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Avoriaz/Chatel/Les Gets/Morzine 2017/2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@zzz, We ventured down to SJD last time we were out and had a great afternoon - no-one there!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm heading out this afternoon. Seems like the unanimous advice is to rent skinny skis? Anyone know if skiset are cool with a mid week switch if it snows later in the week as forecast?
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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?
This is the sort of 'perk' that shops often remove on account of the agressive discounting that skiset demand.
Far better to deal with the shop directly. Without the commission they have to pay the corporate body they should be more inclined toward giving 'normal' service quality.
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I know, and I normally do that, but the tour operator was offering free ski hire as a booking perk. Paid £45 extra to upgrade to diamond skis so hopefully will get something decent, but looks like requirements will change mid week.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@tccambs, just pick a pair of all mountain width skis with a bit of early rise , then you'll be covered for all eventualities , it will take a fair bit of snow to completely cover the rain frozen sun scorched snow that was the off piste this week , so i don't think pow skis will be in order snowHead
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Some lovely spring snow betwixt Morgins and Crosets and some really nice chalky off piste (and bumps) back in to Avoriaz.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Flying out to Morzine on Tuesday night for 4 days, looks like a lot of snow, hopefully not too much. What is the view on the ground there, potential for lift closures due to avalanche or winds etc?
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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!
@mheadbee,

Er no. It looks like snow but not record breaking. Potentially windy on Friday but not like it has been recently. I think you’ll have good skiing.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Anybody else have a shocker today getting to Geneva?
I think I must have been here 60-70 times in the last 10 years and I have never seen traffic like it!

Cue missed flight -£400 for hotel room for 2 and tomorrow morning's flight to Bristol.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@bobhitch, coming from Châtel it was no different from the normal 105-120 minute Sunday post ski commute back to GVA.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We left at 5pm and it took us 4 hours from morzine !
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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.
@bobhitch, Only went down as far as Thonon, left at 5PM and it took 50 mins instead of the normal 25-30. Coming back up around 6PM there was solid traffic all the way back up to Le Jotty. Not surprising really given how many weekenders there were - even the furthest away and lowest overflow car park at PLJ was full, and I have never seen that before, even at half term.
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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, it was definitely busier than a normal January weekend in Chatel. There were decent queues for lifts across the Super & Petit Chatel areas, and felt more like a school holiday period! Perhaps not surprising given the combination of fantastic piste conditions and beautiful weather.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We left around 16h30 and deliberately went home via Thonon as the road up from Taninges had been slow on the way up Saturday due to aftermath of the landslide a few weeks ago.

It being the first sunny weekend in ages, it was pretty busy all over and if you consider that you have day skiers from Morzine, Avoriaz Les Gets all converging on the route to Cluses with the ones from the Grand Massif...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@MorganW, Funnily enough, despite the huge number if customers we did not encounter queues on any of the lifts we used : PLJ, Combes, Cornebois, Chaux de Roses, Chaux Fleurie, Echo Alpin or Rochassons, but the pistes were super busy, especially where it got a bit choppy.
In a way it's an affirmation that the investment in lift hardware in the Plaine Dranse and PLJ Sectors is ahead of the number of users - for these conditions.
When the pistes run fast and easy, the accumulation tends to be greater at the lifts though.
The lifts in SC and Chalet-Neuf are a bit older and have smaller uplift capacity, so it's understandable that you might get more people queueing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Was there a known reason for the bad traffic getting to geneva? I saw on another thread that security queues have been bad there recently too. Against the odds I've managed to grab a few days for a trip this year and will be in Les Gets From Sunday 4th - Friday 9th - hoping to ski Monday to Friday and get to geneva for an 8pm flight.

Just trying to gauge whether it's a bad idea to ski beyond lunch time on Friday. I was originally thinking ski till 3pm on Friday, but wondering if I should be a bit more cautious...

Cheers!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There were temporary traffic lights on the road up from Taninges that cause a small delay a few weeks back, I'm not sure if this is still the case? As for Geneva, I didn't experience any issues.

I'm back out on Thursday for a few days and then plan to leave LG around 5ish for a 9pm flight on Sunday.
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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?
@RichClark, still there on Sat, well, blokes with green/red signs not traffic lights.

Geneva security & non-Shengen ID no particular problem on Tuesday afternoon.
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Oh dear @bobhitch, that sounds awful. Now you've got me worrying!

For years we've managed to avoid school holidays, but not this year. Sad Arriving Geneva on half term Saturday at 8pm and leaving the following Saturday at 8pm. We have a car and are not really concerned about how long it takes on the way up, but are hoping to get some skiing on the last day. Does anyone have any experience of how busy the end of half term is on the way down late afternoon?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@snowfraise, assuming nothing changes, I would go via Thonon. I would probably leave 2.5 hrs travel and arrive 2 hrs before flight. If you find yourselves very much with time in hand, check in and if at charter terminal wander down to main terminal for amusement.

How can your flight arrive and leave at the same time?
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Thanks @under a new name, we came down the Thonon way last time and it was relatively quiet. The time before we came down through Taninges on the first day of the UK half term - unbelievable queues going up mid morning. Shocked

The flights aren't charter so we had a choice and chose the cheaper evening ones thinking we might eek out an extra day of skiing.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@huntleth, lots of day trippers last Sunday as it was the first bluebird weekend day for a while and masses of snow. Monday arrival Friday departure you should be going in the opposite direction so will be fine. Feb weekends are a different matter 😱
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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!
The route via Thonon adds around 30-45 mins on a standard run to \ from Les Gets.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
When you get to J15 (Pont de Fillinges - its where the Autoroute from Annecy / Geneva puts you ) you have a choice of 3 ways for St Jean D'Aulps side of things: Classic Valley de La Griffe via Taninges, Les Gets, Morzine etc.. ( some people mistakenly call this Valley Vert), you can carry on the dual carriage way towards Annemasse, then use the new by passes via Thonon, or the real Valley Vert, up over Lullin and Vernaz.
On Friday night, coming back from Annecy around 6:30 I assessed the options:
Traffic was stopped on the Annemasse way because of an accident, and the Valley de la Griffe was moving slowly with weekenders so controversially I took the Vallée Verte up and over the top - it was empty and took 45 mins. I had avoided this in the past as its a bit twisty, but some widening on a few bends coupled with the lack of traffic has made this more of an option now.
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I've been looking around for some Easter skiing and was wondering how Avoriaz/Flaine typically do in early April, is it not reccommended? Resort level snow and open valley runs are important for me
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Treasure Hunt in PdS this weekend:
http://en.portesdusoleil.com/winter/ski-slope-treasure-hunt.html
Although it seems a little unfair on those staring out in Les Gets or Switzerland, as they will need to be at the final beacon pretty early in order to get back in time.
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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.
@südtirolistdeutsch, ther eought to be resort level snow in both Flaine and Avoriaz right up till the very end of the respective seasons.
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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
Update on the conditions in PDS. It's been super-sunny for the last 4 days but there's still plenty of snow left. Appart from blues leading to/back to the main hubs, most piste have decent snow. Swiss Wall was very good the last few days. Shut this morning but still very skiable.

Plenty of off-piste opportunities in Switzerland, including some classic runs (La Croix in particular.)

Most of the black runs in Crosets are fine, especially mid morning to early afternoon as they get so much sun (and sides are fine too - e.g. underneath the Grand Conche and Mossettes chair lifts.)

The black in Avoriaz are superb (Grandes Combes, etc.) but sadly so far the Crozats snowcross has been shut. The run down to Prodains is not great though (the last section is very icy) so to be avoided unless it's the end of the day and there's no alternative. Forecast is for snow tomorrow night so conditions should get even better soon.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Forgive me if this was irony
Quote:
there's still plenty of snow left


Puzzled Puzzled

Why would there not be? Just because it's been a wee bit sunny for a few days. Back in my 2nd season there was a whole lot less snow over Xmas and we were still skiing Avoriaz after 9 weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine every single day. (OK, it wasn't extensive, but you could ski!)

It's not central London after a few measly centimetres! There's actually probably (at least anything above 1,500m) considerable snow depths on blues back to pinch points but heavy traffic at the weekend and sunshine just means it gets a bit polished, which is why steel edges were invented.

There's more snow in some places than I have seen in (gulp) 29 years of regularly skiing the PdS out of Morzine, including 3 full seasons. The Chamossiere bowl is entirely re-shaped. The couloirs to the side of the Wall are barely couloirs, more like motorways. Renard (into Plaine Dranse) looks pleasant and the cliffs above a pleasant diversion if you get your line wrong (rather than a fatal fall).

Some corners, e.g. blue into Lindarets from Avoriaz (forgot the name of the run decades ago) are shaped, windblow and collect (or not) snow on some corners such that they almost never are stone free, etc. Swiss side are less active on piste control as far as I can see, south facing, got less snow anyway although there are some pretty impressive accumulations across Champoussin peaks... Home run to Ardent is heavily cannoned and they are run when possible so almost always a bit crunchy.

Does very clearly show the variability across valleys!

But a few days of sunshine and slightly mild weather does not mean the end of the season...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
First trip to the PDS for seven years after we moved to US. We’ve been slumming it in Utah and Whistler for the time we’ve been here, but decided to get over to the Alps once again. It seems - don’t want to jinx it obviously - that we may have picked the right year.

Hoping that the off piste options are open, so anyone got any good advice with regards to guides etc?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Markoncarp, I can help with recommendation if you're looking to ski out of Les Gets, feel free to PM me
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Markoncarp, remember it's not really a "guide" that you want, in terms of a "high mountain guide" as you won't be on glaciated terrain. You "just" want someone who knows the area and is qualified/trained in avalanche safety. So any of the ski schools offering off piste courses should be able to help.
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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?
Just pulled into Morzine, the snow looks pretty good! From the forecast, it’s looking like snow tonight and tomorrow then sunny days until Sunday. Is that what the locals are saying too?
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@KVet79, that's what Chamonix meteo suggests (who are the best local forecast) with something around 40cms at 1,800m (which sounds awfully optimistic to me).

Otherwise will be mostly dust on crust, but will freshen up many of the pistes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Clouds have come across now, from the clear blue skies earlier, this AM it was -2 now it's about +4 at 1250m.
We are expecting snow above 1500m tonight 20cm.
We are 12 KM from Morzine so YMMV.
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Quote:

From the forecast, it’s looking like snow tonight and tomorrow then sunny days until Sunday


We arrive tomorrow, that would be great... Cool
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@MeMyselfandI, do you have similar recommendations for private ski lessons for a couple of hours on a couple of days 5-6 March? We're in Les Gets this year instead of usual Morzine and my sister is looking for a bit of guidance (just about a non-beginner despite about 6 wks on snow).
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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!
Heading to our place in SJD Saturday week. Praying for a freshen up for the slopes but it looks pretty good anyway.

Driving and expecting to go cluses and les gets, rather than Thonons. Anyone have experience of the sort of traffic we might see? Expecting to hit cluses about 11pm. Mrs Paddy fretting about it.

Did the same 1/2 term saturday last year, a little earlier and it was clear.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
On the subject of arriving tomorrow, and not having been before - can someone help me with the logistics of Avoriaz please? We’re being dropped off at the bottom of the Prodains lift but once we get to the top I’m not sure how far it is to our apartments (P&V Crozats) nor how to get there i.e. is it walking distance? Sorry for the dumb questions...
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@paddyDT,

Cluses at 11pm! You’ll be fine.
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