Review of Châtel

23rd February 2014 by Richard Luscombe 

Just returned from a week in Chatel. Now been there 3 years in a row and not tiring of it at all. Snow conditions have been excellent every year, and the extent of the Portes du Soleil area means no two days are the same.
This year we stayed in Linga area. It’s separated from the main village; we were self-catering and so this area requires a car to get to the supermarket or main village area for choice of restaurants. Don’t expect any night-life around the Linga area - only a couple of quiet bars in the evening. But if you are happy catering for yourself, it’s very convenient. Straight onto the Linga Telecabine in the morning, where there were no queues to speak off, despite heavy traffic heading up the valley to Pre la Joux.
It’s worth having a basic itinerary for the day to make the most of it. Going to Morzine for the day is well worth it, but set off in good time as it is a bit of a trek - and despite it being renewed this year, the main lift at Pleney is always busy, which can be a bit disheartening if you have spent half the morning getting there. But well worth it to get up to Chamossiere and Le Ranfoilly. Quite possible to get to these runs and enjoy them if you plan the day. We went on the bus from Prodains and came back via Super Morzine - but lift queue at Proclou took some time, so leave a bit of extra time as missing the last lift out of Avoriaz at Les Lindarets to get back to Chatel would be a costly mistake.
It’s also worth venturing down to the slopes that link Super Chatel to La Chapelle d’Abondance. Generally less crowded and some nice skiing down to Plan de Croix. Worth doing the long T Bar up from here, although venturing over to Torgon feels a bit of a backwater. Do it if you want to “tick it off”.
If you want to ski the circuit Chatel/Morgin/Champoussin/Croset/Avoriaz/Chatel do it in that order (clockwise as you look at the lift map) as the lift link at Morgin is a slight downhill path meaning it’s skiable this way - otherwise it’s a walk.
In previous years we’ve done the SnowCross at the top of Avoriaz and found it really good - even for us regular piste skiers. So don’t get put off if you fancy a bit of adventure whilst remaining in control. Sadly the low cloud on the last day prevented us getting to it this year.
We really enjoyed the run down to the Linga area to return home each day: a 4 km run from the top. Worth doing even if you aren’t staying there.
All in all a great area, plenty for everyone and huge variety.

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