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Old 07.01.2012, 01:14
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Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

I am a transplant from Colorado and looking forward to doing some skiing with my 7 & 5 year old boys. Which resorts are the most convenient for going with young children? Important factors include convenient access to slopes (ideally, a short walk directly from parking to slopes), geographic orientation providing sunshine and minimal wind, and good selection of mellow (green - blue, in US terms) slopes with a good lodge/food/services at the base. Great scenery would be a bonus and extreme terrain unnecessary. We have our own skis, so don't need rental. You suggestions welcome.
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Old 07.01.2012, 01:36
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

And, I guess I should add, looking for places with enough snow on the lower slopes at this point in the season
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Old 07.01.2012, 06:34
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

La Chapelle d'Abondance in the Portes du Soleil has large parking lots directly at the bases of their two telecabines. There are loads of blues and greens from top to bottom.

The ski bus (free) runs continuously throughout the day from one end of the village to the next, in between the two telecabines. There are better restaurants at both the base and top of the Cret Beni lift, but there's better sun on La Panthiaz lift side, so you'll have to try both.

If you find yourself in the village at mealtime, try the Tavern d'Ici et d'Ailleurs (The Tavern From Here and Beyond). Fabulous free-form pizzas and flams. (A flam is like a pizza but the base is creme fraiche, not tomato sauce).

Have fun!
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Old 07.01.2012, 09:21
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

Thanks for the tip! Sounds like a great option. I'd also be really interested in learning about similar options on the Swiss side, as I understand that kids under 9 are often free.
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Old 08.01.2012, 16:25
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

My advice needs to be taken with a pinch of salt - since the first time I skiied was a week ago and it was a disaster - but I know there's a small resort in St Cergue-La Givrins, just up the road from me in Nyon in Vaud.

Its pretty easy to get to - either by train or by car - and I think looking on a map last night, it's mostly beginner and intermediate slopes. I'm going to get lessons there after first trying skiing in Haute Nendaz in Valais (nearby Siviez is a resort you could also try - drive right up and ski from the car!), so can't give an opinion on what the skiing in St Cergue is like, sorry!

But here's the website with more info: www.st-cergue-tourisme.ch/en/themes/alpine-skiing-1214-0. Have fun!
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Old 08.01.2012, 16:39
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

This thread should help.

Porte du Soleil with young kids

And this time of year, the small resorts just up in the Jura are perfect for small children. Both the French and Swiss sides. Crozet, St-Cergue, etc...
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Old 08.01.2012, 16:47
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

Good places all around:

http://www.gstaad.ch/en/index.cfm
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Old 10.01.2012, 03:39
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

Les Mosses is terrific for families - tons of easy slopes, all radiating off a large restaurant with lots of outdoor lounger seating in which to enjoy the sunshine. It's 2-3 mins walk from a large carpark, even at 5 yr old child pace and assuming you're carrying all their stuff as well as yours (the walk is on flat paths with no roads to worry about.).
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Old 10.01.2012, 04:01
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

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Les Mosses is terrific for families - tons of easy slopes, all radiating off a large restaurant with lots of outdoor lounger seating in which to enjoy the sunshine. It's 2-3 mins walk from a large carpark, even at 5 yr old child pace and assuming you're carrying all their stuff as well as yours (the walk is on flat paths with no roads to worry about.).
Really? I always found that it took almost 10 minutes of trudging on a slight uphill grade, to get my daughter and our stuff to the actual lifts. And we don't carry much stuff.

We used to go to Les Paccots, which allows you to park right next to the children's ski area. I'll admit that the runs aren't as nice as some of the ones near Les Mosses when it comes to the grownup stuff but it is very nice for early beginners.

OTOH, Les Mosses is nearer to Leysin and Villars which are very nice with lots of more serious runs.

Just spent a week in Snowmass, near Aspen, and whilst the snow was very nice there (as it is in the Rockies) I really miss the exhilarating feeling one gets, being in the Alps in Switzerland. I really do miss it sometimes.
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Old 10.01.2012, 04:40
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

Hmm, perhaps Les Mosses was a bit of a longer walk.. haven't been for a couple of years. We used to take our sledge and load it up with either stuff or the youngest child.

Yes, Les Paccots has very, very close parking, and is the closest resort off the motorway, but we personally never liked it much for family skiing. It's on the wrong side of the mountain so is cold ALL the time, and the car park is often an ice rink. And there is nowhere at all to sit, let alone a cafe to get a hot drink. We used to take snacks and a flask of hot chocolate/hot blackcurrant and have a car picnic, but there's not much atmosphere doing that.

I like it as a solo skiing resort, though. I went up a couple of times by myself mid-morning, mid-week, and it's a joy. The runs are empty, and I could really get some practise in on turns without tripping people over.

Edit: oooh, just noticed you're over this side of the water *waves*. Nice to have someone to chat to this time of night!
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Old 10.01.2012, 06:27
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Re: Swiss ski resorts near Geneva with easy access from parking lot to slopes?

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Hmm, perhaps Les Mosses was a bit of a longer walk.. haven't been for a couple of years. We used to take our sledge and load it up with either stuff or the youngest child.

Yes, Les Paccots has very, very close parking, and is the closest resort off the motorway, but we personally never liked it much for family skiing. It's on the wrong side of the mountain so is cold ALL the time, and the car park is often an ice rink. And there is nowhere at all to sit, let alone a cafe to get a hot drink. We used to take snacks and a flask of hot chocolate/hot blackcurrant and have a car picnic, but there's not much atmosphere doing that.

I like it as a solo skiing resort, though. I went up a couple of times by myself mid-morning, mid-week, and it's a joy. The runs are empty, and I could really get some practise in on turns without tripping people over.

Edit: oooh, just noticed you're over this side of the water *waves*. Nice to have someone to chat to this time of night!
Yes. Everything you say about Paccots is correct.
I always found it a good place to get ones ski legs under them and then would go elsewhere. I agree it was also a good place to go mid week in the early part of the day as it was cheap and easy to access from Morges.

Hmmm, Ribena?
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