Messages posted by : robinp
Yes really, Spain. I know J2Ski tries to pretend it doesn't exist, not having either a category for it or the airport listed, but not half an hour's drive from Granada lies the Sierra Nevada, with (apparently) 45 pistes, 2 cable cars and 17 lifts.
And Granada airport has recently expanded it's international status so you can now get cheap flights from Stansted and Gatwick.
So what I'd like to know is, has anybody been there and done that? The guide books of course say the skiing there is actually pretty good, but what's it really like? Seeing as the whole of southern Spain can go only there, are the lift queues as long as I'm imagining they might be? Any bottleneck lifts? Tips on parking etc?
the answer, of course, is, it depends!
No really, it does rather depend on how much you are willing to splurge, and also how much you'd like to see the little darlings instead of tearing down the steeps 10 hours a day.
So, if you want to get absolutely the cheapest deals on everything, and go self-catered, then follow the other posts, but if you can afford a bit extra, keep reading...
I can thoroughly recommend ski-esprit (www.skiesprit.com). My 2+2 family paid around £1800 (plus lift passes!) last year, but here's what we got:
Flights from Stansted;
Half board for the week in a chalet of about 12 people, including beer and wine, including cake on arriving back after a hard day's blast;
3 hours of ski lessons for the kids, plus around 3 hours of alternative activities per day, you could leave the kids all day if you want to, for older kids there's also a couple of hours of activities in the evenings;
Sounds too good to be true? OK some caveats:
It was the first week in January, i.e. just about the cheapest week of the year.
We got all the early bird discounts, which means you need to book by about May!
Yes we missed that last one this year too, in fact we only just got around to checking out prices last week. We just came up with a price of about £2600 for all of the above, and also including ski hire and lift passes.
Well, if that hasn't scared you off (and I reckon you'll be approaching £2K anyway, but of course it depends which week you can go), I can give lots more advice, we've been with them three times now, which I guess says enough about how happy we are with the results. Our six year old was skiing blue runs last year!
It's not a one price includes all, you can build up everything you need, e.g. you can sort ski hire out yourselves, and you can save some money say by just having the lessons for the kids, but then taking them out yourselves the rest of the day. If you're feeling really flush then you could book the whole lot and see what the kids want to do, ours did actually want to spend more or less the entire day taking part in the various kids activities, and we took them out for just a couple of afternoons towards the end of the week, which seemed to work out satisfactorily all round.
The chalets are generally superb, Mont Blanc in Montchavin is our favourite so far, but I think it's fully booked now, in fact probably most of this advice may be of more use when booking your next season's holiday!
The only exception to that 'superb' qualification is whatever you do don't go in anything that calls itself a 'chalet-apartment'! The difference is that a chalet is a chalet, and a chalet-apartment is an apartment, quite possibly in the middle of some huge beehive monstrosity, as we discovered last year. However, steer clear of those and you'll be OK.
I could go on but that's probably enough for now, if I've whet your appetite or you need any more tips I'll be happy to carry on.
In summary, it can be expensive, but you get a lot, and if you book early and at off peak times, then it's not that much more than you'd pay anyway.
I think I would second powderhound on this one. Your bindings are probably the most important part of your kit, if you want to keep your bones in one piece that is.
If you want to save money, save it somewhere else, the skis, the jacket, whatever. But don't skimp on the bindings - they ARE your legs man!
I think you forgot to put the actual URL in the 'link' parameter there.
After clicking on the 'link' button on the forum post page, you get this (but with square brackets):
(link=hyperlink url)hyperlink text(/link)
So then you need to replace 'hyperlink url' with the URL to your the website, as well as replacing 'hyperlink text' with the text you want to make clickable. You can check that this has been done correctly by clicking on the links from the preview page.
I had one of these a while back. I think it was more for the fun factor than any real usefulness, unless you're really serious. But it's also quite interesting to see maximum vertical speeds and things: also while going UP on the lifts of course.
Unfortunately I took it out sailing one day (just to use the stopwatch), and after encountering more vertical motion than planned, discovered it wasn't quite as waterproof as I thought it was. It's not been quite the same since then
Sounds like something Goldfinger might have thought up: "Well Mr. Bond, would you prefer the laser, or the SNOW IMMERSION DEATH?".
It's worth pointing out that the article also links to some useful advice on how to get out of a big hole if you do happen to fall into one.
Yes it's sometimes quite hard to work out what all the bits of the name actually mean. I've been going through a similar exercise with my new skis.
They're Salomon Crossmax, but what model exactly? They're not a 7, not an 8, but ... wait for it ... a 7.9!
I never realised skis had version numbers like software. Unfortunately they didn't come with a set of release notes so I've been unable to work out what the difference actually is between the different numbers (the Salomon website is quite cool, but of course only has the latest and greatest - same old problem, older versions are no longer supported).
Can anyone throw any light on this?
I'm sure I read somewhere the other day that mountain biking is really good preparation for skiing, because you use similar muscles in both sports. So not only do you get good aerobic exercise to improve your stamina, you get stronger in the right places.
On yer bike mate!
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