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Driving to Chatel in 3 weeks - advice needed please!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well we are no longer 3 weeks away from our drive South (well across and South - I can't drive South s I'll end up in the Solent!)

Still planning on heading into Switzerland and using the Pas De Morgins:

@sarah, Any update - can you confirm the Pas is open?

@martinperry, Discretion being the better part of valour I am using your option - as long as I can find LeClerc's! I won't bother filling up on the UK side and drive down, even though we will have a box on the roof and aerodynamics/fuel efficiency being affected by this and a fully laden car; it will still be well within rage and will probably mean us being half empty and ready for a top up of 'mountain fuel' on arrival at Chatel. Can you confirm there are facilities in the area that are 24hrs to grab a coffee / have a comfort break?

Roof bars and box going on tomorrow, 'practice pack' luggage will commence Thursday afternoon and then I will have to politely tell the wife that she needs to reduce the amount of 'stuff' packed for the youngster or else she will have to forego her seat in the car!

Weather forecasts are currently looking good, mixture of snow and sunny days whilst we are there and I will finally be able to try out the Ski Mojo's I have been strapping myself into everyday since buying them - here's hoping they work and I don't have to walk into my orthopaedic consultation on the 21st February on crutches (mind you, it might speed up the process of getting my knee sorted!!!)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@OuchMyKnee, Pas de Morgins is open today.
There's only a few cm forecast for Friday so should be dandy - especially if it's in the daytime.
Sunday should be epic as there is a big dump forecast on Saturday night.
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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?
@sarah, Just reviewing this thread as I'm off to La Chapelle D'Abondance on Saturday. Was thinking of swapping our normal route of going through Poligny to going via Besancon, but you mention the Poligny route is quicker. Do you think that's the case at all times? We will be coming off the A39 about 5:30pm on Saturday, so still in daylight.
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Last weekend the D22 was closed between the D902 and the junction with the D32 near Chevenoz. I was going to Chatel from the south so got diverted all the way into Thonon-les-Bains and back out again through Publier and Bernex. The route through La Forclaz was fine though.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rjs, Always worth checking http://www.inforoute74.fr/ to see the state of the D22! Anybody know the Swiss equivalent?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Matt1959 wrote:
@sarah, Just reviewing this thread as I'm off to La Chapelle D'Abondance on Saturday. Was thinking of swapping our normal route of going through Poligny to going via Besancon, but you mention the Poligny route is quicker. Do you think that's the case at all times? We will be coming off the A39 about 5:30pm on Saturday, so still in daylight.


I haven't gone via Besancon for years now so hard to say. I just always go the Poligny way now with the SatNav.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@sarah, I'll try to remember on Saturday and time one of the two routes!
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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!
FYI - the Abondance valley road is closed from the Bioge tunnels to Vacharesse, with diversions over the plateau de Gavot or the Col Du Corbier.
So If you are coming up from the lake you'll need to take either the Pas de Morgins, or up through Lugrin.
If coming from GVA, then either Feternes, Forclaz or Col du Corbier depending upon which twisty road you fancy.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@OuchMyKnee, just following up on this to see how you got on driving down and the route?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ozboy wrote:
@OuchMyKnee, just following up on this to see how you got on driving down and the route?


Absolutely superb thanks, we had no problems whatsoever, and drove pretty much non-stop, other than the re-fuel at Le Clerc's near Reims. Eventually stopped for a short break once in Switzerland as the last stretch past Lake Geneve was a struggle due to t being daylight and my eyes were struggling to re-adjust. I ended up following the SatNav on the way back and we missed out Pontalier totally, wasn't worried mind, the amount of Brit registered cars heading in the opposite direction gave me the confidence I was on the right route! Only downside was arriving at the automatic check in kiosks 8 minutes late and not being able to squeeze on the train. I would probably have made it if I had been at a manned kiosk!

Excellent trip down, loved doing a long haul again - the only strain was the amount of gear, even in a large family car with 4 fully grown adults and a small child in a car seat - we were bursting at the seams, including the roof box! Next time my step son and his girlfriend will take their car as well!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I have done two return driving trips to Chatel in the past five weeks and about to setoff again on Friday for the first time with the kids. The route I have taken following the car’s LiveTraffic SatNav, which seems to be similar to @LaForet route is:

Dole > Besançon > Pontarlier > Vallorbe > Orbe > Lausanne > Monthey

Although this route is one the shortest (and scenic) - I find it quite stressful / slow to drive, lots of changes in speed limits, many speed cameras and currently miles and miles of roadwork. (Which does not help kids tendency to get car sick)

I would like to know how much time I really save when compared to driving the long way (at higher average speeds) , all the way to GVA, along the top of the lake, where i can join the A40 and the A39. Assume I time it to avoid rush hour. Going via Thonon currenlty hindered by the deviation following the landslides.

Thanks
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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.
@Ozboy, I reckon at least an hour slower going N side of lake then A40/A39 to Dijon the Northwards. Going via Thonon/Annemasse (when the valley road is open) can also be very slow.

After 25 years of driving out, probably approaching 100 visits, and trying pretty much every possible route I'm convinced Besancon Pontarlier Vallorbe Lausanne is the best balance of motorway/A road and quickest. Some like to come through the Jura at Poligny but I'm not convinced.
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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
P.s. Where are the roadworks you mention?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@DJL, thanks - your experience a well appreciated. Currently lots of roadwork from Lausanne to Pontarlier, in particular going north to Orbe and west to Vallorbe. I assume just summer program. How is it when snowing giving elevation over the Jura’s?

We still did good time yesterday - 11:45 hours door to door to SW London. Left Chatel at 6:20 am with efficient stops with 2 sharing driving. Lost about 15 mins in traffic jam at St Quintin Total filling station, gave up leaving without fuel, but EuroTunnel was super fast.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Ozboy, with winter tyres we've never had a problem but you can certainly get a snow covered road that way. Although the weather can vary between Alps/Jura if you get over the Pas de Morgins with no bother the Jura should be OK - 300m lower.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@DJL, I guess all the drivers are on winters and traffic flows. I’ll keep at it. Have you ever tried taking a more easterly route through the Alsace - it’s longer / slower but wonder if more motorway / flowing?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That's a pretty decent time. Realistically I reckon 8 hours driving Chatel-Tunnel. We usually allow 10 hours and relax a bit with a few decent stops. If tunnel is quiet it takes no time (25 min check in + 35 min transit - 60 min time difference = zero!) then 2 hours home to Colchester. Leave Chatel 10.00 home in Colchester 22.00.

Peak holiday season add 2 hours for tunnel faffing!

Outbound we usually leave after work, evening tunnel and overnight in Reims-Troyes area but circumstances and age of kids determines that. This summer it will be Thursday 9th morning departure though it pains me to pay the £20 supplement.
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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?
@DJL, we were keen to get to the eurotunnel early given the disruptions in the UK. It turned out no issues in France. I have also learned to drive straight to the loading aisles, instead of parking at the terminal building and waiting for boarding calls. The marshals seem to ignore the letters on the hanger.
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@Ozboy, we've done Basel - Mulhouse, through the Vosges, Luxembourg, Namur then through Belgium. Very scenic and cheap (no tolls, fuel in Lux) but much slower and poorer roads. Probably adds 2 hours to the usual route which makes it too long to do in one hit for me.

Not done the motorways up via Strasbourg but I don't think it would be quicker.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DJL wrote:
P.s. Where are the roadworks you mention?
last Wednesday the N57 was closed between Pontalier and Jougne. Bison Fire showing it still closed. Ok if travelling across from Poligny though as you will miss it. I detoured from Pontalier over to Yverdon but there is a sign posted diversion
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