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December Ski trip outside US?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have plenty of vacation days in December and wanted to do a solo Ski trip somewhere outside US. Things I need to consider are,

 

- Snow conditions around 7th December

- Ease of getting Visa (Indian, on H1 here)

- Flight cost from Indianapolis

- Cost of living along slope-side.

- Overall experience, nature, people/culture, mountains, view, hiking on the free day etc

 

I am an Adv. Intermediate type of skiier and can handle most black diamonds at CO/UT but struggle with Moguls. So basically any ski resort with around 2000/2500+ elevation would be offer me most that I can handle. Last year I asked similar question for my first CO trip and forum did an awesome job helping me :). So looking for pointers now.

 

Thanks in advance.

-Jay

post #2 of 11

Culture is the only thing missing, but everything else you want is there: Tignes, France. 

 

Of course, predicting snow conditions early December is impossible, but Tignes offers great resort skiing (both groomers and off-piste if conditions allow). Moreover: it has a glacier which will guarantee skiing. 

 

Lots of self-catered appartments ski-in/ski-out, don't cost much in that period. 

 

Zermatt and Saas-Fee will probably be named as well, since they are relatively easy to trave to from Geneva Airport. They both have galciers and are open for business early December. But sleeping/living/skiing is very expensive in Switzerland, and 'slopeslide' is quite rare (and if you find it, you'll pay double).

post #3 of 11

Yeah, Tignes or Val d'Isere would be the best bet for early season if you have to plan in advance. Two fairly different towns, but both part of the same ski area.

 

If you were going later in the season, then there would be so many interesting choices.

post #4 of 11

Here are some graphs of the snow accumulation in Tignes over the years... In red: snow depth in the village (Tignes = 2100 m), blue is on the higher slopes. All is in cm.

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 11

Just for reference, Val d'Isere base is ~1800 m, and tree line in that part of the Alps is ~2000 m.

 

The glacier in Tignes is a bit bigger and easier to get to than the one above Val, but both have plenty of high-altitude terrain.

post #6 of 11

Yep I'd shoot primarily for Tignes that week if I had to.  Accomodation should be dirt cheap in Tignes as its basically pre season.  Men's WC is in Val D'Isere that week 11th-13th though past history indicates this is susceptible to cancellation through lack of snow. 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

This sounds good. It's good to see some resonating thoughts here. I will start exploring more about Tignes guys. For someone at my level, I am going to have good time at any resort mostly and overall Tignes sounds like what I am looking for here :)

post #8 of 11

Here are some websites that might be of help:

 

http://www.tignes.net/en official Tignes website

http://www.tignesnet.com/ a non-official one

 

If you have any questions, shoot.

post #9 of 11

What about just booking a flight into GVA and winging it?

post #10 of 11

Good idea. Early December there's always an empty appartment, B&B or Hotel. Just boook the flights and see where conditions are best. Choice of resorts will still be limited though, it's too early for 80% of the Alps. But then again: resorts that are already open by then do have snow. 

 

So: genuinely a good idea.

post #11 of 11

Book your flight Geneva or Zurich.

 

Do not book accommodation it will be no problem at that time of the season.

 

Watch the snow reports. I use Skiclub GB http://www.skiclub.co.uk/ and go to the resort with the best snow. In some cases you will be able to get to the resort by public transport but many of the ski specials will not run that early. There will always be a way though.

 

N.B. CHECK THAT THE LIFTS ARE RUNNING BEFORE YOU COMMIT

 

In the years I was charting the early snows Isola 2000 would often be the first to get a big dump.  But Val D'Isere was always the first choice for the first ski races of the winter season.

 

I never went as early as Dec. 7th but a coup[le of times a week later. Both times to Val Thorens the 3V links were not open to begin with but there was plenty of good skiing to be had.

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