Author Topic: The Ski Locker thread  (Read 69475 times)

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #650 on: December 30, 2019, 06:29:43 pm »
Good grief. That is unusual for this time of year.

The four day lads' trip to Flaine in a few days' time is to be enhanced by the presence of mini !!  Fantastic news since he won't be joining us in February. The only down side is that I now have to pick up another whole set of costs.

Rust never sleeps

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #651 on: January 02, 2020, 08:33:50 am »
Got up to the local mountain a couple of times. New boots and bindings + not haven't been riding for 2 years made the first run a bit of an adventure, but quickly got the hang of it.
Forecast is saying that Mt Baker will get dumped on Friday-Sunday, so will head down for one of the weekend days.

CommuteTooFar

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Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #652 on: January 07, 2020, 02:46:21 pm »
Seems there will be thin snow for my trip to Kitzbuhel next week. I might see a cloud or two some days but I doubt I will see precipitation.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #653 on: January 10, 2020, 05:06:59 pm »
Skis serviced (edges good, waxing poor)
Boots and helmet in their bag
Clothing in packing cubes
Tickets to airport collected
euros obtained at ruinous rate
phone, razor, kindle and camera charged

Now all I need is to remember my name and I can go skiing.


Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #654 on: January 12, 2020, 12:13:36 pm »

euros obtained at ruinous rate


Obv your choice but there are a number of no-commission no-fee cards, like Halifax Clarity some of which allow you to withdraw cash abroad from any ATM at bank rate, and also operate contactless so you don't need so much cash in the first place. (WARNING: DO NOT USE YOUR NORMAL BANK CARD WITHOUT CHECKING as many will add a per transaction fee, adding something like £3 cost for EACH transaction)

If you do go down this route, also make sure you DO NOT accept the option to be charged in GBP at the terminal you pay on, as that will be likely worse than buying Euro/Currency in the UK but still better than changing it at the airport. Surely nobody uses the currency bureaux at airports....?

Enjoy the skiing!

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #655 on: January 12, 2020, 06:29:08 pm »
Quote
Surely nobody uses the currency bureaux at airports....?

Recently to buy some Brazilian Reals to have when we landed.

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #656 on: January 12, 2020, 07:03:30 pm »
Quote
Surely nobody uses the currency bureaux at airports....?

Recently to buy some Brazilian Reals to have when we landed.

I suppose you could consider Brazil to be a special case

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #657 on: January 13, 2020, 01:19:48 am »
First real powder day on Friday and it showed...road up the mountain was crazy after work, with several people on non-winter tires trying to make their way up in a snow storm. Road wasn't terrible, but bad enough that snow tires were needed.  Several cars in the ditch, traffic often moving at walking pace.
Getting back down was the same circus. Several cars stuck in parking lot, some getting stuck halfway out, blocking it for everyone. Helped push a few out, but ignored the ones on low profile tires.  Car in front of us, when we finally got going, could barely stay on the road and was driving at 30km/h...which is understandable, except continued to do so well below the snow line.

It was worth the wait, though.  Conditions were awesome and my new bindings/boot combo gave me way more confidence and control over my board. Finished off with a rarely used tree-run to the car park and it was virtually untouched.

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #658 on: January 13, 2020, 04:42:20 pm »
Spent yesterday with a guide in Flaine. No snow for at least a week but he managed to find lots of fresh stuff. A wonderful day. Lunch at Refuge du Lac de Gers in a cloudless sky, complete with a skidoo tow back up almost to the Gers drag. Four sets of very knackered legs by the end of it all.
Rust never sleeps

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #659 on: January 13, 2020, 05:58:11 pm »
Clicked on a whim - there's a great 360 from there

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #660 on: January 14, 2020, 11:41:48 pm »
Yup. It's a stunning location, and I usually say that about somewhere that has a great view down. Without the Cascades run being open however, the passing traffic is significantly reduced - there were four of us and another party of three, and that was it.
Rust never sleeps

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #661 on: January 19, 2020, 11:12:40 am »
I had no choice but to but euros.  I used the same hotel as last year it does not take cards a very nasty surprise when I compared my expected end of stay bill against the euros I had for mountain restaurants which I am certain do not.

I have been using zero % commission cards for donkeys years.   Originally a Bank One credit card, then LV credit card. I had a halifax Visa credit card in case I found the rare case where a shop only took Visa and not Mastercard (There used to be such places).  Every time I filled one of the how can we improve our card surveys I said zero commission on  Euros. Eventually Halifax listened to people like me and when they launched Clarity it was commission free on Euros.
 

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #662 on: January 19, 2020, 11:17:10 am »
I did not use the airport this time.  It is often the cheapest place to get Euros. The important thing is to order online and collect. Walking up and buying is silly. In the past the airport exchange rate has been best.

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #663 on: February 11, 2020, 08:37:40 am »
3 days in Lech, hit the absolute perfect weather window as it's been pretty horrific both before and after. 3 full days of sunshine and no clouds.

Could have done a few hours of skiing yesterday before our 2pm transfer but passed on it as it wasn't great. One of our group went up at 8.30am as the lifts opened but he was back by 10am when the rain (to 2000m, snow above) started, with 110kph winds forecast at the top the higher lifts were closed and around midday almost everything else started to shut down.

Also very lucky that we were one of the few flights out of Zurich that wasn't cancelled or diverted.

Amazing skiing and great quality snow. Zürser Täli remains my favourite run ever.

New electric lime green ski trousers were a hit, and will probably retire my 2003 Technica boots now and get some more fitted replacements in the summer if I see any deals on at Profeet.

Really going to work on my ski fitness for next year, still had burning thighs full of lactic acid too soon into each day.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #664 on: February 12, 2020, 02:27:36 pm »
What do people do for insurance for winter sports?

Up until now I've just relied upon my travel insurance I get from my bank account (which I pay for but gives me a bunch of useful benefits) but looking through some of the terms/conditions/limits it's not giving me adequate coverage.

For example, hire skis are only insured up to £200. The skis I was using were €999 in the shop (although I guess they could get them for half that at trade prices) but if something happened to them I could be out of pocket.

I only go for 10 days a year at most, 6 of which are with wife/daughter so I'd ideally need them to be covered too.

I've never needed the insurance in 20+ trips but I'm getting to the point where I'm doing more things that could end up with damage (not much off-piste but more unbashed ski-routes for example), and to more expensive skis.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #665 on: February 12, 2020, 02:43:41 pm »
What do people do for insurance for winter sports?

Up until now I've just relied upon my travel insurance I get from my bank account (which I pay for but gives me a bunch of useful benefits) but looking through some of the terms/conditions/limits it's not giving me adequate coverage.

For example, hire skis are only insured up to £200. The skis I was using were €999 in the shop (although I guess they could get them for half that at trade prices) but if something happened to them I could be out of pocket.

I only go for 10 days a year at most, 6 of which are with wife/daughter so I'd ideally need them to be covered too.

I've never needed the insurance in 20+ trips but I'm getting to the point where I'm doing more things that could end up with damage (not much off-piste but more unbashed ski-routes for example), and to more expensive skis.

When I worked in ski shops (long ago, and a long way from where you seem to be skiing), we offered damage insurance on the skis we rented out. No written policy, the customer just paid a few extra dollars and a box was ticked on the rental contract indicating that any accidental damage to the skis was covered. We did not offer theft/loss insurance because we didn't want people claiming the the skis had been stolen or lost and thereby acquiring a new (or near new) set of skis for the price of a day's rental plus a few dollars worth of insurance.

Back then, ski shops acquired their rental fleets for a good bit less than the wholesale cost of the skis, just because the ski makers wanted their name and product in front of the public.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #666 on: February 12, 2020, 05:48:40 pm »
I never bought the ski shop insurance until the year myself & an instructor spent ages digging looking for my lost ski in vain.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #667 on: February 12, 2020, 07:46:42 pm »
Insurance. I always add the recovery piece offered by the local ski pass. This way, when you're lying in agony with a broken femur there will be absolutely no hesitation from anyone about who/how/when anyone's going to get paid.

For skis themselves, I self insure. Never bust a ski yet (except when I was working the season - and they were covered). If the day comes where I do bust/lose a ski, I'll still be financially up.

At lunchtime I do tend to split skis with one of the party to avoid them being nicked.

Rust never sleeps

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #668 on: February 17, 2020, 08:40:55 pm »
Rain in Meribel. Boo hiss.
Rust never sleeps

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #669 on: February 17, 2020, 09:27:11 pm »
What do people do for insurance for winter sports?

Might not be much help, but I have a policy through our employer. As I've mentioned previously, it's not that they are wonderful, just that as a group policy they cover my wife who has recovered from breast cancer.


Rain in Meribel. Boo hiss.

Some pretty widespread problems https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-europe-51524278 - really surprising given how it was early season (too much of the stuff) - hope it gets better!

CommuteTooFar

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Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #670 on: February 18, 2020, 07:59:35 pm »
Rain in Meribel. Boo hiss.

That is why I preferred to stay in Motteret :-)

Parts of meribel are quite low.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #671 on: February 18, 2020, 08:15:55 pm »
its been a warm winter.  Its been raining all over the alps.  Any low location has rain rather than snow in the next couple of weeks.

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #672 on: February 19, 2020, 06:44:42 pm »
Rain in Meribel. Boo hiss.

That is why I preferred to stay in Motteret :-)

Parts of meribel are quite low.
And that's where we're based. I think it might have rained a bit here, but it was pissing down in St Martin de Belleville when we were there on Monday afternoon.
Rust never sleeps

Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #673 on: February 22, 2020, 08:27:04 pm »
Home !  Lower slopes in the Three Valleys are becoming increasingly treacherous. Rock-hard hard-pack snow/ice perhaps becoming slushy later in the day. Given the masses of people there this week I would imagine there are more than a few people nursing collision injuries by now.

A real mixed bag of conditions.

We drove overnight last Friday and were sufficiently ahead of schedule that we were all tooled up and ready to go as the first lift opened. A revelation. Perfectly groomed and virtually deserted pistes. First time in the Three Valleys and was well impressed with the number of lifts and the size of the area. Blatted around and made it to Courchevel and VT. Eyed up the off-piste. (Lots.)

One day with a guide on Monday with one of the two teenagers and all four adults. First time doing real off the beaten track skiing for one of the adults and little miss hatler. A 20 minute walk up a mildly exposed ridge in very strong winds set the anxiety/adventure expectation levels appropriately. The guide was brilliant. He picked the route perfectly for the ability of the group and was encouraging, cheerful and delightful the whole day through. We ended up in St Martin de Belleville (with a quick restaurant-provided shuttle assist) for a superb lunch. Back up the hill and over the ridge to Mottaret where three decided to call it a day leaving just me and my January ski-buddy. Vis was closing in so Yves took us for a high speed blat over to Courchevel. It felt like he was assessing us ready for our next day with him. Skiing variable-snow bumpy slopes in flat light and hail at speed was quite a test.

Next day was a brief ski over to quite possibly the poshest and best (and most expensive) meal I've ever had in La Fruiterie (restaurant behind La Folie Douce in VT) to celebrate a birthday. Stunning weather. Cloudless sky.

Wednesday. Crap weather. Other chap skinned up from Mottaret to the top of the Pas du Lac bubble following the bubble route up the hill. He's not easily phased by anything, but described this as 'challenging'. The three remaining adults (including me) played below the tree line in Courchevel. Came to the conclusion that Courchevel is really quite dull skiing. Cut the day short early. Horrible (but still infinitely better than being in the office).

Thursday. Two chaps and the male teenager for another day's guiding. Cloudless sky, fresh snow and four big descents, two with shortish climbs, all in fresh untracked powder. The guide is a gem. Teenager was agog. He'd never seen or done anything like this before. We stopped for lunch at 3pm. Amazing day.

Friday. Cloudless skies again, but the crowds were out with a vengeance. Huuuuge queues, but at least most of the lifts have sufficient capacity to munch their way through the people fairly quickly. Breezy up top and pistes and slopes that had been perfect the day before were now windblown and hard work. Made it over to the Orelle valley for a picnic lunch and to recce a few more of the lifts (for when we inevitably go back). Last run down to Mottaret was hard work, my legs knew it was time to go home.
Rust never sleeps

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: The Ski Locker thread
« Reply #674 on: February 24, 2020, 03:08:13 pm »
There are some nice pistes in Courchevel once you get away from the motorway pistes  around "1850" [marketing number not real height].  Take the cable car up from above above "1850" and that will give you access to the Grand and Petit couloirs. Above "1650" Suisses is a nice black. And there are some quiet reds in the bottom left corner.

I always thought ski resorts like to add area but Courchevel turned down a request from Pralognan en Vanoise to build a connection.  It is only one normal length chair lift and a new piste to 1650. The fifth valley, actually no just more of the same.  Currently the three and two bits valleys are  Vanoise (Courchevel 1650), Bozel (Courchevel 1550, 1850, La Praz, La Tania), Valle de Allues (Brides Les Bains, Meribel, Motteret), Valle de Belleville (St Martin de Belleville, Les Menuiers, Val Thorens), and finally Orelle,  So we already have five valleys Pralognan is a little further up one of the bits.

Courchevel just noted that 1650 is the quiet area of their domain so no merit in making the quiet area a little bigger.  Pralognan saw great merit in a connection to one of the biggest ski areas,   From 1650 the other area you can see is not Pralognan that is Champagny en Vanoise (part of Paradiski).  It requires a lot more engineering than a couple of chair lifts to join Pralognan to Champagny. A rack railway? But together these two joins would connect Paradiski and the 3 Valleys.  A huge ski area.  Hundreds of skiers from VT and Les Arc in the wrong valley at the end of the day.

Now Pralognan at the centre of my fantasy lift system lets just drive a funicular tunnel through the Grand Casse and up the back side of the Grand Motte or Palet to Tignes. The three big ski areas of the Tarentaise unified,  Sleepy Pralognan goes on a huge hotel building splurge at the centre of it all.