International (Europe/Japan/NZ/Au) Europe: Who, When, Where in 2018/2019?

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Jacob, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    So, who's skiing in Europe this winter?

    This thread is for general discussion, whether it's questions on where to go and logistics or just general bragging about your plans.

    Feel free to post away.
     
  2. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    I'm squirreling away some dollars to make it happen. My original target was Urner Haute route between Engleberg and Andermatt -- however one of the key huts on that trip is closed for the season. So now researching (and open to) other options or variation. Hoping to do an ~10 day trip, the majority of it ski touring between huts, ideally somewhere in the Central or Eastern Alps that is a bit more unknown.
     
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  3. AlpsSkidad

    AlpsSkidad Getting off the lift Skier

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    We are based in France during the school year, so it's not such a trek for us, but I will chime in anyways. We've spent a lot of time the past 3 years skiing a ton of places in France, Switzerland and Austria. We've mostly stopped going to the French resorts. (in a pinch or a quick weekend on the train, we will still go) The price is sky high and the service is subpar even at the best places. We were not afraid of top ski spots and top hotels, but always left disappointed and underwhelmed (and honestly we are low maintenance and not demanding) Skiing is great in France, but it's not better than Switzerland or Austria in our opinion, so now we save a lot of money, ski great terrain, and stay at smaller, more quaint places that treat us more like family. This year we will spend a 2 weeks in Serfhaus/Fiss, and another 2 weeks in Kuhtai. We will spend a little less time in Lech and Verbier as well. Since we have younger kids, we are more about the skiing and family experience and not really looking for apres ski.
     
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  4. sbooker

    sbooker Getting on the lift Skier

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    This year I have reluctantly ditched our usual Mountain Collective road trip for something a little more exotic (for us Aussies that is). We fly into Munich and will ski in the Ziller valley in Austria, Aosta valley in Italy (Cervinia/Zermatt, Courmayeur, La Thuille etc) and finally the Dolomites in Italy. We'll travel by train for some of the tour and have a car for a while too. In between skiing we'll visit Munich Christmas markets, Dachau concentration camp, the city of Innsbruck to check out the winter Olympic stuff, the cities of Verona and Venice, castles and Roman ruins in Aosta and maybe even drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to check out Chamonix in France.
    I don't expect we'll have the great skiing we've experienced at the iconic US/Canadian hills we've skied the last few years (Snowbird, Jackson, Whistler, Aspen, Mammoth, Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw, Sun Valley, Alta, Snowbasin etc) as we're going early season to fit in with kids holidays. We're going with low expectations as far as skiing is concerned. I expect we'll be cruising man made groomers whilst taking in scenery. As long as we're sliding on skis we'll be happy.
    On trips to North America I've thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic and prolific micro/craft beers. I really hope Europe can offer the same thing although I've heard wine is more their thing.

    I can confirm that this trip will be much more expensive than previous trips even though the exchange rates are similar to the US and airfares are much the same. ($8000 return for my family of four):(. So far I've observed that accomodation, car rental, ski passes (there're no Mountain Collective type thing in Europe that I know of) will be dearer. I guess that's what you pay for a new experience. My kids are studying Italian at school and they're looking forward to practicing their language skills.

    I'll be sure to do a running live trip report.
     
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  5. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald Engleberg, March 2019 Skier

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    Nothing written in ink yet, but I've penciled-in two weeks in March flying in/out Zurich.
    I've been to the Arlberg, Davos & Flims/Laax, and will likely ski some there again.
    Other possibles are Andermatt & Disentis, Arosa, Cervinia/Zermatt (probably from Cervinia side), St Moritz (for bragging rights).
    Suggestions welcome, and if anyone's in the same place at the same time, first beer's on me!
     
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  6. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Booked:
    November 3-11 - ski demos on Sölden and Stubaier Glacier
    Dec. 22nd - Jan 6th - 14 day Italy trip (Livigno, Bormio, Aprica, Madonna di Campiglio area)

    Planned:
    Feb. 2-9 - Three Valleys (Val Thorens)
    Mar. 16-23 - wherever snow is good (could be Ischgl valley; Piemonte, Italy; French Maurienne Valley; Southern French Alps)
    Apr. 22-29 - IF I go skiing then: Tignes & Val d'Isère

    For me, all these destinations are 9-12 hour drives, since I live in The Netherlands.
     
  7. AlpsSkidad

    AlpsSkidad Getting off the lift Skier

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    Andermatt and St. Moritz are wonderful. Might consider St. Anton/Lech for some challenging terrain and good times as well.
     
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  8. AlpsSkidad

    AlpsSkidad Getting off the lift Skier

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    there are a few "collective style" passes available.

    Here is the one for Swiss resorts : https://www.magicpass.ch/en/pages/magic-pass-2

    there have also been a couple for Austria in the past, here is the one I remember off the top of my head...
    https://www.superskicard.com/en
     
  9. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    Austria has the Tirol Snow Card (for Tyrol, season pass only), Salzburger Super card for Salzburg, Dolomiti SUperski for part of the DOlomites, Superskirama Brenta for the other part of the Dolomites, Valtellina pass (Livigno & Bormio), etc.
     
  10. Thread Starter
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    Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    What kind of skiing are you looking for? Also, how early/late in March?
     
  11. Thread Starter
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    Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    @Cheizz, what's Soelden like below the glacier early season?

    My December trip this year has to be the first week of the month because of work, and I'm looking at options not involving the Espace Killy. I've been there loads of times for early-season trips, so I'm looking for a change.
     
  12. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    Sölden is quite boring. Basically two hills: Giggijoch (all of the rins basically on the same slope - looks like a lot on paper, but hardly any variation) and Gaislach (mostly windy, rocky, but quieter than Giggijoch, wher alle the families and beginners are.
    Combine Sölden with Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and you'll be fine for 4 days or so. But for a week, Three Valleys is nice. Been there the forst week of December, when the inter-valley links just openend. Conditions were good (we booked a week in advance), and skipass+accommodation package in Méribel-Mottaret was 300 per person for the week (thats the price of a single L3V pass, so lodging was free). THat would be my go-to place.
    All te places in Austria that I like are places I like because off-piste is good. St. Anton, Ischgl etc. But befor february, base is not that solid. And heavily dependent on natural snow.

    Hit the Dolomiti Superski. Great in December before the crowds come.
     
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  13. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald Engleberg, March 2019 Skier

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    @AlpsSkidad : Yes, spent four days skiing St Anton/Lech/Warth in 2014, staying in a pension in Stuben. It was fabulous, tho somehow managed to not get to Zurs.
    @Jacob : In 18 ski days over two trips, I've only had decent off-piste one day (Parsenn) plus three runs in sun-affected fresh of 5-10cm (Madrisa) before they shut down the T-bars for wind, so I'd love to get a lot of fresh snow, but I figure the odds are not great. As long as it's not white-out I'll be happy.
    Right now I'm looking at leaving here on 3/7 and returning 3/24. It's possible I'd do a shorter trip 1/31 to 2/10 to skip the Chinese New Year crowds in Niseko, Hakuba, etc., but I know good stashes to hit well away from the "big" names at that time, so March is more attractive for Europe since Japan powder season pretty much dries up by then.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  14. Crank

    Crank Out on the slopes Skier

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    I am trip leader for my ski club's trip to Val d'Isere March 8 - 16. For some reason I have always wanted to ski there. Maybe because it is where Jean Claude Killy is from? He was a big hero of mine when I was at a very impressionable age. The only other place I have skied in Europe was also in France - Chamonix!

    Right now we have 24 people signed up and we have room for 44 so if anyone wants to go send me a message.
     
  15. Thread Starter
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    Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    That's odd, because I usually get a couple of good days per trip. I can only remember 3 or maybe 4 times over the last 10 years when I've gone an entire week without some fresh snow for at least one day.

    The first week of February should be good in Europe, because it's just before the school holidays start for most countries. There might be part of France off that week, but most don't have their breaks until the following weeks.

    Mid-March should be pretty good in the higher resorts. My first trip to Arosa was mid-March several years ago, and it snowed a couple of days while I was there and had decent conditions left over from before I got there. If you're flying in/out of Zurich, then that should give you a lot of options. I wouldn't try to go as far as France from there, but Verbier wouldn't be too bad, probably about 3:00 on the train to get to Le Chable and then 30 min in a bus/taxi to get up the mountain. Zermatt would probably be a similar amount of time but all on the train. Anything east of those should be fairly easy to get to.

    Edit: I had a look at the European school holiday calendar on another forum, and it looks like the 1st week of February only has a small part of Germany, part of Poland, part of the Czech Republic, and part of Switzerland off.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  16. Thread Starter
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    Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    The Espace Killy has some great terrain both on and off piste, and the layout and signage of the area is pretty good. So I think your group should be pretty happy.

    I've skied there several times, so let me know if you have any questions about the area.
     
  17. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald Engleberg, March 2019 Skier

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    Yeah, I know I had bad luck. First trip in 2014 (apologies @AlpsSkidad, fixed year in previous post) I skied St Anton and Lech out of Studen Feb 4-7, then Davos Feb 9-12 -- 9th at Parsenn was good, Madrisa was the 11th and would've been OK if the wind hadn't kicked up.
    Around the same time in 2017 I skied all hardpack for three days at Parsenn & Jakobshorn, then seven days at Flims/Laax with not a single flake coming down. No complaints about either trip. The skiing was fun, the digs comfy, the food excellent, the beer & wine flowed and the scenery just magnificent.
    But I do hope for at least a day or two of nice fresh snow on the next trip.
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    That's really bad luck. This is what my brother and I were skiing Feb 2017 in Gressoney (I only appear in a couple of still photos at the very end)



    That season had real peaks and troughs, or dumps and droughts to be more precise. We got lucky with our timing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  19. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald Engleberg, March 2019 Skier

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  20. AlpsSkidad

    AlpsSkidad Getting off the lift Skier

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    We lucked out this past year and were in Davos from Dec 26-Jan 5. skied mostly Jakobshorn and Parsenn and we had tons of new snow. They had so much new snow that the day we were leaving, all of Parsenn was closed down.
    Hopefully you do better next trip.
     

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