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Evasion Mont Blanc - Megeve/St Gervais/Combloux/Les Contamines 19/20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Skied St Gervais/st Nicholas the last 2 days. Perfect pistes and untracked pow......even at the end of the day today we skied untracked pow at 1600m!!

Sorry no skiing down from Bettex, unless you like the muddd
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bit late but I was in Les Contamines 12-15th April
Brilliant late season conditions. Outside the resort run to Les C (just closed on Monday) there was not a bare patch to be seen. Cooler temperatures meant the Goldilocks "soft but not too slushy" part of the day lasted late morning until 4 (obviously some variations by aspect and elevation). Loads of lovely spring snow to be had off piste.
It was so quiet it almost felt sad. The resort had this absolutely immaculate skiing experience on offer and almost noone was there to enjoy it.
My daughter and I had a blast
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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?
A local friends showed me some photos of his son and family, in Les Contamines this week - it looked terrific. It's a good destination for this end of the season. I have a photo somewhere taken on the very last day of the season in Les C, absolutely empty, loads of snow.
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I know its rather late, but thought i'd add just for completeness. @NatalieG, @Hoppity. To add to the resources of ski schools and instructors in Megeve and St Gervais. Some of the BASS guys started a group of ski schools of their own in Megeve, St Gervais, and Chamonix. Freedom Snowsports. Fantastic instructors. I joined one of their off piste groups (Jan 2019) and my kids skied with one of their team (female instructor). Have to say some of the best tuition i've received, and my kids keep nagging me to go back this winter. So winning all round really).
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Any thoughts on this season's conditions?
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Unfortunately conditions are deteriorating now quite quickly now that the fohen has set in. Although in general there is still plenty of snow, especially above 1500m, brown patches are appearing and some runs will no doubt be closed in the upcoming days. However there should be a little top up at the weekend and some lower temperatures. The current forecast for Christmas day is very warm but that might change.
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@devilabit, are you out there? I'm coming out tomorrow for 3 days, is StG skiable or is it best to head up to LC?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Jonny996 I was out for the opening 3 days so not sure how it was today but it was warm in the village this morning as I was leaving. LC is probably a better bet until it cools down on Friday afternoon noon but still plenty of runs open in SG and any runs off Mont Joux/Ideal/Croix de Christ/Epaule should be pretty good.
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We skied StG yesterday and it was choppy & not very nice at all. Today they made the call to close it completely.
L.C. opens tomorrow so let’s hope for some skiing
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@Jonny996, closed because of snow or high winds?
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@under a new name, lack of snow, it’s incredibly warm
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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@Jonny996, So I noticed, 14° when I got up this morning. Föhn, eh? Back down to 4° by 16h30 and sort of sleeting coming back up the Egratz.

Almost everything in the valley was closed due wind and no lack of snow in general.
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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
A tad late but I've updated the thread title and opening post for the season.

devilabit wrote:
2019/2020
Partial opening from the 14th onwards. General opening on the 21st of December. Partial closure on the St Gervais side on the 6th of April (Princesse gondola will be closed on the 30th of March) and general closure on the 13th of April. Les Contamines is generally open a week longer.

The major changes for the season are the upgrade of the Chattrix charilift to a 6 seater detachable and some earthworks at the end of the chattrix run to make it easier. There is also a new tunnel on the St Gervais home run on the main road (Route d'Orsin) so at least 1 less on/off of the skis on the way back down.
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You know it makes sense.
Afraid to report a not great start to the StG season, 2 green & 2 blue open with heavy rain. As much as I like skiing I don’t think I’ll bother for that.
It’s supposed to clear up at noon, so I think we’ll give L.C. a go this afternoon.
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Lads ski trip takes place in Megeve in 3 weeks so here's hoping for a return to the cold and snow soon Very Happy
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Poster: A snowHead
Snow coming this week, 3 weeks time will be ok
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Apart from flat light, happy to report LC is skiing well
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
halfhand wrote:
Lads ski trip takes place in Megeve in 3 weeks so here's hoping for a return to the cold and snow soon Very Happy

Lads ski trip to Megeve! Christ that will hurt the wallet
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And lower the tone?
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Les Contamines today, Fantastic piste, death by rain crust off it. Everything bar the top bit open due to avie risk (and the run to the parking de to lack of snow down low) . Really quiet early on, getting quite busy by the end of lunch.
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Sorry - bit belated report, tied up with skiing and family!
Arrived pm 27th after a big fall in the previous 48 hours. Snuck out for a couple of hours - powder on and off piste.
Since then we’ve had blues skies, cold first thing, warmer afternoons. Pistes have been immaculate,especially first thing. A few firmer patches by the afternoon. Off piste has been well skied by Les C standards - think a lot of drive in locals on Saturday.
Everything open bar Veleray by now. Bit surprised that wasn’t open today with avalanche risk to two.
Ski tourers out and about with some nice lines on Aig. De Roselette.

Holes to pick? Snow is thin below Etape despite impressive depths above - function of fairly mild temps I guess. Resort runs are “closed” but skiable with care.

Overall, I’d say this is the best base I’ve seen in December since we bought our place 5 years ago.
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I toured up to col de la fenetre yesterday and conditions were beautiful with lots of cold and still fresh powder.
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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!
Really excited, going to St Gervais for the first time last weekend of Jan ( hoping the home run will be open by then)
Does anyone know if you buy the lift pass from the megeve website whether it will get posted out to you? ( 10e off per pass and free go on the luge track- compared to St Gervais site)
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@snowdave,

Did you ski back down the Roman road - bit nervous that would be a steep ice rink?
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@jedster, yes, it was a little icy but skiable. There were places that might have been easier to crampon down but it all went.

Biggest challenge was slaloming the dozens of snowshoers coming up the road.

A few decent slides tho on warning slopes.
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Does anyone know if it's still possible to buy a St Gervais pass rather than an Evasion? I couldn't find the option online. 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.
Never seen that option
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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
This week is looking good for snow. Anyone share their favourite in resort lines for powder days for Saint G and Les C??

At Les C - i have heard off the side of the Combe run, otherwise would anywhere off the piste between nant rouge and veleray be pretty good?

At Saint G - assume off Mont Joly chair there would be plenty of options albeit not good in bad weather. what about in the trees around croix du christ? any other tree options? any options around etudiants ?

thanks for any input.
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You know it makes sense.
Arriving in St Gervais on Thursday. Anyone there at the moment? What is the snow like?
Also looking for Lunch recommendations, away from expensive Megeve options
Thanks
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Phatchick wrote:
Arriving in St Gervais on Thursday. Anyone there at the moment? What is the snow like?
Also looking for Lunch recommendations, away from expensive Megeve options
Thanks


Basic but nice n inexpensive Schuss in St Nicholas. Base Cafe at Princess isn't to pricy either.
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Enjoying ourselves to much yesterday & arrived at gondola back down to find it closed.
Even thou the home run down to town is officially closed it is skiable if you’re in same situation. Just watch the light
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jedster recommended these last Jan:

Fleche d'Or hotel at Bettex midstation - incredible views from terrace or big windows in restaurant. Good omelettes, dish of the day, salads, etc for lunch.
Pizza place at bottom of Communailles drag - cozy, good value
Little stone chalet just off the piste below the Monts Rosset chair - pretty and rustic, good fondue and desserts
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Was considering a quick 2 or 3 day trip next week (mainly because of the snow the area is getting this week and because the French holidays don't start until the week after) but looks like temperatures are likely to sneak up again then...

Without getting too distracted by that, how easy is it to get to the various ski areas without transportation? And is there a particular area anyone would suggest staying in?

I've had a quick look at getting there and it would probably be Alpybus or OuiBus to get there / back from Geneva, and I'm a snowboarder so skibuses are less of an issue than they might be for some. Just wondering how much faff it might be for what could end up being just two days on the slopes.

Going to do more of my own research later, but need to dash out now and so thought I'd ask you good folk Little Angel
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Just back from a weekend in Les Contamines

pistes: excellent cover (including down to resort level). Some firmer patches but a "heavy dusting" Sunday late afternoon has spruced them up nicely
off piste: skied out but snow was nice and soft or chalky in shadier areas. Bit of wind and/or sun crust in places. Sunday's snow also improved this - possible to find some soft "seams" of snow in sheltered areas

Of course - looks like more snow in the in the forecast for this week so will all change but even before that the conditions are very pleasant
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@jebroni3_16, did a 4 day trip this month. Only Les Contamines requires a bus or taxi (we didn't bother in the end) all the other areas can be skied/boarded to and there was plenty of skiing for our 4 days. We based ourselves in Megeve, which seemed to be central to all areas. Megeve nightlife is ok for quiet drinks but not wildly banging.
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SJOSHA wrote:
This week is looking good for snow. Anyone share their favourite in resort lines for powder days for Saint G and Les C??

At Les C - i have heard off the side of the Combe run, otherwise would anywhere off the piste between nant rouge and veleray be pretty good?

At Saint G - assume off Mont Joly chair there would be plenty of options albeit not good in bad weather. what about in the trees around croix du christ? any other tree options? any options around etudiants ?

thanks for any input.


Les C - loads of options all over the place. The best places will be influenced by wind direction and - after the fall - sun and shade (e.g., can find that the sunny upper veleray slopes get cooked by the sun by the time the avalanche risk has declined.)
The area you describe is all pretty good but you obviously need to take care with the gully/stream bed under the Nant Rouge chair and also the main river down towards Grevettaz - lots of skiing around them but scope your exit routes before committing.
I'd say that the easiest terrain to find your way around is actually around the Roselette area (Buche Croisse chair). I'd avoid going right under the steep slopes from Aig de Roselette but the rest of the terrain - between the pistes - is a good bet. You can also ski the bowl right under/above the bottom of the Buche Croisse chair. Also when heading from Signal to Buche Croisse chair traverse left of the piste and drop down through small trees to the Buche Croisse restaurant.
Another big area is anything between the pistes on the Hauteluce side - that stuff is less visible from the lifts but there aren't many hazards.
There are several other areas I could mention but that should be enough to keep you busy! Haven't even started on the more "side country" options but I'd suggest getting a guide or a friendly native to show you those.

St G - my favourite areas are actually around Mont d'Arbois. Keep your eyes open and there are a number of little tracks that nip off the pistes into the woods. Several of these lead to hidden clearings and meadows. There are some down to Bettex and to Princess. Generally very little competition for this stuff and it is not difficult (particularly the Princess side, some of the St G routes are a little steeper/tighter). quite a few of these clearings are visible on the piste map - an example: head off the piste skiers left where the Mont Rosset chair crosses over Finance. Ski through the trees and you'll come out in a big meadow which you can ski to join Marmire piste 3/4 of the way down. Alternatively carry on through trees below the meadow and come out at the bottom of Marmire (trickier skiing and route finding).
Croix de Christ? Yes obvious stuff around the pistes but also look at the lines dropping down from Gde Epaule piste to Croix de Christ - fairly steep so avy risk. Also plenty of scope down the other side of Gde Epaule towards Marmottes and St Nicholas.
There is a bit around Etudiants too - can ski through to Bruyere
Obviously there is a lot of stuff from Mont Joly but some of the slopes are VERY avalanche prone. There are safer lines but I'd be wary of this area unless you've scoped it well and have good visibility.

Anyway, having just given away a load of my go to powder stashes I think you owe me a beer!
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jedster wrote:
SJOSHA wrote:
This week is looking good for snow. Anyone share their favourite in resort lines for powder days for Saint G and Les C??

At Les C - i have heard off the side of the Combe run, otherwise would anywhere off the piste between nant rouge and veleray be pretty good?

At Saint G - assume off Mont Joly chair there would be plenty of options albeit not good in bad weather. what about in the trees around croix du christ? any other tree options? any options around etudiants ?

thanks for any input.


an example: head off the piste skiers left where the Mont Rosset chair crosses over Finance. Ski through the trees and you'll come out in a big meadow which you can ski to join Marmire piste 3/4 of the way down. !

Thanks Jedster, you just put a shiver down my spine, that's where I had my "little" off last year, at marker 14. We all stopped by it at the weekend to wonder how I done it
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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!
halfhand wrote:
@jebroni3_16, did a 4 day trip this month. Only Les Contamines requires a bus or taxi (we didn't bother in the end) all the other areas can be skied/boarded to and there was plenty of skiing for our 4 days. We based ourselves in Megeve, which seemed to be central to all areas. Megeve nightlife is ok for quiet drinks but not wildly banging.


Thanks. I was actually thinking St Gervais (but failed to mention that) but bearing in mind what you say, and the fact that Alpybus will do door-to-door service for Megeve, I'll start looking more closely there instead.
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jedster wrote:
SJOSHA wrote:
This week is looking good for snow. Anyone share their favourite in resort lines for powder days for Saint G and Les C??

At Les C - i have heard off the side of the Combe run, otherwise would anywhere off the piste between nant rouge and veleray be pretty good?

At Saint G - assume off Mont Joly chair there would be plenty of options albeit not good in bad weather. what about in the trees around croix du christ? any other tree options? any options around etudiants ?

thanks for any input.


Les C - loads of options all over the place. The best places will be influenced by wind direction and - after the fall - sun and shade (e.g., can find that the sunny upper veleray slopes get cooked by the sun by the time the avalanche risk has declined.)
The area you describe is all pretty good but you obviously need to take care with the gully/stream bed under the Nant Rouge chair and also the main river down towards Grevettaz - lots of skiing around them but scope your exit routes before committing.
I'd say that the easiest terrain to find your way around is actually around the Roselette area (Buche Croisse chair). I'd avoid going right under the steep slopes from Aig de Roselette but the rest of the terrain - between the pistes - is a good bet. You can also ski the bowl right under/above the bottom of the Buche Croisse chair. Also when heading from Signal to Buche Croisse chair traverse left of the piste and drop down through small trees to the Buche Croisse restaurant.
Another big area is anything between the pistes on the Hauteluce side - that stuff is less visible from the lifts but there aren't many hazards.
There are several other areas I could mention but that should be enough to keep you busy! Haven't even started on the more "side country" options but I'd suggest getting a guide or a friendly native to show you those.

St G - my favourite areas are actually around Mont d'Arbois. Keep your eyes open and there are a number of little tracks that nip off the pistes into the woods. Several of these lead to hidden clearings and meadows. There are some down to Bettex and to Princess. Generally very little competition for this stuff and it is not difficult (particularly the Princess side, some of the St G routes are a little steeper/tighter). quite a few of these clearings are visible on the piste map - an example: head off the piste skiers left where the Mont Rosset chair crosses over Finance. Ski through the trees and you'll come out in a big meadow which you can ski to join Marmire piste 3/4 of the way down. Alternatively carry on through trees below the meadow and come out at the bottom of Marmire (trickier skiing and route finding).
Croix de Christ? Yes obvious stuff around the pistes but also look at the lines dropping down from Gde Epaule piste to Croix de Christ - fairly steep so avy risk. Also plenty of scope down the other side of Gde Epaule towards Marmottes and St Nicholas.
There is a bit around Etudiants too - can ski through to Bruyere
Obviously there is a lot of stuff from Mont Joly but some of the slopes are VERY avalanche prone. There are safer lines but I'd be wary of this area unless you've scoped it well and have good visibility.

Anyway, having just given away a load of my go to powder stashes I think you owe me a beer!


Thanks Jedster, really appreciate the tips. definitely buy you a beer if i see you at La Grange or Miraflores. Had some good runs on Mount Arbois this morning, knee deep in some sections.

i am sure you are all over it but i had a great time yesterday morning skiing the section under Jonction Chair on the Signal side at LC. No one else skiing it and it has some widely spaced trees which was really helpful in the low vis.
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jebroni3_16 wrote:
halfhand wrote:
@jebroni3_16, did a 4 day trip this month. Only Les Contamines requires a bus or taxi (we didn't bother in the end) all the other areas can be skied/boarded to and there was plenty of skiing for our 4 days. We based ourselves in Megeve, which seemed to be central to all areas. Megeve nightlife is ok for quiet drinks but not wildly banging.


Thanks. I was actually thinking St Gervais (but failed to mention that) but bearing in mind what you say, and the fact that Alpybus will do door-to-door service for Megeve, I'll start looking more closely there instead.


We stayed here - Chalet Monte-Pente, 399 route de Lady Les Granges, 74120 Megève, France

On the side of the piste about 50m from the Rochebrune cable car. Ski-in/ski-out and a short walk up and down the piste to get in to town (about 15mins walk in total).

Apologies for the thread drift - should be in resorts section Embarassed
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