Snowy days in Les Gets

18th January 2018, by Abi Butcher

The sun peeked out between the clouds to show us a glimpse of Portes du Soleil

The sun peeked out between the clouds to show us a glimpse of Portes du Soleil

I’ve written many times about how family-friendly Les Gets is, and the Portes du Soleil, after just a few days’ skiing in Chatel some years ago. So as good as research can be, it was time to check it out for myself and go skiing there. With this area being just a 2.5-hour drive from my current home location of Haute Maurienne Vanoise (according to Google Maps, and main roads), and with snow forecast, there was no better time to head over than now.

Avoiding road tolls (more on driving in France and doing thus at another date!) we took a back route via Albertville and Cluses to arrive in Les Gets just over three hours after leaving home as snow was falling heavily in Le Bourget. Our base for this week has been Ferme de Montagne, a small chalet/hotel at the base of the La Turche drag lift just above Les Gets village.


Les Gets is a lovely, chalet-style and family friendly town in the Portes du Soleil

Ferme de Montagne is a small Savoyarde farmhouse that has been lovingly renovated by Suzanne and Henry some years ago to provide a cosy — and healthy — base for guests wanting to enjoy this quiet section of the Portes du Soleil. Given that I’m a fanatical ski-tourer, I’m not that bothered by ski-in, ski-out locations but this is the first time in a long while I’ve stayed somewhere that you can access the slopes just a few steps from the door, and, boy, was it a welcome treat.

We’ve had two days’ skiing here while it’s been dumping it down with snow outside — more snow than I’ve seen in the Alps for many, many years. The ski concierge service here at Ferme de Montagne carefully planned some slope time around my needs and that of my dog, Thala, with whom I am learning to ski and ski tour. The first part of our day was spent touring up to La Turche hut, amongst the trees between the Vorosse blue and Méléze reds, taking off our skins and preparing for the short journey down on quiet, tree-lined runs in a the pisteur’s hut at the top. Thala loved it — and bounded down (slowly this time) beside me, enjoying the powder snow as much as she does the beach at home.


Just a little bit of snow at the top of Mont-Chéry today (18 January)

The next few hours were spend riding a host of fast six-man chairs, the brand-new Ranfoilly Express which now takes skiers right to the top of Le Ranfoilly (1826m), the Perriers Express and the Nauchets Express, ducking off at the side of the piste to ski beside the treeline for better visibility. The runs here are wide, gentle and open — I can see instantly why this area appeals so strongly to families and intermediate cruising skiers. We’ve not had much visibility at all during our stay (a small price to pay for such amazing snow conditions) but having been shown photos and catching a small glimpse of the area when the sun came out briefly, I’m totally assured of its beauty.


Thala enjoying the snow in the garden of Ferme de Montagne

After a fabulous seven-course tasting menu, preceded by cocktails at Ferme de Montagne, it was time for an early night before another full day of powder skiing today — mainly up around the trees on Mont-Chery (1826m). By the end of the morning, the snow was three-quarters of the way up the piste signs — we lapped Mouflon and Chevreuil several times over — and after four full hours made our way back to La Turche. Again, as weary legs took me down the blue to the Ferme de Montagne for the last time, I was happy that we didn’t have to take a bus, or walk, to get back in for a cup of tea and some cake.

Time to leave tomorrow morning to get back to the Haute Maurienne Vanoise for a backcountry workshop with Upguides, but I certainly hope to be back in this area before the end of the winter to explore with better visibility and perhaps a little more time?!

For more information on Ferme de Montagne, visit fermedemontagne.com and for more information about the Portes du Soleil, visit portesdusoleil.com

To read Where to Ski and Snowboard’s independent review of Les Gets, click here.



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