Skiing & Snowboarding in the Grand Massif

 

265km of downhill skiing and snowboarding.  We're right in the heart of the Grand Massif ski area.  There's a lovely combination of tree-lined runs and high bowls, together with great mountain restaurants for lunch and coffee-stops.   

Three bubble-lifts up the mountain are less than five minutes drive away: Morillon (2 minutes), Grand Massif Express (4 minutes), Vercland (5 minutes).  We recommend using the Vercland lift, as we love its old world charm, and we've never seen any queues there. It's where the locals choose to ski from.

Making it easy

We've made arrangements with various partners locally, so getting you all fixed up for a great time on the mountain is hassle-free.

Lift passes

These can easily be bought online (the Grand Massif website is available in English).  There's a discount if you buy them in advance, or if time is short, you can always have them posted to us so they're here on your arrival.  Alternatively you can always pick them up at the lift station on the first day.  Aside from christmas & half-term weeks, there's rarely a queue at the local lift station in Vercland.  We'll come with you to help get things fixed up if you'd like. 

Ski & snowboard hire 

If you'd like the convenience of having skis delivered directly to the chalet the night before you hit the slopes, we recommend using Chalet Ski Shop.  They have a great range of kit, with a lot of new gear coming for the 2016/7 season.  Rémi (who speaks excellent english) drops off the gear before you arrive, and then comes back in the evening to run through the fitting and make any final adjustments and changeovers to make sure you're happy.  Ski fit with a glass of wine in hand... its all very civilised.

Ski schools

There are various options in the valley, but we recommend ZigZag for lessons. They have a great person-centred approach, making learning to ski fun, for all ages.  There's private tuition available, as well as traditional group lessons.  Tell them you're staying with us when you book and you'll get a discount off your lessons.  If you're planning to take lessons during a peak week (Christmas/New Year/February half term), its important to book them early - they get super busy at these times.

 

 

 

 

Nordic (cross-country) skiing

(or known in french as 'ski de fond')

 

There are three nordic ski areas close by.  Closest, just a kilometre away is the En Vallée area, that runs around the lakes and through the forest between Morillon, Verchaix and Samoëns.  The Au Fer à Cheval is a short 10km drive along the vallley floor, starting at Molliets and running along to the Fer à Cheval at the end of the valley.  If there is not enough snow in the valley for the local 'ski de fond' runs to open, its a short drive up to Joux Plane (1700m high) for a range of circuits at the nordic park.

More information about ski de fond is available on the Vallée de Haut-Giffre website.  

 

 

 

Snow shoe walking

 

Walking in snow shoes is a beautiful way to see the mountain, away from the hurly-burly of the ski slopes.  There are lots of trails through the mountains and forest, some easy going, and some a bit more strenuous. 

If you go with a guide, you'll get the benefit of both their local knowledge of the area and wildlife.  Its well worth it.

Two local guides we recommend are Jamie Carr and Arno de Jong.

 

 

 

Fat biking

 

Another great way to explore the mountain and countryside, away from the ski-crowds. For fit experienced mountain-bikers its a full-on adrenaline fest.  For those who operate at more moderate pace, there are plenty of level routes alongs the river in the valley floor too.  

We're lucky to have nearby neighbours Ride The Alps just a short walk from the chalet. They're the leading guided mountain bike tours in the Alps.  The founder, Jamie, is an experienced and fully qualified mountain guide (its a very thorough process, which he's blogged about here ).  During the winter season, he offers guided fat-biking days for groups: a well maintained bike, and his local knowledge guiding you through the best trails for the conditions.  Awesome fun. 

 

 

With thanks to Ride the Alps for letting us use their photos

Winter Paragliding

 

Summer or winter, Samoëns 1600 is a popular take-off point for paragliding.  During the winter, you ski a short way down the mountain, building up speed, and take off as the wing fills with air.  Its a spectacle to watch from the pistes, or if you're more adventurous, tandem flights can be booked locally with Les Tonton Volants.  

 

With thanks to Les Tonton Volants for letting us use their photos