By Barbara Allan
It’s official! Spring is here, and there really is no better place than the Grand Massif to bide your spring-time. As the days get longer and sunnier, the late season skiing and snowboarding gets better and better. With temperatures rising each day you can pack away your heavy coats because t-shirt skiing is back on the cards. Of course it’s still quite fresh first thing in the morning but you’ll love cruising around on the firm, groomed runs. And definitely don’t miss the mid- through late-morning and lunchtime skiing. That’s when the slopes are that perfect amount of soft but not too slushy. Mind - there’s nothing wrong with a bit of slush, especially if you’re a snowboarder. Nothing beats surfing slushy bumps at the end of the day or trying that new trick knowing that if you don’t quite nail it then at least it’ll be a soft landing. But of course by the end of the day you may just want to kick back on a sunny terrace and recover from a delicious late lunch by the slopes. There are certainly plenty of places to do that in the Grand Massif. Be sure to check out our ‘Gourmand’s Guide to the Grand Massif’ for some ideas: Samoens - Morillon
Spring-time on the slopes of the Grand Massif really is great fun, but it’s not the best thing about this time of year. What makes the Grand Massif a truly unique resort is that during these last few weeks of the season not only can you enjoy some final winter fun but you can also make the most of summer action too. While the slopes of the Grand Massif reach heights of 2480m, the villages of Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt sit between 700m &750m. And down on the valley floor Spring has most certainly sprung and is edging closer to Summer each day. The melting snow is giving way to green pastures and very soon flowers will bloom. As the bright colours return to the valley, so too do the village locals and visitors alike undergo a seasonal change. Picnic rugs are shaken out, hiking boots now sit alongside ski and snowboard boots, and bikes are rolled out of garages. Imagine, a great morning of skiing followed by a gentle cycle along the valley floor up to Sixt, or a stroll along the river down to Lac Bleu in Morillon for a picnic!
If you don’t have your own Summer equipment with you then don’t worry because at this time of year many of the local businesses also start getting ready for the warmer season ahead. Certainly by Easter weekend it’s quite common to see bikes for rent around the village. There’s Pellisier Sports for example or Roland Gay in Samoëns centre. Or if you prefer why not try an electric bike from www.yellowvelo.fr Then of course there’s X-treme Glisse right opposite the Grand Massif Express, who also hire out hiking boots and walking sticks. The team there is always ready to kit you out with whatever you need so be sure to ask. And like Roland Gay in the village, X-treme Glisse also hire out climbing harnesses for those adventurous spirits that fancy giving Sixt’s via ferata a go. I bet you never thought you could ski or board in the morning then scale cliffs in the afternoon with a qualified guide.
There’s any number of guided and non-guided activities to do in the Grand Massif this time of year, which don’t require snow. Another personal favourite of the Alps Accommodation team is rafting. As the snow melts it’s only normal that the water level in the river starts to rise. And while it may not be quite as hair-raising as it is in the summer months, rafting down the Giffre after a good day’s skiing on the mountain sure is a novel thing to do! We highly recommend Ecolorado rafting (Read about our experience here) so be sure to get in touch with Alain and his team if you’re interested in some white water fun. Or perhaps you’d prefer to take to the skies. Paragliding is exceptional at this time of year - take off from a snow-capped mountain and land in the green valley below. Les Tontons Volants and Pégase Air are the specialists in this field, so if floating across a big blue sky tickles your fancy then get in touch.
Spring in the Grand Massif really is a wonderful world of summer and winter all rolled into one, so be sure not to miss out on a spring break this year. Current snow coverage is great with lifts set to stay open until April 19th. Just this week alone 60/70 lifts were running with plenty of skiing and boarding to enjoy right across resort, including ski in ski out from Morillon village and also the amazing Cascade run from the top of Flaine to the very bottom of Sixt.
Easter is just around the corner and the Grand Massif really is looking like the ideal holiday destination this year. Here at Alps Accommodation we’ve just reduced all remaining chalets for the Easter period by a huge 50% too. (See our special offers page) So get in touch – skiing, boarding, rafting, cycling, hiking, flying… it all awaits!