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If you love snow days, quiet pistes and short lift queues, then January is the ideal month for you. Along with off season ski deals and peaceful slopes, January is the perfect month to go to the mountains for any avid skier or snowboarder. Once Christmas and New Year is over and children go back to school, you’ll find skiing in January one of the quietest points of the season. As companies aim to fill as much accommodation as possible, you will find cheap deals and offers for this time of year.
Conditions are normally excellent at this time of year as January tends to be the coldest month of winter, plus one of the snowiest. Many resorts will still be building up their snow bases, but with the low temperatures it is one of the most snow sure points of winter. Here is an overview of the snow last season:
January 2014 snow depths in popular ski resorts
Val d’Isere – 99cm Tignes – 109cm Meribel – 81cm St Anton – 62cm Les Arcs – 102cm Alpe d’Huez – 139 cm Val Thorens – 126cm Zermatt – 153 cm Avoriaz – 149 cm Pas de la Casa – 135cm
Whether you book last minute or in advance you will always find good deals for January. For an overview of the cheapest deals available, take a look at our cheap ski holidays page where you can view the lowest price for each departure date in January, including Friday departures and short breaks.
Self-catering Apartments Cassiopee Apartments in La Plagne, France. From £199 pp based on 3 people sharing on 3rd and 10th January Located in the top village in La Plagne, Belle Plagne, these apartments are in the heart of the village and surrounded by the shops, restaurants and bars. It’s a perfect location to get out skiing quickly where you can either join the bubble in Belle Plagne to take you up the Roche de Mio, or the slopes are less than 50 m away where you can ski down to Bellecote to join the chairlifts.
Chalet Natalia II in Meribel Mottaret, FranceFrom £417 pp based on 2 people sharing on 3rd January Chalet Natalia 2 is also great for getting out on to the mountain quick as it is just 100m away from the slopes. Meribel Mottaret is located just above Meribel so you can enjoy the higher mountain views and avoid the lifts in the centre of Meribel.
Half Board Hotel Hotel Aiguille Rouge in Les Arcs, FranceFrom £449 pp based on 3 people sharing on 3rd January Conveniently placed in ski in – ski out accommodation, this hotel has easy access to lifts and the ski area. Les Arcs has skiing suitable for all abilities, from the blue runs surrounding the Arc 2000 village to the variety of long blues and reds across the resort. Advanced skiers can enjoy the black pistes from Aiguille Rouge summit or take advantage of the extra 225km of skiing in neighbouring La Plagne.
02 Jan 2014 – Sainte Foy, France 24 Jan 2014 – Morzine, France
January skiing deals | Cheap Ski Holidays | Ultimate Apres Ski Guide
Iglu take a look at the brand new 4 trident resort from Club Med. Club Med are famous for their all-inclusive ski holidays located on the slopes so you can get the most out of your week skiing. Situated in Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens Sensations is opening for its first guests on 14th December 2014. 2 weeks before the launch, Iglu are in resort to take a sneak peek at the latest offering from Club Med. The design is new for Club Med; it promises to be unique and is aimed at adults and experienced skiers and boarders. Take a look at the remarkable new hotel: Read more about Club Med Val Thorens Sensations
Beautiful morning in Val Thorens
AJ, Phil & Nick in Val Thorens
The Epicurious, Gourmet Lounge
The Goumet Lounge gets the thumbs up from AJ!
Hot tub with a view
Stunning mountain views from one of the 6 Suites
View ski holidays at Val Thorens Sensations
Black ski runs are the most advanced pistes on the mountain, suited for experienced skiers and snowboarders that can tackle this tricky terrain. Some resorts even go beyond the black piste with double black diamond runs for experts only. I’ve done my fair share of black pistes in the Alps, but as a snowboarder my favourites may differ to a skiers, so with help from our expert ski team: Sales Director, Adam Johnson, Head of Ski Product, James Box and Ski Team Leaders, Nick and Scotty, we’ve put together the ultimate top 5 black runs in Europe. From beginner blacks to harakiri-extreme pistes, you’ll feel like a ski champion after executing these advanced slopes.
5. Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs, France A Black/Red run for starters If your ski legs aren’t warmed up yet, they will be after this. From the top of Aiguille Rouge at 3226m you can take the epic 7 km Aiguille Rouge run down 2000 vertical metres to the village of Villaroger. It’s a mix of terrain starting as a black run for the first half, then a red piste through the trees for the remainder of the run. The steepest section is at the top, after that it feels more like a red run (a blackish red?)
4. Saslong, Selva, Italy
A world class thrill The World Cup Saslong run from Selva down into St Christina ‘is awesome’ says James. It’s not a difficult black run, as there a steeps followed by flats, followed by steeps, etc. So if you are flying down the piste you can get lots of air just as the downhill racers do when the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup comes to Val Gardena. Extreme fun paired with the beautiful scenery and the stunning mountain range backdrop.
3. La Sache, Espace Killy, France Not for the faint hearted AJ: My favourite black run in the Espace Killy is La Sache. There is a big caveat on this though. It must be done before lunch or maybe at lunchtime when the pistes are emptier. Some of the narrower and steeper sections get very crowded with skiers negotiating the monster moguls that form during the day that makes it a nightmare later in the day. Just before lunch is ideal because there is a great little Savoyard restaurant in Tignes-Les-Brévières called La Sachette that you can stop at after. At 1550m, this is the lowest point in the whole Espace Killy and therefore the warmest and best for dining outdoors. Scotty: The first time you do La Sache you just wonder where the hell you are going to end up, it’s steep, bendy but awesome. 2. Grand Couloir, Courchevel, France
Terror at the top
At the top of Saulire at 2700m there is just one of the famous Courchevel couloirs marked on a piste map as a run, the Grand Couloir. This famous piste is often high on the list for the scariest black run in the world and can get extremely mogully if it hasn’t snowed in a while. To get to the Grand Couloir there is a narrow ridge that gets icy and grooved so you can’t turn your skis to slow down. As you pick up speed the ridge gets steeper and bumpier. I’ve seen quite a few skiers lose their nerve and bail out at this stage but if you hold your nerve there is a small space to stop at the end of the track. The GC is steep to start but it quickly widens, it is steeper if you keep to skier’s right and stay in the shadow to get the best snow.
1. Chassoure – Tortin, Verbier, Switzerland
The possibilities are endless
From the Chassoure peak there are a few options to make your descent, depending on the snow fall and conditions these slopes can change daily. From the top you can drop straight in and face the moguls of ‘the wall’ or traverse along and ski down when you see a preferred route. The 700m track takes you down to Tortin where you can head up toward Mont Fort, or tackle the Chassoure-Tortin run again. This was described as a ‘skiers dream’ by one of the team, but beware as this is world renowned as an extreme ski run.
If you're looking to tantalise your extreme taste buds further, here is a quick rundown of more brilliant black pistes in Europe: For Starters: Piste 21 (under Chairlift 1), Kitzbühel, wide black run with flatter sections For Excitement: Through the tunnel in Alpe D’Huez …… stop… out the door…. ARRRHH. Beware, it’s steep. For Fear Factor: Anything down Mont Gele in Verbier. For Endurance: Point de Vue at Grand Montets in Chamonix, the run goes on forever. For Mogul Mania: Top of the Valluga in St Anton, it’s about half a mile of moguls! Gulp factor: Pan du Fou, Nendaz. If you’re a chicken then you turn right:
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