Powder aplenty in the Portes du Soleil

29th March 2009, by Chris Gill

There is just no end to this phenomenal winter in the Alps. A quick editorial trip to the Portes du Soleil last week coincided with yet another substantial snowfall.

We were staying in Avoriaz 1800, which has had mountains of snow on its traffic-free streets throughout the season (see pic above), but this year there is plenty in next-door Morzine down at 1000m, even at the end of March.

A fair amount of snow fell on Monday and overnight into Tuesday, and Tuesday itself was day of mixed sun and snow. Our guides from the Morzine branch of the British Alpine Ski School and Les Gets Snowsports found some excellent untracked off-piste slopes on both sides of Les Gets. On the pistes, the frozen slush lying beneath the powder - the legacy of high temperatures the previous week - kept making its presence known.

By Wednesday morning the fresh snow had reached knee-depth off-piste, and snow continued to fall all day. We set off on a short tour of the Swiss side of the Porte du Soleil circuit - a mix of short but satisfying off-piste slopes on the way down to Morgins (entirely untracked early in the day) and rather less rewarding progress across the pistes of Champoussin and Les Crosets to get back to Avoriaz. (One of the key chairs on this side of the circuit is out of action this season, which doesn’t help.)

After a late and lingering lunch, we enjoyed a blast through the innovative and amusing terrain park called Le Stash in the Lindarets valley, between Avoriaz and Châtel. They’ve taken a long forest slope and cut narrow winding trails through it, often with banked corners, as well as installing rails and stuff for our freestyle friends. Lots of accidents waiting to happen, but great fun until they do - particularly in good snow.

As we left on Thursday morning the temperature had risen noticeably. Another band of snow was expected, to be followed by clear weather.

Back to news

Recent news

Share |