Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Ski resort dilemna for 4 friends with varying abilities.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So finally convinced a group of friends to come along.

1. Newbie. never skied
2. Green slopes or even just babysitting area slopes since he had just 1 day of lessons
3. myself. somewhere in blue or what i was told at cortina was advanced beginner. I should have levelled up a bit more as i went to niseko almost 1 month later
4. another friend who for some reason was able to tackle a blue/red slope without instructor guidance. just putting him above me in terms of slope ability but I'm not so sure if his skillset or basics are firm

Where should we go, or should we go at all.

I'm actually looking at the big French resorts this time. previously was in Chamonix and Cortina. Friend will have future travel to austria so St Anton etc are not as preferable. But all suggestions accepted. I guess 2 will definitely need some lessons
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi gfmozart,
As you are familiar with Chamonix I'd suggest Les Houches just down the road. It has a bit of something for everyone and you still have the opportunity to catch the bus to ski in Cham for a change of scenery.
snow report     
 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?
I was actually hoping for a change of scenery.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@gfmozart, yes, go!

Do you have an idea what time of season you would go, eg which month, or a particular week?

I think that makes a difference to places that would suit.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I would completely avoid a big resort.

1) Waste of a lift pass if your only going to ski a small area of what is on offer
2) you may be spread out quite a bit as you go off searching for slopes. Spending more time riding lifts that riding snow!
3) thats not going to be much fun for person 1 or 2 if they are left isolated all day!
4) Its nice to meet up at 1/2 day & go teach/help/advise person 1 & 2 on some nice easier slopes. Have a run together back down.


I would recommend you take a look at Valmeiner. 150km of slopes & 1/2 of it is graded green/blue.
One mountain is full of cruising greens & Blues with the odd red.
The other mountain has a good mix of blues & reds that lead into Valloire area.
Valmeiner is purpose built for progression. If you can ski the Gros Crey (Valmeiner), then you can get from Crey Du Quart (Valmeiner/Valloire) back to town & venture to Setaz (Valloire).

You can also ski 1 day in Les Sybelles & pay 30 euro for a day in 3 valleys via orelle to val thorens which is 30mins drive away.

piste map


http://ski-france-db.com/uploads/62354.jpg
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@gfmozart, if you don’t all mind staying together in a hostel type environment (or book a couple of twin rooms) what about a UCPA The UK agent is Action Outdoors. Prices are all inclusive of ski hire, lift pass, food. You can do full or half time instruction, so your skiing will come on a lot and you’ll be put in a group with similar abilities. I can’t give too much advice on resort, but as you have a complete beginner, there are specific beginners courses in 12 different resorts, so go to one of them. When I was at Val D’Isere last year I was chatting to a couple of people on a beginners course and they were exploring the whole of EK. The Tignes UCPA Center is a bit nicer though. There’s a thread on UCPA centres if you search.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@gfmozart, as you said all suggestions accepted I'd say consider some of the resorts in Italy.
Livigno is good for beginners (in fact that's where in the past snowHeads has held its "Make Yourself a Snowhead Bash" for beginners). Downside is it's quite a long transfer, but once you're there it's pretty snowsure as it's high, and also if you or your companions like an apres ski drink it's a duty free area so drinks are cheap. Madeye-Smiley )

Alternatively the Alta Badia resorts in the Italian Dolomites (Colfosco, Corvara, San Cassiano, Armentarola) are excellent for beginners, the scenery is stunning, and the mountain restaurants have excellent food (and hot chocolate!) at very reasonable prices (far less you'll pay in many of the large French resorts)
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@gfmozart, I'd probably second Italy as your on snow needs are relatively limited and easily satisfied. So optimising food and drink at reasonable prices seems like a good idea.

It sounds like you would ALL benefit from lessons.
snow report     
 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.
Quote:

It sounds like you would ALL benefit from lessons.

which means a UCPA centre would be ideal - and Tignes a good suggestion. Yes, you won't need the vast expanses of the Espace Killy but the UCPA centre there is very swish and there's skiing for everybody. It's "all-inclusive" and almost certainly better value than anything you could put together yourselves.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
You are all really at the beginner end of the spectrum. Cham is spread out and a brilliant resort for experts. If you want to ski as friends you.want a resort where the easy runs are high and give you all a sense of the mountain.
Risoul is utterly amazing for beginners. Megeve is great for flattering skiing
Villars, Cervinia, Corvara, Lech, Folgarida,
Soll,
The list is endless really.
I agree with the posts about not spending too much on a mega resort. A waste of money really.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@gfmozart, I agree with @Mr.Egg ,Valloire/Valmeinier would be good. There's lots of big wide, fairly gentle piste and more than enough to keep you all busy for a week. It's my nearest resort so I'm quite familiar with it though I wouldn't recommend staying here for your group, you'd be better off with a ski-in ski-out in the resort.
snow conditions     
 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.
What type of accommodation are you thinking of? Are you looking for any activities and/or entertainment outside of the skiing? Both of these will significantly affect resort choice. Are you looking to book independently or through a tour operator?
It sounds like you'd all benefit from lessons. Could #1 and #2 do some lessons as a snow dome before you go? That could bring them up to a similar level to #3 and #4 so that you'd be able to share some group lessons.
Without answers to any of the above questions (which could change things), I'd suggest the Skiwelt (Soll, Ellmau, etc).
ski holidays     
 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
Risoul. Alta Badia. Hemsedal.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another vote for Risoul/Vars, also look at La Plagne, 3 Vallees staying centrally eg La Minueres, or Les Gets. Maybe La Rosiere/ La Thuile - All cruisy places.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Markymark29, good call re La Thuile/La Rosiere. Either would be good for the group.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yes I was thinking La Rosiere or La Plagne. Both have quite reliable snow records, not overly daunting for the beginners, not cheap but not the most expensive either.

Les Gets/Morzine may suit, depending on when going.

Similarly Alpe D’Huez.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sounds like 1 & 2 would be good in absolute beginner lessons, while 3 & 4 would benefit from improver lessons. You should be able to join group lessons while staying in those pairs if you want to avoid the cost of private lessons. Don't be tempted to skip lessons altogether, it's important to learn good basic technique rather than bad habits which will be hard to unlearn.

I'd recommend a smaller resort because it will be cheaper and easier to get around. Bigger resorts are good once you've got more experience and are either looking for a specific type or terrain, or just want a bit more variety.
snow report     
 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?
The French resorts are good for beginners, though my experiences there are a long time ago. Personally I think the downside is the social side of things more than any skiing issues, though each resort will be different. Perhaps the stereotype that a French resort is a bunch of rabbit hutches set in a remote spot with a couple of "piano bars" for entertainment is a bit out of date.

I would have thought some of the Austrian resorts would be ideal, Ski Welt, Sport Amade, Saalbach Hinterglemm etc. If one of the group decides skiing is not for them there are other things to do and plenty of places for evening entertainment. Many of the resorts also do a points card or similar aimed at beginners or near beginners so you dont waste money on a full pass when you are likely to only use a few lifts for the first few days.

In general I would have thought that if you avoid resorts more aimed at more experienced skiers like St Anton or Argentiere you will be fine. A good time probably depends on decent weather rather than anything else.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Obertauern might work for you. Mostly flattering blues and reds that would suit the two more advanced in your group. There are also a couple of areas with blue runs that are equivalent to French greens (Austrians don't make the distinction). The skiing area is not massive, but large enough for your current level and it's very easy to navigate with all the pistes fanning out from village, which makes it very easy to re-connect if you go separate ways whilst skiing.

There are a few apres bars just off the last run into the village, a few more bars with decent apres up in the mountain, and a few late bars along the main street.

Don't know about skiing lessons, but my daughter had some snowboarding lessons there and the level of instruction was very good.

If you really want to stay in France, then Les Gets is nice and easy, Courchevel has some amazing green runs (but expensive) or even La Plagne staying near the centre might also work (avoid 1800 as a beginner).
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I am thinking of going end february to early march. Yup, all of us should get lessons but I don't want to be plodding around being the fastest beginner whilst my friends are taking lessons. Was hoping to consider a resort where there is a possibility of a beginner area that is next to an advanced green or blue slope rather than have everybody separated far away.

I fully agree with the 1/2 day lesson and practice for the later half of the day is the best idea. It seems a better deal when you get too tired to make full use of your lessons in the afternoon. I really liked cortina with its beginner area right next to a green/blue slope. But the snow was very wet and slushy by the end of the day. Niseko was crazy with powder and i was blind half the time on the slope due to the constant snowing.

I will agree that it might be helpful with some apres in the event the other 2 folks aren't that keen on furthering their skiing education. I am actually considering zermatt or some resort with significant touristic attractions apart from skiing.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

end february to early march

In France it's peak season - school holidays, so if you want to then, I'd avoid France.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Go to Bulgaria. Cheep and cheerful. Something for everyone. Nice food nice people. You can buy half day lift passes.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@gfmozart, yes if you have the option of going a couple of weeks later, better deal and far fewer people on the slopes.

If constrained to late Feb into early March then I’d consider Italy. The Dolomites for example.

Also, Cervinia, linked to Zermatt, would probably suit your level of skiing better than actually being based in far more expensive Zermatt.

snowHead
ski holidays     
 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.
On the basis that Swiss prices don't phase you, and depending on how good your group is at making your own apres (it was pretty quiet when we were there, though there are a couple of apres bars with dancing and silliness), possibly consider Trysil in Norway (staying in the Turistsenter, Hoyfjellsenter is easier for beginners but less going on)? Very flattering skiing for beginners, lots of gentle tree lined runs, and everything is easy to get to by greens and blues. There's also a mini snow park which is fun. We went as (very bad, gutless) second week skiers and it felt really good to get all over the resort, and instruction from the ski school was good and again good fun. We went through Flexiski, Norwegian flights, transfer from Oslo, stayed in the Radisson (we were in the Park Resort in Hoyfjellsenter but as noted, it's very quiet - we took a bottle of whisky with us and made our own amusements, if we go back I'd stay in the Radisson Blue)

Think you can also hire a s/c hut with a sauna to yourselves if you want to go full Scandi!

Piste map - skistar website is useful in general: https://www.skistar.com/en/ski-destinations/trysil/piste-maps/
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
gfmozart wrote:
I am thinking of going end february to early march. Yup, all of us should get lessons but I don't want to be plodding around being the fastest beginner whilst my friends are taking lessons. Was hoping to consider a resort where there is a possibility of a beginner area that is next to an advanced green or blue slope rather than have everybody separated far away.

I fully agree with the 1/2 day lesson and practice for the later half of the day is the best idea. It seems a better deal when you get too tired to make full use of your lessons in the afternoon. I really liked cortina with its beginner area right next to a green/blue slope. But the snow was very wet and slushy by the end of the day. Niseko was crazy with powder and i was blind half the time on the slope due to the constant snowing.

I will agree that it might be helpful with some apres in the event the other 2 folks aren't that keen on furthering their skiing education. I am actually considering zermatt or some resort with significant touristic attractions apart from skiing.

France can be very crowded end of feb and first week of march, things will quieten down a lot after that . First week of march will be busy in quite a few resort as it is Fasching this year which is generally a very busy week though not everywhere.
Zermatt is a great place though a bit scattered about for meet ups if you are in different classes, not got the best nursery slopes either.
If you are interested in Switzerland Wengen could be a good option, really attractive place plenty of gentle skiing , though I'd avoid it English half term if you are on a boys trip it will be full of English families.
Now't wrong with many of the other places suggested but some can be very busy at the time you want to travel.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Alastair Pink, Livigno? Hmmmmm...Whilst it's a fantastic place to party Embarassed and has probably the largest number of 'bunny slopes' in the Alps (I learned my first snow based self abuse lesson there) It really isn't the best place for beginners. All those short, steep beginner pistes on the bar/café doorsteps are not the best introduction to sliding on white concrete. Though it has to be said that it is one of the best places to develop your apres attitude Toofy Grin

At their level, they need to find a resort that gives them a big mix of greens and developing blues. There are some US based ones like Copper Mountain . . . With unusually good food and a respect for great beers . . . But a look at Valandry and Peisey Nancroix (just around the hill from Les Arcs) is a cracking destination with a good old kermit vibe with long greeny blues and easy connection to a more challenging terrain.

La Thuile is another place for big, reasonably gentle pistes, though the final drop to the town is a booger Twisted Evil . . . So take the gondola.
snow conditions     
 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.
@Masque, My 1 and only experience of last Thuile was a day trip from Chamonix to find snow in April.
I loved it and it's definitely on my return list. Something there for everyone. Great off piste and on.
I'd also agree with North America /Canada.
If your going in a mixed ability group with non skiers. Go somewhere new and exciting. There not guaranteed to get on with Skiing but will have visited a different culture and country
snow report     
 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
LeglesWonder wrote:
@Masque, My 1 and only experience of la Thuile was a day trip from Chamonix to find snow in April.
I loved it and it's definitely on my return list. Something there for everyone. Great off piste and on.
I'd also agree with North America /Canada.
If your going in a mixed ability group with non skiers. Go somewhere new and exciting. There not guaranteed to get on with Skiing but will have visited a different culture and country
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
La Thuile has some great skiing but if the OP wants a bit of apres as well my own experience is that it is deader than a very dead thing .
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@T Bar, come on...La Thuile is not that lively.
latest report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dobby wrote:
@T Bar, come on...La Thuile is not that lively.

Thermal death would have been a better analogy ? wink
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sauze d'Oulx - 1 hour transfer from Turin - great food - great atmosphere - Cheapish
Sportinia (mid station ish...) is a great place to kick back and enjoy the weather, take a break, eat food, get tipsy, ski school, nursery slopes - easy upload and download from the mountain if you dont fancy skiing all the way down -

Access to a much bigger area if you're skiing comes on leaps and bounds!!
snow conditions     
 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?
@gfmozart, Also Kitzbuhel. Fly to Salzburg or MUC. If apres is your thing then you'll not go far wrong there, and there's something for everyone re skiing.

I still maintain that 3V in France would work and plenty of green/ blues there (they dont have greens in Austria, basically tracks and flat) so it really depends what your group want but there's loads of choices.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Another vote for Sauze.... Lovely as you want it town and flattering slopes - wherever there is a harder route, there is an easier one that ends up in the same place, more or less.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Go for ski-in-ski-out (SISO) resorts.

Makes it far better for new starters.

Less lugging of heavy kit.

Less struggling to walk in heavy boots on icy sidewalks.

Less sweating from accommodation to bus or lift and back.

Beginners use far more energy when learning to ski. They get more tired and injury rates soar.

Try...

1. La Plagne (Bellecote).
2. Les Arcs 1600.
3. Courchevel 1850.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
France, end of Feb/early March...read the sage like wisdom of pam w...it is French school holidays and what is worse you could get the Parisiens!

Kitzbuhel would be my call as it caters for all and easy to meet up, a picturesque town and sociable enough for days not skiing and ‘civilised’ Austrian apres. A second would be Italy as the cruising runs in Cervinia or around Alta Badia are good for beginners and intermediates. What about Andorra...never been there myself, so can’t comment, but isn’t it a good place to learn and build confidence as well as sociable and cheaper than the French resorts?
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

1. La Plagne (Bellecote).
2. Les Arcs 1600.
3. Courchevel 1850.

Three of the ugliest resorts in the Alps! Why not go somewhere nice (with cheaper prices too) - you can still get ski-in ski-out accommodation.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@tatmanstours, Actually they are quite beautiful resorts with fantastic views across the valley to Mont Blanc.

However, I think the fact that they are planning to go on one of the busiest weeks of the season would entice me to suggest going elsewhere.

I would also not reccomend Arc1600 for 4 beginners. It is far too steep. Go to Arc 2000 instead
latest report     
 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.
@johnE, These things are always subjective, but to my mind they are monstrous carbuncles to stay in. Obviously the views from the mountains are great (like most resorts), and the skiing's good, albeit more than they need.
If they really want to spend a holiday in such places (and don't mind the dire, uninspiring, over-priced apres), I would personally recommend catered chalets in Vallandry or Arcs 2000, or St Martin de Belleville. However my point was that you don't need to send a beginner to an ugly, purpose-built ski station for them to acquire the skiing bug and enjoy ski-in ski-out convenience. There are plenty of nice places.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I would agree that Arc 2000 is far better for beginners/early intermediates than Arc 1600. The new part of Arc 2000 closest to the piste is quite attractive in my opinion.

However I think Montgenevre would be a really good option. It has a green slope from top to bottom on the north side. At the top there is the Gondrons area with green, blue and red slopes running side by side. Therefore a group of mixed abilities can take the chairlift up together take their pick of slope colour at the top each time and meet up at the bottom of the run where the different coloured pistes converge right next to a café. On the south facing side there is a decent long blue to move onto. It has two really good ski schools. Apeak and the ESF. The Napoleon residence is well located..I would recommend staying there.

Les Saisies would also be good.

If you can avoid the four French holiday weeks you will get a cheaper deal on accommodation. I would suggest going mid March.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy