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!)

Portes du Soleil ski pass prices CHF and EUR

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are going to Champery in the Portes du Soleil ski area in February 2023 and I have started looking at Ski Pass prices. This is our first trip to the area. When looking at the prices for 6 days skiing in Champery for 2 adults and a 16 year old, it is 943.00 CHF, whereas when I look at Chatel it is €833.30. I believe both prices are for the whole area (i.e. Portes du Soleil) which is a saving of about £100 at the current exchange rates - a reasonable saving in my book!!!

Am I missing something or is this normally the case? What experience has anyone had with buying the passes online? I assume they send the passes in the post? Has anyone experienced any issues and what are the pitfalls?

Thanks, Gary
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Trigary, My understanding is that your first use of the pass must be in the selling country, so if you buy from Chatel you'll need to nip over to Chatel (being the nearest accessible part of France) to use your pass. After that it'll work in Switzerland.

I may be wrong! Any opposing views?
ski holidays
 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?
Stayed in Champery a few years ago as we got a good deal on accommodation. However once I'd booked I quickly realised why it was cheap, it was way more expensive for everything else compared to staying on the French side. Ski hire, restaurants, beer, fresh air, you name it, you'll pay for it. Head over to France for breakfast and a large lunch would be my tip wink. Champery is a nice village though, and PdS is brilliant.
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Trigary, FX arbitrage trading is a thing…..I even whip out the calculator on easyjet flights to decide which currency is better value to use on a hideously over priced hideous bacon sandwich.

I suspect the CHF side is still living in pre cost of living crisis mode, as nothing has really changed for them….currency still buys what it used to, so just tack on a few chuffs as they do every year.

On the French side they probably haven’t fully realized that their currency has fallen almost 15% in the last year and now that everyone is facing the double whammy of cost and energy crises they don’t dare jack up the price. Also imagine vast majority of visitors are French / UK as opposed to Swiss.

The difference is stark, and am pretty sure we will never see these low EUR prices again. The equivalent EUR price is actually 993 EUR, so a saving of 160 EUR, or 139 GBP.

I renewed my PdS season pass last march, 500 EUR, which is 475 CHF nowadays, includes a week in verbier and multiple other free day trips (GM, Cham). If I use all my free verbier days it means the rest of the season in PdS is completely free of charge Toofy Grin
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
polo wrote:

I renewed my PdS season pass last march, 500 EUR, which is 475 CHF nowadays, includes a week in verbier and multiple other free day trips (GM, Cham). If I use all my free verbier days it means the rest of the season in PdS is completely free of charge Toofy Grin


You are welcome snowHead

Verbier annual pass 1299chf early bird! And 999chf if you can “parrain” someone. Still think it’s good value though!
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@BobinCH, crikey that’s like 1370 euros, and it will cost the same again every day you are there for food and apres ski in Le Rouge.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
polo wrote:
@BobinCH, crikey that’s like 1370 euros, and it will cost the same again every day you are there for food and apres ski in Le Rouge.


Best use those free PdS passes eh!
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thank you all for your replies. Does anyone else have any comments regarding the first use of the pass? It makes sense that they may "force" you to use the pass in the selling country.

Thankfully the food is included in our accommodation costs, but I think the beers will be bought in France!
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.
First use is as it says.
You could still do it, but you'd need to get one 5h CLCM pass for 51 CHF and send someone up and over Mosettes (with the other passes buried deep under clothing so they dont get detected).
From there they could go down to the Ardent Gondola (a natural place to start) and activate the passes and ski back over with their own.
Would that it were so simple.
Some PdS Passes bought online need to activated (first use) in specific gates (often the one on the right) because there's a camera which takes a piccy of the person using it, so it can be cross-checked at other lifts by lifties with tablet devices.
This is the case for season passes, but I do not know if it applies to weekly ones.
It might just be easier to suck it up and pay the extra.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
It could very well be first use each and every day! I know of much smaller resorts which do it that way. I would recommend to check that out beforehand.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
You have to first use the pass in the area purchased to validate it. From then on you can start your day from any other PSD station. We have Châtel passes and sometimes start in Morgins. As per @windofchange you could send someone to France by skis to buy them (they may need proof of age for the under 16’s??) or drive over to Châtel on your first day of you have a car. The faffing involved probably not worth the €100 saving and better to spend the time enjoying Champery which is a great choice.
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.
@Tristero, No, this is not the case. There is no restriction on a daily basis, as we very often drive over to France to start skiing, and I'm 99% sure the same applies for first use of a weekly or a season pass. I can't be certain that any of our guests have done this, but it seems very likely; in any case, if such a restriction was in place then it would have to be clearly stated somewhere on the T&C, and I've never seen anything like that.

The pricing is a mess at the moment, with different prices being quoted in different places, and the Euro/chf difference seems to still be based on historical exchange rates. I haven't researched in detail, as it's not relevant for us (resident and ski instructor reduced prices) but will be sure to do so before our first guests arrive so I can best advise them where to buy. I have a stash of reusable cards so generally can give the numbers to guests before they arrive so they can buy online.
latest report
 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
WindOfChange wrote:

Some PdS Passes bought online need to activated (first use) in specific gates (often the one on the right) because there's a camera which takes a piccy of the person using it, so it can be cross-checked at other lifts by lifties with tablet devices.
This is the case for season passes, but I do not know if it applies to weekly ones.


Whether this was ever the case I don't know, but it certainly is not so now, in Morgins at least, and I very much doubt that they'd have different rules in different places.

The vast majority of passes issued, certainly of daily and weekly ones, do not have a photograph at all. The online 'renewal' of a previous card is perfectly valid for anyone - the cards themselves are not linked to an individual user - so no photograph is held in the system.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The passes do not have a photo as such but they capture and store an image on the newer lifts as you pass the turnstiles on first use. They then use this image, which flashes up either on a screen in the lift attendant cabin, or on an inspector’s iPad, to see if it’s the same user. They T&C’s are clear that passes are not transferable.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Ozboy, "The newer lifts". Well, maybe, but I'm not convinced. If that were so one would need to be stood in exactly the right spot, facing exactly the right direction, in order for a decent image to be recorded; this is why I don't think there's any systematic checking, especially given that so many definitely do not have these facilities, and therefore loads of users will be going around photo-less.

And I do recall one time last year where someone was having their season ticket checked over in les Crosets, and it was quite clear that identity documents were being demanded as proof of ownership (I was standing just a couple of feet away). So whether a photo was in place or not is moot - the actual verification was not using it.

I'm not suggesting that photos are not used/stored at all, and I'm pretty sure I remember the first year I got my season ticket here that they took one at the counter, just that not all passes have it.

The forfait is indeed non-transferable, but the card itself is not permanently linked to an individual. When making an online purchase you simply enter the card number and then your name and address, so the physical card is then linked with the currently-active lift pass/holder. Again, with no photo.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 22-09-22 12:19; edited 1 time in total
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

with the other passes buried deep under clothing so they dont get detected

wrap in tin foil - easier.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, That would work, but in the PdS all the detectors are on the left hand side, so it's quite easy to simply ensure that you put any old ones (or ones you're bringing for someone else to use, for example) in a right hand pocket.

It's not like I carry a roll of tinfoil around in my ski jacket, although now I think about it I'm almost surprised it wasn't on the SCGB Rep's required backpack contents list, along with the needle & thread, the garden wire and the piece of string.
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?
@Chaletbeauroc, There is often an inspector with ipad checking at the turnstiles at Pierre Longue and PLJ chairs in the morning and seen them question and pull people out of the funnel. I don't know specific details of what they are doing but cameras are widely used to protect revenue by ski resorts, such as sharing of weekly tickets by parents. I believe the issue about first use in the country of purchase relates to VAT/TVA about where the service is delivered. Here is a blurb from SKIDATA site about their fraud prevention avaioable at turnstiles:

Prevent Ticket Fraud
- Efficient, direct photo check for lift attendants with persons at the access point (Photo Compare)
- Photo camera in the scanner to take photos of people entering
- Height sensors differentiate between adults and children
- Control computer for managing and monitoring access on site
- Ticket information and photos are displayed clearly
- Passes can be blocked, checks run reports generated.
- Overhead monitor for large-screen display of photos directly at access point
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Ozboy, Yes, the SKIDATA system is capable if all those things, and I've certainly seen it used like that. And yes, I know that some of the larger lifts in the PdS, notably those around Avoriaz, do have screens in the operator's booth, and they certainly display some details, photograph or not, to help identify obvious fraudulent use, like an adult using a kid's ticket, or an obvious intermediate with an instructor ticket.

The question here was only about whether the system is used to enforce any first-use-in-country-of-purchase requirement, and you were suggesting that this is done via a special turnstile lane that also checks the photo. I'm simply saying that this is not, and could not be, done in that way due to the large number of passes with no photos and lifts, including many at village level, with no sort of camera facilities.

Whether such a requirement exists at all is another question; I don't think so, and was specifically answering the question about first use each day, which I can categorically state is not checked.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Chaletbeauroc, the thread has morphed in typical snowheads fashion and we will soon be discussing which windscreen wipers to use! The monitoring of initial use of pass in a different station is definitely checked but it's a different system and use case to the photo/turnstile system mentioned by @windofchange. It definitely applies to season passes, but don't know about weekly passes. There was confusion at the start of last season as many Chatel season ticket holders bought their early-bird passes form the Morzine site on the day of the sale as Chatel site was down, but were prevented from entering the turnstiles at Chatel on first use and needed intervention at the ticket office.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Ozboy, odd - we buy season passes from Morzine and invariably first use is up Super Morzine (which is on the Avoroaz system) and not had a problem. I know it used to be the case that you had to use in the area you bought from but is that definitely still the case?
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@andy from embsay, Perhaps it’s the same company or only an issue for online sales: Société d'Exploitation des Remontées Mécaniques de Morzine Avoriaz
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!
Yep, @Ozboy, SERMA is a different company to the ski-morzine bunch (where we buy online passes from). They deffo work on the SERMA side on day 1. But never tried in CH or Chatel!
latest report
 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.
I think the main problem would be buying Swiss side and first use french side.

The following is taken from the Swiss PDS site

https://www.skipass-pds-ch.ch/en/conditions-generales-de-vente-internet

" The ski pass is 'validated' as soon as an access terminal is passed, in the Champéry - Les Crosets - Champoussin - Morgins ski area. "

I buy a PDS season pass from Morzine website but would often do first lift in Les Gets or St Jean d'Aulps with no problem
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I have bought a SERMA season pass and first used it in Chatel and La Chapelle.
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
This condition was introduced mid-season a few years ago when the Euro crashed against the Swiss Franc introducing an unintended discount for Swiss based skiers buying daily and weekly passes in Euros. Season passes weren't affected as they were no longer on sale. Price differential is probably why they keep this condition.
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.
It's still not 100% clear; what exactly do they mean by 'validated', for example? Some are suggesting that you wouldn't be allowed past the turnstiles outside of your 'home' area without having first 'validated' it there, but it doesn't explicitly say so.

As far as I can tell no-one's experienced this first hand, and some, admittedly within France, are saying that they've definitely had a first use outside of the are where it was purchased. I'm determined to try it out this season, maybe drive the two minutes to Gabelou for my first use, maybe take some guests that way on their first day.

The other point clarified in the T&C is that photos are only required for 8 days or longer, so that explains why the online purchases on a reused card are not affected.
snow report
 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
@Chaletbeauroc, let us know what you find out. I reckon it’s all got to do with CH vs FR TVA in regards to first use and therefore not an issue in Morzine - however that does not explain the issue with Châtel skiers not able to use their Early Bird passes in Châtel which bought from Morzine site. Yes photos (and proof of age) only required when buying season passes. We are asked to upload a photo and also page from passport. The debate though is whether some PDS lifts take and store a photo of everyone that first passes through the turnstiles as for later comparison. This is to catch people that share passes. some turnstiles make a different beep and have a light that comes on if a child pass is presented to allow the operator to make a visual check. Others have height detectors and will not open if an adult tries to pass as a kid.
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Ozboy, I’ve definitely been caught out when me and one of my girls got our passes mixed up - these were 6 day passes a few years ago and I got stopped at Super Morzine - thankfully easy to sort as my daughter was right next to me.
snow conditions
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Ozboy, The Chatel passes not working in Avoriaz was a database programming error, and not some form of exclusion policy. ( I know a few people inside Serma ). The issue came about because the default start date for the Chatel passes was set to DEC 15th in their part of the database (the Officially Announced opening date). When the pre-opening was announced, SERMA ran a query on their DB along the lines of:
UPDATE PassTable
SET StartDate = '01-12-21'
WERE PassType = 'Season'
AND Vendor = 'SERMA'

So that all the SERMA issued passes worked ok.
The Chatel lift company did not update their database until the Saturday night when they ran a batch job to rectify the issue.
This is why they needed manually activating by the lift office staff until the fix was put in place. But the policy is based purely around country of purchase and not a resort vs resort thing - unless the IT staff don't get the memo about early openings.
snow conditions



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy