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Chamonix / Grands Montets, France, April 18, 2018

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:18 pm
by ChrisC
I had to do some work in London .... unfortunately it came towards the end of an epic Alps winter...in mid/late April.

Nonetheless - with huge snow bases - and the forecast changing from a week of rain --- to temps 70/80 in Paris, Geneva, Zurich and sunny - let's go! I am a Tahoe skier who has no problems seeking the best corn snow for 2-3 hours per day - and not complaining about ice early, slush late.

So United Airlines 7:30am - in Geneva. After passport, car, customs - and beautiful drive into the Alps at 40s/50s at 9 am with windows down - I'm at Grands Montets in cable car before 11am.

No lines. Tram to the top all day. Massive 6-7k vertical. Jackson Hole without the attitude. Or at least I cannot hear the attitude in French. Bluebird.

Some thoughts: Chamonix was supposedly a good late season ski area. I am going say ... no! The south facing ski areas (that I had free passes) Brevent - Flegere .... were all closed up to be of interest - wet slide avalanches (south aspect) and fewer skiers. Not great.

However, Grands Montets - I know great - groomed maybe 3 runs ... and waiting for the off-piste to go 'corn' ... but before wet slide closures ... not easy ... and really the mountain is not that large.

I got all major faces in - but the snow was quite hard above 2500m - except on East/South exposures - and they needed to start closing things for wet slides below 2500m at 1-2pm. Pendant - closed. Skied till 5pm!!!

The Alps - stunning. The skiing in Chamonix - great / not so great. I am comparing it to everything else.. but I started to give Americans free ideas of where to go in the Alps .... because Chamonix would be very boring for a week in April.

I came away from this experience not wanting to return to Chamonix again. Been there 5x now -- I would with some friends who wanted to go crazy in chutes and hire a guide in March/early April.

Will post some pics.

Re: Chamonix / Grands Montets, France, April 18, 2018

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:08 am
by Tony Crocker
The return lift coming out of Pendant was closed? That cuts out a big chunk of good north facing terrain.

Re: Chamonix / Grands Montets, France, April 18, 2018

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:05 pm
by ChrisC
There is a tunnel that allows you to cut off half of Pendant .... I did that after a few very west runs at late. Yes, I am horrible - I skied that at 2-3 after patrol closed it.