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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    247

    WWMD- Last Minute Euro Trip???

    Maggots,

    So here's my deal, Wifey and I are taking Feb 1-10 off to go skiing. In our current life/work stage, we have been pretty much reduced to weekend warriors, so taking a 10 day stretch is a big deal for us.

    The original plan was to have no plan, and road trip to wherever the snow says to go. We are based out of CO and have a rig that we can sleep in. We were planing to scoop rooms or stay with friends wherever we end up and just wing it with a mix of Ikon resort days and ski-touring days. Its going off across the west right now, skiing has been great here in CO, as well as everywhere else...BUT....the long range models are looking like a large high pressure ridge is building across the west. I know high pressure isn't the end of the world, Some of our favorite zones are teton pass and beehive basin which can hold good snow for a long time. We've always wanted to check our Rogers Pass and road tripping up to canada would be sweet. Good stability could lead to potential for larger objectives, etc, etc

    This brings me to the Europe question. I'm sitting here at work day, dreaming about this upcoming trip, refreshing longterm forecasts hoping to see improvement, generally wasting time on the internet. A quick search and I found flights for our date from Denver to Zurich for $500.00 or 40k points and to Geneva for 700$ or 50k pts....Fuck thats cheap!!! This trip has always been on my radar, but Ive never really looked to deep into it. I do know that they have been getting crushed, the 10 day weather pattern looks to be continued unsettled/snow. Obviously, its a more expensive trip but we could utilize points and have some cash saved. 5 day passes to Cham and Verbier are in the 250 EU range, which seems reasonable. I don't know where we would stay, if we need a car, should i hire a guide.....

    So, What the fuck should i do? Stick to the plan or blow the bank on SkiEuro19? And if so, how can i do it on the cheap??
    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 01-24-2019 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2,868
    The best way to do Europe on the cheap is to ski in Colorado. If the Alps are sick, I'd wait until they are healed up and healthy before going. If you do decide to go to Europe given those caveats, I would not recommend renting a car. You don't need one in Europe. It will be cheaper and less stressful to do public transportation. If you've checked out the Euro forecast and have decided on the Western or Eastern Alps then your choice of GVA or ZRH is decided upon. From either of those airports within 2-3.5 hrs by public transport will put you into a Ski Cornucopia of choices. Again, it all depends on what the Euro forecasts are indicating. If I'm not mistaken, the Brits are on break around 3rd week of Feb. Should be able to get decent choice of inexpensive accommodations with out reserving to far in advance where ever the forecast sends you. Lift tickets generally aren't stupid expensive like America, so that shouldn't factor too much into your equation.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    636
    Blow the bank and go for it. You can always road trip, though you won't always be able to hop on that plane and fly halfway around the world. You don't know if you don't go. Do it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    247
    Toadman,
    Edited....Alps are feeling better. No car makes it even cheaper. ZRH and GVA are by far the best flight I have found. several good Airbnb options in chamonix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    206
    Go to Europe you won't regret it. See if you can fly into Zurich - rent car, get VRBO apartment rental in Landeck, Austria. Hit bakery in morning - get croissants, butter pretzels, coffee.....Ski at the Arlberg (St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, Warth), do a day or two at Ischgl, do a couple days at Serfaus/Fiis. Checkout the maps - those place are ridiculous. Maybe a day at Khutai, Solden, Orbergurgl/Hochgurgl. There is so much skiing with an hour or so of Landeck.

    If you do Geneva - France. Switzerland ain't cheap. Lift tickets, lodging isn't too bad - but the food is ridiculous. It completely takes the wind out of your sails. France - so many great places to hit....Val D'Isere, Serre Chevalier, and many, many more. Drink lots of wine. Austria - drink lots of beer. Trip of a lifetime.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    19,846
    Go, just go.
    Access is so easy. Verbier, Chamonix, Trois Vallees, Val d'Isere/Tignes are A list places with easier access from Geneva.
    ZRH access for Murren/Jungfrau, Engelberg, Andermatt/Disentis, St. Moritz, Samnaum/Ischgl or head to St Anton.


    Check out venduls hotel, https://www.mt-lodge.com/ .

    Also use the search function, this topic has been heavily flogged.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    590
    Going to Chamonix on a whim last winter was the best ski decision of my life besides Japan in 2016. Just go and don't look back. Even without amazing snow, the food, culture and being in those mountain alone are worth it... at the worst case your skiing insanely long groomers with incredible mountains in the background.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    21,343
    If you haven't been to Yurp, go. Chamonix is not horribly expensive. Bagget, cheese and cured meats plus wine and you have a meal. Shuttle from GVA to Chamonix is easy. Mix of resort, explore on your own with local beta, and some guide days are doable. Can go other places as well on buses without too much difficulty. It is a fun expereince.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    520
    the only shortcoming is 10 days is a short trip to yurp from the US for jetlag etc. I know some people who just have terrible time with jetlag and it ruins their trip. snow-forecast for st anton looks insane. If i was in your position i would just go!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    248
    Haven't been following chamonix's status super closely this year, but I would recommend somewhere with more connected lift access for the "euro ski trip" experience. Chamonix will feel limited without local knowledge / a guide and if grand M. Is still down. The mountain scenery there is without parallel, however.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    7,004
    your dates are also great for a euro trip - they are before the school holiday periods. low crowds everywhere except for the weekends, and even then not that bad. it's still pretty cold and that keeps a lot of families away. for the jet lag, it can be bad coming this way but if you prep a few days before the trip you can mitigate that. shift your sleep schedule in advance by a few hours, and try to ski the day you land. or at least stay awake all day doing something active.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    650
    Do it guys.
    Follow Ammerteles advice.
    Book into and out of Munich. Amazing snow right now from central Switzerland all the way to eastern Austria. Like once in 100 year snow. H.ead that direction. Stay down valley by ten klicks, go to the grocery store. It will be bigger and cheaper then anything Colorado can offer. I know, I live here and come from there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    314
    Just the two of you? Small groups (like 2) are great for road trip where you plan from day to day / two days ahead.
    Can you get into Munich? Car rental seems cheaper there than in Switzerland (Try to rent a car in France if you go to geneva). Trains are an option, too! But Zurich is a great starting point as well if the flight are cheaper.

    Are you set on verbier / cham? Lots of smaller resorts could be cheaper if you decide to road trip.

    Book your flights first than you can find plenty of info on skiing the alps on here. Or ask away!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    5,884
    I would just base it on your mindset. Are to more into the routine of some good 'ol north american skiing or are you up for some mutha fuckin' international travel and adventure?

    If you decide to go to the Alps, we will get you taken care of. My personal experience is that what costs money is CH generally, cars and trains, and eating out. You absolutely don't need a car or a guide although you may want either.

    The variety of experiences available in Europe is way wider than that in the US. If you answer the first question, the rest will come together.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
    Posts
    34,599
    Boy, this is a real grass is greener thing, considering the excellent conditions in Colorado right now. Do you really want to go through the ordeal of a flight from Denver, I assume, to Europe, and the jet lag? May eat up a substantial portion of your time off. Long way back, too.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripzalot View Post
    your dates are also great for a euro trip - they are before the school holiday periods. low crowds everywhere except for the weekends, and even then not that bad. it's still pretty cold and that keeps a lot of families away. for the jet lag, it can be bad coming this way but if you prep a few days before the trip you can mitigate that. shift your sleep schedule in advance by a few hours, and try to ski the day you land. or at least stay awake all day doing something active.
    +1. You can do this and other things to mitigate the jet lag. Stay lower the first few days while you adjust. Coming from CO altitude shouldn't be a problem. But parking yourself at your home altitude or lower for two nights solves a lot of problems. Also, shock/horror, drink less on night one and go to bed on local time. Wide awake? Read a paper book not your phone. No screen time after ~10:00 PM will help you.
    Public Holidays - CH
    Public Holidays - AT
    School Holidays - CH (you will have to do your own digging here.)
    School Holidays - AT (note that the locals in the Arlberg, Tirol and Salzburg begin their vacation the day after you leave!)
    There is no way to equate the travel time to Europe with driving to Jackson, WYO. But if you are headed for BC, then the travel times start to compare.
    Munich is a great gateway to Austria. Geneva for France and environs. Zurich for the Berner Oberland, and all of German CH (which is buried right now). As others have said, lots of easy ways to do this.
    First time skiing Europe, I'd do without the rental car, take the train, soak up the views, glass of wine or beer on the train. Pick a place that connects via lifts and trails to other areas and ski instead of driving.
    If worried about the cost, CH will be most expensive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    299
    West is best 😉


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bozeman
    Posts
    650
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Boy, this is a real grass is greener thing, considering the excellent conditions in Colorado right now. Do you really want to go through the ordeal of a flight from Denver, I assume, to Europe, and the jet lag? May eat up a substantial portion of your time off. Long way back, too.
    LOL in 10 years you think he’ll remember some random CO pow day from 2019? No way. You know what he will remember - going to Europe


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
    Posts
    34,599
    First world problem.


    But, you're right. I'll be over there a few weeks in March. But I'm not looking forward to day one or two. That's why two weeks.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    299
    This is a great forecast for the Western alps over the next 10 days. Snow and cold temps. Skiing fluffy powder in the high alpine of Cham/Verbier/Courmayeur/ValD/La Grave is memorable. The lower (and smaller/cheaper) resorts will also be on. Rent a car and stay in the valleys to save money.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    248
    Jesus, yeah jet lag sucks but it's no worse than skiing with a vicious hangover. Pound coffee and go. Not a reason to skip skiing in Europe!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
    Posts
    34,599
    Oh, and, btw, our air control system is closing down right now as I type due to the shutdown. Maybe not the time to fly half way around the world.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    21,343
    Jet lag is a highly variable thing...I have no problems going east, but coming back home west kicks my ass.

    The skiing may be great in CO, but parts of Europe are having a stellar season (word is the Dolomites are sucky). Skiing Europe is just a great experience, even with marginal conditions. It is unfucken believable in stellar conditions, and is worth doing just for the experience.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    21,343
    BTW, if you do land at GVA, Chamexpress is the transfer I have used a few times. Discount code here...

    https://mailchi.mp/8311cc306907/have...t?e=388bca08ce

    There are public buses as well, even cheaper, but a lot more work on your part.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    215
    I lived in London and did a few pop-overs to Europe last minute - I did both with car and w/o, here is my experience, yymv:

    Sometimes I'd:

    Fly to Geneva and rent a car (it will be small and manual in all likelihood).
    Find a small town central to many of the ski resorts and pick a different resort each day.
    Costs of the car far outweighed by the money saved not staying in resort.
    Had to drive every night to a small town, couldn't really partake in on hill food and drink (big part of Euro skiing)

    Other times I stayed in a ski town/resort:

    fly to Geneva and take a shuttle/train
    Can be really expensive hotels (like really really) and food was not cheap
    If the snow sucked, nowhere to go.
    the ski the piste/never go off piste w/o a guide approach, made for some expensive days ...but...
    skiing off piste in Cham with a guide, pretty awesome,
    you still have a bit of flexibility with lifts and buses to go to neighboring resorts (but snow conditions are generally the same)
    not having to drive at night meant that we could enjoy the euro ski culture, glass of wine, or 3 at lunch and apres on the hill after.
    food etc was incredible

    I did both a few times and would recommend either, but they are different experiences. If I was going with my wife - who likes skiing, but wants a good bottle of wine and a nice meal as well - I'm taking a train/shuttle and staying in a town.

    .

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