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Old 04-29-2015, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Season in the Alps (Les Arcs?)

Hey all,

Through some changes in life, I've decided to spend the next season, 3-4 months and thinking from early January or late December, in the Alps.

Last Jan I spent a week in Cervinia, Italy and three weeks in Les Arcs, France. Cervinia had its moments, but no way would I want to spend a season there.

Les Arcs was fantastic; very versatile and from 1800 (or basically anywhere) very easy and fast access all the way to La Plagne. Obviously I'm not going to be staying at any of the resorts due to prices, but what mostly draws me back to this place apart from the great mountains, is the quick funiculaire access from Bourg Saint Maurice, where everything is drastically cheaper. Ski in/out is convenient and all, but I'm fine with a 5-15min walk to the funiculaire and 7min ascent to be on the slopes.

Another great thing about Bourg St. Maurice is that it's in the middle of everything. I won't run out of stuff to discover: 3 valleys, La Thuille, Val d'Isere among other spots are only a very short drive or bus trip away.

I'm going alone, but am looking into an apartment that could accommodate one or two friends as well. If anyone has any tips on where/how to rent an apartment without having to sell my other kidney, I'd appreciate it!

Also interested in hearing everyone's thoughts about the matter in general, be it based on experience or stories. If there are any other suggestions (I'm open to Italy and Austria as well, but not Switzerland, as it's stupid expensive), please share! In 14/15 Les Arcs and the surrounding areas were a bit better covered in snow versus some similar popular spots in Austria and Italy for instance, excluding of course the glaciers. Paradiski is regarded as pretty snow sure. That's a big factor as well..

Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Elektropow View Post
Hey all,

Through some changes in life, I've decided to spend the next season, 3-4 months and thinking from early January or late December, in the Alps.

Also interested in hearing everyone's thoughts about the matter in general
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!
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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4 month?
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.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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.

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Originally Posted by AgingPunk View Post
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.

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4 month?
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.

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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...
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think I'm now set on Les Arcs. Can't beat the price, easy access from Bourg St. Maurice to Les Arcs and other resorts (train, bus, car rentals under the same station). There's a hostel system for long term stayers:
FLAT MOUNTAIN APARTMENT :: BOURG ST MAURICE :: WINTER FLAT

Seems cool, but can't fit visiting friends... Only found one other sub 500eur/month solution. Might just book it now already, since it seems to be around the same price as "the Flat".
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektropow View Post
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.
Hahaha, hope we'll see loads of great pics from you!

Just to say... most pics in my Alps thread were taken in exactly those two "no too good" winters... sure, they haven't been that good - well, the last one actually really sucked, badest one I remember till Feb - but still, some days were very good.

Even in a "bad" winter you can have awesome days, it's just more effort to get them (continuously monitor weather, avy reports in a bigger region and take off days spontaniously) to be at the right place right time. With such a long time frame you have? You will have great days, no matter how bad the season will be.
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Last edited by neni; 05-01-2015 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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also lets put this in perspective. You will be living, breathing, riding nearly everyday on world famous mountain range. Packing up and moving to do what you want to do.
1% of us do that, if that many. So even your worst day will probably exceed 50 % of us regular Joe's best days.

Good luck I wasn't born with that "take chances" gene. Always took the safe predictable path.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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also lets put this in perspective. You will be living, breathing, riding nearly everyday on world famous mountain range. Packing up and moving to do what you want to do.
1% of us do that, if that many. So even your worst day will probably exceed 50 % of us regular Joe's best days.

Good luck I wasn't born with that "take chances" gene. Always took the safe predictable path.
Born to board,...jpg

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