Great pics. Thanks for the tips.I don't think the lack of the Grands Montets summit tram is the worse thing for new visitors. But I agree, I will not return until it's back, and hopefully with a new lower-capacity S3 type lift.
My first ski day there in 2004 was powder in late December and I really enjoyed just the Herse and Bochard Gondolas. I think the best terrain is Combe de Pendant, followed by Glacier de Rognons / Point de Vue.
If you are there for 2 weeks, I would do the following given Sbooker's parameters:
2. Interlaken / Jungfrau Region.
- Mt. Blanc tram / Aguille du Midi. You do not even have to ski the Vallee Blanche, tons of things to do at the top.
- So many areas are served by a free bus system: Brevent, Flegere, Le Balme/Le Tour, Grands Montets, Les Houches
- Italy close by: Courmayeur, etc
- Satellite areas: Les Contamines, Megeve
- The town. Museums, history, lots of cafes, shopping
- Lots of apartments
- Public transportation
- Not too far away from Chamonix
- Another must-see place in Europe scenery-wise equivalent to Chamonix, Zermatt, Dolomites, etc. Rick Steves (a famous American European travel writer) cannot stop talking about this region.
- Great public transportation. Trains, likely buses to all the resorts/skiing.
- Nice beginner / intermediate cruising - especially at the Grindelwald/Wengen complex.
- Murren is very special. Smaller area, but James Bond, tram-only accessibility, etc.
- Lots of Non-ski: Hiking, sledging, snow-shoeing, taking lifts into the alpine, etc.
I'm sure you could swap Morzine/Avoriaz in for Interlaken, but I have not been to the Portes du Soliel area.
I also do not know gateway city....guess Paris?. If so, Austria would be a one-day haul in each direction - limiting its desirability.
Even I could be a big dork and delay skiing to have touristy fun at the top of the Aguille du Midi. My brother is too-cool-for-school and looked on -- horrified. The guide said in the summer there are lines 1hr+ to get this photo.
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