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Portes du Soleil – Champery

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I’m headed to portes du soleil to ski two days as part of a business trip this week.  I’ve been to the alps before but never skied this area.  Looking for tips regarding:


  • Where to ski? (expert skier but plan to stay on avalanche controlled terrain because I’m solo)
  • Is it feasible it is to ski from champery to La Chapelle d’Abondance and back in a day?  Is crossing the town of Morgins a long walk?
  • Tips on where to grab a lunch and dinner (I’ll be solo so simple cheap food is ideal.  Staying in Val d’Illiez, near Champery)
  • Anyone know what the night skiing at Champery is like?  Are many lifts open?


Thanks for the tips

post #2 of 7

If you head towards Chapelle D'Abondance - you are heading the wrong way - especially for an expert skier.  


My advice is to head toward Avoriaz, Lindarette, Plaine Dranse etc.   Some awesome runs, with the most famous being La Chavenettes - or the Swiss Wall.   You can see this on my avatar.   Its one to tick on your journeys around the world - and you could get there in hardly any time at all from Champery.  Another black level run I would try is the Coupe De Monde run - in Avoriaz.  Its a real leg burning black run, but for those with a more adventurous nature, there is some great stuff to be had by going over the barrier to skiers right.  Nice steep terrain which, on a snow day - is hard to beat.


Another run to try would be the unpisted area at the top of the Fornet lift in Avoriaz.  Extremely popular and safe off piste area which is Avi checked and is either safe (no rope) or not safe (roped) 


Honestly?  You'll have a blast.  I love this area and its one of the big things I miss about living in Europe.  

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips.  I’ll definitely ski the runs you suggest.


My original plan was to ski to La Chapelle d’Abondance on day one and then Avoraiz on day two.  The map indicates several black and yellow runs between Morgins and La Chapelle d’Abondance but perhaps these are not any good?  The adventure of exploring both directions is appealing as long as there are a few cool runs along the way.


I also considered trying to get past Morzine and go up to Chamossiere but I think there may not be enough time in the day.

post #4 of 7

the issue you will have on the swiss side is slow lifts and pomma button lifts.   The Avoriaz side just has so much acreage, served by high speed lifts (in some cases 8 man lifts) that its hard to ignore.  2 days?  I would do Avoriaz/Swiss wall on day 1, then hot foot it over to Plaine Dranse and Linge on Day 2 and see how far you can get before turning around.   If I get a chance to dig out a map, I'll let you know more piste names.

post #5 of 7

I was there several weeks ago - did a circuit from Champery through Les Crosets to Les Lindarts to Plaine Dranse to Chatel then to Morgins, Champousisin back to Les Crosets and Champery.  Took us about 6 hours  - total distance, lifts and runs was about 60 KM.  had to take a bus across Chatel


Another day did Champery through Les Crosets to Les Lindart through Avoriaz to Morzine then up to the top of Chamossiere and return to Champery.  Total distance was about 52 Km and took us just over 5 hours including a leisurely lunch.  I think we also took a bus from below Avoriaz toward Morzine but took a little different route otneh way back and avoided the bus.  SOme of our group went on to Les Gets


The other days we spent mostly off piste between Champery and Avoriaz.  It was a fresh powder so it was all good.




post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 


post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I just wrapped up my ski trip and this place is fantastic.  I will post a trip report when I get home and include pictures.  Regarding the topics in this tread

Where to ski & travel times: I agree with Mark that the better skiing is between Champery and Les Gets.  This place is huge, but you can get around a lot faster that I thought.  On one day I went from Champery to the farthest part of Les Gets and back.  On the same day I also went to Morgins and back.  I ski pretty fast but wasn’t trying for a record or anything and did repeat several runs.  Crossing the towns of Morzine and Les Gets were easy walks.  I think they had a shuttle at Les Gets but it wasn’t worth waiting for when the walk is about 5 minutes. 

I skied everything except for the area north of Morgins (and the non-connected areas).  Some highlights:  The best continuous vertical were at the area north of Les Gets, Las Proclains area (near Avoriaz) and Mossietees (Swiss side near Les Crosets) 

The only real downside was crowding in some areas.  Lift lines weren’t bad but there are some choke points in a few areas that are way crazier than anything I have seen in the US or elsewhere I’ve skied in Europe.  The worst busy runs were just 5 meters wide with 4+ people skiing next to each other, making turns through moguls with a 20’ cliff on the side.  Some people on these run were aloof, some went 5 MPH others 30+ MPH.  People on these runs seem to “box out” meaning if they get by you, they turn right in front of you (2’ in front) so close that you get pelted with massive amounts of snow (not a mist, more like snow balls)  It was crazy, and I sure wouldn’t take family on those runs but those runs can be avoided 98% of the time so I wouldn’t let it stop me from returning.

Regarding where to eat: Got me, I ate a ok places but nothing special.  I stayed in Val-dIlliez which required a 10 minute train ride each day to get to the lifts.  I saved several hundred dollars and got a nice and clean place.  It was just what I was looking for.

Regarding night skiing:  I’m not sure if night skiing was canceled or I just missed it.  Either way, I finished nearly 9 hours of non-stop skiing at 5 and was good and tired.  I saw lights on just one short (500’ vert) lift, so that may be all the night skiing there is.

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