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Best place to spend a season?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The snow is gone here (northeastern US), so I’m looking towards next season to keep hope alive. I’m gonna spend the whole season bumming, and any help picking a resort would be appreciated. I’m an advanced skier/snowboarder and here’s what I’m looking for in a resort (in order of importance).

1st - Change of scenery. I want to get out of North America. I want to use the metric system to measure snowfall and learn how to say "first tracks" in another language.

2nd - Terrain. Okay, so not all groomers are the same, but they’re pretty damn similar. I’d like a place where I can get powder, hairy backcountry runs, and trees.

3rd - Comrades. I’m going alone, so I’ll need to find some folks there who are handy with a transceiver and who want to explore the backcountry with me. I figure at the beginning of the season I’ll hire a guide to show me around, but I won’t have the money to do that every day.

4th - Overcrowding. I don’t want to spend all season waiting in lift lines and I want to be able to find fresh pow a couple days after a big dump.

5th - Price. I have some money put aside for this and I’ve got months more to save, but if the place is jaw-droppingly expensive I might have to....work.


So far I’ve found 3 resorts that stand out:

Chamonix: Does is live up to the hype? Overcrowding? Price? Vertical drop!

La Grave: Would I be able to find people to ski/ride with? What do you do when the lift shuts down? How does it compare with Cham?

Happo One: Yeah it’s crowded, but apparently they still get you uphill in a hurry and the Japanese never venture off-piste. Plus the powder’s supposed to be killer and Japanese chicks are rumored to dig western guys But will I find folks to explore the high avalanche-risk areas with me?
post #2 of 19
Eastern Europe? the Caucuses or Slovenia? Ought to be cheap, definitely a new language/culture and plenty of interesting terrain. Or go visit fellow bear, Czech racer. And, well, you did say you wanted comrades.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thradash
But will I find folks to explore the high avalanche-risk areas with me?
It may be difficult to find anyone, anywhere who would want to get out on a slope with a high avalanche risk with you.......................

: : :
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Mom - interesting idea, thanks! Now to weigh Slovenia against Slovakia... Maybe I should head to the Barking Russian Bear

Nearly unpronouncable snow god - How's "higher-avalanche risk than skiing directly below the chairlift?"
post #5 of 19
I hear there's some good skiing in IRAN.
post #6 of 19
Consider Verbier, Switzerland.
post #7 of 19
Just head to Las Lenas in a month or so. Sorry, no trees.
post #8 of 19
Highpeaksdrifter, Doesn't Switzerland have the highest cost of living in the world?
post #9 of 19
If you're going to Europe I'd say go to France...after the ski day is over you want to be in a country that's got great drink, food, social life, etc.

If you don't like fun you can always choose Switzerland or Austria.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
OldSchool - hahaha, okay, france over switzerland or austria

SHREADHEAD - not this season, but when I get back from france (or japan, or india, etc) I'll head to bariloche
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
If you're going to Europe I'd say go to France...after the ski day is over you want to be in a country that's got great drink, food, social life, etc.

If you don't like fun you can always choose Switzerland or Austria.
Hang on. Use your logic. Drink, food, social life. And you'd choose FRANCE : How about Italy ? They love Americans there too Skiing can be a little limited but is that what it's all about ?
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
Hang on.How about Italy ? They love Americans there too Skiing can be a little limited but is that what it's all about ?
Contact "Nobody" and yes Italy can be great.

http://www.alagna.it/ How does 4500ft lift served vertical or 10,000 ft Heli served vertical strike you? Plus you can always ski to Vermatt if you need a little of Switzerland to make your day.

Cheers,

Michael
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
http://www.alagna.it/ How does 4500ft lift served vertical or 10,000 ft Heli served vertical strike you? Plus you can always ski to Vermatt if you need a little of Switzerland to make your day.
I used to base myself here, http://www.arabba.it/localita-e.htm , when I worked in Milan

The Sella Ronda, and some of the off-trail stuff, worked for me

Ciao Baby
post #14 of 19
If you're looking to base yourself in Europe, St Anton is pretty hard to beat. It has an awesome apres ski scene, really good off piste and tons of seasonnaires who are up for some powder (and carry tranceivers). It can get crowded though, and it does get tracked quickly, also a touch pricey.

I got back on Saturday from a few weeks in Italy (La Thuile) and it was really good, less people, and less terrain than some areas, but cheap and quiet (may have been the time of year).
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, I'm looking into Italy. How does the terrain at Algana, Arabba, and La Thuile compare to Cham and the other big French mountains?
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thradash
Thanks all, I'm looking into Italy. How does the terrain at Algana, Arabba, and La Thuile compare to Cham and the other big French mountains?
The big French mountains are BIG. Enormous. Italy tends to be smaller with less gradient, although not so much so in The Dolomites. But it's all so much bigger than anything in The States. Good luck.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thradash
Thanks all, I'm looking into Italy. How does the terrain at Algana, Arabba, and La Thuile compare to Cham and the other big French mountains?
Arabba (Sela Ronda) is small and crowded compared to the big French places.

My two favorite French secrets:

Moutiers: Nice little town just down the road from Courchevel, and near Val D'Isere. Has a kayak slalom in town and rooms above the bar for 30 euros.

http://www.ot-moutiers.com/

St Jean de Maurienne:
Nice town with limited skiing but it is where you get the back door express to the top of the Trois Vallee, the largest lift connected complex on the planet. There is a 45 minute gondola ride from the dry valley floor to the base of the glaciers, and the staying in the Maurienne valley costs a fraction of other French resorts.

Will you find friends? Hard to say, but if you don't speak French and like Brits, maybe Chamonix or Val D'Isere would be the place.
post #18 of 19
Japan will be very expensive, but you're right about the girls(As long as your not an ***hole). Very interesting culture though and some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet.

I've never been to Slovenia/Slovakia, but doing some basic research does show it should be within your budget. As previously suggested, look up a post from Czech racer and send a PM to him.
post #19 of 19
I've always had an affection for Prague, Czech Republic. Dunno if there are a lot of ski areas nearbye...
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