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Posted: 08 September 2013 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Ok, after my previous suggestions were completely ignored (i still don’t get it why Ellmau and Söll have different chapters)... you could at least sort the resorts geographically instead of alphabetically. Then put the “Trois Vallees” chapter (for example) before all the millions of different chapters for the single places after that.

And please sort the chapters geographically on where they are, especially which valley. For example, in the Tarentaise valley there is first Valmorel, then the Three Valleys, then Paradiski, then La Rosiere and at the end are Tignes and Val-d’Isere (plus a couple of minor resorts). Similar with the Inn Valley, the Rhone Valley, etc. etc.

I realize that not everyone is a “large-scale” skier like me (i visit another resort every day), but i think everyone would be able to navigate easier when the chapters are sorted geographically.

The Col du Mont Cenis is closed in winter (plus, the maps are kind of weird - some passes are in the map but closed, but other passes that are closed too are not even in the map - the Galibier for example.)

And: Why do you like the food in France? In my opinion, Austria is way better, because there you get good, satiable food quickly and at an reasonable price. Haute cuisine on the piste is not appropriate in my opinion, i go skiing to actual ski as much as possible, if i want to eat haute cuisine i can do that after skiing.

Food in France costs more than double what it costs in Austria. That is insane and even more expensive than Switzerland (and they have very bad exchange rates, for Europeans even more than Britons). I guess the only reason for that is because there are enough people who pay for that usury.

PS: I apologize if i offended someone with my comments. Sometimes i tend to use inappropiate words. It was not my intention to offend or insult anybody.

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Posted: 10 September 2013 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, dracon9 ... you do express yourself vigorously.

No resort order is perfect. We use an alpha order because we think it suits more of the people more of the time. When I invented the Good Skiing Guide in the 1980s we used a geographical order, and I came to the view that it was a mistake. When I invented Where to Ski in the 1990s we learnt from the earlier mistakes.

I’ll ask someone to check our representation of Alpine passes. Sorry if we are showing some open that are not. Mont Cenis is a gross blunder, considering that the road is a piste in winter.

We like the food in France because ... we like the food in France. We think Austrian food lacks variety, more than anything. The fact that food is more expensive in France is not connected to the better range of food that is on offer in France. Spag bol is more expensive in France. That is a pity, but it is not connected to the fact that you can have lamb cutlets instead of sausages (again).

I don’t agree that French food costs twice as much as in Austria, or that it costs more than Swiss food. I don’t know how many restaurant prices you base your view on; I base mine on about 7,000.

I don’t think your “inappropriate words” will have offended anybody. But will they have convinced anybody? Calm down, it’s only a ski resort guide.

Chris

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Posted: 10 September 2013 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hey, everything’s alright :D.

The point of food was more a discussion but criticism - it’s natural that there are different opinions. De gustibus non est disputandum, as the old romans used to say.

But i’d like to discuss the cost of food… for example, i rarely pay more than 13 Euros in Austria or Italy for a meal (just the meal itself) - how much is anything comparable in France? Directly on the mountain, of course.

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Posted: 11 September 2013 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I guess that arranging the resorts geographically by country chapters is enough smile Beyond that, alphabetical works fine most of the time. It would be handy occasionally to review geographically close resorts near to each other in the guide, but there has to be some logic applied - perhaps an index / content at the start of each chapter would help…?

I also guess that for some people, choice and price of food is as much a factor on resort selection as any other (though not for me, if I’m honest) - you pays your money and you takes your choice, as the ancient Greeks used to say… smile

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Posted: 18 September 2013 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I agree with Dracon,

Why do you like the food in France? In my opinion, Austria is way better, because there you get good, satiable food quickly and at an reasonable price. Haute cuisine on the piste is not appropriate in my opinion, i go skiing to actual ski as much as possible, if i want to eat haute cuisine i can do that after skiing.

Food in France costs more than double what it costs in Austria. That is insane and even more expensive than Switzerland

I have had excellent food in Austria in pleasant surroundings, cjoice of meats including freshly cooked chicken, ham, beef, lamb, full range of fresh salads and fruit. The worst food ever was at Les Contamines and at an exorbitant price to boot!

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Posted: 28 September 2013 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think that there is a reason that Editor Gill spends more time enjoying the food in France, apart from the fact that the editorial team need reviews of the best eateries on the hill for the book, I don’t think he will mind me suggesting that as he is carrying out his work for the book and this site he spends much more time in resorts and as a consequence is able to ski a great deal more than most of us.

I expect the majority of us, certainly myself, can only afford to have one main ski holiday and if lucky perhaps a short break in the same season, therefore the time on the slopes is paramount and spending time in quality resteraunts seems a waste of valuable ski time, a quick fill up of stodge to get me through to dinner is often the quickest and cheapest way.

That’s not to say I don’t want to know where good food can be had, there may be times when due to weather etc the only place to be is in a nice resteraunt, and if you are going to spend time thus it may as well be an enjoyable time. I note that in the book there are always mentions of where good value filling food can be had for each resort.

I have not yet eaten in a French resort having only skied in La Rosiere having skied over from La Thuile during a trip there a couple of years ago, however I have been to a few Austrian resorts.  In 2014 we are off to Serre Chevalier and will have a meal at one of the recommended eateries in the book in order to have a personal comparison. Will report back in Feb 2014.

I would imagine in all resorts you can get fast food, I get what Editor Gill is saying, I haven’t seen anything exceptional on the piste eateries in Austria, what I have always found though is hearty food of a good standard but certainly not Michelin star standard, but I wouldn’t want that personally.

Regards All

Don.

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Posted: 28 September 2013 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’d still like an answer on how an average meal in France costs… Austria/Italy is max. 13 Euros, and if it costs twice as much in France i don’t think that’s a good value…

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Posted: 01 October 2013 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi
I agree with Donl I find taking to much time off for lunch a distraction from skiing, most of us will travel with the main tour operators so we will usually be on half board so lunch is maybe a quick snack but we do eat out from time to time and find the prices in France very expensive, only slightly less than Switzerland , we recently paid 80sf for 2 bowls of pasta and drinks in Zermatt.
Austria is certainly the place of choice for us.

I think great an Addition to the book would be a more detailed guide to alcohol prices in resorts, defiantly my greatest expense on any ski holiday. Topping my list is France generally the most expensive for alcohol , but 18euros for a lunch time beer in Courchevel is taking the mick   closely followed by Switzerland then good old Austria providing the best value.

I certainly think the cost of eating and drinking out in France is becoming prohibitively pricey which is one of the reasons we have chosen 2 trips to Austria and 1 to Italy this year.

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Posted: 01 October 2013 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi guys

I think for most people the info we give in the book is an adequate guide to what restaurants in the different countries and resorts charge. For example, our ‘modest food and drink’ budget figures currently include these:

Passo Tonale £100
Söll £110
Serr-Che £130
Méribel £175
Zermatt £210

But it is doubtless true that the differences for individual items are more pronounced - if you left wine out of the equation France would look even more expensive. So I will see if I can assemble some comparisons for individual items and put a blog up on the site with the results.

While I’m on air ... I don’t know why people have to invoke concepts like “haute cuisine” and “Michelin star standard” in these discussions. They are not relevant. It’s simply a matter of variety in the food on offer - well illustrated by the fact that any table-service French restaurant (and many self-service ones) go to the trouble of make a plat du jour - a dish of the day. It’s often interesting, often relatively good value, and is a whole lot more palatable than sausages (again).

All of which is putting me in mind of an early lunch ...

cheers

Chris

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Posted: 01 October 2013 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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But it is doubtless true that the differences for individual items are more pronounced - if you left wine out of the equation France would look even more expensive. So I will see if I can assemble some comparisons for individual items and put a blog up on the site with the results.

Hi Chris,
I think this would be a great idea, it would be nice to have some basic prices as a starting point for example: A large beer, bottle of house wine, pizza and maybe a local dish from one of the self-service restaurants on the mountain.

It would certainly help people like myself who are more interested in the apres ski than the food and others who don’t drink or maybe families where food prices are more important. As we all know these can vary hugely from resort to resort.

I notice Crystal do list some prices on their web site in the resort guide, but find the prices out of date, for example : £2 for a small beer in Val Thorens , it must have been a very very small beer smile

I think this could be valuable info for those choosing their next skiing holiday.

Ps. I take your point about the sausage, lucky for me I like it smile

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Posted: 01 October 2013 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I would like it even more if it was splitted into the figures… for example, alcohol prices can be extreme in some areas, while food prices are reasonable. And if a drink is too expensive it’s easer to save the money there than save it by eating just something you took with you.

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Posted: 16 May 2014 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Ok, i have now a couple of other points:
-sometimes you show the snowmaking in percentage (for example, 85%) and sometimes in numbers of guns (for example, 1200 guns). Is it possible to always use the percentage? I figure 1200 guns is much, but i don’t know if the percentage is 70% or 100% - that depends on the size of the pistes, and i don’t know which area one gun covers.
-operating times is a category you could add or talk about in other sections (or in the margin): What are the general operating times of lifts? What are the operating times of lifts that you have to ride down?
Because that is a thing that really adds value for me: In Austria, many resorts open from 8.30-16.00, and then all lifts are closed. Not only in december, when the sun sets around 16.30, but the entire season, even in april. While in Italy, France and Switzerland many resorts have generally longer operating times, and extend them as season progresses because there’s sunlight for a longer period of time.
Lifts you have to ride down are important, because you have to ski down there in time. Some resorts have the last run down the same time or short after the other lifts close, so your ski time is reduced or you have to hurry to catch the lift. (For example, the gondola from Brides to Meribel) Other lifts run for a much longer period of time, as they are rightfully treated like public transportation (buses), like the Funicular from Bourg to Arc 1600 or the gondola from Le Chable to Verbier.

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Posted: 21 May 2014 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Dracon9:

It’s not practical for us to assess percentage coverage where the resort won’t give us a figure. And in any case this whole issue is confused by a simple mechanical factor: mobile guns (the big fan-type ones on sleds/wheels). My experience is that snowmaking in most places is good enough, these days, anyway.

We’ve been banging on about Austrian lift closure times for years. See page 101.

Giving reliable operating hours of key lifts in the chapters would be a nightmare job, I’m afraid. If you care about skiing a long day in spring, just avoid Austria.

We do give the times of key get-you-home lifts when we know it’s a problem, though. EG Brides-les-Bains (5pm, we say).

C

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Posted: 22 May 2014 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Ok, thanks grin

But i have to disagree on Snowmaking - there are still some resorts that do not have much snowmaking, like St Anton and Lech, and they’re paying the price because they have to rely on natural snow. And nature just isn’t reliable. But luckily you do mention that mostly in the articles. Generally - that’s a discussion which could go on forever - there are often different standards of service in the resorts. For example, the Stubai glacier has received much criticism for its bad grooming. As mobile guns go, i’m not the expert, but i think that you still need the pump station and pipes.

Maybe, if possible: If the resorts gives you both figures (percentage and total number of guns), you could show both. Because i think that the 1200 guns of Ischgl are a large number compared to other resorts (because i was in Ischgl and they have pretty extensive snowmaking), but i don’t have the direct comparison.

PS: I read page 101 just after i posted the previous post :D. Avoiding Austria is sadly not practicable (just because i can drive there quickly) for someone living near Nuremberg, but i was in France this spring and that was great. Well, except that the Frenchmen don’t speak English. I guess the news that English is the world language now hasn’t reached France yet. It’s just about 150 years, so it can take some time…

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Posted: 24 May 2014 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I said I would report back on my findings on food prices in Serre Chevalier having not been to France skiing before (other than skiing over to La Rosiere from La Thuile), whilst in resort we visited a number of eateries and also in Montgenevre, I think I can agree with both dracon and Chris, firstly there do seem to be some higher prices for meals than I have paid in both Italy and Austria, but I would not say this was a massive difference, as in most resorts there is a good choice,we found pizza and chips costing 10-12 euros up to a bowl of soup in one for 13.5 euros.  What I did notice was plat du jour were available at reasonable prices, compared to al a carte, we don’t normally eat a main during the day but couldn’t resist the lamb shanks in red wine at 14 euros at the Le Monetier lift base. Trouble is after a hearty meal we just wanted to gaze at the view for a good while whilst dinner went down, and probably lost a good bit of skiing time, but worth it, no need to cook a big meal back at the apartment.

With reference to the snow guns/cannons debate, this is very subjective, surely a north facing resort with most slopes above 2000 metres will need less than a south facing resort with lower slopes, I understand that historical snowfall would also play a certain part in this all but all the geographic and historical factors need to be taken into consideration as well as the number of cannons.  Most resorts have online piste maps that show cannon coverage by slope and do allow for a much more subjective overall view, I would not dare suggest that slopes covered by snowmaking be highlighted in the WTSS piste maps as I can imagine it would be a massive if not near impossible task!!.

Don.

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Posted: 24 May 2014 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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We did look at marking snowmaking on our maps, but as you say it would be a massive task and we came to the view that there are just too many variables to make it worthwhile - some of these you mention, but there is also the mobile cannon problem. Resorts can claim to cover large amounts of terrain with each one. If anything, we probably should be moving to less specific information rather than more specific information - labelling snowmaking as good, bad or indifferent on the basis of reader feedback. Maybe ...

Chris

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