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Chatel

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Skiing in Chatel early March with extended family. We know very little about Chatel as we usually ski in Wengen. Any advice re lifts, slopes and so on gratefully received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Skiing area is quite spread out, although it's all connected by lifts so no need for any buses.

Pre La Joux area (adjacent to Avoriaz and on the extreme right hand side if looking at a piste map) is where a good chunk of the skiing is, and will offer the best skiing if conditions are mild.

The opposite end is generally much quieter. I was there in early January a couple of years ago and pretty much had the place to myself.

Will you be having the full PDS lift pass or just Chatel one? I think this year they have included the La Chapelle d'abondance ski area to the Chatel pass. This part isn't connected by ski lifts so you would need to get a bus.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 11-11-17 22:42; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Big ski area, pretty town, very French.

Not dissimilar to Wengen, in many ways.

Can struggle with rain and lack of snow in March.
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Whitegold wrote:


Can struggle with rain and lack of snow in March.


Although March and April have provided some of the best conditions in the last couple of seasons! NehNeh
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@mikeycharlton, half of La Chapelle is lift connected (via Super Chatel and Torgon). The other bit (Cret Beni) connects to the bottom of the Braitaz gondola by bus.

With them on the Chatel pass it makes it a decent option.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
DJL wrote:
@mikeycharlton, half of La Chapelle is lift connected (via Super Chatel and Torgon). The other bit (Cret Beni) connects to the bottom of the Braitaz gondola by bus.

With them on the Chatel pass it makes it a decent option.


Yeah that's true. Forgot that the Braitaz area is technically la Chapelle even though it's not linked to Cret Beni.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Better skiing off the gondola. Crét Beni is a really small area. Chatel is nice but town of La Chapelle is a real gem. If snow is decent you'll really enjoy the valley and might not need to get the full PdS pass. Morgins has been having financial issues but I've had great days there with no crowds...could be the reason? Agree that best Chatel slopes are on the side toward Linga and Pré la Journée.
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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!
Pre la Joux and Linga (near each other) are mostly north facing and get keep their snow in the best condition of Chatel.
You can do a circuit of the PdS which is fun if you fancy a journey......
Chatel or Super Chatel to Morgins in Swiss the Swiss side of Pds to Champousin, Les Crossets over to Avoriaz then from Les Linderets in Avoriaz back to Chatel.
With the new links and if it has good snow it's a fab day out.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The smooth park in super Chatel is a really nice and well maintained park - longer than La Chapelle Park in Avoriaz, and way less busy.
Last season we rode it into April ( despite people saying how cr@p the season was).
The boarder X in Super Chatel is steeper and safer than the one in Arare, as you do not get people stopping on it to take photos, or slowing down for the boxes.
There's also an uncrowded area called Chalet-Neuf between Super-Chatel, Torgon and Morgins, and the restaurant does a good goulash.
La Chapelle d'Abondance also has a small boarder X, but best of all is le Fer Rouge micro brewery, with really good beers, happy hour and home made burgers.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
A lot depends on whether you have kids, how old they are, any boarders, level of skiing, type of skiing preferred, the weather, the snow etc. In summary...

- There are 3 directions you can go in from Chatel centre - Linga/Pre la Joux, Morgins, Torgon/La Chappelle.
- The Linga/Pre la Joux area is north-facing and therefore keeps the snow better. It's pretty much all chairs and gets more crowded as a lot of people from other areas, e.g. Avoriaz come here. Once you get past the top of Rochassons, into the Lindarets valley, it can get very crowded during holidays. "Early March" could be the last week of the Feb half term hols, so crowds could be an issue.
- You ski towards Morgins to do the PdS loop clockwise, via the Swiss side. The Swiss side is generally quieter than Avoriaz, but SE-facing with fewer snow cannons, so the snow conditions can be more suspect.
- towards Torgon, it's very, very quiet and there're many draglifts which help keep the crowds away. There are nice views over the Rhone valley and part of Lac Leman. La Chappelle is very very quiet, but the snow conditions can suffer.
- The latter two areas above are accessed via Super Chatel area - more south-facing, quiet with many draglifts and gently undulating slopes through trees, rather than the bowls of Linga/Pre la Joux. South-facing can be good if it's bloody freezing or if it's dark January.
- If the snow's good the Chatel pass offers easily a big enough area for a week's skiing. If it's a bad season and links via Morgins and Torgon are closed, the PdS pass might be better for you, for the sake of variety.
- Everyone seems to charge off to Avoriaz because it's written as higher on the map. The village is indeed a lot higher, but assuming village skiing is not for you, there's not much difference in the maximum height of the lifts - about 150m and for this you have to put up with busier pistes, because a lot of the skiers from Morzine on the other side head there too. Avoriaz is listed as 1800-2466 but the highest lift, the Mossettes France is 2254.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We're staying in Morzine in late January and have done most of the Les Gets and Avoriaz side of the PdS. Looking at the map we've not ventured into the Chatel area so much (not past Pre La Joux anyway)

Looking at the Piste map, for us to get right over to Chatel we'll have to get down a red that runs alongside the L'Echo Alpin lift. A couple of our group are more confident on the blues. Anyone able to say how long this bit of red is and how challenging it is?
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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.
If your coming from Plaine Dranse / Avoriaz, take the road on the right from the top of the Combe chair, and head towards the pisteurs hut and the top of the Echo Alpin.
Affectionately known as "Windy Ridge", the entrance to this Linga Bowl offers great vistas across the 2 valleys and beyond.
The entrance to the red run is a gulley, that is about 15m across.
It can be intimidating at first as the top can be windblown, so the first 20m you can be a bit short of grip if it is cold and has not snowed for a few days - fear not though.
As you drop in, head to the left side, back under the EA lift, and you'll find deeper un-pisted stuff to slow you down. One speed-killer here, then re-join and you'll find the piste / gulley is wider and less steep.
It widens and flattens as you go down.
Also for the blue-runners, from atop windy ridge there is a road / track affair that runs above the gulley on the right hand side. This is pretty gentle and even if you do stray off it, you will normally only find yourself in deepish snow between the road and the piste. The road rejoins the piste where it flattens out, and then you have 300m of blue run the between the café and the drag-lift ( or round the left of the café ), down to the bottom of Echo Alpin.
If you look right there is often a roped off section which is the training piste for the Chatel freestyle team ( moguls and kickers) - you might run into Ben Cavet Smile if he is not in Pyeongchang.
Leave Echo Alpin to your left and head right under the freestyle bit.
There's a blue that goes round the back of the trees to the right, or you can dive down a steeper pitch to a flat where the pistes fork, and the blue feeds back in.
You want La Leiche for the new lifts which link to Super Chatel which is signed on the right.
You need to scrub off a little speed where they meet up, but if you are on a board, try and carry a little speed as the first bit of La Leiche is flat, before it starts to go downhill again.
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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
@WindOfChange, I think NSIS means at the top of Linga, there's no blue alternative for the red. I can't remember if there's a zigzag blue track down the side of the red. The red can either be hard, icy, polished and horrible or due to being north facing, one of the best pistes in the area.

It can be pretty steep and daunting for an intermediate, but I think it's possible to look over the edge, bottle it, ski down to PlJ via the blue piste on the other side, and then get a bus to Chatel from there. It's far more convenient to ski it however.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@snoozeboy, There is a road from the top - on the right hand side starting by the Pisteurs hut ( theres a Zig - but no Zag, as it only has 1 switchback).
We go from PLJ across to the Smooth Park most Saturdays and Sundays, and you see quite a lot of people on the track, or when there is fresh snow, using this road to drop onto the untracked powder above the piste on the right.
When the gulley is "challenging" and we have gone over with friends who are "happy on a blue" they have all managed the road perfectly fine.
But as you say - the bus is an easy option.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks @WindOfChange and @snoozeboy
Just to clarify..... We'd be coming over from Avoriaz and would be coming up the Les Combes lift.
The red in question would be from here down to the top of where the Linga lift arrives.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@no_snow_in_swindon, Hope you have a great time in the Zine (as nobody other than Seasonaires calls it)
Coming from The Combes lift, the red in question IS the one that both @snoozeboy, and I are talking about.
If you do not like the look of it, then the road is IMHO a better choice than going down to PLJ and getting the bus.
But as @snoozeboy says, the snow on it can be really nice too, especially when you get below the wind-blown / icy bit.
The width, gradient and user density makes it a great piste for big-mellow carves ( if you like that kinda thing ).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks guys. Sounds like its short enough and wide enough for the "blue cruisers" to descend it before it reaches the blue and we can then carry on over to Chatel.
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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?
@WindOfChange, yes I think you're right. I seem to remember looking ruefully at the blue zigbutnozag path when halfway down the steepest part of the red on very icy snow whilst with my kids. Bizarre it's not marked on the piste map however.

We're also agreed that that piste can be great, one of the best in the PdS and normally fairly quiet, which may be due to the lack of the blue piste being marked. I quite like La Ferme restaurant 1/3 the way down for a change too.

I don't think the bus is an easier option to get to Super Chatel, as you have to walk the last 200m uphill to the Telecabine. Much easier to get the new link.
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You can change from the A line ( PLJ ) to the I line (Lac de Vonnes) in the square by the church.
The I will take you to the stop right by the Gabelou and PdS lifts to avoid the walk up to the lift and those steps.
Though it'll take ages Smile
As you say, much better to use the pistes and lifts and nice views too.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Baggiesfan wrote:
Skiing in Chatel early March with extended family. We know very little about Chatel as we usually ski in Wengen. Any advice re lifts, slopes and so on gratefully received.


Great swimming pool definitely worth a visit - http://chatel-formedo.com/ - they do a weekly pass which seems pretty good value. Both indoor and outdoor pools - warm and very clear.
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