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Old 28.09.2020, 21:01
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Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

Hi all -
I am about to purchase a season pass -

There is so much choice out there I am getting a bit lost - just when I was about to purchase the La Clusaz season pass I realised parking is outrageously expensive there...

What are your recommendations for a large enough domain with most of its domaine skiable over 1650m. Decently affordable ski passes and cheap parking (I have young kids so idea is to go up in 45 minutes, ski two hours and come back down to the family). A Piou Piou club is a huge plus so I can bring my three year old a few times this season. I don't want to pay 40 euros to park either, however driving is a must.

Few resorts that spring to mind Samoens, Avoriaz, La Clusaz, Chamonix. What's your thoughts?

I've started my research - and had settled on La Clusaz, until... parking.

Thank you!

PS: also past Thonex, can't afford the time it takes to drive through Geneva. I am based in Conches
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:38
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

You’ve got a train and a tram to Annemasse. Train and bus connections to the slopes from there. Let the train take the strain. Check the La Clusaz web site for how to get there, there should be public transport information there.

Also, do you know of the international ski club? https://www.scig.ch/en/
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Old 29.09.2020, 10:34
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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You’ve got a train and a tram to Annemasse. Train and bus connections to the slopes from there. Let the train take the strain.
Not sure about the OPs circumstances but have you ever done that with young kids in tow?

We've done it a few times and it can be back-breaking carrying three or four sets of skis, boots and all the other junk (whilst the other parent has to keep their hands free to hold kids hands on the platform etc)

Sure, it's doable but it takes the fun out of the day and also means that going for a morning ski is just impossible.
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Old 29.09.2020, 10:39
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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Not sure about the OPs circumstances but have you ever done that with young kids in tow?

We've done it a few times and it can be back-breaking carrying three or four sets of skis, boots and all the other junk (whilst the other parent has to keep their hands free to hold kids hands on the platform etc)

Sure, it's doable but it takes the fun out of the day and also means that going for a morning ski is just impossible.
This !!

It's hard enough to get from the parking to the lifts with a couple of kids..
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Old 29.09.2020, 12:29
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

There was no mention of Children, so I assumed that he was either alone, or a couple.
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Old 29.09.2020, 12:34
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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Hi all -
I am about to purchase a season pass -

There is so much choice out there I am getting a bit lost - just when I was about to purchase the La Clusaz season pass I realised parking is outrageously expensive there...

What are your recommendations for a large enough domain with most of its domaine skiable over 1650m. Decently affordable ski passes and cheap parking (I have young kids so idea is to go up in 45 minutes, ski two hours and come back down to the family). A Piou Piou club is a huge plus so I can bring my three year old a few times this season. I don't want to pay 40 euros to park either, however driving is a must.

Few resorts that spring to mind Samoens, Avoriaz, La Clusaz, Chamonix. What's your thoughts?

I've started my research - and had settled on La Clusaz, until... parking.

Thank you!

PS: also past Thonex, can't afford the time it takes to drive through Geneva. I am based in Conches
If you buy the Mont Blanc Unlimited, it covers all of Chamonix, St Gervais, Les Contamaines, Megeve & Courmayeur plus 6 single days in Verbier, plus 3 single days in different resorts. This is the pass I have had for the last 25 years, previous season pass owners get a huge discount although there usually is a 40% early bird discount, usually available in October. Free parking available at all except Courmayeur
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Old 29.09.2020, 12:36
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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There was no mention of Children, so I assumed that he was either alone, or a couple.
"... A Piou Piou club is a huge plus ..."

That's the clue about kids
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Old 29.09.2020, 12:38
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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There was no mention of Children, so I assumed that he was either alone, or a couple.
Kids in his opening post, yes.

OP - I have seen very small kids skiing here, with a pacifier and a helmet so large it swings from side to side like a church bell. These little monsters also have no idea how to wait in line, I think they can't talk yet, either.

But if you start at 3, the 1st season you will probably tow them, in betweeen your legs or on a cable. They learn better from other kids, too. I love St. Cergue because it is so close and we did black slopes a day later, it is a weird mix of red/blue and jardin de neige so small kids are so eager to hop on the grown up lift.

France is cheaper, but tonnnnnnn of people, traditionally. Not sure what Covid will change.

Carrying skis is ok, if they are short. But getting them in and out of boots, ouffff.
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Old 29.09.2020, 16:13
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

There's also Flaine, it's direct drive on the autoroute and has free parking in Les Carroz (not sure if this means every place is taken by 8am, others might know).
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Old 29.09.2020, 16:24
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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"... A Piou Piou club is a huge plus ..."

That's the clue about kids
As is

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Decently affordable ski passes and cheap parking (I have young kids so idea is to go up in 45 minutes, ski two hours and come back down to the family).
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Old 29.09.2020, 16:46
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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There was no mention of Children, so I assumed that he was either alone, or a couple.
There was no mention of the word 'Children' which is true but I think we can all work out that the OP wasn't thinking about taking a herd of young goats skiing when she mentioned 'kids'.
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Old 29.09.2020, 16:50
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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There's also Flaine, it's direct drive on the autoroute and has free parking in Les Carroz (not sure if this means every place is taken by 8am, others might know).
You can pass Les Carroz & park at Les Molliets lift, it's a big car park & a quicker connection to the Flaine Bowl.
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Old 29.09.2020, 21:47
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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You can pass Les Carroz & park at Les Molliets lift, it's a big car park & a quicker connection to the Flaine Bowl.
Thanks guys - checked out Les Carroz - I looked at it yesterday but for some reason it didn't register. It's 45 minutes door to door. Has a club Piou Piou. Season pass is 500 so not that bad. And if there is free parking I think we got ourselves a winner!

Passe du Mont Blanc with Chamonix sounds pretty good - I'll look at that option as well - but that extra 15 minutes means 30 minutes of extra driving. It sounds ridiculous but for me the most important thing is to be with the family during the winter but still get my ski fix.
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Old 30.09.2020, 05:36
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

We are of course hoping that we'll be able to cross borders to ski and that domains will be open

Was a bit of a shock 13 March when everything closed.. Maybe we'll see drag lifts only for social distancing or some other craziness..

Not sure I'd be buying a season pass just yet.

We can hope..
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Old 30.09.2020, 08:59
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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Thanks guys - checked out Les Carroz - I looked at it yesterday but for some reason it didn't register. It's 45 minutes door to door. Has a club Piou Piou. Season pass is 500 so not that bad. And if there is free parking I think we got ourselves a winner!

Passe du Mont Blanc with Chamonix sounds pretty good - I'll look at that option as well - but that extra 15 minutes means 30 minutes of extra driving. It sounds ridiculous but for me the most important thing is to be with the family during the winter but still get my ski fix.
The road to Les Carroz is poor, I would be surprised if you can make it from Geneva in 45 minutes especially on a Saturday morning. Avoid high season.
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Old 30.09.2020, 09:19
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

Have you looked at Megeve. Closeness to Genève and family/kid friendly would fit your needs. Not sure of parking and season pass costs though.
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Old 30.09.2020, 09:19
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

La Clusaz has the best part up the valley (La Balme / Les Chenons), no parking fees, so far I've never had issue finding a spot, and I am not an early bird. Although not sure that part is covered with kids care, you can transit from there to other parts of domaine.
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Old 30.09.2020, 14:51
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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The road to Les Carroz is poor, I would be surprised if you can make it from Geneva in 45 minutes especially on a Saturday morning. Avoid high season.
I used to reckon an hour to/from Flaine to GVA, so 45 mins to Les C is achievable for a 'positive' driver on a clearish road. But no, I'd reckon closer to 1:15 for a busy Saturday ski start, although I see that Thonex is somewhat closer, so maybe under an hour could still be possible.

And yes, I second your idea of parking at Molliets or even Vernant for best access to skiing.

Another alternative, of course, is the Portes du Soleil. Google maps gives an hour and a half from Thonex to Chatel, but I've done those roads recently and reckon it's a fair bit less than that. Again, traffic can make a big difference.

There's plenty of free parking around the lifts in Chatel, with three main starting points, one of which drops you almost directly into the Avoriaz sector. Plan on an extra ten minutes to get there, or park at the top of Chatel village to access the PdS and Gabelou chairs, on in each direction linking through from the Super Chatel area to Linga and thence towards Avoriaz or the Swiss side.
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Old 30.09.2020, 17:47
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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We are of course hoping that we'll be able to cross borders to ski and that domains will be open

Was a bit of a shock 13 March when everything closed.. Maybe we'll see drag lifts only for social distancing or some other craziness..

Not sure I'd be buying a season pass just yet.

We can hope..
Let's hope everything closes 12th December - 11th November would be even better!
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Old 30.09.2020, 21:34
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Re: Geneva (Thonex) - best value skiing with cheap parking

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Have you looked at Megeve. Closeness to Genève and family/kid friendly would fit your needs. Not sure of parking and season pass costs though.
Absolutely love Megeve - that's where I got my first taste for skiing with skins. However it's low altitude and I want to make sure I can get a long season in.

Love the comments in this thread - keep them coming! It's always useful to hear what people's thoughts are as opposed to some glossy website or some trip advisor review from some first time vacationers. Regarding closed borders - I've identified a field not too far from my house - I've got a good 4x4 with a V6, I reckon I can get through it and outrun the border patrol if need be
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