Your First Trip to Morzine – The Mountains
In the first blog in this series we gave you a little bit of information about the Village of Morzine. This was to give you a head start for your arrival. In this blog we are going to give you a quick summary of the Mountains. This information should help reduce “first day faff” and get you to the best slopes for your group as easily as possible .
It is really easy to get to the ski lifts from all of our properties in Morzine. They are within easy walking distance to the lifts or bus stops. Our chalet hosts will even drive you to the lifts from your chalet and bring you back at the end of the day.
The five main lifts you need to know about are Nyon, Pleney, Super Morzine, Prodains and Ardent. These lifts are the telecabines and bubbles that get you off the valley floor and in to the various ski areas.
Nyon is most easily accessible by the Nyon cable car. It has a few nice, wide red and blue runs that link to Pleney and Les Gets. It also has a freeride area, which is an un-pisted area great for powder days if you have the necessary equipment and skills. From the top of Pointe de Nyon, it is possible to see Lake Geneva in one direction and Mont Blanc in the other on a clear day.
The bottom of the Pleney telecabine is located in Morzine itself. It gives you access to the Morzine and Les Gets side of the valley. Here is ideal for beginners and intermediates as there are loads of fun tree lined blue and red runs to enjoy. More advanced skiers and snowboarders can head for the Nyon and Chamosiere areas.
The top of the Pleney lift is where a lot of the Morzine ski and snowboard schools have their meeting points.
Pleney is a good option if the weather is bad too, as the trees provide some visibility and you can get back in to town pretty quickly for a vin chaud if it gets worse.
The Super Morzine lift is a bubble lift on the opposite side of the valley to the Pleney. This lift gives you access to Avoriaz. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Avoriaz, via the Zore and Proclou chair lifts and an easy green run. This route means you are on the snow much quicker than you would be taking other routes. This route is worth considering if you are staying in one of our more central properties such as Chalet Jirishanca (about a 5 minute walk to Super Morzine).
There are some great runs in Avoriaz and it boasts an impressive snow park and half pipe. This is usually where the best snow is too, so it is worth heading up there. Avoriaz gives you easy access to Lindarets, which links to Chatel and Switzerland.
Prodains is the big telecabine that takes you directly to Avoriaz. The top of Prodains is usually the meeting point for a lot of the Avoriaz ski and snowboard schools.
To get to Prodains, guests in our catered chalets can get a lift in one of our minibuses or our Land Rover. Alternatively there is a ski shuttle bus that leaves Morzine every 10 minutes (the “A” bus route).
Ardent is a bubble lift that takes you to directly in to Linderets. You can take a 20 minute drive to Ardent through Montriond and past the lake, or catch the “M” bus. There is a nice run from the top of the Linderets chair, nicknamed Star Wars. This blue run is a great blast through the trees all the way down to the bottom of the Ardent bubble. There is a great bar called Happy Hours at the bottom of the lift. It has great food and it gets very lively for Aprés drinks, especially on Wednesday, when most of the seasonaires have their day off.
Lindarets is a large bowl with a number of mountain restaurants and chairlifts. It is a great meeting point for lunch and has lots of nice runs here and some easily accessible off-piste. This area is also where you need to head to if you want to go to Chatel and Switzerland. It is also the starting point of the Portes du Soleil Circuit.
One of the more popular runs in Lindarets is called Prolays. Running from Avoriaz to Linderets, Prolays is an easy, wide blue with a nice gradient, ideal for practicing your turns. It also has lots of opportunities to practice little jumps from the side of the piste. When you stop on this run, please be carful where you stand, as you may come in to contact with a skier or snowboarder at about head height.
Chatel has lots of runs for all abilities and some great off piste. In the Plaine Dranse area there are lots of great mountain restaurants to choose from for lunch. For a real “experience” at lunch, book in to Chez Babeth, it has great food and Babeth herself will keep you entertained.
If you want to go for a blast on a really long piste head for Linga. On the way there, there is a great red run from the top of the Les Combes chair lift. It is quite steep at the top, but there is an easy blue to the right hand side. Keep in mind though that this run does get a bit icy in the mornings until the sun has been on it for a while.
The Swiss resorts in the Portes du Soleil are worth a visit. They are not as busy as the French resorts, which means that they are ideal to go to during school holidays to get away from the crowds. In half term it is entirely possible to have a slope to yourself in Morgins.
You can get to Switzerland by using the Mossettes lift from Linderets or dropping over the Swiss Wall. If you are unaware of the Swiss Wall, it is a steep piste giving access from Avoriaz to Les Crozet. It has an incline of about 40 degrees with unavoidable moguls the size of a car at the top. The first 50 metres are the hardest due to the moguls, the rest of it is just a huge steep mogul field. It can be quite fun in a “that was a good workout” kind of way, but if you are inexperienced or just don’t fancy it, you can catch the Chavanette chair down.
By Tom Fortune