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Ever skied in Europe? - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latchigo
Last trip I had was Saalbach in Austria, in the week commencing Easter Sunday. It is not an expert's resort, but there is a lot of skiing - more than enough to keep me entertained for the week . The snow was soft - but you could ski down to the village. The mountain restaurants and scenery were absolutely fantastic and the whole area was well served by lifts. It is only 90 minutes from Salzburg airport. I skied on the morning of departure and was back home that night with no jet lag.
Every little Austrian village has a lift. I found that so amazing. That's where travel broadens one. I also find it kind of amusing that all the reasons people don't ski New England are those that made for the World Cup Championship this season.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latchigo
I need at least a fortnight to justify a trip to the US or Canada..
"fortnight" = 2 weeks. Don't mind me, I don't really speak english. I had to look it up.

My sister lives in Heidelberg. If I was spending a fortnight next winter, where would you suggest going to ski from there? What months are best? It seems time to remedy this lifelong failure to ski Europe.
post #33 of 50
fortnight?

What are you traveling by, steamship?
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowball
Although some of it is like that (and areas between groomed areas might be half a mile wide), much more involves skiing off the back of mountains or down gulleys or whole valleys not otherwise skied, sometimes arriving many miles away and needing to take a train or taxi back.
In a couple of resorts I know (St Anton and Courmayeur) there is a tiny top lift you are only allowed to take with a guide (or without your skis).

(Incidentally , as a newcomer on this forum I wrote my long post this morning (European time) on this thread partly to answer some questions on old threads I've been reading that never seemed to get answered.)
True enough. I know this from experience. However, my point is theat, generally, back country skiing is much less popular in europe than in the rockies. I will certainly stand by that.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lshull
Like Stowe? (Where is that place, I've never heard of it??? )L
Ah grasshopper Stowe mid week is e m p t y
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
"fortnight" = 2 weeks. Don't mind me, I don't really speak english. I had to look it up.

My sister lives in Heidelberg. If I was spending a fortnight next winter, where would you suggest going to ski from there? What months are best? It seems time to remedy this lifelong failure to ski Europe.
Heidelberg is about 4.5-5.5 hrs. from the major resorts in Austria and Switzerland. Go to St. Anton in late February or early March. It is the best that Europe has to offer.
post #37 of 50
And if you go to St Anton and want to ski off piste then the guide Graham Austick at Piste to Powder will put you in an off-piste group of the right standard and give you a fabulous time (see www.skimountaineering.com)
post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by okolepuka
Has anyone ever participated in a European Summer Ski Camp?
I had a week with the Warren Smith Academy last July on the Glacier at Saas Fee, Switzerland. Saas Fee is a gorgeous car free village in the valley but you can ski from 8am until about 1-1.30pm up on the glacier at about 3500m before it gets too slushy. Factor 50 sun cream is a must. There's only limited skiing but there's plenty for an instructional week plus there's a freestyle park and an excellent skiercross course.

It was like two holidays in one with skiing in the morning & then sun bathing, mountain biking, walking, swimming etc in the afternoon.

Saas Fee is used also used as a summer camp by a number of national race teams for summer training. The US, Swiss & Brits were there while I was there which was great to watch. My best memory was me going down the skiercross course in full warp factor tuck only to be passes by a 14 yr old girl from the Swiss junior national team!
post #39 of 50
For the first 14 years of my skiing life my skiing was in Europe, France in particular and mostly in the Portes du Soleil based in Avoriaz until 10 years ago when we stated traveling to the US, since then we have skied in the Western US and Canada.

The way we take holidays and the way you take holidays (vacations) in the US tends to be very different. We will pre book 2 weeks well in advance for a ski holiday (the nature of my works means I can't take time off at short notice) and will spend a full two weeks skiing.
So why travel 16 hrs to cross the Atlantic twice a year?

The skiing in Europe and the US is different. The conditions in the Western US are much more reliable, we had several years in Avoriaz where we skied only a few runs due to poor snow conditions but when the conditions are good the skiing is terrific.

The ski areas are huge and there is no in bounds or out of bounds, there are marked pistes which are patrolled and avi controlled and the rest is off piste. The vertical drops are much bigger and a single run can be miles long, only Jackson Hole and Whistler come close in the resorts I have skied in North America and they are only like a small area of a big French resort. Marked runs in the French resort I have skiied are more difficult than equivalently marked runs in the US.

Most continetal skiers tend to see skiing as a holiday recreation rather than a serious sport, where as I think the opposite tends to be true for US skiers and the Brits that I know and ski with (but that may just be us).

US resorts have much better service (which you pay for in the price of the lift ticket) more reliable snow conditions, better lift lines with shorter lines and no fighting and pushing and no big agressive German stamping all over your skis. You have a culture and atitude more similar to us Brits than do the French and you almost speak English.

I keep thinking shall I try Europe again, I can drive to a French resort in a day, but with only 4 weeks to ski in a year I keep deciding to come back to the US because I like it and because the pound to the dollar makes it reasonable even with the high prices for lift tikets.

But you guys over there should definately come over and ski Europe and experiance really big mountains and ski areas if only to put things in perspective. The cost in resorts is lower so it will balance out the dollar to euro deficit. If you get the chance visit Chamonix because it is truly spectacular.

If you fancy somthing really different come to Britain and ski the plastic slopes!
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyons
True enough. I know this from experience. However, my point is theat, generally, back country skiing is much less popular in europe than in the rockies. I will certainly stand by that.
That could well be true.
Is any of the off-piste over there closed off somehow if there is high avalanche danger or are avalanches that don't threaten a piste triggered to make off-piste slopes safe? I got the impression this is so, though I might be wrong.
Also, do off-piste routes appear on maps?
If any of these things are so it might give people more confidence to try skiing off-piste.
They are not the case here, which is the coroliary of our freedom to ski anywhere. A general Avalanche danger level is announced but that's it.
(However a piste with any hazards would be closed)
post #41 of 50
Bloxy, spot-on post!

In Europe we've only skied Pyrenees (French and Spanish), and North /South Spain, on 2 separate occasions. My dream trip to Europe will be in about 5 years, when my son is old enough to absorb the history and culture of the Continent (of course we'll stop in London for 2 days, at least to show him where I did a summer job stint in 1975...). Trip: land in Milano, drive to Venice then on to Cortina, St.Anton, St. Moritz, Cervinia/Zermatt, Val/Tignes and Les Trois Valles, maybe Obergurgl. Not bad eh?

BTW, don't miss Snowbasin in Utah, it will remind you (piste-wise) of Europe, and the facilities and service is the best by far!
post #42 of 50
Snowball: I enjoy reading your posts. I think that you are knowledgeable and sincere, and I look forward to your continued input at this forum. I think that what you refer to has a lot to do with liability issues and the litigious nature of american society. Most off piste skiing that I have done in the US is thru gates (sort of like the gate at the top of the Schindler chair at St. Anton). However, there are people substantial threat of avalanche!
post #43 of 50
Thanks, Canyons, I'll hang around.
Incidentally, with your name if you ever ski in the MonteRosa area in Italy (Alagna/Gressoney-le-Trinite/Champoluc) you should try the Canyon Leisch (buy the book on local off-piste routes "Polvere Rosa"). You ski on top of a stream (or in summer probably a continuous series of waterfalls) in a narrow, steep slot between huge sheer walls. Spectacular!
post #44 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyderjon
Just wondering if any of you US/Canadian guys'n'gals have ever skied in Europe & how it compares to back home?

Also many posts refer to the differences between East & West skiing in US & Canada. Can anyone pleae explain these differences.
In my experience, the skiing in Europe isn't any different. It's life that's different (better in very many ways, imo). . .so everything but on-slope stuff is different.
If you are young and/or adventurous you would do well to go live in Europe for a year or two. Teach english, be a waiter, whatever - it'll change your life.

Speaking as a somewhat recent East->West transplant I'd say:
Eastern skiers are only tripped up by powder. Western skiers are tripped up by everything else.
Only kidding about that last sentence - but not the first.

East/West life is different too - for example, everyday life in Montreal is much more socially and culturally rich than Vancouver, but Vancouver has outlandish natural beauty. Vancouver has warm weather, but Montreal has beautiful fresh white snow. Montreal has cold but beautiful winters, whereas Vancouver has warm but very dark winters.
What're ya gonna do?
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
"fortnight" = 2 weeks. Don't mind me, I don't really speak english. I had to look it up.

My sister lives in Heidelberg. If I was spending a fortnight next winter, where would you suggest going to ski from there? What months are best? It seems time to remedy this lifelong failure to ski Europe.

Heidelberg is a nice college town dominated by massive castle overlooking town. It is not far from the Rhine River and in wine country. It is about 150 miles north of the alps and well connected by rail and roads. Switzerland ski areas might be closest, for example incredibly scenic Jungfrau region around Grindelwald/Eiger, Andermatt, Davos (long cruisers). But the alps are amazingly compact by US standards and world famous mtn/ski destinations like Chamonix Fr, Zermatt Sz, St. Anton Au would only be another 100 miles or so farther from Heidelberg. www.ski-europe.com is a good site to do some research and look for ski areas that most closely match your interests/skills.
A flight from west coast to Germany is what, 12 hrs? You could do a one week visit with 5 days devoted to skiing and 3 to visitiing relatives and arrival/departure days.
With two weeks you could hit several chosen ski areas. Trains are a fun and cheap way to travel in Europe. Zurich has a well connected airport to the ski areas of the Alps. I wouldn't let the rising Euro scare you, esp with relatives to put you up for a few days. Mom and Pop accommodations in Europe are still very affordable and often include breakfast. Lift tics in $35 range. Cultural and culinary benefits of a ski trip to Europe will be great. Scenery will blow you away, even someone accustomed to the beauty of Tahoe.
Timing of trip: snow quality in Alps is variable and snow sometimes comes in feast or famine spurts, also very dependent on elevation, but overall the best snow quality is likely in late February. Your sister may be able to comment on school vacation periods to avoid, and overly popular resorts to avoid, but I think the whole continent has rotating winter school holidays that mean some group is always on vacation between mid Feb to late March.
post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky33
But the alps are amazingly compact by US standards and world famous mtn/ski destinations like Chamonix Fr, Zermatt Sz, St. Anton Au would only be another 100 miles or so farther from Heidelberg. www.ski-europe.com is a good site to do some research and look for ski areas that most closely match your interests/skills.
A flight from west coast to Germany is what, 12 hrs? You could do a one week visit with 5 days devoted to skiing and 3 to visitiing relatives and arrival/departure days.
With two weeks you could hit several chosen ski areas. Trains are a fun and cheap way to travel in Europe. Zurich has a well connected airport to the ski areas of the Alps. .
Don't let seemingly short distances fool you. It still takes 3 or 4 hours to transfer from Geneva airport to Val d'Isere, for example.

These plans seem overly ambitious to me - from the 'if it is Wednesday, this must be Switzerland' approach to travel.

Personally, I would not want to be hopping from place to place, every other day, with all the baggage that skiing requires.
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by okolepuka
fortnight?

What are you traveling by, steamship?
that's pretty funny. By the way if you want to catch some great humour try and see the April Fools movies on TBC.
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latchigo
Don't let seemingly short distances fool you. It still takes 3 or 4 hours to transfer from Geneva airport to Val d'Isere, for example.

These plans seem overly ambitious to me - from the 'if it is Wednesday, this must be Switzerland' approach to travel.

Personally, I would not want to be hopping from place to place, every other day, with all the baggage that skiing requires.
I met more Americans travelling Europe and spending most of their time on trains. Then they could say they were there.
post #49 of 50

Camps

Quote:
Originally Posted by okolepuka
Has anyone ever participated in a European Summer Ski Camp?
No, but I notice there is some good skiing in the French Alps in the summer. I did some climbing in the German Alps one summer. By the way, the Queen of England didn't attend Charlie's wedding today.
post #50 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftskier
By the way, the Queen of England didn't attend Charlie's wedding today.
That wasn't a snub but a constitutional thing as the Queen is the head of the Church of England & Charlie was marrying a divorcee. She did attend the church blessing afterwards though.

BTW, I really don't give a damn about this stuff!
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