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Chamonix 16/17

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hope no ones in courmayeur today Sad
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eddiethebus wrote:
hope no ones in courmayeur today Sad


Sounds like warm weather and wet snow delivered a big slide around ~1pm local today, according to reports so far. Three dead.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@jma, the top, lower part of that "green" is about as green as my fingers!
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http://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2017/03/02/une-avalanche-a-fait-au-moins-trois-morts

It's super sketchy out there and tomorrow will be the first sunny day after the dump. There been a warning put out from the prefecture,
http://www.chamoniarde.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/COMM_BRAHAUTESAVOIE030317.pdf
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See my report in La Grave thread as to what occurred there today
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Strange day at Contamines yesterday. Left Chx by 8am to get a reasonably early start. We managed 2or3 decent but shallow runs in fresh at the side of the pistes whilst they got most of the chairs fired up. Next followed 4 short but steep & deep runs under the lifts into the gorge, untracked (to start with anyway) and lap deep.

Then EDF pulled the plug and power went on the blink for the whole resort (and beyond). We were stranded in the gorge for the best part of an hour before they managed to keep the back-up diesels going for long enough to run the chairs to get everyone out. The resort was closed down as management didn't want to risk a repeat even once the lights came back on.

As we skied ourselves off the hill it became apparent why maybe, as the gondolas still weren't moving, and staff were starting to lower the several hundred that must have been stuck down on ropes.

Went for a nice Chinese buffet in Sallanche as consolation for what 'should' have been an epic afternoon.

Anyone know what happened after we left, did they get the cabins going? If not the job of getting everyone down must have gone on for a loooong time.
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https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=SECMH%20-%20les%20Contamines
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that all you can Chinese in sallanches is good tho eigh!

la grave was closed yesterday wasn't it? one of my mates was out there and ended up driving back early...
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Hi Folks,

I'm looking for a bit of advice &/or assistance. I'm in Argentiere with both my brothers next week and we'd like to go to Courmayeur for a day maybe.

Is Courmayeur still included on the MBU pass? (& Verbier still too??)

And is there a bus on a particular day to Courmayeur too?? Or does that run every day or whatever??? You have to book this right??

And finally. Is there a public bus running other days to Courmayeur , or would we need to take a taxi on those days? (approx cost???)

Thanks for all replies to any of my queries above.

Cheers
Horgand
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@eddiethebus, 'pends which one. I've never tried the one opposite Carrefour, as I've been warned off. We went to the Asiatic Wok next to the Aldi, which is now officially the second best I've ever been to (the first best being Fuengirola by the Miramar Centre, as it has Sushi, Wok AND a Brazilian steak grill)!!
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Courmayeur is included in the MBU pass (as long as it's more than 2 or 3 days iirc), not sure about Verbier but I think so. When you get there, you still have to go to the lift pass counter though to get it authorised for the day. There are daily buses to Courmayeur - they goes from the bus station in Cham Sud, the first one goes at 8.30 and there's another about an hour later and it costs €15pp, there are 2 returns at the end of the day. Don't think you have to book but they say you need to be there at least 15 min before departure. Not sure how early you'll be able get down to Cham Sud from Argentiere on the bus though.
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@horgand, Courmayeur is def still on the annual/season MBU and i THINK on the shorter durations like a week. Everytime I've been waiting for the 9am Easybus at Cham Sud the Courmayeur bus has been there loading so I think that's daily (though it could just be that I transfer a lot on a Thursday or something, so best check). The info must be on the website somewhere, though good luck with finding it.

Verbier is now a limited number of days on a annual/season, and I think only one day to be taken in any given week. So maybe you don't get it on say a week pass, or maybe you just get one day.

In fact reading the above it turns out I know nothing for sure, and are therefore am no help at all, sorry.
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Luckily @jma knows a lot more. I really have my doubts about on Verbier being on a week pass, not that I have any facts. What I do know is that there is def a bus through Argentierre that passes Flegere at 8.10 and so gets to Cham Sud at 8.20ish, and they may well be one an hour earlier too.
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The official document here http://www.chamonix.net/sites/default/files/acces-verbier-en.pdf says 6 days or more MBU required for Verbier, but its only a 50% discount.

However, it's no longer stated on the CdMB website that I could see.

Courmayeur is defo on 3 day passes upwards, dunno about 1 or 2 day passes. All automatic, just go to Courmayeur and use as normal, no need to go to lift pass office at Courmayeur to activate.
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@snowdave, crikey, so it's only inclusive on the annual not the season even. Still 50% is significant for week pass holders.
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Thanks for all the info folks,
That's really great that we can go any day, and that there's no booking buses, or even queuing at the Courmayeur lift ticket office anymore. I love a day over in Italia, the huts, the style, the scenery, the women.....and the skiing ain't half bad either!! Happy
Ciao bella!!
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@midgetbiker, yup, and its only 1 day a week for Verbier, with weeks starting on a Monday (so you can do a Sunday and a Monday, but not Sat/Sun together).
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Not sure that's correct on Courmayeur.

I have an annual MBU and had to go to lift office the first time this year, to have it activated.

To underline this - there were 6 of us together, and my pass wasn't activated properly the first time and so I don't get through the gate for cable car when everyone else did. Went back to office (to front of queue!) and it was sorted by activation.

If you take the receipt or proof of payment for your MBU, you only have to activate the first time on new or renewed pass and it works all year. If you don't have proof of actual payment, they will only do it for the day, even though they can see on system that you've paid!
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@footsoldier, cheers for that. Makes sense as you have to do it in Evasion and that's the same company now. Pretty sure the sheet tells you to take your receipt whenever you leave CdMB home turf. Taking it will of course ensure your not asked for it, so best do that!
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Very windy here today - so a quick update while I'm waiting for something to open!

Weds was ok on Les Houches - better snow cover top to bottom, but quickly tracked out, and fairly heavy.
Thurs - GM. Was disappointed by how heavy the snow was (off Bochard, so as high as we could get). Vis was also poor, but got some turns in.
Fri - finally opened the GM top bin, and that was very nice Smile A light crust on top, but light snow underneath, and very easy to ignore the crust. Biiiig queue, but plenty of snow to go around. Did two descents, and even on the second one the guide did a top job of finding us fresh tracks. Body is utterly destroyed now though after it all - 7 days skiing in a row, which I've not done since last winter - and plenty of fresh tracks through the week thanks to the guide Laughing It's only been one or two days at a time this winter until now, ouch. Training needed ahead of the EoSB Razz

Yesterday morning - one of only a handful I took, too busy skiing Wink
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Conditions here re Verbier, Courmayeur, etc. http://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/fr/nos-forfaits#table_avantages

I am amazed that anyone thinks asking a bunch of random internet strangers is a better source of information than actually checking the company's ts&cs... Shocked
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under a new name wrote:
Conditions here re Verbier, Courmayeur, etc. http://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/fr/nos-forfaits#table_avantages

I am amazed that anyone thinks asking a bunch of random internet strangers is a better source of information than actually checking the company's ts&cs... Shocked


Thats helpful.

The CMB upgrade their website each year and make it a little less easy to navigate than the year before.
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I'm amazed that you're amazed tbh, especially with all the time you spend on here with random Internet strangers!!

Actually, I find asking very helpful fellow snowheads a much better source of info than compagnie MB tbh. Also I now know helpful related info like the bus times, links from Argentiere, and a whole host of other stuff garnered from actual end user experience, that would have been tres difficile, or impossible to figure out from a French website. But each to their own I guess. rolling eyes
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@Jonathan Bell, CMB did a major revamp this year and it is just appalling, as you may have noticed rolling eyes
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@horgand, for sure, there are indeed occasions when on the ground experience is more helpful and for some reason, ski station websites are often particularly hard to navigate.

But I'd submit that default approach is check the "official" source first and then revert to random strangers if unclear, etc.
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Quote:

Also I now know helpful related info like the bus times, links from Argentiere, and.........

You forgot to mention real world rankings for the various Wok buffets in Sallanche
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footsoldier wrote:
Not sure that's correct on Courmayeur.

I have an annual MBU and had to go to lift office the first time this year, to have it activated.

To underline this - there were 6 of us together, and my pass wasn't activated properly the first time and so I don't get through the gate for cable car when everyone else did. Went back to office (to front of queue!) and it was sorted by activation.

If you take the receipt or proof of payment for your MBU, you only have to activate the first time on new or renewed pass and it works all year. If you don't have proof of actual payment, they will only do it for the day, even though they can see on system that you've paid!


Either you've been unlucky, or me, my wife, and all of our guests have been lucky! I do recall that at the start of this season there was a statement from cdmb about Courmayeur being activated automatically at Montenvers, but if you have an annual then I guess you collected it from there anyway. Still, if you've had an issue then whatever system in place is obviously random enough that it's best to take the receipt.

If you've not got your receipt, Momtenvers can scan your pass and give you a new receipt.
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Finally got a decent day in this am at le tour.
Been a long time coming this year.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Météo France calling a 4/5 avalanche risk for tomorrow over 1800m.
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Not the best day at Chamonix - upper lifts have been closed all day, most other areas have closed as of lunchtime/early afternoon, just leaving some parts of Les Houches open. Rain at the bottom and snow with serious gusty winds up top.

Had a couple of good laps of the "Dream Forest" earlier over at Grand Montets. Have to say I wasn't overly impressed with it though - very undulating, pitch and tree spacing not very consistent (hard to see all the buried rocks followed by big holes!) and got super tracked and lumpy within a couple of hours. It's nothing compared to Bruson!

Any powder tips for Chamonix tomorrow? Half considering going to Bruson but probably won't be a great idea driving over the col after all the expected snow, if it's even open.
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Still super sketchy up there 4/5 again tomorrow. There been another warning from the prefecture. It's all about the angle, stay safe.

Ps col montets closed tonight.
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"Dream Forest" eh, assume that's the same place as the "Magic Trees"?
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@musehead, patience, patience... when it opens you'll have the best conditions of the season!
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Well, it's been snowing like Santa's snow shaker outside my window for a couple of hours. At modest altitudes there has been significant snow in the last day or two. Today we skinned 500m up to the Petit Croisse Baulet at just over 2000 metres. Near the top much of my face froze off in the wind and snow. As we sat on our skis to retain them during the transition my friend observed that "it's starting to get a little Scottish here".

The forest of whatever magic or dreams has always struck me as a bit crap in terms of Chamonix. There is 10 times better tree skiing either side of the Gabba lift at Courmayeur, and many places out St Gervais/Combloux way.

Tomorrow has to be in the trees again. At my age and decrepitude I don't know which way is up or down in this weather without the odd tree and shrub

One would be ill advised to venture on to open high slopes for a little while.
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@HammondR, interestingly gabba was closed today, I guess they're justifiable nervious.
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Had a wonderful day in Les Contamines. We were generally skiing between 1600m and 2000m trying to keep in the bushes, shrubs and trees. Deepest snow I've had for a few seasons. Face shots etc. Very quiet and no one seemed to feel like taking on the poor vis to compete with us for tracks. Was pretty horrid higher up though. Towards the end of the afternoon they were closing the higher lifts. Legs were pretty shot by then though.
Back at work today and feeling both very satisfied and a little whistful about just how amazing the next couple of days will be for those still there.
Sorry - off topic except that Les C is a good option for off piste skiers when altitude is shut in Chamonix. Not so great for piste skiers because there are few tree lined runs. The bushes etc help offpiste lines but do little to help the pistes
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I made an early decision this morning to go to Saint Gervais / Megeve. Really glad I did - it looks like much of Chamonix remained shut today.

First hour got fresh tracks every run just by lapping unpisted black runs! Deepest snow I've skied for a while. Not much competition for tracks.

Light and fluffy powder all day above 1500m.The snow got heavy below about 1400m by mid afternoon. Skied down to the bottom of princesse lift at about 1060m where it was like skiing through setting concrete.
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Hey, apologies if this isn't the right thread, but I'm looking to get from Geneva airport to Courmayeur. Getting a shared transfer seems impossible, and I can't afford a private one. I've booked a shared transfer as far as Chamonix, and was hoping to get the public bus on to Courmayeur.

However, from what I can work out, the buses from Chamonix to Courmayeur only run until 11am, then stop again until 4pm. I would be getting to Chamonix pretty close to 11am, so it's a risk, and it seems you have to book ahead with Savda. Am I reading the timetable correctly, or are there other services I could take?
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The sdda bus runs three time a day from Geneva to courmayeur. 37euro one way. Times are 12:00, 16:00 and 19:30.
LOVEVDA.IT/BUSTRANSFER
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Epic conditions in Cham about a metre of fresh snow since yesterday - Montets epic waist deep in Lavancher bowl. Bouchard closed so a long traverse in limited the Nos - even on 4th time round fresh tracks to be had!!!!
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