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Best place in Europe to ski?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I am planning my first trip to ski in Europe, not sure where to go.  I am looking for somewhere with a really cool ski town similar to  Whistler, Vail, Park City, Breckenridge.  Any suggestions?

post #2 of 22
post #3 of 22

The Arlberg region (St. Anton, Lech, Zurs) in Austria is tough to beat.  I highly recommend it.

post #4 of 22

I'd worry less about the towns than the skiing. Most resorts in the Alps have real ski towns.

post #5 of 22

I think the questions are:

 

What kind of skiing would you like to do (groomers, treeruns, chutes, easy powder, serious backcountry...)?

What are the ability levels in your company?

How long are you planning to go (a few days, a week, two weeks, a month)?

When would you like to come (I'd avoid the school holidays at Christmas/New Year's and the last two weeks of February). Jan-Feb? March?

 

There are lots of great destinations, but we have to narrow it down somehow.

post #6 of 22
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SublimePowder View Post
 

I am planning my first trip to ski in Europe, not sure where to go.  I am looking for somewhere with a really cool ski town similar to  Whistler, Vail, Park City, Breckenridge.  Any suggestions?

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111201/st-anton-austria-amazing

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111201/st-anton-austria-amazing

Or go there.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

Or go there.

 

I'm getting too lazy to even write up a recommendation these days. Just copy and paste.

post #10 of 22

Yeah, and people need to buy that bloody book (though it's weird they don't even pretend to cover Japan).

post #11 of 22

If your group is all advanced skiers comfortable on variable off piste snow consider Chamonix for the experience of skiing the Vallee Blanche (solid intermediates can manage it but might not enjoy it). The scenery alone is beyond comprehension for North American skiers. The experience of skiing on a huge glacier, between gaping crevasses, surrounded by the highest peaks in the Alps is something every skier should experience. Chamonix has a reasonably priced rooms, the Mont Blanc pass is relatively cheap compared to american resorts. There are downsides--not the easiest place to get around. From the center of town the Aiguille du Midi tram to the vallee blanche is a long walk as are the Brevent and Flegere area which have the most intermediate skiing, and the best  area--Grands Montets--takes a bus ride. The Vallee Blanche run and the off piste from the top of the Grands Montets requires a guide (85 euros/day when I was there 2 years ago or a group can hire their own guide). There are two marked pistes from the top you don't need a guide for. Grands Montets can be very crowded.   If someone is going to Europe every year or two they wouldn't go back to Chamonix every time, but it is a once(at least) in a lifetime experience. If you do decide to go there search this forum and TGR for tips and advice or you can PM me. 

post #12 of 22
$48 in the states. Hard to do that without being able to page through it.
post #13 of 22
Can't answer the exact question since my research was cut short (only 3 seasons), but here's some pic's to get a feel for some areas from tiny to huge: http://www.tripcolor.com/user/64850/trip/71249-Alps-Skiing

My 3-4 trips to St. Anton didn't leave me overwhelmed as much as others on these boards. However, like any area, if you hit the snow right it's great. Case in point was Verbier one weekend - worst day of season (little open w/high winds = crappy) followed by the best day of the season (powder laps off Mt. Fort in sunshine).
post #14 of 22
And...if you read German...this was my go-to guide skiing the Alps published by the German equivalent of AAA (website may be of some use): http://www.adac-skiguide.de/en/

Some universal words in the guide (freeride, snopark=terrain park, etc.) so it wasn't totally incoherent. Very good trail and location maps.
post #15 of 22

Zermatt!  Went last year and loved it.  It has everything.  My second choice would be St. Anton.

post #16 of 22

I think you need to first break down whether you are going primarily for the skiing or for the destination. If the destination is key, then you need to decide on which country or region. You probably shouldn't limit yourself to just the Alps, though it is a very interesting destination with great variations depending upon which country you decide to base. Don't forget places like Scandinavia, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, etc. I have personally found many of the "destination" resorts in the Alps to be overpriced and overcrowded with snow that is pretty similar to what you find on the East Coast. Then again, I like going off the beaten track and have had enjoyable visits in Norway, Sweden and especially Italy where you can ski from one town to another. Poland and Slovenia are okay if you have other reasons to go there and also want to do some skiing.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

$48 in the states. Hard to do that without being able to page through it.

What, the book? It's worth it, trust me. Pretty good even on North American resorts, for the Alps absolutely unbeatable. 

post #18 of 22

Maybe this article I wrote recently will help you...

 

http://blog.adventuretrotters.com/skiing-season-is-ahead-top-10-of-europes-trendiest-winter-resorts

 

This is not worst-to-best list. Rather a selection of 10 most mentionable and classic winter resorts. Some of them are bound to be on anyone's top 10 favourite places in Europe.

 

Would love some feedback about the article, maybe I'll expand it ;)

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiTrotter View Post

Maybe this article I wrote recently will help you...

Would love some feedback about the article, maybe I'll expand it wink.gif

I liked it!
post #20 of 22

I'd guess that it would be pretty challenging to match some of the places on your list in Euroland. Some French purpose built resorts might meet the tacky, fake architecture requirement. But would they also not have steep terrain?

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post


I liked it!


Thank you :)

post #22 of 22

The Where to Ski $48 book is in my library -- although it's a few years old.

 

Reading it post-facto I would have to say they are pretty accurate in their descriptions of resorts.

 

They also do a decent job of getting into some of the major areas that are not well known to non-Europeans.

 

Unfortunately if you ask this board where to ski you get the same recommendations: Anton/Zermat/Chamonix, Anton/Zermat, Chamonix, Anton/Zermat, Chamonix, Anton/Zermat, Chamonix ...

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