We’re pretty low, down in the town of Morzine. We woke to 4 or 5″ of fresh snow on the ground. That meant there was going to be a good deal more up on the hill. Not completely clear, but far from a whiteout. Very excited.

We made the decision to go to Morzine rather than Avoriaz, which was a little risky given that we don’t know the area at all. I don’t like not knowing where to go on powder day, it’s too easy to miss out on the good stuff.

However, I’ve been wanting to explore Morzine and Les Gets and we’d read about some areas that are good after a snow fall.

It kinda sucked. Actually it sucked. I was really frustrated.

Being new to the area, I was relying on the map, and it didn’t line up too well with reality. The base station was reporting that the area we were interested in, Chamossiere, was open. After taking the first gondola up we had to wait 20 minutes for the next lift to open. Then the first run we needed to take at the top of that, was closed. We took a run down to a different chair and waited.

It opened and we headed down into the next valley – a valley with 3 possbile chairs to take you out. The lift we wanted, taking us up further towards Chamossiere, was closed. We took a different chair up and cut the almost-first lines down under the chair: short, but steep and deep. It was a little disjointed as the decent was broken up by a regular run snaking down under the chair, but good non the less.

When we got to the bottom, we found the area crowded, and with only one of the three chairs running, there was a big queue. The only fresh that we knew of was now tracked out. We didn’t know where to go and the chairs we needed were closed. A good snowfall, fresh snow, and we were stuck. We took an early lunch and waited for things to open – I was frustrated and spent the time hoping we’d find something good and not end up missing out completely.

We didn’t really find anything good the rest of the day. Following the piste map, we went from lift to lift, run to run, trying to get to places we thought would be good. We started with Chamossiere and that was closed. Next, we tried Nyon, and that was closed too. Incidently, this information wasn’t available at the base station. By the time we got over to the Les Gets area, everything was tracked, and the visibility had gone bad.

We’d done a lot of runs, but nothing great. The collective opinion of the Morzine slopes wasn’t high. Maybe that’s a premature assesment, but right now I consider Avoriaz and beyond to be better. It’s more interesting, there’s more to do, more hits. Exploring was fun – but it was just that – exploring.

But then came the jublilation. Just as we were stopping, it started snowing. And it was snowing down in the town; pretty heavy. We stayed out for some beers and then found a restaurant. It was still snowing when we headed home. Suddenly, the 20 minute walk home, a fresh evening with soft snow falling, wasn’t too bad. Very different to the first night, when we were cold and it was raining.

Spirits were high, it looks like we’re getting a second bite of the cherry, another powder day. I hope it snows through the night. Maybe we were too hard on Morzine, but tomorrow we’ll be heading to Avoriaz…

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