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Grand Massif for easy blues

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello all. Just booked a chalet in Samoens in the Grand Massif area and wondered what it is like? We are two VERY mature fair weather ski ers that are looking to cruise around the area looking for place to get dru.... Er have a nice "lunch" been before to Morzine which we really enjoyed as we are happy to cruise around on blue runs most of the time, will attempt the odd red if pushed! Literally! I have noticed the opening date for the Grand Massif is 24 December and we are out on the 20 so hoping Flaine and maybe other sectors will be open. So, any ideas or views about the ski ing or anything else much appreciated. Thanks in advance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If its nice blues you are after, I would head to Morillon, Les carroz and Les Molliets. Blues link all the areas together and there are a few good places to stop for liquid refreshments and food dotted around. Flaine has loads of nice wide blues also, advised only in good weather though, as its a long way back by road if they shut the linking lift for any reason.
The issue you have so early in season, is if the links are open. Went last year mid Jan, and they weren't open then. But its been a decent start snow wise and plenty of time for more snow, so fingers crossed.

If they aren't open, you'd be restricted to Samoens and Morillon. There's a bus from one to the other if that link isn't open.
The blues in Samoens start and finish on Dahu, which isn't as blue as other runs if that makes sense (you can mix the middle up with different runs). Given the choice I'd always ski down to Samoens on the red, Marmotte. Usually less crowded and not more difficult IMO.

Two best blues for you would be Sairon (Morillon) and Serpentine (Flaine). Some like Tourmaline into Flaine. Can get busy though. Maybe not so much of an issue early in season... if its open. Other people with experience of the area in early season may have more info as to what will be open that early.

Have fun.
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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?
@kabby, Samoens, Les Carroz and Flaine should all be open while you are there. It's a lovely ski area, with plenty of easy runs and also some more challenging ones (I know, we're biased, but we wouldn't have bought a place there if we didn't enjoy it!).

One of the nicest lunches in the area is at Lou Caboens, tucked away in Samoens 1600 - Google it to find exact location and book ahead, it gets busy.

Things will have changed a bit in Samoens 1600 this year, with the opening of the new Club Med, so not sure what effect that will have on queuing, etc.

Hope you have a great trip, we'll be on our way home as you arrive, so will probably have posted something about conditions on the Grand Massif thread by then.
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@ROSCOPICO22, Morillon says it's not opening until 23rd........ Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply, much appreciated. I believe the chalet that we are staying in runs a minibus to the lifts...... And on their website quotes returns from "five" different place in the afternoon..... Is it possible to drive to Flaine from Samoens? @sj1608, thanks for the restaurant info, definitely look into that...
Thanks all agin
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I'm surprised to read that Morillon isn't opening earlier as the snow is looking pretty good in the GM the one year we aren't going there. Sad

The blues in Les Carroz and Morillon are all lovely plus Serpentine in Flaine. In samoens I would say that the red marmottes is more enjoyable than the blue (dahu?). You will probably enjoy many of the reds eg. those in Les Carroz too.

The bit you may not like is at the top of tete des saix and down pierce neige as if it is icy and crowded it is not the most enjoyable. However there are a few new runs opening this year so there may be less pressure on pierce neige.

The best stops for lunch in my opinion are chalet d'clair and L'igloo in Morillon - both owned by the same family. Unfortunately it sounds like they may not be open at the beginning of your stay. L'anfionne in les carroz is nice as is le pente a jules in Flaine.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@kabby, it is possible to drive to Flaine from Samoens.....but it's faster to ski! There's a pretty 'over the hills' road route to Araches, just below Les Carroz, and from there it's the main road up to Flaine.

Another vote for Marmottes rather than Dahu....or maybe the top of Dahu and then switch to Marmottes part way down, which is easy to do.

@snowymum, originally it was Flaine 9th Dec and everywhere else the 23rd, but Carroz and Samoens have pulled their opensings forward, and Flaine has had (limited) opening this weekend.
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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!
@snowymum, thanks for the update really appreciate it, yes Serpentine blue from the top of Flaine looks a nice run, and thanks for the other info...... Getting a good feel for our first trip there later

@sj1608, I wondered if the links were closed, and the chalet runs its own minibus to the lifts, wether they would go all the way to Flaine if snow conditions/ links weren't that good??
Anyway all will become clear...... Thanks again
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@kabby, suspect that depends on the dedication of the chalet owner!
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@kabby, i doubt one of the five is Flaine as each return would take the chalet operator over an hour.

My guess at the 5 are;
- Sixt (main lift)
- Sixt (bottom of Cascades)
- GM Express (samoens main lift)
- Vercland
- Morillon (Village)
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Lou Cab is just below the arrival point of the Grand Massif Express so you can't miss it. There is also a new restaurant for the is season just off Marmotte - about a third of the way down I think. The Blueberry above 1600 where there are a couple of ski shops is also pretty good. The restaurant that was called Chariande (can't remember it new name) has been improved especially the lower casual are is good for beers and watching skiers and is only a short run to get the GME down.
Opening dates have def been pulled forward to two weeks time. Flaine is next week - skied there yesterday but back in London now.
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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.
@ian999, thanks for the info, really looking forward to getting out there now and taking you all up on your recommendation
Cheers all
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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
There's a great Green run in Morillon which we love to do as well - Marvel. It's the longest green run around and if the snow is good its a beautiful run through the forest. Can get bare lower down if the snow is poor (i.e. the last few years) but is highly recommended (by me anyway).
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You know it makes sense.
Been over there today- not skiing, just driving but snow still at town level,and given that from next weekend, snow seems to be coming everyday pretty much until Christmas, should be good- enjoy!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@L_555, thanks for the update, we're heading out at the weekend so looks like timing should be good!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Oops, just realised that the restaurant I meant to recommend was l'Aero not Lou Caboens! It is tucked away, hence the suggestion to Google to find it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not sure but I think L'aero will be easier to find now the the new Coulouvrier lift is open. Should be signposted.
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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?
@ian999, hadn't thought about that, but it probably will. The first time we went, with friends who guided us in, it was in a white out and I had absolutely no idea of where we were!
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@sj1608, Go in March and sit outside. Glorious.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ian999, yup, last time we went it was March and we sat outside. Happy
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