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Evasion Mont Blanc - Megeve/St Gervais/Combloux/Les Contamines 2018/2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@jma, shhh. that run off the Mont Joux chair was my honey hole last week. It's technically off piste (or, between piste) but no one was riding it. I must have done it 10 times...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hello local EMB experts! Still not booked for half term and this area is strong contender - how easy is it to get from Les Contamines to other areas (eg St Gervais / Megeve) or from the other direction (Combloux) across to other areas? Thanks!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@always29, Les Contamines is a 10-minute drive (there are buses, too) to Bettex lift in center of St. G (has the most parking), add 15-20 more minutes to base of Megeve, at least, probably more b/c of traffic in Megeve. Easier to ski over to Megeve from St. G, I think. (one connecting gondola).
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@always29, very if you have a car
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
StG snow may be poor just now but I spent a great day today up at LC, fantastic
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@Jonny996, did they get the Col chair running at all today? Said it would be a few days on website.

We stayed in St. G today and it wasn't too bad - huge mounds of fake snow made a couple of runs fun but the cover is very thin now. A couple of good dumps of the real stuff is desperately needed to open more runs up.

@always29, it's a very easy drive between Les C and St G but you do need a car. I'd imagine relying on the buses would be quite tedious. If you're going to Les C the Telecabine de Gorge often has parking spaces long after the main Montjoie Telecabine car park has filled up - but also, from what I've seen on the busy days this week, the authorities seem not to be at all bothered about the more creative parking solutions some have adopted!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@jma, unfortunately not, which was amusing our younger members being air born on the tow
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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!
@jma, @Pasigal, thanks, yes we would have a car. Am finding cheapish HT accom for the area in Les Contamines and Combloux so good to know there's lots of parking if we fancied a couple of days at either end of the lift pass areas.
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I have used the 84 bus to Les C from St.G a number of times and it has worked perfect. You do have to pay but at least there is no bus change. You can also use the free St.G facilibus and connect with the Les C shuttle but its not really worth the extra hassle.
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Oh the irony, I discovered this thread this afternoon whilst we were driving back from our week staying in St Gervais!
We skied Les C 3 days, and St Gervais 4 days (getting across to Rochebrune on one of those days). Snow up at Les C was much better, but we did find some nice bits in St Gervais.
The most interesting (?) bit of the week was last Sunday, when we ventured over into Hauteluce without realising the Col chair wasn't running. Had our longest queue of the week for the Choton drag, and then as we arrived at the Plan drag the lift stopped. After waiting half an hour we decided to hike up the piste to the ridge - that was hard work! 175m of up, in .9km of distance, carrying piste skis. By the time we got to the top everyone was walking out, and some people were getting towed out by snowmobiles.
@Jonny996, I was airborne 6 times going up Choton
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@karin, it is funny to watch those in front spinning round hopefully not landing backwards, my 100kg frame kept me grounded,
I have to say if snow ok I spent most of my time in StG/Megeve with LesC only being my back up, I was really impressed with LesC this week, pistes as wide as runways
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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.
@Jonny996, yes, we didn't expect to spend so much time in Les C. If all of St G/Megeve is open there's much more varied stuff than in Les C. But last week LC was better. Glad to have had the car and been staying where we were.
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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
@Jonny996, and fortunately I didn't end up spinning right round on the poma!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Webcams suggest a dusting of new snow overnight - more than just a hard frost. A welcome surprise, with more significant snow due tomorrow.

According to the lift report, 3cm new snow on Mont d'Arbois and 1cm at Bettex.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@denfinella, yes there were traces on the car as I left yesterday, I am back out on 18th, so hoping for some good dumps before then.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
yeah Les C didn't have a great new year for lift reliability - Col the big problem but also some shorter snafus on both bubbles out of Les C. Didn't exactly cover themselves with glory.
That said, I didn't spend much time in queues despite the full car parks. Think car parking is the bottleneck for Les C which is quite handy.

I though piste conditions were pretty decent for NY. I assume form the number of ESF and ski club jackets with other resorts on the back that other resorts had it worse. The locals love it like this - best for business when the region doesn't have great snow and Les C is better to a small but significant extent.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jedster, we were briefly held up on Friday morning by the Les C bubble having problems.

We had chosen StG/Les C for New Year because without any major tour ops going there we figured it would be quieter than many French resorts. Plus I've been to Megeve in late March for about 10 years now, and it's always been really empty. I think it was a good decision, none of the queues were bad, and LC was positively quiet on Wednesday and Friday.

It was only the second time I've ever seen the old 2 man Mont Joux chair on Mont d'Arbois running. We made the mistake of taking it once, and whilst sitting on it I calculated that the queue for the main Mont Joux chair had to be well over 5 minutes before you saved any time going on the slow chair!
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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?
Any recent reports on conditions? Looks much improved on the webcams after the last storm, and a few new pistes open too.

Also, any update on when the TSD Col on the back of Les Contamines might reopen? It's been broken for well over a week now, which seems like a long time to fix or even replace a motor!

EDIT: Speak of the devil, it's now scheduled for tomorrow.
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Would love to know what conditions are like from anyone out there. Heading to La Giettaz next weekend - first time going to a lower altitude resort. Should I be regretting the decision? Just looking for piste skiing with family. Thanks
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Was there just last week for a couple of days in the Megeve area (hired a car a toured a few places in the Haute-Savoie) fantastic on piste conditions last Wednesday 9th and 80-90% open easily in the the Combloux - la Giettaz side (only home runs to megeve closed from Le Jaillet but may be open now with the new snow) We had around 20-30cm of decent powder and skiied right down to la Giettaz. Incredibly quiet.

Les contamines in very good condition also on thursday 10th, bluebird conditions and easily 30cm of fresh on the top. Able to ski right down to the valley too on man made snow with a layer of fresh. (Col was closed all day so didn't go over to the Hauteluce side)

Looks like plenty snow coming tomorrow and monday so the whole area will be great i'm sure.
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@paddy2190 thanks!
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We are in Combloux at the moment and the snow is fantastic with more forecast ( 40 cm tonight ) . The runs down to Combloux are great with layer of lovely fluffy powder on piste. Have not been to La Giettaz yet this time but expect is same, you will have plenty of snow don’t worry . Also there is hardly anyone on the slopes - really quiet
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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!
Enjoy the conditions, but please leave some for me.
What's that word I noticed "Powder"?

I thought Powder was a myth ... like easter bunnies and tooth fairies.
(Actually Tooth Fairies may actually exist, just I have not seen one yet.)

I popped in here to ask:
"should I book rental skis in advance or not" ... perhaps I'll start a new thread for it ...

But I could ask for more pointed advice, "where is the best place to rent good skis in St Gervais?"
Are there any stand out locations or are they all of a muchness, or is there any to avoid.

A big ask I know.
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@DrLawn, I'm heading to St Gervais next weekend. I found the prices for ski hire in all the shops I researched were a bit higher than I liked, so ended up booking equipment in Combloux! (Megève even more expensive by the way, though why am I not surprised Wink )

This trick has worked well on previous ski trips, though this time it may come back to bite me as the road between St Gervais and Combloux is currently closed for roadworks... Embarassed
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@DrLawn, I always point anyone’s visiting us to nerry Glisse for ski rental
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We always use Sport 2000 Marin in Combloux ( at La Cry where the ski lifts start not in the town ) , they are nice and helpful but not sure re relative costs and prob a bit out ur way . Ps skied down to La Giettaz today was lovely and so quiet !
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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.
Hi @clairep We wont have a car so I'll have to stay local, so I wont be getting them from Combloux, but thanks for the hint, and welcome to to forum.

So @Jonny996 I'll pop into Nerey Glisse then and check it out ... it could be the place where my
daughter rented a locker. I just went to their web site a moment ago. I think I'll spend Saturday afternoon wandering about and checking it out.
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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
@DrLawn, might see you in le grange, as I'm out there next 2 weekends
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Jonny996 I'll look out for you then,
We're not going till 9th February though. I think we will be above the Carrefour Express.
We're really looking forward to it ... I'm going to be skiing with my six year old granddaughter.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Skied St Gervais yesterday. Visibility was poor and snow was a bit weird. Boot deep on piste in some places and grass showing through in others. Whilst a lot of untracked, I wouldn't call it 'powder' as the rain had made it quite heavy. Still super fun though Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well @Meltus that don't sound great, but you had fun. Just wait till the sun comes out.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Excellent snow quality on piste in the EMB at the moment - I'm running a trip report here if you're interested.

95% pistes open (only notable exceptions are the very low St Gervais home run and two of the three runs down the lower stage of the Princesse gondola) though it is thin in places with grass threatening to come through in some spots where there isn't artificial support. Not an issue while temps remain low, but might become a nuisance if it gets warmer, busier or rainy.
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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?
Home run open today
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On the general weather thread there have been some bearish noises about snow levels in the French Alps. Obviously a part of this is poor cover in the Southern Alps but it's not looking shabby in EMB. EXcited about heading to Les C this weekend I checked historical comparisons for Les C Signal (1880m)
this year 130cm
2018 220cm
2017 100cm
2016 130cm
2015 110cm

Obviously last year was an excellent year - arguably Les C had too much early season in that avalanche risk closed the Veleray area all season.
That apart - 2019 is looking pretty good so far.
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Just back from a weekend in Les Contamines. Fabulous snow. We arrived Friday evening after a tricky drive (snow and ice on the A40, managed to get up to Les C with winters on the hire car but frankly should have fitted chains). 25cm Friday another 25 saturday and 15 on SUnday. Visibility was patchy at best so local knowledge needed to find the best pockets of tree skiing on offer but the snow was tremendous - a tad heavy on Sat but the later snow was really light. Clouds kept the crowds away. Pistes are very soft. Currently 60cm in the village at 1100m. Even if there is not another flake in February, there will be excellent piste conditions.
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@jedster, good to hear about the pistes likely being good for a while as I know a frend and his daughter (first timer) heading there for half term. I see there are a few blacks closed but this shouldnt affect them.
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@ster,

I think those area will open up by HT - closed for avalanche risk but I think that will stabilise
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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!
jedster wrote:
@ster,

I think those area will open up by HT - closed for avalanche risk but I think that will stabilise


Including Telebaby? wink
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the young team (11 & 12 year olds) in our party always look forward to the Les C "fast day" of our week.
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@jedster, sounds fabulous! Wish I was still there...
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