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Skiing in early May

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Now I want to book a long weekend around the (english) May bank holiday.

Where in Europe should we go at the start of May that we can get to easily late at night & should have decent snow that late?
post #2 of 22
Somewhere with a glacier.
I'd suggest Tignes, France. There are also places around Austria, but I'll let some of the others fill you in there.

post #3 of 22
I can strongly recommend the Stubai glacier in Austria, which is reasonably large. Very pretty area. In late May you should be able to ski down to about 2300m, which (from memory) is the mid station of the gondola, so you get quite good vertical.
Stubai is a short distance from Innsbruck, if you can get a flight there (it's a short distance from Innsbruck, even if you can't get a flight there).
My wife learned to ski on that glacier at May bank holiday, and I had plenty of fun too. A former Austrian racer, Heini Messner, used to run amateur race camps up there, which British tourists used to enjoy. Maybe he still does.
Stay in Neustift, a lovely local village in the valley, which has a postbus service up to the glacier (at least it used to).
Or there's a sport hotel at the base of the glacier which I stayed in once, and can recommend.
The Hintertux glacier is more extensive than Stubai, but would not be quite so easy to reach. I think you could drive there in around 2.5 hours from Munich airport.
I've also skied the two glaciers above Solden, which are not bad, and the Kitzsteinhorn above Kaprun (that's also a very pretty valley and resort).
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I hadn't thought of Munich airport.
I didn't think you could fly direct London to Innsbruck except on a Saturday charter (so no good for long weekend) - do you know who does?
post #5 of 22
Here's your options:
Ryanair (if you risk it!): Salzburg, Graz or Klagenfurt from Stansted
Go: Munich from Stansted
Or British Airways to Vienna, if you've got money to burn!
If you want to go to Innsbruck, best book through BMI (British Midland), as they are part of Star Alliance, which flies there - but that will mean going via Munich or Zurich, or similar.

Hope this helps,

post #6 of 22
Fox Hat.
You don't seem to like Rynair, despite its pure Irish pedigree.
Did they let you down?
To me, they are fairy godmothers, and if I were you I'd nominate them to run the country.
I flew my family of four to Stockholm and back for £72 total last OCtober half-term, and they provided a £5 bus into the city centre. Fantastic company.
And an absolutely superb trip, a trip I never dreamt we'd ever enjoy.
I also flew last new year to Glasgow and back for about £35.
All four flights departed on the dot (and most arrived early!).
Service was very professional and friendly on all four flights.
So there!

If you want to train it from Munich airport to Austria, take the S-bahn into Munchen Ost if possible (which is on the line to Innsbruck). Saves you schlepping into Munchen Hauptbahnhof. But it would take about 3 - 3.5 hours to Innsbruck, from memory.
post #7 of 22
David, glad to hear of your good experience with them. I've had people flying to Dublin for meetings with me, and they seem to be delayed a lot, although maybe it is just the London - Dublin route.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
It takes me 3 hours+ to get to Stansted (I live S of the Thames) but also I hadn't thought of BA to Vienna. I don't have money to burn, but do have air miles to spend.

Thanks for the advice. I will look into Salzburg, Vienna or Munich - I'd been assuming I'd go to Geneva so useful to think of other places.
post #9 of 22
BA to Vienna is about 1600 Airmiles, might be worth it!

post #10 of 22
Have you skied Chamonix?
If you haven't skied the Vallee Blanche you've got one of the most magnificent experiences to come. You go up the Aiguille du Midi cablecar, ski 80 per cent of it - all the best part - and then take the cog train down into town.
It would be excellent in May on a clear day.
Very practical for a quick trip. Fly to Geneva, only a bit more than an hour to Cham.
You could probably ski the Grands Montets lifts in early May too. In which case, stay in Argentiere.
Check the Chamonix website for the closing date of the lift system.
post #11 of 22

Hintertux is the largest glacier in Austria but it's 5hours+ by road or train from Vienna.

Here are other routes and approximate times by car -

Innsbruck Airport - Hintertux 2:00
Munich Airport - Hintertux 3:00
Salzburg Airport - Hintertux 2:45
Salzburg Airport - Kaprun 2:00


PS Harold Harb and the PMTS crew are at Hintertux for a week in May.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I haven't been to Chamonix (yet).

We can get Thursday evening/Monday evening flights to Geneva on Crossair for only L115 each return - cheaper than current Easyjet prices - which is also cheaper than the German/Austrian options so we might look into that a bit further.

The ski camp's no good because the trip is only possible by taking 1 day at most off work (the Friday). Unfortunately we need to go to work to pay for the ski trips that we can't go on because we're at work....
post #13 of 22

maybe I am just a bit boring - but have stuck to Grand Montets which for a long weekends is OK. Don't know about rest of Chamonix area. You can also get to Zermatt, Saas Fee, and Verbier in about 2hrs if you have trouble.
Like you I use Crossair - out at work by 5.30pm Thur and in the office by 9.30am monday.

Have also thought about Mammoth or Whistler for late May / June - though not weekends [img]smile.gif[/img]


post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
It turned out hard to find places with lifts working, even if they have good snow. Chamonix is shutting its lifts 2-3 & 6-7 of May & the Austrian glaciers all seem to be closed then.

We've booked Val Thorens for a long weekend - 3hr drive from the airport but lots of snow!
post #15 of 22
Did you book Val Thorens DIY or are you going on one of the Ski Club of Great Britain weekends there?
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm going on the ski club weekend (it was quite cheap). This is the first time I've been on an 'organised' holiday with group skiing so it will be interesting to compare our normal approach of going with friends and/or ski school.
post #17 of 22
Hintertux; austria is a good bet
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just got back from Val Thorens.
It was snowing when we arrived on Thursday evening. It finally stopped sometime Sunday night, after more than two feet of new snow. So we had 3 days of virtually zero visibility and one long morning of perfect conditions.

Anyway, if you've got nothing better to do they are open until the 12th May & conditions currently highly recommended!
post #19 of 22
Don't tempt me!

post #20 of 22
Looks like Zermatt has had a ton of snow too. The only lifts they seem to be running are the main cablecars up to the Klein Matterhorn, but from there to Furgg is around 1300m vertical.
The webcam over the mountain at Plan Maison, Cervinia, shows a snowier scene than they enjoyed all winter, but this is all shut now!
post #21 of 22
Same deal in the Jungfrau

Frustrating or what?!
post #22 of 22
I skied at A-Basin today. It was good!

Guess that's kind of a long trip.....
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