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Snow Sports Thread 2018-19

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Jokester, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,349

    It was pretty hectic at Portes du Soleil on the 1st. I don;t normally notice because I rarely would ski on a piste but teaching my 4yo i was just shocked how many terribly out of control snowboarders (and the odd skier) there were. After a a couple of collision and a few near misses I ended up just taking my daughter off piste on some slushy moguls
     
  2. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 12,594

    Location: London

    Where would you guys recommend for a group of 4-6 to go on a (relatively) last minute ski trip? I'm thinking if we could get organised then maybe end of Feb/beginning of March might be do-able. I haven't even asked them yet because I know once I do they will want me to have a plan :D

    Last trip we went on was a few years ago in St. Anton. Bigger crowd of us but we really enjoyed Austria, I much preferred it to France. We're all intermediates really. All skied quite a few times but not regularly (unfortunately).

    So, any recommendations? I guess towards March we'd want somewehre a bit more snow-sure? Also very out of the game with regards to who to book with etc. Who's recommended for catered chalets?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  3. Furyus

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 15, 2010

    Posts: 866

    Location: Weston-super-Mare

    3 valleys has a decent amount, i know a austria is full of snow. Amd parts of France are looking a bit sketchy, but it's still pretty early in the season. I'd say 3 valleys is hands down the best ski area in the alps!
     
  4. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,441

    Location: Canada

    Pretty much any of the big resorts will be able to cater to your needs. Just have a look on the usual sites (Crystal, Neilsons and Iglu being three) and see what deals you can find on a catered chalet. With 6 people you’ll have to share a larger one with other groups but that’s not an issue IMO.
     
  5. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 12,594

    Location: London

    Thanks. Yes I kinda wanted to stay clear of France because I feel everything is more expensive once you're there (lunches, drinks etc.). Is that still the case? Three Valleys although I'd love to go sometime just feels a bit touristy and crazy-busy. That's just the impression I have. Maybe because it's so big and everyone goes!

    @Amp34, if we're talking beginning of March would any big resort be fairly safe for snow? When should we start being selective?
     
  6. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,441

    Location: Canada

    End of March (i.e Easter) is usually when things can start to get a bit questionable in most places, at least on the lower slopes. Most of the big resorts in France have at least some high altitude (2800m+)/Glacier skiing which will be the most snow sure. Austrian resorts are generally much lower and less snow sure towards the end of the season, but there are some glaciers around there too.
     
  7. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,349

    So fasr this year the western alps are off to a terrible start, eastern alps are about average. Easter is late this year so I would look at high altitude resorts
     
  8. Owenb

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 27, 2002

    Posts: 2,354

    Location: Ireland

    Most of Austria is well above normal and a lot more snow is due in the next few days.

    Going high isn't a panacea. It reduces the risk of poor/no snow but has other issues such as wind and visibility issues.
    I went to Cervinia last January. It is high and snow sure but I skied far more in Soll in March than I did in Cervinia as Cervinia had too much snow and wind. Even when we were skiing the visibility wasn't great and there are no tree runs due to the height. The first and last day were amazing but everything in between was a bit patchy.
     
  9. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,349


    It is very true but there is a big difference between the high altitude resorts in January than march. I would never plan to go to a high altitude place in min January for example, they are best early and late season. Early season you might still have bad weather but you need that altitude to gain the snow in early December, the low resorts don't even open. Once you get to the end of March then you really need the altitude, not just to increase snow odds but general snow quality and chances of powder.


    In any case, more useful than a high altitude resort is a resort that has high altitude skiing, along with some lower altitude slopes below the tree line. I think places like Val Thorens are in general bad choices unl;ess very early or very late season. FOr the most part you want something that gives you good storm skiing down low and access to high alpine when the weather is good or snow is bad.
     
  10. Skidder

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 28, 2007

    Posts: 11,562

    Although I've often fancied it, I've never got around to split boarding before. Did it today in Chamonix and liked it as much as i thought i would. Allowed me to access (with a guide) some fantastic conditions when the rest of the mountain was iffy. Need to buy a split board now which is annoying as they are expensive!
     
  11. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,349


    Touring skis are cheaper and more practical, albeit you will have to learn to ski but that is ion general what most boarders do when they want to head to the backcountry.


    I hope to get in a short ski tour tonight
     
  12. Skidder

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 28, 2007

    Posts: 11,562

    Touring skis are cheaper and more practical for a skier. Better for going up hill but certainly not better for me for the coming down. I'm not sure most snowboarders switch to skiing when they go into the backcountry.

    I have skied but have no interest in it as I've been snowboarding for more than 25 years so will stick to my guns. Split boarding is a much better solution for a snow boarder than skiing in my view! I was with skiing mates and yes they needed to wait a little while for me to switch bindings around but swings and roundabouts.
     
  13. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,349


    You almost never see split boarders in the back-country because they are just less practical. I know probably 8 or 9 snowboarders who will board in the resort but will ski in the back-country .

    it is not even the binding transitions, it is all the small things that add up. In the backcountry you frequently have to keep a really high traverse, or traverse on a very steep icy slope. Always lots of flat parts on the decent or small uphills. And also some safety issues because snowboard boots are not so good for crampons. Also I don;t believe any of the split-board bindings allow you to use ski crampons which can become big issue on steeper slopes.
     
  14. Skidder

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 28, 2007

    Posts: 11,562

    Board bindings do allow ski crampons I had them on Monday but didn't need them although tried them in resort to make sure I understood them. Both split board hardware systems have them.

    I don't have major ambitions re split board mountaineering, just extending my options off piste with the available gear. I don't disagree that some things particularly traversing and flat sections are more of a challenge than on skis but that is not reason to write off an entire discipline. I presume Jeremy Jones should ditch the board having spent the last few seasons accessing the backcountry without helis etc.?
     
  15. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,303

    Location: London

    I survived. It was an absolute blast but I've never been so exhausted, achey and tired from a holiday before. Had 6 days of group lessons but by day 5 my group (all oldies) were too wiped out and I had the instructor to myself for 4 hours a day. Progressed from 'never skied before' to doing most of the blue runs at Bansko and starting to get the hang of parallel turns. Was wild to watch people tackling the blacks. Can't leave it a whole year till I have another go but our group is definitely going back next year.
     
  16. Jokester

    Don

    Joined: Aug 7, 2003

    Posts: 37,866

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Glad you enjoyed it!
     
  17. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,303

    Location: London

  18. Somnambulist

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,303

    Location: London

    Similar to the question above about a last-minute trip in March or so... a couple of us want to go somewhere then because we've caught the bug; what's a good place for relative beginners who like a bit of the old apres ski as well?
     
  19. Furyus

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 15, 2010

    Posts: 866

    Location: Weston-super-Mare

    Courchevel, Andora, Bulgeria, Tignes, Val Thorens
     
  20. Mr Jack

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 16,197

    Location: Kiel, Germany

    I'm off Snowboarding in a couple of weeks, and I've just got my own board. As I understand it, it will need waxing before use and I'd like to do it myself. Anyone got any recommendations for a reasonably priced waxing and board maintenance kit?