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Le Grand Bornand, La Clusaz, Aravis Resorts 2017 - 2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So back by popular demand (well @Renry anyway!) here we go for another season. Some great events scheduled for December with the ski test weekend on 9th and 10th and the World Cup Biathlon from 12th - 17th. Let's hope it's a snow filled winter for everyone.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ta, snowHead
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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?
Looking fwd to my first trip to this area at the end of January snowHead
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@red 27, If there's anything you'd like to ask pre-trip, gvj is 'our man on the ground' and between us and the other regulars I'm sure we'd be able to answer most questions. I hope you have a wonderful time.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@loatie, Thank you - how kind of you.

It's a 'Lads' trip and I think we are staying in the hotel Victoria although I may have got that name wrong Smile

We're there Friday to Monday (as ski days) and fancy the trip to La Clusaz. Which day would you recommend in terms of busy-ness?
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@loatie, Hi, thanks for kicking off this year's thread.
@red 27, presuming from your post that you are staying in LGB (I'm not familiar with a Hotel Victoria)? In January it won't be very busy overall so I wouldn't worry. If snow and weather conditions are good then day trippers from GVA and Annecy will swell the numbers at the weekend, so Monday will be quietest to catch the shuttle bus over to La Clusaz.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@red 27, I'm not familiar with a Hotel Victoria either - the only one I can think of beginning with a V is the Hotel Vermont. If you are staying in Le Grand Bornand itself rather than Le Chinaillon and you've got your own car the journey to La Clusaz will take you about 10 minutes and by the linked ski bus about 20.
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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!
@loatie, @gvj, Hotel Vermont!! yes that's the one, sorry!

Thanks for the intell, I will post a conditions report from resort when the time comes.

Any top tips for good food in LGB? We normally like at least one "Fine Dining" attempt during the trip Madeye-Smiley
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"Fine dining eh? You'll be very close to a restaurant called, I think, the Heliantos which used to be called L'Hysope before it changed hands a year or so back. VERY posh and not cheap. Probably only bettered by Les Confins des Sens at the other end of the town. That's not cheap either, but for a place that should probably have a Michelin star it's set lunches are relatively good value.
On the other hand, for really good value good food Casanova Pizzeria half way between the above two is unbeatable, likewise, on the slopes, Colombier des Neiges ( a little way down Serpentine from the top of the Rosay) are our two favourites.
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@gvj, Thanks - great stuff.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thankfully no loss of life as far as I can tell but dramatic images of a fire in one of Le Chinaillon's mountain restaurants a couple of days ago.

http://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2017/11/01/un-restaurant-le-chatillon-outalays-devaste-par-un-incendie-au-chinaillon-le-grand-bornand Sad
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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.
Real shame for the owners.....from a purely selfish point of view I guess it is the one part of the mountain with more cafés than anywhere else.
For one horrible moment I thought it was the Colombier des Neiges!
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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
A group of us are considering visiting La Clusaz for the first time this winter, possibly in March. A couple of people in the group are interested in speed riding. The Aravis speed riding school seems to only be partially opening this session coming? Anyone know if they still be able to run a two or three day course?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@carettam, looking at their website I think you'd need to email or call them direct. The message on there says they're winding down due to recent poor snow seasons but I suspect there just aren't enough interested punters round here to make it a viable full time school.
The areas they talk about using (Etale and Balme) would certainly be fully open in March barring catastrophic climate change acceleration wink .
Certainly over in LGB they have a dedicated speed riding teaching piste served by the Almet drag that seems to be pretty well used throughout 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:
Thanks gvj. Do you know what, if any, speed riding school is operating in LGB or surrounding resorts? We'll contact the Aravis school direct to determine what they are able to offer in 2018 but would also like a back up plan.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Conditions look to be shaping up nicely for the start of the season with the ski test event next weekend. Some Nordic skiing available this weekend. Great news for the World Cup Biathlon 12-17 December too.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I was in charge of arranging this years 2 family ski trip. The brief was simple - must be during Feb half term, not too far from Calais as we're driving, good for beginners / nervous skiers, some exciting stuff for the better skiers, lots of intermediate fun for the 4 kids, not too expensive, some nice apres ski, a pretty village, a private hire chalet with min 4 bedrooms, ski in / ski out but walkable to bars / restaurants. Where else in the world could I tick all those boxes for £2500 for 8 people apart from La Clusaz???

Needless to say I've taken a lot of stick from my friends about having to bring hiking boots / mountain bikes etc as we usually go for a high resort but either New Year or Easter. Looking at the current conditions it looks like a lovely start to the season and hopefully it will continue all the way through the season.

We are staying at the Bossonet end of town and it looks like there are lots of nice places to eat and drink around there. I was wondering what the best options are in the mountain for a nice lunch? I've seen some great LGB options, and we'll definitely get area passes and ski there a couple of days, but some nice options in La Clusaz would be great too.

Also, my wife and her friend are both nervous skiers, what would be a nice route on the Saturday afternoon for a gentle introduction to the area? I was thinking La Motte and Le Var but La Motte looks quite narrow which will probably put them off. Are there any nice wide green / blue runs that are less likely to get bumpy in the afternoons? A round tour from Bossonet would be great if anyone has any ideas?

Thanks in advance. I hope this thread grows, La Clusaz seems like a real hidden gem in the Alps.
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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?
For your wife and the nervous skie4 head up Beauregard and there are a couple of gentle greens up there, quite short but good for a warm up. From ther3 head over to the Manigod area where there are nice easy blues and easy reds. The run back from Manigod to La Clusaz is a little narrow in parts but is a very gentle, easy, flat run. Can’t help with eating places on the mountain as we took packed lunches every day. We neve4 managed to ge5 over to LGB to sk8 as there was enough to keep us occupied in LaClusaz.
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I'd second what @alangibson73 says. The top of Beauregard has some very gentle greens that are great for practicing on and the blue on the left is a little bit steeper but does get a bit cut up in the afternoon as it's south facing so the snow warms up in the sunshine.

In terms of places for lunch we tended to eat a lot down at Champ Giguet as that's where our kids ski school finished. It's quite scenic and sunny even down there, but there are also some nice places to eat up at the top of Mount Beauregard as well. We liked a small eating place that was just down the hill a bit from the main station that had some outside tables and deckchairs.

I'm sure there are plenty of other nice places on the rest of the pistes as well. We just never got a chance to try them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@chriswg,

I sympathise with you re the comments you have received about the hiking boots etc! We've often heard the same from those who seem obsessed with the height must equal great snow conditions concept. LGB has a very good snow record and the fact that it has mostly north facing slopes means it generally keeps it's snow very well - La Balme in La Clusaz often opens early and stays open later than other resorts.
I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. Can't help with any restaurant names in La Clusaz as we tend to stay over in LGB these days.
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If you are eating out then you may want to consider booking as it can get very busy during the Feb half term. L’Outa on the Main Street is a nice spot for eating out. We occasionally struggled to get somewhere to eat due to not booking and just went to the takeaway situated beneath Les Grandes Alpes apartments right next to the supermarket.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The nicest lunch we had out skiing in Clusaz was at Hotel/Restaurant U’Fredy next to the little U’Fredy lift and the bottom of the Etale chair lift. Very traditional menu - proper sit down service. Take your time...
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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!
Wow, thank you for all of the great suggestions on both where to ski and where to eat! We normally eat early (circa 6pm) with the kids so hoping places won't be busy that early (unless they are also drinking places too!).

Looking at the snow forecast for the next 6 days it's looking like the good start might well continue for a couple more weeks. Snow-forecast is suggesting up to 100cm in the next 6 days Shock

Lets hope its all still there in Feb Smile
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Hi - thinking about getting 4 to 5 days in before Xmas probably flying out 16/17 December. Any update on conditions and how much of La Clusaz will be open that weekend? Many thanks MBaby.
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Meteoexploration is forecasting 2 meters of snow for La Clusaz in the next 8 days........
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In Le Grand Bornand as we speak. Fantastic weekend for the ski test with so much snow around. Still snowing at the moment as it has been all day here in chinaillon. Yesterday was the pick of the days with the sun even making an appearance to kick the season off well. Conditions were more testing today but then again you had your pick of which skis to try out! More snow forecast for next weekend so great news for the biathlon World Cup.
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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.
Had a great day skiing in Le Grand Bornand yesterday, my first time there, what a beautiful village. As above great conditions and an absolute joy to be skiing fresh light powder on day 1 of the season. Those heading out for the holidays have nothing to worry about snow wise.
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