Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Samoens Resort Report Feedback Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a feedback thread for Martin Nicholas' resort report:

Samoens (February 2007)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
MissRibena has added a further resort report:

Samoens (March 2008)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
snow report     
 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?
Hmm we are off to Flaine next week. We made a mental note last time to bring more of our own supplies up from Cluses as we found the supermarkets and mountain restaurants way more expensive than resorts in PDS (Les Gets, Morzine for example). Great skiing though. Will report back in a couple of weeks.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Miis Ribena

I assume when you refer to too many drag lifts you were over in Flaine. If it weren't for my two toddlers on the nursery slopes we could spend a week skiing in Samoens, Morrilon and Les Carroz without touching a drag lift. You obviously don't smile at the lifties enough cos they always grab the chair lift for me to stop it bashing my legs - maybe I just look pathetic and they take pity Laughing . Last week there certainly wasn't a need to have covered lifts (apart from the driving rain day maybe Laughing ) If you happen to be in a chairlift queue at the same time as a ski school then the slowing down of the lift to let the kids on drives you crazy. I agree some of the lifts are a bit old in Samoens - they seem to be better over towards Les Carroz - and the Grand Vans lift back from Flaine is like sitting on a rather large sofa!

I haven't skiied in Austria but can't say I find the lifts any better or worse than anywhere else I have skiied (France, Swittzerland, Italy, Norway, Finland, California, Scotland - okay the lifts are better than Scotland)

Don't let the lifts put you off the GM - At least there is rarely a queue.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skimummy, I agree, was in Les Carroz last week and went on one drag lift all week; it was the Oasis and only did it cos it lifts me off my feet and makes me laugh Wink Did it 3 times in a row.

The ski guide was telling us that there is one of the longest drags in Europe though, I think over towards Sixt and it takes about 15 minutes through the trees. One girl was on the lift with a friend and caught an edge, ended up with one ski dragging behind and the button under her armpit - she had to cling on like that for 7 minutes and her shoulder was completely frozen by the time she got to the top Sad That one does probably need replacing!

The only time we queued (about 10 minutes) was at the Gron chair in Les Carroz and about 20 mins at the 4 man gondola (not sure of the name) in Flaine.

We too found that lunchtime prices were incredibly expensive, not helped by the rubbish exchange rate. Paid 12 euros for a croque monsieur in Flaine and the chalet owners paid 10 euros for a bottle of Magners!!! Igloo in Morillon and the one by the Molliet chair in Les Carroz were our faves too. Igloo did probably the best croque madame I've ever had (so good I filmed it!) and only 9 euros. The Molliet restaurant is apparently very well regarded and people come from all over to eat there on an evening, so much so that we couldn't book a table there days in advance Sad

Good report though Miss Ribena Smile
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
AllyK, We also did the Oasis several times in a row just for the sake of it and for the jump start Laughing Were you the other person using it?

I think the lunchtime prices are more reasonable in Samoens. 6 euros for a Croque Monsieur if I remember correctly and 5 euros for sausage and chips. I tend to make do with a Crepe from Mimi's at Samoen 1600 - only 2.50 euros with enough chocolate suace to run down my chin - yum!
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Skimummy, we did the Oasis drag on Weds 12th March, the day it rained heavily; just kept going up and skiing back down as there were only a couple of people on the piste - was that you??!!

For some reason, we didn't get into Samoens this year as spent a lot of time in Flaine and on the last day the links to Samoens were shut due to high wind. Pity as I really like the Dahu run.

Next time, I think we'll try and head into Samoens for lunch then! If going to Flaine, a packed lunch will be in order Wink Mmmmm chocolate sauce sounds fab but I put on 5lbs during the week as it was (putting it down to muscle and err cheese) Laughing
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just calling it as I see it, folks. In fact, I was being slightly diplomatic because our chalet was so wonderful and we really loved the town itself and the skiing but here's what I REALLY think of the GM lift system:

The lifts are WAY below what I've seen in other ski areas in Austria I've visisted are: Schneewinkl, Mayrhofen and Skiwelt, all of which we found far above the standard of the GM in the ways I outlined in the original report. As far as I'm concerned, they really need a wake up call in the GM area and if visitors are prepared to accept what is there, then fine but it is certainly not good enough for us. The lift pass was at least as expensive (if not moreso) as any of those Austrian ones but the lifts and bus services were not in the same league at all. In fact, we were so taken aback during the first couple of days that we thought it was a France/Austria thing but we mentioned it to some other people who reassured that other resorts in France are far ahead.

Examples of poor drag lifts not in Flaine; the Soleil one in Samoens (as well as the beginners ones), the Oasis in Morrillon and there were 2 others in Les Carroz but I can't remember their names, there's also Veret but maybe this is in Flaine and not Samoens.
Maybe it's a problem with the topography but the ski areas I mentioned above, all have double gondalas i.e. you get one gondola from village level to a middle station like Samoens 1600 and then a further Gondola to the highest part of the resort. With the exception of Flaine, the second leg of this trip is done by dodgy chair lifts in the GM (Lanche, Croix, Gouilles).
Maybe others are happy to sit on a slow (or stopped) uncovered lift in windy hailstones conditions, while the rain seeps into you from the seat to get to a decent height as your ski hours tick slowly by, but it's not for us thanks. We'll ski in it but not keen on sitting around in it.
There are a couple of decent chair lifts (e.g. Grand Vans, Corblanche, Tete des Verdes) but no-one can seriously tell me that Chariand I, II, Lanche, Diamond Noir are of a 2008 standard.
Queues were ok but nothing to write home about either and there isn't enough capacity to deal with the numbers that want to move around between resorts within the GM (especially when they are closed for a day or two and everyone goes stir crazy in their own patch).
Poorly laid out Samoens 1600 is another bugbear - it's not that big, but it's completely disjointed on two seperate levels which you need to use lifts to access. Crazily, the most useful half of it with ski shops and restaurants is at the top of Vercland egg lift which must go back to the 60's or 70's and not the new GM express!!.

You could avoid some of the worst drag lifts (and possibly chairs but less likely) but that would mean avoiding runs and we are the types that try to cover as many runs as we can and if we had avoided the drags we would have missed out on some of our favourite spots.

By the way, the Grand Vans is a Doppelmayr lift and is what is in most of the resorts in Austria whereas we noticed all the lifts we disliked in GM were Poma (the Gron in Les Carroz is a Leitner I think and wasn't bad either). If you think that one is good, you should see the lovely covered ones they do. Seriously, the GM is not at the races.
ski holidays     
 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.
MissRibena, I have to say, I would love to go to Samoens but the lift thing does put me off a bit. At least in Les Carroz it's the big 8 seater telecabine that whizzes you to the top and there's never a queue (at least not when I've been). There does tend to be a mixture of old and new chairs in Les Carroz too, the old ones being a bit more brutal as the huge bruise on the back of my leg will testify.

Personally they don't bother me, I've never skiied in Austria so can't compare but we've never had a problem moving around the GM, maybe because we only go on quiet weeks I don't know. The only bit I don't like is where all the lifts converge and you have to ski the Silice run which can be like a motorway. And, the run down into Flaine was downright dangerous last week due to amount of people, so much so that we drove to Flaine to avoid it the day after.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I don't wish to start another dreary argie bargie about the relative merits of different ski areas, but it occurs to me that perhaps the reason Schneewinkl, Mayrhofen and Skiwelt have better lifts than Flaine is because they have less attractivce skiing (to the generality of skiers. That is true of Skiwelt; I have never skied in Mayrhofen which may be fantastic, and I've never heard of Schneewinkel (which is a pity, because it sounds great).
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
AllyK - No it wasn't us on the Oasis drag on the rainy day. I think it was Thursday. Wednesday we lasted 2 hours staying at the Samoens side before finally admitting my ski suit wasn't waterproof and getting 8 euros refunded on my lift pass. I agree with your comments about the run down to Flaine - we went down once, came back and didn't venture that way again - only had a daily Massif pass anyway. I haven't seen it quite that bad in previous years.

MissRibena - glad you like Samoens itself - I love the place. It suits us as we take my non skiing parents to look after the kids who only really started skiing (a little bit) this year. The GME was a great improvement to the village - prior to that you had to use those orange eggs to get up 1600 which was a nightmare. The much later addition of the GME is why 1600 is split in 2. There are 2 restaurants at the top of the GME but yes you do have to get the lift up to the shops.

If you venture onto the Grand Massif or Flaine websites you can see the schedule and plans for lift improvement - they are investing, just a little slowly maybe.
ski holidays     
 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.
richmond, I take your point about the areas not being as good/big. Although Skiwelt and Zillertal/Mayrhofen seem to compare pretty favourably with GM on a pisted KM basis, I wasn't good enough of a skier in either to really compare quality with GM.

FWIW, Schneewinkl is an area made up of places like Kirchdorf, St. Johann in Tirol, Fieberbrunn, Steinplatte etc. close to Salzburg which isn't linked as well as GM is (in theory - GM links were closed 30% of the time while we were there anyway). If you like Samoens, then somewhere like St Johann in Tirol (which is a town the opposite side of Kitzbuhler Horn to Kitzbuhl itself) would really appeal I would imagine. Beautiful town (maybe even a touch nicer than Samoens), ice skating and swimming and nice shops, good apres, cheap but yummy food, short transfer to Salzburg airport, ski back to village, on direct train lines to Salzburg, part of Schneewinkl (mixture of treelined and glacier type runs) but very close to Kitzbuhl and Skiwelt also ... and nice lifts Smile It seems to be more popular with Irish punters than British ones (that seems to go for Austria and France generally for some reason in my experience).
ski holidays     
 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
MissRibena, my husband used to ski in St Johann in Tirol a lot when living on the army base with his parents in Germany. He also likened it to Les Carroz but better. Hopefully I may get chance to go in the next few years as it would be exactly the kind of place I would choose to go.

Skimummy, it must have been some other fools that were happy to ski in the rain then Wink We lasted til 2pm the only reason being that I couldn't keep my goggles smear free! Plus every time we threatened to call it a day it perked up a bit. As for the Flaine run, we found it much easier this year as we had hire cars and figured it was easier to drive 20 mins from Les Carroz and park in Flaine, thus avoiding the linking run and not having to worry about skiing back.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Summer
Just a note following up both reviews' closing comments - if you have young teenage children who enjoy the outdoors, Samoens in sans-pareil ; book the half-day multi-activity programme from the Bureau des Guides - five different activities (climbing, caving, via ferrata, canyoning); hire a mountain bike, go rafting (range of craft, range of expeditions including outings to Italy for the hardcore), paragliding, tennis, swimming pool - and fantastic hikes, staying overnight in mountain refuges, listening to and spotting marmottes. Slightly weather-dependent (aren't all holidays) but a brilliant indoor climbing wall down the valley and if it is bucketing, the river is full and the rafting amazing ! Last year our guys made a day trip for a via ferrata on the other side of the Cluses valley and were buzzed by a huge Lammergeier with a 3m wingspan - like Sinbad's roc, they thought they were lunch ! and the climb was pretty impressive as well. Cannot recommend highly enough - frankly beats the winter - go with a group - and enjoy the pastries at the Jaysinia even more having worked up an appetite ! (due back in July this year and venturing further afield - still organised through Samoens - ice climb, via ferrata and the Vallee Blanche with an overnight stop in a refuge. Crossed fingers for the weather.
More info : http://www.guidesmontagnes.com/ (and no, not a shareholder !)
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy