When does James ski the Maurienne Valley, France?

ChrisC

Well-known member
I was looking at the WePowder Guide for the Alps to get some ideas for the upcoming winter. However, they have an entire section just dedicated to the Maurienne Valley ski areas. They look like the type of skiing James likes - smaller, authentic, real villages, etc. The authors seem to indicate that there is good freeride terrain at all of them.

Some of the areas that were covered included:
  • Les Sybelles
  • Les Karellis
  • Valloire/Valmeinier
  • Valfrejus
  • Val Cenis
  • Bonneval sur Arc
A lot of these areas seem to skew to mid-late winter for snow coverage, but all look very interesting.
 
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jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Looking back at e-mails, Fraser first encouraged me in 2016 to check out the Maurienne, saying "it would be right up my street" ("alley" in U.S. English) for the same reasons that ChrisC notes above. Virtually every season since then, I've considered it for an early March visit and each time I ultimately decided to go elsewhere; however, I'm going to make a special effort to make it happen this winter.

Ideally, I'd hit all of the ski areas on this itinerary. Unfortunately, that'd be a 2.5-week road trip because there are some decent-sized ones that would require two to three days to get a proper overview: St. Francois-Longchamp (the "Grand Domaine"), Les Sybelles, Valmeinier, and Val Thorens via Orelle. The others appear to be one-day stops. Thus, for eight ski days, I'd have to make some hard choices.

Maurienne.png



Rant: I wish that all ski lifts/trails would appear on Google, even zoomed out like the view above. It's a shame how many of the smaller ski areas (like Les Karellis and Albiez-Montrond below) aren't able to pay-to-play to appear on Google Maps. :icon-sad:
Sybelles.png
 
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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member

The above map which tracks Tesla superchargers shows many more ski lifts than Google Maps. I checked the Maurienne Valley specifically.

FYI I’m wondering when we will be able to rent Teslas in Europe. Sweden looks like similar Tesla density as California, and there are many more other EVs and public chargers. Tomorrow we enter Norway, which is on a completely different level.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
Rant: I wish that all ski lifts/trails would appear on Google, even zoomed out like the view above. It's a shame how many of the smaller ski areas (like Les Karellis and Albiez-Montrond below) aren't able to pay-to-play to appear on Google Maps. :icon-sad:
View attachment 32592

What is funny - neither the massive French Portes du Soleil nor the entire 3 Vallees will pay Google for placement. Therefore, I use FatMaps almost exclusively which layers both resort pistes and freeriding routes for almost everywhere.

Helps with 2D/3d to determine steepness, shows vertical for any lift/piste, and can get an idea on exposure/orientation (N/S/E/W).

Les Karellis

1661176231166.png
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
I use FatMaps almost exclusively which layers both resort pistes and freeriding routes for almost everywhere
Thanks for the excellent tip. Is there a way to adjust the topography color so it's more like the Google greenish background? I like that for road-trip planning months in advance and would then use the "snow" background for piste/freeriding closer to the visit.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
Thanks for the excellent tip. Is there a way to adjust the topography color so it's more like the Google greenish background? I like that for road-trip planning months in advance and would then use the "snow" background for piste/freeriding closer to the visit.
I think you can play with the 'Layers' to get topo or summer maps. There is a 'Travel' function, but it's mostly for sports vs. car travel. Don't know for sure.

1661184387087.png


1661184477841.png
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
FYI I’m wondering when we will be able to rent Teslas in Europe. Sweden looks like similar Tesla density as California, and there are many more other EVs and public chargers. Tomorrow we enter Norway, which is on a completely different level.

I understand that due to taxation on combustible engine vehicles in Norway, the price of a Tesla or other EV is about the same as a Toyota or Ford sedan. Supposedly traditional vehicles are approaching six figures in Norway?! Don't know how true that is....
 
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Sbooker

Active member
What is funny - neither the massive French Portes du Soleil nor the entire 3 Vallees will pay Google for placement. Therefore, I use FatMaps almost exclusively which layers both resort pistes and freeriding routes for almost everywhere.
Very strange given Three Valleys is owned by the same lift company as Paradiski and Tignes/Val D and their lifts appear on google.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
Google should just suck it up and display the maps.....I have got to find out the underpayment
 
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jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Very strange given Three Valleys is owned by the same lift company as Paradiski and Tignes/Val D and their lifts appear on google.
Google should just suck it up and display the maps
The whole thing is dodgy:bs:-- either show all of the ski area lifts/trails or not. Unfortunately, this has been their SOP for years and they're probably not going to change. Too bad as I like the look and feel of how Google Maps displays the ski areas.

Back to the Maurienne Valley. I have piles of reports and articles in German and French about the ski areas, but here are a few articles in English by the Mountain Passions website for La Norma, Le Grand Domaine, Val Cenis, Valfréjus, and Valloire. They're aimed at a British family clientele but have lots of information and nice pix.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the supercharge.info map of the same general area in the Maurienne Valley as in ChrisC's post #6 above.

Montricher-Valloire.jpg

Lift infrastructure looks complete to me. It also shows mountain peaks and color codes the topography in the manner James likes. The map needs to be zoomed to about this level for the lifts to show up, and can be zoomed much closer. What you can't get is a satellite view, nor can you change the north-is-top orientation.
 
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