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舊 2013-11-23, 09:19   #16
KYL
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註冊日期: 2012-01-20
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Thanks all for the tips!
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舊 2013-12-01, 11:48   #17
cppoon
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註冊日期: 2010-12-26
住址: Somewhere warm
文章: 133
cppoon 是普普通通的會員
Don't think those are the weeks you're looking into - but just in case:

http://www.action-outdoors.co.uk/

*£25 off selected holidays:use promo code when booking

4-11 Jan: All La Plagne, Serre Chevelier holidays - promo code: JAN0401

11-18 Jan: All Chamonix, La Plagne, Serre Chevelier holidays - promo code: JAN1101
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舊 2014-02-09, 10:37   #18
KYL
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註冊日期: 2012-01-20
文章: 110
KYL 是普普通通的會員
Just finished my week of off-piste at Flaine Linders at Grand Massif. A brief summary:

Firstly, there are 2 UCPA sites at Flaine - Linders and Altair. Make sure to get off at ther right one! As noted before, this was an ex club-med building, so the ambience is not bad. Nice lounge/common area with fireplace, bar, dance area and dining room. Rooms are 2/4 persons with own toliet/shower - ie ex-hotel room turned into dorm.

Ski room is in seperate buliding next door. Ski-in, <50m walk out. Great boot drying racks.

Across the road is a supermarket, a few ski shops, some restrauants and bars, a post office and a bank - all in one monolithic grey concrete block. This place has as much charm as a public housing block. Bowling alley and some shops also up the hill via free funicular.

As cppoon noted, the off-piste is very coverage dependent. I was very lucky and had good snow dumps before and during the trip. But there are still many deep pits and holes hidden in the snow and a guide is essential. The on piste is generally very good.

And you were so right about the transport! I was too lazy and rushed to organize my own and booked the UCPA bus. The schedule seriously sucked! Never again!

All in all a great week and I would highly recommend this to those happy with a backpacker/college dorm style of travel.
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舊 2014-02-10, 10:54   #19
syk23
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註冊日期: 2013-08-02
文章: 35
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Hi KYL,

May i ask: are you going alone?

Is there any chance for age over 40?
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舊 2014-02-10, 20:25   #20
cppoon
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註冊日期: 2010-12-26
住址: Somewhere warm
文章: 133
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作者: syk23 查看文章
Hi KYL,

May i ask: are you going alone?

Is there any chance for age over 40?
The only "official" way (that I'm aware of) to join if you're over 39 is to go through the booking agent in Sweden (http://www.ucpa.se/Seniorveckor) as they can book people up to 45 years old and have 4 weeks every season have higher limits (59 and 65). However, I think they package the holiday with transfer from Sweden.

It's worthwhile to try the agent in the UK (http://www.action-outdoors.co.uk/) can also book people up to 45 years old.

Some French in the centre mentioned that the 39-year-old age limit can be relaxed a bit if you've been with them before (but only with phone booking not the internet) or during low seasons and you are certain you don't mind staying in a dorm.
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舊 2014-02-10, 20:44   #21
cppoon
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註冊日期: 2010-12-26
住址: Somewhere warm
文章: 133
cppoon 是普普通通的會員
作者: KYL 查看文章
Great boot drying racks.
That what I thought too! Happy to learn other people found them nice as I thought I might have been over-reacting. I haven't been to enough trips to the snow to know whether this is something common at other accommodation.

作者: KYL 查看文章
This place has as much charm as a public housing block.
LOL
Flaine does earn its reputation as the ugliest resort around. I think it's a lovely place as long as there is snow though... (i have low standards)

作者: KYL 查看文章
And you were so right about the transport! I was too lazy and rushed to organize my own and booked the UCPA bus. The schedule seriously sucked! Never again!
How bad? Don't tell me you spent hours on the transfer bus and missed the skiing on sunday and saturday.

作者: KYL 查看文章
All in all a great week and I would highly recommend this to those happy with a backpacker/college dorm style of travel.
Good to hear you had a great week. Did you like your group? How many off-piste groups were there during your week?
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舊 2014-02-10, 22:18   #22
KYL
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註冊日期: 2012-01-20
文章: 110
KYL 是普普通通的會員
作者: cppoon 查看文章
LOL
Flaine does earn its reputation as the ugliest resort around. I think it's a lovely place as long as there is snow though... (i have low standards)
My thoughts exactly!

作者: cppoon 查看文章
How bad? Don't tell me you spent hours on the transfer bus and missed the skiing on sunday and saturday.
The bus departed Paris at midnight and was scheduled to arrive at 9am on Sunday, but didn't actually get there until almost 11am. The bus was packed to the gills, and I was exhausted when I got there. Most others had arrived the night before, and the ski shop had been cleaned out of the newer gear, leaving me with last seasons (still decent, but more worn) gear. Although I did manage to ski for half a day, I really didn't enjoy it all that much. For departure day, the bus was scheduled to go at 1430 - which meant in order to get my half day of skiing in on Saturday, I had to pretty much pack the night before, ski the morning, and rushed back at noon to change, return equipment, and check-out to make the bus in time. It also dropped me off at Paris at 1 in the morning , losing another night's sleep. In retrospect I really should've transited through Geneva.

作者: cppoon 查看文章
Good to hear you had a great week. Did you like your group? How many off-piste groups were there during your week?
There were 2 off-piste ski and 1 off-piste snowboard groups (out of 19 groups total - the majority of the groups were normal on-piste groups), I was in the lower ability group, which comprised of 4 French speakers and 4 Spaniards who spoke decent English. The instruction was in a mixture of French and English by a very friendly and knowledgeable instructor local to Haute-Savoie who teaches at both ESF and UCPA. Most in the group were more experienced skiers then I, and I was struggling a bit to keep up. But the group was very friendly and supportive, and I made it through all 7 days of skiing without incident and managed to make some great friends along the way.

Cppoon and Mike and others, thanks again for this great tip-off regarding UCPA, I would've never found out otherwise!
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舊 2014-02-10, 22:22   #23
KYL
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文章: 110
KYL 是普普通通的會員
作者: syk23 查看文章
Hi KYL,

May i ask: are you going alone?

Is there any chance for age over 40?
Yes, went solo. Not sure about over 40, I would say the majority of the people there were in their 20s and early 30s, although some do seem older...
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舊 2014-02-11, 14:36   #24
syk23
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註冊日期: 2013-08-02
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Thanks for the information to both of you!

too bad that too old
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舊 2014-12-19, 04:40   #25
KYL
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註冊日期: 2012-01-20
文章: 110
KYL 是普普通通的會員
This year I will be joining the below randonee/AT course - Feb 1-8.

http://www.ucpa.co.uk/sejour/SFAARGN...do-argentiere/
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舊 2014-12-20, 12:34   #26
andy2667
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註冊日期: 2009-02-08
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UCPA seems to be an excellent no frill choice. However, my age has well exceeded their limit.

Luckily, their off piste course has age limit up to 55. They also some special weeks without age limit for people above 38 .

I should have noticed this organization 10 years ago when I was still within their age limit.
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舊 2015-02-15, 15:24   #27
cppoon
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註冊日期: 2010-12-26
住址: Somewhere warm
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cppoon 是普普通通的會員
作者: KYL 查看文章
This year I will be joining the below randonee/AT course - Feb 1-8.

http://www.ucpa.co.uk/sejour/SFAARGN...do-argentiere/
How did it go?
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舊 2015-02-15, 23:30   #28
KYL
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註冊日期: 2012-01-20
文章: 110
KYL 是普普通通的會員
It kicked my ass... Seems Chamonix really attracts the hardcore skiers (lots of crazy french and swedes), and the Argentière centre even more so with its secluded location - like a quiet countryside uni to focus on your riding without the distractions of the bustle of chamonix nightlife. Almost everyone at the centre was doing a fulltime off-piste or free rando program. The pace was non-stop, the terrain scary at times (and i didnt even venture to the really infamous areas being in the "beginners" course). The experience level here is very high - I barely managed to keep up, and finished the week utterly exhausted!
I think I need to get a lot better riding off-piste before returning to really enjoy what the area has to offer.
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舊 2015-02-23, 15:29   #29
cppoon
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註冊日期: 2010-12-26
住址: Somewhere warm
文章: 133
cppoon 是普普通通的會員
作者: KYL 查看文章
It kicked my ass... Seems Chamonix really attracts the hardcore skiers (lots of crazy french and swedes), and the Argentière centre even more so with its secluded location - like a quiet countryside uni to focus on your riding without the distractions of the bustle of chamonix nightlife. Almost everyone at the centre was doing a fulltime off-piste or free rando program. The pace was non-stop, the terrain scary at times (and i didnt even venture to the really infamous areas being in the "beginners" course). The experience level here is very high - I barely managed to keep up, and finished the week utterly exhausted!
I think I need to get a lot better riding off-piste before returning to really enjoy what the area has to offer.
I seem to remember that the Argentière centre has just been renovated. How was it?
How's the gear provided?
Did you mostly ski at Les Grands Montet? Long lines to the lifts?
Did you go for Vallée Blanche?

Yes, Chamonix got the reputation of attracting the hardcore people and it's on many people's to-do list. But I think one has to be at a high skill level to really enjoy it. Most of us are much better served by other resorts in the Alps.

Sounds like you had a good and challenging time! Where are you going next time?

此篇文章於 2015-02-23 15:45 被 cppoon 編輯。.
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舊 2015-02-23, 17:16   #30
allwhite
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註冊日期: 2014-10-24
文章: 24
allwhite 是普普通通的會員
I was doing Vallee Balnche 3 days ago with my son (the beginners course) and the view was abosolutely stunning. A bit exhausting for my age (I am 47) but that was something more than just off piste in my eyes.
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