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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Flaine (pronounced 'Flen' I believe)
Country: France
Domain: Grand Massif
Author: Wrongsideof30

Date: April 03 & April 04
Our holiday: These were cheap as chips DIY breaks intended to supplement our meagre one week a
year snowboarding holiday. Criteria was minimum cost, maximum slope time
Website : www.flaine.com
Basics : In the Haute Savoie we took the 6am flight from leeds to Geneva picked up a car and it was about
an hour to Flaine. We had snowchains but didin't need them on either occasion although the snow tyres were put to use on both trips as it dumped both times we went
Lift system : Lift system is generally modern and efficient with one or two museum pieces such as the 'eggs' lift Cannot comment on the rest of the Grand Massif was all but closed for the year so we pretty much stayed in the Flaine bowl
One point to note is the fun park is served by a particularly brutal button lift which my friend could not cope with
however I beleive it was due for replacement (the upside of this was the fun park was very quiet!)
The terrain : Pistes were varied and on the flattering side mostly open terrain with a few tree runs lower down. Off piste is famously iffy without a guide due to the number of holes in the limestone rock. At the top of the
large GM? gondola there is a long flat bit which boarders will find a pain however you only have to do this once
as you can take chair lifts back up from then on. I actually appreciated the walk to start off as I never warm up properly as a rule.
The snow : As it was April on both occasions spring snow prevailed which was slushy lower down , being on a board though this is almost as much fun as powder, the pistes were empty (and I mean empty) so we had a lot of fun, on both visits it dumped on the last night however visibility is not great without the trees
Off-piste : see above however now I am a bit braver (foolhardy) there are some safe-ish OP below the eggs lift you can scope out as you travel over it (even here you can see one or 2 deep holes (they are fenced off though)
The resort : We weren't there for the character which is just as well, as it is a bit like skiing out of basildon town centre, plus being late april it was exceptionaly quiet. I must say that the people are very friendly though and as a resort it does exactly what it says on the tin
Food : My friend is a vegetarian so he struggled with lack of vegie options that didn't revolve around melted cheese. There is a decent pizza place in the main square next to the black grouse? pub other than that pretty much your average Savoyard fare
Accommodation : Self catering apartment which was dreadful but very cheap at £40 each for 4 nights (this was april) this was just the thing for 2 lads to crash in, but as my mate said if he took his girlfriend there she would not be impressed. I think much of the accom is shabby like this so if it was high season and I had to pay top dollar for it and was there for a week I would be severely disappointed.

Costs: £200 + spends (thats lift pass, car hire, accomm, flights, sat am to monday pm)

Conclusion: There are so many other resorts with better charm or better skiing or better places to eat but I love the place! it's perfect for a short break out of season if you are like me and primarily there for the snow. I can see us going back as long as it stays cheap and cheerful.

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