Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

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Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:39 am

I plan on spending all of March skiing France/Switzerland/Austria.

Since March is late season, am I better off starting in Arlburg (low altitude resorts) and work my way down to Alps d' Huez near Grenoble?

I would like to check out La Graves, will I need a guide?? Are guides expensive?? Im trying to do this as cheapest as possible since Im only 21 yrs old.

I would greatly appreciate any imputs.
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re: Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby Patrick » Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:58 pm

Hi Guest,

Did a part bumming/visting my in-laws in France in all of March 2003.

What are you're plans? From I just read, are you planning to ski all over the place? You're mentionning St.Anton, La Grave and Alpe d'Huez.

In 2003, I spent 4 days in Interlaken (Jungfrau), followed by 6 days in les 3 vallées. before leaving France, I headed for 3 days in Chamonix. My plan to LaGrave was shot down because all guided were booked and scheduling coinsided with the LaGrave Derby (or what ever it is called).

I also skiied in Les Arcs, Val d'isère/Tignes, Flaine, Alpe d'Huez, Chamrousse and Courmayeur (Italy).

Val d'isère/Tignes is my favorite (stay in Bourg St-Maurice). Unless you are around Grenoble, I wouldn't necessarly detour to go to Alpe d'Huez. There's many great places in the Alps, Alpe d'Huez is probably the no.1 in the Isère department, but not among the top in the Alps.

Chamonix area is a must with Courmayeur on the other side. Jungfrau Ski Area (stay in Interlaken) is definately a spectacular place.

Snow wise. Areas like Val d'Isère/3 vallées with Val Thorens are fairly high altitude, so late March shouldn't be a problem. I didn't experience any problem March 2003, in the Jungfrau (March11-14), snow covered was good all the way down to 1000m Swiss Alps are not as high, but colder (i read), while in France everything under 1600m was almost washed out. 2003 was a good snow year in the Alps.

Guides: about 50euros/day for la vallée Blanche (Chamonix). La Grave, I have the pricing at home (about the same price I believe). For LaGrave + Chamonix, unless you ski with hightly experience backcountry locals, you SHOULD definately get a guide for skiing in the backcountry (LaGrave and Chamonix). You don't have too, it's a free country, however people are also free to kill themselves too.

Ah yes, you should count for at least 4-5 days in the Jungfrau (4 wasn't enough for me), Val d'Isère/Tignes, 3 vallées and other mega areas Check out Tony Crocket reports in the archives from Chamonix in Spring 2004 and Marc's in Courchevel the previous year.
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re: Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:48 pm

well Im planning on spending about 3 months in Europe with a budget of $4,000 (Planes and euro rail already paid for).

I think I might just do 2 or 3 weeks of skiing instead to save money... theres soo many options where to ski... Hmmm... I could spend 5 days in Arlburg, then Zermatt/Saas Fe for 2 days, Chamonix/Courmayeur for 3 days, and then spend 5 days in Les 3 Vallees

Yeah looks like I'll have to get a guide to try Vallee Blanche, I certainly don't want to fall into a crevase. Europe backcountry is far deadlier then NA.
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re: Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby LobsterTeleGrrrl » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:44 pm

I skied 3 Vallees two years ago and highly recommend at least 4-5 days there. I suggest skiing over to Val Thorens and hitting the Cime du Caron. splendid skiing and views. The Rosti lunch is very good too.

Zermatt is worth several days also. I hired a Swiss Mtn guide for a day and ended up skiing and rapelling in one hell of a run :D :D :D !!!!!
Be advised Switzerland is far more expensive than the rest of the Alps. If possible, sleep and eat on the Italian side--Cervina, and purchase the combo lift ticket. Also, you need to be back on the summitt for the last lift to Cervina by two pm, otherwise it's a 350 Euro cab fare back to Italy. Most people just spend the night if they don't make the chairlift, much cheaper.

I also skied The Grand Montets for a day last year. I like Chamonix so much, I'm going back for a week this winter :P

Have a great time. You can find cheap lodging with meals included if you do an internet search.

ltg
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Re: re: Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby Patrick » Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:06 pm

Anonymous wrote:well Im planning on spending about 3 months in Europe with a budget of $4,000 (Planes and euro rail already paid for).

I think I might just do 2 or 3 weeks of skiing instead to save money... theres soo many options where to ski... Hmmm... I could spend 5 days in Arlburg, then Zermatt/Saas Fe for 2 days, Chamonix/Courmayeur for 3 days, and then spend 5 days in Les 3 Vallees

Yeah looks like I'll have to get a guide to try Vallee Blanche, I certainly don't want to fall into a crevase. Europe backcountry is far deadlier then NA.


Definately need more than 2 days for Zermatt/Saas Fe...

2-3 weeks? I skiied 13 days in March 2003: 10 in 11 days (Jungfrau + 3 vallées) plus 3 days in Chamonix before heading back to Canada.

I agree with LobsterTele, if you go, take at least 5 days at les 3 vallées, this place is HUGE (world biggest I believe). Cîme de Caron is definately great (snow is better, higher altitude in Val Thorens), the couloirs above Courchevel are also great, Pierre Lory on the backside, Mnt du Vallon etc..., unfortunately I only did a few runs at those areas, the place is too big for 6 days, too much to see, too much to ski.

If you take 2-3 weeks, you might want to confident your skiing to a few areas.

If I would go on a 3-4 weeks ski-bumming trip, I would hit Val d'Isère/Tignes (4-5 days), Chamonix/Courmayeur (4-5 days), Jungfrau (4-5 days), La Grave (2 days-never been).

Plus great areas I have never been: Zermatt, Verbier
Areas that I have been and would be fun to go back: 3 Vallées, Les Arcs (2-3 days).

Too many places, not enough time...

All the areas are roughtly in the same area, so the travel and transfer would not be too dificult. BTW, my connection between Interlaken-Moutiers-bus to Val Thorens, took 10 hours. (8 hours in 4 different trains).

Sleeping accomodations: Chamonix, Chamoniard Volant (Hostel) - i believe it was 12 euros/night. Great place, fill with great skibums.
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re: Ski Bumming the Alps for a month

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:34 pm

Christ, I have just realized that the canadian dollar is only 64 cents in Euro currency.

Maybe I'll just stick to one spot and buy a 7 day ticket since it gets cheaper the longer you stay there.

I think Tignes is the most attractive late season skiing spot... it offers a high base elevation and tops at 11,000 ft. Im hoping the snow will be dry from top to bottom in late March.
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