val thorens, he rides a volant excel 175cm so keep a look out for him. Hope this helps.

I am at bath uni so get good deals with them, usually to 3 valleys so would not know about package deals.

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