European ski areas-what are the best?

I've cycled in French Alps and some in Switzerland. I'd like to ski there but don't know the best value for snow and weather quality, great terrain and ambiance. Courchevel was recommended by a resident ski instructor but it is huge and expensive. I'm used to Northwest US and BC where weather is variable but the hills and access are great. We're close to BC and Montana powder and Utah is an inexpensive plane ride. Anyone have experience in both regions and some recommendations?
 
Gigs is probably your best source, they're our resident Alpine specialist. A lot of those of us with interest in skiing on this board favour Nordic, so cost is less of an issue as there isn't any need to pay for lift passes and often the best resorts are completely different because specialist Alpine sites tend to have a fairly limited Loipennetz. Generally speaking in Europe though, the further east and/or south you go, the cheaper. The other key question would be, when in the season are you looking to go, as that will obviously have an effect on the reliability of snow quality, especially further south or at lower altitude venues.
 
Gigs is probably your best source, they're our resident Alpine specialist. A lot of those of us with interest in skiing on this board favour Nordic, so cost is less of an issue as there isn't any need to pay for lift passes and often the best resorts are completely different because specialist Alpine sites tend to have a fairly limited Loipennetz. Generally speaking in Europe though, the further east and/or south you go, the cheaper. The other key question would be, when in the season are you looking to go, as that will obviously have an effect on the reliability of snow quality, especially further south or at lower altitude venues.
Good question on the time of year. The best, most predictable snow for North American Alpine skiing is usually January to February but can extend at Whistler to late April. Our daylight hours are short until March and the French Alps seem close to our latitude. Longer days are best and good visibility important, particularly for glacier skiing.
I ride enough bike time to appreciate gravity's gift of speed. Nordic is not that important.
 
I've cycled in French Alps and some in Switzerland. I'd like to ski there but don't know the best value for snow and weather quality, great terrain and ambiance. Courchevel was recommended by a resident ski instructor but it is huge and expensive. I'm used to Northwest US and BC where weather is variable but the hills and access are great. We're close to BC and Montana powder and Utah is an inexpensive plane ride. Anyone have experience in both regions and some recommendations?
Next time I'm going, I'm going to the Jungfrau region. Mürren, Grindlewald, Wengen, etc. Lodging and skiing is actually a lot cheaper in Europe than in North America if you don't factor in the plane flight, and often if you do.

https://www.cheapestdestinationsblog.com/2018/10/31/cheaper-ski-europe-than-usa/

Lots of great options. Lots of articles on where you can find the best snow.

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/best-of-europe/best-ski-resorts-for-guaranteed-snow-in-europe/
 
Next time I'm going, I'm going to the Jungfrau region. Mürren, Grindlewald, Wengen, etc. Lodging and skiing is actually a lot cheaper in Europe than in North America if you don't factor in the plane flight, and often if you do.

https://www.cheapestdestinationsblog.com/2018/10/31/cheaper-ski-europe-than-usa/

Lots of great options. Lots of articles on where you can find the best snow.

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/best-of-europe/best-ski-resorts-for-guaranteed-snow-in-europe/
Yes, the US definitely sucks for cost. Vail owns everything and, unless you buy an Epic pass the lifts will cost you. Fortunately that pass is dirt cheap if you have enough snow.
Austria was definitely on my list at some point.
Thanks for the input and have a great winter.
 

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Thank you And the explanation of your process definitely helps me understand how some of them Ive seem look like a washer welded to the bottom of a tube and some of them are much cleaner.
 
La Grave is probably the best place in France if you like freeriding with great powder snow.
If we're talking about the Dolomites I firmly believe that Cortina is just better than any other place that has ski resorts. The great slopes of the Faloria, the Tofana with Ra Valles, a skiing paradise that is pretty much all above 2,400m of altitude, Cinque Torri (backcountry freeskiing heaven) and the Lagazuoi with it's stunning views.
To sum things up, Cortina craps on the overrated Kronplatz/Plan de Corones and is better than the whole, overcrowded, Sella Ronda.
 
Gigs is probably your best source, they're our resident Alpine specialist. A lot of those of us with interest in skiing on this board favour Nordic, so cost is less of an issue as there isn't any need to pay for lift passes and often the best resorts are completely different because specialist Alpine sites tend to have a fairly limited Loipennetz. Generally speaking in Europe though, the further east and/or south you go, the cheaper. The other key question would be, when in the season are you looking to go, as that will obviously have an effect on the reliability of snow quality, especially further south or at lower altitude venues.
Oof, just coincidentally found this thread almost a year after it was made and I suddenly feel so much pressure on me ^^

Tbf, I don't actually have that much experience. I know quite a few skiing areas in Austria but I live near Vienna so I guess some people like Mayomaniac probably have more knowledge than I do. From my experience Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Tyrol is probably my favorite skiing area (that's the Serfaus that used to be a Tour de Suisse mtf btw). Quite large, high altitude and some of the remote parts of the area also aren't that crowded while having some of my favorite slopes. It's not exactly cheap though.
Generally the whole "the further east you go the cheaper it gets" is often true, but that's also because those more eastern skiing areas have actual drawbacks. The mountains get lower in the east meaning, there might be a danger of little snow and of course you can have much longer slopes if you start on 2500 meters than when you start on 1500. What it means though is that I wouldn't choose a skiing area like Hoher Kaiser which basically combines the negative aspects of western and eastern Austria and only gets attention because it's big.
Also my skiing experience is almost exclusively from Austria with the exception of Schöneben (which has the most perfectly groomed slopes I've ever skied on but is pretty boring aside from that) but yeah, just my two cents
 
It depends a lot what you like or what you value. Me, I'm not interested in parties, drinking, on piste restaurants - I do like splendid views, relative calm, varied terrain and authenticity. Plus, it also has to be interesting for making some hikes. I've skied almost exclusively in Swiss resorts, and the past years I've found something really to my liking, though I generally don't advertise it because I want to keep it to myself and my family :) The village has 400 year-old houses, is part of a medium sized ski resort, and has a 1500 m vertical gradient, snow-sure until it closes (usually mid-April). The views are stunning, there is no waiting time at the lifts, and the crowd is mostly Swiss, with some Austrians and Germans (and the odd Belgian). No drunken Russians or Brits - major advantage. Ah, and the language is one of the least spoken in the world.

Sadly, I wasn't able to go this year, as our holiday was planned at Easter. Stupid covid-19.

I'll share the name here, because it's you, but I've perhaps shared enough details to find it yourself :)
Ah, and you can reach it via train from Zürich.

 
It depends a lot what you like or what you value. Me, I'm not interested in parties, drinking, on piste restaurants - I do like splendid views, relative calm, varied terrain and authenticity. Plus, it also has to be interesting for making some hikes. I've skied almost exclusively in Swiss resorts, and the past years I've found something really to my liking, though I generally don't advertise it because I want to keep it to myself and my family :) The village has 400 year-old houses, is part of a medium sized ski resort, and has a 1500 m vertical gradient, snow-sure until it closes (usually mid-April). The views are stunning, there is no waiting time at the lifts, and the crowd is mostly Swiss, with some Austrians and Germans (and the odd Belgian). No drunken Russians or Brits - major advantage. Ah, and the language is one of the least spoken in the world.

Sadly, I wasn't able to go this year, as our holiday was planned at Easter. Stupid covid-19.

I'll share the name here, because it's you, but I've perhaps shared enough details to find it yourself :)
Ah, and you can reach it via train from Zürich.

I don't know much about the quieter Swiss resorts and have only ridden up the Verbier. Your description is totally my flagon of lager, though. Especially the lack of overly drunken boors. A little local color is good and my Swiss buddies could always hold their wine, for sure. But they didn't act like nouveau riche dou*ches in the process. Seems to be a National trait. They can be standoffish and I don't speak German, either.
 
I don't know much about the quieter Swiss resorts and have only ridden up the Verbier. Your description is totally my flagon of lager, though. Especially the lack of overly drunken boors. A little local color is good and my Swiss buddies could always hold their wine, for sure. But they didn't act like nouveau riche dou*ches in the process. Seems to be a National trait. They can be standoffish and I don't speak German, either.
You can PM the name if you need to cover your tracks. Much appreciated!
 
The ski area is Engiadina-Scuol, located in the Unterengadin, right across the national park Svizzer and close to the border of both Austria and Italy. Scuol is a somewhat bigger place in the main valley (of the Inn), with thermal baths too (never been in those), but we stay in Ftan, which is a lovely village located at a 'balcony' overviewing the gorgeous 'Swiss Dolomites' to the south. The local language is Romanisch, a very old language spoken in some of Kanton Graubünden. But obviously they also speak (Swiss) German, and I guess enough English.

Verbier is... different. Very big, touristic, and full of Brits with money.

If you do want some drunken boors, Ischl (via Samnaun) is not that far :)
 
The ski area is Engiadina-Scuol, located in the Unterengadin, right across the national park Svizzer and close to the border of both Austria and Italy. Scuol is a somewhat bigger place in the main valley (of the Inn), with thermal baths too (never been in those), but we stay in Ftan, which is a lovely village located at a 'balcony' overviewing the gorgeous 'Swiss Dolomites' to the south. The local language is Romanisch, a very old language spoken in some of Kanton Graubünden. But obviously they also speak (Swiss) German, and I guess enough English.

Verbier is... different. Very big, touristic, and full of Brits with money.

If you do want some drunken boors, Ischl (via Samnaun) is not that far :)
Verbier has an entire road dedicated to Russian Oligarch real estate, doesn't it? I have nothing against Brits or Russians knowing few here. Just boorish new money folks that want you to know they're special. Can't imagine Swiss folks enjoying any part of that except relieving them of their cash.
 
Aren't Swiss skiing areas ridiculously expensive though? At least I always imagined it like that after all everything is more expensive in Switzerland and skiing is already expensive enough here in Austria.
Funny though how in Switzerland people complain about the drunk, misbehaving Brits and Russians. In Austria it's the Dutch and sometimes the Germans people always complain about.
 
It depends what kind of skier you are and what you are looking for. What kinds of slopes, backcountry, and so on.
If you like your ski ressorts in the USA,
I would definitely not recommned France or Switzerland. Ski ressorts are vastly different there from what you know in the USA in terms of natural sourrunding. I think you would be best of looking to Austria. Personally I would recommned the Saalbach-Hinterglemm ressort.
It is huge, offers all different types of slopes, it usually has lots of snow and it isn`t too high in temrs of altitude. It is also noticeable cheaper than Switzerland.

 

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