Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

LIVE TR: Evasion Mont Blanc (St Gervais+), 19th-26th Jan 2019 - now with photos

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Happy Thursday everyone. I'm counting down the days until this weekend's ski trip, and will again attempt a live TR. This year we're trying "Megeve on the cheap" - which actually means renting an apartment in nearby St Gervais. Toofy Grin I'll add photos and a cost breakdown at the end of the holiday, but in the meantime I'll try and give updates via my phone throughout the week.

St Gervais is a low spa town (850m above sea level) just off the Autoroute Blanche between Geneva and Chamonix. A gondola links into the extensive Megeve domain, which claims >300km of pistes connecting St Gervais, Megeve, Combloux and La Giettaz (piste map here). A 7-day Evasion Mont Blanc ski pass is a bargain at €240 - a day free when bought in advance - and also includes nearby, snowsure Les Contamines (piste map here). A very early outbound flight and a very late return flight coupled with a short transfer means we should get almost a full day's skiing on both arrival and departure day, notwithstanding delays. Having a hire car will help, and it will also be useful for accessing various parts of this big but fairly disjointed ski area. Snow conditions look pretty good following last weekend's mega-dump; just a handful of runs are closed, and they're getting another little top-up at the time of writing. The weather forecast for the next week is cool but otherwise uncertain - looks like we might get a bit of everything.

All being well, I'll tune in again on Saturday evening with an update from our first day back on snow since March! In the meantime, if anyone has any restaurant recommendations either in the town or on the mountain... snowHead

Links to last year's TRs:
Jan 2018: ND de Bellecombe (Espace Diamant)
Mar 2018: Ponte di Legno (Passo Tonale)


Mont Blanc from the base of the Veleray drag, Les Contamines


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 29-01-19 13:50; edited 2 times in total
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looking forward to reading this @denfinella.
snow report     
 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?
@denfinella, I might see you in le grange ( the best pub in town) as I fly out Friday.
You are correct about the short transfer, I get the 17.50 flight on a Friday, ski all day sat, sun & mon until 13.00 then grab the 18.00 flight back. I do this several times a year so got it down to an art.
Enjoy & look out for the free massages at top of Mont Arbois this weekend
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I've not been for a few years but I like the Roselette resto in Les Contamines. Lovely cosy upstairs if it's too cold outside.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The Roselette is my personal favourite in Les Contamines but I have 3 other strong recommendations for eating on the mountain:
The Buche Croisse (just above the chairlift of the same name down hill of the Roselette is very nice - very attractive chalet, good food but a bit more expensive
La Taverne de Belleville (near the bottom of the Hauteluce bubble - look for the sign) has a great atmosphere, big wood burning stove, good food (croute and pasta both very good) and reasonable prices. At NY I propped up the bar waiting for a table talking to a French bus driver about brexit and the proprietor produced a platter of oysters for us to share gratis. Top man!
The Auberge de Collombaz requires a little more adventure because it is off piste. You can likely ski down a snow covered road from the bottom of the Grevetaz drag (or ski down from the Veleray area above if you are confident off piste). You ski out down a snow covered road to near the Lay bubble. The food is AMAZING - the best mountain food I have eaten outside Italy. But make sure you book - the husband cooks and his wife runs front of house. I like her but she can be fierce and takes a dim view of people turning up without a reservation! Snow conditions permitting you can walk up (or get a horse drawn sleigh) and sledge down if you fancy trying it without off piste antics.

Around St Gervais I like:
Fleche d'Or hotel at Bettex midstation - incredible views from terrace or big windows in restaurant. Good omelettes, dish of the day, salads, etc for lunch.
Pizza place at bottom of Communailles drag - cozy, good value
Little stone chalet just off the piste below the Monts Rosset chair - pretty and rustic, good fondue and desserts

have fun!
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Saturday - arrival

Whew! It's been a very long day. Starting with a 2am wake-up alarm Shocked we were at Edinburgh airport in good time for Wetherspoons after security... and almost as importantly, our 6am flight. Took off and landed on time, with a grandstand view of the Alps beyond the low cloud over Lac Leman. We also got a good view of the Jura resorts from my window - I think this is the first time the weather's been clear enough for us to see them! A queue for passport control and a further delay for baggage slowed things a bit, but having since heard about the shenanigans at Grenoble today, I think we got away lightly.

This is the first time we've hired a car from Geneva airport, and we were welcomed with a slightly scary upgrade from a manual mini to an automatic, bulky and brand new Renault Scenic with all mod cons. We're treating this as good news for now, but depending on how difficult parking during the week is, that may change! Laughing

Easy drive up the Autoroute Blanche apart from a short queue for the border, with Les Gilets Jaunes waving us through the most expensive of the two tolls. Total toll cost: €1.90. Stopped to pick up lunch and a few groceries at Carrefour in Sallanches - isn't it funny how the more of a rush you're in, the harder a supermarket is to navigate? wink

We'd booked ski hire in Combloux as it was significantly cheaper than St Gervais. Arrived after a straightforward climb up the hill from Sallanches at about half 12 (free parking close to the centre of the village), and the shop owner was kind enough to give us our skis immediately, even though we'd technically only paid from Sunday. Now, on with the skiing!
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Saturday - off to ski in... Cordon!

By the time we'd sorted ski hire and everything else out it was about 1pm. Instead of paying €30+ for 3 hours' skiing at Combloux, I'd hatched a plan to get back into the swing of things at neighbouring Cordon - a pretty village at 1000m above sea level a few miles northeast of Combloux. The access road (and road to the car park, which is at mid mountain) is quite narrow with a few hairpins). This is a family resort with only 11km of low slopes all served by a handful of drag lifts, but this was more than enough to keep us entertained for the rest of the day, with an afternoon lift pass costing just €15.10. The area used to be included in the Evasion Mont Blanc pass, but due to a dispute with the other component resorts, they're currently not part of the club. You can look at a piste map here.

Thanks to heavy recent snow and artificial backup, all nine pistes were open with full cover and mostly dry, cold snow (just a little hard at the bottom where it was predominantly artificial). The nursery slopes were being well used - it strikes me as a good place for an affordable first holiday with children. Beyond this, there's quite a step up to the rest of the area: a solitary blue boasts the full 550m vertical, but it has a couple of short pitches which border on the tough end of the grading. The rest of the slopes are all red, though mostly fairly gentle, through trees except at the very top. With most people on the nursery area, the reds were all nice and quiet - especially from 3pm onwards. Sunny weather helped make things extra enjoyable, though it was noticeably cold in the shade (temperatures probably below freezing at all levels).

Finished up sometime after 4pm and drove to Megeve to try out the Alpine Coaster before it closed at 6pm. Parking is free by the lift base after 4.30pm. The coaster was good fun, and we wandered into town to ogle at the fur coats, fancy shops and food prices before driving to our more humble dwelling in St Gervais (more on our accommodation tomorrow).

Takeaway pizza for dinner from Tout le Monde en Parle - recommended, and the "Geante" size pizzas are half a metre in diameter!

Run(s) of the day: Les Chars (red) swerves in and out of the trees quite dramatically - a fun little piste. On the other side, Les Fieux (red) was lovely and quiet, and the bottom of it is the steepest run in Cordon by quite a distance. It leads onto La Pirolaine (red), which had lots of tufts grass poking through on the top section (still easily skiable though) before narrowing to a scenic forest track.

Tomorrow: possibly Mont Joly and the surrounding high terrain, as the weather may be deteriorating as the week goes on, but we'll see!


Looking up the Arve valley from L'Herney (blue)


Megeve


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 29-01-19 11:54; edited 3 times in total
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
St Gervais - resort & accommodation

St Gervais is a town on three levels: Le Fayet in the valley at 550m has no pistes but a cog railway into the Les Houches ski area (not on the Evasion Mont Blanc lift pass).

Up at 1400m is Le Bettex - handy for the slopes but a bit isolated (and a steep, windy access road).

We're staying in St-G les Bains at 850m - this feels like a proper town, with the centre on one side of a deep gorge and the gondola base on the other. So you have to choose between convenience for the town and convenience for the lifts (though being close to one of the two bridges over the gorge helps). There are free shuttle buses to - and free parking at - the lift base; there's also a free underground car park in the town centre. A long red run follows the gondola down, but I gather it's rarely open and a bit " interesting". Its currently shut but looks nearly ready to open.

The shopping district has several restaurants, two supermarkets with relatively reasonable prices, church, town hall etc. Pop into the tourist office for a WiFi account which is also useable at a couple of places on the slopes.

Our apartment (our first foray into Airbnb) is on the town side of the gorge, about 5-10 mins (with skis) from the bridge; it is however up a short, steep hill which is tiring at the end of the day and might be interesting after snow - for driving and walking down! It was cheap, so we were expecting small and basic, but it's actually a decent size (technically sleeps 5 with a sofa bed, bunks and a pull-out bed). The shower has no wall fitting - a pet hate of mine Twisted Evil but otherwise we're happy with it given the price.

More about today's skiing shenanigans later!


St Gervais


St Gervais


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 29-01-19 11:48; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Sunday - Rochebrune & an expedition to Cote 2000

A very weak weather front arrived over St Gervais overnight, with a cloudy but dry day forecast. We're saving treeless Les Contamines for the sunniest days, and Mont d'Arbois (and its gondolas) for the snowiest days, so we headed across to Cote 2000 from Rochebrune. Just getting to Rochebrune entails 3 gondolas, a cable car across a minor valley above Megeve and the long Mandarines green run (a nice warm up), so a poor ratio of runs to lifts for the first hour! The hillside between Rochebrune and Cote 2000 is mostly wooded, though more open at the latter. The lifts are a varied mixture of gondola and cable car, fast and slow chairs and a couple of unavoidable drag lifts - Lanchettes in particular is long and quite steep (good reds along it though). The lift network is laid out a bit awkwardly in the middle sector and some piste map ambiguity doesn't help. Plans have been announced in the last couple of days to remodel this area, with two new detachable chairs in different locations to the existing lists (check the Megève FB page for a video). The terrain is mainly of intermediate gradient: most of the greens in this sector should really be blue, while the blacks aren't much steeper than the adjacent reds.

Quite busy for late January (i.e., we were sharing the pistes and gondolas with other people, but always had our own chair on the chairlifts), but lowish temperatures kept the runs from bumping up. Some thin spots though which wouldn't do well if it got warmer. The sun tried to break through (apparently there was an inversion at 3500-4000m!) but didn't really succeed; fortunately light wasn't flat.

Soon after midday we'd finished up at Cote 2000 and worked our way back towards Megeve, with a late lunch at La Staduel by the bottom of the Grand Champs chair. We're using the fantastic Stanford Skiing online restaurant guide, which informed us that this was one of the cheapest restaurants in the area excluding snack bars, but it was still double the price of similar restaurants in the neighboring Espace Diamant last year. €18 roast chicken (plat du jour) and €19 grilled ham - both very good though, with big portions and quick service.

Spent the last 90 minutes trying the runs off the luxurious Arpette chair (fun runs but a bit short) and the Caboche gondola (longer but you have to take your skis off after each run) before it was time to head back to St Gervais. Last lift up from Megeve is 4.45pm, which is quite generous for this time of year considering it's a long lift.

Managed to miss the 5.05 bus back into town from the gondola base by a couple of minutes, and there's an annoying 40 minute gap before the next one (they're very regular earlier in the day), so had to walk back - including the steep uphill at the end. Whoops! Carbonara for dinner in the apartment this evening. Two big meals in a day... well, we're on holiday Blush

Run(s) of the day:

Probably Stade Descent (black) at Cote 2000. Wide and not too steep, but some exhilarating crests and sharp bends, and you can get some decent speed up. Also liked scenic Jardin (blue), winding Sallanglaz (red) and longer Lanchettes (red) - the last two served by drag lifts so pretty quiet. Avoid Echappatoire (blue), which is unnamed on the piste map but starts at the base of the Rochefort drag and joins onto Jardin. This is nearly flat and even has a couple of uphill sections.

Tomorrow: is forecast to be the sunniest day of the week, so seems to make sense to go to Les Contamines. Let's hope everyone else doesn't have the same idea! Laughing Will try to use one of the helpful restaurant recommendations above for lunch.


Admiring the scenery at Cote 2000


Overlooking Megeve from Chamois (red) at Cote 2000


Combe Allais (black) off the Alpette chair


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 29-01-19 12:01; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@denfinella, We also thought Cote 2000 had the best runs in Megeve proper. But yeah, a lot of up and down to get back to the St. Gervais said.

Regarding the walk back to your place...you have a car, correct? Why not part at the bottom of Bettex gondola? There are about 700 spaces and since it's not a holiday week you should have no problem finding a spot.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Pasigal wrote:
@denfinella, We also thought Cote 2000 had the best runs in Megeve proper. But yeah, a lot of up and down to get back to the St. Gervais said.

Regarding the walk back to your place...you have a car, correct? Why not part at the bottom of Bettex gondola? There are about 700 spaces and since it's not a holiday week you should have no problem finding a spot



...and I completely agree with you that on-mountain food is 1.5-2x that of ED...but it's heaps better. Nonetheless we packed picnics for the salle hors sac at freddys...
latest report     
 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.
@Pasigal, yes we do have a car, which we'll probably use to get to Bettex later in the week. In the morning walking isn't so bad (downhill), but it's a pain at the end of the day when it's uphill with tired legs.

We had some decent lunches in the ED (and some average ones), but today's lunch was decent too and we'll see if that standard is maintained. We quite like a restaurant lunch to get a proper break in the middle of the day, but we generally cook in the evening.
snow conditions     
 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
@denfinella,
I really wouldn't drive to Bettex - much better to park at the Gondola in St G and get the lift up. Parking in Bettex is very limited and you have to walk uphill to the lifts.
We stay in Les C but often meet friends in Bettex - we always park at the St G Gondola.

You haven't mentioned St Nicholas? It's rather sweet and the skiing from Epaule is very atmospheric. Also the skiing of the Croix de Christ lift is good.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Oh and lunches are much better value on St G side than Megeve side. I remember paying Euro 32 for sausage and mash somewhere above Megeve....

I'd say Les C is a similar price to St G places but generally better food (at least in the places I recommended above).
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jedster, I meant park at the base of the gondola to Bettex, which they call "St. Gervais-Bettex." Definitely not up to the midpoint.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
makes sense - I was reacting to @denfinella, saying "yes we do have a car, which we'll probably use to get to Bettex later in the week"
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jedster, whoops yes meant the bottom of the lower gondola, not Bettex!
latest report     
 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?
Monday - cold cruising in Contamines

Fantastic day in Les Contamines yesterday with 100% blue skies and cold temperatures. An easy drive along the valley from St Gervais, with a quick stop in Les Contamines centre to pick up some pastries, before parking at the Gorge gondola just in time for lifts opening.

We spent the day exploring the front side of the mountain (i.e. not Hauteluce), starting with Tierces and the blacks on the right hand side. Les Contamines seems to specialise in wonderful, wide and gentle motorway pistes; some of the reds were among the easiest we've ever come across. Snow was perfect and hardly anyone on the slopes.

The blacks were busier - I gather they're quite often closed except in settled spells. Croche at the top was unpisted with soft snow, leading onto some fledgling moguls at the top of Grevettaz before a sweeping, groomed bottom half. Rebans was bashed at the top but left alone at the bottom, with quite a few bushes poking through!

Had lunch at Roselette where we were lucky to get a table. Decent €18 PDJ (a sort of very tender pork casserole) and a gorgeous €20 Croute Savoyarde. Again, not cheap but excellent quality, big portions and a restaurant interior full of old farming decor.

Finished the afternoon off Buche Croisee and Roselette - runs are a bit steeper off the former. Combe (blue) was closed for a competition but we sneaked onto it after it had finished mid afternoon. The wind picked up a little and it was baltic once the sun began to set behind the col! Back down to the gorge on the fast, narrow home red: surprisingly enjoyable but could be unpleasant if crowded or with poor snow.

Before driving back to St-G we went up to the head of the gorge (2 min drive) to see an old church and frozen waterfall / ice climbing spot. Recommended. Dinner back in the apartment.

Run(s) of the day: Coins (blue), Combe (blue) and Olympique (black) for swooping motorways; Grevettaz (black) for more scenic interest. Avoid the Col-Signal (green) traverse - the first half is a bit flat.

Tomorrow (today!): One more sunny day before snow comes in on Tuesday evening, so will head back to Les Contamines for one last day to explore the Hauteluce side and a few other corners we didn't get round to yesterday.


Grevettaz (black)


Off piste options by the Veleray drag


Megeve from the top of Veleray


Bush-whacking territory at the bottom of Rebans (black)


Looking down on the col between Contamines and Hauteluce


Nant Rouge (red)


Lunch at Roselette


Notre Dame de la Gorge


Frozen waterfall


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 29-01-19 12:25; edited 3 times in total
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
That's a very fair summary @denfinella and good tips. We like Coins too - it was a real favourite when the kids were small and learning to carve!
In the Tierces area the differences between the reds and blues are pretty minor, as you say. It's a pretty gentle bowl.
The runs off the Veleray drag (and the drag itself) are prone to closure for avalanche risk either because there is too much fresh snow earlier in the season or the slopes get too sun effected late season. Last season the Veleray never opened because of avalanche risk.

None of the blacks in Les Contamines would merit black in Argentiere or Val d'Isere. Strong skiers need to be skiing off piste to find challenging runs. The good news is that there is a lot of off piste potential and it is relatively safe.

When you head over to Hauteluce I recommend the blue off the back of the Buche Croisee followed by the red all the way to the bottom. The run to Hauteluce is wider and a bit steeper than the resort run to Les Contamines. If you time it for lunch at the Taverne de Belleville so much the better!
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
jedster, yes, agree with all your comments. There is clearly a lot of lift-served off piste, though it was pretty tracked out at the moment compared to Megeve (I guess the snow isn't deep enough in Megeve yet!).

Tuesday - over the back of Contamines

Back to Les Contamines today to finish off the areas we didn't have time for on Monday: mainly all the runs "over the back" on the Hauteluce side, plus a few off the Signal gondola and the Nant Rouge chair.

Some of the pistes on the Hauteluce side are appreciably tougher for their respective gradings than on the front side; Choton (red), for example, was quite steep. We tried the moguls on Pres (black) and the bottom run Belleville (red) a bit too early - needed another hour to soften.

Lunch at the Taverne du Belleville was complicated by the bottom run closing due to a "technical problem" (??) over lunch, despite being open earlier. We rode the gondola down and suddenly restaurant prices had dropped by a third - must be the influence of the nearby Espace Diamant wink . To be honest the food wasn't quite as good as previous days; lapin, mustard sauce & crozets plat du jour (€13) was a bit tough and not enough sauce, while the tartiflette (€14.50) was quite watery. Still good portion sizes, and quite quiet thanks to the piste being closed!

Saw a spectacular double bindings release this afternoon - happened completely randomly to a guy about to board the Col chair. He went flying, much to the amusement of his friends!

The blues down skier's left of the Hauteluce side were definitely the best runs: long, interesting and scenic. But a minor criticism of the lift layout: lapping them necessitates using (after TSD Col) either 1. the mind-numbingly slow TSF Roselette, 2. the very flat green traverse and then another lift, or 3. the slow TSF Jonction and then a third lift. A fast chair from the bottom of TSD Col to the top of TSD Buche Croisee (or just an upgrade of Roselette) would be nice!

Anyway, another enjoyable day and we managed to ski every single piste on the map over the two days, with time left over to repeat some of our favourites. Wall-to-wall sunshine on both days was very welcome, though felt even colder today on that baltic Buche Croisee chair. And the real cold weather doesn't arrive until tomorrow!

Cold spread of meat, cheese etc. at the apartment again this evening, and we've decided to leave the car in the underground car park (free) while there's still space - it was full earlier in the week. Forecast doesn't seem to suggest much snow tomorrow, but our apartment parking space is on a very steep and narrow road!

Run(s) of the day: Col and Croix (blues) for the reasons mentioned above. And a special mention for Joux (black), which had an entertainingly lumpy middle section - like a tame Malgovert if you've been to Les Arcs.

Tomorrow: Snowfall for most of the day (though probably light), so we're heading for the trees and gondolas around Mont d'Arbois.


Choton (red)


Heading up TSD Col


Lunch at the Taverne du Belleville


Besoens (red)


Looking across to the Aiguille Croche from Buche Croisee


Croix (blue)


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 15-09-19 14:14; edited 3 times in total
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@denfinella, Ah, a completist! I like that.

Hope you enjoy St. G. today. the tree-lined runs are definitely a strong point.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

he blues down skier's left of the Hauteluce side were definitely the best runs: long, interesting and scenic. But a minor criticism of the lift layout: lapping them necessitates using (after TSD Col) either 1. the mind-numbingly slow TSF Roselette, 2. the very flat green traverse and then another lift, or 3. the slow TSF Jonction and then a third lift. A fast chair from the bottom of TSD Col to the top of TSD Buche Croisee (or just an upgrade of Roselette) would be nice!


Very true
Good news is that there is a plan to replace Roselette chair with a new 6 man detachable which will make a big difference. Apart from your point about it making easier to get to those Hauteluce runs, it would make lapping the off piste from the top of Roselette (skiers left of the chair) all the way to the bottom of Roselette much more attractive and that skiing is excellent - loads of interesting terrain features, variety of gradients, natural half pipes, sparse woods and bushes. Worth pointing out that while most of it is pretty safe there are a couple of steep gulley terrain traps that need care from an avalanche point of view.

The plan announced was to replace the chair this summer but the lack of an update makes me think it has slipped to 2020 summer at the earliest.
Anyone heard anything?
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
BTW - this is a translation from an interview last August with the head of the lift company but rereading it makes it seem like it was really always going to be 2020

"On the 70th anniversary of the SECMH, the new Roselette chairlift for December 2019 was mentioned:

- In the Roselette project, for the economy of the ski area, it was mentioned that the replacement of the device was linked to an increase of "beds" on the Contamines. Off, in fact we have an erosion of "beds" on the Contamines! However, we will do this because we also have an economic model based on the day skiing.
We have a rather ambitious project, linked to several things that will lead to a major redevelopment of the Nant area. We need a device that technically allows storing the seats in the station, because it is a line highly exposed to the wind. The departure station will be remote. There were administrative requests, which are very long, to cover the nant and make the departure on the other side. View the location in the arrival space we will favor a landing in the outline. We will provide an upstream service with public toilets that are currently missing on the high altitude area. With the new Roselette, we will add magnetic kiosks on the entire ski area in order to offer a package time: including a 4-hour package.
In concrete terms, the impact study was launched and started last May, mainly because of the proximity of a Tétra Lyre breeding zone. So, we will be ready, at best for December 2019, and otherwise very likely for 2020. For cons, I want to be sure to have the project completed a year in advance to announce it with certainty to customers
Once there is the new Roselette this will certainly change the flow of skiers, especially to the Junction. I know that the Roselette is an expected device: and I want to make a BEAUTIFUL Roselette."
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Pasigal, thanks - yes, we like skiing all the runs no matter what their colour. Much of the pleasure we get out of skiing comes from "exploring" new areas rather than repeating runs - even if they're good ones!

@jedster, that would be a big improvement!
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Wednesday: The weather holds on Mont d'Arbois

No snow overnight in St Gervais, so we'd been overly cautious about putting the car underground. In fact it stayed dry with weak sunshine well into the afternoon.

Took the free bus to the gondola station which worked well. Started off playing around with the runs off the Mont Joux chair (a bit dull), the Etudiants drag (more interesting and quite steep) and the Index chair. The latter looks tiny on the piste map but actually serves several runs of a decent length, many with no-one on them. A few brown patches in a few spots such as Combe (red) and Oratoire (blue). -12°C at the bottom of the Mont Joux chair - plenty cold enough!

Headed down the enjoyable Milloz red to the mid station of the Princesse gondola, to try out the toboggan run. Note: this is free if your lift pass is from the Megève ticket office (or website), but not if it's from St Gervais. So we had to pay - but well worth it: the longest toboggan run we've been on, pretty steep in places and great fun.

Happy not to have broken any bones, we took the excellent, well-pisted Princesse black to Chez Tartine for lunch. €14 plat du jour (Fleischnaka - meat and semolina rolled into snail shapes) and €16 diots Savoyarde were reasonably cheap for Megève and pretty tasty.

Cloud had rolled in across the Aravis range and the Val d'Arly over lunch, but it was still dry and fairly bright overhead for now. Headed to the runs under the Mont d'Arbois gondola, of which the blacks were a fun and varied bunch: Sanglier was mogulled with poor snow and grass coming through, Voltigeurs was mogulled but with excellent snow, and Bridans was pisted but rock hard. Good practice, and all 3 genuine black gradient, unlike the other 2 in this area. We also tried Prapacot (blue) and Plan (green) all the way down to the bottom of Princesse, now with light snow falling but sun coming through the cloud. Prapacot was fine, but Plan was seriously patchy (the only run open below mid station) with mud and stones all over it. Slightly surprised it didn't have snowmaking considering it's low and a key run.

Finally at 4pm the snow intensified and visibility deteriorated. Squeezed a few laps in off Arbois (slow 2-man) and Mont Rosset, before trying the long red home run right down to 850m. This is an interesting one: no fewer than 7 road crossings, but enjoyable nevertheless and no bare patches. Also quiet as I think we were behind the main "rush hour" of skier's returning home. Just in time for the 5.05 bus back into town.

Restaurant booked later this evening in town... time for fondue!

Run(s) of the day: Princesse (black) - straightforward for a black, but beautifully pisted and scenic. Finance (blue) and Marmire (red) - good treelined runs above St Gervais served by a fast lift.

Tomorrow: Hoping to head to Combloux (and do the trip to La Giettaz), as long as the roads are OK after the ongoing snowfall.


Mont Joux first thing... brr!


Mont d'Arbois from the Etudiants area


Megeve from Belle d'Arbois (red)


Views of Rochebrune / Cote 2000 from Belle d'Arbois (red)


Voltigeurs (black)


Weather closing in after lunch on Vardasses (red)


Dinner at the Carre Rouge


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 29-01-19 12:49; edited 3 times in total
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
How do you remember the details for your excellent reports @denfinella? Do you make notes as you go along?
snow report     
 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.
@pam w, no notes. But I do post each evening, so it's only a single day to remember.
ski holidays     
 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
Well I'm impressed! You really make the most of your trips.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pam w,
Completely agree about the excellent reports, maybe it's a bloke thing but I would certainly expect to tenner the runs I'd done each day and the state of them at the end of the day.
Edit
Talk about fat fingers tenner is meant to be remember. Puzzled


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Thu 24-01-19 10:06; edited 1 time in total
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@denfinella, I was also surprised that some of the lower runs didn't have snow cannons. It's a slight criticism of St. G.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Before I get into today's antics, a big thumbs up for Carré Rouge in St Gervais where we had dinner last night. Fondue is per person rather than the "for 2+ only" you get at many restaurants, and at €18 with charcuterie, it's keenly priced. Our €15 reblochon burger was also superb, and service was friendly and quick.

Thursday: Combloux winter wonderland

You know that airline advert that shows a plane flying through blue skies above the clouds, and then a voice says, "it's always sunny somewhere"? Well, it was like that today... except we were stuck under the inversion with a cloud cap of about 2000m. The roads to Combloux turned out to be fine after just a few cm of snow overnight. It continued snowing lightly for most of the day, with a few sunny spells through distant gaps in the cloud. Visibility was OK from mid morning onwards, but by that time we'd already put plans to head across to La Giettaz on ice, and decided to stay around Combloux and Megeve instead; the trees are thicker and there's a gondola to retreat to.

In the morning we mostly stuck to the runs off the gondola and the short Ravine chair, which was in a pocket of sunshine. Ravine (red) and Salles (blue) were both over in a matter of seconds, but had a nice layer of powder over corduroy.

The pistes down the Jaillet gondola were all open but suffering from a lack of snow, with quite a few stones. Les 7 Nains (blue) was also a bit flat, and has a road crossing where you have to unclip and walk up the tarmac a bit before the piste restarts. Essertons (blue/red) was an unexpected powder stash, but rejoins Les 7 Nains before the faffy road bit...

Early lunch (in the hope that the sun would come out properly later) at Chalet du Bachais on the Croix blue. This was the best lunch of the week so far in terms of quality vs. price: €13.50 andouillette plat du jour (which I've always meant to try but haven't got round to it) and €14.90 tartiflette which was much better than the one in Hauteluce, accompanied by a huge salad. A big menu too, so would suit most tastes.

In the afternoon we started out with all the runs off the Jouty chair. This is a worthwhile and quiet sector, but the chairlift takes forever! 4 runs and 90 minutes later we headed across to the Christomet six-pack, which felt like rocket speed by comparison. A mix of snow conditions here: some stones around despite a reasonable altitude, but Aigle (black) was in great condition. After that we had 90 minutes or so left for most of the pistes off Pertuis. Melezes (red) was the pick of a good bunch, with fun rollers and sharp corners. Blaireau (black) has a hard-to-find exit, and still had almost untracked, light powder at 4.30pm.

Skied right up until last lift as usual; now back in the apartment for pasta and to warm up a bit - it was a cold day! Generally we felt Le Jaillet was a relaxed and very scenic area, but the runs are overgraded: many of the greens and blues are a bit boring, so you have to look to the reds (which are more like blues) for interest.

Run(s) of the day: Aigle (black), Jorace (red) and Melezes (red) for genuinely excellent runs; Blaireau (black) for the powder (though why it's graded black I've no idea).

Tomorrow: We haven't actually got to Mont Joly or St Nicolas yet, so that's on the menu. Hoping for some sun at the top!


Looking down on Melezes (red) from the Pertuis chair


Sun coming out on the Ravine chair


Ravine (red)


Salles (blue)


Gypaete (red), Pres chair beyond


Lunch at the Chalet du Bachais


An hour or so into the journey up Jouty


Jorace (red)


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 29-01-19 13:03; edited 2 times in total
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Really good and helpful posts, thank you
snow report     
 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?
@denfinella, The Carre Rouge mushroom fondue is magic. You should try Le Galeta before you go also.
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Excellent reports! Thanks Delfinella for your time in putting these together.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@denfinella, +1, great trip report, really enjoyed reading and picturing those mountain views in my head. snowHead
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Great report!
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks all. I enjoy writing them, and it's nice to be able to look back on them.

@Jonny996, sadly we won't get another chance to eat out in St G - have food to use up in the apartment tonight.

@PeakyB, thanks - I'll add photos when I get home so you won't have to imagine them!
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Friday - Mont Joly & St Nicolas: finally up to the top!

Our penultimate day on the pistes and it was about time we actually got up to the top of the domain! The baltic temperature was the first notable thing about the weather: the thermometer at the bottom of the Mont Joux chair (1600m or so) displayed -17C at 9.30am... and it felt every bit as cold despite no wind. Fortunately the sun had returned overnight, at least above an inversion at about 1500m, which soon burnt off.

The runs to St Nicolas were the first to catch the morning sun, so we headed down the spectacularly scenic Epaule red. What an epic run - and the middle part where it flattens out was just above the inversion, making it seem like we were floating on a bed of clouds. Good enough to do twice (despite requiring a chain of lifts to.repeat it) - the second time branching right off the ridge onto the Marmottes red through rolling pasture.

Fairly quiet around St Nicolas, with people probably put off by the slow lifts. The home run to St Nicolas ended abruptly at the snowy village road, with a wander up the pretty main street past a beautiful church to reach the rickety lift back up; skis go in a bucket attached to the back of each chair! A very pretty area, with heavy frost on everything and snow dust sparkling in the air.

Lunch at Le Gouet by the eponymous drag lift. Excellent €15.50 Croute du Gouet (similar to a Croute Savoyarde, but with eggs on top), and a nice enough quenelles / semolina / sauce / veg plat du jour for €14.50... probably the first dish we've had all week without cheese in it.

After lunch we lapped the Croix du Christ, Croix and Epaule fast chairs; the former had some good runs but they were a bit busy (and people skiing too fast) and scraped down to the base. Lots of falls happening and eventually the bloodwagon came out. Sad Croix was quieter; especially recommend the Rolles red, continuing all the way down the blue to Les Communailles. The red Blanchot off the Epaule chair was unpisted and heavily mogulled with ice and bare patches: unpleasant! The adjacent black was much better, leading to...

...Finally, onto the slow Mont Joly chair right up to the top at 2500m+. A strong wind up here (it was calm everywhere else) had blown all the soft stuff off the start of the runs, leaving scraped hard pack. This made the top of unpisted, convex Chamois (black) quite intimidating; fortunately the snow was much nicer away from the top. It's properly steep though! The trickiest black we've down all week by quite a margin, though we made it worse by inadvertently missing a bend in the piste, and ending up on an even steeper bit of the hill. The adjacent red is mostly a road, and not really worth the long ride time on the chairlift.

90 mins or so to tie up a few odds and ends of pistes we'd missed, then back to St G on the fun, long home run again. Another great day with stunning scenery and a couple of particularly epic runs.

Leftovers for dinner back in the apartment and an early night beckoning as we need to tidy the place before check out tomorrow morning!

Run(s) of the day: Grande + petite Epaule (reds) for epic views and a big vertical. Coq du Bruyere (red) off Croix du Christ was a great run while the crowds were having lunch. Over on Mont d'Arbois, Clarieres (red) was almost untouched even at the end of the day (though it's quite short). The black down to the same chair is also quiet and worthwhile. Avoid Joux (red): it's a flat linking piste with nothing of interest.

Tomorrow: should be time for a full day's skiing before we head to the airport. We haven't been to La Giettaz yet, so...


Good morning Mont d'Arbois!


Unpisted Monchus (blue) near the Freddy drag - not on the piste map


Above the clouds on the Epaule ridge


Epicness


Floating above the inversion on Grande Epaule (red)


Looking back up Grande Epaule (red)


Petite Epaule to Les Chattrix (red)


Chattrix (blue)


Church in St Nicolas


Skis off for the Chef Lieu chair!


Looking up from the bottom of the Vanay drag


Top of the Gouet drag, looking across to the Croix du Christ bowl


Croix du Christ


Mont Joly


Chevreuil (red) at the top of Mont Joly


Magnificent Mont Blanc


Les Orgeres (blue) above Les Communailles


Mont Joly from Evasion (blue / green)


Sunset and deserted slopes on Chateluy to Le Bettex (green)


St Gervais (red) home run


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Mon 25-02-19 17:06; edited 3 times in total
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
That’s a proper day out. Well done!
I like the gouet. Been there much more for coffee than lunch but it’s very cute. The black you skied is properly steep and quite out of character with the rest of EMB. I think it’s as steep as any “piste” I’ve skied except may be a couple of double diamonds at squaw and kicking horse
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Saturday - lovely La Giettaz

Sunny departure day but a day's skiing left before heading to the airport. We drove back to Combloux to make the trip on skis to La Giettaz at the other end of the Portes du Mont Blanc domain.

La Giettaz's slopes are appreciably steeper than the rest of the local domain, and were full of more serious skiers. We particularly liked the steep (in places) Varosses black from top to bottom, and also Boenet (red) for a quiet, fast blast. Treffleanaise (blue) was the highlight though: this is the link run from Combloux / Megeve to La Giettaz, down a beautiful wooded valley far from any lifts, with stunning views to the Aravis range. From the top we enjoyed spotting all the other ski areas: the other Megeve sectors, the Espace Diamant, Les Houches, upper Chamonix and Passy were all visible.

Lunch at the Datcha brasserie in La Giettaz: well presented, slightly hipster (in a good way) food - steak tartare for €18 and an interesting burger with St Marcellin cheese and coppa on top for €19.50. (The plat du jour was €14 but didn't appeal.)

Back above Combloux we finished off the runs off Beauregard (the greens and blues were busy - weekend traffic?), ending with a deserted Grand Tetras at 3.30pm.

Returned skis in Combloux then drove to the Carrefour in Sallanches where we stocked up on dinner goodies to eat in the airport. Geneva airport was (miraculously) very quiet, with no queue for the easyJet check in desks... That's a first! Currently sitting at the gate ready to board...

Run(s) of the day: Varosses (black), Treffleanaise (blue) both mentioned above. Gelinotte (blue) off Christomet is also a great run if you can time it to avoid the afternoon rush back to Combloux / Megeve.

Tomorrow: Back to a long day at work unfortunately... All good things come to an end.


Ridge to La Giettaz from the top of La Couvee (red)


Start of the long Treffleannaise (blue) run to La Giettaz


Treffleannaise (blue)


Rhodos (black)


Crete (red)


Lunch at La Datcha, La Giettaz


Lunch


Controverse (blue) back towards Megeve / Combloux


Last run of the holiday: Grand Tetras (red) back to Combloux


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 29-01-19 13:45; edited 1 time in total
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy