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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Great day for it too.....cold and sunny, so went up the front of Mont Chery, only saw 5 others, but it's getting chopped up lower down.

You can see Avoriaz and Pleney on this one


from above La Grande Ourse looking towards Pierrere


And on the way down I noticed they've now groomed the pistes on the Chavannes side.....shame I was too knackered to go again after yesterdays slog.....Verbier can wait.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For Les Gets, ski clubs are allowed up from Perrières only (booked by the club), so after Saturday's very enjoyable mini rando from Chavannes I decided try directly from that parking.

Not sure what other parents were doing but I just didn't fancy waiting in the car or hanging out in the village. Apart from kids, the slopes were empty, probably because of the weather.

I only managed to get to the top of the chairlift (via the red), have a beer, search for a ski (lesson learned: unblock the stop ski before removing the skins), and then enjoy a slow downhill.

Masks on in the queue and on lifts, all re iterated by emloyees, they all do take things seriously. Shame we adults can't use said lifts! Neh Neh
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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?
Almost as busy as a normal Xmas, no parking left at Chavannes 1500.

Still not many tracks above 1600m, and the pistes are nicely groomed.





The Grand Cry restaurant is serving vin chaud etc on the terrace, and there’s some ESF organized biathlon event on



Could see another 30-40cm next week


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 27-12-20 16:08; edited 1 time in total
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From dusk


Til dawn


And up the hill again, carpark rammed, view towards Morzine / Avoriaz from La Croix / Piste 64 this morning


Free navette bus is running, with new signs at each bus stop for various randonnée / cross country touring points

Storm Bella has arrived....gusts of 100+ kph expected
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The new barrier at Chavannes is indeed reducing the parking space Sad
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@patrick!, where has the barrier been placed?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's a set of wooden panels that blocks cars from parking in the middle, between Yeti and Croix Blanche.
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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!
Oh that makes complete sense, are the buses running up there atm? There used to be some pretty idiotic parking at times. We used to generally park just beyond the Grand Cry - parked up there if we wanted to use the drag to get to the Chamossiere early. Or if we had grandchildren and all their clobber.
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@polo, Lovely pictures. Looks like the touring conditions are perfect.
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@Woosh, yep it's been great, untracked fresh snow is usually easy to find in a family resort, and this year you only have to climb for 15mins to get a nice short powder run in. With the lifts closed it makes for a great few hours with family / friends. And everyone is getting touring fit, so it's actually becoming enjoyable to skate up the corduroy pistes.

@patrick!, @Pamski, I haven't seen a bus yet at 1500m, they usually turn around at Foillets, but it's always been the plan to continue the C route to the top....and the barriers serve 2 purposes as you mention (space for bus to turn, and less blocking cars in). Still can't get over how busy it is.....had to drive around twice yesterday and finally squeezed into a patch of mud in the over-flow carpark behind Altitude lodge. Thankfully 90% of visitors aren't ski touring more than a few hundred meters, most are just out with the family on sledges/ walking. But definitely more cross country groups than I've ever seen. And route des Chavannes is busier than ever as chalets/hotels and private cars are literally driving clients up to 1500m, letting them ski down to the village and picking them up again. Lazy sods Cool

Main 3 models still indicating another 30cm this week on top of todays additions
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I have seen a bus in Chavannes for the first time a week ago I think, I thought it looked odd.

The spot has always been practical for complete beginners imho - a few more seasons until my 3.5yo gets to a level where we can safely start from Perrières. Until then I need to haul quite a lot up there and use Yeti as a base. Last year we were just about taking her to Chez Nannon when the resort closed but it'd have been a long trip for her.

It's true that past La Croix and the Express top stations it's quite empty. Not had time to go more than Nauchet yet, will try heading back up before eoy.
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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.
@patrick!, personally don't think the hike is worth it into the bowl, unless you start at the school/lake area and want to spend half a day there. Would be good for a long workout and multiple hikes. Otherwise for easy access and a quick hike or two it's hard to beat Chavannes (including Piste 64 and Nauchets area), or either side of Mont Chery which is quite a bit steeper though.

Am heading to Samoens / Tete de Bostan tomorrow with a group for something completely different. Probably back in LG on 30/31 if you want to join
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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
@polo, Love the terrain in the Portes du Soleil. Playful. And not the powder panic you see other places. I have never toured there, but hopefully will be back for a week in Chatel in 2022 and will for sure bring the skins with me. Enjoy the once in a lifetime touring opportunities this winter.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Did Châtel get a big dump overnight?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@BobinCH, Yes.
Also the lift in the Col Du Corbier is running this morning.
I say "lift" its a conveyor belt in a tunnel with about 20m of uplift, but as its for pedestrians, sledges as well as skiers, it might may have conveniently excluded itself from the blanket ban. I think it's running from 10am - 4pm.
I saw a liftie shovelling some snow at the entrance to the tunnel about an hour ago, but he's since sloped off somewhere.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
WindOfChange wrote:
@BobinCH, Yes.
Also the lift in the Col Du Corbier is running this morning.
I say "lift" its a conveyor belt in a tunnel with about 20m of uplift, but as its for pedestrians, sledges as well as skiers, it might may have conveniently excluded itself from the blanket ban. I think it's running from 10am - 4pm.
I saw a liftie shovelling some snow at the entrance to the tunnel about an hour ago, but he's since sloped off somewhere.


Enjoy! Dust on crust here but SLF saying the border aka PdS got plastered. Cold too so should mean some nice skiing/touring ops for a few days
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BobinCH, Mrs WoC headed up with snow shoes earlier, while I am busy "working". I will get a snow report later Smile
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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?
40cm since sunday, snowed on and off all day today, some of it horizontal, so was a tough 700m hike over the valley in Samoens. I might post a video later but there doesn't seem to be a Grand Massif thread this year
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polo wrote:
From dusk


Til dawn


And up the hill again, carpark rammed, view towards Morzine / Avoriaz from La Croix / Piste 64 this morning



So are these pics of the ski village of La Croix? I've always wanted to ski the Portes de Soleil area some day. Looks awesome with all that snow. Great pics polo.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Toadman, the village in the pics is Les Gets

La Croix is just a point at the top of a piste there
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Lift open to Public in Col Du Corbier:


Whats weird is that you can't use an open chairlift, as you might catch Covid, but it's perfectly fine to spend 2 minutes sharing an enclosed tunnel with 20 other people ?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Nice pic windsofchange, I've driven past that tunnel on the Col many times on the way to Montriond/Les Gets from Bernex/Thollon - never thought I'd be looking at it from this perspective though...
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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!
@paddyhambo, Thats from my (home) office window Very Happy
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@paddyhambo, one of the few French resorts that has 100% of its lifts and runs open at the moment!
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@denfinella, Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@polo,
Tête du Bostan. It's wind swept at the best of times. But after the 100kmh winds.....
How was it?

French side of the PDS has fantastic snow. Great touring to be had away from windward slopes. Can't comment on CH.
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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.
@zzz, we only got to the refuge, zero viz above 1600m

@WindOfChange, few of us going to have a look at Mont Ouzon tomorrow, if travelling from Thonon area we head towards Fontany / Ecotex? Is it obvious where to park and start climbing? thx
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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
@polo, There's car park, next to the tennis court in the Col.
Opposite that you'll see some metal stairs, next to a run down resto. At the top of the stairs go right, leave the tarmac and walk along the track. You'll come to a hairpin by some rocks take the left hairpin and follow the track up into the forest & round 2 more hairpins ( its quite steep). After about 15 / 20 minutes You'll come out of the trees into a clearing by a cattle grid, and you'll see an alpage on your left. Go past the alpage, and the track has a couple of bends before straightening out. Follow this up to the next clearing ( and next alpage). It gets steep and rocky from here on up. I have driven up to the second alpage in my landy in the snow before but driving up is not for the feint hearted in the snow ( well actually its the coming down). but personally I'd go on foot as you don't know how deep the snow is, and its hard to turn round once committed.
If you're going up from the other side - sorry, no idea as never gone up from that side.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Avoriaz had some lovely fresh dry powder again today, two consecutive dumps of more than 20cm I reckon. Prodains being open to access Avoriaz and the upper area certainly helps....
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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, ok great, I'll aim for the side you are talking about.....but which town do I drive thru if coming from Thonon?

@Nelbert75, good to hear Prodains is open, hadn't realised.....so our PdS passes should work to get up? and others can just buy a day pass?
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Poster: A snowHead
@polo, You can go either way from the roundabout at Bioge as its pretty much equidistant between the 2 valleys, but you probably know the Morzine road better, so take that one. When you get to the Pont de Gys, go left and then right to go up through Le Biot, and then take the left as you leave the village to the Col Du Corbier. If you go left, then left at the Pont de Gys it'll bring you up the Nicodex side, but like I said, I've never been up that side.
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@polo, hope you don't mind me putting my oar in. Mont Ouzon is a lovely walk but the top 100m is accessed by chains and, whilst I've only walked it in the summer, I don't think it will be a great ski. If you decide to do it anyway then let us know. I'd be interested. You could follow the same route but when you reach the obvious col/saddle with views to Montreux instead of going north to Mont Ouzon you might consider taking the south route to Sûr Gemet. It's a well rounded grassy peak with great views and only 140m lower than Ouzon. Plus it's a great ski back to the Col du Corbier. Just a thought.
Ps, there are loads of great options on that side of the valley. Pointe de la Croix (I'm going there tomorrow), Brion, Pic de la Corne, Savolaire, Taveneuse to name a few. Often the lack of low down snow makes access to these routes difficult but at the moment all is possible.
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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?
thanks guys.....I don't know that area at all so am still not sure where to park / start, despite the detail above.....not helped by the fact 2 of our group are under time pressure so I haven't got the luxury of exploring....need quick access.....all I know is we are leaving at 8am, we'll figure it out, I'll have to try the new stuff some other time I guess
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There is a great little book published by Toponeige called Chablais. I know books aren't really in vogue at the mo but it has great colour photos of lots of good routes and fits in a back pack easily. Worth getting hold of a copy. Have fun.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ouch that hurts. You lucky people...
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@zzz, Funnily enough I went up the Drouzin side this Am and came down in the fresh pow down the face from the top of the old Muret hut. I then started heading up the Ouzon side, but the weather turned cloudy as I was in the trees, so came back down. There were some racket tracks in the snow, but I didn't see any ski tracks where somebody had skinned up.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We must have nearly crossed paths, we parked just by the tunnel in the pic above at 9am and headed up to the right of it through the forest following signs to Pointe de la Croix. Probably took us over 2 hours.....the track gets quite flat, and goes downhill in a few spots. Finally reached a point that we had to get up on the narrow ridge for another 700-800m. Nice lunch at the top at 1800m and then down the back side through the trees.....where the terrain finally opened up, great snow up there.
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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!
polo wrote:
@WindOfChange, ok great, I'll aim for the side you are talking about.....but which town do I drive thru if coming from Thonon?

@Nelbert75, good to hear Prodains is open, hadn't realised.....so our PdS passes should work to get up? and others can just buy a day pass?


You can use your season pass for access yes. You are allowed on with gear but they are sometimes checking to make sure you have touring gear or snowshoes. You can also buy one trip up for seven euros.
Some may be lapping the home run a couple of times, I can't speak for them, but it if your trip up coincides with a bus arriving you can take your chances for an extra season pass lap... wink they won't sell you two one trip tickets.
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@BobinCH,

Every day’s a powder day. Sadly no vid’s Very Happy

Dumping again this evening.
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@zzz, were you there too? I'm curious to know if I took the right route.....wondering is there a better place to park/start than Col du Corbier for Pointe de la Croix

@Nelbert75, thx, will try it out

@WindOfChange, you have a nice front garden / playgound


http://youtube.com/v/K_0K6l73d_A
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