CBV - got it - we've been to Zermatt - it's a slog to the slopes, killer at the end of the day with skis, "cabs 'R us"! Luckily, the owners of our B&B were very classy (le Bellerive, stay there, fair value, young couple own it and are quite the gracious professionals - and I was with a then 10 year old) and drove us to lifts in the morning . Walk to the bus, the wait and all that was brutal! We checked it out, and grabbed a cab!-) That piste map is awesome, very clear. I did check the Alpaka Lodge twice sent an inquiry, no response, seemed like a cool place to stay, in the process now of nailing down trip - location. Thanks for transfer info.
Right now, it appears St. Anton and L'Espace Killy have great bases - but St. Anton - am becoming hesitant as Tony C and all of you mention LespK is better bet.
Alig & Ammerg - we've been to Lech-Zurs so do not wish to repeat and my impression is LespKilly is bigger/badder ? No? And we have never skied in France yet, so another reason to try it. Dolomites was the favorite mentally but too risky to go that far and not get the full 'monte', capisce!
An Aside: And yes, Cheizz, thanks much - if cannot ski Val Mezdi and some of those uber-cool canyons seems a bit sad to schlepp that far and do 'a circuit' only - we like to try something new every year, if we can and those canyons were mesmerizing but we cannot leave before April 3rd at the earliest so c'est la vie I guess. Yep, I meant the double-dot Solden in Tyrol. Race training is for my boy, as I think he needs more time on snow in hard gates as he is really doing well, as courses get steeper and harder, his pure skill takes over and he is really something to watch, arc-to-arc, flips those skis on edge and goes straight past the GS gates - cannot hit slalom gates as they 'hit back' and knock/rock him 'back' plus it hurts I believe in the cold even all the guards etc, not enough mass yet. But we do not ski every day or 5 days a week, as the local kids do, and a few of those kids are just awesome skiers, so that is a definite disadvantage, and some ski with an aggression that is pretty hog-wild!
Plus for this Dad who has not an iota of ski DNA (am of a tan hue so to speak from a land in the tropics by birth/origin that is - he is of mixed parentage so mom's DNA probably got him the balance and snow-sense, definitely not Dad), it is kind of funny to see the faces of the Swiss and Austrian coaches when they see a skinny, small kid (all of 61lbs soaking wet) rip up the slopes and I know in Zermatt couple of the instructors sought me out to tell me that your son is doing diamonds/steeps on one ski. Terminal intermediate Dad was rather amused! He is pretty chill about the whole thing, focuses on fun, fooling and tooling around, throwing snowballs and gabbing with everyone, i.e. focused on everything but the skiing from the outside view anyway...so all in all very cool customer when it comes to skiing. Though climbing the narrowest part of the ridgeline in Highland bowl in Aspen Highlands was uber-hairy, and young Jr. cool-as-a-cucumber raced up it with skis on his back (it's a 55 min boot-pack along a ridge line from about 10,990ft to 12.400ft - no joke), and then lay down on the ridge line wiped out when it widened well below the summit, and said "that was really scary, I was scared", and Dad said "No sh*t, Sherlock, what were you running up that 3 boot wide icy ridge?" He goes, "Only wanted to get out of there fast" , and by the way , if you have never done it, it's a must do, Aspen Highlands is wonderful place, and Highland Bowl is spectacular, one of a kind on this planet.
Ok..ruminations over...back to work and dreaming of skiing.
Edited by dustyfog - 2/17/15 at 4:14pm