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Saint Gervais

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've booked saint gervais for me and other half for 4 nights commencing 8th Jan. Anyone been? Hoping there are some good intermediate runs to keep up entertained, but nothing that will make me go into meltdown half way down the piste. Any tips? Also transfers from geneva, I need to sort something - what did you do? Evening entertainment (normally we just eat and have a few quiet drinks) any recommendations? Ta.
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Don't know the skiing from the St Gervais side - lots of mellow skiing in Megeve, though. St G is a lovely town - a proper town, not just a ski station. No problem finding somewhere to eat and have a few drinks.
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Chum of mine had an apartment there, so I was a frequent visitor in my student days. I'd echo what Pam says. For skiers, your only way up is the gondola and, for most of the season, your only way down as well. That takes you to Le Bettex, which is a perfect area for intermediates, no nasty surprises. It's a bit of a hike into Megeve, which is another financial world to St.G.
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Transfer -https://www.ouibus.com/ or any of the chamonix transfers will drop you in la fayet at the station and you can get the sat bus or a taxi up http://www.sat-montblanc.com/accueil/actualites.aspx
The sking is all very intermediate with only a few exceptions,
There is a picnic/self service (realativly cheap) at Freddys (top of the gondola from st gervais) La boite (under the gondola just above bettex)has open fire and great vues of the chamonix aigles.
Le Gouet is also a nice little resturant.
Beware of places on the megeve,cote 2000 side some are very expensive !
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Been twice and really like it. At that time of year it shouldn't be too much of a queue on the gondola in the morning. Some really good long red runs and plenty of blues with a few easy blacks thrown in. It's a pity that you can only sometimes ski down to the bottom itself but hopping on the lift to get back down isn't a biggie. No problem to ski over to Megeve and back in a day but study the piste map and lift times. It's a relaxed and quiet town so perfect for a couple. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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Yep, I agree. There are some lovely runs for intermediates there.
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I've had four or five holidays in St G but actually stayed up in Le Bettex. We now have a place in Les Contamines so are in St G fairly often.

Skiing - Nearly all the skiing in St G and Megeve is very friendly. The blacks aren't bad (with the exception of one on Mont Jolie which is very steep but not always open). All the reds and blues are fine. I actually think the skiing on Mont Arbois (the hill above St G) is among the best in the area. The runs down to La Princesse are really nice as are the ones to Bettex.

Eating on the mountain - as others have said it is much better VFM on the St G side than Megeve. I particularly like the Fleche D'Or in Bettex (hotel with restaurant and terrace with fabulous views of Mont Blanc Massif), there is a lovely little chalet just beside the piste under the Mont Rosset chair, couple of nice places down at Communailles.

Evenings - I think ST G is a lovely little town. I've not eaten out there much but there are a clutch of nice looking restaurants and a couple of bars around the town square - I don't think you'd go far wrong strolling around there and picking what grabs you.
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Quote:

terrace with fabulous views of Mont Blanc

One of the joys of that area - that glorious mountain is right "in yer face".
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As others have said, an ideal location for intermediates, lots of nice tree lined runs on both sides, down to Bettex or towards Megeve. The run down from Bettex to Saint Gervais was open when we were there last in late January this year but all man made snow and pretty chopped up, only did it once and downloaded thereafter. You’ll not go far wrong with most of the runs off Mont D’Arbois though.

For transfers we ended up hiring a car to keep our options open. It helped as we ended up doing a day at Les Contamines which is also great, very quiet ski area and lots of easy options to get around.

In Saint Gervais itself there are lots of small bar options, I really liked it, a proper town feel a bit like a smaller Chamonix I guess without the big mountain feel. The bar La Grange was a lovely locals spot, nice few snack options in there too. Pizza L’Eterle was nice for a meal and good value. Didn’t go to Le Serac but looked like a good high quality dining option though expensive (based on a quick look at the menu outside). All the other bars around the main square were good too.
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Can I piggy back a request for information on this thread?
I am visiting in Feb 10 2018 for a week. We have visited once before but in the autumn when the slopes weren’t open though the scenery views and weather were spectacular. I believe this is before the main Paris weeks but still French School Hols ( we were restricted to this week as one of our friends who we ski with is a teacher).

Are there any sectors that get particularly busy or less busy at this time . When is the best time to get the main gondola up or are you better going up to Bettex?
We will have a car with us and the apartment is a little above the main bit of the resort, what is the bus service like? I am assuming les Contamines is good for a day out , are we better driving or bussing and what is the parking like up there?

Are there any mustn't miss areas to ski? We are reasonable skiers though I have been somewhat handicapped by a dodgy knee recently and am hoping it will hold up for this holiday.
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Spent a winter there and loved every single second of it. Probably done another half dozen weeks there since. A very very easy drive from Geneva, no cols or twisty roads and not far off the Motorway Perfect relaxed intermediate skiing and lots of good mountain eating. Particularly like le Boitet; la Raviere (you have to book - but maybe not in January) and the little place just beneath the top section of Michel Dujon . Hate La Folie Douce with a passion - what it is doing in St Gervais I have no idea. (although this may have as much to do with the feeling that they are messing about with "my" mountain, as the place itself. I got equally upset when the carousel in the village went too)
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I've got an apartment in Saint Gervais and am there three or four times each season. It is mainly a beginners to intermediate resort but there is more challenging stuff if you go looking. In January it will be quite quiet but there's a fair chance of decent snow. An old rickety lift up Epaule has just been replaced which will open up a the higher area of Mont Joly so should be good.

Alpybus private transfer will take you to the resort but, if you are on a budget, there's a regular bus transfer from Geneva and a Magic Bus transfer where you have to catch a connecting shuttle but the times are restrictive. Personally, I would get the earliest flight possible and either hire a small car and do the one hour drive yourselves or take one of the many private transfers so you can spend the maximum time skiing.

Evenings- it isn't a party town but there is one late night bar, the Oboose Bar, not far from the telecabine. In the town there are plenty of good restaurants around the town square and a few bars. Our favourite is La Grange near to the church but there are others and it is such a small place it is no trouble to try the all in one night!

It's a beautiful town and a great ski area, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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Echo all the comments here and would have to say if there's plenty of snow it's worth a trip to the Jaillet side of the Evasion area - lots of beautiful tree lined skiing and usually very quiet.
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Quote:

Are there any sectors that get particularly busy or less busy at this time . When is the best time to get the main gondola up or are you better going up to Bettex?


Obviously it does get busy at those times of year but there aren't many blackspots which are real bottlenecks and there are normally alternative routes if a lift has big queues. They replaced the main gondola from St G to Bettex a few years back and it is a monster people mover now which has really helped. As ever you are best going or early or just after ski school meet time but its not crucial. You are not better driving to Bettex - there is little parking for non-residents. Parking at the St G Gondola is good.

I'd always recommend a trip to Les Contamines - it will definitely be quieter and I'd argue the snow and skiing is better. Not impartial on this though! Parking at Les C is excellent - head for the Gorge gondola which has a really big car park. There are regular buses from St G but if you are going to have a car I'd definitely drive (about 10 mins).
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I'd echo what's been said about the prices for eating on the mountain. Having skied a lot in Les Arcs, where the Arpette restaurant above 1800 is a cheap and cheerful self service place, we went into the Arpette on Cote 2000. Lots of fur and animal skins around, and the first bottle on the wine list was Petrus, for 3,000 euros. Definitely not the Arpette that I'm used to. Embarassed
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I recon I spend about 60 nights a year in StG, I have fallen for the town & area both summer & winter. it is fair to say it is not for your extreme sports junkie & that's way I like it, there arn't many resorts where the green, blue, red & black mix are all about 25% each so it does have something for everything. the fact you are skiing tree lined runs rather than a baron bowl of snow makes it special.
Megeve is VERY expensive & the queue behavior on that side is a bit more pushing/arrogant.
Try to avoid being around bettex at 10.00 for start of ski school as it get busy.
if you flight line up with the every 2 hour ouibus bus, just use that as once in town no need for a car but if you can stretch for a car get one, 8th Jan is early for StG it is a low town, if the snow is not great it will be a lot better in Les Contimines 10 minutes drive away & covered by same lift pass.
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The top of Les Contamines (above the top gondola) keeps its snow as well as - or better than - anywhere around. Some lovely (and often empty) red runs.
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@Jonny996, Adding on to this thread -- is it reasonable to expect decent snowmaking in St. Gervais for Christmas in an "average" snow year (not like last year)? I know St. G. is relatively low and will need to take Bettex up. Or, is it like everywhere over Christmas and yer rollin' the dice. TIA!
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@Jonny996, if the snow is not great it will be a lot better in Les Contimines 10 minutes drive away & covered by same lift pass. Only if you have an evaison lift pass !
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@Pasigal, they do have snow cannons but not as many as some of the mega resorts but like @brock, says LC is only 10 minutes away and higher as well as being shadow of mount blanc
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@Pasigal,

Honestly, in the last 7 or so years there have been 2 xmas's when St G was open. At those times Les Contamines was partly opened but the pistes were very busy as people from around the EMB crowded onto the open pistes. Both times snow came at the end of Xmas week and NY was much better.


Personally I wouldn't book anything in St G for Xmas - I'd leave it late.
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@jedster, I know Xmas 2016 was pretty much a fiasco in France, and that last year was an anomaly.

We did in fact book a place in St. G for Xmas, largely because even if there isn't any snow it will be easy to get to Chamonix/Courmayeur or Megeve or even Annecy to putter around. We just like being in the mountains, and if nothing's open we'll go for a drive, or a walk, or hit up an indoor climbing wall/museum...

Whereas our other choices -- Grand-Bornand or some place the Maurienne, are a bit more isolated (in the sense that you're at the end of the road)

This may be the sign of an incurable optimist, but snow is forecast today at 1500 meters in the French Alps...although judging from the webcams right now, was just rain...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Hi @jedster, or anyone else who can help,

Old thread I know, but I was thinking of going to St Gervais over new year this year but this quote has me concerned:

Quote:

Honestly, in the last 7 or so years there have been 2 xmas's when St G was open. At those times Les Contamines was partly opened but the pistes were very busy as people from around the EMB crowded onto the open pistes. Both times snow came at the end of Xmas week and NY was much better.


Are you referring to the whole of the St G ski area or just the home runs? Surely they have most of the runs above Bettex open at that time of year most years? Obviously last year was very poor and I am prepared to take a slight gamble but I would want the norm to be that most runs above 1400m would be open at the end of December. The official opening date of St Gervais is the 14th of December this year suggesting that most years they get some stuff open around then

Thanks
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there will be stuff open above Bettix but it might be artificial & narrow & rock hard. I very much doubt the home run would be open. LC will most likely be open.
I love StG but don't go thinking it is the same as those 2500+M porpoise built resorts
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@rambotion,
oops there is a typo in my quote!!!
Should say there have been 2 xmas's when St G was NOT open! so 5/7 there was skiing.
Sorry to anyone else that has been scared by this.

If it reassures you, 7/7 years St G was open over NY - the extra week was enough. You might still want to come up for Les C for better snow though (hardly a problem from St G)
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@Jonny996,
Quote:

don't go thinking it is the same as those 2500+M porpoise built resorts




I much prefer to get my resorts built by dolphins than porpoises (well known to be a bit slapdash!) Very Happy
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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.
Another point in favour of St Gervais (over other parts of the Evasion Mont Blanc region) is that the local slopes face northeast, which is just about the best orientation you can have for snow retention. And just above is Mont Joux / Mont Joly, which is the highest part of the domain.

On our January 2019 trip we found that the slopes in the above areas had better cover than the rest of the domain - and especially the runs down to Megeve and La Princesse.

Having said that, I wouldn't personally book St Gervais for Christmas - or anywhere around Megeve for that matter. But I'm not really a fan of going that early in the season at all.
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We went to St. G last Xmas, but I wouldn't really recommend it that early in the season. Lovely town, good intermediate skiing but IMO it's just a little bit low to be snow sure.

Xmas is a crapshoot anywhere, so (as I noted a few posts above from last year) the good part about St. G was that we took some time to shop in Chamonix and really enjoyed the hot baths/pools in Megeve.
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