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  #21  
Old 12.01.2018, 12:02
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

It's important to undersand what is meant by "beginner". Speaking as an instructor, a beginner, for me, means someone who will be limited to nursery slopes only, e.g someone who's never skied before or in their first couple of days on skis. If they are in any way skiing around the mountain then they are no longer beginners.

Better to avoid ambiguous terms, so for example the ski school I used to work at uses a level 1-6 system, which I paraphrase below. There's no 'normal' time to progress through the levels - some (exceptional) people will be at level 2 in an hour and level 3 after a day, but others may take a whole week to advance from level 1 - so it's important to avoid using numbers of days skiing as a measure.
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LEVEL 1 – First steps on snow, gliding, braking in snowplough

LEVEL 2 – Can ski the fall-line with a controlled snowplough and who can link snowplough turns.

LEVEL 3 – Can ski a safe snowplough and is putting their skis in parallel on the traverse; is able to move around on their skis quite independently.

LEVEL 4 – Can ski parallel on red pistes without problems, can get on chairlifts themselves and ski over rollers while keeping their skis on the snow.

LEVEL 5 – Can ski parallel on black pistes without any difficulty

LEVEL 6 – Very good skiers, no problem skiing all sorts of pistes, including mogul fields, freeriding (tracked-out powder), hard/ icy/ steep pistes, freestyle park kickers/jumps.
So I'd suggest that, for example, the blue down from the Gabelou would be a challenge for level 2s, within scope for 3. So certainly not a 'beginner' run by any definition. Note, however, that you can take both Gabelou and Portes du Soleil in both directions, so the blue run down to Chatel can be avoided if necessary.

Anyway, enough about this - the sun is shining so I'm going to go out and ski the slopes around Torgon so I can find out a bit more about what we're talking about here.
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  #22  
Old 12.01.2018, 12:55
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Thanks- have fun. No idea if La Jorette is skiable at the mo- so looking forward to hear. Hope you make it over to La Chapelle too.
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Old 12.01.2018, 17:26
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Let me know the conditions if you get a chance. It was really icy at Pré la Joux and Linga last weekend.
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Old 12.01.2018, 19:51
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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Thanks- have fun. No idea if La Jorette is skiable at the mo- so looking forward to hear.
Neither have I, as there's nothing of that name on the piste map.

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Let me know the conditions if you get a chance. It was really icy at Pré la Joux and Linga last weekend.
Icy? Hardly. We skied all around there on Monday and there was no ice in sight. Perhaps you mean hard and scraped, of which there was some, but still enough grip to ski properly. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but then we were both on our race skis which do grip on almost anything given the right input from the rider. Oh, and we stayed mostly on piste - tried a few little bits of edge piste and it was thoroughly unpleasant, hard as a rock.

Today was even better, with some fresh snow from yesterday to help soften the pistes and a nice 10cm or so of 'powder' in ungroomed areas.

Back to the OP's question though - in my opinion to ski over to the Linga area from Torgon, and back, would take a strong level 3 in my list above, not least because of the distances involved and the time it would take for a slower skier.

Navigating the area, in both directions, is also ridiculously complicated and it's easy to go wrong unless you know the area well, or stop and get the map out at every lift and piste choice. Even then, the map is one of the most difficult to read that I've come across, with arrows on many pistes and lifts failing to give a good overview of the layout. And I'm really good at navigation, piste maps etc. so a novice could find it a nightmare.
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Old 12.01.2018, 20:20
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Thanks a lot for all of the really useful input on this..

We might actually be better spending the extra time going to Morgins or Chatel. By the look things it would likely be me and my 8 year daughter exploring and the others would be kinda left behind.. And she's pretty slow and careful.
She's a good level 3 and touching 4 I'd say.. I'm probably an easy 4 and somewhere in 5 .. I'll do the black pistes if i find myself at the top one but I'd rather do some nice long wide steep reds. The other skiers are probably more firmly in the level 2-3 area.

I'll put it out to our group and see what they prefer.. Proximity / limited skiing for the majority or more easy skiing with a further trip.

Edit : I'm also crap at reading the piste maps .. So another recipe for disaster..
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Old 12.01.2018, 21:40
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Hi John_H and Ski Group ....

We've also ski'ed a lot from Chatel, the whole Portes-du-Soleil is a brilliant region.

Keep in mind that the bars, restaurants and Apres life is more vibrant on the French side. In Chatel especially, so you could take your 'Group' and start your Ski / Sledge / Walk / SnowShow / Coffee Pause / Shopping .... from Chatel, then head back to CH, Miex later in the evening.

Enjoy the snow.
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Old 12.01.2018, 23:58
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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Neither have I, as there's nothing of that name on the piste map. .
La Jorette is the main slope up from Torgon resort, not from Plan de Croix. It has a Poma on the left hand side, where you can get off at several points (the top is steep)- which is used all the time by the Torgon Ski School for beginners.
With a restaurant/Pizzeria near the bottom. It has a chairlift on the right hand side- you then come down about a thrid of the way and then turn left to ski down to Plan de Croix.

How are the finances doing John? Could you book a lesson with the ski school in Torgon (you can ask them to meet you at Plan de Croix) for half a day- to show you around?

But honestly, with your daughter, skiing the runs around Plan de Croix- going up to Chapelle d'Abondance and also up to Tour de Don, will be plenty- no need to go off to Châtel and back.

Just Googled Torgon La Jorette- and it seems that it is also called 'Les Fignards'.
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  #28  
Old 14.01.2018, 12:47
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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But honestly, with your daughter, skiing the runs around Plan de Croix- going up to Chapelle d'Abondance and also up to Tour de Don, will be plenty- no need to go off to Châtel and back.
I tend to agree, but I also remember skiing a lot of the area from Super Chatel on my first ever week on skis, all of which is easily accessible once you're up the hill from Torgon, so would certainly suggest exploring at least as far as Chalet Neuf and le Lac area, and the pistes above SC itself. Some great runs there for a keen improver.

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Just Googled Torgon La Jorette- and it seems that it is also called 'Les Fignards'.
Right, now I know where you mean, but I haven't been down that far.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:22
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Another question for the more experienced!

On the different ski levels.. Thinking for my daughter..
The Swiss snow league has all these different levels, Blue star, Red princess.. etc etc..

Are these simply to help evaluate your/kids level? Or do they actually do a test and get a certificate or something?

My oldest is quite shy and really just hung back when she did group lessons so I put her in mostly private lessons (ESS) .. This gave her a great start but she didn't therefor ever follow the levels as such. So thinking for these long weekends we have planned to let her do the courses -- if it gives her the 'official levels' ? Any point to it?
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Old 15.01.2018, 00:53
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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Another question for the more experienced!

On the different ski levels.. Thinking for my daughter..
The Swiss snow league has all these different levels, Blue star, Red princess.. etc etc..

Are these simply to help evaluate your/kids level? Or do they actually do a test and get a certificate or something?

My oldest is quite shy and really just hung back when she did group lessons so I put her in mostly private lessons (ESS) .. This gave her a great start but she didn't therefor ever follow the levels as such. So thinking for these long weekends we have planned to let her do the courses -- if it gives her the 'official levels' ? Any point to it?
I think they get a booklet with sign-offs for the various levels, so it may help with a sense of achievement, but there's perhaps a slight ulterior motive, in that it's only the Swiss Ski School that uses this system, so it's not really useful outside of that as a measure of ability, and a cynical observer might suggest that it's just a way of locking them in to the ESS.

If she's shy I'd tend away from group lessons, which with the ESS can sometimes be stupidly large - I've seen up to 15 kids with one instructor on occasions - and which will only be of any benefit for the most keen kids, ,and even then the amount of actual learning will be very little.

Try to find a ski school that guarantees small groups or stick with private lessons. I'm not yet working with any of the local ski schools, so can't give any advice on which is best. But there seems to be an 'ESI' affiliated school in most of the resorts hereabouts, so I'd look at them first, particularly if you want to find a native English speaking instructor.
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Old 15.01.2018, 12:31
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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Just spotted this bit - there's no need to walk at all if you don't want to. There's a shuttle bus every ten minutes or so between the Corbeau lift (and piste) and Follieuse. Some people seem to ski all the way down to the main road in the village centre, just across the road from the Follieuse chair, but it's not an official piste.
Checked out the on-ski link yesterday, and it's more of a snow bank going down the side of the road, and crosses several side street entrances so is not simple and could easily get icy in places. Fine for a half-decent skier, but take the bus if you're less experienced or confident.

On the subject of buses, the Corbeau chair is still out of action following last week's storm - trees dangerously uprooted next to the lift or something similar - but while it's not working there's a bus service straight over to the PdS and Gabelou chairs, runs around every twenty minutes. Not sure if they'll continue it once the lift is reopened, but it's getting a lot of use, mainly, it seems, by skiers from Chatel skiing over here and getting the bus back.
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Old 15.01.2018, 15:56
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

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Checked out the on-ski link yesterday, and it's more of a snow bank going down the side of the road, and crosses several side street entrances so is not simple and could easily get icy in places. Fine for a half-decent skier, but take the bus if you're less experienced or confident.

On the subject of buses, the Corbeau chair is still out of action following last week's storm - trees dangerously uprooted next to the lift or something similar - but while it's not working there's a bus service straight over to the PdS and Gabelou chairs, runs around every twenty minutes. Not sure if they'll continue it once the lift is reopened, but it's getting a lot of use, mainly, it seems, by skiers from Chatel skiing over here and getting the bus back.
During the ski season, the I bus, which runs every 15 minutes from the church in the village of Chatel up to the PdS and Gabelou connectors, continues 4 times per day up and over the hill to the little lac at Pas de Morgins. Then, the Morgins ski bus picks people up and drops them at the Morgins lifts. Here is the link for the Chatel ski buses: http://info.chatel.com/les-navettes-de-chatel.html

I guess they are running a special bus right now all day because Corbeau is closed.
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Old 23.01.2018, 19:04
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

So the sun is out.. I took a sneaky day off to go scope the area..

Booked a lesson to get a guide in the afternoon. Meeting at plan de croix.

@ACE1 .. You skiing in the morning?
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Old 24.01.2018, 18:49
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Re: Torgon - Chatel - Morgins etc

Had fantastic day exploring around Torgon, Plan de Croix,Chatel, Morgins area. Had a few hours on my own just jumping from one lift to another getting lost and having no clue what's around the next corner then met an instructor from ESS and had a lesson / guide.. Good to get that local knowledge and to follow the expert down some scarier stuff i might not have done alone.

The sunny facing slopes were getting pretty sloppy and and the shaded stuff was like ice.. A few pistes closed due to the avalanche risk, mostly bumpy blacks and the ski patrol were out blasting stuff, we could see mini avalanches all over the place.

Not sure I'm gonna take the beginners there though.. Nice snow garden and easy parking. But apart from the nice "bowl" at the top of the Tronchey chair, which they can use to go back down.. Am just not sure they'd manage.
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