Skiing

New developments in the Grand Massif for 2017-8 Season.

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We're super excited with all the developments happening up the hill.  During the summer, there's been helicopters flying & construction teams busy at work, before the ski domain opens on 9th December.  

The Coulouvrier Bowl

There's a whole new ski field opened up in the Coulouvrier Bowl,  between Samoëns and Morillon.  

A new fast 6-seater chairlift will service the bowl, rising from 1,200m to 2,120 at the top of Tête de Saix.  The 2,850m to the summit mean it'll be the longest chairlift of its type in Europe, and it's only 10 minutes to get to the top!  Moving 3,000 people per hour, its a nice fast way to get to the top.

Two new blue runs down to the lift are being added for this coming season, and two more red ones in 2018/9.  And there's 70 new snow canons in this new area, increasing snow-sureness.

Relieving congestion at the top of Tête de Saix

Regular visitors will be familiar with the 'mountain rush hour congestion' on the run home to Samoëns towards the end of day.  The top of Tête de Saix used to get quite busy as skiers funnelled down a couple of key access pistes.  During the summer, the top has been, well, flattened a bit, and pistes remodelled to relieve the congestion.  It also means some amazing 360 degree alpine vistas from that top vantage point.  

Improved snow making in Flaine

A new 110,000 reservoir is being created to feed the snow canons - its a 10x increase on the existing capacity - so quite a step up.  The design for the Veret reservoir carefully integrates the development into the natural landscape.

Green Globe

Back in autumn 2016, the Grand Massif was awarded “Green Globe” status - the first ski resort to gain this accreditation for all of its services - lifts, pistes & associated management. 

 

Septi-Contest 2016

The Samoëns lifts closed today (although Flaine stays opens for another week).  It's the first time we've been here for Septi-Contest - the end of the season jollities - so although we weren't skiing, we did drive up the hill to enjoy the fun.  

A large swimming pool has been constructed (using snow and a pool liner) at the bottom of the main access route coming off the Vercland bubble lift.  And the brave (crazy) souls partaking in the event, ski down the slope as fast as they can, and launch themselves on the surface of the water, with the aim of water-skiing safely to the other side.  Although for some, there's an alternative approach of creating the biggest entry splash possible.  Having paid close attention for an hour or two, we can report that the larger the splash, the greater the amusement (the audience get wet) but the less likely the contender is to water ski the full distance to the other side of the pool.  And there's also a special section for ski-born vehicles... even bigger splashes.

The best food of the season (spit roasted pork baps), beers and some banging tunes.  Top stuff for Saturday afternoon in April.  Even the sun came out in the end.  The Sidster studied the techniques closely, so I fear next year, he may be inclined to enter!

Weather

An old school friend has been staying with us this week, the last but one week of the ski season here in Samoëns. There's been plenty of late season snow up on the hill, but visibility has been beyond poor - its been awful for skiing. So on his last morning we took a trip up to the top of Col de Jeux Plane instead.  Usually there's a fantastic view, right across the valley, but not today.  Just deep snow and thick fog. Really quiet and eerie, but strikingly beautiful as the snow picks out the features of the trees.  And a great hot-chocolate in the café up there.

Atop the Col de Jeux Plane, 9th April 2016.