Skiing in Switzerland

I have been in Morgins nearly a week now and have been lucky enough to have enjoyed two days skiing. One of those was in Verbier, the other in nearby Chatel. I can report that despite some changeable weather in early December the pistes are in very good condition. Although not a deep base, the cold temperatures have kept the snow in great condition- there is off piste to be found but don’t expect deep powder and watch out for rocks.
I hadn’t been to Verbier for over 20 years and whilst I admire the vastness of the four valleys and incredibly efficient lift system I did feel there was a lack of traditional Swiss ambiance. Everything was on a mass market scale with mostly self-serve restaurants, pub style après ski bars and high prices to match. I guess that was why I went there when I was in my twenties, but now a little older and wiser I much prefer the quiet pistes,traditional restaurants and small villages of the Portes du Soleil. This region, only 90 minutes from Geneva, has over 650km of pistes covering over 400 square kilometres. Although not a high resort it does have an amazing snow record partly because of its closeness to Lake Geneva. Created in the early 60’s by racing legend Jean Vaurant it now links 12 resorts and 14 villages spanning the Franco –Swiss border. Under one lift pass you can ski the ultra modern Avoriaz or the picture postcard runs leading down to Morgins.If you like stats then here are some numbers that cant fail to impress – 1 pass, 2 countries,3 valleys,10 snowparks,89 restaurants,195 lifts and 266 pistes and 700 snow cannons.
The range of skiing means you can choose where to ski depending on the weather and the time of year. I like to visit the fast pistes of Avoriaz and Chatel in January when the pistes are quiet and stick to Morgins and Les Crosets in the peak holidays of New Year and Half Term .If the weather is cold I stay in the trees or if its spring skiing I move up to the higher altitude north facing runs. I prefer the French side if I want to stop for a long lunch with friends or stick to the Swiss side if I want a Plat du Jour or take a packed lunch in the many restaurants that let you eat your picnic as long as you buy a drink.
Well its started snowing tonight and I am hoping to sneak out on my board tomorrow for a sneaky couple of hours before I have to get back to work !

Written by superadmin • 16/12/2010
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