Great skiing in the Grand Massif

16th January 2020, by Dave Watts

Editors Watts and Gill are in the traditional village of Les Carroz for a few days

Editors Watts and Gill are in the traditional village of Les Carroz for a few days

Editor Gill and I are staying for few days in Les Carroz, a large, traditional, chalet-style village linked to purpose-built Flaine, and to traditional Samoëns, and Morillon. Their joint ski area is an impressive size, nicely varied, with some slopes to suit all, and has a powerful lift system.

Despite there having been no new snow for over three weeks (and, amazingly, no sign of snowmaking in action), the pistes are in surprisingly good condition. They are mainly hard-packed but with only a few stones starting to show through on the lower slopes of the lower villages.

Flaine’s stark 1960s Bauhaus-style buildings aren’t to everyone’s taste. But the best snow in the region is usually there.

The best snow by far was in the higher Flaine sector. We loved the red runs down from the top of les Grandes Plattières: first Faust and then Almandine, a vertical of almost 900m.

The pistes were eerily (but delightfully deserted) and we quite often had runs entirely to ourselves – one of the great benefits of low-season January skiing.

The pistes were delightfully deserted

We are staying in the smart and recently built Chalets de Léana run by CGH right in the centre of the village – a great location close to bars, shops, restaurants and the free bus to the gondola station. There’s a splendid spa with pool, steam room, sauna, salt room, two hot tubs and a gym.

I’ve loved skiing on the Volkl Racetiger skis got from the local Intersport rental shop. They are very well tuned and their edges give great grip on the hard-packed snow.

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