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Dolomite, Austria or France in March with Family

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are considering skiing in Europe this year with our 12 y.o. son.  DH is an advanced intermediate, I am advanced to expert (mellowing out at 55), ds is solid intermediate.  Before kids, I skied Meribel, Tignes, Serre Chevalier, Solden, DH has skied Chamonix and Innsbruck.  Looking for a family friendly resort that will suit all our levels, with good english speaking ski school for DS some days.

Considering Dolomites (Arraba, Colfusco, San Cassiano), Pragetto-Vialattea (Club Med), La Plagne/Les Arcs(Peissey-Vallandry Club Med), St Anton/Lech, and Verbier.  

 

We usually ski one week out West (Utah, Montana), and a week in Vermont.  I speak French, Italian, DH speaks German.  Caveats:  I get altitude sick sleeping above 8000 feet, and prefer trees to above the tree line (although I know the best skiing in Europe is the latter).  Leaning towards Italy because of we haven't skied there.  Oh, and DS broke his leg skiing in Park City last year, so may be more cautious than before.  We are skiing at Sugarbush one week in December.  Considering Club Med for other kids for DS, and so that I have someone to ski with my level (love DH, but I wait at the bottom of every run...)

 

Mid-March the week before British/German/Italian school break.  Any recommendations?  I am overwhelmed by choices and balancing needs of family!

post #2 of 13

Go with St. Anton / Lech Zurs.  Loved it - thought better than the Dolomites.  Skiing is amazing.  So much there.  Great culture too.  Enjoy!

post #3 of 13

St Anton would be good and Ischgl would suit too.

 

Dolomites are great for cruisy blues but there is little that is testing for the advanced skier.

 

Cervinia in Italy would be a better choice too if you want an Italian resort with a range of skiing.

post #4 of 13

I've spent quite a bit of time skiing in all (except for the Milky Way) of your targeted resorts.  If you are looking for treed runs, only the Dolomites and parts of La Plagne, offer that.  Dolomites are also lower in altitude so that the sleeping thing is a non issue though none of the above are all that high. Colfsoco, Corvara, San Cassiano and Arabba are all great bases.  Lots of cruisey skiing, but plenty of more interesting stuff if you take the time to seek it out. First two weeks in March are not too late for the Dolomites. After that is okay but less reliable some years.  The food both in the hotels and in the on hill restaurants is amazing

The Arlberg cannot be beat for ease of access, variety, snow reliability, infrastructure.  Lech is the best base in my book.  I also like Stuben because of it's central location in the ski area, and lower cost for top level lodging, but there's no town/shopping there to speak of. Food is good but it's not Italian if your palate leans that way.

 

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by acingit View Post
 

We are considering skiing in Europe this year with our 12 y.o. son.  DH is an advanced intermediate, I am advanced to expert (mellowing out at 55), ds is solid intermediate.  Before kids, I skied Meribel, Tignes, Serre Chevalier, Solden, DH has skied Chamonix and Innsbruck.  Looking for a family friendly resort that will suit all our levels, with good english speaking ski school for DS some days.

Considering Dolomites (Arraba, Colfusco, San Cassiano), Pragetto-Vialattea (Club Med), La Plagne/Les Arcs(Peissey-Vallandry Club Med), St Anton/Lech, and Verbier.  

 

We usually ski one week out West (Utah, Montana), and a week in Vermont.  I speak French, Italian, DH speaks German.  Caveats:  I get altitude sick sleeping above 8000 feet, and prefer trees to above the tree line (although I know the best skiing in Europe is the latter).  Leaning towards Italy because of we haven't skied there.  Oh, and DS broke his leg skiing in Park City last year, so may be more cautious than before.  We are skiing at Sugarbush one week in December.  Considering Club Med for other kids for DS, and so that I have someone to ski with my level (love DH, but I wait at the bottom of every run...)

 

Mid-March the week before British/German/Italian school break.  Any recommendations?  I am overwhelmed by choices and balancing needs of family!

A lot of good input and info by the usual and some unusual suspects here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/132001/april-5-to-11-skiing-easter-week-dolomites-val-gardena-arabba-vs-tignes-val-disere-vs-st-anton

 

If been to Tignes-Val D'Isere, then for a place like no other - the Dolomites (Asgard on Earth), long groomers, and unreal, intimidating, fiery off-piste, food, and of course Italians (women) on skis. Otherwise St Anton, Lech and Zurs are beautiful and cover the range of terrain. Note this poster has not been to the Dolomites, nor St Anton (Lech-Zurs yes, been there)

post #6 of 13
If you liked Serre, Via Lattea has some similar features -- larch trees that grow higher up on the mountains compared to pine and not as dense resulting in fairly easily accessible tree skiing (next to the piste) and the system is big. Not very steep groomers, but there are a few leg burners, e.g. the Olympic Downhill and Super-G courses from Torino 2006 games (in Sestriere and Sansiscario). There are some of the best on mountain dining I've had (can't remember the name, but there's a restaurant just above Sauze Do'ulx...Paix something) and the regional wine is Barolo...

Edit. It's called Ciao Pais! And there's another one, more fancy called Capricorno who has or used to have a Michelin Star.
Edited by Karlsson - 11/17/15 at 4:28am
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Now throwing Cervinia into the mix because there and st moritz are the only club med that offer teen clubs. Not a ski in and out property but thinking of company for DS who is pretty social. How is the skiing there compared to Alta Badia (san Cassiano/Arraba/Colfusco)? Which of the Italian resorts would resorts would suit our needs best (family, mixed levels of ski abilities)? After that, I will compare it to the Austrian or French alternatives, to make a decision
Edited by acingit - 11/21/15 at 12:29pm
post #8 of 13

St Anton would be good and Ischgl would suit too.

 

Dolomites a

Quote:
Originally Posted by acingit View Post

Now throwing Cervinia into the mix because there and st moritz are the only club med that offer teen clubs. Not a ski in and out property but thinking of company for DS who is pretty social. How is the skiing there compared to Alta Badia (san Cassiano/Arraba/Colfusco)? Which of the Italian resorts would resorts would suit our needs best (family, mixed levels of ski abilities)? After that, I will compare it to the Austrian or French alternatives, to make a decision

As I said earlier Cervinia has a much wider variety of runs than the Dolomites with something to suit every ability except maybe the truly advanced skier looking for really steep stuff. You can go over to Zermatt for that but it is not ideal as it takes a while to get there. 

post #9 of 13

I love skiing in Zermatt :) And Switzerland community is totally the best for turism!

post #10 of 13

If you go to Innsbruck you can ski the three areas outside the city, take side trips to St. Anton, through the Brenner Pass into Northern Italy and maybe glacier skiing see the link below.

 

http://www.skiingaustria.co.uk/stubai-glacier.html

 

Enjoy what ever you decide, the US dollar is strong you should get some good deals. 

post #11 of 13

Another vote here for Cervinia / Zermatt.  I would stay on the Zermatt side as it is easier to get to via the Swiss train system - no car needed - and more to do in town on white-out days.  Zermatt (and Saas Fee opposite) are my favorite resorts.  The ski run from the very top of Zermatt down to Cervinia is steep, wide open, well-groomed, and amazingly fun.

post #12 of 13

A vote for the St-Anton - Zurs - Lech area in Austria.

 

While St-Anton has the reputation of a party village, I find it very family friendly: only the very center of the village can be a bit party-esque. 

 

Terrain is superb and serves all levels.  Take the free skibus to Zurs and you have access to slopes that will be not at all crowded and will let you further develop your technique.  The Albona slopes in Stuben (you can ski there and back from St-Anton) are kind of a hidden gem: never crowded and excellent terrain on and off piste.

 

St-Anton is super accessible from north america: take a flight to Zurich, hop on the train at the airport and arrive in the center of the village.  Buses in the village are free.

 

Ski school is excellent and you will be able to get served in English everywhere (which I personally find a bit unfortunate).

 

Only thing that doesn`t tick off on your list is skiing in the trees: if that is what you prefer I would almost consider staying in North America (you don`t go to the Alps for tree-skiing).

 

Austria is also cheaper than Switzerland and France, don`t know if Italy is at the same price level.

 

Since moving to north America (and now living in Vancouver), I have been going back there every year as I find it`s the perfect mix of terrain, authenticity, bang for the buck and accessibility.

 

Good luck comparing and making a choice: it`s at least half of the fun.

post #13 of 13

I would strongly offer you to visit Stubai in Austria.  I was exactly 12 years old when I have my first skiing experience in Stubaier Gletscher. Perfect skiing area, calm place, guarantee that snow condition will be perfect in March :)

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