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Megeve and/or St Gervais Les Bains ????

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All, I have never skied these 2 resorts but thinking of doing so this year.
Which one would you suggest going to and why?
Also what is the apres ski scene like in both? How much is a beer, pizza, normal dinner etc ?

I ski 5 days out of 7, prefer cruisey red pistes with the occasional challenge. I like nice mountains bars with some music.
I would like somewhere with a good atmosphere and has some life after 8pm.

Probaly an appartment for 4-6 people. Possibly take a non skier so what are the towns/ villages like for daytime wandering around / coffee / cake / shops ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If an "apres scene " is important to you I suspect that neither is right up your alley. Both towns nice to walk around. Megeve expensive with some eye watering prices in top shops and restaurants.
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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?
Does it not even have a couple of bars that are a bit lively every day ?
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Depends what you mean by "lively", really. What other French places have you stayed in, to compare them with? I suspect they'd not compare favourably for nightlife with somewhere like Chamonix or Morzine but would be positively bacchanalian compared to, for example, Les Saisies or Le Grand Bornand. wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If your bringing a non skier, Megeve and St Gervais are good for cake, coffee shops and spa / bathing. Megeve has a pleasant outdoor ice rink and you could spend a day at its sports palace. St Gervais edges it for its spa. For skiing both share the same ski area Evasion Mont Blanc (although Les Contimines and Jaillet arent directly linked with the main area. Megeve has some decent apres ski bars S Bar, Le Bistrot and Le Puck (sadly I believe La Caleche has recently closed). If considering St Gervais - Le Bettex and Le Fayet are a bit on the quiet side compared to the main town. As for the skiing its mostly cruisey reds and the occasional challenge at Cote 2000 or Mont Joli so you will be well plesaed with that.
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Hi Gazbelfast,
is la Fayet where the main train station is and Le Bettex up the top of the gondola?
Are there a few bars around say the tourist office/ one way system area that perhaps have a band on or some type of night life?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
on http://www.powderbeds.com/france/st-gervais/apres-ski

they mention:
Les Caves du Presteau
The Millenenium Pub
Oboose
Le Repaire des Ours
Pur Bar
la Nuit des Temps

Have you been in any of these ? Are they any good ?
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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!
@kezzy1966, Never skied in either but I visited St Gervais this Autumn for a week I would say it is better than average for the non skier with an attractive centre, it also has a swimming pool, Ice rink & the Mont Blanc railway. Can't compare it with Megeve as we didn't visit and obviously the atmosphere in season would be very different but it is a place I intend to return to.

I
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I am very fond of St Gervais having spent a winter there a few years back. It's a lovely and friendly town but really is pretty quiet after dark (except in the restaurants) not least because it doesn't have a tour operator presence. The places you mention (not all of which I recognise) are strung out from Le Fayet, where you correctly state is where you find the train station to Le Bettex at the top of the gondola. In terms of the place in town I think there is some life in the Oboose at the gondola end of town which draws (or drew) the young of St Gervais but beyond that not much and certainly nowhere else I can think of offering music on any kind of regular basis. Pur Bar is nice but I think has morphed to more of a tapas bar than bar since I was last there and there is a little bar between the spar and sherpa which attracts a local crowd - more cards and pastis than rocking nightlife though.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@kezzy1966, yep la fayet is where the train station is and bettex is half way up the gondola .St Gervais now has a Follie Douce in the ski area. The town has some good resturants even a chinese now and a few bars there is a casino down in la fayet. you can also get acces to les houches using the TMB so your non skier would not be left behind if you went to either ski area.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi Kezzy - The Oboose bar at the bottom of the Gondola was my personal favorite (most apres ski like) and handy to most of the hotels in town. Le Fayet and Le Bettex aren't as busy after dark but did like Le repaire des Ours in Le Fayet.
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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.
Did a sneaky weekend at St Gervais last season. There were a couple of bars, one of which had a band on. We skied over to the Megeve side, and all I can say is that the mountain restaurant prices were a significant uplift compared to the St Gervais-side mountain restaurants... which makes me think that the town has followed suit.

Megeve is one of the places that "Posh" spice learnt to ski.... I think that says it all?
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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

VFM is massively higher in St Gervais. I'd say eating in Bettex is half the price of Megeve side. I paid Eur 32 for sausage and mash over in Megeve. Steak was 54. Now it was good but ....

In Megeve even the dogs wear fur coats!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Le Presteau is great value for money in St Gervais Le Bettex and also Chez Gilles. To find the same value for money in Megeve on the mountain you have to go to le Radaz over in Cote 2000.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I thought I'd tag my snow reassurance-seeking on to this thread - hope no one minds. Heading to SGLB on the 27th for a week and starting to wonder whether we should push the panic button. Don't know the town at all so wondering a) if there's likely to be enough open to make it worthwhile and b) if not, what our next best option is likely to be. Would Chamonix be reachable on a daily basis - and would the snow there be better by enough to make it worth going? I'm guessing Les Houches won't be in any better nick than St Gervais and probably worse.

Apologies for the neediness but this whole summer-in-December thing has rattled me a bit and I wanted to get the expert views of snowheads with knowledge of St Gervais. Thanks in advance. Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The nearest and most snow sure place to St Gervais is les Contamines 15 mins up the road. They have been skiing there for the last two weekends.But even there things are not fantastic.
http://www.evasionmontblanc.com/webcams.php these will give you some idea what the snow is like in the area
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've got an apartment in St Gervais and have been going there for over ten years. Party town it is not!! It would best be described as a family resort. I find that it is more like a normal French town which happens to have a telecabine which will take you into a ski area. The bars are more places for the locals to go to such as Le Grange and the Pur bar (both of which I really like.) Oboose is a good late night bar with bands and is near to the telecabine area.

For apres ski we stop off at one of the bars at Bettex until the lift is about to close and then get down as late as possible.

Plenty of coffee stops and patisseries during the day and it's a really pretty place. There's also an ice skating rink and a very good indoor pool.

Megeve is expensive, as has already been posted. I've never stayed there but been over to eat and, well, it cost a lot! Was very good, though!

Skiing is great for intermediates all around St Nicholas, St Gervais, Megeve, Combloux (very pretty in my opinion.) Les Contamines has better snow and is where we go if it gets a bit marginal in Saint Gervais. I know nothing about the apres ski there, though.
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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?
@vinerower, Chamonix is about half an hour away but we found that if the snow is very thin then lots of people from Chamonix come to St Gervais (at least that's the impression that we got from talking to people.) St Gervais is low and the pistes are covering grass whereas as much of Cham is over rocks. I'm not certain how true this is but there does seem to be an influx if conditions are bad.

Les Contamines has better snow than Saint Gerais but it's by no means guaranteed.

Who knows what the conditions will be like on the 27th? We're going over on 23rd and will be talking walking boots, sledge and a sense of humour! There's other stuff to do but if it's your only ski trip of the season I can see why you are concerned. My advice would be to relax and make the most of whatever is there.
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Contamines likely to be as good as anywhere in the vicinity. The resort websites will tell you what is open now but with this weather some will probably close during the week, unfortunately.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks all. I'm philosophical about it Snow Monkey - we'll have fun whatever happens, but I just wondered if there was a viable back-up in the area if St Gervais was bad. I always have an unshakeable belief that there will be massive snowfall the day before I get there, regardless of what the forecast says. Smile
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@Snow Monkey: the mystery is solved, St Gervais pistes are definitely mostly over grass rather than rock (we could see it).

Having just returned from skiing with vinerower last week, I can confirm that no massive snow-dump occurred the day before we arrived. However, St Gervais was indeed very pretty in the balmy spring style skiing conditions, which is a good job as only five runs were open...

Top marks go to the St Gervais snow wranglers for re-creating the best possible with what felt like slightly less snow than needed to fill a swimming pool, but with temperatures above freezing on most of the mountain snow machines were not viable and most of the existing and 'groomed' snow was pretty poor, turning to icy slush and straight out grass or cement / rock by mid afternoon.

Best days skiing were over in Les Contamines as there was marginally more variety, however, even there snow was exceptionally thin and icy with most pistes sporting rocky outcrops, gravel or tufts of grass.

However, even with no snow, the people in St Gervais were great, helpful and very accommodating, especially the Nerey Glisse ski shop by the Gondola. Not only did they act as a great source of information for the whole ski area, they were also extremely accommodating when I took a chunk out of the brand new skis I had rented from them on the rocks of Contamines ... Embarassed

A happy ending? It snowed the day we left (yesterday).

Hopefully that will be enough to create a base for the lucky few expected between now and half term, but they are starting from a very low base (i.e. zero) so I would not like to hazard a guess of how long it will take for the area to actually open fully.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Cheers for the info Pynch, heading out on the 7th and hoping the snow will have improved things somewhat from when you were there.
Glad to see they have been opening more runs as the day has gone on, hoping they open up more on Mont Joux this week.
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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!
Just to follow up Pynch's post, the snow cover was thin at best at St Gervais, and there was no more than about 40% of the mountain open at any one time. They really did work wonders to get as many pistes open as they did, and rotated runs intelligently rather than letting the same few get hammered until they were forced to close them.

Conditions at Les Contamines were significantly better, but this was of course negated by it also being significantly more crowded as people flocked in from the more snow-starved resorts. Mornings generally better than afternoons there, as expected, but on Thursday the temperatures dropped, there was some snow, and most of the crowds had dispersed by mid-afternoon, making it probably the best session of the week.

There was decent snowfall and - finally - lower temperatures in St Gervais on Saturday, but it will need several more weeks of the same, and intensive work, to get the whole resort into skiable shape. Fingers crossed.

All that said, I still had a good time. As long as there's physically enough snow to get down the mountain on, it's a worthwhile trip, and hard conditions breed skilful skiers/snowboarders. Naturally those weren't quite the words I was uttering as I was bouncing bodily off wide expanses of ice and rock and my snowboard was being shredded beneath my feet, but all's well that ends well. Twisted Evil
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similar observations here

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=122776

Have to say, I found my self wondering why anyone would persist with a snowboard in the conditions. No one can carve a board on ice in soft boots so all the boarders seemed to be spending most of the time in chattery skids - just didn't look much fun. Saw one bloke on Olympique (a Les C, i.e. easy, black) ride the same edge sideways all the way down pausing about 8 times when he fell on his @rse. And a woman trying to teach her 4 year old to ski on the nursery slopes from a board - mental! She'd have been better off on foot.

So kudos for sticking with it!
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I'm a very limited skier so I snowboard 90% of the time, all the time, whatever the conditions - if I were equally proficient at both then I'd certainly have stayed on the skis all week. I went down Olympique a few times without much difficulty - the snowboarder you saw clearly shouldn't have been anywhere near it, so apologies on behalf of my tribe!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

went down Olympique a few times without much difficulty - the snowboarder you saw clearly shouldn't have been anywhere near it, so apologies on behalf of my tribe!



Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to stop snowboarders being on the hill. Entirely up to them. Just didn't look much fun. But I do get it - a bad day in the mountains is better than most days anywhere else.
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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.
4 of us are heading to Megeve in early March for a 3 day weekend. Its a group of lads so there will be a bit of drinking, though the main object is to do a little bit of skiing. We are staying about halfway between the village centre Rochebrune lift. Any suggestions re where to grab a beer/wine in the evening?

Also best skiing areas - one is an absolute beginner - the rest are good intermediates.
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