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Skiing thread

Just cancelled a package deal; will hold my nerve pending the announcement in France and go independent.

Parking aside Apres (same risk as any social setting), covid risk in skiing is minimal, less gondolas - this is easily mitigated by restricting the numbers per cabin. Sure this will slow the whole thing down, but with anticipated numbers much lower, it will equalise.
 
We have chinned off getting to Finland in January 2021 as well.
The EasyJet flights we had booked were cancelled (they are only running 20% of their normal (money making) routes) last week so we have applied for a refund.
The flights were paid for by Credit card just in case EasyJet try it on.

Will look again for Jan 2022.


Torygraph this morning. We are watching the updates like a hawk as the lock down is currently driving us mental.

We book flights to Austria about 2 months ago and Sleazyjet have just cancelled the flight out, but not the return leg for some reason. id say Finland is still a serious option. Anyway - Torygraph article below:

Ski boom expected as quarantine slashed to five days​

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ski slope
There is fresh hope for ski holidays as quarantine is reduced

23 NOVEMBER 2020 • 12:42PM
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With the majority of skiers willing to quarantine on their return home from the slopes, ski holidays could be back on the cards this Christmas
The length of time people have to quarantine upon arrival to the UK will be cut from 14 days to just five, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce as Boris Johnson unveils England’s post-lockdown plans.
The news is welcomed by skiers and snowboarders, with tour operators and resorts hoping to see a boost in enquiries as skiers are given a boost in confidence to travel.
The new rules will see travellers returning from high-risk countries, which don’t have a travel corridor, able to leave quarantine early if they test negative for Covid-19 on the fifth day. Currently all major ski holiday destinations in Europe, except Finland, are deemed as high-risk by the Government and could benefit from the new ‘test and release’ scheme, which has been developed by Shapps’ Global Travel Task Force.
Research by both the Mountain Trade Network (MTN) and Club Med has found that the majority of skiers are willing to quarantine in order to get their fix on the slopes this winter – a reduction in the time of self isolation would see even more open to the idea of booking a ski holiday.
Last month MTN found that 75 per cent of skiers would quarantine, for varying periods of time – 27 per cent of this number said they’d happily isolate for the current 14-day period, while 54 per cent would feel comfortable to travel if they had to be isolated for a week or more.
“Quarantine has been a major barrier to ski holiday bookings so the reduction to five days will certainly remove a significant obstacle for many,” said James Gambrill, CEO of MTN.
Last week data released by leading all-inclusive operator Club Med supported this, with 60 per cent also saying the test and release scheme and subsequent reduction in quarantine time would entice them to book a holiday this season, regardless of the destination’s travel corridor status.

Under the new rules holidaymakers will be able to order a PCR test, to take on the fifth day of their quarantine, from a list of approved private companies, which are expected to cost between £130 and £180 – if demand is high prices could fall.
Ministers are hopeful they will be able to replace the PCR test with a quick-result saliva test, which delivers results within an hour for half the price, if trials in Liverpool and other cities are successful.
There are concerns that the price will deter some skiers from travelling, especially families. Ski holidays already involved a number of additional expenses on top of flights and accommodation – such as lift passes, equipment and lessons.
“£150 per person is a big deterrent for many people, although skiing is always thought of as a wealthy sport the truth is that there are many ordinary people that ski and board and another £150 is a lot of money, especially for families,” said Nick Williams, managing director of chalet specialist Mountain Heaven.
family skiers

Families in particular may find it hard to stomach the cost of testing CREDIT: HARALD WISTHALER
However, it is “unlikely to deter those most keen to ski,” said Iain Martin, host of The Ski Podcast. There will be a handful of determined skiers who will jump through the hoops and pay the price to ski before the year is out.
“Many will be prepared to pay in order to travel and ski and will see it simply as the cost of skiing this year and perhaps offset by the reduced spend on apres, which will be significantly curtailed in resorts,” said Gambrill.
The change in travel restrictions is set to be introduced from December 15 or 16, giving fresh hope to the prospect of a Christmas ski holiday.
“It is now realistic for families to book Christmas ski trips and complete quarantine before school starts again. It also makes any ski trip less of a burden: five days quarantine is not so different for many people as life under lockdown,” said Martin.
However, with resorts in France, Austria and Italy still closed under national lockdown rules and uncertainty whether rearranged opening dates in December will go ahead as planned the overarching feeling is that the benefits of changing quarantine rules will only be felt later in the season.
“In the short term entry restrictions and uncertainty over resort opening in many Alpine countries means we are unlikely to see much change in bookings for travel in 2020. But a reduction in quarantine combined with positive news about vaccines should provide some stimulus for bookings in 2021 - perhaps not for January but certainly for February onwards,” said Gambrill.
The change in regulations is a victory for The Telegraph’s test4travel campaign, which launched in September and has received widespread support from the travel industry.
Despite the breakthrough, there is still a major barrier stopping operators from running holidays – the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s blanket advice against all non-essential travel.
“A reduction in quarantine is welcome and will encourage more people to travel but for the travel Industry to operate we also need the government to remove the “essential travel only” advisory,” said Angus Maciver, general manager at The Ski Club of Great Britain, who also expects bookings “to be for February onwards.”
Tour operators, including the UK’s biggest Crystal Ski Holidays, are legally obliged not to take holidaymakers to destinations the Government deems as unsafe and have confirmed they will not run ski holidays if the advisory remains in place.
And then there’s the small matter of snow. “There needs to be more certainty about whether ski resorts will open, and, crucially, there needs to be snow. I expect late bookings within two weeks of departure to be the dominant trend this winter,” said Martin, who echoes findings of industry research that shows ski holidays are likely to be booked less than a month, if not two weeks, before departure this season.
Over the weekend local reports in France revealed the mayor of Belleville, which covers some of the most popular ski resorts in France, is "reasonably optimistic" for an opening of Val Thorens and Les Menuires "before Christmas."
Today’s announcement comes after a turbulent week for the industry last week, which saw long-standing operator VIP Ski cease trading, leading family operator Esprit Ski cancel all holidays this winter and Inghams, Ski Total and FlexiSki drop chalets in France from their programmes.
 
Whereabouts are you?
Calgary, I pick up heavily discounted early bird season passes at two resorts every year.



 

Oyibo

LE
Calgary, I pick up heavily discounted early bird season passes at two resorts every year.



Very nice. I've only been to Whistler, Jasper, and Grouse Mountain in Canada, but there was great snow. (Effing cold though.)

There were also some great little ski stations in Washington State with the best powder I have ever experienced.
 
Very nice. I've only been to Whistler, Jasper, and Grouse Mountain in Canada, but there was great snow. (Effing cold though.)

There were also some great little ski stations in Washington State with the best powder I have ever experienced.
Louise is a solid large area resort with good snow, Nakiska is my regular, only a 30 minute drive away, can be a bit icy, but it was built for the 88 Olympics, and has some good descents.

I am looking forward to Fortress reopening as a full service resort. It is only being used for cat and Heli skiing at the moment, but work is currently underway to bring it back. It has the best powder in N. America. It was used in the Bourne offshoot movie.

 
Calgary, I pick up heavily discounted early bird season passes at two resorts every year.



swine. I hate you!
 
Very nice. I've only been to Whistler, Jasper, and Grouse Mountain in Canada, but there was great snow. (Effing cold though.)

There were also some great little ski stations in Washington State with the best powder I have ever experienced.

We did Whistler 2 years ago. Wasn't too cold when we went. I'm guessing Finland will be bloody cold in January if we get there instead of Austria.

Not sure we will be venturing back to the US for a while. I want massively impressed with Vale, although blasting through the trees felt like a bit of a James Bond experience.
 
We did Whistler 2 years ago. Wasn't too cold when we went. I'm guessing Finland will be bloody cold in January if we get there instead of Austria.

Not sure we will be venturing back to the US for a while. I want massively impressed with Vale, although blasting through the trees felt like a bit of a James Bond experience.
Calgary is offering Covid testing at the airport with no quarantine requirement, so long as you retest at day 6.
 

Oyibo

LE
We did Whistler 2 years ago. Wasn't too cold when we went. I'm guessing Finland will be bloody cold in January if we get there instead of Austria.

Not sure we will be venturing back to the US for a while. I want massively impressed with Vale, although blasting through the trees felt like a bit of a James Bond experience.

I think it was a particularly cold winter when I went (-40C including wind chill). Had to buy neoprene face masks and duck into cover whenever possible.

I've only done Breckenridge, Aspen, and somewhere on the East Coast in the US (and a few small places in Washington State). Memories of Breckenridge (great place) were the number of skidoos zooming down the slopes towing stretchers containing people who had skied into trees. Oh, and also being stood at the side of a piste when some w*nker out-of-control snowboarder went through my ankles - I muttered some sort of British "It's not your fault" platitude and an American guy who had witnessed it came up to me and warned me not to say anything in case there was a court case.

On a different note, I far prefer the smaller ski stations nowadays - fewer people, friendlier atmosphere, and easier to get to.
 
Just looked at flights, hotels and the status of the resorts in Austria and I’d say it’s a 95% cert skiing is going to happen. If you are travelling from one of the tier 3 areas they are insisting on you being tested when you travel and after you land but for me in the sunny south east, no such restrictions.

Get in!!!!!
 
I think it was a particularly cold winter when I went (-40C including wind chill). Had to buy neoprene face masks and duck into cover whenever possible.

I've only done Breckenridge, Aspen, and somewhere on the East Coast in the US (and a few small places in Washington State). Memories of Breckenridge (great place) were the number of skidoos zooming down the slopes towing stretchers containing people who had skied into trees. Oh, and also being stood at the side of a piste when some w*nker out-of-control snowboarder went through my ankles - I muttered some sort of British "It's not your fault" platitude and an American guy who had witnessed it came up to me and warned me not to say anything in case there was a court case.

On a different note, I far prefer the smaller ski stations nowadays - fewer people, friendlier atmosphere, and easier to get to.
Breckinridge the four o’clock run is as dangerous a place I’ve ever skied
 
The British tour operators are set for a world of hurt. Some of the smaller players have already gone down and one of the largest (Esprit / Inghams / Ski Total) looks like it's scrapping their chalet and chalet hotel programme for this year altogether.

They were already struggling with changes to French employment laws, Brexit etc but this really will mean the end for the majority of British tour operators as we know it which is a shame because doing 5 months as a chalet bitch was incredible fun!
A web site called PlanetSKI have loads of articles re the state of British ski tour operators which they update on a very regular basis. Worth a read.
 

After years of nothing happening looks like this might go ahead after all. Would be great as the indoor fridges of MK and HH are a good couple of hours drive away this is 20 mins away.
 

Oyibo

LE
Not looking good for Italy:


Ski slopes have been threatened with continued closure over Christmas by the prime minister of Italy as he urged Alpine neighbours to follow suit to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Hopefully France will ignore the everyone else as usual:
Government experts believe that packed ski lifts could have the same effect, and Mr Conte said that holidays on the slopes this Christmas were out of the question. “We cannot afford it,” he declared.

Other countries with downhill slopes, he said, must also ban skiing. “If we close the mountains and our neighbours don’t, Italian tourists will go to Austria and France and bring the virus back home,” he said. He added that he was working with Angel Merkel, the German chancellor, and President Macron on “a common European protocol”.
 
Never skied in Italy (back side of Zermatt on the Kline Matterhorn doesn’t really count) as the thought of hundreds of Italians all talking/shouting at each other at the same time rather spoils the beauty of the mountains tranquility for me.
 
Never skied in Italy (back side of Zermatt on the Kline Matterhorn doesn’t really count) as the thought of hundreds of Italians all talking/shouting at each other at the same time rather spoils the beauty of the mountains tranquility for me.

The food in Cervinia is dramatically better than in Zermatt though. But yeah given the Italian approach to queueing "come l'acqua" I can't imagine social distancing going very well.
 
The food in Cervinia is dramatically better than in Zermatt though. But yeah given the Italian approach to queueing "come l'acqua" I can't imagine social distancing going very well.
Have been to Montgeneve which is on the border of Fr/It and the food over the Italians side was vastly superior to the french resort, that said all the food in monty was crap.
 

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