Day 1 - Samoens, Morillon, Les Carroz
Starting at the top of the Grand Massif Express, take the wide green piste to the Chariande Express and take it to the top of the Samoens area. As you slide clear of the chairlift, the majestic peak of Mont Blanc can be seen directly ahead.
From here, take the Perce-Neige piste in the direction of Les Carroz and Morillon. A thrilling piste which travels down the ridge line with fantastic views all around. On reaching the top of Les Molliets chairlift, branch right for Morillon and follow piste L'Arete to the top of the Sairon chairlift. At this point, follow the Sairon piste all the way down to Morillon 1100. This is a fantastic long cruisy run and a great way to warm up the legs! Take the Sairon chairlift back to the top of Morillon.
Back at the top of Morillon and warmed up, it's time for the red piste of Bergin. From the chairlift, turn right and initially follow the Marvel piste which branches right to the red Bergin piste after a few hundred meters. This piste can be very quiet and is ideal for long fast turns all the way to the bottom. Further down the piste becomes the blue of Charnia and then joins the very bottom of the Sairon piste which will take you back to the Sairon chairlift. Look out for the kids park on the way down which is equally good fun for us 'older kids'!
Back at the top of Morillon, it's time to head over to Les Carroz. From the top of the Sairon chairlift, head straight ahead on the blue piste of Biollaires and follow it all the way to the bottom of the Gron chairlift. Take this chairlift to the top.
It's time to get your teeth into a back run! Exit right from top of the chairlift and follow the signs to the right for the black of Veroce. The top section of this run is lovely and steep, but also nice and wide. It is usually pisted therefore great for the speed freaks, but can also offer great mogul skiing after fresh snow. Lower down the run merges into the Cupoire red run and then merges again into the blue of Combe which will take you all the way down to the Kedeuze gondola at the bottom of Les Carroz. The lower section of this run offers fantastic wide tree lined skiing with glorious views over Les Carroz village.
Leave the gondola station and head left for the blue/red combination of Plein-Soleil and then Timalets. These are both great wide, fast pistes which are brilliant fun for any level of skier, in particular the steep, wide red section of Timalets offers fantastic skiing. At the bottom of the Timalets piste look out for the Milk Hotel which is a great lunch stop. The sunny terrace offers great views up the piste, and the burgers come highly recommended! Carry on along the piste which will take you back to the Kedeuze gondola.
Time for one last blast in Les Carroz, down the red of Zorta this time. From the gondola go straight ahead, following the blue of Combe until you meet the red of Zorta turning branching off to your left. This is another great fast red which allows you lots of space for big open carved turns. Smiles guaranteed after this one! The red merges into the blue of Combe at the base off the Gron chairlift so follow this all the way back to the Kedeuze gondola in Les Carroz once again.
It's back to Samoens now for a few runs to finish the day. Take the traversing blue of Blanchot, followed by Marmottes and look out for the Gentianes chairlift which will get you to the top of Samoens. This is a lovely tree lined linking run with great views towards our next destination! Jump on the Gentianes chairlift and remember to look out for the amazing views from this chairlift!
First up in Samoens is the red of Marmotte. Follow this all the way down to the Damoiseaux chairlift which will take you up to the Samoens Plateaux. The piste starts out steep and twisty and then opens out into a fast and wide blast to the bottom. This run, as with all runs in the Samoens area, often has some of the best snow in the Grand Massif due to the aspect and shade offered by the steep upper slopes.
Once back to the Samoens Plateaux the day is not done yet! There is one last run down to Vercland a personal favourite of many of the Alps Accommodation team! Take the (skiers) left most nursery slope and follow the signs for the red piste of Velarge. Take this piste and then after the steeper top section the piste splits into a red and a black. You have the choice of a fun, steeper and more direct black or an equally fun red which is slightly longer. Both are fantastic runs and end in the same place, at the bottom of the Verlcand gondola.
Safely back in Vercland, a drink in front of the log fire in La Reposette is highly recommended! Be sure not to celebrate too hard and miss the short bus ride back to the Grand Massif Express in Samoens!
Day 2 - Flaine and Sixt-fer-a-Cheval
Feeling fresh and ready for a new day of adventures, jump onto the Chariande Express which will once again whisk you up to the Tete des Saix. Today we are heading straight to Flaine so keep a look out for signs marked 'Flaine' as we go. From the summit descend on the blue pistes of Silice and the Dolomie until you reach the Vernant chairlift on your left hand side. A great wide and easy blast which serves as a nice warm-up run! Take the Vernant chairlift up over some spectacular cliffs and couloirs, and keep your eyes open for dare-devil speed riders who love this area.
Once at the top of the Vernant chairlift take a second to take in the stunning view over the Combe de Gers, which we will explore later, towards the Mont Blanc Massif. Continue towards Flaine on the Tourmaline piste which winds all the way down towards the village of Flaine. This is a fantastic piste which starts off very wide and open and then narrows into a lovely twisting tree lined piste passing frozen streams and waterfalls. From the bottom of Tourmaline, take the short blue of Baudroie and red of Azurite which will take you directly to the Grandes Platieres gondola and will we take this to the summit. Look out for signs for the gondola as you descend to ease navigation.
At the summit of Grand Platieres, you are going to need your camera for a few snaps of Mont Blanc - it's a stunning view! Our first piste will be a fun filled run down the blue of Serpentine. Follow the Serpentine as it initially traverses across the summit and then descends through unique undulating terrain all the way back to the base of the Grandes Platieres gondola in Flaine. Look out for fun natural features which litter the piste! At the bottom, take the gondola back to the top. It's time for a well earned hot chocolate and there is no better place than the restaurant Le Desert Blanc which serves great hot chocolate on an open air terrace overlooking Mont Blanc. Get that camera out again!
It's time to get our teeth into some fantastic red runs now! Leaving the top station of the gondola, initially follow the blue of Serpentine, but quickly branch left onto the red of Faust. This is an exhilarating high speed red run which cuts through the heart of the Flaine ski area and plunges back down to the bottom of the Grandes Platieres gondola. At the bottom, jump on the gondola to make your way back to the summit.
Next up we have another exhilarating and often overlooked red run. As with the previous run, take the Serpentine and then Faust runs initially before taking a left onto the red of Almandine at the bottom of the first steep pitch of Faust. Almandine is another fantastic red which descends under the gondola in parts and can often be very quiet, allowing plenty of space for those fast open turns! Close to the bottom of this run, look out for the beautiful new restaurant of Pentes a Jules which is a great place to enjoy lunch.
Re-fuelled, we're off again! From the top of the Grandes Platieres gondola we're going to the right this time, descending the red of Mephisto Superieure. This run offers fantastic views of distant peaks before descending quickly through an undulating gully to the chairlift of Lindars Nord which we will take to the top of our first black run of the day.
Leave the chairlift and turn right onto the black piste of Agate. The steepness and high altitude of this piste means it often has either fantastic powder or challenging moguls. A great way to get back up to speed after a lazy lunch! From the bottom of this run, carry on straight ahead onto the blue of Mephisto which is a long, high speed blue which takes you all the way back to the Grandes Platieres gondola and will give the legs a welcome rest after the previous black! This run is great fun however and often surprisingly quiet. Take the gondola back to the top.
On your way back up the gondola look out for the fearsome and often moguled black run of Diamond Noir directly under the gondola, and our next challenge! From the top exit left and then turn left onto the Diamond Noir. The run starts gently before diving into a steep couloir which is almost always filled with challenging but very rewarding moguls. The piste concludes on flatter terrain at the bottom of the Diamond Noir chairlift which we will take back to the top for the last time!
Once back to the top, we are heading for the black run of Onyx in the stunning Combe de Gers. Follow the blue Serpentine piste initially and look out for signs for the black of Onyx on the right. This piste offers a descent of just under 1000m vertical meters of soft moguls or powder snow. Due to the altitude and shady aspect of the Combe de Gers, Onyx often has the best snow in the whole sk area. At the bottom of this piste, continue on past the base station of the ski lift, and follow the piste which links to the lower section of the blue Cascade piste taking you down to the sleepy village of Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. You will pass the Gite de Gers on the shore of a frozen lake in the heart of a secluded valley - the perfect place to stop for a beer! Carry on past the Gite, join the Cascade piste and descend to Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. From here you can hop on a free and regular bus which will take you quickly back to the Grand Massif Express in Samoens.