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Warning avoid free ski pass weeks

Dunblane, United...
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61 posts
68 reviews
70 helpful votes
Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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We have recently returned from a week in Livigno. Decided to take advantage of the free ski pass week instead of coming with the family in high season. Upon arrival our accommodation provider told us that there would be very few lifts and runs open. She wasn’t wrong ! 23 chair in town and a handful of Poma lifts were open and cable at carosello. (Run open down to mid station and sometimes Frederia) was completely closed. We literally skied for only a max of 2 hours a day as there are only so many times you can ski a very limited and extremely busy run. We were competing for space to ski with slalom teams and ski schools. In addition to this there were only 2 bus lines running with one bus each. So not only did you have to wait for up to an hour for a bus when it arrived it did not stop as it was seriously overcrowded! We resorted to taxis between carolsellos one run and lift 23 in town. When we complained we were told the conditions were not right to open the whole resort but we were told by many accommodation providers that this wasn’t true and that the staff required to run resort were not being contracted to work until December the 1st at the earliest. Some will say that that the pass was free so why were we complaining? But the other components of the holiday weren’t free; flights from Scotland, transfers, accommodation and food and ski hire and all the pcr tests we had to purchase. Had we have known there would be 10% of the resort open then we simply wouldn’t have come. The very least the resort could have done would have been to state this in their website thus giving us the period to decide when we would come. Incidentally the resort was fully open the second week of free ski and we could have come this week as flights accommodation etc would have been the same price but at least we could have skied on our “ski” holiday. Posting this so that others considering these “free” weeks make sure before they travel that sufficient parts of the resort are running as normal.

8 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34,846 posts
105 reviews
92 helpful votes
1. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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Useful information -- be sure to put it in a review of the sites so others can plan. I think everyone anticipates crowds on free days -- they may not anticipate half the place not being open and available.

salt lake city
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7,827 posts
23 reviews
18 helpful votes
2. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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It would make sense to me that when they charge nothing for skiing they would not have a full crew…how would they pay them?

Maybe you should have done a bit more research before going?

This would make sense for people with little kids who are just learning to ski perhaps.

Ottawa, Canada
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15,783 posts
133 reviews
82 helpful votes
3. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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Sorry but what did you really expect? November skiing when traditionally it's poor if there is any. Some research of the past years would have given you an indication of why it was FREE.

You would need to be at high altitude or next year in November come to Lake Louise in Canada. They always have enough snow and even have world cup races in November.

liverpool
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585 posts
93 reviews
100 helpful votes
4. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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Nothing to do with snow cover, Livigno has good coverage, it just doesn’t open all of the lifts straight away, I think from what I have seen online most if not all the runs were operating fully mid December or even earlier, mottilino opened late (probably due to the refurbishment of the gondola station)

liverpool
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585 posts
93 reviews
100 helpful votes
5. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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Good update, from my experience the ski resort always gradually opens, mottolino delayed opening this year (prob due to refurbishment) , and yes, 2nd week in December resort fully open, the problem with ski free is you can’t plan for the unplannsble i.e. 2017 was one of the worst early season snow in Europe, so there was virtually no snow until early January , hopefully if u go again early, leave it a couple of weeks and you’ll be fine, it’s deffo worth doing given how much money u can save 👍

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735 posts
6. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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I imagine it will be a lot busier this season given that France and now likely Austria is banning us from entry

salt lake city
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7,827 posts
23 reviews
18 helpful votes
7. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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kevc, she went in November. I am not sure how much snow was there in November, and to offer free skiing I am sure staffing was not all there.

you get what you pay for...

liverpool
Level Contributor
585 posts
93 reviews
100 helpful votes
8. Re: Warning avoid free ski pass weeks
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True, but free ski goes day 1 opening (end of November) and stops just before Christmas, my point is the resort is usually completely up and running within 7 days (except for maybe a couple of the lift stations) so always best to hold back a couple of weeks, Livigno is generally snowsure end of November through to end of April / early May

Edited: 29 December 2021, 20:40
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