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Portes du Soleil - Avoriaz/Morzine/Les Gets/Chatel etc - 19/20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Matt1959, @DJL, thanks both. Yep, I was fairly confident about the Morgins Follieuse pass being OK to use from Corbeau. Starting the Chatel one at La Chapelle might be very handy though, so fingers crossed that that's OK.
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Im going Verbier in March whats the score with the 5 free day passes that come with season pass, can i cash them all in at the start of the week and load them on to a card or do i need to go every morning to the office?
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Talking of starting in La Chapelle - we are a mileage hungry group (with one 3 lessons in beginner in our midst that we’ll take turns looking after). Skiing thus - sun this week from our base near the bottom of Panthiaz cable car. Chuffed that snow got topped up at the weekend but some forecasts have valley temp of 11deg on Thus. I had planned to explore Braitaz, over to Torgon and on to super Chatel / Morgins to ease in on day one, then prob go further down the valley for Linga, PlJ, Lindarets up to Avoriaz and over to Swiss side later in trip. However, given its looking warmest Thus and cooler into the weekend I wonder if I should go higher earlier to avoid spring conditions by 11am. Not skied the area before so wondering how soft it’s likely to get in La Chapelle/ Super Chatel? Or any others tips?
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@Mother hucker, I confidently asserted that snowtyres&4x4 were required. Driving round the lower bits of Morzine/LGs/Ardent at the weekend I noticed that the “chainage areas” were marked “pneus de neige admis”.

So one may be OK. I am still reasonably confident that “equipments speciaux” means chains or 4x4 + snow tyres.
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@dgschof, you'll be OK with the original plan. The South facing skiing at Braitaz is well above valley floor and the run down to Torgon keeps the shade. It won't be busy in any case.
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@under a new name, I've managed in a standard front wheel drive for about 7 years driving up Route des Grand Alps several times a week without ever seeing a snow tyre checkpoint. New winter tyres every 2 seasons works for me.

First tracks on Saturday were great fun....even after a late start....put a Ranfoilly vid up on the usual channel

Forecast looking better for 29th-30th....one of those tricky FL situations coming up, but moving in the right direction today
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under a new name wrote:
@Mother hucker, I confidently asserted that snowtyres&4x4 were required. Driving round the lower bits of Morzine/LGs/Ardent at the weekend I noticed that the “chainage areas” were marked “pneus de neige admis”.

So one may be OK. I am still reasonably confident that “equipments speciaux” means chains or 4x4 + snow tyres.


Ive got snow tyres and chains, Dont always carry the chains though.
Its horrible on your hands and knees wet and cold fingers fitting chains.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
polo wrote:
@under a new name, I've managed in a standard front wheel drive for about 7 years driving up Route des Grand Alps several times a week without ever seeing a snow tyre checkpoint. New winter tyres every 2 seasons works for me

only time ive struggled since having winters, In poland black ice in the mountain region my wifes from. We're not allowed chains there and had to wait for gritters to come
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Re passes in Verbier ... about 5 years ago you had to go to the office every day
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In the French Alps there are only 3 levels:
- nothing required
- chaussettes, pneus neige or chains
- chains only

To be honest I've not come across the third type on main roads so far - as soon as the snow plow truck passes it's usually open to at least chaussettes/winter wheels.
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Matt1959 wrote:
@denfinella, Pretty sure that you can start your Châtel passes in La Chapelle.


I'd double check that. 3 or 4 years ago we tried to start in La Chappelle D'Abondance with passes bought from the Chatel website and couldn't get through the gates. Might've changed since then.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@polo, hmmm, if you're only going to e.g. Morzine or Chatel you aren't going very high. I did three seasons in Morzine, and used chains once I think. I think the first real checkpoint is as you head towards Avoriaz out of Morzine. Having had a wee check at WP, my understanding is that e.g. the sign just after the Praz de Lys junction is basically saying "Snow Chains required, but snow tyres allowed".

The hill we live on, one might struggle with snow tyres and not 4x4. Especially if one did not know what one was doing ...
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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
Another winter tyre thread.... zzzzz
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You know it makes sense.
On Saturday morning I couldn’t get into Prodains, as there was a big queue back down the road. So I took the road up to Avoriaz and was stopped by the police just after the roundabout and they checked my winter tyres and let me pass. There was a number of other cars who they were making put on snow chains. Over Xmas I had to put on chains on the way up to Prodains for the 1st time in 5 years, as we had to stop as there were cars sideways all over the place and we couldn’t get going again.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The following pic was from 27 December when carnage ensured when it started snowing heavily from about 7:30am catching out the usual summer tyre gamblers but also the local chatel bus to PLJ. (Credit for pic from Chatel Snow Report what’sapp group). Probably the same day @doddsie mentioned above. Cars that managed to get to PLJ struggled to leave the frozen carparks in the afternoon.

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Sorry Ozboy about the post above, on another topic does anyone know if there’s an airbag in the Arare park this year and if so when it opperates?
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@patrick!, I'm not sure that's actually correct... I've lived in Geneva for 13 years and now Chamonix for a year with most winter weekends in the mountains and have never been asked to put on chains (AWD, snow tyres). Which is just as well as apparently chains would feck up my CVT. Or something. So I don't have any.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, the only question here is to your original statement of whether you need a 4x4 to pass the checkpoint? And does altitude / actual route make a difference?
Of course there are signs requiring winter tyres in snow from about 600m. I guess you're saying watch out for special equipment signs, which must be higher than 1200?
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That’s the day Ozboy, the buses up to Prodains were also stuck
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
we spend most of the season in the area. We regularly go up the avoriaz road including quite bad snow conditions. We avoid going on saturdays as they can be very busy and the only day the police are likely to take any interest. Not personally been stopped but have heard of people been told to put chains on 2wd with winter tyres. This is more to do with the possible carnage on a busy day. Most of the locals do not seem to own chains and simply avoid the police checks.
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doddsie wrote:
That’s the day Ozboy, the buses up to Prodains were also stuck


4 seasons in 4 days:
24/12 = heavy rain all the way up and waterlogged pistes
25/12 = Frozen hard waterlogged pistes all day
26/12 = Springlike soft thawing pistes
27/13 = mini dump
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DJL wrote:
@dgschof, you'll be OK with the original plan. The South facing skiing at Braitaz is well above valley floor and the run down to Torgon keeps the shade. It won't be busy in any case.

Thanks for advice - yep hoping it’s quiet as it helps us explore more. I hear super chatel etc not well represented on piste map and perhaps more to it than meets the eye? Tho really looking forward to Linga/PD areas on day 2.
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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!
Conditions in the Avoriaz/Swiss area were great today. Gorgeous clear blue skies. A bit cold in the shade but we had a great day. Racked up 23 miles from Morzine right over to Morgins etc Looking forward to smashing the Les Gets side tomorrow.

Also enjoyed the booming apres at La Folie Douce! Toofy Grin
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dgschof wrote:
DJL wrote:
@dgschof, you'll be OK with the original plan. The South facing skiing at Braitaz is well above valley floor and the run down to Torgon keeps the shade. It won't be busy in any case.

Thanks for advice - yep hoping it’s quiet as it helps us explore more. I hear super chatel etc not well represented on piste map and perhaps more to it than meets the eye? Tho really looking forward to Linga/PD areas on day 2.


Yes the area between SC and La Chapelle is vast but easily overlooked. There are a verity of runs to suit all abilities although most are easy reds other than a few off Morclan which are steeper. The runs down into Torgon from both sides are some of my favourite and great side-pistes after a snow fall.
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Just back from 4 days in the PdS. Staying in Chatel where the new (to us) link to Linga has really helped.

Weather was cold and sunny. Spent 2 days in the Torgon / C d'A area and loved it there. So quiet. Also enjoyed the circuit from Chatel anti-clock via Linga, Linderets, over into Switzerland round from Champery to Morgins and back to Chatel. Gorgeous sunny skiing on the Swiss side, we were lucky with the cold temps and the new snow on Friday night. Conditions were perfect on piste

Plan Drainse / Linderets was very busy with the first day heroes on Sunday - too many racing snowplough merchants.

I'd forgotten what a a cracking area it is and we didn't even touch Avoriaz, Morzine or Les Gets
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red 27 wrote:
I'd forgotten what a a cracking area it is and we didn't even touch Avoriaz, Morzine or Les Gets

Indeed - They are for tourists Smile
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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.
Quote:


red 27 wrote:
I'd forgotten what a a cracking area it is and we didn't even touch Avoriaz, Morzine or Les Gets

Indeed - They are for tourists @WindOfChange


Weren't too many tourists clogging up Avoriaz yesterday.... apart from me! Cold but sunny and nice conditions.

And it was a lot lot better there than it is at my desk today!
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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
WindOfChange wrote:
Indeed - They are for tourists Smile
Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
WindOfChange wrote:
red 27 wrote:
I'd forgotten what a a cracking area it is and we didn't even touch Avoriaz, Morzine or Les Gets

Indeed - They are for tourists Smile


Hey, I just went there for the first time last month! I object to being called a tourist, I'm a much better skier than that!


...I'm a punter.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Been out in Avoriaz since Friday. Heading home tomorrow. Piste conditions on the whole have been pretty good, having been topped up by friday’s snow. We’ve eaten outside almost every day in the sun, albeit with a hat on.

Today (Tuesday), there are some thinner patches showing through and the resort people are clearly a bit worried about the forecast warm weather as they’re piling up (but not bashing) cannon snow in critical places (like down to Ardent). Some pistes have some icy patches, but generally still in good condition.
Best snow today seemed to be below Swiss wall, with snow to the side of the piste still quite pleasant.
Haven’t made it to Chatel, Mont Chery or any of the smaller resorts so can’t report on those. We feel we’ve had great conditions (for piste skiing), but the area would benefit from another dump.
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Hey PdS Team, we're heading out with Family Ski to Stay in Ardent from 2nd, with a 3yr old (first skiing ski holiday) and younger brother who will creching. Wifey and I looking to get some miles under our belts while ski lessons and creche allow. We didn't ski last year due to No.2 only being a month or so old.

Been avidly reading almost daily since Sept Toofy Grin really enjoying all the updates on snow pistes etc! Doing lots of snow dances as looks like a top up is needed!

Any fun day 1 itinerary suggestions welcome, we both ski everything.
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@xanderajma, speaking from experience with our kids who are now 8 and 6 you should set your milage expectations quite low if not done so already - we had a lot of separation issues causing us not to venture too far away from the kids ski school / snow play area. With that in mind I suggest you stick to the plentiful lifts and runs in and out of the Linderets valley on day 1 as your not too far away if you get a call to return to ski school. The new lifts provide more options and there are great sunny places to grab lunch.
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@xanderajma, here's an itinerary suggestion:

    Up TC Ardent, TSF Lechère, TSD Mossette
    Ski ridge part of Abricotine to go up TSF Cuboré (Montriond)
    Ski down Les Lanches to go up TK Chavanette
    Ski down swiss wall (Chavanette)
    Up TK Ripaille
    Ski a tad down Ripaille-Grand Paradis, past first knife&fork (Alpage Lapisa) to second knife&fork
    Lunch in Les Clavets
    Finish skiing down Ripaille-Grand Paradis
    Up TC Grand Paradis to centre of Les Crosets
    Head home via TSF Grand-Conche
    Ski down Abricotine+Parchets back to Ardent
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Quick question about places to eat - are restaurants on the Swiss side appreciably more expensive (paying in euros) than on the French side of the PdS? For example, if I am in Les Crosets at lunchtime is it worth hopping back across to Avoriaz to save some cash?
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@denfinella, don’t think it’s a big difference. I find elevation and isolation, rather than country in PDS, which has the greatest impact on prices. You can generally get soup or the day with bread and a chunk of cheese under €10. Some cheap options include Restaurant Bar Plaine Dranse in Chatel sells filled baguettes at their bar for €5 which can be consumed inside. There is also a new and very nice indoor picnic facility, including a coffee shop, built next to the top station of Ardent gondola should you wish to bring your own. Another great option is to ski down into Chatel village centre and explore the various options available. Sounds like you have a great trip planned as per your live TR thread.
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@denfinella,

There may not be a huge difference in price but given the choice would you generally rather eat in France or Switzerland?

Yep, I always come back over the border.
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@denfinella, you get a crap €/CHF exchange rate, better to use a card.
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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!
@Ozboy, cheers. Yep we generally try to have lunch at restaurants which are either at / near a resort, or reachable by road.

@zzz, I've never eaten in Switzerland (except at the airport!!) so I've no idea where I'd rather eat!

@under a new name, good point, thanks.
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@denfinella, If you are in Les Crosets it is simple to take Swiss Mossettes or Grand Conche up to the ridge and then ski down Abricotine run (red or blue at the start) to Les Brocheaux. There are a couple of decent restaurants there - Refuge Abricotine is our favourite. Not Cordon Bleu but it is good stuff at a fair price.
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I stay in Morzine so there's usually too much distance fear to stop for a proper lunch in Switzerland. Have stopped for a quick snack a couple of times in the little cafe in Les Crosets, next to the Grand-Conche chair - cheap and chearful.

The only place in Switzerland I would say DON'T stop at is the one at the top of the Swiss Wall/Chavanette chairs. Home of the €10 Coke.
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