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PDS Curcuit

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there. Does anyone have the ‘list’ of runs and lifts that make up the PDS circuit? I’ve only ever managed part way round and then got put off by the drags. Also, we will have a boarder with us. Is it better to go clockwise or anti? Skiing from Morzine ... thanks!!
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It's now become several circuits and is in a little box on the piste map. Doesn't help you right now but I'm assuming you'll be picking one up when you're there!

From memory it doesn't matter too much which way you go, there's still going to be a number of drag lifts for your boarder friend to complain about over on the Chatel side.

Over in this this thread https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=141110 WindsOfChange seems to be a fan of the the D'Onnaz/Chaux Longue drag lift pair up from Torgon - unless you REALLY like drag lifts I'd suggest you make sure you're skiing down to Torgon from the La Chapelle side/chairing up to Chatel and not the other way around. Once bitten there.

Some people seem to go in to full worry mode about missing the last lifts back and expensive taxis if they try the circuit but provided you're all competent and reasonably fit red skiers a brisk start will see you do the circuit with no issues. Only real trap/trick is the fact that the bus from Chatel out to La Chapelle is timetabled to stop for a proper French lunch, so just make good time to there so you're skiing in La Chapelle while the driver's having his lunch. If you're waiting at the Super-Morzine bubble to open in the morning you should be skiing in La Chapelle by 11.
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@Mjit, La Chapelle is not on the “classic” circuit.
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As uann says, the "official" circuit does not include Chapelle d'Abondance, nor Torgon. Clockwise (assuming starting from Avoriaz, Morzine, Les Gets etc.) it goes Avoriaz - Chatel - Morgins - Champoussin - Le Crosets - Avoriaz. Anticlockwise is the reverse. These days it does matter which way you go, as the anticlockwise circuit is currently broken by the permanent closure of the Corbeau chair in Morgins (there's a bus link to Chatel but that's cheating!). Unfortunately the Corbeau piste down into Morgins going clockwise loses it's snow very early (late Feb often) and you can no longer download on the chair, so the circuit now has a very short season.

Variations are possible, i.e. a side trip to Torgon or Planachaux. Personally I don't believe you've done the circuit if you cross the frontier at Mossettes rather than Chavanette, since you don't ski in the Morzine commune part of Avoriaz by taking this shortcut. There are a few drags in either direction, and wonderfully you still need to do a T-bar in Champoussin if going anticlockwise!

As far as a list of lifts and runs goes, finding your way is part of the fun! If it was easy anyone could do it wink Skullie snowHead.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Permanent closure? Puzzled

That's a bummer.

Is there no forecast as to when a replacement/alternative/re-opening is due?

The PdS circuit is one of the key features (perhaps like the Sella Ronda). However, I have noted it is made less and less prominent in the piste maps, whereas there used to be pretty good instructions on how to do it.

I've done it 3 times, and was hoping to do it this April.
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Yes @crosbie, it's a fantastic adventure, and a great day out! Unfortunately "progress" has diminished it's prominence since it became the flagship achievement of the PdS's founding fathers in the Sixties.

Building the French Mossettes lift in the Nineties enabled the short-cut of shame in both directions, adding the Lac de Vonnes chairs a few years ago means most people miss out the quirky bus and trudge through Chatel (perhaps it's just me!), but they also miss skiing the full glorious decent of Linga or the Super-Chatel home-run. When Les Crosets "temporarily" took down their old Pointe de l'Au chairlift 6 or 7 years ago and put in that pathetic low-level button lift instead they ruined the flow of that section, and now Morgins have killed the anticlockwise route and crippled it clockwise by letting Corbeau be shut-down for two seasons.

TeleMorgins the lift company has had major financial problems (I believe they're either bankrolled by or have been bought by Les Crosets now?), so I don't know when it's going to be solved (I think the lift is condemned and must be replaced). There are a few Snowheads over there who know a lot more about the Swiss-side, it would be great if they post if they have any news?

Your only option in (early) April will be anticlockwise using the bus from central Morgins to Vonnes, but check first because the other swiss-side links start closing by then.
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shep wrote:
Your only option in (early) April will be anticlockwise using the bus from central Morgins to Vonnes, but check first because the other swiss-side links start closing by then.


Thanks very much for all that enlightening info.

Yup, I'm intending to visit Avoriaz the first week of April, and if there is good snowfall I may well attempt it. Usually (in recent years) when I ask at ticket offices if the PdS circuit is doable they look at me like I've asked if it's possible to ski to Chamonix.... Confused
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As said by@shep, @under a new name, @Mjit, LCA is not on the classic circuit, but I posted that route as something we have done in the holidays when Ardent / PLJ / "name your other starting point" were all busy.
In the epigraph to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 it says "If they give you lined paper, write the other way".

We ( Me, Mrs WoC plus 3 boys have boarded the circuits for the last 6 years, as before the boys were still skiers, but have been skiing them in my case since 1986).

If you go clockwise (Classic Circuit, not the La Chapelle Dog Leg, Rushton-Reverse, Mornington Crescent edition) you will need the Chalet Neuf2 drag ( Button x2), and also the Ripaille drag (choice of button or T).
So with only 2 drags, it is really nothing that an average boarder can't manage.

Just as as anecdote and to show what a bad husband/father/person I am, when the lads and Mrs WoC stated that they were not fans of drags on boards as they were worried about falling off, I took them to the Chalet Neuf / La Chapelle sector for a whole day riding all the T-bars and drags over and over. If someone came off, we would all find somewhere safe to bail and join the piste, go back to the bottom and start over. Since that day a few years back none of us has unintentionally come off a drag lift, and they hold no fear.

With the closure of the Corbeau, the temptation to do the circuit the other way is a little less, so this avoids the Lechereuse drag in Champery, the long Pertuis T in Champoussin, the nutcracker (Culets) in Morgins.

As Shep says, the circuit has evolved not only with the replacement of the Champoussin - Pt de l'AU chair, but even before that thee was a Chair from the Sundance Bar ( remember those leather aprons ?) up to the point de l'Au, which made it feel more like a Circuit, as going back up the Mosettes is kind of the wrong way, although it does mean you can avoid Champoussin and the Foilleuse bowl of Morgins if you are in a hurry by taking the Col du Portes du Soleil track.

With these evolutions come opportunities to add / skip bits of the circuit ( one of my faves is to go down through Morgins Forest for example).
So long as you stay safe and enjoy yourself, then really it's up to you how you do it.
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The Sundance Bar - who would have thought you could sit there for so long to consume a pizza. Best strategy was to order individually rather than as a group. That way you got to examine the leather apron (and its contents) several times.

You do have to be very accurate to get from the top of Morclan to bottom of Chalet Neuf without an extra drag but it's possible. Loss of Corbeau is a pain. I thought it was due back this season but haven't been out yet. How often does the bus to Vonnes run?
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Meh! If you're not getting out to at least La Chapelle the circuit's just a mornings skiing!

What we need is a route from Abondance to Saint-Jean-d'Aulps, and another from there to Les Gets (though maybe a La Chapelle to Pre la Joux would be more practical - and involve fewer buses).
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@DJL, Pizza.... Puzzled was there pizza.... Puzzled

Apart from the charms of the fishnet & leather clad waitresses, it was also the only restaurant where, if guiding a group of ten punters, instead of eating for free you got 10% cash back of the group's spend on the way out!! Twisted Evil . Used to almost double my weekly wage!! Laughing Toofy Grin
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@shep, now I know why Chris (Snowtravel as it was back then around 1990) was so keen to visit (apart from the obvious)!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@shep, the advantage of starting from Avoriaz. I only got that far round if I was doing the circuit and it would be too early for lunch stops. I often ended up lunching in Morgins where I had to pay for myself Shocked

Marmottes was the favourite though, I think for all the Morzine guides in my era. Eggs, potatoes, cheese and ham. How would you like them combined?
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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, ah yes, I forgot, the cheating of the Mossettes route pales into insignificance vs. taking Didier Defago and missing the whole of Champoussin Evil or Very Mad it's a travesty! Come to think of it, if you did Mossettes, DDF, bus to Vonnes, bus to PLJ, you could get round without needing to ski at all (almost)!

@DJL, wink

@Mjit, You're right! in fact it was a ski-bum "thing" in my Avoriaz days to do the cct. anticlockwise in the morning, have a quick panini and beer at the Choucas (Avoriaz) for lunch, and do it clockwise in the afternoon. Not for the fainthearted Madeye-Smiley !

@under a new name, yes Morgins was a problem. You either had to stop early at Le Poussin in Champoussin, or push on to Super-Chatel to eat for free Embarassed (or vice-versa if going the other way). I used to reserve the Sundance for for my Les Crosets "Blues Cruise" day - they had a lot more time to spend more Cool Laughing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Is it worth attempting the circuit from Les Gets in February half term? We are intermediate skiers, happy on all reds (but with below average fitness!).
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@stodge, if you are at Chavannes Express for first lift I can't see why not. I've done it clockwise from Morzine getting on the Super M after 10am and still got back before 4pm, that's with a mixed ability group of 8 and stops for vin chaud, lunch etc, although admittedly I did take the Mosettes 'short cut'
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@Paxo, thanks, we'll go for it then! Are there any route maps online, or is the circuit signposted?
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Although it was closed yesterday, I took the corbeau chair up today. Seemed pretty open, but the run down was already patchy in places.
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So @snoozeboy, do you think it's a one-off re-opening or permanent?

Is there evidence the chair has been replaced/renovated?
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@crosbie, sorry I don't know. It's showing as open on the pds Interactive map today. Can't see why they'd open it as a one off.

Regarding whether it's been replaced or renovated, I didn't notice yesterday. I was under the impression that it was the foilleuse lift that had to be renovated (and was last year), but maybe it was both.
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stodge wrote:
Is it worth attempting the circuit from Les Gets in February half term? We are intermediate skiers, happy on all reds (but with below average fitness!).


As Paxo said you should be fine provided you start early and have lunch on the run.

If you do start running behind schedule remember you don't need to stress about getting all the way back to Les Gets before the lifts close, just back to either the Ardent or Prodains bubbles. From there you can (free) bus back to Morzine/1.5Euro bus back to Les Gets. Shouldn't be necessary but always good to know what your Plan B is.
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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!
The Corbeau was replaced in 1987 ( I remember the one before that, which stopped 2/3 of the way up by the restaurant which sells Boxer beer), but I think that La Foileuese is even older (1983), so I would have thought that would be in line for renewal first.
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