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  1. #1
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    Oct 2003
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    La Grave for a family? Mid-April?

    Hello/bonjour/bonjourno/Hallo- have a friend of a friend who has a place he rents in La Grave that we might have an opportunity to rent at a decent price in April. Concern is the skiing may be a tag of the extreme side for family as well as lack of town/non- skiing stuff. Is this justified? Better places to go? Kids and Mrs Larry not quite as rad as yours truly. Other places you might suggest in the Alps? Lots of this is dependent on ff lines and where we might be able to fly for free . Also looking to avoid a harrowing claustrophobic drive through Gottard Tunnel!


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    51
    Only been to LaGrave so can't speak for the rest of the alps, but I wouldn't particularly worry about things getting too extreme. There is plenty to ski with little or no exposure, but you do have to know where you're going. If the family is confident off piste skiers, it is an amazing place to ski. There is also plenty of gnar of course, if you know where to go.

    With a full family, I would worry about things if the family wants to not ski for a day. That town is dead if the lift is spinning, we had to wait for a bus for half a day and there was only one restaurant open (which didn't end up being a bad thing).

  3. #3
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    Sep 2001
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    There's lots of great advanced/expert skiing on both sides of the gondola. I'd let my kids ski the Vallon side by themselves. There is exposure on the far skiers right from the ice off the Pan de Rideau, but one has to traverse a fair bit out there. Also on the other side there's lots of relatively intermediate skiing threading through rock knobs before a keyhole back to the Vallon side. The Banane couloir above the Chancel is not that gnarly either, not that steep or narrow and affords access and exit from an amazing amount of skiing. Plus lunch at the Refuge Chancel or a night there is a must. Getting to the Refuge Chancel is easy but a little obscure.

    First timers need to be shown around there because there definitely are places from which exits are tricky, but once you get the lay of the mountain, there is a ton to ski. Either join a group with Skier Lodge or hire a guide from les Bureau des Guides.

    The town is super quiet with a few relatively quiet bars to hang out in. Le Vieux Guide is a great restaurant and the Edelweiss does a good job too. It's a nice place to walk around at night, up to the old church or visiting the water fountains embedded in the hillside. There's several different hamlets a 30 minute hike up from LG proper, Ventelon, Chazelet, Les Hieres, each of which have their own church and beautiful village of old stone chalets.

    Both Serre Chevalier (Briancon) and the Millky Way are easy drives, 30 minutes and an hour respectively from LG. Much more groomer/bowl skiing there and bars and nightlife stuff. Monetier les Bains is the upper station of Serre Chevalier (there's 4 bases strung out along 10 miles) with cool old stone buildings a fountain and narrow cobbled streets. Claviere in the Milky Way is cool as is Cesana, both in Italy.

    Of my 3 months cumulative Alps experience, my 2 favorite places are LG and Andermatt/Disentis mostly because they have killer skiing but are more low key than the destination places like Chamonix, Verbier or St. Anton. Each of the latter 3 are awesome with fantastic skiing and lots to do, no disrespect, but I just prefer less competition for resources. I also have to throw in liking Davos/Klosters a lot, but I've only skied there a couple of days. St. Moritz was the most surprising with wads of gnar and the pretty people staying on the groomers and sundecks.

    Lodging in LG: The Skiers Lodge or the Edelweiss are a little better than the Castillan or Gite Rocher. Around Andermatt, http://www.mt-lodge.com has proved its worth as a base for great skiing, food and comfort at a killer price.

    LG is harder to get in an out of, pretty much requires a car, but the advantage is being able to sample Serre Che and the Milky Way, plus the Maurienne Valley with Val Frejus, Val Cenis and access to les Trois Valles is about an hour and a half by car (Frejus tunnel is long). In the other direction from Briancon/Serre Che, there's Pelvoux, Puy St. Vincent and Vars/Risoul all within 1.5 hours.

    Swizterland and Austria by contrast are so easy to get around in. I remember being amazed when I was in my Andermatt hotel 3 hours after clearing customs in Zurich. Trains are amazingly precise and integrated into the Swiss airports.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 11-17-2019 at 11:35 AM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,282

    La Grave for a family? Mid-April?

    Of course Buster has it completely explained, but for me in this equation I think it would depend on how good the deal is for the lodging in La Grave. If itís a super good deal do it, because if the skiing is not to your liking you can drive to Monetiers like Buster says and ski there, or go down the other side and ski Alpe díHuez, (access from Vaujany). Both are close enough, are huuuudge, with lots to do, and driving back to La Grave would not be a big deal.
    Last edited by plugboots; 11-17-2019 at 01:31 PM.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Thank you as always for the scoops! Will provide TR if in fact we can pull it off!


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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I always bring some soft leather soled loafers for my ski trips to Europe for walking around in the lodge/pied a terre. Donít forget them Larry.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    I always bring some soft leather soled loafers for my ski trips to Europe for walking around in the lodge/pied a terre. Donít forget them Larry.
    Never ever


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