Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Portes Du Soleil, France Pt.2

For part 1 of my Portes Du Soleil adventure please click here

Day 3: Morzine – Avoriaz 16.01.2015

The Route
Morzine -> Avoriaz ->  Les Brouchaux –> Pointe des Mosettes –> Les Crosets –> Croix du Culet -> Lechereuse -> Les Crosets -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Les Brouchaux -> Pointe des Mosettes -> Pointe de Voriaz -> Avoiraz -> Les Prodains (via Prodains Express) -> Morzine (via coach)
Total Time up Mountain c. 2.5-3hrs

Feeling fresh as a daisy after the previous nights activities – although a little creaky – we followed the same routine as the previous morning; breakfast, a short walk to get our gear and up the Super-Morzine. There hadn’t been any snow over night and the lack of snow was causing a few issues on the slopes, but the real issue was the weather. Diabolical.

With adrenaline pushing our bodies to their limits, we bombed over to Les Crosets in Switzerland before heading up to Croix du Culet to ski a red slope called Planachaux down to Lechereuse. Dad was extremely excited as this was a run that stood out in his memory from his previous visit to Portes Du Soleil. Unfortunately the image from his memory didn’t quite live up to what we saw in front of us; a slope that was equally bare-patched as it was ski-able. It’s a shame really because you could tell that on its day it would be a wonderful slope but, after having to ski across mud, grass and rocks we made a hasty exit. And that was when the already poor weather took a turn for the worse.

Strugg;ing to see at Les Brochaux

Struggling to see at Les Brouchaux

After the success of our alcohol-infused hot chocolates in Les Brouchaux the day before, we thought it would be best to stop off there once again. As we arrived we could hardly see more than 15ft in front of us and the heavens had opened, forcing me to abandon my goggles in order to know where I was going. The combination of this weather with our bodies still feeling the effects of our efforts the day before forced us into deciding to cut our day short and head back to Morzine. With the weather making map reading rather difficult and our route home being left in my ‘capable’ hands we soon found ourselves well and truly lost around Pointe de Voriaz, eventually entering Avoriaz from the east (rather than the west) and making our way over to the Prodains Express so we could head home. With the day still young (it wasn’t only just past midday) we got showered and changed then headed out to find somewhere to eat lunch!

With food in our stomachs we explored the far side of Morzine, coming across plenty of souvenir stores and ski shops before finding Robinson’s Bar. Without pictures, I can’t do Robinson’s any justice, so click the link to find out a little more about it.

Following on from this we went back to the hotel where I proceeded to have an afternoon ‘nap’ that lasted the best part of 3hrs… waking up just in time for dinner: Fondue for Two! Completely cheesed out we trundled over to the Tibetan bar before ending up next door in the Coyote Bar, where a french local attempted flirting with me – shame I don’t know the language eh?!

Day 4: Morzine – Les Gets (and the Portes du Soleil 50th Anniversary ‘Celebration’) 17.01.2015

The Route
Morzine -> Pleney -> Les Gets -> Les Chavannes -> Les Gets -> La Rosta -> Le Ranfoilly -> Morzine
Total Time up Mountain: c.5.5hrs

To quote Dinah Washington, “what a difference a day makes!”. Snow had begun to fall the previous evening and was still coming down the next morning, leaving everywhere looking like a winter wonderland! After having a leisurely morning as we sorted out our bags for our early departure time on Sunday, we went to collect our ski gear in high spirits and admiration of what was around us. I was particularly excited because the fresh powder would allow for easier and quicker skiing conditions. The falling snow also meant we could venture across to the other side of Portes Du Soleil’s resort; Les Gets.

Snow is falling, all around us...

Snow is falling, all around us…

We started by  taking the TC du Pleney Gondola up to Pleney before skiing down Les C(h)ardons to warm up. We then headed down two length blue routes named Crocus and Bruyere down into Les Gets. Taking the TC Chavannes up to Les Chavannes, we found a wonderful wide and slick slope named Orchis that we ran a couple of times before heading down into the Les Gets bowl. By now it was encroaching lunch time, but the decision was still made to a couple of more runs up and down between La Rosta and the Les Gets bowl. These included the red slope Eglantine and the blue slope Campanule. My final run before lunch was my first venture onto a black slope; the Yeti. After getting myself down the Yeti in one piece it was time to eat, with french speciality Tartiflette on the menu.

Dad and I on the TC Chavannes chair lift

Dad and I on the TC Chavannes chair lift

After eating Fondue the night before and Tartiflette for lunch, I was very much cheesed out, but with the snow not letting up and the pistes continually offering up excitement at every turn we ventured on. There were a couple of hiccups as we made our way down the final La Rosta blue Reine des Pres that involved one of us arriving at the next chair lift looking very white and sheepish indeed (clue: it wasn’t me). By the time we made it up to Le Ranfoilly the light was beginning to fade so it was time to make the trip back into Morzine. This involved the red route Tetras that merged with the blue route Choucas halfway down the mountain. The final leg was a twisting and winding blue named Lievre that brought us down to the bottom of the Pleney and straight into an Apres Ski Bar.

After some mulled wine we headed back to the hotel where I went for a quick swim before we both got changed to head back out for the Portes du Soliel 50th Anniversary Celebrations that were taking place at the foot of the Pleney that evening. However, in typical fashion we were kept waiting… and waiting. Over an hour later we left for the hotel and it was upon our arrival there that the fireworks started! Fortunately we had a great view from our window so didn’t really miss out.

After a final wonderful meal courtesy of Alpen Roc it was time to go back out into town for one last hurrah. The Cavern was our bar of choice with plenty of music on offer. The real ‘last hurrah’ came when we left The Cavern though; a local brass band playing Bohemian Rhapsody who had the watching holiday-makers in raptures!

A fantastic end to a fantastic holiday.

Fireworks from the Portes du Soleil 50th Anniversary

Fireworks from the Portes du Soleil 50th Anniversary

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