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T Minus 26 days until I will be skiing in europe

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Only 26 more days of studying, hw, exams, research, and grueling exams, and i'll be heading to Europe for 16 days to ski the likes of Zermatt, Chamonix, Corchavel(I can't spell) and whatever other resorts we decide to hit up. Never been to Europe so i'm not really sure what to expect as far as snow cover. One thing is for sure there will be lots of skiing (hopefully powder instead of ice), probably a good bit of drinking, good food, and good times with college friends. Any suggestions on places to see/go/ski would be appreciated. As of now we have reservations at Zermatt for 4 nights and corchavel for several nights. We are staying at a good friends house in Geneva so day trips to Chamonix and other resorts will be possible. Anyone know any good links to snow reports for european ski resorts? We want to try for italy or germany for a couple days (sightseeing) but if the snow is good i'm sure we'll just ski instead.

Mabye some mid-atlantic ski resorts will open soon.
Skiing on that icy surface on the east coast that some people call snow is better than not skiing at all, i guess.

post #2 of 9
What about Austria ? Zurs , Lech or St. Anton . Great place and good skiing . In Italy there are not substitute for Dolomites ( Val di Fassa , Cortina ). Dolmites are simply most beautifull mountains in Europe .
post #3 of 9
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wanted to hit st anton and some other places but there is not going to be enough time. Right now we are planned for 4 days at zermatt, 2/3 days at corchavel (friends parents already have a chalet booked for a week so it would be hard to pass up free lodging for atleast a couple nights) and 2/3 days at chamonix/resorts within a days drive/train ride from Geneva. Going to be over there for a little over 2 weeks so include a few days for travel and a day or so for sightseeing and thats about it.

I have a good friend that grew up in Geneva and his parents still live there. He's going to take us to some of the not as well know resorts close to Geneva for some day trips. He says there is great skiing to be had at smaller not as well know places close to Geneva. Obvisously, all this depends upon snow conditions....we'll go whereever the snow is best.

Any suggestions on heli skiing/hiring a guide to go off piste. Costs and that sort of stuff. We thought about heli skiing for a day if its not redicously expensive. If so then definatly getting a guide the first day at Zermatt to show us around/take us off trail.

Thanks for the info...sorry for the long post

post #5 of 9
I'll be touring in europe also. I've planned cortina after christmas for a week (invited), and after january 16th I'll be heading to La Grave, Val d'isere and Chamonix. I think those are the better off piste ones. Any other sugestion?
What about Norway?
Any cheap cheap cheap places to stay in the (french) ones I've mensioned?
post #6 of 9
I'm heading to Verbier the first week of February - it'll be the first time to Europe skiing for me as well. Eight weeks to go!
post #7 of 9
There's no heli-skiing in France, but then again, you should be able to get enough off-piste to keep you happy for several days. I think once you see the size of the ski areas, you'll know what I mean. (Courcheval is about 4 times the size of the biggest North America has to offer)
post #8 of 9

Disclaimer: These are strictly "ski" opinions, not considering food/vista/prices and stuff like that.

I've been to Europe twice, in France and Switzerland. If you are looking for sick amounts of terrain and great off-piste (as they say for OB) opportunities, my personnal top 3 would be:
1 - Val d'Isere
2 - Verbier
3 - La Grave

I did a lot of OB and never used a guide (not really smart, I admit). If you can afford it, it is certainly the right thing to do. Especially in La Grave, where a guide is necessary to help you find the good terrain as there are no trails (I was there a day after a dump, so there were fresh tracks easily found on the main routes). La Grave had a lot of very cheap hotels compared to the other 2.

The Chamonix areas are disconnected and rather small compared to these 3. Les Grands Montets is the only one that is really worth it in my opinion. The Vallee Blanche is a great mountain experience, really boring from a skiing point of view, but the coolest thing I've ever done on a mountain - 2600M of vertical. No, you don't need a guide if the weather is good.

Zermatt left me rather lukewarm from a skiing perspective, great town (bring your gold card). Blacks in Zermatt are like blues in Verbier or Val d'Isère. The interesting area is the Stockhorn side of the mountain which is very rocky and useless in bad snow years. The cool thing is that you can ski down to Italy (Cervinia).

Courchevel is the Aspen of France (with Megeve) and is part of Les 3 Vallées, the biggest ski area in the world. Bring your gold card. This is not my cup of tea, much more crowded than Val or Verbier because it closer to major cities. Lots of BAAAD skiiers there

I think only Italy allows helicopter drops.

Hope this helps,

post #9 of 9
Anyone going to be in St Anton from January 9-12...I'll be there and I am looking for someone to ski with. It's not as much fun to ski alone.
It's snowing in the northeast US and I am sitting here watching last year's Warren Miller movie on DVD. Gotta go ski!!

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