News - Winter

Early Snow for Morzine – 2014

October 27th, 2014 by in News, Winter

early snow for morzine

The Pleney has already had snow. October 2014

Early snow for Morzine this autumn. As the temperatures dropped last week to just above freezing level and we saw the first snow of the season fall on higher ground. We are now looking forward to winter which is just over 6 weeks away. Early snow for Morzine and the Portes Du soleil area is not unusual. In the time we have been here (8 years) we have always been delighted to see early snow with the lift companies often opening the lifts on weekends late November for the locals to enjoy the snow before the resort officially opens and gets back to business. Avoriaz opens on the 13th December with Rock on Ultimate a snowboard and music event over the first week.

Snow Conditions in morzine.

Morzine town is at 1000m and it is because of this many people think we would struggle for snow. This is not true we have a fantastic snow record, the highest point in the Portes Du Soleil area reaches 2500m. We are in close proximity to Mont Blanc and because of this we benefit from their weather system, this brings Morzine and the Portes Du Soleil similar snow conditions to that of higher resorts. We are also very close to Lac Leman (Geneva) and as the cold winds arrive from the north east they pick up moisture from the lake and deposit it on the first mountains they meet which is the Portes Du Soleil area.

The average snowfall for Avoriaz over the last ten years shows that it has an outstanding record better that that of Val Thorens. Even when the snowfall across the French alps has been poor the Portes Du Soleil has still been open for the whole season mid December to mid April.

Early snow for Morzine

Snow arrives in Avoriaz park

Our Ski area also boasts a fantastic snow making system with over 694 snow cannons to date. These snow cannons can make natural snow when the temperature drops to below 3° c, and the lift companies strive to keep the Pistes in perfect conditions from early December till late April.

So why not come and join us for some early season skiing or snowboarding we have short breaks available pre Christmas.

Contact us now – 0033 682 635 591 or info@ridersrefuge.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

New Avoriaz Lifts Progressing Well

September 9th, 2014 by in Winter

Avoriaz Chairlifts

Work progress summer 2014, New lifts in the Portes Du Soleil

We are excited to report that work on 2 new Avoriaz lifts has been progressing well this summer. Here at Riders Refuge, we have been monitoring the progress of work on the Procolou and Serrausaix lifts with interest.

The Morzine and Avoriaz ski areas have benefited enormously from lift improvements in the last few years including the new Prodains express and Pleney lift. However the Avoriaz Lift company Serma have continued to invest heavily in their chairlift system and the Portes Du Soleil area. Residents and visitors alike welcoming plans to improve the Procolou and Serrausaix lifts, linking Morzine to Avoriaz via the super-Morzine.

The two chairlifts, (previously 2 four-man chairs) have long been the source of bottle-necks, particularly in peak-season. Congestion at the Procolou lift was exacerbated by the popularity of its run of the same name, a wide, very gentle blue, ideal for those progressing from the nursery slopes. Due to this popularity and the high volume of skiers and snowboarders coming over to Avoriaz from Morzine, queues at the lift could often be lengthy until mid-afternoon. Once people started to head back towards Morzine, the queues then tended to mount at the Serrausaix lift.

The good news is that both lifts are currently being upgraded and should be ready for the start of 14/15 winter season. The Proclou is to become a new high-speed 6-man chair, whilst the Serrausaix will be upgraded to run at higher speed, transporting a greater number of passengers per hour.

On our first visit in early August, bulldozers were preparing the ground for the 2 base stations and foundations to the new pylons were complete. Now, a month on, many of the pylons are actually in place and trees have been felled to make way for the new Serrausaix top station. The Serrausaix lift will now end slightly higher up, further in the direction of the super-Morzine.

Work has been hampered by the wet conditions this summer but the dryer weather we are currently seeing in Morzine-Avoriaz should assist workers in getting the project complete in time for the winter opening. We are looking forward to smaller queues and a faster trip for those who wish to ski over to Avoriaz!

Lac Montriond Fireworks – Feux du Lac

August 4th, 2014 by in Summer

Lac Montriond fireworks, feux du Lac

Lake Montriond

Lac Montriond Fireworks – Fete Du Lac. This event happens each summer on the 1st Saturday in August.

Lac Montriond Fireworks,

Fete du Lac

This year it was the 37th year of the fireworks which is a free event hosted by Montriond community to celebrate the Lake. Lac Montriond is one of 23 sites in the Geoparc Chablis which is part of Unesco. Studies have shown that Lac Montriond was formed in the 1550′s when a huge landslide happened off the side of the Nantaux. It was privately owned until the commune of Montriond bought the site in 1992 and have since invested in the site to make the Lake a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy in both summer and winter. Both ends of the Lake have great restaurants and there is path all the way around the lake, the end nearest Montriond villiage has an area for bathing and a small pool for children to swim in this is covered on the multipass. Other acitivites at the lake include kayaking and horse riding. There is also a beautiful waterfall the Cascade d’Ardent that you can walk to and it is well worth the effort.

Lac Montriond Fireworks – Feux Du Lac

Lac Montriond Fireworks - Fete Du Lac

Lac Montriond Fireworks

On the evening of the 1st saturday of August this spectacular firework display takes place. Many people go to the Lake with picnics and barbecues in the afternoon and enjoy the surroundings before the Fireworks begin at about 21:30 when it is dark. Before Lac Montriond Firworks or the Feux Du Lac begin there is other entertainment like Parapenters, firejugglers, fire eaters, clowns and other street performers. The Fireworks last for around 1 hr and there is a different theme each year. After the fireworks there is a band and a bar so you can stay and enjoy.

 

If you are staying with us at the time of the Lac Montriond fireworks then we are happy to organise transport to the event which is not to be missed. Please ask us about this at the time of booking 

 

Morzine Mountain Bike Survey

July 29th, 2014 by in Summer

The Tourist office in Morzine have put together a Mountain bike survey for anyone who has biked in Morzine for one or more days. It allows you to give your opinion on what they can improve and develop in the area. At the end of the summer they will take the Morzine mountain bike survey and look at what economic effects mountain biking has on Morzine as a town, ie the shops, bars, restaurants etc.. and what your opinion is of the infrastructure that is in place now for mountain bikers, plus what your thoughts are on what improvements can be made.  You can find it here on our Facebook Page please feel free to share the post and spread the word the more people who fill it in the better. Don’t forget to like our page too while you are there ;-).

Or simply scan the image below with your mobile phone.

morzine mountain bike survey

mtb survey

Morzine Mountain bike Survey

This is your chance to have your say about the trails and facilities for mountain bikers in Morzine and help the tourist office improve and develop this town better to cope with the needs of those of us who ride bikes. More bike washes? better maintained trails? more trails? what sort of trails? In the past 7 summers we have seen many changes, lots more trails, new lifts, better signage of the trails and this year it is more noticeable that there are maintenance teams on the mountain repairing and trying keep the trails in shape throughout the summer.

 

We want Morzine to keep improving and it is great that the tourist office are now realising that with your feedback they can make Morzine bigger and better.

So put the kettle on and fill in the survey only takes 5 minutes to have your say plus you can win entry to the PassPortes Du Soleil event and a free day pass for summer 2015.

Bastille Celebrations In Morzine

July 18th, 2014 by in News, Summer

Simple Minds

 

Here at Riders Refuge, we have been enjoying some great sporting and musical events all just a stone’s throw from our Morzine chalets. Bastille Day is the national holiday that commemorates the start of the French revolution with the storming of the Bastille on July 14th 1789. This year Bastille fell on a Monday which resulted in a long weekend of festivities in Morzine.

chainsaws5

First of the events on offer was The French Lumberjack Championships which started in earnest on Sunday. So what is the Lumberjack Championship, we hear you ask? Dubbed the ‘original extreme sport’, for the uninitiated, ‘timber sport’ is essentially speed wood-chopping with contestants using a variety of axes and saws as well as their pure strength to get through tree trunks in record speed. On Sunday, Morzine town square hosted demonstrations of the 6 challenges participants were expected to tackle in Monday’s tournament. The tournament itself was quite a spectacle and a definite crowd pleaser – the chain saw discipline was certainly noisy but impressive non-the-less!

Crowds gathered on Sunday night for the highly anticipated World Cup Final match between Argentina and Germany. The match was broadcast live in Morzine’s main square on the big screen erected for the Simple Minds Concert. Despite France’s exit in the quarter finals, there was a buzzing atmosphere and a live DJ rounded off the night’s celebrations.

The highlight of the French holiday weekend was without a doubt the free Simple Minds Concert in Morzine town square. Whether you are a child of the 80s, you were a twinkle in your parent’s eyes when Alive and Kicking was released, or a little older than you can to admit; you would have found yourself entertained by the set played on Monday evening. Lead singer Jim Kerr took the crowd through a number of hits culminating in the classic ‘Don’t you forget about me’. In the encore, he then finally relented by playing Alive and Kicking. At the end of the concert, a great display of Bastille fireworks were launched above the Pleney and then a DJ continued to play from the main stage until the early hours.

blue skies

Blue skies in Morzine

Whilst the Bastille celebrations may be over, the good news here in Morzine is that the sun is definitely out and our guests are now enjoying blue skies and dry trails. There are many more events to come in the local area this summer, including UB40 in Les Gets and the Mont Blanc Rally. Our girls riding week also takes place from 16th-23rd August with limited places available in Chalet Eterle, our central catered chalet in Morzine. There is optional coaching and guiding on offer so you can tailor your holiday to you. For more information contact our friendly team today.

Morzine lift openings

June 16th, 2014 by in Summer

flowers

Morzine lifts are open! Summer has certainly arrived here in Morzine with some beautiful June sunshine, flowers in bloom and the Pleney lift now open much to the excitement of the MTB community.

The new, improved Pleney lift opened for skiers and snowboarders last December and now mountain bikers finally have their turn! The telecabine welcomed its first riders last Saturday 14th June, a relief for those who had been pushing their way to the top these last few weeks. Each cabin accommodates 2 riders and their bikes with acres of space or a maximum of 3 bikes. This is an uplift of 900 bikes per hour which is almost three times more than the previous lift’s capacity of 250! (more…)

Rock The Pistes

February 3rd, 2014 by in News, Winter

Rock Les Pistes MorzineMarch 26th -30th sees Rock The Pistes return for another year.

The Portes du Soleil runs many special events throughout the year, including a variety of sporting events and concerts. However, the Rock the Pistes festival, taking place each March, is one stand-out event on the annual calendar. The week-long music festival offers visitors the opportunity to ski or snowboard to different areas to watch a series of performances by artists and bands on stages all over the mountain. And the best part of all? The festival is completely free, you just need to have a lift-pass in order to get around! (more…)

Morzine Christmas

January 30th, 2014 by in News, Winter

ChristmasA Morzine Christmas! We can scarely believe that it’s almost a month since Christmas, the winter seems to be flying by! Here at Riders Refuge we enjoyed a fantastic festive week with our chalet guests. We thought we would share an account of our Christmas here in snowy Morzine along with a few pictures. (more…)

Le PassPortes Du Soleil 2014

January 22nd, 2014 by in News, Summer

We now have secured entries for Sunday 29th June for the 11th edition of the PassPortes du Soleil.

mtb morzine

 About the PPDS Event

Le PassPortes Du Soleil 2014 is a mountain bike event like no other it will take place over 3 days from Friday 27th June. This year, Les Gets is playing host to the PDS event that spans across 2 countries and covers 80km’s of marked trails using 20 ski lifts. Some of the trails are only accessible by lift for this weekend and the lifts will be opening for longer than normal from 7:30 – 18:00 to allow you to complete the tour in one day. There are two Mavic assistant points to provide you with help for any mechanical issues you may have and motorbikes travel the circuit throughout the day to provide assistance en route. The PassPortes caters for all abilities of mountain biker and if you don’t want to take part in the classic 80km route, there is an intermediate route of 50km as well as a beginner route of 30km. For those of you taking part in the full 80km you will be rewarded with 6500m of decent. (more…)

The Joys of January – 7 Reasons To Go Skiing Or Snowboarding This Month!

January 5th, 2014 by in News, Winter

Jan skiingWhilst many travellers choose Christmas and New Year to take their ski or snowboard holiday, January is a month that is often over-looked. Understandably those travelling with school-age children are more restricted; however for those with flexible holiday allowances, January can be the perfect time to get away. We take a look at the benefits of taking your ski or snowboard holiday this month. (more…)