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    I am think of taking some time to go to europe next season, has any one spent any time riding in the alps. I have only been there in the summer and swore i would have to retunr when the snow is falling. Anyways, I have been trying to reasearh where the best place to go would be. I am looking for suggestions my criteria I would base a desicion on: where gets the most and best snow? Is there good access to steep off piste terrain? When doe s the best snow fall? How is the scene? Let me know if you have any suggestions


    That is a tough one. Theres always Chamonix. Check out St. Anton on Arlsberg(Arlberg?) in Austria. Wish i knew more,you def wanna do research though. I dont think their snowpack has been as reliable as ours lately. Plus ya gotta look into travel arrangements(plains,trains,autos etc). Make it happen! Try the lonelyplanet website and their forums. Just ask all over.


    nice locations in the alps? well, there is an uncountable number … if there is snow! 😉

    chamonix of course is classic! for some people a must …

    but my personal favorites are: Davos (CH), Arlberg + Montafon (A)

    sure, there are a lot more places to go … Alagna + Aosta Valley (I), La Grave (F), Andermatt (CH) yada yada yada …

    if you want, ask at


    I’d make sure to go to Chamonix. I went there last season in March right in the middle of a big powder dump.

    Les Grandes Montents is a resort in the Chamonix valley that has access to some fantastic off piste stuff (Pas de Chevre = goat’s pass) among others. The upper section is on a glacier with some pretty serious crevasse fields, but when I was there it had fantastic powder.

    I don’t know if it was the time of year that I was there, or just a lucky couple of days of snow, but some of those off-piste bowls were the best boarding I’ve ever done. Waist deep untracked powder.

    If you’re willing to mountaineer a bit, there are some upper sections of the valley which aren’t easily accessible without ropes and climbing. These looked amazing.

    However the whole place is pretty avalanche prone. I’d never seen 3 major slides in one week before, let alone in one place. But again I think that’s the snow conditions in early spring. They get a lot of wet heavy snow that doesn’t bond very well.

    It’s a fantastic valley, but as my friend told me before I went, “beware of norweigans setting off avalanches.”


    I can only second Chamonix, it’s a classic, BUT…..
    there are soooo many other places, popular ones (expensive) and unknown ones (much cheaper). Check out Serfaus, Samnaun, Ischgl area (big, swizerland/austria) or places like Dolomiti 2000, big one in n-italy. You can’t go wrong with all other options no matter of big or small. And don’t forget to check the weather forcast before you leave, there is not much snow right now.


    The Alps are great, but I kind of had the impression that the Rockies in the US are much bigger in terms of area, have more higher peaks and get more snow? Thats where I want to go.

    The Chamonix valley really is a massive adventure playground. It gets busy but you can escape that if you want. The entire Mont Blanc massif has so many great lines…. but its worth taking a risk and sussing out another area in the Alps just as good, less crowded and less expensive. I have kind of been trapped – I keep going back because it is where I know. If you open the window into another almost as good area then you set yourself up for just as much fun without being tied to the Chamonix valley. Like Gumpie said, there are so many places in the Alps, not just Chamonix. In so far as being one big massif, Monte Rosa (Alagna, Gressonay) is a much bigger volume of mountain than Mont Blanc. Its just not as high and not as famous (and arguably gets less snow and more wind).

    But it seems these days that the big play is actually getting some good snow. My advice: if you head here for an extended period then do so with the intention to follow the snow. The Alps are relatively small and you can pretty easily get yourself across them in a day or two using public transport. If you have a car then you can get around really easily. Lets say you are in Le Grave and it isn’t on at the time, but something up in central Switzerland or even the Dolomites in Italy is having an epic season… its an overnight drive (at the most) and you are there.

    Verbier seems really in these days. Never been myself, but not because I am avoiding it. You just can be everywhere at once.

    Austria is full of good stuff but I have never been lucky enough to have easy access to that end of the Alps.

    @ReformedSkier wrote:

    If you’re willing to mountaineer a bit, there are some upper sections of the valley which aren’t easily accessible without ropes and climbing. These looked amazing.

    Back to Chamonix… more specifically Argentiere, 20 minutes up the road. From that little relatively quiet town you have the potential for more fun than there is snow days in winter and spring. Its certainly no secret, you wont be alone, but via les Grand Montets you can access the Argentiere glacier which in turn opens up so much awesome terrain, as easy riding or as deadly as you want. To make the most of it (in a safe manner) your best bet is to make friends with some other people touring in the area. There is always a crowd of foreigners living there. If you choose Chamonix then make this area one of your regular haunts. It is awesome. Either side of it are other huge glaciated touring ‘theatres’ that are even better, harder to access and waaay less crowded. If you need motivation, I have a bit of stuff from that area here, check out teh BC journal for some Chamonix stuff (although I have only done 1% of whats on offer)

    Sorry for the long post. I just get so stoked on this stuff.

    (hi Jogi – this is the same damian from

    les Courtes on the northern faces of the Argentiere glacier.


    @damian wrote:

    hi Jogi – this is the same damian from

    hi damian! I thought as much!
    hey … it’s … not .com! 😉


    oops, sorry to .de 🙂

    Schnee is pretty bad around here at the moment hey. Heading to Engelberg tonight. Not much snow, light rain forecast.

    I don’t want powder. I’d just be happy with enough snow to tour on.

    I heard that some banks have stopped lending money to European resorts below a certain altitude because they don’t think they will be able to repay the loans in the future.


    @damian wrote:

    The Alps are great, but I kind of had the impression that the Rockies in the US are much bigger in terms of area, have more higher peaks and get more snow?

    Sorry damian, but that information is wrong.
    I love the Colorado Rockies. The snow is just fantastic light, but there are resorts in Europe which are way bigger and have more vertical drop.

    For example Verbier: You can barely make it from one end of the valley to the other end and back in one day.
    In terms of snow: The US Rockies are on average at a higher altitude and it’s safer to have snow. The global warming seems to hit the Alps quite bad.

    In Switzerland:
    Verbier is definitely a place to go
    Zermatt is very nice and scenic
    Davos is a good area
    Flims/Laax is pretty big as well

    La Grave in France is an awesome place I hear.

    Check out some other threads on TGR:



    I don’t know where I got the idea from. I just always guessed the Rockies had more mountain. No complaints with EU terrain, that’s for sure.

    Anyway… touring snow pack was appalling for two days then stormed out for a third, so I have been cruising resorts. Some more info for brg’s question:

    Engelberg: This was my first winter visit. Tons of good steep terrain, but I have a feeling it would get tracked out faster than Chamonix (if that’s possible). Has a luxury watch and jewellery shop at the top station, like in an airport. That caused me some sadness. If you are prepared to tour from the valley then there is some really good stuff on offer away from the lifts (I walked some of it in summer). Its also cool because it has a campsite open all winter (if you have a camper van). Campsite has a drying room, showers, sauna and and ok quiet bar across the road – which would make the cold evenings easier. Chasing snow and terrain in a campervan around the Alps in winter with a mobile internet connection would be the way I would do it for sure.

    Grindelwald: Also the first time there. Awesome setting in the shadow of the Eiger and some +4000m hills. But seems just one big tacky beginner-intermediate ski resort full of dickheads. Perhaps I have thin-skin and my first impressions were too hastily formed… but I finished the day early with “lets get the fuck out of here”. I don’t recommend going there for the resort.

    Andermatt: Spent NYday here enjoying the start of the storm that has engulfed the Alps this week. Andermatt was one of my favourite places last season. For what is essentially a one-lift resort you have tons of side and B-country terrain. If you were somewhere ‘central Alps’ then this place is worth spending a few weeks at. It has a good freeride vibe.

    This weekend I am going to poke around a small place called Lermoos in Austria. First time in that area for me.

    Never been to the mega resorts in France (SW Alps) so can’t comment on them.


    @IridePow wrote:

    La Grave in France is an awesome place I hear.

    be careful recommendig La Grave … a friend of me has been there twice and he made his experiences: good and bad!

    after a big dump La Grave must be a dream! … why? click their website:
    but after 2 or 3 days with no fresh snow you can have “men high” and icy moguls there …

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