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Ski Holiday, January 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi Snowheads Very Happy

I'm currently planning a ski trip for a group of 11 for January 2019. The current dates I am considering are 12th-19th as one of our members has work restrictions and asked for it to be early January but I am also weary of booking too early and not getting snow Embarassed

I was hoping some of you would be able to offer some advice on which resort to go to. I am mainly looking for french resorts but would be open to Austrian. Many of the group ski'd for the first time last year but they all went on reds and one went down a black!!!

Some of the criteria we are looking for is as follows:
- Self Catered, Ski in/ Ski Out chalets
- Relatively Cheap ( Last year I managed to book a week in Morzine for £530 each including Flights, Accommodation, Ski Pass, Ski Hire, Transfer and A Ski lesson. However now that everyone has
been and enjoys it, we are willing to spend a bit more)
- Reasonably snow sure for January, or a resort with good snow making ability.
- Large variety of runs with good views.
- Not too interested in the night-life, we would maybe go out 1-2 nights throughout the week.


I have looked at Alpe D'Huez, which had some nice ski in/ski out accommodation but I'm not sure if there will be reliable snow in early/ mid January?

Also considered Serre Chevalier but not sure if ski in/ ski out is possible and it seems that big that a car may be required, which we don't want.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks guys Cool
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@CmcKay, welcome to snowHeads.
Depends whether youíre committed to booking early, or willing and able to book late. By late, I mean no more than 10 days before departure.

For snowsure areas relatively early in the season in France, the most reliable I think are Three Valleys, Paradiski and Espace Killy. They have plenty of accommodation thatís ski in ski out.

For your group, maybe La Plagne or Les Arcs would suit. In 3V, Les Menuires has lots of apartments and is better value than other villages. La Tania is a good base too, with easy access to Courchevel and Meribel. In EK, Tignes would be your best option.

If you can book late, that week in January is very low season. There are always plenty of late availability deals. Apart from getting a bargain, you can see what snow conditions are like and if a good start to the season, there are lots of other areas that would suit you. Even with a large group, I donít think you would have difficulty with a late booking.

Hope that helps for starters but snowHeads will give freely of knowledge and advice if you ask. snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Serre Chevalier's shouldn't need a car as all villages are linked by piste/lift and bus.
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Hi @PeakyB,

Thanks so much for the advice, still only a novice at this as I've only been skiing 3 times so far. That's why I would be cautious about booking late, I can definitely see the appeal but I would be afraid everything would be booked or we would all have a dear holiday Crying or Very sad However, you seem fairly confident and experienced so I may well book late!

@Marjon, I wasn't sure if that was the case or not, I must've stumbled upon a comment that said otherwise. Thanks for clearing that up!

Again, any and all help is appreciated. Anyone know of good websites for booking accommodation fairly cheap? I currently would use HomeAway, Airbnb and booking.com.

Thanks snowHeads Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@CmcKay, youíre welcome. I understand late booking doesnít suit everyone, with a large group more likely to be anxious about what will happen.

Ski resorts in the Alps are about 50-60% full at most, after new year until late Jan.

Iíve seen Sunweb recommended for cost effectively putting together all the elements of a ski trip.
Most of the big TOs, like Crystal, Inghams, have early booking deals and large group discounts.

If starting from Ireland, organising it all separately yourself should be easy enough, given low cost air travel. Apart from accommodation sites you mention, Owners Direct have ski stuff. Specific resort tourism websites too.

One other thought about snowsure areas. The Italian Dolomites has such good snowmaking now that good piste skiing is virtually guaranteed in Jan. Once youíre there, most costs are about 30% cheaper than the French mega resorts. Easier on the eye too.

snowHead
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Quote:

One other thought about snowsure areas. The Italian Dolomites has such good snowmaking now that good piste skiing is virtually guaranteed in Jan. Once youíre there, most costs are about 30% cheaper than the French mega resorts. Easier on the eye too.




PeakyB, I've been looking at the Dolomites as well as a change from France but the ski schools for the kids are about 3 times the price, am I missing something as it's put me off to be honest. Love the Dolomites and done lots of summer climbing there.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@RobH2017, unaware of that and surprised to be honest. I havenít had kids in ski school for several years now.

Are the costs you have through a tour operator, or by direct booking with ski school?

Maybe worth starting a thread asking for up to date experiences and tips from other SnowHeads? Also using the advanced search function might bring up useful threads about Dolomites ski tuition.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks, I was looking on the Dolomite ski school website and nearly choked. I'll start a thread as I'm planning 2020 at the moment as 2019 ski hols are already booked (Evolution 2 once their winter bookings open are about the last thing to do).
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@RobH2017, youíre well organised, planning for 2020 already.

Out of interest, had a very quick look at ski school costs for kids (age 4-12 incl). Val di Fassa.

Through a big TO for Feb half term 2019, 5 half days group lessons, quoting £187pp. Bit more than Iíd expect but doubt itís much more than comparable French resorts peak season.

Also, if it suits, discounted Ďbundlesí of equipment, lift pass and tuition often available. SnowHeads will point you in the right direction Iím sure.

Happy planning snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
CmcKay wrote:
I currently would use HomeAway, Airbnb and booking.com.

I book direct via tourist information, listings, independent websites. Cut out the middle man. If you need any help doing that give us a shout.

Just bear in mind I ski in France mostly.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
CmcKay wrote:
Some of the criteria we are looking for is as follows:
- Self Catered, Ski in/ Ski Out chalets
- Relatively Cheap ( Last year I managed to book a week in Morzine for £530 each including Flights, Accommodation, Ski Pass, Ski Hire, Transfer and A Ski lesson. However now that everyone has
been and enjoys it, we are willing to spend a bit more)
- Reasonably snow sure for January, or a resort with good snow making ability.
- Large variety of runs with good views.
- Not too interested in the night-life, we would maybe go out 1-2 nights throughout the week.

TBH mate that doesn't narrow it down much. By mid-Jan it's bound to have been cold enough for the mass of snow cannons now installed to have done their job even if snowfall hasn't been great. And you are heading into mid-winter. France is all about ski in/ski out apartments - so covers virtually every resort. And anything of a decent size will have a good variety of runs.

CmcKay wrote:
I have looked at Alpe D'Huez, which had some nice ski in/ski out accommodation but I'm not sure if there will be reliable snow in early/ mid January?

As above it will be fine. ADH is known for being relatively sunny, which in January could be an advantage. I've been to ADH a lot and it's a great ski area. We stay in Oz-en-Oisans though because we like the village feel and the lift connections are good.

CmcKay wrote:
Also considered Serre Chevalier but not sure if ski in/ ski out is possible and it seems that big that a car may be required, which we don't want.

I stayed a week in SC and our apartment was on the others side of the valley to the skiing so not ski in ski out. Either a bit of a trek or a short bus ride (I presume it was Chantemerle but it was a long time ago!). Nothing wrong with SC in general. I haven't been compelled to go back though I have to say.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@PeakyB, Exactly, if it were a group of four I would be more inclined to book late as there is probably a wider range of accommodation for that number compared to 11. I'll check out Sunweb and OwnersDirect and see what comes up! And Italy does seem appealing, so I will have to look into some of their resorts. Thanks for the tips Madeye-Smiley

Hi @Layne. Thanks, I would be grateful if you could point me in the right direction. Even some website links. Haha, I suppose its a quite a broad criteria to be fair, we aren't hard to please which is maybe why I find it hard to settle on one ski resort. As long as we have good skiing and a decent chalet that we can all have the craic together, then we are fairly happy Laughing

You know better than me about ski conditions in January I'm sure as I've only been three times, all in the last week of January. I also wasn't aware of the output capabilities of the snow cannons, I had just assumed they were there to apply a fresh topping of snow when needed. Are there a good number of snow cannons in ADH? I appreciate your help, and also that you've given me confidence that at that time of year, there should be reasonable snow anywhere in the alps! Very Happy
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Literally chuck a dart at a list of French resorts, book some SC appartments near the pistes and you are done. In terms of fussy requirements you really don't have many although your desire for ski in/out will push up cost and rule out many worthwhile resorts (e.g. much of Austria) as your skiing develops.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@CmcKay, just to say apartments/chalets for 11 are a little less common than places for say 4 or 6. Nonetheless starting points:

ADH itself: https://www.alpedhueznet.com/apartments/

Oz: https://www.oz-en-oisans.com/en/hiver/chalets-et-appartements

La Plagne: https://winter.la-plagne.com/accomodation/apartments-chalets-apartment-hotels.html

The way it tends to work is that when you book online it will route through to an agency in resort - who is who you will deal with but you can have course contact agencies directly.

Emailing bob@skiaccommodation.co.uk is a good source for apartments. I stayed in one of their apartments in La Tania, 3V at Christmas and the admin and organisation was really efficient.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
CmcKay wrote:
You know better than me about ski conditions in January I'm sure as I've only been three times, all in the last week of January. I also wasn't aware of the output capabilities of the snow cannons, I had just assumed they were there to apply a fresh topping of snow when needed. Are there a good number of snow cannons in ADH?

These days they will use snowmaking to create a base or get links open early season and keep them open/covered during dry spells and late season. Especially at low altitudes, crucial link runs or beginner slopes they will use it to increase snow depth.
All resorts have invested heavily, it's obviously a commercial investment for them. You won't attract punters without them.

It needs to be around -3 and ideally nearer -8 to generate the snow. But obviously overnight in the mountains that's generally not a problem.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks all, I think I have enough information and confidence now to go ahead and book my holiday Very Happy

@Dave of the Marmottes, We had to walk 15 minutes in our rented ski boots last year to and from the ski lift. Not that we wouldn't do it again, everyone enjoyed the holiday but I think it was agreed that if anything could be improved it would be cutting out. So i just thought why not try to get on the slopes. I certainly won't let it stop me visiting some resorts, thanks for the help!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@CmcKay, if your group is prepared to have a couple of adjacent apartments, rather than one large chalet, your accommodation options would increase greatly. Maybe price too.
But if a large chalet is imperative, there should still be plenty in low season.

There have been some poor starts to ski seasons in the last few years. In many places the lack of natural snow has extended well into late January. By contrast, last season had a very good start, from mid November in lots of areas.

Thatís the reason I think an early booking for me would be in a higher altitude ski area, or one with excellent snowmaking

If you look at Sella Ronda in Italy, then villages like Corvara, Colfosco, Val di Fassa, Selva might suit your group.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@PeakyB, I was thinking the same, even two smaller chalets for 6 or so. I will have a look at those locations, thank you. I have shortlisted a few chalets in ADH which would be very convenient. Would it be high enough to get snow, or even high enough that it has the lower temperatures for keeping the snow from the snow cannons? Thanks again!
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@CmcKay, ADH has decent altitude, with skiing from about 1800-3400m. However it is well south in the Alps, with a reputation for lots of sun. Lovely if thereís plenty of snow but not so good if limited snow is melting or in a freeze/thaw cycle each day.

It claims about 250kms of piste, with about a quarter having snowmaking. Thereís plenty of beginner and intermediate cruising, with a few challenging pistes and a well known very long run.

Early season conditions a lottery but youíd be unlucky not to have enough snow for the needs of your group.

Other snowHeads will have more recent experience of ADH snow making and piste management.

Websites like On the Snow have snowfall data for the last 10 years if you wanted to weigh up your chances.
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