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LIVE TR: Les Menuires 13th to 20th April 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This will be our 21st family trip after:

March 2009 - Les Menuire (3V)
December 2009 - Aime La Plagne (Paradiski) - snowmaggedon on the outward journey
April 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
December 2010 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2011 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
April 2012 - La Norma
December 2012 - Les Contamines
April 2013 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2013 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
April 2014 - MISSED - OMG!!
December 2014 - Tignes Le Lac - snowmaggedon on the return journey
April 2015 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2015 - Montchavin (Paradiski)
April 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
December 2016 - Les Coches (Paradiski)
April 2017 - Oz-en-Oisan (ADH)
December 2017 - La Tania (3V)
March 2018 - Les Coches (Paradiski)

December 2018 - Les Coches (Paradiski)

It's been a strange one. As you can see above we've been pretty regular Chrstmas and Spring break skiers for the last few years. But this year we were going to give it a miss on account of schools breaking up lateish, no new snow for weeks, busy work, a grumpy teenager not being too keen, blah, blah, blah, blah. So we'd all but canned the idea.

But then we still needed a break, still needed to do something with the kids. And oh, there is some fresh snowfall.. so last weekend it crept back on the agenda. Tuesday morning I booked a tunnel crossing, tonight I booked an apartment in Les Menuires and suddenly it's all game on again.

Naturally enough the tunnel is a tad pricier than booking early but not by a great deal. Return cost is £203, whereas if I was booking a couple of months before I'd expect to be paying ~£160. I tried FT and it just doesn't work for me. Same on the Flexi. We go out lateish Friday driving through the night and the current plan is to ski the second Saturday and drive back through the night for an early Sunday crossing back to blighty.

Accommodation though is plentiful and cheap, although we did just miss out on a nice looking pad in Valmont, Les Bruyeres sector at 280E and instead had to settle for a more bijou but nevertheless decent offering in Lac du Lou, La Croisette sector, at 275E for the week. It was found via the official resort website private rentals listing. We phoned the owner who confirmed it was still available and then reserved back through the web page. Shortly after got a contract from the owner, signed, scanned and sent it back. Then transferred the money from my wife's German account directly to the owners French bank account.

Packing is now underway with plenty of other stuff to deal with too. More on that later....


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 21-04-19 23:30; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
This my now just shy of 14yo just over 10 years ago skiing a proper slope for the first time above Les Menuires

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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?
4 Skipass cards reloaded for 7 days skiing Sunday to Saturday inclusive - cost 1019.20 Euros / £877.60 (Family rate 254.80 Euros each)

Insurance purchased with MPI - Single Trip, France only for £89.24. As per this thread I am not happy about the pricing and so have gone single trip and Economy on this one.
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I'm out in Les Menuires right now and jealous of you! Today is the second day of a white-out - and not even snowing, just cloud. I'm definitely not a fair weather skier, but it's ridiculous trying to ski. We are tossing up shelling out £250 so we can ski tomorrow morning...when the sun comes out again.

Conditions are good here. Everything above about 2000m is in decent nick, higher and there is excellent snow. You can still ski all the way down to LEM, but in the pm it's super thick slushy so be wary.

For the kids, I highly recommend Speed Mountain (over quick, but a thrill) and the Roc'n'Bob toboggan (great fun, VFM)

Have a great time!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@iainm, cheers for the heads up - have been considering the Speed Mountain and tobaggon. My eldest doesn't like roller coasters but we'll see how much they fancy it when we get out there.

Weather wise looks a real mixed bag over the next week but we'll give it a whirl.

My advice would be to ski Saturday if the as it's such a quiet day and Bergfex is saying 7 hours of sunshine! Offset the lift pass costs with the fact you are diluting all your other costs for the trip so the cost per day of skiing is much lower Happy
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Had to finish serving the skis last night aswell as doing organisation and packing.

Roofbox is on. I think we are in a fairly good place. We are scheduled on the 21:50 tunnel crossing so will only leave Milton Keynes 6ish. Hopefully the M25 is behaving.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Layne, travel safe enjoy the trip @layne
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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!
Journey to Folkestone very smooth through lots of 50mph zones. Bumped up half an hour. Thai curry from Leon excellent.
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@Layne, hope the journey goes smoothly. There'll be 50(?) of us over the hill in VT including quite a few in the early teen age range so keep an eye out and do say hello if you spot us Very Happy
Could be useful having eyes in Les Menuires as well to compare notes if the weather is iffy.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Drive down was really easy - clear weather the whole way. Got down to -0.5c at one point. Reached the Casino in Albertville just before opening. Loaded up with beer, wine, meat, cheese and other nice stuff. Arrived in Les Menuires just after 11. Bluebird day but missus decided before we came out she didn't fancy skiing today. We phoned the apartment owner on arrival and she was down in 10 minutes. She and her family are staying next door! Apartment over looks the front de neige at La Croisette. Now enjoying tea, snacks and beer!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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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.
mgrolf wrote:
@Layne, hope the journey goes smoothly. There'll be 50(?) of us over the hill in VT including quite a few in the early teen age range so keep an eye out and do say hello if you spot us Very Happy
Could be useful having eyes in Les Menuires as well to compare notes if the weather is iffy.

Yeah, I realised the family bash was on. We made a late decision to come out. Me and the missus both wear green ski jackets. Just Snowheads or Layne loadly and I will say hi Happy
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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
Today we skied all around above VT. Dropped over into the Orelle valley briefly and had picnic lunch there.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We're staying in Reberty. Nice first day today, ignoring the fact I had to come back early to do some remote work on a proposal closing tomorrow. Still working on it, so enjoying this sanity break on snowheads. Toofy Grin

We went up Masse. The black from the top of Masse 2 was in lovely condition late morning, so much so we did it twice. The blues and reds from Mont de Le Chambre back to Reberty/LM were nice all day too, obviously better higher up as the day wore on.

Hope to head further afield tomorrow. Might tour over to Courchevel whilst the temps are lower - they are due to rise day on day as the week goes on.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Layne, what was Orelle like today? Didn't have time this morning to do more than look over the edge.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Are you staying in the Brelin? I'm a dissenter in that I think it's an amazing design. Others however... Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Enjoying the report - La Masse is my favourite bit of the Three Valleys by a long, long way.

Shame about the t-shirt, though! (Glos til I die!!) Very Happy
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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?
mgrolf wrote:
@Layne, what was Orelle like today? Didn't have time this morning to do more than look over the edge.

It was decent. Worth a dabble.
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iainm wrote:
Are you staying in the Brelin? I'm a dissenter in that I think it's an amazing design. Others however... Puzzled

We are staying in Lac du Lou apartment building. Not sure what/where the Brelin is. Will check the map later.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
LOTA wrote:
Enjoying the report - La Masse is my favourite bit of the Three Valleys by a long, long way.

Funnily enough we haven't been up there yet, maybe tomorrow.

LOTA wrote:
Shame about the t-shirt, though! (Glos til I die!!) Very Happy

Ha ha. Slater is a top man/player. He's made me like Glos again wink
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Layne wrote:
LOTA wrote:
Enjoying the report - La Masse is my favourite bit of the Three Valleys by a long, long way.

Funnily enough we haven't been up there yet, maybe tomorrow.

LOTA wrote:
Shame about the t-shirt, though! (Glos til I die!!) Very Happy

Ha ha. Slater is a top man/player. He's made me like Glos again wink


Enjoy La Masse. Ed Slater has been immense for us this season - and is a smashing bloke as well. Injected a bit of that old Leicester-winning-DNA. Pity that DNA appears to have drained away from Welford Road! Very Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We’re also in les m this week.

Good conditions so far:
Top of la masse
Bottom half of la masse at 1015-1045 as it transforms
Grand couloir in courchevel
Everything in orelles area
The high stuff at Val t particularly around grand fond where it’s less busy
Morning all the runs around cote Brune above meribel

Bit surprised by the number of non functioning lifts. I feel right at home having come over from Chamonix.
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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!
@snowdave, some good picks there!

So it's been a bizarre week already. After I posted Sat evening on FB that I was in Les Menuires we crashed quite early, not surprisingly given the overnight journey. Half an hour later I get a phone call from my oldest skiing buddy. As I was half dead I just cut it. In the morning I listened to the voicemail which typical of the man was quite banterish. There was a suggestion he was out here skiing but I dismissed this suggestion for a couple of reasons. Anyhow we go out skiing and then he calls again. Turns out he is bloody out here. With his twin boys ~20yo. Staying in Brides. Anyhow more to this story later but it becomes relevant to todays skiing....

Our two children decide today would be a snowboarding day. So we head up over to Mont Vallon. We start heading down Venturon and my daughter is feeling a bit nervous and hesitant. Not a total surprise hasn't she didn't do much boarding last trip and before that a few quarter days in La Tania... though to be fair she showed a knack for it. So anyway I said to the wife and crack on with matey and do a circuit up the cable car and then we'd meet up again. So we had a great ski down Venturon, up the lift and then down Campagnol. The piste snow was top dollar I thought. Anyhow my mate rings to tell me he's in the area and skiing down Combe de Vallon. So I tell him we'll try to catch him up. However when we get to the top we see my missus and daughter starting down same said piste. So I do a kid swap with the wife and she cracks on with laddo. Daughter is having a bit of mare. Scared, boot hurting, wants to keep stopping. I don't really get it it as she seems to be doing OK to me and the piste is in cracking nick. Anyway I manage to coach and coax her down. It's a fair length run down! We take Mures Rouge back up and go down to the benches next to the Mont Vallon lift station for lunch. My wife and son turn up a couple of minutes later and then shortly thereafter my mate and his two sons. Much hugging, catching up and banter. And so to the second part of the day...

I take my daughter back home to swap over to skis, whilst the rest ski together and then we meet up at the top of Bruyeres 2. I asked if anyone fancies a crack at the off piste broadly under the Bruyerre lift and everyone is happy to give a go with the option of bailing out onto the piste. But it was cracking. Quite light and powdery, gradually easing into softened crust and then to reasonable slush near the bottom of Bruyeres 2. It was so good we did it twice more with a bit of variation here and there. We then split and we headed back to Les Menuires. A really good afternoons skiing.
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Layne wrote:
mgrolf wrote:
@Layne, what was Orelle like today? Didn't have time this morning to do more than look over the edge.

It was decent. Worth a dabble.


Cheers. Worth more than a dabble today - mostly empty, and once the wind-blasted struggle of the top traverse on Lory was done, soft grippy snow on wide open pistes. I think the Thorens lift must have been stopping and starting this afternoon because we had Lory almost to ourselves, despite bimbling down at a very gentle pace.
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Pizza vending machine 24/24 - we've not tried it mind.

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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
View looking down into Orelle valley on Sunday..
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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.
mgrolf wrote:
Cheers. Worth more than a dabble today - mostly empty, and once the wind-blasted struggle of the top traverse on Lory was done, soft grippy snow on wide open pistes. I think the Thorens lift must have been stopping and starting this afternoon because we had Lory almost to ourselves, despite bimbling down at a very gentle pace.


If it was windy at the top it could be people were heading back down the other side instead. I've had a few times where you only see a handful of people in the whole run.
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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
Picnic lunch with a view
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Couloir over in Orelle we skied. Almost skied off cliff top right! Always better to do a reccy before skiing off piste!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
As forecast today was a day of cloud and snow showers. Visibility was often quite poor at higher altitudes. But it wasn't unpleasant most of the time. We headed up Masse in the morning and did a couple of Fred Covili before turning left and going down Masse and back down to Les Menuires a circa 1000m ski drop in one hit. A lot of nice challenging piste skiing. We then went up Doron/Mont de la Chambre and turned over VT way. We found the new picnic hut at the top of Chardons and availed of the shelter from the light snow. It's more basic than some but welcome respite all the same.

After lunch we basically swept round the head of the VT valley going up Peclet x 2, Portette/Thoren, a couple of laps of the snow park and Moutiere before skiing down and heading back to Menuires via Pionners/3 Vallees. When we got the top it was a bit of a pea souper and I thought the 4 Vents piste wasn't all that - although it was desserted. We dropped a bit lower than we planned so got Sunny back up just before closing at 5 and had a long steady ski back from there.

The flat light today and no snow plus the last couple of days hard skiing made everyone a bit low on energy/enthusiasm, although it wasn't a bad day. And we had some fun along the way. Tomorrow is forecast as a long day of sunshine so will try and get the troops out early to take advantage. A sliver of fresh snow today won't have done things any harm.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mont Vallon in really nice shape this morning, lovely snow and offpiste for the top 2-300m was soft.

The air bag in Meribel is great to entertain the kids at lunchtime. They can do it on skis or in inflatable tubes.

Anything below 2300m in the afternoon is now pretty horrible. We went as far as downloading in Bruyeres 1 at 4pm today rather than spending 10 mins pushing slush into new piles.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@snowdave, Mont Vallon never fails to deliver.

Looking like a long day of sunshine today. Should be 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?
Quote:

call from my oldest skiing buddy


Not Mr W by chance?
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
iainm wrote:
Are you staying in the Brelin? I'm a dissenter in that I think it's an amazing design. Others however... Puzzled


Believe it or not. Brelin is on the list of architectural heritage!
Deservedly, in my opinion.
Beautiful in all its monstrosity Wink and a monument for it's era - the seventies.
When everything you could imagine was possible, and therefore it was done.
https://parallelespotentiels.blog/2015/02/13/des-menuires-se-patinant/

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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The design has its merits but is completely misplaced in a ski resort
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ansta1 wrote:
Quote:

call from my oldest skiing buddy


Not Mr W by chance?

Yep, that be him. Out here with his twin 20yo sons.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Layne wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
Quote:

call from my oldest skiing buddy


Not Mr W by chance?

Yep, that be him. Out here with his twin 20yo sons.


Very Happy say hi if you catch up with him again.
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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!
Onnem,

All a matter of opinion, as we know.

To me, it (and the other original parts of Les Menuires) is an out of place eyesore, for which the architects should have their collective ar5e5 kicked. Sad
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Wednesday was a long day of hard skiing and socialising. My mate and his sons drove up from Brides and we skied with them from 10 to 1. Did a lot of off piste, which was a bit testing at times. After getting the lifts and skiing down to VT we took Boismint yielding some very crusty off piste and some nice piste skiing, then up Moraine and Col. We doubled back at the top of the chair and traversed high under the rocky face for quite a way. A lovely open bowl means you can pick whatever line you want. The powder was quite wind blown so a bit tricky at times but a nice enough ski to warrant going up again. We split with our friend and his sons who wanted to traverse and climb up to the Col that opens up an off piste descent into Orelle.

After a late picnic lunch we headed down into VT and then up Peclet. We then skied off piste to the left as you are looking up the mountain. This was probably the best snow of the day so we went back up and did it again. With legs getting tired we started to make our way back over to Les Menuires.

A short time later our friends also arrived and we shared some beers, tea and nibbles with some good banter and chats. Eventually they left to make their way back to Brides before we made dinner, had a glass of vino. A good day.
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Today (Thursday) we headed over to Courcheval via the Venturon and Combe du Vallon pistes both of which were in excellent condition. Then Pas du Lac (which always reminds me of knick knack paddy whak for some reason). We then headed down Creux which I've never liked. We dabbled off piste and jeez the slush was heavy. We did a couple of laps of Chanrossa and the Jean Pachod piste which was in great condition. Courcheval has a few lifts cut for the season - Marmottes and Signal for example but it's not a great hardship. We then went up Roc Mugnier and had lunch. We then headed up Ag. du Fruit and down pass the Altiport to Suisse. Then down Pylones - if you want to ski a really nice black piste, I can recommend this in the early afternoon, it was mint for the time of the year.

Then came the excitement for the day. We went up Saulire having a butchers at the couloirs as we went. By now it was well gone 2pm so ideal time. There was mighty moguls before the ridge traverse which was well rutted but soft and easy enough if you were comfortable side slipping, snow ploughing in that sort of terrain. The bit were it opens up was pleasant. We carried on down to the Grand Couloir which was medium to large slightly softened moguls. Tough skiing but a nice challenge and reasonably pleasant. We then went back up and this time took Emile Allais which was really nice in the couloir itself with chalky grippy snow, less mogully. Once out of the couloir it was back to heavy slush! A nice accomplishment and fist pumps all round. We then just made our way steadily back to Menuires, with a few jumps and other bits of fun on the way.
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