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Grand Massif 2018/2019 snow report, Les Carroz, Flaine, Samoens, Morillon & Sixt

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
sj1608 wrote:
@X5OT76, there's currently lots of sunshine. Until Thursday the pistes seemed almost perfect, with just a few slushy bits in the afternoon. But since Friday the temperatures have risen again during the day, and we're now into a spring cycle of ice in the morning, especially up high, and slush later, especially lower. But there's still plenty of snow.

The coming week looks as if the temps drop a bit, but the forecasts all seem to be disagreeing with one another.

Reported my most unusual piste hazard to a pisteur first thing on Friday in Samoens. As I carefully explained, in French, that the piste had cheese scattered over it you could see that he thought I'd got the wrong words. But it was true! It appeared that a box had fallen off a moto neige going up to Montana restaurant, and the wheels of cheese in it had then rolled across the piste. Pisteur immediately set off to recover them and they were gone by the next time I skied past.


Thanks! Sunshine is great, but slush not so great - we will be trying to avoid the slushy bits as much as possible!

Is it worth getting the full pass for 4 days? I'd like to try the long 14km run but seems the only way back from that is to take a bus?
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@X5OT76, we have season passes for the whole area, so I never really think about the boundaries. The 14km Cascades run takes you down to Sixt (likely to be icy at the bottom), and there are no lifts back up from there. You take a bus to Samoens, then up the GME bubble and ski back to Flaine from Samoens.

I can't find a 4 day Flaine pass online, but it says that the difference on a 2 day pass is only €7.40 in total.
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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?
The snow is better in Haut Samoens and Flaine, which has lots more terrain. Les Carroz very slushy from half way down, and expect Vercland and Morrillion will be same. Depends where you're staying, but I'd definitely pay to include Flaine if elsewhere.
Les Cascades will be glorious today, but bottom may have a few puddles. Bus isn't that bad. There's a pub at end on run and if you check timetable can have a pleasant refreshment! Bus takes about 15 minutes to foot of GME.
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Thanks!
We are staying in Flaine Foret
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X5OT76 wrote:
Thanks!
We are staying in Flaine Foret

Well for four days the benefits of the extra terrain are fairly marginal skiing-wise.
But definitely some more picturesque spots to ski and eat in Massif pass area, especially if you stay high.
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On the subject of Cascades, how come people claim it is 14km long? (Can't remember, but there may even also be a sign at the top that says it is..). The piste markers start at 73, i.e. 7.3km - and it definitely seems more like 7km than 14km to me, or did I cut a corner that cut out half the run or something?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I boarded Cascades last Sunday - Ski Tracks recorded a distance of 11.8KMs. A pain in the bum of a run (for boarders) even though some of the upper sections were excellent (fresh snow and literally no one around) ... On the subject of isolation ... I do wonder how unnerved and scared one would feel if god forbid you injured yourself on this run .,,
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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!
sj1608 wrote:
@X5OT76, there's currently lots of sunshine. Until Thursday the pistes seemed almost perfect, with just a few slushy bits in the afternoon. But since Friday the temperatures have risen again during the day, and we're now into a spring cycle of ice in the morning, especially up high, and slush later, especially lower. But there's still plenty of snow.

The coming week looks as if the temps drop a bit, but the forecasts all seem to be disagreeing with one another.

Reported my most unusual piste hazard to a pisteur first thing on Friday in Samoens. As I carefully explained, in French, that the piste had cheese scattered over it you could see that he thought I'd got the wrong words. But it was true! It appeared that a box had fallen off a moto neige going up to Montana restaurant, and the wheels of cheese in it had then rolled across the piste. Pisteur immediately set off to recover them and they were gone by the next time I skied past.


My word. Wonder if they all had racelette for tea?
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In Flaine yesterday for a day trip from Verbier.

We always used to go to Flaine, and have a lot of affection for the place.
Great ski area....and the links/skiing in the overall Grand Massive are superb.

There has been a lot of lift investment in Flaine in the last few years...we were very impressed.

Good snow in general, but very slushy in the afternoon on the left side of the bowl (looking up from town).

The far right, Aujon etc was excellent as it is oblique to the afternoon sun and does not get anything like as slushy.
The run to town from there was not slushy at all, all the way down, as it is fully shaded by trees all the way.

N.B. Beware the double kick on that drag lift...FIERCE!
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@franga,
Quote:

Ski Tracks recorded a distance of 11.8KMs.


If you are not straightlining it, then I guess that might be about right for a 7.3km piste. I assumed the 14km must include the bus ride back to Samoens!

@rungsp - Yep Aujons drag, aka the bucking bronco.
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Rungsp - I use that button lift to confirm I still have a prostate gland....,

Fierce is understated.
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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.
A dusting of snow overnight in Les Carroz, and looking at the webcams it appears to have covered the whole GM.

Snow condition in Flaine yesterday was excellent, with very light snow from about 11am, but visibility went from perfect to poor with flat light as the snow started. Real lesson in just how fast the conditions can change......
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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
Thanks for these updates.. heading to Flaine with the kids 6th April, hoping there will still be plenty of snow to play in, forecast seems changeable although dipping again after this weekend which is looking warm!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skisoph86, I think you'll be fine in Flaine. The temperatures are lower at the moment and the snow is holding up really well. There was probably 2 or 3 cm fresh snow at the top of Flaine yesterday (difficult to tell exactly, as it was blowing around), which has freshened things up a bit.

Samoens was also beautiful today - skied Marmottes, Dahu, Aioua in the morning and Marmottes in the afternoon.

The lower part of Plein Soleil in Les Carroz was slushy and brown, but Timalets (the competition track part) was in good shape.

Haven't been in Morillon for the last few days, so can't report on that!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sounds good to me! Thanks sj
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Arrived Saturday afternoon. Gloriously sunny and warm and the snow is still holding up well. The runs down to Samoens were good yesterday morning and even down to Carroz on Timalets was in very good condition. I'm still nursing my ankle and leg back to full strength so didn't go out in the afternoon. The pisting teams have been doing a good job all winter and that is now paying dividends.

Blue sky again this morning but there are rumours circulating that the weather will change in the next 48 hours with the possibility of snow higher up.
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The news those of you heading out next week have been waiting for ............ IT'S SNOWING! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Even without fresh snow the pistes in Flaine have been in great condition the last few days. We headed up by car today, as the forecast looked as if conditions could get nasty quite quickly. There had been 1-2cm of snow overnight and it wasn't as icy as it has been the past few mornings. We looped Faust, Cristal, Serpentine trying to dodge the very low clouds that were swirling around. The cloud came and went throughout the morning, alternating with blue skies and sunshine. Then at about 1pm the cloud cover became 100% and the light went totally flat, so we decided it was time to stop. As we drove out of Flaine at about 1.30 it started snowing and visibility at the Col was poor in heavy cloud.

Snow started in Les Carroz at about 2.30, and it is now snowing heavily and quite windy. The trees and rooves have already turned white.
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@sj1608, you star, thanks for the report! Just what I wanted to hear. Sounds like you had the kind of morning that I love.
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Great news. We arrive Friday evening.
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Still snowing and has been all night. Definitely wet spring snow, but there's a lot of it!
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About 20cm has fallen here in Flaine since yesterday afternoon and still snowing now. Visibility very poor so won't be rushing out just yet. Forecast for tomorrow is good so my last day of the season looks very promising. Yesterday we went over to Samoens where the conditions were good until we went down to the Coulouvrier chair where the piste was in poor condition, partly due to lack of snow but also a lot of bumps caused by the piste bashers, maybe also due to lack of snow. Like @sj1608, we finished skiing at about 1.00, the cloud came in and was snowing by 2.30.
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Just seen a video posted by ESF LC on their facebook page....looking good!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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@Cheesie168, that video was spot on!

We made it to the telecabine for 9am and were surprised there was no queue at all. But after a 15 minute technical delay (many apologies from the lifties, who knew everyone was desperate to hit the slopes) the queue had built up. With very poor visibility it was definitely a day to stay in the trees, so we headed down a very fluffy Marmottes for Molliets lift. But Molliets lift was stopping even with no-one on board, so they immediately closed it and we had an unscheduled ride up the Saix Express to the Tete......where there was at least 30cm of spring powder and none of the trees we had planned. rolling eyes

From there it was Perce Neige to Morillon and down the Marvel in deep snow. Bergin lift was closed, as was Biollaires. We looped Les Carroz and Morillon with very heavy snow both underfoot and overhead until lunchtime, when our legs called it a day.

The skies brightened from about midday, and the snow stopped at about 4.30. We now have blue skies and fluffy clouds, along with fast-melting snow in Les Carroz, and the sun has just gone down. Tomorrow should be a fabulous day if the predicted sunshine arrives. Very Happy
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Someone tumble-dried all the fresh snow overnight!

We'd thought the wet snow would have turned icy as it had been cold overnight, but the low temperatures and clear dry night had clearly worked magic and everywhere had absolutely beautiful snow, just as if it was January (see separate Janvril thread!). Coupled with blue skies and bright sunshine it made for one of the best days of the season, not least because it was so unexpected.

We skied Samoens, Morillon and Les Carroz and all were very quiet. Marmotte down into Samoens and a deserted Chamois, both early in the day, were the highlights. The lowlights were seeing people with no equipment, including ESF instructors leading classes, venturing seriously off piste into obviously risk areas.....with the avi warning at 4.

There is now so much snow again that even if it warms up and rains, as forecast, there will still be plenty to last until Easter. Given that the pistes in Flaine were in great shape even before the new snow, think Flaine will beckon for tomorrow's skiing......
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Last day of the season for us today Sad and we spent it in Flaine. Pistes in superb condition and not busy at all. It was a bit icy lower down first thing, but at the top there was lovely snow along with blue skies. It has now clouded up ready for tomorrow's precipitation, but most of the forecasts now seem to have the snow/rain limit at 1000 ish, so it should fall as snow on the slopes.
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Hoping it keeps cool until our last hurrah on Tuesday week...
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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.
Please can anyone in the Flaine area give me a heads up on what the road conditions are like. I am coming out on Thursday morning and have hired a car from Geneva airport. Now wondering whether I should get snow chains?
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@OldHacker, if you have hired from Swiss side almost certainly not as you'll have snow tyres and not a lot solid is forecast...
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@sj1608, safe travels back. Like @OldHacker, I am flapping a bit as we opted to hire from the French side this time, as even on the Swiss side they do not guarantee winter tyres after March 31st. Not so worried about getting into LC but have to drive to Flaine next Wed/Thurs, and was hoping to avoid hiring chains. Might need to stop at Super U and buy a set...ggrrrrrr
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@Cheesie168, worth checking at Carrefour in Les Carroz, I'm sure they still had some the other day. Bonus would be that midweek you could leave it until last minute to decide, as it's at weekends that people are usually frantically trying to buy them.
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@Cheesie168, not very likely...
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@sj1608, good tip, will check it out on the way up. I HAVE to get to Flaine Wed/Thurs Laughing and could ski over but I should drive really.
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If hired on French side remember that if you venture through Switzerland the authorities will ping you for Road Tax. The 'long' route staying in France is cheaper.
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@BAN, thanks, yep. have had to do the magical mystery tour on a few occasions to avoid the Swiss motorways. Decent flight times this time, so should be easier. Need to go and dig the 'doofer' out of the family car mind you.
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@Cheesie168, don't forget the bus that goes to Flaine if it's really bad and the links are closed as well.
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Quote:


@OldHacker, if you have hired from Swiss side almost certainly not as you'll have snow tyres and not a lot solid is forecast...


I have hired from French side. Is that a mistake? Is there an issue with Swiss road tax and / or not having snow chains / tyres is cross Swiss border en route? Any advice on best route from Geneva Airport French side to Flaine very welcome.
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If you hired on French side you will have to pay extra for snow tires, and will be pinged as you go through Switzerland for Swiss Road tax (which you can buy for a month). Can't help on route because after having said issue once a decade ago I studiously book on Swiss side.
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Hasn't the car hire from French or Swiss side argument been done to death? If you want a load more hassle and drive time then rent from French side. If you don't then don't.
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And don’t forget, as mentioned in other threads here, that winter tyres look set to be compulsory in mountainous regions of France from November.

https://www.largus.fr/actualite-automobile/pneus-hiver-ils-seront-obligatoires-le-1er-novembre-2019-9397399.html

You won’t get very far if the French side are still supplying cars with summer tyres! You’d imagine they’ll have to put winters on now, but who knows?
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Got an upgrade from AVIS on the French side on Monday. Alfa Stelvio inc winter tyres. Well chuffed. Mind you the previous renter had treated it badly, big scratches on bonnet, I reckon they'd mayne dropped skis all over it. Had the normal nail biting ride through Geneva, never done it the same way twice. Popped onto the m-way at Annemasse so avoided Swiss m-way. Skied too early on Tuesday, even Plein Soliel was like an ice rink! By 10:30 is was fab though and skied until 2pm and then opted for a early trip home. Flaine today, cloudy up top but the predicted rain did not arrive so happy. Less snow than last Easter, but considering how warm it got in February, they have worked very hard to preserve the pistes.
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