Doing a season in Europe...
I am from Canada and have rode some pretty dam good ski resorts around the rocky mountains (I spent last winter in Whistler, which was amazing). Anyways I haven't left North America yet so I figured why not head overseas to see what the Alps have to offer for this coming winter. I am just starting my research but so far have the idea of Switzerland in my head, but am open to anywhere really.
So right now I pretty much know nothing about the area or its mountain offerings. I would like to live preferably in a smallish location at the base of the ski resort if possible so I can ride almost everyday. I'll definately need advanced/expert terrain and as well some sort of terrain park is a really big plus. If anyone in the know could offer me a few suggestions of ski resorts to check out and also things to consider when looking at different countries that would be a big help. I understand that Switzerland is not part of the EU, but I'm not sure what that would mean for me. I read the other topic where someone reviewed Switrzerland. So it sounds like Switzerland is expensive, but I lived in Whistler for a season, it can't get much worse than that. Anyways like I said it doesn't hafta be Switzerland, awesome terrain and atleast a decent park at priorities though. Any help is much appreciated.
cant remember the name of the mountain but ill have a look when im home.
apparently some of the best free-riding in the world, amazing powder etc. and they're trying to turn it into a resort so brand new lifts and village etc, but as not too many people know about it yet its still dirt cheap, dunno what itd be like to live there but its definatly on my list of places to visit if i go riding in europe.
some countries ...eg Russia, there's problems with corrupt police etc. (bribes are the only language they understand), not sure about other places.
I got a mate who lives up on one of the ski fields in Switzerland, and another mate who went and stayed there for a season. apparently its pretty amazing. ...not sure about park though as that isnt something they'd focus on with all that pow around.
Three valleys in France rocks. This is a place you have to visit. My wife found a red run that would take her several hours to get to the bottom. I had a blast in Val Thorens last May on the glaciers. In April the room rates really drop but you lose alot of snow at the lower altitudes. You just need to find someone to help you split the costs.
bulgaria is up and coming, in that it has cheap labour and has entered the european holiday market; its primary resorts are Borovets and Bansko and they are in no way 'snow sure'. and when it does snow (if it snows) it might not last very long. but it is cheap.
switzerland meanwhile is high altitude and has demanding terrain. zermatt has a glacier; has an excellent lift system; is a car free village (you use electirc golf carts to get about; toy town stylee) and is fucking expensive!
for demanding terrain (and i have been to places like whistler, big white and fernie) europe pisses on north america. it really does. you will not be bored especially if you can happily hike.
france has the mass of resorts, many of them dwarfing the twin hills of whist and black comb. look at les arcs - flaine or as mentioned les trois vallees; but also there is espace killy with val d'isere and tignes being on a single lift ticket.
austria consistently has the most snow fall and thus powder days but suffers zee germans and dutch ALOT.
italia has the best wine and the shittiest ski school snakes.
but if it snows, anywhere can rock! most places have terrain parks these days, but personally i think rails are for skateboarders and if there is no park, then take a shovel (which you should for avy extraction ayways) and build your own booter!
scandinavian resorts in finland, norway and sweden have tiny hills but therefore huge fun parks! watch out for icy landings tho!
in the meantime, for your further reading:
Skiinfo - Frontpage - Snow report - Snowfall - Weather - Ski area - Ski holiday vacation
Well Zermatt in Switzerland does look like a pretty amazing hill that has it all. But I can't find any information on places to live for a season. Would any of you have any idea about that?
I've been in Zermatt (for hiking, not snowboarding), a couple of years ago. And we walked over the Zermatt gletsjer which is also a piste. I must say I was not very impressed. The steepness is very lousy, overall it doesn`t have small bumps orso to jump over. I didn't saw the other pistes, but if I looked to the plan the total area doesn't look big at all.
Zermatt is also expensive, it is a bit a rich-family-city. Mostly hotels, cars are not allowed in the city, so you have these golfcars (as mentioned above).
If you really want to go to switserland check out 'Portes du Soleil' it is on the border with France.
I strongly suggest 3 vallees in France, simply because it is a very big and snowsure area, and not that expensive (if you dont go to Val Thorens).
Check also the other post about snowboarding in Europe/France.
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