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Talk to me about... Chamonix.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Whitegold, you are so full of poop.

Brevent is 2 minutes from my front door.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chamonix is too spread out and a real faff, especially when you go to the likes of Megeve and other French resorts. The skiing can also be quite hard work and both times we have been there have come away thinking it wasn't actually that enjoyable because it was such hard work on the pistes. Still good for apres ski though.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@emmaski, ?? The skiing can be hard work?
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Gerry wrote:

Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal being told what they're doing wrong.


If someone has reached a decent enough standard that they can get around the mountain safely without endangering themselves or others whilst having a huge amount of fun then what exactly are they doing 'wrong'?

Yes, with (more) lessons they might look a bit prettier or ski a bit more efficiently but what if they don't give a toss about that and care more about having fun and getting a bit of exercise with their families/friends? People can enjoy running, playing football/rugby etc without constant instruction and benefit from it without trying to be perfect. Why is skiing any different?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hey this guy is a low time boarder with only indoor experience.

We don't know if he has ever ridden a drag lift. see
http://youtube.com/v/xUkTw7w5CCY

Lets not send him ANYWHERE he may be faced with a long drag lift and better still somewhere he can ride chairlifts.

It is a while since I have been to Cham but I remember there being loads of drag lifts and often even the blue runs have nasty narrow steep sections. Not good for your first outdoor run.

To the OP. I am strongly suggesting you get a private lesson on your first morning. Not because you need the tuition but because the instructor SHOULD know what area best suits your ability. He should get you to do a couple of turns on a baby slope and that is usually enough to suss your level. Then he will take you somewhere you can cope with slope.

Failing that ask some one to help you make sense of the piste map and find a short chair lift with a green run and a blue run coming off it.

However if you can ride a button lift [ drag lift ] then Le Tour should give you confidence for your first morning.

Just don't go high for your first run and set off down something that you can't cope with. If you do this check your medical and mountain recovery insurance.
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@danieljw, stayed at the criox blanche last year , and had breakfast there most days , 13 euro was reasonable and you can make yourself a very good packed lunch at the same time . although i did usually walk 20yds over the road for a decent expresso at the "irish cafe" most mornings before walking up the hill to brevent ( also there free wi fi is great )
as for boarding , if your happy with drags go to the savoy area ( 2 min from the hotel ) do a few warm up laps there then progress over to brevent using the first bubble and the new lift to access the beginners area , then you will have plenty of options for the day to keep you happy , "brev bar"
at the top of the first bubble is a great place for an on mountain drink if the weather is ok .
if the weather/visablity is poor head straight to les houches for the day and you'll be good . i would say if your only in town for a few days don't go to le tour as its a long way back if the conditions arent good and the wind is blowing . apres at mbc for sure and at le pub and bar du sports both near to hotel . or the open air bar L'M is joined to your hotel .
have fun you'll love it snowHead
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Quote:

I remember there being loads of drag lifts


Not really these days. A few but Floria apart (which OP is pretty unlikely to get to) I can only thing of ones that can be avoided by careful chair choice. The CMB have also done loads of mountain reconstruction in recent years and blues are pretty consistently blue.

And aren't most snow domes drag assisted anyway? (I've only ever been to one, once).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes, you can ride the blues at Brevent and (via the cable car) the blues and greens at Flegere all day without using a drag lift.
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From what I can tell by maps and piste maps,

The plan praz lift is the closest to get me to the greens but takes me to the bottom of the greens not the top, or a lift to the black at the top of brevent?
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danieljw wrote:
From what I can tell by maps and piste maps,

The plan praz lift is the closest to get me to the greens but takes me to the bottom of the greens not the top, or a lift to the black at the top of brevent?


Brevent is absolutely closest to you, but for me I would still be really tempted to go to Les Houches or Le Tour on your very first day. Granted, they're a bus journey away, and it's also clearly a matter of perspective as there are some differing thoughts on here, but I really think that Les Houches would be such a good introduction to mountain riding for you.

Only problem is, Les Houches is only covered by the wider Mont Blanc pass, not the Chamonix pass (which is just Brevent / Flegere, Grands Montets and Le Tour).
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??

As for Chamonix being too much of a hassle to go to different places, that's just weird, considering that most people will have probably driven for an hour, sat around for a couple of hours, sat on a plane for 90minutes, another hour in the airport and then another 90minutes on a bus to get here.....to then conclude that 20 minutes on a bus or train to GM or les houches is a hassle rolling eyes
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal with being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??



No, don't be stupid...oh, too late, your already were. rolling eyes
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal with being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??



No, don't be stupid...oh, too late, your already were. rolling eyes


The OP has taken lessons already. Your the one who is saying that he shouldn't be going up without taking more, but yet you say that everyone has something to learn.

I'm not sure why you feel that you can go up without more lessons, but he cant.

You see to be ignoring the fact that no one is telling the OP not to take lessons, just confirming and giving him the confidence that if he chooses to, he can go up a hill and implement what he has already learned. If he chooses to then take more lessons after a day or two, then great, he can do that as well, if not then he carry on enjoying his holiday as is.

You seem for some reason to want to take away that choice. Well...unfortunately you cant, you're going to have to come to terms with that, and if that means that next time your on the hill you get to ski past a snowboarder who in your eye's isn't good enough to be out with an instructor, can I just refer you to the tutting thread:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=123080&highlight=tutting
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal with being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??



No, don't be stupid...oh, too late, your already were. rolling eyes


The OP has taken lessons already. Your the one who is saying that he shouldn't be going up without taking more, but yet you say that everyone has something to learn.

I'm not sure why you feel that you can go up without more lessons, but he cant.


All I'm saying is that the real mountain is different to a dome and that an instructor for half a day might to a good idea. Is there any harm in giving such advice?
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ok its going to be easier to clear things up here.

I have had lessons. i have done all the levels 123 beginner, the 456 improve, i have also countless hours under my belt riding of my own free will. im able to ride switch, i can press, ollie, 180 etc.. thats where im at. although this is in the dome, so i would say my edge control is there.. if people think i still might need a lesson then im not going to say your wrong. i have never been on a mountain.

i dont mind traveling 10 mins down the road to somewhere that will give me a better introduction to the mountain.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
eddiethebus wrote:


You seem for some reason to want to take away that choice. Well...unfortunately you cant, you're going to have to come to terms with that, and if that means that next time your on the hill you get to ski past a snowboarder who in your eye's isn't good enough to be out with an instructor, can I just refer you to the tutting thread:


Giving someone a bit of advice isn't the same as denying them a choice.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:


The plan praz lift is the closest to get me to the greens but takes me to the bottom of the greens not the top, or a lift to the black at the top of brevent?


You are correct, the Plan Prax gondola will take you up to the start of a blue called Blanchots... Do not be tempted by going up the further cable car to the top of the black.

And on second thoughts, Plan Prax/Blanchots might not be the best run to start on. The beginning is flat for boarders, and then it opens out into a nice bowl which you may find a bit steep, and then a forest path which is a flat again, before another steep section. At the bottom, the chair lift called Parsa will take you up to the start of a very small green run, which is served by a drag lift. The other green section you can see on the piste map is the path back down to the gondola.

Le Tour would be a better bet.. there are some longer green runs at the bottom there served by drag lifts, and then when you've got your legs you can take the Gondola up and head onto a chairlift for some blues.

Heading to Flegere might also be an idea for your first day - it's nearer to where you are staying than Le Tour, it's served by a Cable Car and there are a couple of longer green runs, called le Trappe and Libellines which are served by a slow moving chair lift... and if you are feeling confident later on, there is a cable car linking Flegere to Brevent, so you could head over to Brevent and board there, and get the gondola down at close of play.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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danieljw wrote:
ok its going to be easier to clear things up here.

I have had lessons. i have done all the levels 123 beginner, the 456 improve, i have also countless hours under my belt riding of my own free will. im able to ride switch, i can press, ollie, 180 etc.. thats where im at. although this is in the dome, so i would say my edge control is there.. if people think i still might need a lesson then im not going to say your wrong. i have never been on a mountain.

i dont mind traveling 10 mins down the road to somewhere that will give me a better introduction to the mountain.


Just ask yourself whether or not you want more lessons and if so when you want to take them. If the answer is yes, than your first morning on a real mountain might be a good time to start. It's totally your choice, but I know you know that, unlike eddietheidiot.
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Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal with being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??



No, don't be stupid...oh, too late, your already were. rolling eyes


The OP has taken lessons already. Your the one who is saying that he shouldn't be going up without taking more, but yet you say that everyone has something to learn.

I'm not sure why you feel that you can go up without more lessons, but he cant.


All I'm saying is that the real mountain is different to a dome and that an instructor for half a day might to a good idea. Is there any harm in giving such advice?


That's not what you're doing though. You said he'd only done 150m on a board and insinuated that the wouldn't be ok, and that he would be totally out of control.

android, there's a new lift from the top of plan praz that now takes people to the top of the green area so you can avoid going down to the drag or the magic carpet to get back up so it keeps you in the green area and avoids that flat cat track.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@eddiethebus, I'm not sure that's a particularly good argument...plus if buses busy and you miss one, that's possibly 50 minutes, not 20.

@Kingofthec, Unless the weather's poor, I don't think Les Houches is sufficiently an advantage, personally.
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eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Just because people aren't as good as you doesn't mean they need "lessons in control".


Every lesson is a lesson in how to be better in control and I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from lessons. Of course some people are too egotistical to deal with being told what they're doing wrong.


I assume that you, without exception, take lessons every minute of every day that you are on a mountain then??



No, don't be stupid...oh, too late, your already were. rolling eyes


The OP has taken lessons already. Your the one who is saying that he shouldn't be going up without taking more, but yet you say that everyone has something to learn.

I'm not sure why you feel that you can go up without more lessons, but he cant.


All I'm saying is that the real mountain is different to a dome and that an instructor for half a day might to a good idea. Is there any harm in giving such advice?


That's not what you're doing though. You said he'd only done 150m on a board and insinuated that the wouldn't be ok, and that he would be totally out of control.


Now I think you're just being obtuse. The OP has done lots of short repetitive runs on a low angle slop with consistent snow. The mountain is different and an instructor might be a real help and the OP might have more fun more safely by using one.
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Quote:

android, there's a new lift from the top of plan praz that now takes people to the top of the green area so you can avoid going down to the drag or the magic carpet to get back up so it keeps you in the green area and avoids that flat cat track.


Oh yes! I read about that new lift in the winter. In that case #OP, I think you would be perfectly fine at Plan Praz. You could ride the green until you are confident taking the blues.
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took us 1.5 hrs coming from Argentiere back to Cham at about 5pm. Had to stand all the way back and was fooking knackered. Thats the reason I haven't been back to Cham but had amazing snow there and a great week. Les Houches drag was horrible and I fell off once but luckily got back on again. Chambre Neuf was good fun as was some aussie bar/club that was very messy about 2am onwards.
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I'm not a snowboarder but I have been on holiday with one in the same situation as you i.e. done loads indoors. He was fine doing blues from the first day. For about 5 mins. Then he needed a rest. 2 mins later (max) he needed another so we split up (there were about 10 of us). The analogy that comes to mind is that you've done a bit of light sprinting but now you're facing a steeplechase with every run. I think he was managing reds by the end of the week. Still slow and needed plenty of stops though.

My advice is do lots of aerobic exercise involving your legs before you go. Cycling, running, gym whatever.

And any drags you do find will be going a lot faster than in a dome. Have clear plan for where the button/t-bar is going before you approach and you should be fine. At least you are used to drag lifts but always a good idea to start with one you can walk away from rather than something a mile or more hike from anywhere. Reduces the pressure somewhat. Enjoy yourself, it's miles better in the mountains.
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@danieljw, As others have said, Brevent/Flegere area is definitely your best bet, you'll be fine up there. It's your closest lift, the whole area's in the sun all day (if it's sunny!) the blues and greens are all fairly benign and if you've done many hours in the dome and can do all of the things you say with a reasonable degree of confidence then even the runs under the Cornu Chair (Brev.) and the Index chair (Flegere) shouldn't be beyond you. You're not there during the school holidays and in Cham, the good/fast skiers don't really ski on the pistes much anyway so they'll be fairly empty - especially midweek.

I wouldn't go up the top cable car at Brev as that can really mess with your head if it's your first time (I know from personal experience!), the Floria drag in Flegere isn't a good idea either. I'd also avoid the liaison run between the top of Cornu and and the cable car between Brev/Fleg (called Liaison) as it's largely a steepish narrow track - there's a small chair to bypass that anyway.

Les Houches is a nice area with a good variety of terrain and a lot of people head there on poor weather days as there's a lot of pistes in the trees which helps you to see where you're going and it's really not far on the bus. A good tip is always to check the webcams though as it can sometimes be the case that there's a layer of low level cloud in the valley which makes it seem quite grim but actually the skiing at Brev/Fleg is all in the sun above the cloud!

Have fun!
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danieljw wrote:
ok its going to be easier to clear things up here.

I have had lessons. i have done all the levels 123 beginner, the 456 improve, i have also countless hours under my belt riding of my own free will. im able to ride switch, i can press, ollie, 180 etc.. thats where im at. although this is in the dome, so i would say my edge control is there.. if people think i still might need a lesson then im not going to say your wrong. i have never been on a mountain.

i dont mind traveling 10 mins down the road to somewhere that will give me a better introduction to the mountain.


Dude, I went to Cham for my first ever trip alone...then went back for two seasons. Brevent will be fine for your first ever run in the mountains. Take the bubble up and the first chair, then head down (massive wide piste full of beginners). When it narrows you have the chance to get on a drag lift, ignore it and keep going down until you see two chairlifts...Take the one that points in the direction you've just come from.

Congratulations, you've just done your first run on a real mountain! After the first day most of Brevent/Flegere will be within your capabilities. Le Tour is worth the bus ride for a couple of days. Forget Grand Montets (unless you want one run top to bottom towards the end of the week just to say you've ridden it, the one run will prob take you an hour or two as a beginner...it's that long!) and Les Houches (not worth the hassle of getting to as you've Brevent on your doorstep).

If you've been spooked by anyone on here and want to take it cautious, head to Planards for your first half a day (less than £20) to find your feet and take in the stunning Chamonix Valley!

Enjoy, I wish I was coming with you!!!!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Gerry wrote:
It's totally your choice, but I know you know that, unlike eddietheidiot.


haha congratulations, a near perfect 180. You've managed to concede he has a choice while giving the impression its your idea, pretend that I was telling him he shouldn't take lessons and name call in one very short sentence.

Bravo, you totally win the internet.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just to put them all in one place (what can I say, injury breeds boredom...)

Gerry wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@danieljw, Croix Blanche a great location for town.

If the Savoy drags and slopes are open, you might find it quicker to walk to the drag - I appreciate you're a boarder so that might not appeal.

Frankly, with board and boots, I'd be thinking of walking up to Brevent, it's a 5-6 minute walk.


He's never been on the mountain before, so if he goes up there on his own...


Gerry wrote:
under a new name wrote:
Quote:

He's never been on the mountain before, so if he goes up there on his own...


As long as he stays on the pistes and pays attention to open/closed shouldn't be huge issue. Should it?


If you say so.



[quote="Gerry"]
under a new name wrote:
Quote:


I don't see why anyone wouldn't say that.


He's only done the equivalent of 150m ish on a green and you're pointing him up to Brevent saying 'you'll be fine on your own'?


Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
under a new name wrote:
Quote:

He's never been on the mountain before, so if he goes up there on his own...


As long as he stays on the pistes and pays attention to open/closed shouldn't be huge issue. Should it?


If you say so.


why not? he's going up a mountain with easy access to easy slopes to go snowboarding. He's not going wingsuit flying for the first time.



Yeah, but the piste has far too any people on it who think they're actually flying a wingsuit already.


Gerry wrote:
eddiethebus wrote:
No. I've never had the experience of going to public school.

I snowboard, if that's what you're asking, although I don't really understand what relevance that has to the OP's ability to get in a lift and go snowboarding for the day.


Boarder, snowboarder, same thing in my book. Anyway, when I look around any piste I see a fair few people who look like they need lessons in control.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
eddiethebus wrote:
Gerry wrote:
It's totally your choice, but I know you know that, unlike eddietheidiot.


haha congratulations, a near perfect 180. You've managed to concede he has a choice while giving the impression its your idea, pretend that I was telling him he shouldn't take lessons and name call in one very short sentence.

Bravo, you totally win the internet.


You really are a tool. Your shawman argument is that according to you, I want to force his to take lessons (how?), remove his choice in the matter (how?) and that somehow I am now conceding that I don't have that power.

My opinion is merely that, given his limited experience, lessons are a good idea.

You want to make more of it than that, then drop me a PM and we can sort it out without boring the rest of them stupid with this back and forth nonsense.

Over to you (via PM).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Whose is this handbag??
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Blimey @Gerry, calm down son, it's only the internet and a guy asking if he'll enjoy going for a ride in the best ski domain on the planet! (That's in my opinion by the way, others share my opinion, I like those others, some others don't, those others should be shot - or forced to take lessons until they agree with me!)

Anyhow, I'm out in Cham Fri-Sun and as I know my way around fairly well, I'm going to REALLY enjoy it, Woohoo Smile !
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:

And aren't most snow domes drag assisted anyway? (I've only ever been to one, once).


Yes, you shouldn't have a problem with buttons, though they can be a little aggressive sometimes. Same with T bars - my mate managed 'the longest T bar in the world' in the Swiss PDS the other day having only ever seen buttons before. They are very similar though T bars are even more painful on a snowboard.

Gerry & Eddie just get a room - the chemistry is palpable.
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At least one of the button lifts at Le Tour gives a few comedy moments.
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@danieljw don't be afraid to hit the piste or off piste have fun and stay safe.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
well this thread was one hell of a welcoming, I think ill stick around Very Happy

Again thank you to everyone for the tips and guidance.

one more question... where is 'the place to go' for board hire?
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danieljw wrote:
well this thread was one hell of a welcoming, I think ill stick around Very Happy

Again thank you to everyone for the tips and guidance.

one more question... where is 'the place to go' for board hire?


For decent equipment hire you're absolutely going to the right place. I can't help with examples but I know that most French ski shops rent very shoddy and poorly sized snowboard gear. I gather Cham is different.

Post a thread in the snowboard section with your weight and shoe size and and we can all have a massive argu.... I mean discussion about the best length/width/shape/profile/flex rating of snowboard for you. Whehey! Is it snowing yet?
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@danieljw, there's a board specific shop beside your hotel. Board Riders or something. No idea if they rent kit. Or further along, I'm sure Snell rent. Or even further along, Coquoz definitely do and they'll give you a 10% discount if you say you're stayng at Maison Argoat.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
danieljw wrote:
well this thread was one hell of a welcoming, I think ill stick around Very Happy

Again thank you to everyone for the tips and guidance.

one more question... where is 'the place to go' for board hire?


There's a hire shop under your hotel. I think they do boards. Took my skis there for a service last Thursday, when I went to get them on Friday morning they hadn't done them for some reason, but gave me a brand new free hire pair. Took the hire pair back and they didn't even charge me for the service. Very Happy
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I board a bit as well as ski. Sounds like you may only have ridden a carpet. Do not underestimate the difficulty that boarders have with button lifts till they get the knack. BFD.

However FFS take your time and look around while you are up there. it should blow you away. Seriously magnificent mountains with many many stories.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
…probably right…but lively town at night…suggest head out to La Tour…lots of relaxing riding and very pretty….
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FreeRider
Posts: 5908
Chamonix sucks for noobs.
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