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Prodains to Avoriaz Centre - how long? and ski schools?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

Booked for a week in the PDS in April with a big group and far too many kids. Trying to sort out ski school and was wondering if anyone could tell me how long it takes to get from the bottom of Prodains to the centre of the resort? From memory the prodains is quick but you then have to get a slow chair to the plateau and then ski down from there. If we were at the bottom of prodains for 8.30am could we get to the centre for 9 or is that pushing it? Or plenty of time? Like the look of Evolution2 but 9am start time isn't ideal. Kids were in the Village Des Enfants a couple of years ago and about 80% of their class didn't pass their test (in 3 different levels) so wasn't overly impressed but a 9.30am start adds some appeal wink might even be character building.....

Normally been impressed with ESF but only do 2hr lessons in the morning so not enough time for me and the missus to get some proper runs in, 2.5hrs is my minimum! Anyone else recommend a decent ski school that isn't extortionate??

Thanks all!

Ted
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Since they've installed the super-dooper multi cable car, the Prodains ascent is indeed pretty nippy, perhaps 15-20 mins from entry to exit (given no queues, no messing). But this is from memory, not a stop-watch.

You can then walk 10 metres from cable car exit to the slowish chair that goes up to the meeting point zone, perhaps another 15 mins (if no queues).

But, if you need to get to the Village Des Enfants (Avoriaz centre), then to ski down from there, could be 3-5 mins -depending on ability.

If your group is large (or inept), then you have to add significant 'faff time'.
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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?
Cheers Crosbie,

I was hoping 30mins all in so maybe not too far off. Last time we were there we were staying miles away so it was a good 20mins in a mini bus just to get to Prodains which was a pain in the backside. That time (same week - second week in April) there was never any queues for the chair and all the kids have skiied before so hopefully not too much of a faff getting down. May have to give myself plenty of time the first day to get my timings but we arrive on the Sunday and I will have to watch the end of the masters with a couple of drams so that will not help....... If we go for Village Des Enfants gives us a bit more time but kids may take some convincing. Think they have been mentally scarred!

Ted
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The duration of the actual ascent in the Prodains cable car is claimed to be about 5 mins, but there's the walking in the bottom phase, and the walking out the top phase (involving escalators, etc.).

When skiing down from the chair make sure you take the correct route and don't end up on the bypass (missing the centre, taking you past the start of the chair).

Incidentally, I'm aiming for a stay in Avoriaz the first week in April this year.

I deduce you've found some accommodation near the Prodains cable car this time?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Crosbie's timings sound about right to me. Also, I had a private lesson with Evolution2 (good lesson and good value - recommended) and you can actually walk to their office from the top of Prodains. It's not the huge uphill hike you might imagine because there's a pedestrian lift near the restaurants opposite Prodains, so there's not much walking involved if you know where you're going! Am sure you could get there by 9 if you were getting on Prodains at 8.30. I can give you more detailed directions if you need them Smile

If you wanted a bit more skiing and a bit less slow lift (Plateau did seem pretty slow!), you could take a short ski down to the Stade chair (opens at 8.45), take that up and ski down to the main Avoriaz bit. Wouldn't surprise me if it was no slower overall! But you'd want to try it and check...

We were staying nearish Prodains ourselves, and I thought it was a great location. Hope you enjoy!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Thanks. Is it quicker to walk to evolution2 or ski? Seem to remember getting up Prodains fairly quickly but the chair taking an age. Wouldn’t have a clue how to walk there though!

My kids would probably be ok with state lift as all fairly good these days (2 star to esf bronze) but some in the group will only be their second week.

We’re staying in a chalet 5 mins drive from Prodains apparently (used to be run by great escapes but now a young couple have taken it on) so hopefully a good location. We were at Ardent side last year and that was very quick/easy as ski school at the top of the lift.

Looks like another good snow year so looking forward to some spring skiing.

Ted
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Fast_ted, how much experience do your friends and family have? Can they reliably handle a non-detachable chairlift? I'd recommend a bit more than half an hour for the first couple of mornings.

When I first took my family for their first ski trip - all complete beginners - we got a sweet deal on a chalet on the outskirts of Morzine but as it was Easter I decided we'd ski in Avoriaz. We took the Prodains gondola up all fine, timings as per @crosbie. The fun started on the next leg. The non-detachable chair lift absolutely flattened my youngest, but I just about managed to haul her up onto the seat. At the other end, it dumped us all off into an inglorious heap, where the rest of my kids and my wife joined us. As I did entangled limbs, skis and poles, I cursed myself for not having put the family into a sleigh up across town to the ESF meeting point!

A few days later, with a bit of tuition under their belts, we worked out that it was a lot less hassle and more comfortable to ski down from the top of the Prodains gondola to the modern chairlift that goes up above the town, and then ski down further to the ski school. It is much further and takes a little longer, but was a better experience all round for our family.

My daughters eventually wangled a sleigh ride to school out of their tight daddy. Losing one of them in the fog the previous day might have had something to do with that...
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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!
Gipfel wrote:
If you wanted a bit more skiing and a bit less slow lift (Plateau did seem pretty slow!), you could take a short ski down to the Stade chair (opens at 8.45), take that up and ski down to the main Avoriaz bit. Wouldn't surprise me if it was no slower overall! But you'd want to try it and check...


I was almost going to suggest that option, but with a large group, there's no chance that would come close. For a competent solo skier, perhaps, given no queues for the Tour chair (not Stade), then yes, you could win the race from cable car exit to Village des Enfants, but it'd be close. snowHead
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
tomj wrote:
A few days later, with a bit of tuition under their belts, we worked out that it was a lot less hassle and more comfortable to ski down from the top of the Prodains gondola to the modern chairlift that goes up above the town, and then ski down further to the ski school. It is much further and takes a little longer, but was a better experience all round for our family.


Yup, that's the Tour chair. I think it's a 6 seater express. When I go on that solo, I'm often asked to mind unaccompanied youngsters.

It may be a more comfortable experience, but one does have to ski down to it, and ski down from it, and at busy periods this won't be more relaxing than the slow plateau chair (a 2 seater I think).
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hi Tomj,

My wife and I met in the alps as chalet hosts (back in the day) so have dragged the kids on skiing holidays for the last few years so ours are pretty capable but for one family it’s second time for their daughter (4) but they are both competent so worst case can stick her between their legs. The other family will be on their 3rd trip for kids (5 and 6) but again they are competent. As you say first day we will give ourselves plenty of time so we can work out timings. First time we did it was a nightmare as totally underestimated it and ended up chasing the ski schools trying to find the one our kids were supposed to be in! Not so much of a problem when their in the ‘Pens’.

Thanks for your posts. Much appreciated.

Ted
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Ooh, maybe I meant Tour, not Stade, sorry. I have an awful memory for chair/piste names! You're probably right about the timings for a large group. Although I also note tomj's experience with the non-detachable chair Toofy Grin poor kids!

It would definitely, 100% be quicker to walk to Evolution2 than ski. From the top of Prodains, look for the Changabang restaurant opposite - go up to that, then turn right and walk a tiny distance till you see the pedestrian lift. Take that lift up and at the top, walk through a small arcade corridor thing - when you come out, walk for a couple of minutes (five at most) up a bit of a hill and you're there! It sounds like a faff, but it's really not too bad as long as you know where you're going. I only knew the route because our rep told me!

Five mins from Prodains sounds like an excellent location.
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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.
Drop the ski school a line and ask them. If they come back with a grumpy, unhelpful answer they probably won't be the ski school you want to use. If they say 30min is fine/go X route you have yout answer and know you've probably made a good ski school choice.
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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
If you need to find out lift statistics more generally (journey time, capacity etc) I find this site really useful.

https://www.remontees-mecaniques.net/bdd/reportage-tph-3s-prodains-express-poma-leitner-5845.html

Nice to read up on a bit of history and background too if your French is up to it.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We use Freedom2Ski for our kids' lessons in Avoriaz and have done for a few years now. Their lessons are 3 hours long and they meet at the top of the Prodains lift. If he has any availability, I would hugely recommend them. Pete Hughes is the guy who runs the company and they're really friendly and professional, in case that's of interest.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
if you are in bus from Morzine or car, presume you are factoring in the traffic jam at prodains at morning peak and need to have booked parking if you are driving there?
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
No you don't need to book for parking and there shouldn't be any traffic at Easter.
I don't agree with the walking to Evolution 2, I think it would be a nightmare with A 4,5 and 6 year old. If you're 5 mins drive from Prodains, then I'd leave home by 8:15am on your first day and then adjust up each day if you get there too early.
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