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Skiing for XMAS

tucker266

tucker266

Messages
19
Location
london
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
All,

Grateful for some advice. I’m a relatively young guy (mid-thirties) at a loose end this XMAS and decided to take my Cali skiing for approx. 10days. I’ve not skied for about 15 years and never driven across. I’ve read lots of excellent info on here – I want to check some of my assumptions and ask a few additional questions

Where to go? French Alps seems to offer the best variety - aren’t too far and have good facilities. I’ll try and camp in the van for the duration – but would like to find somewhere with decent social options nearby. Will everything close down on XMAS day etc?

Can you recommend specific resorts? Easy access to a shower obviously a bonus but I can live without hook-up. Beginner/intermediate slopes required.

Winterising the van – I have winter tyres and will pick up the additional bits required for general driving in France. Sounds like I do need snow chains – but can hire them once in France? I have a parking heater – getting a cali topper or similar just for this trip is overkill – I can easily be comfortable without one? I have the standard window screen cover? Do I need to upgrade to something thermal?

I’m basically going to hire all my equipment – have plenty of space. Hire it here or at a resort?

Thanks in advance - any other thoughts/tips much appreciated.
 
bigmac77

bigmac77

VIP Member
Messages
1,064
Location
North Wales
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199
Camping Huttopia in Bourg Saint Maurice. You can access Les Arc via the funicular or go to St Foy, La Rosiere, Tignes or La Plagne. It is a nice site with heated toilet facilities and drying room, walking distance to a couple of big supermarkets and you can pitch on a tarmac area with electric hook up.
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
VIP Member
Messages
510
Location
Bournemouth
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
All,

Grateful for some advice. I’m a relatively young guy (mid-thirties) at a loose end this XMAS and decided to take my Cali skiing for approx. 10days. I’ve not skied for about 15 years and never driven across. I’ve read lots of excellent info on here – I want to check some of my assumptions and ask a few additional questions

Where to go? French Alps seems to offer the best variety - aren’t too far and have good facilities. I’ll try and camp in the van for the duration – but would like to find somewhere with decent social options nearby. Will everything close down on XMAS day etc?

Can you recommend specific resorts? Easy access to a shower obviously a bonus but I can live without hook-up. Beginner/intermediate slopes required.

Winterising the van – I have winter tyres and will pick up the additional bits required for general driving in France. Sounds like I do need snow chains – but can hire them once in France? I have a parking heater – getting a cali topper or similar just for this trip is overkill – I can easily be comfortable without one? I have the standard window screen cover? Do I need to upgrade to something thermal?

I’m basically going to hire all my equipment – have plenty of space. Hire it here or at a resort?

Thanks in advance - any other thoughts/tips much appreciated.
http://www.restaurant-martagon.com/fr/caravaneige.html is a great place in Meribel .. has everything and 2 min walk to lift . You probably need to book for Xmas . Highly recommended.
What kind of van do you have ? Your avatar says you’re still looking .
 
paradise city

paradise city

VIP Member
Messages
469
Location
Ireland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
Stayed in a car park at La Daille, just outside Val D'Isère last January. Kept the roof down to avoid unwanted attention and to make it easier to heat.
The funicular was about 30 seconds walk away with lots of blue and green runs.
If you wanted something more advanced you could take the funicular up and ski down the other side into Val D'Isère.

There was a toilet close to the carpark too.
There is a leisure centre in Val d'Isère Town if you need a shower and a free shuttle bus that runs between La Daille and Val d'Isère. I'm not too much of a nightlife person but there seemed to be a lot of young people around enjoying themselves in the evening.
1a4d39c2c2473ec5b2bfd4bb0f5d9c87.jpg


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briwy

briwy

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,991
Location
Matlock & Pyrenees
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Wouldn't bother hiring chains. They are cheap in supermarkets in mountainous areas.
 
tucker266

tucker266

Messages
19
Location
london
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Camping Huttopia in Bourg Saint Maurice. You can access Les Arc via the funicular or go to St Foy, La Rosiere, Tignes or La Plagne. It is a nice site with heated toilet facilities and drying room, walking distance to a couple of big supermarkets and you can pitch on a tarmac area with electric hook up.
Brilliant - I'll have a look. thanks
 
tucker266

tucker266

Messages
19
Location
london
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Stayed in a car park at La Daille, just outside Val D'Isère last January. Kept the roof down to avoid unwanted attention and to make it easier to heat.
The funicular was about 30 seconds walk away with lots of blue and green runs.
If you wanted something more advanced you could take the funicular up and ski down the other side into Val D'Isère.

There was a toilet close to the carpark too.
There is a leisure centre in Val d'Isère Town if you need a shower and a free shuttle bus that runs between La Daille and Val d'Isère. I'm not too much of a nightlife person but there seemed to be a lot of young people around enjoying themselves in the evening.
1a4d39c2c2473ec5b2bfd4bb0f5d9c87.jpg


Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
4,112
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Chamonix is low down and has an aire. Busy pub across the road from the aire.
Although I found it a bit to busy and ended up parked elsewhere (residential street) just outside the main town.
Get some of that silver bubble aluminium bubble wrap and cut to the size of the windows. I stuff that in and close the blinds for some extra insulation.
Use the swimming baths (Richard Bozon) for showers after your ski.
 
NickHX

NickHX

VIP Member
Messages
19
Location
London
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
My wife and I are a similar age to you and we spent two weeks in the Tarrantaise valley in February this year, and we had an absolutely fantastic time. Admittedly we weren’t looking for party resorts so maybe what we enjoyed you wouldn’t be so keen on, but here are my observations

Someone recommended the Martagon campsite in Meribel. Yes the location is handy for the gondola to take you up to Meribel town, but the campsite in my opinion wasn’t the nicest place to stay as you basically are in big car park, which if there is no snow, turns into a mud pit. Perfectly practical though, and fairly quiet place to stay, just not the most picturesque. Meribel itself has incredible terrain if you are an intermediate skier. Downsides in my opinion is that it is super high-end and attracts a certain kind of person. If you want to party with the Chelsea set then its perfect. Was talking to one fellow that was livid that he wasn’t allowed to steal a shot glass from the Folie Douce as he had spent a thousand euros there that afternoon. Our conversation was interrupted by a helicopter landing to pick up one of the punters to take them back to their lodge....

We spent about five days at the campsite in Montchavin, which is perfectly situated right in between La Plagne and Les Arcs. The terraced campsite is a five minute walk to the restaurants, shops and lifts, but the village is pretty sleepy. If you end up one night in the bars of La Plagne its a pretty expensive cab ride back to the campsite so may not be best for you if you’re going out each night. The location is absolutely stunning though.

The other place we stayed at after having it recommended was the campsite in La Rosiere by the Italian border. This is a much smaller resort but the campsite was beautiful and depending on the snow cover you can pretty much ski most of the way down to your van from the bottom of the lifts. Excellent facilities and jaw dropping views. The downsides of this resort is that it is pretty small, and while there are some nice pubs and restaurants, the nightlife is pretty limited. It’s quite a family focussed resort. You can ski over to La Thuile on the Italian side for lunch one day, so you can say you’ve done it. The food on the other side is excellent, but the skiing, not so great.

In terns of practicalities, we had both the thermal screen cover and the topper. Both were indispensable in my opinion. With those along with the heater we were cosy every night.

In terms of going in over Christmas, I haven’t looked at the snow cover yet but the standard advice is Tignes or Val Thoren for the highest altitude, but the great thing about taking the van is you can completely play it by ear as the conditions change or you decide you want to try somewhere else.

I did consider renting here before going but couldn’t find anywhere in London that would be as cheap as the local places. Plus I was mixing it up between snowboarding and skiing so wanted to keep flexible.

Here are a couple of pics, one of us in La Rosiere and the other in Montchavin.

Have a great time!

9C2DEB62-C7A9-435A-B10C-17538F091C3F.jpeg

A6E27EF1-F196-4A00-9A81-1531FDAB71FF.jpeg
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Messages
1,513
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Meribel itself has incredible terrain if you are an intermediate skier. Downsides in my opinion is that it is super high-end and attracts a certain kind of person.

We found the skiing at Meribel to be fantastic, and so is the scenery. But the way people dress is one step down from Courchevel, where a quick scrape with a butter knife would dislodge a heavy layer of makeup from most of the women, and quite a few of the men. The ski area of Les 3 Vallées is excellent, so we'll be back this year.
 
Last edited:
Kenny Marsh

Kenny Marsh

Messages
14
Location
Doncaster
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
There’s a great parking area here that is close to lift access for the Tignes/Val d’isere area.


Dropped pin
Near 73320 Tignes, France
Hi GregW, this car park in Brev has signs saying no overnight camping/parking, we are in 1800 and haven't been down yet as the bubble has only opened today into Brev but I will double check.
 
bigmac77

bigmac77

VIP Member
Messages
1,064
Location
North Wales
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199
There is loads of snow, the higher you can get the better but it is a great start to the winter. November delivered a lot of snow above 1500 m and more snow is due next week.
 
Last edited:
shudycamps

shudycamps

VIP Member
Messages
349
Vehicle
T5 SE 140 4Motion
All,

Grateful for some advice. I’m a relatively young guy (mid-thirties) at a loose end this XMAS and decided to take my Cali skiing for approx. 10days. I’ve not skied for about 15 years and never driven across. I’ve read lots of excellent info on here – I want to check some of my assumptions and ask a few additional questions

Where to go? French Alps seems to offer the best variety - aren’t too far and have good facilities. I’ll try and camp in the van for the duration – but would like to find somewhere with decent social options nearby. Will everything close down on XMAS day etc?

Can you recommend specific resorts? Easy access to a shower obviously a bonus but I can live without hook-up. Beginner/intermediate slopes required.

Winterising the van – I have winter tyres and will pick up the additional bits required for general driving in France. Sounds like I do need snow chains – but can hire them once in France? I have a parking heater – getting a cali topper or similar just for this trip is overkill – I can easily be comfortable without one? I have the standard window screen cover? Do I need to upgrade to something thermal?

I’m basically going to hire all my equipment – have plenty of space. Hire it here or at a resort?

Thanks in advance - any other thoughts/tips much appreciated.
Check out Canillo, El Tarter and Canillo ski areas in Andorra. Good for beginners/inter and much more affordable than the Alps.
 
Kenny Marsh

Kenny Marsh

Messages
14
Location
Doncaster
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
All,

Grateful for some advice. I’m a relatively young guy (mid-thirties) at a loose end this XMAS and decided to take my Cali skiing for approx. 10days. I’ve not skied for about 15 years and never driven across. I’ve read lots of excellent info on here – I want to check some of my assumptions and ask a few additional questions

Where to go? French Alps seems to offer the best variety - aren’t too far and have good facilities. I’ll try and camp in the van for the duration – but would like to find somewhere with decent social options nearby. Will everything close down on XMAS day etc?

Can you recommend specific resorts? Easy access to a shower obviously a bonus but I can live without hook-up. Beginner/intermediate slopes required.

Winterising the van – I have winter tyres and will pick up the additional bits required for general driving in France. Sounds like I do need snow chains – but can hire them once in France? I have a parking heater – getting a cali topper or similar just for this trip is overkill – I can easily be comfortable without one? I have the standard window screen cover? Do I need to upgrade to something thermal?

I’m basically going to hire all my equipment – have plenty of space. Hire it here or at a resort?

Thanks in advance - any other thoughts/tips much appreciated.
Nothing closes down Xmas day, and with many of the ski passes you get a number of free passes to the swimminpool ( you certainly do in France ). Brevierres is a bit cut off from Tignes as they don't run the free shuttle down that low, but it does have a few bars and restaurants, lots have to ski back to it if they stay up the mountain for Apres.
 

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