Take a look at mayrhofen, chamonix and samoens all are proper towns so won't cost as much and when the weather is rubbish there's a bit more to do.
Have looked at all of those. Chamonix is a drive away from Les Arcs, but seems as a resort a bit scattered and not as vast. Will definitely make a visit from my "base", since the terrain seems very burly not to mention the overall height difference. More backcountry oriented no? Hoping to get deeper into that, but am more interested in just going out everyday with minimal effort and play around a park, have easily accessible off piste or something else depending on mood. I don't think Cham offers that quite to the same extent... Could be wrong.
Hintertux is probably awesome, but glaciers overall are just too limited for a long stay. Sölden as well... Just don't enjoy that terrain as much. Also the areas around Mayrhofen weren't well covered last season, apart from the glacier.
Here's my thoughts: I'm really jealous, living abroad is high on my list, spending a season in the mountains is equally high, both together
I'll be following this post closely, good luck!
Hey, with my luck, you might not have to be jelly at all! Winters haven't been too good overall the past two seasons
If it does however turn out to be as epic as I hope, I'll come out with a tommy gun and blast this place so full of pics Neni style, the internet breaks of molten gummy bear extract.
You're on the right track to look into the higher parts of the Alps i.e. F/I/CH corner. Austria is too low IMO for such a long stationary stay. If the season is bad/has a slow start, you want to be within the high peaks.
3 might be enough. Many parts were still in great condition in April, but next year it might not be the same... But I agree with your consensus: that cluster of mountains is a good concentration of high altitude epicness.
You can't knock Austria parts of it are low but there's plenty of glaciers and I mentioned mayrhofen as it has hintertux just up the road.
Austria is awesome and I'm not knocking it. It's just that the winter has started there much later these past two seasons. General vibe is good though; enjoyed Bad Gastein immensely in late Feb 2014.
Also, 2 of some the worlds biggest resorts side by side (Paradiski and 3 valleys), I can't run out of stuff to do. Portes du Soleil looks nice as well, but it's lower. Skiwelt also looks awesome, but yeah, need to have snow in december or early january!
Thanks for the input though. Can't wait through the whole damn summer...