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Portes du Soleil - Avoriaz/Morzine/Les Gets/Chatel/Swiss Side etc - 20/21

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Starting the 20/21 thread. We are hoping the travel bridge re-opens for some autumn hikes in October and skiing over Christmas.

Spent eight weeks with the family in working form home in Chatel over the summer. Highlights were discovering some new excellent mountain restaurants including La Haut Bise, Les Cabrettes and the refuge at Lac Vert, hiking to the top of Mont de Grange was great, and we were glad to discover the old outdoor pool in Morgins as an alternative to the crowded aquatic center in Chatel.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Ozboy, we managed a couple of weeks and now in quarantine.

If you enjoyed Mont de Grange there are plenty of other good hikes. les Cornettes is good if a little hairy at one point. Drive up to Bise and set off from there.

Hope to catch you over the winter. Fingers crossed.
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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?
@DJL, yep we’ve driven up to the Bise for lunch at Les Cabrettes but did not have time for a decent hike. Hopefully next year yes fingers crossed for winter - hopefully Christmas
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Our season passes arrived today - tempting fate by ordering them, maybe!
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I see what you did there Ozboy, sneaking in the rösti munchers this time Madeye-Smiley . Welcome to the Confederation Helvetica!
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@shep, we are well rostied after spending a week in Black Forest on way hope to absorb some of our 14 day French quarantine. Great spot to break the journey home.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Wow lucky you! I'm more familiar with the Vosges on the other side of the river, but yes a lovely spot - enjoy!
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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!
Top of the morning, looking a bit thin on the south side, expecting a good bit more up in the bowl, if I could just find all the gear

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Caught a nice break in the weather this morning

Towards Chamossiere


About 10-15cm settled overnight at 1600m, but still snowing on and off until tomorrow






Met some MTB'ers and hikers as I walked out of the bowl.....all stopped to ask how I got on.....wide grins all around.
So that only leaves July and August for the months I haven't skied here, with May, June, Sep, Oct, Nov all done in the last 4 years
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Even after all the madness of this year, I was never inclined to be persuaded that we are all living in some kind of Matrix/Trueman Show existence with someone just making stuff up for the amusement of seeing how we deal with it. But skiing in Les Gets on 26 September ??!!! That might just tip it for me. Lovely pictures, thank you for sharing them.@Polo
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Nice one @polo, ! Most years Hauts-Forts gets a dusting in August, but I've never seen it in July. The deep couloir up there though holds skiable snow into July if it's been a snowy winter. We even had summer-skiing in July on Arare in 2003, but they were charging a full day-ticket price for one lift and one run though rolling eyes , so everyone went once for the novelty value and then they closed because no-one went back... Evil or Very Mad
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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.
@Wrekingirl, my pleasure, it's been wet and miserable the rest of the weekend, so that's it, I am done with September skiing.
It was surreal though to see families out building snowmen and sledging at 1500m, very christmassy.

@shep, that does sound very unreasonable. Speaking of other inconsiderate terrain management, the farmers up on Chavannes have left electrical fencing all across the main piste Twisted Evil
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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
Quote:

@shep, that does sound very unreasonable. Speaking of other inconsiderate terrain management, the farmers up on Chavannes have left electrical fencing all across the main piste

At least they haven't left barbed wire there like a couple of seasons ago at the bottom of the Grizzli/Renard pistes near the Fys chair.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Given the size of "Gaddafi"'s (RIP) roaming pigs, I don't think electric fences would have done much to contain them!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I messaged my sons ski instructor yesterday, to see how things were. He is very doubtful that he is going to work as an instructor this year, as he has had no bookings.
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doddsie wrote:
I messaged my sons ski instructor yesterday, to see how things were. He is very doubtful that he is going to work as an instructor this year, as he has had no bookings.


Is this Pierre? We are one of his regular clients and would have probably booked him for a week over Christmas and Feb half term for our daughter and a few days here and there for touring or bumps for me. Feel awful about the current situation but not a lot we can do.
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Ozboy - Yes Pierre, we have him booked for 5 weeks of lessons. I think he'll end up just carrying on as a physio through the winter.
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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?
@doddsie, could you pm me Pierre's details or a weblink if he is Morzine or Avoriaz based please? Think my son will be in Morzine for the season and may use some lessons or guiding. Just picked up your last couple of comments and a recommendation from someone always helps.
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Seems a bit doom & gloom. Of course he's got no bookings - nobody's booking in advance, for anything. It doesn't mean it's not going to happen, just got to remain flexible. Our two regular Slovenian lodgers, NewGen instructors, have just booked our downstairs flat again for the season.
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Shep I didn't mean to be negative, just passing on the comments from my sons instructor. The problem is people in the UK would love to come skiing and I'd wager the majority don't think there's any risk in doing so. But whilst the government have a 2 week quarantine in place, it's just not going to be possible for most people and it's hard right now to see their policy changing in the next 3 months.
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Toyah807 - Based in Chatel - Pierre Ochs - skisummit74@gmail.com or pierreochs@gmail.com
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@doddsie, yes it the quarantine issue that is the show-stopper for us right now as well as not having EHIC health cover should we leave EU without a deal.
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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!
@doddsie, thanks
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@doddsie, Hey no worries, it's the instructor being negative not you! He's actually better placed than the non-french instructors, in so far as a much greater proportion of next season's guests will be nationals. Shame the ESF product has never managed to convert compulsory french school-party lessons into a demand for better technique from french skiers in general. Pierre seems not to be ESF, it's sad if he is so dependant on brits travelling.

You're right about the quarantine - I can see a big push back coming though with the death rates so low and people and business fed up with the restrictions. Once they become a vote loser things might change fast. The EHIC issue can be worked around I think, at least for holiday skiers. Ozboy you'll just have to go for residency! wink
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@polo, great pics. In September!

I’m confused, were you boarding or skiing? I see two poles but one trail...
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@Orange200, sorry I lazily type skiiing instead of snowboarding sometimes, but I was on a split board, with collapsable hiking poles. Best piece of kit I've ever bought as it's a super light set up.
ps I am a terrible skier, you would leave me in your trail dust 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.
@polo, what board / binding set up do you have ?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
shep wrote:
Shame the ESF product has never managed to convert compulsory french school-party lessons into a demand for better technique from french skiers in general.

Probably gonna get worse this season, as the Classes de Neige (which are the staple for most ESF in small resorts to keep them ticking over between the holiday periods) are looking very thin on the ground in terms of bookings for the coming season.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
polo wrote:
was on a split board, with collapsable hiking poles. Best piece of kit I've ever bought as it's a super light set up.
ps I am a terrible skier, you would leave me in your trail dust Smile


Ha! Having struggled to keep up with you and your son, I really doubt that!

Split board. So the answer to my question was “yes”! Oh this modern technology...
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@WindOfChange, amplid miligram split with spark R&D bindings. The choice is endless and I did a lot of research over several seasons but finally went with a 2018 model that had proven itself to be robust while at the same time the lightest in it's class. The boards are expensive enough at about 800, and then good bindings are almost half that again.....so it's ridiculously expensive. Plently of second hand options out there too.....I just decided to go all in and commit to getting as much out of them as possible over hopefully 5-10years.

Weight is a big factor to enjoying the up, and I love the binding tech.....so easy to switch the bindings from tour to ski mode....and you use regular boots etc. Let me know if you want to try it out someday, I have PdS pass this year so should be up in Avoriaz more often than usual
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@polo, That would be awesome - thanks.
I have been toying with the idea of getting a split board for a few years now, but have held back because of :
a) the bewildering choice available
b) the price
c) how it performs compare to a "normal" board
d) Covid (last season)
e) walking uphill. Smile

But when I really wish I had one is pre and post season when we get a mini dump, and I think - If only I had a split board I could go for a ride. Instead I generally strap the board on my back and walk up in my boots. One the one hand it's a grand cheaper, but on the other I'd much rather have a split board Smile
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Yep I spent the first 2-3 seasons climbing up with the old heavy board strapped to my back. You have to use snowshoes once in deep fresh snow, especially the steeper bits. So the difference between boots only and then snowshoes is massive, you'll go twice as far. But you are still carrying a heavy board and heavy snowshoes (which are then strapped to back for the down).

When you finally pull out your wallet and get on a split, a whole new world opens up. You can actually talk to people while cruising up the hill as opposed to being bent over gasping for air after 10mins.

Performance comparison to a normal board is amazing these days, despite being half the weight and loosely clipped together. As you are spending 90%+ of the time actually climbing up, the downhill performance is secondary. And at that point you are just delighted to be heading down on any old plank. But really you have to try them to believe it.

And......you'll end up using it a lot in-season as well, as they are designed for riding powder, so may even float and handle the off piste better than a 5 year old all mountain board. Think of all the untracked lines you can reach away from the main ski area and crowds.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mrs. Shep got fed up of yomping up behind her rando-ski mates in snowshoes about 12 years ago, and wanted a split. There wasn't much around for girls at that time, so I cut a new salomon wood-core board in half with my Skilsaw Skullie and used the Voile diy kit. I couldn't bring myself to follow the instructions and just "polyurethane the exposed core" Shocked , so I used my ex-ski-tech skills (lots of Dremeling and epoxy!) to fit steel edges and sidewalls. She only uses it a few times a season but it's still going strong - split board definitely the way to go in the backcountry!
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@shep very impressive....taking a saw to a new board....I now know who to call if I ever damage the delicate sidewalls.

Avoriaz looking nice this morning but will need a lot more to bury the base destroying rocky terrain

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@polo, Thanks, but basically signs of a miss-spent youth! wink

In Avoriaz (i.e. rocks underneath not grass) the main Chavanette red (Lanches) is best for thin snow conditions. They ran the road graders up there many summers ago and de-bouldered it, apparently a 10cm base is all it needs to be shark-free.
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Good to know, I've only toured over on the Ardent side up to Rochassons. Is this the right route?



Long hike to get there I'd say even if you could park in Avoriaz
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Oops sorry, not Les Lanches, it's the straight shot further to the right in your picture, to the right of the twin button. Yes it would be a long hike Skullie
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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!
Looking good above the cloud today, was planning to get up this week but there isn't quite enough snow lower down for a slide.
Think Chatel web have counted over 20 days in a row now with snow still lying around 1800m

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Question for you PDS folks. When Avoriaz opens do they get all the snow parks open that first week or does it take a few weeks to get them up and running?

Thanks
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Like most things - it depends on the snow. If it snows from now through the start of the season there's a good chance the snow parks will be open. If it hardly snows at all, they won't.

As the PDS is generally quite low and quite far west I'd work on the assumption the snow parks will NOT be open for the first few weeks and let it be a happy suprise if they are.
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