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Old 08-12-2011, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default considering Europe trip March 2012

I am considering a 2.5 week trip to Europe next March, going to Zermatt Switzerland and Kitzbuhel Austria. However, in looking at the world rankings I keep seeing Whistler ranked above the best European resorts and Banff/Colorado are ranked pretty close to European resorts. Anyone have any advice if it is worth it to go to a European resort over the best places in North America?
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never been to Europe, but from working & riding at top-notch ski resorts in North America I have gathered lots of opinions from countless Euros vacationing over here (as well as done a bit of research myself)
The general consensus about Europe seems to be that the snow isn't very good and there's WAY too many people on the hill.
That being said, I'm sure a trip would be f*n sweet! Get to travel some new places, meet some cool people, euro girls, new riding... DO IT UP!
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't go to kitzbuehel, the nightlife is nice but the skiing is pretty lame. If you want to party in austria just go to St. Anton, Saalbach-Hinterglem, or Ischgl atleast you will have a nice ski area.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input guys after further research I've decided not to go next season, gonna do whistler 10 days, Banff 10 days and some smaller trips instead.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmm. I would like to hear more comments on Switzerland. I'm considering a few trips for next season and Switzerland was high up on the list. You guys would pick other resorts like Whistler over Switzerland? It could be the better route for me as it may be cheaper leaving some dough for weekend trips etc.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been to Whistler several times and been to Europe twice (once with the buddies and once with the wife).

I didn't ride in Europe so I can't speak to the quality of the hills, but a trip to Europe that included snowboarding would be badass, even if the mountain wasn't amazing. Traveling Europe is just fun...period.

If you are looking for great snowboarding, great nightlife and don't really care about going to really cool places, Whistler is probably a better option and likely much cheaper. If you are looking for a better overall experience with I'm sure some good snowboarding, Europe would be sweet.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My thoughts on Europe. For reference, the only resort I've been to in NA is Big White in BC. There was so much white stuff in Big White that I felt like I was in Miami in the 80s. It was, by far, the best conditions I've ever boarded in. You can get the same amount of powder in Europe, but not to the same frequency (you have to time your trips just right).

Zermatt, Switzerland: One of the best resorts in Europe by far. It's massive! The snow is always, always good. I was boarding there in the middle of April this season and the snow was still amazing high-up. It's also linked with Cervinia, Italy, so you can board in two countries in the same day. Nightlife is great - HunnuStahl is rocking (Jager, live band, lots of beer) and the party moves down to the Papperla Pub in the evening (more Jager, more beer, live band, DJ in the basement club). I'm going back next season.

Val d'Isere, France: Also one of the best resorts in Europe, and the Espace Killy area is massive. The variety of pistes is vast, with everything from mogul runs, to glades, to the Face (the World Cup run from a few years back. The snow is usually fantastic, but I caught a week in March last season where it was a bit sketchy in places.

Ischgl and St Anton, Austria: Head here if you want great snow and the best apres in the whole of the alps. Ischgl in particular is mental, and you can board into Samnaun, Switzerland (which is duty free!) and stock up on alcohol and cigarettes for cheap). St Anton is a bit more upmarket (less strip clubs ) but equally as amazing for partying.


In short: Europe has a lot to offer!
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howeh View Post
My thoughts on Europe. For reference, the only resort I've been to in NA is Big White in BC. There was so much white stuff in Big White that I felt like I was in Miami in the 80s. It was, by far, the best conditions I've ever boarded in. You can get the same amount of powder in Europe, but not to the same frequency (you have to time your trips just right).

Zermatt, Switzerland: One of the best resorts in Europe by far. It's massive! The snow is always, always good. I was boarding there in the middle of April this season and the snow was still amazing high-up. It's also linked with Cervinia, Italy, so you can board in two countries in the same day. Nightlife is great - HunnuStahl is rocking (Jager, live band, lots of beer) and the party moves down to the Papperla Pub in the evening (more Jager, more beer, live band, DJ in the basement club). I'm going back next season.

Val d'Isere, France: Also one of the best resorts in Europe, and the Espace Killy area is massive. The variety of pistes is vast, with everything from mogul runs, to glades, to the Face (the World Cup run from a few years back. The snow is usually fantastic, but I caught a week in March last season where it was a bit sketchy in places.

Ischgl and St Anton, Austria: Head here if you want great snow and the best apres in the whole of the alps. Ischgl in particular is mental, and you can board into Samnaun, Switzerland (which is duty free!) and stock up on alcohol and cigarettes for cheap). St Anton is a bit more upmarket (less strip clubs ) but equally as amazing for partying.


In short: Europe has a lot to offer!
How did you find the line queues? When I researched this I found tons of complaints over lift queues compared to NA resorts which was a big turnoff for me
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When the Euros come to places like Banff, Whistler, Colorado, California and rave about how little people there are ... then you know it must really be retardedly packed over there, because those places here are what I would consider too busy most of the time.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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How did you find the line queues? When I researched this I found tons of complaints over lift queues compared to NA resorts which was a big turnoff for me
Depends where you go, and at what time really. If you pick a week outside of the UK and French holiday season (UK have a week in February, France is staggered over 3 weeks) the queues are usually fine. The infrastructure of the resort has a lot to do with it, too. In Zermatt there are queues getting up the mountain if you leave at peak time in the morning, but once you're up everything runs very smoothly indeed. Ischgl was essentially the same, with maybe 4-5mins of queueing in the hotspots where 5 pistes converge together. The longest I queued in Obergurgl, Austria was about a minute. Val d'Isere suffers from queues at peak times, but it's a particularly busy resort as the 3 valleys are almost a go-to area for British people.

If you go to Switzerland or Austria, you'll usually have no queues, especially mid-week. I remember queueing at Big White over the weekend, but that's the same no matter where you go really.
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