Skiing on the Chavannes ski area in Les Gets
The skiing in Les Gets is broadly split between two sides of the valley – with Mont Chery on one side and Chavannes on the other. The majority of ski slopes are located on the Chavannes side, offering numerous pistes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Beginners, intermediates, and even expert off-piste riders can enjoy the slopes mostly within the treeline, protected from the worst of the weather if it decides to snow. Whilst the lift system in Les Gets offers access to the whole of the Portes de Soleil ski region, it’s perfectly reasonable to spend a week or two just exploring the local area.
This article provides an overview of the Chavannes ski area and some tips to best organize your skiing time whilst there too.
Your First Day on the Chavannes Ski Area
The importance of a ski warm-up must never be underestimated, getting those ski legs back is crucial whatever your ability level might be. Even the most experienced skiers should take a day to ease back into it following a few months away from the slopes.
From the top of the Chavannes Express lift, take the Violet Piste down into what’s known as the Les Get Bowl (by the British Ski Instructors) or the Sector Nauchets. This area has 5 blue runs, 5 reds, 2 blacks and endless tree line skiing. The perfect combination to test your skiing on day one, depending on your level.
Top Tip – the Violet Piste is a beautiful run, but best experienced early in the day - by lunchtime the snow can get chopped up and by mid-afternoon can be a little difficult to tackle.
Down in the Les Gets Bowl, there are 4 lifts (and a toilet at the bottom of the Ranfolly lift). On day one, to warm up, take the La Rosta lift (the Yeti black run is the first piste to the left). This is the oldest of the 4 lifts. At the top, turn left and continue to avoid the Yeti Run, and take the Reine des Prés piste. There are two restaurants along the way, the restaurant on the right, La Rossett’az, is excellent and is often booked up in peak ski weeks, so it is best either to book or arrive at midday to guarantee a table.
This slope is an ideal warm-up on the first day, for all abilities. The snow quality is normally excellent and it’s long, wide and flowing – often quiet (it’s a bit of secret run) it’s perfect for finding your centre of balance. After two or three runs here, try the Campanule blue run in the same area, before taking the Nauchets lift up with two further options:
- The Gentiane blue run right down into the village – after skiing past the mid-station, either take the Orchis red run (which goes under the lifts) or go right and stay on blues. Option to stop at the mid-station for a gourmet break or lunch at the restaurant La Croix Blanche or Le Grand Cry, both really good.
- Take the Choucas blue run – it’s a really nice long, flowing run, and great for skiers (not so good for snowboarders as there are a few flat sections). At the bottom, there are three restaurants and three lifts to different areas leading Morzine. Take the Charniaz lift to return on Les Gets side and Chavannes area.
Whilst there are many, many different levels of skiers, for simplicity, we have split the rest of this article into two sections:
Les Gets: Chavannes for The Cruising Skier
Enjoys blues and easy red runs, taking a relaxing lunch in mountain restaurants, enjoying the views and spending time with friends.
The Les Gets/Morzine area has an abundance of lovely flowing blues and easy red ski slopes and it’s wonderful to stop off at the many mountain restaurants for a coffee, lunch or vin chaud along the way.
After warming up on the first day, some of our suggestions include:
Recommended ski runs for Day 2
Take the Ranfolly Express lift and ski down the blue Tulipe run to the Les Gets Bowl in the morning (via the Violette run). It’s steep at the top and in the afternoon moguls can form, but then it opens up, becoming very wide and flowing. It’s easy to pick up speed here, so we suggest it for day two onwards, once the ski legs are back. A couple of runs on the Tulipe followed by lunch is a good option. On the right hand side, half way down the Tulipe, is restaurant Le Wetzet, one of our favourites.
At the top of Ranfolly Express lift, follow the Gentiane blue run onto the Choucas blue run leading to the Charniaz area, or ski down a little further and turn right on Bruyère blue run and join the amazing golf area and Les Folliets. Numerous blue runs are available here (Crocus, Chardon Bleu and the area of Pleney, a wonderful playground of blue runs in the trees, connecting to Morzine). We recommend you the following restaurants in the area: Le Vaffieu, a mountain brasserie at the top of Les Folliets lift, and the charming Les Mouilles restaurant, for a lovely sweet snack on the piste with a crepe and a vin chaud, on Pleney side.
…or take the new Cyclamen piste: an amazing piste in the pine trees leading to the Les Gets lake and the bottom of Chavannes area in the village.
The options are endless, but we’d like to share a last one with you. From the Les Gets Bowl, take the Grains d’Or lift and turn right by Renardière blue run - half way down follow the direction of La Turche by Vorosse blue Run. Then, half way down the piste on the left, the restaurant La Païka offers the perfect place for a hot chocolate or a grilled lunch on the terrace.
Top tip - If drag lifts are not your favourite forms of transport, we recommend continuing to ski right of the Chateau drag lift and join the Perrières area, then down by the Les Trembles blue run, join the fast Perrières Express lift and head back into the Les Gets Bowl for a couple of runs.
Chavannes Skiing for the Advanced Skier
Has had a number of ski holidays over the years and wants to explore the whole resort. The Chavannes area has so much to offer for an advanced skiers, with challenging red and black runs, playful off-piste and freeride zones.
After warming up in the Les Gets Bowl on some gentle blue runs, go further and explore the red runs available here: Eglantine from the top of La Rosta lift, Arnica and all its possibilities from the top of Ranfolly lift and also Fenerets, Ambresalle and Rhodos from the top of Les Nauchets.
Ready for a black run? Then the Yeti at the top of La Rosta lift is ideal. Fancy a bumpy one? Then the Myrtilles black run at the top of Grains d’Or lift, is made for you. From there, join the Les Perrières area by taking the Grains d’Or lift and experience the wide, long Melezes red run.
Another recommended morning option is the Chamossière, the highest peak on Les Gets/Morzine area. With its long and challenging Arbis red run, its steep Les Creux black run and the freeride zone, Chamossière is made for advanced skiers who want to test themselves on different types of pistes. The freeride zone is an off-piste area starting at the top. After a nice lunch in one of the three restaurants at the bottom of the Charniaz lift, join the area of Nyon and the challenging red run, La Combe. When you come back to the top of Chavannes, why not stop on the way at the Lotty’s restaurant for a nice vin chaud or coffee break? We often do!
The off-piste skiing in Les Gets is not well-known but offers an amazing playground for fresh powder snow lovers. The off-piste in Les Gets is generally easily accessible, often not far from the pistes, and nestled in the pine trees, under the lifts or in open areas of the resort that are particularly safe to ski due to lower slope angulation. In fresh snow conditions, the area between the pistes of La Rosta, or between Vorosse blue run and Melezes Red Run, and between La Turche area and Les Perrières is highly recommended.
Another enjoyable option is under the Ranfolly Express lift between Tulipe blue run and Arnica red run. Choose a good line, and find wooden bridges and mountain biking runs transformed into playful off-pistes spots. Check the weather and avalanche conditions the morning before any off-piste skiing and always carry avalanche equipment in your backpack (and know how to use it).
Access to the Chavannes skiing area
There are 4 main access points to start the skiing day. The most popular is from the centre of the Les Gets village where there are two lifts - the bubble lift to the mid station and beginner area, and the Chavannes Express, a high speed lift going right to the top providing access directly into the main hub Les Gets’ skiing area. Other access points are:
- Les Perrières – bus access, great parking available, however, you need to be able to ski a blue run.
- Les Folliets – bus access, good parking opposite, perfect if you want to go to Morzine and Avoriaz.
- You can drive to the mid-station on the Chavannes, there is a lot of parking available.
- La Turche, this has bus access, there is a little parking, easily full.
Top Tip - Ski schools usually start at 9 am at the bottom of the Chavannes, and after 5 to 10 minutes queues for the Chavannes express or the bubble lifts (to the mid station) start to form – if you plan on starting at the Chavannes Express, either arrive at 8.45am or after 9.30am to avoid the crowd.
And of course, you can ski to Morzine/Avoriaz or the Mont Chery side for more fun skiing in Les Gets. Connected to Les Portes du Soleil domain, Les Gets offers many possibilities to connect to the other resorts in the PDS area and Switzerland whilst on a week or two weeks holiday.
The pistes map is available on our website to know more about the organization of the resort of Les Gets and surroundings with all the connected skiing areas.