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Le Grand Bornand Resort Report Feedback Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a feedback thread for Annie's resort report:

Le Grand Bornand (February 2007)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just curious to know if you took the D12 route. We have used it in the summer but not sure I would fancy it much in winter. Also, coming from Geneva , do you think it is quicker than the Annecy - Thones route which looks safe and easy
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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?
Hoppo, Bit puzzled by that. What section is the report in? It seems to have been isolated from the rest of the forum. If so, why?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
loatie, We arrived via Annecy/Thones and yes it was very easy and we were virtually the only car on the road (Sunday around 8.30) and probably took around 35 mins from Annecy. We left via the D12 ( as directed by 'Flossie' the Sat Nav - so I guess in principle shorter) Very beautiful and dramatic but on the other hand much busier (but not stupid busy) and pretty windy and narrow - lots of oncoming cars suddenly jumping back onto their side of the road etc.......normal mountain driving really. On balance, in anything but perfect driving conditions I'd probably go the Annecy route again as I don't think there is a great deal in it......but it'll be sad to miss the scenery.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
achilles, I link to resort reports in these threads using viewpost.php, rather than viewtopic.php - you can see all of the resort reports, posted in date order here:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=5047
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hoppo, thanks.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Annie, Bit late in the day, but thanks for the LGB report - we are looking at the resort for end of Jan 08 and this was very helpful (and positive...) AP snowHead
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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!
Le Grand Bornand is one of those fabulous places not yet overrun by the tour operators and so still reasonably inexpensive. This will be the third year we’ve spent some time there – taking some friends and their family this time to Chinaillon. If you are looking for variety the Aravis ski pass gives you access to Grand Bornand and St Clusaz, two years ago we stayed in St Jean de Sixt a smaller village in between the two resorts.

I’ve always driven in from Geneve using the D12 from Bonneville – only once had to use the snow chains, the first time ever (regretted being too embarrassed not to ask the car hire rep to show me how to put them on). They take about two minutes for each tyre – or one freezing hour if you don’t know how, a very cold lesson!
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 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.
Annie, Thanks for your report. Stayed in Chinaillon for New Year 07/08. Drove from UK and used the Annecy route, no problems. Reves d'hiver were excellent for ski hire, I was ill for one day and couldn't ski so they didn't charge me! Runs were a bit tricky ( as you suggested they would be ) for my "careful" wife but my teenage boys and I had a great time on the challenging blues and reds. Stayed in Pistes du Soleil appartments which were in a great position with great views. Excellent snow/weather made for a great holiday.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We seem to have stayed in the same apartment/chalet as Annie in Refuge Des Outalays and have to agree with her.
We had the smaller apartment for 6, not the 10/12 and it was great. Very comfortable, nicely furnished and relaxing. We booked directly with the owner via bornandgrand.com (linked from the site Annie mentioned?)
Would recommend the Bournerie for a special night out (but book at peak times, we had to be flexible on the times)) or the Floria bar for a nights pool & pizza.
Great location- fantastic snow for Xmas 2008. Razz
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi

We are trying to decide between three apartments in Chinaillon.

One is in Village de Lessy in the town centre - apparently you are across the road from the Tourist Office and then you get a lift down to the ski lifts. Does anyone know realistically how far this is? Obviously the websites say they are very central and close, but we are worried that it might actually be quite a schlep to the lifts for our kids 8 and 10 to carry their skis. On the upside we might have use of the indoor pool (not mentioned on the owners site, but mentioned on the more commercial sites offering apartments in the block)

Our other two choices are both in the Refuge des Outalays that Annie mentions. Our concerns with those is that they are quite a way out of town? With the kids the 7pm deadline is not likely to be an issue - as if we went out for dinner at night we would take the car - I presume there is some parking near to the restaurants?

So is Outalays really ski in/ski out? is it practical for example to come back for lunch?
How difficult is it to get fresh bread in the mornings? is it a long walk or do you need to use a car?
Would there be a significant difference between the position of one chalet and another - e.g. where is chalet F in relation for example to A or B?

If anyone can help us with those questions then that would be fab.

Thanks in advance
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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.
Hi,

On the top level of the village, nothing is very far from anywhere. An 8 year old and a 10 year old should manage skis with zero problem. Assuming that you are hiring skis, if you get them from Reves d'hiver you can leave them there overnight anyway, which is as close as you can possibly get to the lifts.

Yes, refuges des outalays is further out. It's walkable - but the kids might whine a bit! Yes there is parking in the village by or certainly nearer to the restaurants.

Assuming you and the kids can happily do a mild red, then Outalays is practical to come back for lunch I think. When we went in pretty poor snow year. you had to climb up a bank behind the chalet which brought you to a track onto the blue down to outalays lift. I think the bread shop is at the end of the road - good 'wake you up' in the morning stroll - 10/15minutes for the return journey I think.

I loved refuges des Outalays........but if convenience is as high on your priority list as it seems, I'd probably go for the village
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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
Thanks Annie

The kids are happy on reds so it sounds like Outalays would be 'ski in/out' for us.

We will probably be hiring the skis from Sport 2000 - we always use snowell.com to hire the skis as the kids stuff is free if they are 10 or under - this can make a huge difference on the cost of kit, but limits you usually to one or two shops.

The kids probably won't need to walk to the village - last year we stayed in an apartment in Samoens town centre - the most the kids did was walk to the ski bus and back - once they are in the chalet after skiing I don't think they moved from the sofa! We self-catered every night except for the first night as we found in Samoens the restuarants didn't open till 7pm and after skiing our two are dead on their feet by that time. Definitely not a relaxing night out with the little'un whinging the whole time about where is his dinner.

So - assuming we can get ourselves organised with the shopping I hope we will be ok - a 10-15 minute stroll isn't too bad (I won't be doing it LOL! hunter gathering early in the morning is definitely a hubby job LOL!)

We haven't had confirmation yet that the Lessy apartment is available and we have to decide between the two Outalays ones by tonight - so at the mo Outalays is looking most likely and I have no idea how to choose! Indecisive? me? I used to be, but not I don't know...
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Le Village de lessy is your best option. The skiing is really close. Out from the residence, cross the road, take the lift down and at the bottom you have the slopes and lift in front of you. This is where I am heading myself in February. See http://www.peakretreats.co.uk/ski/le-grand-bornand.htm for great prices on Ski equipment with Sport 2000.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks XPeak

You are probably right - we will check it out when we get there, so that if we want to go back next year and don't like being out of town we will know. We couldn't book through a 'normal' site as we are going Sun-Sun and all French holidays through travel companies seem to run Sat-Sat, with two kids playing footie most Saturdays and season tickets to the local club we couldn't "afford" to miss two Saturdays!

However, just to throw a spanner in the works, this morning we were offered 3-bed apartment in Outalays for a great price, so we've gone with that.

We've never had a car in resort so it will be interesting to see whether we need one or not. We think we will probably be in the apartment a lot more than we were last year - last year we were in Samoens and had to get a bus, a long cable, a short cable, and walk up and down to a ski cave to leave our skis so going skiing and coming back to the apartment took about 1hr each way... if Outalays really is ski in/out then 2 hrs should give me plenty of time to nip to the shops for any bits and pieces.

I plan to stock up at a supermarket en route, and this year I am going to be more 'planned' - last time we intended to eat out every night till we found out they didn't open till late - this year we plan to eat in, so I can buy everything we need in one trip except for bread, milk and fruit.

PeakRetreats prices for equipment are very good - but with the kids getting all their stuff free at www.snowell.com I think that is still our cheapest way.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looks like you found something nice and what you were looking for which is good. The thing to watch out with Sun-Sun is that most ski lessons start on Sun and run until Fri so if your accommodation starts Sun you could miss out. Not sure what the ESF in Chinaillon offer though. I have never come across snowell before and I had difficulty working out their prices. Looks like they are in LIECHTENSTEIN rather than in the UK and their prices are in Euros so with roughly 1 Euro to the Pound and bank charges you will have to wait until you get your bank statement to work out the exact cost.
Depending which way you are driving you will get big hypermarkets on the way for your shopping. If you want a reasonably priced good Alpine meal in a nice setting in Chinaillon try Le Chalet Venay (http://www.lechaletvenay.com).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks

Not worried about ski lessons - the kids refuse to go, we can't afford them anyway and we find it a right pain having to get back to ski school to pick them up... They learned to ski in Scotland on a dry slope during the Xmas holidays - £55 for 16 hours of tuition over 4 days - we did that for 2 years + a week of lessons in Tignes on the holiday inbetween and they seem to be ok... we had the same problem of start date last year as we travelled Thurs-Thurs, so we booked a private lesson for the second day as a refresher. However, the instructor said we were too ahead of the kids to share a lesson with them and having us there was detracting them so he sent us off. It was very worthwhile though - they had a 2hr lesson and the difference was noticable. So we might get another private one just for the kids. Might also try and get them to Hemel Hempstead in half-term for a refresher session. Crazy, because we live in Milton Keynes, but the XScape is just way too pricey!

When they get to be adults they will realise their technique is cr*p and will have to unlearn lots of bad habits - but by then it will be their own money, not ours Twisted Evil

Christine
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