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  #11  
Old March 25th 08, 10:24 AM posted to rec.skiing.resorts.europe
Roger Moss[_2_]
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Posts: 29
Default Pila/Courmayeur


"Ace" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 22:42:51 +0100, in ,
"Roger Moss" wrote:

My son visited Pila yesterday and he
was surprised at two things, the first being the lack of green runs


No green-graded pistes in Courmayeur either


Isn't this just because their grading system, like that of the Swiss,
only uses blues, reds and blacks? So a blue run could generally be
considered suitable for beginners.



Suspect you're right; couldn't imagine ski-schools functioning without the
gentlest of terrain for beginners.

Maybe one day we'll see an agreed standard for the system, at least
throughout Europe (I wouldn't hold my breath for North America changing its
ways...).

RM
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  #12  
Old March 26th 08, 10:53 AM posted to rec.skiing.resorts.europe
Perdita Stevens
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Posts: 10
Default Pila/Courmayeur

Ace writes:

On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 22:42:51 +0100, in ,
"Roger Moss" wrote:


My son visited Pila yesterday and he was surprised at two things, the
first being the lack of green runs


No green-graded pistes in Courmayeur either


Isn't this just because their grading system, like that of the Swiss,
only uses blues, reds and blacks? So a blue run could generally be
considered suitable for beginners.


Yes, that's so. Pila is odd in having very few blue runs, though, which is
probably what was behind the original comment. Might well be a problem for
an adult beginner or an older child. I'm thinking it's probably not a
problem for a 5yo in ski school for the first time, and only there for a
week - he won't be doing much skiing on real slopes anyway, and Pila seems
to be OK for baby-lifts. For his next year, hopefully we will need
somewhere with plenty of beginner-suitable runs.

Perdita


  #13  
Old March 26th 08, 10:57 AM posted to rec.skiing.resorts.europe
Perdita Stevens
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Posts: 10
Default Pila

ParalyticSkiCrazie writes:

My son is instructing for Interski this week in Courmayeur. Please be
aware that they do not do lessons for children under 7 in any of the
resorts including Pila.


"They" meaning Interski, or the local ski schools? If Interski doesn't,
that's irrelevant to us: we wouldn't be going with Interski. If the ski
school there doesn't, that would seem extraordinary, but yes, it would be a
fatal flaw in the Pila plan...

It hadn't occurred to me that that might be a problem. It had occurred to
me that, since the resort is mostly used by Italians (and British school
groups who have Interski instructors, a separate system), the instructors
might not speak much English. I don't think that would much faze my son,
oddly enough: he has a little Italian (more to understand than to speak,
but at least he'd follow basic instructions without needing them repeated
in English). I see that the online booking form for the Aosta valley ski
schools, while it doesn't let you specify the age of your child (which is
what I was hoping), does let you specify English as the language, so at
least they _claim_ to have someone who speaks English (and honestly, these
days it would be surprising if any instructor in Italy had no English at
all).

We are now thinking to go over New Year, rather than at half term, mostly
because it lets us do the journeys in two days rather than one, which is
more fun (we like to travel independently and do something enjoyable on the
way, in this case, probably see a bit of Milan). Fewer school kids, more
Italian holiday-makers; but really, since we want somewhere convenient to
get to anyway, there are going to be crowds at NY to some extent wherever
we go.

My son visited Pila yesterday and he was surprised at two things, the
first being the lack of green runs and secondly the age of the lifts.
But on the plus he says that the food is wonderful.


This is one of our major reasons for preferring Italy for next year - it's
been too long...! (The other is the language.)

in WTSS Courmayeur gets a good write up for the village ambience.


Yes, but "tiresome walk and cable-car journey between village and slopes"
rules it out for this year. (Yes, I did look at the hotel very close to the
cable-car station; but even so, walking a bit, queuing carrying skis - no,
still serious drawback.)

We did go back to the drawing board a bit after the negative comments about
Pila, but I think we may end up going there anyway. Considered Oberlech
seriously, and will probably go some day, but it's twice the price in the
end, and Austrian food/language/ambience doesn't appeal to the same extent
as Italian! We really want something other than a French purpose-built
resort, but with the same level of convenience and good snow-sure-ness -
that's evidently a tall order. More suggestions still welcome :-)

Thanks for your input!

Perdita


  #14  
Old May 11th 08, 12:19 PM posted to rec.skiing.resorts.europe
[email protected]
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Posts: 17
Default Pila

On 26 Mar, 12:57, Perdita Stevens wrote:
ParalyticSkiCrazie *writes:

* My son is instructing for Interski this week in Courmayeur. Please be
* aware that they do not do lessons for children under 7 in any of the
* resorts including Pila.

"They" meaning Interski, or the local ski schools? If Interski doesn't,
that's irrelevant to us: we wouldn't be going with Interski. If the ski
school there doesn't, that would seem extraordinary, but yes, it would be a
fatal flaw in the Pila plan...

It hadn't occurred to me that that might be a problem. It had occurred to
me that, since the resort is mostly used by Italians (and British school
groups who have Interski instructors, a separate system), the instructors
might not speak much English. I don't think that would much faze my son,
oddly enough: he has a little Italian (more to understand than to speak,
but at least he'd follow basic instructions without needing them repeated
in English). I see that the online booking form for the Aosta valley ski
schools, while it doesn't let you specify the age of your child (which is
what I was hoping), does let you specify English as the language, so at
least they _claim_ to have someone who speaks English (and honestly, these
days it would be surprising if any instructor in Italy had no English at
all).

We are now thinking to go over New Year, rather than at half term, mostly
because it lets us do the journeys in two days rather than one, which is
more fun (we like to travel independently and do something enjoyable on the
way, in this case, probably see a bit of Milan). Fewer school kids, more
Italian holiday-makers; but really, since we want somewhere convenient to
get to anyway, there are going to be crowds at NY to some extent wherever
we go.

* My son visited Pila yesterday and he was surprised at two things, the
* first being the lack of green runs and secondly the age of the lifts.
* But on the plus he says that the food is wonderful.

This is one of our major reasons for preferring Italy for next year - it's
been too long...! (The other is the language.)

* in WTSS Courmayeur gets a good write up for the village ambience.

Yes, but "tiresome walk and cable-car journey between village and slopes"
rules it out for this year. (Yes, I did look at the hotel very close to the
cable-car station; but even so, walking a bit, queuing carrying skis - no,
still serious drawback.)

We did go back to the drawing board a bit after the negative comments about
Pila, but I think we may end up going there anyway. Considered Oberlech
seriously, and will probably go some day, but it's twice the price in the
end, and Austrian food/language/ambience doesn't appeal to the same extent
as Italian! We really want something other than a French purpose-built
resort, but with the same level of convenience and good snow-sure-ness -
that's evidently a tall order. More suggestions still welcome :-)


I know it's been a long while since the thread was live
but I have a couple of things.

I was in Aosta for 3 months, skiing every day at Pila
a while back (BASI/Interski Gap year thingy).

As you know Pila is a very small village, there is
no part of it very far from a Ski lift. I did not
explore it thoroughly but there is not much to explore.
There are quite a few appartments but I doubt that there
will be too much choice in the evening eating department.

One of the Hotels was definately ski in ski out.

Although the resort is small by any standard
there is a decent amount of skiing for beginners
and intermediates with some difficult enough
places for experienced skiers.

If open, there is an enormous bumps run
that certainly kept me happy for quite a while.

When I was there (4 years ago?) there were a
new high speed detachable lift (6 person chair) and
other similar lifts and while some of the lifts are a bit
elderly I must say that I do prefer them (Leitner?) to the
usual Dopplemyer ones in France. Very safe for
beginners, children and the inattentive (me).

There will be a number of English speaking instructors
in the local Ski School (Italians, to be clear) but possibly
at peak times they will all be working for Interski?

Pila is north facing and holds the snow very well
however when I was there it did not snow very much.
No idea if this is the usual pattern or not. For sure
Courmayer was closed/unpleasant due to weather
(blizzard - i.e. snow) more than once and we were open
with fine blue skies as usual. The end result was
plenty of snow on piste and blue skies for months
on end even though it hardly snowed at all apart from
a big dump at the end of January.

At new year the sun will rise/set quite late/early.

I was there over Easter and I certainly don't recall much
of that terrible queuing sensation familiar to those
who ski in Scotland at the weekends. It is especially
reasonable in the morning since it takes a while for the
Aosta based and the visitors to get there. Interski also
didn't start lessons 'til 9:30.

There were several decent mountain restaurants but I
did not visit them much since I was tied to Interski
pre-paid ones mostly. That reminds me it was near
the best restaurant that I saw the woman with the
small furry animal sticking out from under her
coat. Ferret, kind of thing but sort of lush looking.
Mink?

The views from the mountain are stunning with both Mont
Blanc and the Matterhorn in view on the other side of the
Aosta valley.

Altogether if you think you can get a decent meal there
and if you think the snow will be there at New Year I
would do it in the situation you describe.

If you want to be on a different piste for every
run go somewhere else.

  #15  
Old May 13th 08, 08:24 PM posted to rec.skiing.resorts.europe
Perdita Stevens
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Posts: 10
Default Pila

Thank you, very helpful - and reminds me that I need to settle this and get
booked...

Perdita
 




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