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Resort without gondola's ??

 Poster: A snowHead
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@albob, I am surprised you mentioned Flaine as it has two enclosed lifts (DMC and Aup du Veran) and the gondola is the only option up from les carroz if one was to ski down to resort level there. One could stay in Morillon Les Esserts without having to take a gondola but I wonder if @Simon94, might be better off somewhere a bit more off the beaten track this year?
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@snowymum, But you can ski most of Flaine/Grand Massif without using the Gondolas ! Simon just needs to check the ski map and work around them ; the same applies if he heads for the rest of the area...…

The plus for Flaine is the easy drive from the UK (you just have to forgive the architecture …!)
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Thanks all for all your replies, afraid Sweden is out of the equation due to flying, but had a quick look at Les Saisies and the area looks ideal for what we are after. Had a quick look on the accommodation and for the time we are going it looks fairly reasonable. Fingers crossed.
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@Simon94, no idea if this route is still an option but first time I ever went to Sweden we went over as a family via car ferry.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Avoriaz has plenty of options to allow you to avoid the bubbles and is bigger than many other resorts. It would mean you can’t get to Morzine, Les Gets etc though. You can ski into Switzerland if you want to. I also personally think Avoriaz is great for kids with car free roads, snow park, swimming pool (if open) etc.
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The Borovets bubble, is a second hand Italian one iirc.

One of the lifts caught fire when I had the misfortune to go there, at least one other was suffering daily brakedowns.
There were not that many others.

Whilst it was "cheap" in that you did not pay a lot, the value for money was appalling.
Ten years since I went there, but it reminded me of the minor Italian resorts that I learnt to ski in, in the early `80s.

I recall Lech as being mainly chair lifts.
Obertauen also, but the apres ski was more hard core than my brain cells.
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In France, the biggest resorts without any gondolas at all are:

Espace Diamant (Les Saisies etc.)
Foret Blanche (Risoul / Vars)
Les Sybelles

I've visited the first two and can wholeheartedly recommend them both. Espace San Bernardo (La Rosiere / La Thuile) is also fully accessible without using the single gondola on the La Thuile side. The Espace Lumiere (Pra Loup / Val d'Allos) also only has one, avoidable gondola.

More important than all this is probably to aim for a quieter resort during low season, if possible.
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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!
PrimroseAndBlue wrote:
Another shout for El Tarter. One chairlift, one gondola, going up to the same point. Same at Soldeu I think. But as they are very well-connected anyway, it shouldn't be difficult. Don't stop at Canillo though as it is gondola only.


Correct Both El Tarter and Soldeu sectors have chairs as well as the Gondolas - obviously the gondolas are the primary route up so these are where you are directed to when you arrive, so you need to trek a short distance to get to the chairs - especially El Tarter. Also the Pas De La Casa and Grau Roig sectors are all chair lifts (no Gondola at all). Start at any of these four places and you can ski all day (and all the way to Canillo) without ever going near a gondola. Canillo up and down is Gondola only as you say.

Another option is Bansko, Bulgaria - the main route up is a Gondola from the town, but there are shuttle busses (free) or taxis (€10-15) that take you to the top station of the gondola by road. From there it is all chairs (and some ropes and buttons).

Flumserberg you can drive/taxi/bus to the main car park and not use a gondola also.
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Galtur, a small area that has only two gondolas, and plenty of chair lifts, linked with Ischgl which has a vast ski area. There are a lot gondolas in Ischgl to access the ski area. I mainly used the Silvretta Bahn from the town, which was always busy (the bus stopped near it and was the first lift we came to). From another area of the town the Pardatschgratbahn gondola was very quiet and the many times we skied down to it we (a group of 4) we had a cabin to ourselves. Skiing back down to the bottom of the valley is always an option at the end of your skiing day to get the bus.
I skied the area in March 2020 (in the week of lockdown in Austria)
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In the PdS nearly all of Avoriaz/Les Crosets/Champoussin/Morgins & large chunks of Chatel on the Avoriaz side at least can all be accessed without a single gondola - a massive bubble-free area
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Some of the medium sized resorts in Styria might suit. Planneralm, Riesneralm and Loser Altaussee have only chair lifts and t-bars. Tauplitz has one gondola, but you don't need to ride it to reach the top of the mountain. If you have a car, they're all quite close together and also part of the same Schneebären regional lift pass.
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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.
baquiera beret has one gondola (which you can easily avoid). easily 80% chairlifts
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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
valmeiner has no bubbles. there are 2x in valloire town side, but you can still get up the mountain from valloire outskirts on 2x chair lifts, so depends which side of the mountain you prefer.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Everywhere apart from Venice.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
WindOfChange wrote:
Everywhere apart from Venice.


Very good Very Happy Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is my favourite place for chilling, I had a couple of mornings like the video this year so it's not exceptional. We park the motorhomes to right of shot at 10.40. Enjoy.


http://youtube.com/v/o1qWyv6XJzw
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I've a feeling The Lecht might be gondola-free?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The older I get the more I like gondolas/bubble lifts, so long as the wait time is short. I like being able to stretch my legs and relax for even a few minutes. Although I agree that being packed into a gondola with 100 strangers is not good right now -- and possibly a reason why many stations may not open this season.

Espace Diamant might be the biggest area in France without gondolas, although if you start from Monetier you can do almost all (maybe even all) of Serre Che without an enclosed lift.
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I seem to remember nearly if not all of the French side of the Milky Way aka Montgenevre and down into Claviere is all chair or drag?
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@Simon94, have you considered the Maurienne valley? Specifically Val Cenis. There's one short access gondola and one longer low individual capacity pod lift, both of which can be completely avoided.
Otherwise its very good chair access whole mountain, and critically, right to the top too.

Extensive area, low people density generally with very few que. Good cost for passes, accommodation, eating in or out with some very good outside terraces on the mountain.

In addition, it's an easy drive with untroubled vehicle acces and plenty of uncontrolled parking. It's a great valley to visit if you've not been before and has a very relaxing feel to all use of it. It's Eski-mo pass covers neighbouring areas in the same valley, Bonneval sur arc being particularly good, and with all chair acces too.

Well worth considering, and certainly fulfilling your criteria.
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@ski3, thanks.....still looking and with the current climate and the fact it is out of school terms will be leaving it until the last minute to book.
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I see some comment on PDS above.

If starting from Vonnes or Petit Chatel the whole of SuperChatel, Morgins Corbeau sector, Barbossine, Torgon and La Chapelle Braitaz sector (all on the cheaper Chatel pass). Or cross the road in Morgins to get the whole Swiss side.

If starting from Pre La Joux the whole of Chatel Linga and Pre La Joux (but don’t go below Echo Alpin lift on Linga side), Lindarets (but not the run below the goat village) the whole of Avoriaz (but don’t go below Grand Combes chair to Prodains) and everything on the Swiss side.

That is a massive area.
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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!
Mr.Egg wrote:
valmeiner has no bubbles. there are 2x in valloire town side, but you can still get up the mountain from valloire outskirts on 2x chair lifts, so depends which side of the mountain you prefer.


So what are Valloire and Valmeiner like to ski?
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I spent 2 months there a few years ago. There is a high proportion of cat tracks, more so on the Valloire half, and it was regularly windy. Valloire Town is very nice but has 2 gondolas and its a navette ride to the chairlifts though there is a fair bit of accommodation at Les Verney where we stayed. It was pretty quiet except half term, good snow but could get wind scoured.

I wouldn't go back except for a brief visit but I'd add that I didn't spend a lot of time on the Valmenier half.
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FrediKanoute wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
valmeiner has no bubbles. there are 2x in valloire town side, but you can still get up the mountain from valloire outskirts on 2x chair lifts, so depends which side of the mountain you prefer.


So what are Valloire and Valmeiner like to ski?

Had a mate went to Valmeiner season before last (experienced group) and said it was pretty good. They had plenty of fresh snow though which may upped the positivity.
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You can get from one end of Serre Chevalier to the other without needing to use a gondola at all, provided you don't go right down to the bottom at Briancon end. Ski back down to the villages in between too and there's a chair option back up.
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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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Great thread but please change the heading - it grates all the time - I thought my former PA had started it but she does not ski - as a pedantic old ****** - it is gondolas not gondola's.....
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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
Is there scope for a 'hybrid' approach, where you would use a few smaller gondolas each day?

I ask because if you look at the arithmetic of this, then the odds of infection might still be comparatively low. For example, where we are in the 4 Vallées, yes, we'd have to share a 8-seater for 10 minutes at the start of the day, but other than than could use chairs. We wouldn't ski the whole 400kms however, because this would need further télécabine sharing.

If there are 2 of us and no reduction in capacity we'd end up gondola sharing with about 30 people in 5 days of skiing. If the infection rate was 100/100K then that's a 1 in 1,000 chance of being cosseted with an infectious person for the requisite 10+ minutes. So that's a 1/33 chance of sharing a gondola with someone who's infected. Clearly, if the resort reduced the gondola occupancy, say down from 8 to 6, then that probability goes down to 1/50. And for us, if they allow the two of us exclusive use of the 4-person gondola then the risk is almost completely removed and the ski area is extended.*

I'm not suggesting our particular resort, more that if you're prepared to compromise a bit then you might have more places to choose from. The issue for us would be that if we go outside our satellite area, we'd have to get a navette back to the link station: each bus trip would represent the same probability of infection as a whole week of gondola sharing.

Sharing a gondola for the week might even be less risky than flying. Try the same arithmetic for a flight: you're sharing a cabin with 200 others, then you're already at 3x the risk just on numbers, add to that you're in the 'plane for 7x longer than in the télécabine and and you're now 21x more risk. Two flights make that 42x more risk than your gondola trips. None of this is rigorous risk calculus, but sometimes it's interesting to make comparisons.

[*However, there may be little to stop a Libertarian-type lone skier from jumping into the cabin at the last minute in the expectation that the operator can't be bothered to stop the lift and chuck them off.]
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You know it makes sense.
Sauze d’Oulx is not too bad. There aren’t any gondolas at all in Sauze and linked Sansicario, which provides for a very decent amount of skiing in itself. Admittedly if gondolas are totally out of the question then it would rule out Sestriere and Claviere/Montgenevre, although the gondola up from both are 6/8 capacity per bubble, and I guess there’s a chance that capacities per bubble may be reduced.
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@Dav, I can't think of any gondolas in Claviere. Montgenevre has two telemix lifts but you don't have to take a gondola you can wait for a chair to come round. The only gondola with no chair option in Montgenevre is the short chalvet lift but you can avoid it by taking the Serre Thibaud telemix instead.
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@snowymum, if you’re heading from Sauze to Claviere you have to take a gondola to the bottom of the valley to Cesana (and back up again of course on the return leg). I probably wasn’t clear in my first post, I was basing everything on staying in Sauze and being able to ski to the other linked resorts.
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Les Sybelles - Stay in St. Sorlin, but you already knew that from here - But actually not a bad ski area too!
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Whistler Mountain. It always amuses me that there is a huge queue for the village gondola yet Fitz lift (right beside it) is empty.
You can't get up from Creekside with out a Gondola.
Yes you have to use a huge gondola to go peak to peak and Blackcomb is 2 x Gondolas to get up now.
So 4000 (approx) acres available. Shame we can't go at the mo as they won't let us in.
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Jake43 wrote:
Whistler Mountain. It always amuses me that there is a huge queue for the village gondola yet Fitz lift (right beside it) is empty.
You can't get up from Creekside with out a Gondola.
Yes you have to use a huge gondola to go peak to peak and Blackcomb is 2 x Gondolas to get up now.
So 4000 (approx) acres available. Shame we can't go at the mo as they won't let us in.

Given the current restrictions, 2020/2021 puts it Way down my list .... and i have close family in Utah:-)
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FrediKanoute wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
valmeiner has no bubbles. there are 2x in valloire town side, but you can still get up the mountain from valloire outskirts on 2x chair lifts, so depends which side of the mountain you prefer.


So what are Valloire and Valmeiner like to ski?


Quite different to each other. Both are good in their own way.
Valmeinier being more of a Purpose built resort on the side of a mountain, so a good amount of up & down skiing right back to purpose built apartment blocks
In the middle is a shared mountain & other side of mountain is the village of Valloire, that also has its own mountain for skiing.
There are 2x 8person bubble gondolas valloire side - but I have never seen a queue (but I dont go away peak season), even on the mountain queues have tended to be short.
some of the blues are cat tracks/mountain roads.
You can always get good deals on sunweb or official tourism website for a deals on lift pass with accommodation. Less than £400pp for basic lodgings.
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Ruddster wrote:
You can do the majority (if not all) of the Les Gets/Morzine pistes (a very decent amount of skiing) without using a gondola using chairlifts instead. A lot of the time it is quicker (although the lifts are slower and in two stages) as the queues (at busy times) from the bottom are generally better.


I think you are forgetting about the Mont Chery side - which is only accessible via Telecabine from Les Gets - unless you take a drive round to L'Encrenaz to get the Chery Nord chairlift.
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