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Grand Massif 2019/2020 snow report, Les Carroz, Flaine, Samoens, Morillon & Sixt

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As it is now past the start of October better start the thread......

Season pass

http://hiver.lescarroz.com/domaine-skiable/les-forfaits-de-ski/forfaits-saison.html

and all passes

https://www.grand-massif.com/en/your-stay/ski-passes/

les carroz webcams

https://hiver.lescarroz.com/webcams-les-carroz.html

GM as a whole webcams

https://www.grand-massif.com/en-direct/#webcams

Piste map

https://hiver.lescarroz.com/images/domaine-skiable/planpistes.pdf

Chamonix meteo

http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/morning/5_days_weather_forecast.php

GFS for les carroz (ish)

http://old.wetterzentrale.de/pics/MS_746_ens.png

and a super picture

https://goo.gl/maps/cViq9CHP7n1P4U3D6
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I don't know whether it's a typo but the half price season ticket deadline dates are different for the winter only (10/12/19) and the winter and summer passes(1/12/2019).

Does anyone know what the Bikepark charge refers to? My son used the Les Carroz MTB trails that start at the top of Kedeuse on his winter/summer pass this summer. Is it now being charged for separately or does this refer to something else?
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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?
@rachelharrisonsmith, No idea about the dates, as the insurance one is different again. The bike park bolt on is to get access up the gondola with your bike, the summer extra is for walkers only. Not sure if they actually check you have the correct pass?
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I spent a week in the summer at Samoens with my MTB. My wife organised everything so I don't know exactly what type of passes we had, but I used the Bike park at Le Carroz three times and nobody said a word. Also, used the the GME on two separate days and again, the staff was more then helpful. As a side note - we managed to buy the discounted passes for last season as late as 15th Dec 2018... Won't be chancing it this year - they are such good value, that I would be ordering mine as soon as it is possible. Two weeks already booked over X-mas and in Feb, as well as a couple of cheeky boys only long weekends...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bring it on Very Happy

First ever season pass for me, but sadly will be in the UK far more than the Alps.

Hoping to do 3 weeks plus 3 weekends so early bird GM season pass is a bargain!
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@Zorrac, if the extra for the bike park was in place this summer, they weren't checking and not sure where they could as walkers use the same turnstile at the bottom. We'll see what happens next summer.

Re the deadline dates, I didn't expect you to have the answer, but just wanted to highlight the anomaly (and thanks for pointing out the insurance one, which I'd missed). My bet is on a typo, but I'm not going to chance it....
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Does anyone know what (if any) free ski pass days elsewhere we’ll get with our Season Grand Massif passes this winter?

#excitedcantwait Very Happy
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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!
Roger C wrote:
Does anyone know what (if any) free ski pass days elsewhere we’ll get with our Season Grand Massif passes this winter?

#excitedcantwait Very Happy


Chamonix
Morzine
Le Gets
Avoriaz
Megeve
St Gervais
Quite a few others...

3 days in total, but only one day per resort. Still a great deal any way you look at it...
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cheburator wrote:
Roger C wrote:
Does anyone know what (if any) free ski pass days elsewhere we’ll get with our Season Grand Massif passes this winter?

#excitedcantwait Very Happy


Chamonix
Morzine
Le Gets
Avoriaz
Megeve
St Gervais
Quite a few others...

3 days in total, but only one day per resort. Still a great deal any way you look at it...


Thanks - that makes the early purchase 50% off deal even better value!
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cheburator wrote:
Roger C wrote:
Does anyone know what (if any) free ski pass days elsewhere we’ll get with our Season Grand Massif passes this winter?

#excitedcantwait Very Happy


Chamonix
Morzine
Le Gets
Avoriaz
Megeve
St Gervais
Quite a few others...

3 days in total, but only one day per resort. Still a great deal any way you look at it...


Further to this -- Does the 6 day pass include a day in any of these resorts ?? (Can't find any info on Flaine website,,,)
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
cheburator wrote:
Roger C wrote:
Does anyone know what (if any) free ski pass days elsewhere we’ll get with our Season Grand Massif passes this winter?

#excitedcantwait Very Happy


Chamonix
Morzine
Le Gets
Avoriaz
Megeve
St Gervais
Quite a few others...

3 days in total, but only one day per resort. Still a great deal any way you look at it...


Well that's a cheer-up on a poo-poo Welsh day so far. Wifey and I are off to GM (Morillon) for the month of March, and buzzing off for odd days is one of the excitements. THREE FREE buzz-offs. Yay! Very Happy

Do we just turn up, or is there a tortuous process?

CG
snow conditions     
 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.
@albob, Nope, it just goes with the season pass.

@Charliegolf, You get a paper card with your season pass, go to the ticket office of your chosen other resort, show them your GM pass and the paper card thing, they take a tear off coupon off it, they also cross out the resort on the main part of the card and give you a pass for the day. That is how it worked 2 seasons ago when we last used them.
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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
Cheers @Zorrac, easy enough then.

CG
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Zorrac, Tanks.... Thought that might be the case
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@albob, you could use this, as it applies to others areas as well

https://www.grand-massif.com/en/your-stay/ski-passes/skillico/
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Roger -- will have a look..
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We’re off to Flaine over New Year, first time for us. Any hints tips etc appreciated - family of 3 with 7 year old who is on ESI lessons and solid parallel. Looks like a fun resort so any tips welcomed !
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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?
@orange, Where are you staying? Anything in particular you were interested in?

I've not taken my boys to Flaine (yet) but there's a few things I really like about the resort (note I've never been at NY):
  • "Tartipizza" from Brasserie les Cimes in the Forum (you often need to book a table for a decent time)
  • Vin chaud in La Pente a Jules (where Faust (red) and Epicea (green) runs meet)
  • Aujon (blue) and Celestine (red): lovely little winding rollercoaster of a track that brings you out under the Aup de Veran bubble
  • View / photo op of Mont Blanc from the top of Lindars Nord lift (top right of the piste map)
  • (Above Morillon) The ski cross zone under Les Esserts lift

They've re-done the Samoens side since Club Med turned up, and I've only managed to get one or two runs there since so others might have more info but if you can get across there's lots of fun reds or blues around the Chariandes lifts (see Marmotte / Dahu)

The Grandes Platieres bubble is very direct to the top and another good viewpoint, and links to some nice wide, quiet-ish blues (Serpentine / Cristal). However the ridge is very exposed if windy, and to get to the blues relatively flat (so a lot of poling); unless you're headed to Faust / Almandine (reds) then I'd recommend taking Tete de Verdes lift > Tanzanite (blue) > Desert Blanc lift, which might take slightly longer but gets you skiing quicker and takes you straight to the top of the blue section.

Finally, beware of Tourmaline: great blue with some good views of M. Blanc but it can be messy when busy / bad weather / late in the day... I have my best times on this in the morning / heading back for lunch. (this is not news, and something of a cliche on any post about Flaine!)

Hope you have a great time, I love the resort, can't wait to go again
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Staying in Terraces D'Eos.
Very helpful info. Will hopefully enjoy it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
EarthWindandWater wrote:
@orange

The Grandes Platieres bubble is very direct to the top and another good viewpoint, and links to some nice wide, quiet-ish blues (Serpentine / Cristal). However the ridge is very exposed if windy, and to get to the blues relatively flat (so a lot of poling); unless you're headed to Faust / Almandine (reds) then I'd recommend taking Tete de Verdes lift > Tanzanite (blue) > Desert Blanc lift, which might take slightly longer but gets you skiing quicker and takes you straight to the top of the blue section.


Agree with all of the above - all great recommendations.

Flaine/Grand Massif is a fun ski area that will keep you nicely entertained for a week. Snow quality the last 2 Jans I’ve been has been A1.

Faust is a great run, and quite long - one of my faves at Flaine. Could go up and down that all day. There’s a section just before the end before the final stretch to the Grand Platieres gondola that is a little steep if that would be a problem.... but probably not for a daring 7 year old!

Desert Blanc area is great and as above can definitely get windy on the chair at times though, so be prepared. It’s either serpentine or cristal that is a brilliant blue with mounds that are quite unique and great fun. Great for repeat runs and honing technique.

The restaurant opposite the desert Blanc chair is excellent in my opinion for good quality comfort food on the mountain or quite hearty salads.

It’s also worth doing Cascades at least once if you like long runs - it’s a 14km blue with some beautiful moments, but you need to allow time to get back via bus etc. The snowboarders I was with didn’t enjoy it as much, as some flat spots, but it’s a joy on skis. As a kid I certainly would have loved that run.

“Fred” off the Lindars Nord lift isn’t worth the lift time for the run itself, but for the views. It’s worth doing once or twice maybe, but the chair is quite aggressive, shall we say! Does sometimes get closed in bad weather etc.

On the Samoens side of things, the runs off the Chariande Express are great (marmotte), and Les Carroz runs also nice as it feels like a real journey through the trees etc.

All in all, a great choice of resort for a family - you’ll have a blast.
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New Year likely to be very busy so when heading out of Flaine. Think of rush hour and going against the traffic. In particular the return to resort via Tourmaline and the Vernant chair. Worse in the mornings for Samoens/LC crowds heading into Flaine. I agree with Anjunabeats about most things although watch out for the bottom of Faust if it is busy. You will have a blast though.
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@orange, Eos is ski-in/ski-out (unless there is a serious lack of snow) via a cat-track at the back that runs down to the short Gerats chair. From the top of Gerats you join the bottom end of Tourmaline piste, which comes out at the main ski school meeting point for Flaine Foret. Be warned, it will likely take you 15-20 mins to get there. If your child is in morning ski school then get to the Gerats chair for about 9 (when it opens) and you should be okay, as ESI morning lessons start at 9:15.

Aside from that, my eating and drinking skills are definitely better honed than my skiing ones, so here's my restaurant lowdown (NB - everywhere is pretty child-friendly, with menu enfant, etc, unless otherwise stated!)

Faves
Brasserie Cimes, on main drag in Forum - as mentioned above, friendly, good variety of tasty food (trad savoie + pizza + some spicy twists), swift service. Can get busy, so worth booking. Decent value (well, for a ski resort at least).
Chez Daniel, Forum, next to ice rink - best place for traditional, hearty, savoyard meat or cheese dishes. Popular and quite small, so again, worth booking ahead.
Perdrix Noir, Foret, shopping centre - this is the pub, but it has a nice restaurant out the back. Good food and service, maybe slightly dearer than the above two.
Refuge du Skieur, Foret, towards the snow front on raised section up the steps between ESF office & Terrasses de Veret apartments. Used to be a solid fave for great value food & wine and a friendly vibe. Closed for a couple of years (due to divorce!) but re-opened last season. Seemed a bit more expensive, but I guess there is alimony to pay (was all a la carte - the formules had disappeared from menu). Still decent though. Also does takeaway.
L'Eterlou, this is the restaurant in Eos. A little more expensive than all the above and leaning more towards nouvelle cuisine (though not tiny portions). Service can also be a little slow as it is just chef + maitre'd + one waitress/barmaid, but the food is excellent and it's a friendly place. I don't recall there being a kids' menu, but they are generally flexible about knocking up some kid-friendly food.
Special treats
Le Michet, Forum, on snow front past DMC lift - Pretty fancy food, but very tasty. I think it has, or had, a michelin star (I may have made that up), but it's not outrageously expensive - though not exactly cheap either. It's also more child-friendly than you might expect (my young son had a good kip on one of their cowhide banquettes while we finished off dessert & cheese a couple of Christmases ago).
Totem, Forum, trendy hotel next to ice rink - go here if you are really hungry, as it is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Large cheese & charcuterie selection for starters then a whole variety of meat, fish & veggie dishes to choose from (or why not just try them all?) for mains. Usually some interesting desserts too if you have any room left. They also have a whole load of retro arcade game machines to keep kids (& adults of a certain age!) entertained.
Takeaway Pizza
Perdrix Noir (again), Foret - Order at the bar, then have a swift pint (or nip downstairs to the Spar to acquire any other supplies) and collect your pizzas 20 mins later from the takeaway window next to the pub.
Diamant Noir, Foret - through a door, then tunnel, opposite the 1st lift to/from Forum (towards the snow front). Similar setup. Order at bar, have pint, wait for pizzas to arrive, take home.
Cimes also does pizza delivery, but if you order when the restaurant is busy you'll be waiting a couple of hours!
Slopeside
My experience here is limited to the Flaine side, due to ski school pick-up/drop-off requirements.
L'Epicea, on Epicea piste (flat green running from Foret down to Forum) - nice hearty food, good portions. A fine place to dine outside on a sunny day or a nice cosy interior if it's a whiteout (book ahead if you want to be indoors though).
Le Blanchot, Serpentine piste, across from Desert Blanc lift. Great location to soak up the sun and watch the action on the piste. Decent food and table service in the upstairs section.
Le Bissac Foret, at bottom of Serpentine & Tourmaline pistes & top of yoghurt pot lift - this has a big sunny terrace and is a great place for a drink to end the day or to take the kids for a hot choc after ski school (it's right next to the meeting points). Not so great for lunch as, unsurprisingly, it gets very busy and the self-service food is fairly bog standard. Get in early if you do want to eat there.
La Pente a Jules, Forum-ish, bottom of Epicea & Faust pistes - another nice sunny spot. Good place for a late-morning coffee or vin chaud. Never eaten there though.
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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!
^ Superb thanks so much, v useful !
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@orange would agree with all the comments about Flaine mentioned before and would add the Le Pre Brasserie for lunchtime food. Nothing fancy but the service is quick and the prices reasonable for a snow side restaurant in Forum.
Also if possible go to the other GM resorts in the morning and come back to Flaine in the afternoon to avoid the crowds
New year can be busy but the crowds die down quickly from the 2nd Jan
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First snow has appeared on the Webcams Smile -- Hope it sticks......
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
albob wrote:
First snow has appeared on the Webcams Smile -- Hope it sticks......
Good news. I've booked us into Morillon Les Esserts for New Year's week and am now worried that it's on the low side.
(we normally go at half term so I tend not to think about resort height, snow record etc)
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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.
@Higs, Don't worry Morillon has a very large snowmaking capability, all of sairon the main very long blue down to les esserts and also marvel the long green, plus a number of other runs as well, inc the really long blue down to the new fast chair up to tete des saix.
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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
Hi guys, I’m due to be in Flaine for the New Year week. Someone mentioned to me the other day that Le White pub may have closed down for good, does anyone know if this is the case?

Thanks in advance
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
HWS wrote:
... that Le White pub may have closed down for good, does anyone know if this is the case?


Noooooooooo, say it isn't so Shocked

Their FB page had a post (Sep 24) that suggested they still had plans...
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@HWS, Le White Pub doesn't appear on the official Flaine website....???
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I hope it's not true, it would be a great shame if so. I had heard the rents were too steep and they couldn't justify it any longer so have decided to try and put more of a focus on Le Caves and the souvenirs shop/cafe which I believe they operate. Of course, I could be talking a load of rubbish and I hope this is the case but I fear it may be true.

Hopefully, someone may be able to shed some light...

Still, early days but the webcams are looking promising Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It will be my first visit to Flaine -- I have high hopes...
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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?
^ talk of Flaine bars above has me thinking of possible watering holes in Samoens....

So were does the combined knowledge of snowHeads suggest we choose as our “local” for this winter? Planning a good few trips so identifying a likely favourite bar is an important part of the planning.
Have kids so not looking for late night partying, thinking more of a couple of apres ski or early evening beers, ideally with the occasional live band maybe?
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There are two pubs in Samoens - Coveys and Place 2B. Coveys no longer by Irish but is still pretty good although will be quieter than Place 2 B which as a strong Brit following. Both have occasional live music. Opposite 2B is Apero e'space. It outdoors with good heaters and also has DJ's and live music from time to time. Erratic opening times though.

Red Rock is okay for early drinks but gets livelier later and is a cross between pub and bar. Good staff and has occasional live music.
Bar Samoens is very French in its appeal or not.
Bar Savoie is more restaurant than bar.
There are also a couple of good wine bars.

As you can tell I don't get out so often! I like them all for various reasons so enjoy your recce mission.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks @ian999,

I forgot to ask the obvious question in my original post - do any of them have a “Happy Hour”!
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Flaine this morning, outside a friends apt....I'll be based there over the next few weeks to do some work / snowboarding

unnamed
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@polo, Nice … Smile
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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!
@albob, don't think I've ever been so excited about laying wooden flooring before.

If anyone with local knowledge is around would be good to get a few pointers on where to avoid. But I know a few guys who've done seasons there so will ask them as well.
Will likely just stick to tree lined pistes below the main bowl.
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@Roger C, I can't think of any that have happy hour. I should have added that if you want good immediate post ski apres then you will struggle in the town. Coveys might be okay but wouldn't bank on it.
Bar l'exterior in town is good and a favourite with ski instructors. Also gives a piece of really nice madeira cake with every drink!
Best apres by far is at La Reposette which isn't in town. It's right by the Vercland bubble (Sais) so you would need to find your way back down if you fancy drinking past the last ski bus time. It's a great place and a lot of the time you can ski to it. Its Dutch owned and run and pretty much everybody who is thirsty goes there from ski instructors, lifties, saisonaires and tourists alike. Good place for dinner as well.
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Thanks @ian999, appreciate your advice.

Might just have to tell the boss (wife) that run down to Vercland is ideal for the kids at end of the day!

I’ll definitely head that way when out with the boys....
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