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Grand Massif 2017/2018 snow report, Les Carroz, Flaine, Samoens, Morillon & Sixt

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Went up this afternoon as it has stopped raining. Visibility was much better than I thought it would be. Snow condition however not so great. Because so warm. 10 degrees at Samoens 1600 and didn’t feel any cooler at tete des saix either.

Snow ok at top of Grand Vans but very soft not far from top. Still good fun though. Lapped Tourmaline a couple of times, Portet then Chars down to coulouvrier. Back over to a Samoens for a couple of runs down Verosse and home now.

Pistes don’t have any brown but it needs to cool down.

Forecast more rain tomorrow so that’s probably it for me this week. Driving back Sunday. Back for a long weekend on 1 March.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can't say it was the best skiing I have ever had today. Wepowder.com is tipping snow down to about 1300m tomorrow so May be a reasonable week for those arriving rather than a soggy mess.

Back for 10 days in March/April so not too disappointed about the past couple of days. Although to much more rain like this and April might be a bit sketchy.
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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?
Well that’s the week over. Today redeemed for yesterday. Got up to the Vernant valley and the height meant there was even some fresh snow. Played on the blues on both sides of the col then up and over to Grand Vans which was run of the day. Lots of laps, lots of space for joining out big board turns. Even some sunlight and a nice big eight seater to whisk us all back up. Popped back over to Samoëns to see if it had brightened up but Coulovier’s Char was still in the coulda. But it is nearly a 1000m decent so a good run. Went back to Grand Vans to warm down and then back to a foggy Samoëns 1600.

In no particular order here’s some tips.

Favourite lifts and their pistes. Grand Vans. Gron for a lovely combo of blues and reds. And Sixt’s top lift for perfect red runs to lap all on your own.

Least favourite lifts- up from Carroz, ver6 crowded.

Almost secret powder stash - under the top of the Grand Vans lift, even managed some turns today.

Boarder bad spots. Dahu, flats, narrow traverses. Take Verosse down instead, more fun and wider traverses.

In Samoens

We stayed at CGH Chalets Layssia. New, good, great pool, even better Turkish Bath. Central location at the quieter end of the town centre.

Culinary arts. We had a good old fashioned fondue at Gourmandise de Marie next to Intersport. Excellent French and family friendly. Honourable mention to the Carrefour for being best mountain resort supermarket i’ve been in. Especially for having frozen tarteflette too.

We hired from Intersport online. Pickup quick and easy as was drop off.

French French bits: the old Poma egg at Vercland, ESF taking the primary school classes off piste Thursday afternoon, families who don’t shout across the piste and the lone monoskier spotted above a Flaine.

Finally do pop into the church, very France profound and a lovely lady who told us about it and the parish.
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Be careful if you venture off piste! Even the most innocent looking slope loaded with fresh powder is very Avalanche prone. Went for a bit of play at the top of Flaine. Got swept three times off my feet in the middle of each S-turn and then decided to call it a day. Gers bowl completely off limits too...
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@ExSussexSnow - really interesting to hear that you were staying at the CGH Chalet Layssia as we are going there in a few weeks time - we have stayed at the CGH Le Ruitor in Sainte Foy for the last couple of years and really like the set up there but looking to try somewhere new. How did you find the ski bus link to the main lift? Is it easy/frequent? Thanks for sharing your tips on the best pistes too. Any more restaurant recommendations from you or any other regular visitors to Samoens would be gratefully received as this will be our first trip to the Grand Massif. We snuck in a cheeky 3 days in Ste Foy and the Tarentaise this month but now really looking forward to 6 (hopefully 7) more ski days in mid March.
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Any updates on snow conditions out there? We arrive in Samoens next weekend and are raring to go! Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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Good depth everywhere, quality excellent for the first hour or two each day but then can start to become hard/scraped/icy (as its peak season until 10th March) in a few places lower down or on busy areas. Forecasted to be very cold for 4 days then starting to snow above about 1400m on Thursday night and on Friday (forecasts to be taken with a pinch if salt though). I think you will have a great weeks skiing.
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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!
Loganberry,

We liked the set up. Only two tips for the kitchen. The microwave doubles up as a convection oven so you can cook a lot more. And the hob excretory fan works by pulling the hood out. Took us days to work that one out.

Not restaurants but there is a boulangrie right opposite, plus the splendid Boulangerie Tiffanie in the Square too. And they will the chalet reception will arrange morning deliveries too.

Bus is good. Stop is just across the road from one end of the complex. Bendy buses with room. It 8s then five minute to the GME lift. I also walked it in ten minutes. Easy.
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Thanks for the reply ExSussexSnow (we are currently enjoying the snow in Sussex wondering whether it’s worth getting the skis out). We spent a good hour on our first trip to CGH in Ste Foy trying to work out how the induction hob worked, so I always value any hints on the facilities! Good to know that the bus works well and we always love to know where the best boulangeries are. I see that there’s another thread with restaurant recommendations, so we’ll take a good look at that before we get there. The weather looks flipping cold at the mo, but the longer range forecast suggests it could be rather warm by mid March. Looks like there’s plenty of snow though, so I can’t wait to strap the planks back on.
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Ah Sussex on skis, i’ve ridden the Ashdown Forest and the Downs up behind Plumpton, nice and steep.
I rode a lift with a local Brit and I asked him about late season. He says it holds up well. He also pointed out Morillon has snow making to the base down at 1100 too
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We stayed and skied in Samoens for the first time a few weeks ago and I have to say it was a great place to both stay and ski. Yes, we had great weather and great snow, but we actually liked the whole atmosphere of the place. We found some great little bars and restaurants; it wasn’t too busy...in the town or on the mountain. Easy access to ski to lots of villages, inexpensive and friendly. We stayed for four nights even though it is only just over an hours drive from home as we wanted the ski ‘holiday’ experience and in our humble opinion, we found a little gem. Bonne oeuf!
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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.
Les Carroz, Samoens & Morillon today, snowing non-stop from 9am - 2pm. We got a bit wet lower down and very difficult to see anything high up....should be nice tomorrow though if the weather is good.
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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
Hey all, heading to the Grand Massif 12-16th March and wondered if anyone could a field a question or two!

First one might be a silly one - is the Coulouvrier lift open now? Staying in Morillon village so would be so great if it is! Also, are there any good snow parks in Morillon / Samoens? I've checked the piste map but looks to be mostly kids stuff on that side, parks in Les Carroz / Flaine?

Cheers!
Steve
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@scown, There is a small park in les carroz, at l'oasis, served by a drag called the same name. (so called as in one particularly bad snow year a long time ago it was the only area with snow apparently) If Coulouvrier is open, at the top go down the chamois red and the park is on the left.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Ze Forest in Flaine is the most challenging - in the trees and tight in places but good variety
L'Oasis in Carroz not so technically difficult but has it's own drag & good place to spend some time
Rest are really just for kids and are often closed
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Coulouvrier is open now, yes, been on it a few times. The run down was a bit icy last time I was there.
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Awesome, thanks a lot everyone. L'Oasis sounds like my kind of level!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The snow reports all look quite promising with a top up coming in this week - we are out in Samoens next week so I’m hoping it’s still all in good nick - can anyone confirm what conditions are like at the mo?
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@Loganberry, we are out next week too ... after some snow and near average temps this week the FL is expected to rise over the weekend with rain up to about 1,600Ms Evil or Very Mad
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hmm have to stay high then! We haven’t skied in the rain since Whistler 10 years ago - not uncommon there by all accounts, but I’d rather not repeat it if possible Very Happy
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Bergfex showing Sunday as the warmest day then cooler for the next 3 days with snow on Monday. That suits us as we are driving in on Sunday!
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I’m sure it will chop and change between now and then, enjoy.
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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!
I skied the Grand Msssif over the weekend (until yesterday lunchtime) and the conditions really were fantastic.
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franga wrote:
I’m sure it will chop and change between now and then, enjoy.


No doubt Smile there will be plenty to look forward to
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Our last day today and it poured with rain! But the pistes are still in great shape and our reward for soggy dedication was empty slopes. Jedi boarding/skiing was the order of the day through the clouds. The Grand Massif closed just after midday due to high winds but luckily they opened Grande Vans at around 3.15pm but upon arrival you had to ask the piste control to allow access down into the Vernant valley as it was all roped off. Those travelling to Samoens then had the run of Portet to get to Moulliets to then go to Morillon to catch the bus back to Samoens. I was impressed to see that the blue run down from Morillon 1100 to the ski bus was still open despite all the rain - really great piste management.
Freezing point should lower again over the next few days and there’s such a good base this year that it won’t take much snow to freshen it up! (Careful though since avalanche risk is very high - there has been an avalanche death in Samoens just this week.)
Let’s face it - on the mountain, plenty of snow left, school holidays finally finished - what’s not to like? Have a great trip!
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Going to Flaine on Sat, so looks like a bit of fresh snow on the way too. Toofy Grin
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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.
Please can it stop snowing? About a foot in Samoens 1600. Some down to Morrillion 1100 but that's very wet. Oh, and the fog can gi away as well.

Top slopes in brilliant condition. Low ones a bit stocky. Not a patch of ice in sight
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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
snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead
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I can't believe we had to cut our day short at 15:40 ... but the snow has intensified and the visibility is not great, I swapped my goggle lenses over lunch (which was had at Chalet d' Clair - excellent) but they didn't make much of a difference.

First time here in the Grand Massif and I am positively surprised - some lovely runs through the trees all the way down to Morillon and Les Carroz, we particularly enjoyed the blue Les Chars down to the Coulouvrier chair.

It's forecast to be dry tomorrow with the sun making an appearance - should be a good day. Snow forecast to return overnight and into Saturday.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Arrived on Friday afternoon to brilliant sunshine, but overnight in Les Carroz this turned to rain. Snow started at about 9am Saturday and lasted until early evening, although it was forecast to continue overnight. Snow conditions great, except for the lowest parts of the lower slopes, but visibility was not good. Took it very easy and only skied for a couple of hours as I had injured my ankle the last day of the last trip......not on the slopes but in our overnight B & B.

The Sunday forecast kept changing during the day, but what we got could be summarised as cloud/fog up high, flat light and a bit of snow. Stayed out for longer today and ankle still holding up though painful to get into and out of boots!

Lots of people around today - the car park looked as if the whole of Geneva had moved in - but am guessing it will be a relatively quiet week this week.

Whatever happens weatherwise, there will certainly be no shortage of snow for those coming down for Easter.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Woohoo! Will be arriving on 31 March so looking forward to great snow.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just back from 4 days in Morillion. I'm a regular visitor and i've not seen that snow depth for a long time. Weather was very mixed with lots of snow though we got out everyday and the fresh snow was magnificent. Its is soft going on the bottom stations like Sairon lift but it was getting colder, the best snow is definitely above 1300m. so it might improve Up the mountain and in Flaine the snow was fantastic though be prepared for bad visibility as it really does change very quickly. If you're going out 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?
Lovely to see these reports. Aiming to be in Les Carroz by late afternoon on Friday 30th. Is there still snow at resort level? Just working out if I'll need to bath the dog after each walk.
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Skied into Les Carroz a couple of times and its is very slushy. Take plenty of towels for the dog.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Les Carroz was way less slushy this afternoon than yesterday afternoon, the bottom of Combe was still snow rather than slush when we gave up today. And, yes, there's still snow at resort level.

The forecasts were completely contradictory today but what we actually got was about 75mm of snow at village level overnight, more higher. It cleared at about 9 and there was an hour of glorious sunshine and fresh pistes with lovely powder on them. After that visibility got worse and there were a few flurries of snow. It's still cloudy, but much brighter than earlier, with proper sunshine forecast for tomorrow.

Our new game is to see which signs you now look down onto rather than up to, there's so much snow There's a sign at the top of Sortilege that you now look down onto from Salice/Malice (I can never remember which is which), plus one by the bumps in the beginner area of Carroz that you can just see the top of at about knee level..... Happy
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There's certainly plenty of snow once you get out of the villages. We have just got back from Samoens and although the village was snow free (and rainy), once you got to 1600 and above the snow was fantastic. As others have said, last week we were very unlucky with 4 days out of 6 very snowy and often misty/cloudy - white out conditions curtailed our ski days on Thursday and Saturday, but we did get 2 excellent days in Flaine. Our favourite runs were (red) Marmottes into Samoens 1600 when it had loads of lovely light snow on it and most of all (red) Lucifer in Flaine, which is left unpisted and with the amount of snow falling was amazing. Due to a slight navigational error from Mrs L we also had a trip down Demon (diverges from Lucifer at the top) which was essentially off piste, so not entirely welcome news to my dodgy knee but with care, turned out to be great fun. In fact we did it again later in the day. Diamant Noir also looked very inviting, but everytime we thought about doing that one, the clouds came in big time. We stayed low among the trees into Morillon and Les Carroz on Saturday and enjoyed the skiing until we really couldnt see anything, so headed back to Samoens. You never want to finish your last day early, but you also have to remind yourself that it is supposed to be fun, so to call it early was definitely a good decision.

What we really liked about all the resorts was that the runs from the top of the hill are nice and long, right back down to Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon and Samoens 1600, so you feel like you are getting full value for every uplift.

On Tuesday after a good snowfall on Monday pm and overnight, it was carnage in Samoens - we've never seen the piste security out for so many falls in one morning and with poor vis and the snow piling up on all runs, the restaurant blasting out "I can see clearly now the rain has gone" must have been doing it deliberately! Particularly cruel though that with all the injuries on piste, the next song we could hear (from everywhere) was Aretha Franklin singing "Rescue Me" ....

The resort return runs, especially the link from Flaine, were causing problems for the less experienced skiers as they are pretty steep for blues and got very bumpy at the end of the day when they also of course turn into ant runs with everyone going home at the same time - I saw one unfortunate lady who I think cried all the way down Dolomie and had to be helped down by her friend.

On piste meal of the week was at Le Blanchot in Flaine opposite the Desert Blanc lift - great service from friendly staff and a very nice Poulet Fermier as the Plat du Jour, with a mention too for the Les Molliets restaurant at Les Carroz 1500!

I hope everyone out there this week has a great time - the weather forecast looks much better for the rest of the week.
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Sorry, too busy to give an update yesterday.

Yesterday started with very poor visibility in Carroz, hardly able to see across the road. We looked at webcams and forecast and it was clear blue skies and sun in Flaine, with a forecast for a bit of cloud in the afternoon, so we headed there. The webcams hadn't lied and the snow and weather was perfect. At about lunchtime it started clouding up reasonably seriously, but suddenly the cloud dropped. In the space of about 5 minutes we went from a bit overcast to skiing pole to pole in thick fog. We felt our way down Zeolite (which we were approaching when the fog descended) and on down Serpentine. By this time most pistes were virtually empty and we joined everyone else in calling it a day.

Today's forecasts again suggested that Flaine would have the best of the sun, so we headed there again, as well as going down into Carroz and Samoens. It was very cold, and breezy at height, but great skiing. At about 2pm it again clouded up in Flaine and started snowing quite heavily. In contrast, as we headed back to Carroz it was clear, although quite cloudy.

Some of the pistes are quite different from our last trip in January - most were wide then and many are wider now than we've ever seen them. Plus they've been banking up snow at the edges which detracts from the view in a few places. After you drop down off some lifts you have to pole up a few metres to make it onto the proper piste, where you'd usually just slide downwards all the way.
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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!
Having skied Flaine the last few days, we spent today mainly in Morillon and Samoens. It felt really spring-like, warm and sunny, complete with accompanying slush at lower levels. Higher up, the snow is still lovely.

The much-discussed Chars piste down from Morillon to the new Coulouvrier lift threw up a surprise today - the tunnel has been closed and you now ski to the left of it, across Stade piste and then back on to Chars, which is much more pleasant. It was still very icy in the short steep stretch between markers 21 and 20, and then turned to slush lower down.

Pistes remain pretty quiet and it was noticeable that Samoens, Morillon are much quieter than Flaine has been this week.
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We're heading to Flaine beginning of April. Never been before- We've done Les Arcs last 2 years so looking forward to exploring new slopes! Can anyone recommend any live cams that we can gaze at longingly? And also good local snow forecast sites? Thanks! oh- and any recommendations for slope side lunch stops would be great too Very Happy
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@Ski knees, the webcams on the Grand Massif website cover pretty much everything and are worth drooling over in advance! https://hiver.grand-massif.com/webcams

In terms of forecast, no two sites seem to ever agree and we don't think any are consistently better. If you download the meteo france app and 'favourite' Flaine then that seems to run a reasonable average of accuracy. And you get the webcams in the app, too, by going to the 'resort' tab.

We tend not to do slopeside lunches, but like the Bissac for a coffee. For a real lunch the Brasserie Les Cimes is good, but in the centre of Flaine Forum rather than slopeside.

Snow still excellent in Flaine and it is definitely quieter this week than last.
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