Zermatt this Winter - Page 2


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  1. #11
    Went to Laax in March '18 and it was a truly amazing experience. Stay in Laax at Rock Resort.

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    11/3- Sunday River
    11/9- Bretton Woods
    12/13- Bretton Woods
    1/18- Wachusett
    1/25- Watatic
    1/29- Wachusett


  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by crank View Post
    We loved the town. Chamonix is not one of those places where you walk out to the lifts and can access hundreds of pistes and access other ski areas. There are, I think, 4 nearby areas; sort of like Aspen that way. Grands Montets is the biggest and most popular and has some great skiing. However it's a crowded 20 minute bus ride away. Good free bus system but can be crowded. A couple of times we had to wait for the next bus to come along because there was just no room to squeeze in. Also going home at days end there can be a line where you will have to wait for a few busses and then endure a crowded ride.

    There is an amazing amount of backcountry skiing and if/when we go back we will do more guided touring. Taking the Agui du Midi cable car from town up to the top of Mont Blanc and skiing down should be on every skiers bucket list. One run is about 11K vertical feet! Although a lot of that is just cruising straight down the middle of Vallee Blanche it is still super cool. Depending on your guide and your group's skill level you can do anything from upper intermediate skiing to really scary shit off the top. Another great day was taking a bus through Mont Blanc Tunnel and skiing Courmayeur on the Italian side.

    Lots of bars, shops, restaurants, great apres, live music...like a lot of French resorts there are a lot of Brits and most local seem to speak enough english. Part of Cham's charm is that it is not a town that was built around ski resorts. It is a town where they put in some ski resorts. It is a mountaineering capitol for sure. You will see lots of climbers, paragliders and may even catch a glimpse of one of those crazy squirrel suit guys flying around.

    Fairly easy to get to, about an hour and a half bus ride from Geneva's airport. We rented a little studio apartment right at the edge of the pedestrian part of town and loved being able to walk out for fresh croissants or a baguette, salami and cheese.
    thank you!!!!


  3. #13
    kelly001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    MA Inside 495, Outside 95.
    Check out Cœur des Alpes for your lodging. Very unique and cool hotel. Easy access to gondola. https://coeurdesalpes.ch

    Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone

  4. #14
    My Favorites include the following. Keep in mind they are dependent upon a lot of things, but primarily snow quality and terrain. I also tend to prefer smaller and more authentic resorts that attract a more local or regional crowd of skiers.

    1. Tigne/Val Disere- I think this place is the best ski area in the world and its not even close.
    2. Engleberg- The lift accessed off piste simply is beyond rational believability.
    3. Pila- Small, fun, really good terrain.
    4. St Gerviais - Back side of Megeve, lots of good terrain and stunning views of Mt Blanc.
    5. Khutai- first place I skied with my boys in Europe. Powder day. Will always hold a special place.

  5. #15
    Hawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Mad River Valley / MA
    After reading all of this it has actually made my decision even harder. Hearing that Zermatt can have low snow snowfall and questionable conditions makes me Leary. I have been skunked way to many times. Andermatt and Laax sound pretty interesting. I will do more investigation.

  6. #16
    What type of place are you looking for and what matters most?

  7. #17
    Hawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Mad River Valley / MA
    Quote Originally Posted by skifree View Post
    thank you!!!!

    I've been to Cham twice and without a doubt it is one of the most awesome experiences I have ever had. There is an electricity to that town I have not felt elsewhere. The only down side is the Grand Montet cable car burnt down. I love that lift and it served some of the best terrain. Not the end of the world. If you go, get a guide for the day, do the aiguille du midi cable car and ask to do the grand Envers route.
    There are so many food and lodging options I can't begin to tell you. Just make sure to get lodging in the center of town some where and close to a bus stop or train station. Check the map before booking. They will sometime say, "close to town" and that could be as much as a 15 to 20 minute walk to the bus or train to get to the mountain. I have no complaints about Chamonix, I just want to explore elsewhere this year.

  8. #18
    Hawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Mad River Valley / MA
    Quote Originally Posted by skiberg1 View Post
    What type of place are you looking for and what matters most?
    Here's my criteria:
    - We are going with 4 to maybe 6 people.
    - We are all expert skiers, want to ski steeper terrain and have some adventure.
    - Planning on hiring a quide for at least one or two days.
    - We may not bring skins and back country gear. Don't have room for two full setups. but will do moderate hikes.
    - We would rather not ski crowded areas or glitzy resorts, just as long as there are good options to have dinner and apre ski.
    - lodging can be a chalet or hotel. We are flexible as long as it is comfortable.

  9. #19
    Sounds like we have similar taste. Look into Engleberg. You can stay in Lucerne which is a really nice city and then drive, or take the train, less than 45 mins away. You can stay at town near base, but its a bit quiet. You can also ski multiple areas in the region by staying in Lucerne. You will definitely have adventure there. Guides are recommended and there is some glacier travel, but also plenty of routes that are non-glaciated and once you learn them I think you could do them without a guide. I am not exaggerating when I say you can ski 7,000 continuous vertical feet of black/double black terrain. No joke. The bad news is that its all above tree line so if its snowing, its impossible to see and when a storm blows in it really, really honks, even if cloudy it can be tough with Vertigo. The reason I mention Lucerne is that you are not then beholden to Engleberg just in case the snow or weather is iffy.

    Definitely consider Monterossa IT. A bit more difficult to get to but worth it. Great snow history, plenty of Pow and no lines. Tremendous off piste. Below tree line gladed skiing for the bad vis days. Huge backcountry with minor climbing needed.

    Solden AT may work as well. Crazy partying. Good snow and lots of off piste, plus you can ski multiple areas in the region, like Obergurgul and Khutai.
    Obertaun in eastern AT. Powder hound ski area, plenty of off piste.
    Val D'anniviers/Grimentz- a bit more obscure but plenty good.

    Have not skied Andermatt, but its on the list and have heard many, many good things about it. You can take train directly to hill.

    Have fun deciding. Last year I just booked my usual non stop Boston to Zurich flight (Swiss) and decided where I was going when I landed. Highly recommended as you can get to about 2/3 of Alps ski areas fairly easily and you will absolutely find the snow this way. No nerves about getting skunked.

    Val DiSere/Tignes. tons and tons of off piste.

  10. #20
    thetrailboss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
    Two years ago I rode the Glacier Express past Laax and Andermatt and both looked impressive. I almost went to Engelberg for a day, but decided to check out an unknown local place (Flumserberg) that was very interesting. Honestly there are LOTS of decent sized "local" places that are impressive in their own right but NOT known outside the area.
    Live, Ski, or Die!

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