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!)

Tr: l’Espace Diamant AKA: A la recherche de la Pente perdu

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
When I used to travel reguarly between Chamonix and Moutiers I used to drive by some of the villages of the Espace Diamant before plunging into the Gorges d’Arly: Praz sur Arly, Flumet, ND de Bellecombe and Crest Voland.

But I’d never thought to stop and ski there. The area boasts 192 km of ski runs and must be one of the bigger domains in France. Plus the southern half, les Saisies, Hauteluce, Bisanne, le Cernix and Crest-Voland, stay open until the end of April. Ideal for a cheeky bit of end of season skiing, especially as it is only 90km from home, most of it on an autoroute. The cherry on the cake is a four hour lift pass that costs “just” 30 euros.

We arrived at Crest at around 10h30, so that would let us take advantage of the hard morning snow, we’d follow the sun to ski the NE slopes above Hauteluce, then the SW slopes of Les Saisies and Bisanne before heading back to the West slopes of Crest in the afternoon. It was going to be a spring snow spectacular.

The slopes at Crest Voland (1230m), and indeed, everywhere, were pretty much empty despite the fantastic end of season conditions. If the stone age didn’t end due to lack of stones this year’s ski season certainly isn’t ending due to lack of snow but due to simple lack of skiers. We were like the last of the Mohicans out on the high plateaux of the Savoie.


Hauteluce runs, Beaufortain and Pierre Menta behind

So our plan was to take the Logere chair to Mont Lachat (it was the only lift running in CV at the time) then over into the les Saisies part of the area. Les Saisies history as a tourist area started back in 1936 when Austrian ski instructor Erwin Eckl pitched up in the area. Within a few months he was married to a local girl and started a hotel, the first in the area, with his new brother in law but it would have to wait until after the war for Eckl to install the first drag lift. In 1964 it was decided to link the local villages via ski lifts and this was the real start of the ski area. The village basis of the ski resort is both a strength: charming villages (well with the French touch of some fugly apartments) both summer and winter living in harmony with the mountain but often poorly connected with disparate lift systems and pistes.

So from Mont Lachat (1650m) we had something of a schlepp over to the Chard du Beurre (1889m) to la Legette (1865m). From here we skied down to the bottom of the Jorets chair (1450m) above Hauteluce but it was not possible to ski to Hauteluce itself because the Chozal lift was closed. The Lanches red piste is pleasant but we also found some nice spring, low angled, off piste to the left of the Frettes blue. It only got too soggy to ski below 1550m but remember these East facing slopes had seen the sun since the start of the morning. There were some impressive quantities of snow on the roofs of the alpine chalets. Here looking over to the Pierra Menta and the Beaufortain.

The wind from the N.E. was very tiring in this sector so we found shelter on the la Legette and the Perdrix and and Cuberotte blacks. Blacks in name but not really in steepness. The Perdrix has a mini wall at the end but would qualify as a red in most resorts. The Cuberotte is more interesting, unpisted and moguled, some were the size of VW beetles at the end. Then to get over to les Saisies another weakness of the area, the long, slow Blanchotts green because you have to get to a point to cross the many roads that traverse the area via a ski bridge.


Les Saisies 100 km of flattitude

Les Saisies is better known for its cross country skiing. It hosted events for the 1992 Olympics. So building an Alpine ski area in what is essentially a flat plateau with a few small hills, is a bit of a contradiction. To get to the summit of Mont Bisanne (1940m) you take the fast but very long Bisanne chair and here you find another peculiarity of the area. Whereas most ski resorts build lifts to take you from the lowest part of the mountain, to the highest, in the most efficient way possible, l’espace Diamant has another vision. Certainly the chairs take you up – although often slowly, but they also transport you horizontally and frequently downwards! The result is you can cover a lot of ground but often end up little higher than when you started. It is more like an urban transport system to link a number of geographically remote villages, than a ski area.

When we reached Mont Bisanne we discovered that the link to Bisanne, which was shown as closed on the resort website, was in fact open. The wind was also blowing again so we headed to shelter down another not particularly steep black, the Bouquetin (1500m). The Rosieres lift was another slow crawl back up the mountain but we eventually made it.


Kamikaze - Banzai

From here we’d been titillated by the Kamikaze piste. It looked direct on the map, this would be something special? It links down to the base of the Chamois chair (1700m) but it would surely breach the trades descriptions act. The boy noticed something about the resort at this point, a tendance to run 4 or 5 pistes down a single slope with a small strip of between the pistes. In this way they could double, or even quadruple dip to up the kms without really offering the punter much variety. To the left of the Kamikaze there was some off piste with a corniche and drop off but the wind had stopped it transforming and it was rutted and uncomfortable to ski. Without the wind it would have been quite interesting.

Time was running and we did the long march back to the Chard du Beurre (which has an excellent Leitner high speed chair) and the Sanglier red. This had a nice pitch of spring off piste snow above the D218b road which we skied twice.

Back to Mont Lachat, that has a very flat top, we skied down to Cernix via the Auges red. Not a bad run down through some alpages with little chalets on them. Then to end the day a few runs on the CV side. First down to the long Reys drag which was now open then the Varoche and Criee pistes.

Clearly the resort isn’t for us. That doesn’t mean it is a bad resort. On the contrary, for beginner to intermediate skiers who want a big ski area with not too challenging terrain, it would be fantastic. The links between villages that we found a bit long and boring could be part of a safari. Ok today we’ll ski over to that nice restaurant at le Magnier for lunch then head back in the afternoon. – that kind of thing. Ok we don’t know if there is a nice restaurant in le Magnier, apart from the main drag at Crest Voland and les Saisies everything was pretty much closed. To paraphrase Francois Cabrel

Quote:

“It’s the silence,
you notice most
The shutters closed,
The empty pistes
Where we eat our lunch
It must be skiing,
off season”


http://youtube.com/v/ND_mr_xWrnM

Even the time spent idling on chairlifts might be a relief for tired legs. You have a view on the south side of Mont Blanc to ponder as well as the mountains of the Savoie.

The off piste possibilities are interesting. Little valleys to one side or the other or the south face of Mont Bisanne (not without a risk of avalanches) but the lack of vertical leaves you hungry for longer adventures. The blacks are tame, there is no squeaky bum moment you might get exiting say “The Tunnel” at l’alpe d’Huez where you realize you a well beyond they point of no return and the only way is down down, deeper and down.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 12-04-18 23:28; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I enjoyed reading that, thank you
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?
Excellent tale!
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I agree that some of the connections in the ED are weak or nonexistent.

I think Les Saisies is great for beginners and intermediates, maybe one of the best in the northern Alps, because you'd have to be a truly hapless skier to get "stuck" (or a bad map reader!), and there are a lot of freeway type runs (as you noted) to work up your skills. There are some harder pistes in other parts of the Espace Diamant.

Did you ski the Bellasta area? It's a big bowl that faces Mont Blanc, plenty of off piste and a new detachable fast chair.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Pasigal wrote:
I agree that some of the connections in the ED are weak or nonexistent.

I think Les Saisies is great for beginners and intermediates, maybe one of the best in the northern Alps, because you'd have to be a truly hapless skier to get "stuck" (or a bad map reader!), and there are a lot of freeway type runs (as you noted) to work up your skills. There are some harder pistes in other parts of the Espace Diamant.

Did you ski the Bellasta area? It's a big bowl that faces Mont Blanc, plenty of off piste and a new detachable fast chair.


The Praz sur Arly end looks interesting. Some good vertical, tree lined skiing for those bad weather days. Véry sector is apparently a bit gnarly but not without avalanche risk. There seems to be a wide variety of interesting off piste around the place for someone who knows the area, especially if they are prepared to use skins and it looks like a great base for people who don't want to just piste ski.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Thanks. I’m going to investigate further (and then ask Pam w Very Happy ). It sounds good for the wife who enjoys a long slow meandering chairlift.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
One thing you can see is we are mid April and there is still huge snow in the area, look at the roofs in the first photo at around 1600 meters. A lot more snow than around Grenoble.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
andy1234 wrote:
I enjoyed reading that, thank you
+1
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.
Good read, thanks.

Rather surprisingly to me there is now a serious plan to link ED to Les Contamines via a lift from (I think) the Hauteluce base of Les C to the nearest chair in the ED above Hauteluce proper.

From your description you can see why this would be very attractive for the ED resorts - to get access to some higher and a little more challenging skiing (I'm not suggesting that Les Contamines has tough piste skiing). I have the feeling that Les C skiers would find the reverse option less valuable although occasionally fun.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Interesting to read another review of the area I spent a week in (and loved) this January, and sorry it didn't suit you.

I agree with a lot of the comments, however, you only visited the gentlest sectors of the Espace Diamant, and your summary isn't representative of the area as a whole. Praz-sur-Arly, Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Flumet all have steeper terrain: admittedly not many genuine blacks, but certainly not a "horizontal transport system" (even in Les Saisies). Also, saying the lifts go "frequently downwards"... I don't remember even a single lift that has a significant downwards slope.

I also disagree about the "tendance to run 4 or 5 pistes down a single slope with a small strip of between the pistes" to "double, or even quadruple dip to up the kms without really offering the punter much variety". The Chamois chair is certainly guilty of this, but I can't think of many other places across the 200 km of slopes which are like that.

While on the subject of inflating piste length figures, it's interesting to note that the Espace Diamant is one of the few French resorts which doesn't exaggerate its figures. The area claims 192 km, which is pretty accurate. That makes it larger than Flaine (265 km claimed, real figure 170 km), Les Deux Alpes (220 km claimed, real figure 135 km), Alpe d'Huez (250 km claimed, real figure 179 km) to name a few. And nearly as big as Tignes-Val d'Isere (300 km claimed, real figure 236 km).

Perhaps come back when the whole area's open and start from Praz-sur-Arly?
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes, Saisies is by far the "flattest"part of the Espace Diamant" and usually the busiest by far. There's a moral there some where. There is much more interesting piste skiing elsewhere and quite a bit of interesting and pretty safe off piste for folk who like to do a bit but don't want to be too gnarly. And it doesn't get tracked out quickly.
snow report     
 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.
jedster wrote:
Good read, thanks.

Rather surprisingly to me there is now a serious plan to link ED to Les Contamines via a lift from (I think) the Hauteluce base of Les C to the nearest chair in the ED above Hauteluce proper.

From your description you can see why this would be very attractive for the ED resorts - to get access to some higher and a little more challenging skiing (I'm not suggesting that Les Contamines has tough piste skiing). I have the feeling that Les C skiers would find the reverse option less valuable although occasionally fun.


Now that would be interesting. Sounds like we're talking about the Bellasta chair in the ED. Here's the info, see bolded part. Also note that second part of the plan would link ED to Evasion-Mont Blanc. I personally don't see any benefit to the link to E-MB, as you've then just got a very long but not very high ski station. :

L'Espace Diamant comporte les stations des Saisies, de Crest-Voland/Cohennoz, de Notre Dame de Bellecombe, de Flumet et de Praz sur Arly, mais le projet final prévoit de relier l'actuel domaine au domaine Evasion Mont-Blanc, comportant les stations de Megève, Saint Gervais, Saint Nicolas de Véroce, les Contamines Montjoies, Combloux et la Giettaz.

Liaison Espace Diamant => Domaine des Contamines Montjoies : La commune d'Hauteluce dont dépend une partie des domaines skiables des Saisies et des Contamines s'intéresse particulièrement à une possible liaison entre les domaines de l'Espace Diamant et celui des "Contas". L'éventuelle liaison entre ces 2 massifs partirait des secteurs de Bellastat et de Plan Mermin (qui auraient été équipés de remontées mécaniques) pour rejoindre Belleville et se raccorder ainsi au domaine des Contamines Montjoies.
A suivre...
Liaison Espace Diamant => Domaine de Megève/Saint Gervais : La seconde phase de l'extension de l'actuel Espace Diamant consisterait en l'implantation de nouvelles remontées mécaniques sur les alpages du Col du Véry afin de raccorder les secteurs de Bellastat/Plan Mermin aux Prés Rosset de Megève.
Ce programme fais évidemment grincer des dents les associations écologistes qui déplorent l'impact environnemental sur le dernier site vierge de tout équipements du Val d'Arly.
Un long et complexe projet n'étant pas près de voir le jour...
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
That possibility, and a link along the Arly Valley between Praz sur Arly and Megeve ( geographically easier) has been discussed for years. I can't see much point, personally.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pam w, I don't really, either. Getting to LC from anywhere most people would lodge in the ED would be a long trip. Maybe the idea is to spur development in Hauteluce, which would be kind of sad.

And I'm sure it would face a lot of resistance, probably rightly, from an environmental standpoint.

I'd much rather see the ED add some more links within the domaine, including access to Mont Bisanne from the Legette lift -- a pedestrian bridge with a conveyor belt or magic carpet would do the trick -- and couple more fast detachables on the Praz side.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I think linking Les Contamines with the Espace Diamant would be worthwhile. Les Contamines gains lift-linked extent (since Megeve isn't directly connected), while the Espace Diamant gains altitude.

Alternatively, joining Megeve and Les Contamines would have the same effect.

Joining Megeve and the Espace Diamant, not so much: both areas are low, and they're already big.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've had an email about this from Les Saisies this mornning. Officially under consideration, obviously. Am away with just a phone so will study it later. The ED doesn't gain significant altitude from joining LC. Just one drag lift.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi all, new poster and sometime Flumerand here. As stated, there's more invigorating pistes above the lake at Notre Dame, and nice steeper runs above Praz and Flumet, though nothing terrifying. The Seigneurs lift in Flumet is the spot for adrenaline.

I think the proposed link from Bellasta to Les Contas is more for the headline figures than any practical benefit, a shuttle bus from Hauteluce to Belleville would do the same trick. The domain would benefit more from a new Evettes lift at Flumet or even a transval lift from the bottom of the Boulangère lift at NDDB over to the Crest Voland side, to "desenclaver" the latter.

I read that Les Saisies has put out a tender for a new Legettes lift, which will go over the road to link up with Carrets, to be put in place in 2019 I believe.
ski holidays     
 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?
Welcome to SHs @Ugo. Nice to have a Flumerand on board. Agree entirely about a new Evettes lift!
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks Pam! We live in hope...
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ugo wrote:
Hi all, new poster and sometime Flumerand here. As stated, there's more invigorating pistes above the lake at Notre Dame, and nice steeper runs above Praz and Flumet, though nothing terrifying. The Seigneurs lift in Flumet is the spot for adrenaline.

I think the proposed link from Bellasta to Les Contas is more for the headline figures than any practical benefit, a shuttle bus from Hauteluce to Belleville would do the same trick. The domain would benefit more from a new Evettes lift at Flumet or even a transval lift from the bottom of the Boulangère lift at NDDB over to the Crest Voland side, to "desenclaver" the latter.

I read that Les Saisies has put out a tender for a new Legettes lift, which will go over the road to link up with Carrets, to be put in place in 2019 I believe.


As I mentioned above, a lift from Legettes to Carrets would be a huge plus. Might even tempt me back there, as the last three times we went we were ski in/out to Legette through some goat paths. That would save oodles of time getting back from Bisanne.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Ugo, Boulangère to maybe Moliettes is quite a long way, it has to take you over the Nant Rouge. I just get the Val d'Arly season pass and only used it for one day in NDDB plus a free day in each of Manigod and Les Saisies, the rest of the time I just skied in Crest Voland.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@rjs - Sure, it won't happen, but to carry on those pistes over the respective roads and replace the drag lifts on each side would make more of a difference than a link to Les Contamines, at similar cost (?).

The real priority should be to keep on steadily replacing the oldest drags and chairs. Bigger schemes like the Contamines link makes financial sense only if they draw the attention of tour operators and spur new building, which is the last thing the area needs.

Meanwhile, the large building project in what was the car park behind the high street in Flumet is underway, hopefully the end result will be ok.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ugo wrote:
@rjs - Sure, it won't happen, but to carry on those pistes over the respective roads and replace the drag lifts on each side would make more of a difference than a link to Les Contamines, at similar cost (?).

The real priority should be to keep on steadily replacing the oldest drags and chairs. Bigger schemes like the Contamines link makes financial sense only if they draw the attention of tour operators and spur new building, which is the last thing the area needs.

Meanwhile, the large building project in what was the car park behind the high street in Flumet is underway, hopefully the end result will be ok.


I agree 100 percent. What I like about the ED is the lack of ugly apartment blocks. Even LS, while purpose built, is fairly harmonious with the environment.
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.
Quote:

The ED doesn't gain significant altitude from joining LC. Just one drag lift.


Eh? Les C has a lot of skiing between 1800m and 2400m and these slopes have better snowfall and snow retention than one would expect from the altitude alone. I don't think you can say the same of ED?
And I'm confused by the one drag lift comment.
I presume you mean the Veleray Drag? But the Croche chair goes just as high. And in any case it is the terrain that gets opened up that matters not the number of lifts.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

The real priority should be to keep on steadily replacing the oldest drags and chairs. Bigger schemes like the Contamines link makes financial sense only if they draw the attention of tour operators and spur new building, which is the last thing the area needs.


But I agree with this in general - just not obvious to me that new links add huge benefits as they don't add capacity. I also don't really see how Les C village would gain much which makes me sceptical it will happen.

SECHM's (the Les C lift company) first priority is to replace the Roselette chair (long 3 man non-detach) which is currently slated for Summer 2019. Sounds like it will be a chunky investment and they'll add a mini lift station at the top (loos, restaurant?). I read an interview in which the Chief Exec was asked "didn't you say no major investment unless Les C adds beds in the resort?" - apparently their current thinking is that their strategy is based on growing drive in visitors. My sense is that while Les C is very convenient for drive in day visitors (big car parks close to lifts) that those car parks are the current bottleneck - the car parks can be pretty rammed and still when you get up the mountain the pistes are pretty quiet.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
denfinella wrote:

While on the subject of inflating piste length figures, it's interesting to note that the Espace Diamant is one of the few French resorts which doesn't exaggerate its figures. The area claims 192 km, which is pretty accurate. That makes it larger than Flaine (265 km claimed, real figure 170 km), Les Deux Alpes (220 km claimed, real figure 135 km), Alpe d'Huez (250 km claimed, real figure 179 km) to name a few. And nearly as big as Tignes-Val d'Isere (300 km claimed, real figure 236 km).


Good point. Bigger than les Sybelles: claimed 310km, real 145km and les Sybelles also has quite a few parallel pistes in places. French ski resorts have been told to use real KM but few seem to have fallen into line.
latest report     
 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.
I was out in Les Saisies for Easter with the family and highly recommend it exactly as described for beginners or intermediates.

re the different points on lifts/pistes:
- I also didn't see any lifts going down. There are two chairs which are a single lift down/up either side of the valley, but you would only go down if you were a pedestrian.
- The tourist office told me the objection to the LC/ED connection is from Megeve, who see it as a threat to their 'preminent' position. Equally, they oppose a Megeve/ED link as they lose their snow early being low and therefore they would lose skiers to ED disproportionately (I saw a number of ESF Megeve instructors in ED while there)
- The Legette to Carrets extension will happen, with the chair going over the road and piste connection going under. This will make it easier for people staying in the Beaufortain sector to drop their kids at ski school and then get quickly into the lift system.
- On the contrary to the comment about bumping up the km of piste, I felt that compared to other resorts a huge amount of the ED ski area is undeveloped. So much of the area is still forest, which in other resorts would have been torn down to add in new pistes.
- What ED lacks in vertical drop (for advanced skiers) is made up for by the well-designed piste system that allows beginners/lower-intermediates to make their way on Greens and Blues in a circuit around the main summits (Bisanne, Legette, Chard du Beurre etc). It's really well designed for lower level skiers.
- Lots of (easy) snowparks/skier X for the kids to have fun in
- Aquacentre was good for a bad weather day and the luge was great fun for all ages
- I'd add as well that it was great to be on very quiet pistes, with very few Brits around. Pleasant change from the Tarentaise/PdS etc.

They also claim there is a micro-climate that gives them more snow. I can't vouch for this on every season, but I can compare with Courchevel where we went to immediately after, and there was substantially more snow at the same altitude in Les Saisies.

FWIW here's my edit of a great holiday (three families, 6 kids between 9 and 13)

http://youtube.com/v/F-JvqQmhPio
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
@jedster, I don't think LC offers much higher altitude skiing than the ED. The Veleray sector doesn't hold its snow well - that area is quite often closed. I remembered the lift up to the Aiguille Croche as a drag - but could well have been a chair. Unpisted mogully run one side (which my son did) and nice red the other (we met at the bottom). Otherwise, the vast majority of the skiing in LC is below the Col - at much the same altitude as the ED. The choice of lower altitude skiing is much better in the ED too - lots of fun to be had in the Arly Valley, including the Seigneur drag!

I have often seen Megeve (and Flaine) ski instructors in Les Saisies. Which does have exceptional snow cover but which is also pretty flat, as davidof reports. But davidof and his son are hardly yer average UK holiday skiers. Les Saisies is ideal for families and mixed abilities and consequently very busy in French school holidays. The top of Notre Dame and Praz sur Arly (the Ban Rouge), in contrast, provides some very good and almost always deserted skiing and plenty of the kind of accessible NTG off-piste you get in LC too.

But I still can't see much point in joining up the areas. There is already a bus service between Hauteluce and Belleville but the runs right down into both Hauteluce and Belleville - at the top of the Hauteluce Valley - are a bit dodgy for snow cover. There are cannons, but both villages are a bit low. Hauteluce (despite the protestations of the Maire who is probably behind the proposed link to LC) is not a good base for people skiing Les Saisies because the bottom run down often has poor snow cover and is a Red with some slightly tricky sections, especially in dodgy snow. So people have to take the (reliable but infrequent) bus.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I know of several ESF Megeve instructors who actually live in one of the Val d'Arly villages.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w wrote:
Les Saisies is ideal for families and mixed abilities and consequently very busy in French school holidays.


Yes, the ski area seems perfect for that and we need a variety of skiing. I'm looking for an area for friends who fit into that category exactly - unfortunately they also want to come at half term with another family and the dad is an "expert" skier - apparently on the British ski team at one time so not sure ED is for them. For some reason Mr Expert no longer skis off piste and is looking for challenging on piste terrain, otherwise the off piste at ED looks interesting.

They skied Serre Chevalier last year which worked out very well for them and Alpe d'Huez in 2016 - but it was a poor snow year in ADH and they were a bit disappointing.

Again some of the negatives we saw - long links between ski areas - would actually be positives for other skiers as it is a bit of an adventure skiing along snow lined valley bottoms to some far off destination. It was actually like a French Davos/Klosters but without the mountain railway.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Belleville - at the top of the Hauteluce Valley - are a bit dodgy for snow cover

Have to say, bar two Aprils in the last 7 years that hasn't been my experience - very shady down at Belleville. But I've only been skiing in the area for the last 7 years so may have been lucky.

Quote:

Otherwise, the vast majority of the skiing in LC is below the Col - at much the same altitude as the ED.


The bulk of the skiing is at altitudes between the Col and 100m below Signal. That is between 2100 and 1770m. In contrast according to the ED piste map the top of nearly all the lifts is 1800m. 300m may not sound much but it makes a big difference to snow quality, particularly as the elevation is relatively protected from direct sun.

Clearly neither area is remotely high. Interestingly though the Les Contamines locals always say that they do best in relatively low snow years when the Les C conditions tend to be materially better than nearby competitors. Talking to people this year they've been really delighted by the snow (more than 9m fell!) but then they say "but of course EVERYONE had good snow this year". Just shows the human tendency to be glass half empty.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nine metres! I've been wondering what the cumulative must have been given how much was washed away and how much still remained.
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?
One reason the Espace Diamant/Les Saisies has not developed more is that much of the forest land is a tetra (grouse) preserve, if I'm not mistaken.

It's a great area, but make no mistake, it is mobbed during French half-term, especially Les Saisies.
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy