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Grand Massif 2016/2017 snow report, Les Carroz, Flaine, Samoens, Morillon & Sixt

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
These lifts are now open:
- Morillon : Esserts, Bergin, Biollaires, beginner button lift
- Samoëns : GME, Vercland gondola, Damoiseaux, Demoiselles, beginner button lifts, magic carpet

A tree has touched Morillon gondola's cables and it will reopen once they've cleared it safely. In the meantime, a ski bus service has been put in place between Morillon village and Les Esserts.

The avalanche risk is high (4/5). See today's Bulletin de Risque d'Avalanche here http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/bulletin-avalanches/chablais/opp01. Upper lifts are not opening yet as there are fears for skiers' safety in current conditions. Great prudence is recommended.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We skied in Les Carroz this morning without realising there were problems elsewhere, as we'd already made the decision to stay in the trees and in Les Carroz as other half had a fall yesterday and needed to take it easy. All the links were closed first thing, but the link to Flaine was open by about midday.

It was snowing either heavily or very heavily all morning, but has eased off in the last hour or so in Les Carroz village.

@stewwrlfc, according to the Grand Massif website, it looks as if both Morillon and Samoens remain closed. So sorry for people who are only here for a week and thought they had hit lucky to have lots of snow, when the reverse seems to be true.
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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?
@sj1608, as is often the case... heavy snow brings its own problems...
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We are considering booking Les Terrasses d'Hélios, Flaine for the first week of the easter holiday, arriving 1 April. It's a ski in/out place, do you think that there will be sufficient snow? We stayed at 1800m last year in Avoriaz, and conditions were great but Flaine is a bit lower. Sounds like there is a lot of new snow at the moment, but will that last 3+ weeks if not topped up, plus temperatures increasing? Hoping to book tonight, or tomorrow at the latest, so if anyone can offer any advice I'd be really grateful!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@itsbeenawhile, I would have thought Flaine would be fine that week based on current snow depths. I haven't been to the GM yet this season so hopefully someone who is there now can confirm.
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@itsbeenawhile, It's impossible to say for certain but they try very hard to keep the run down from Helios/Eos to the bottom of the Gerats chair open for as long as possible. Helios is at about 1650m so not too far below Avoriaz. I will be out there that same week so I am very much hoping that it will be open. Both Helios and its sister block, Terrasses d'Eos, are lovely apartments and if all else fails there is a very good (free) bus service that takes you down to the bottom of the Grands Vans chair and access to the whole of the Grand Massif ski area.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi, snowymum and Chris, thanks for replying. It is really helpful to get some advice. I think we will have to chance it and fingers crossed the run is open. Flaine does tick a lot of boxes and the apartments do look great. I was hopeful that we would have a good covering at hotel and village level but we maybe need to go earlier in the year for that. Just another question if you don't mind, although not sure if I should post on another chat; would you recommend ESF or ESI for lessons based on Les Terraces d'Helios location? ESF was okay last year, but the instructor wasn't overly friendly and I wanted it to be a bit more fun this year for the kids; it's only their second year skiing.
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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!
@itsbeenawhile, I have sent you a PM re; Flaine. I forgot to say that I'm afraid I don't know about the ski schools in Flaine itself as we have always used ESF in Les Carroz.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@itsbeenawhile, ESI every time, especially from that location.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@rungsp, thanks, I'm a bit confused as ESI looks like it picks up further away. I think our apartments (still researching whether to book Puzzled) are 7 or 8 on this map http://www.esi-grandmassif.com/flaine-en/ecole/rassemblement.html, if so I think ESF pick up closer. From what I've read though ESI sound like the better ski school?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@itsbeenawhile, ESI has a better reputation, as @rungsp, said. However, I don't think ESI collect from and return to Helios/Eos whereas, certainly for young kids, ESF do. The downside of collecting and dropping off at the development is that they spend the first and last 20 minutes (or thereabouts) of each lesson faffing around on the slopes and chair close to the development before they get to the main ski area. I would guess that the lessons start at 9.30 each morning and looking at the ESI website they have a meeting point close to the bottom of the Grands Vans lift, which is at the far end of Flaine Foret. Assuming your kids are not complete beginners it will take you no more than 15 minutes to get from Helios to the bottom of Grands Vans. The chair you need to take is Gerats and this opens at 9.00. There is also a free bus that runs about every 10 minutes at peak times and that takes about 10 minutes to get to the bottom of Grands Vans. Picking up the kids from Grands Vans also means that you get another 15 minutes skiing in before having to meet them. I should add that I have no vested interest in either organisation!
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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.
@itsbeenawhile, You could also consider Le Centaure residence which might be more convenient for ski school and has a large pool. I haven't stayed there but have skied past it and it looks well located.
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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
@itsbeenawhile, agree that ESI has the better reputation but they had some issues around having enough instructors for Flaine at the start of the season (rumoured to be related to commercial/financial activity), so you may want to double check that they will have instructors by that stage of the season.

Centaure is definitely better situated for lessons and you might also want to consider the Hotel Totem, which is newly refurbed and in a great position. I have no experience of either.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for all the advice. I would never have considered that time would be wasted before the lesson, and therefore dropping off/picking up further away could actually be an advantage. I've been struggling to get hold of ESI so hope that is not a sign that they have issues this Easter. I'm going to wait until they confirm availability and then we'll book accommodation. We have shortlisted Helios, Le Centaur and Totem so thanks for the recommendations! I am favouring being closer to the lessons and restaurants (Centaur/Totem) but they are the pricier of the three.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Flying out on Saturday, how are things looking following the warm week?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@linkem, they're looking warm and soft! Overall, things are holding up very well, it's very slushy in the afternoon, but cover in most places is still good.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I wanted to note that in LC we are strong fans of ESF as opposed to any of the others. The team is stable, as it is made up of locals, some of whom are the sons and daughters of previous instructors. They have always, always been kind and friendly with the children, from their first foray onto skis at Piou Piou right through to gold badge graduation (which they do not hand out like smarties), and now encouraging them into racing...and even phoning friends who run race school in Flaine, to make the introductions. I think that with all of these things it is the individuals, as opposed to the name on the door that counts.
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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?
Rained all day Saturday. Warn this morning before the clouds rolled in, but stayed dry. Spring skiing which was good, however not been anywhere like it for how moguled (tourmaline, serpentine) the runs were. Ski in ski out at D'Helios very soft, not a great start of the day on the board, but does work well. Although just made the last lift at 5.20 to get back. ESF convenient and son enjoyed his morning with them.
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@linkem, what you have on those runs are not true moguls, they're just heaps of loose snow that are kicked up by skiers and boarders during the day, although i agree they are hard work to ski. Get up early and the pistes are all smooth. If you want to see real hard packed moguls, take the Diamant Noir chair lift and watch the skiers on the Diamant Noir run below!

Sun shining brightly today,looks like being another good skiing day. Saturday's top up of snow made for a lovely morning of skiing high in Flaine yesterday.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sj1608,
Quote:

If you want to see real hard packed moguls, take the Diamant Noir chair lift and watch the skiers on the Diamant Noir run below!

done this a couple of years back and can vouch for that! one of the hardest ski runs i've experienced or at least the most difficult of coditions, moguls at least a metre high and very plentiful!
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@northantsred, I have no wish at all to do the run, but enjoy watching other people from above! It was closed today, so nothing to see.

Beautiful day today in Flaine, brilliant sunshine with a few bits of cloud. Things were icy first thing, then nice for a few hours and by 2pm it was very soft and hard on the legs. There is still loads of snow, and if you are prepared to start early it's easy to get 5 hours or so in before it becomes harder work. Pistes were very quiet and very few speed merchants, which made a pleasant change.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Large hole opened up at bottom of serpentine today, just avoided as it had not been marked off. Underground stream running fast with all the meltwater. Still plenty on fun to be had up top, till the clouds rolled in this afternoon and visibility became very low and threw the towel in at 3.
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