The 14th most popular snowboarding destination in Switzerland.
Monday 21 January 2019 06:13 GMT
East of Geneva, the Champery Ski Area has 99km of pistes served by 35 lifts providing access to 1000m of descent. The pistes of Champery Ski Area link quickly with the Les Crosets ski area just to the north. One of the more well known features of Champrey is the Swiss Wall, which is an ungroomed black run under the Chavanette chairlift that usually becomes an massive mogul field. Make sure not to underestimate the difficult of the Swiss Wall, especially after big dumps.
The town of Champery is a quaint Swiss village with authentic charm as compared with all the other purpose built concrete villages of Croset, Champoussin, Morgins and Torgin. It lies at an elevation of 1050m under the shadow of the spectacular peaks of Dents Blanches and Dents du Midi. While a great base, keep in mind that the pistes do not usually come down to town since they are south facing melting quickly. The main cable car departs and returns to town to provide direct access to the slopes above. In addition to the cable car, there is a free shuttle bus every 15 minutes leading to the Grand Paradis 8-person high-speed chairlift located outside of town. There are two possible red runs leading back down to the Grand Paradis lift; the run from Planachaux to the Grand Paradis base is the better choice since it has some steeps and rollers. The other option is the Ripaille route down to the Grand Paradis base which is long with a few flat sections (both may be closed in low snow seasons).
If you are looking for powder, check out Le Cubore.
The Champery Ski Area is part of the Portes du Soleil ski domain. The Portes du Soleil ski domain is one of the largest in the world linking 14 villages on both sides of the Swiss-French border southeast Geneva. The very family-friendly Portes du Soleil encompasses 206 lifts serving 283 pistes totalling 650km over 400 hectares of terrain. The pistes are classified as 41 green, 104 blue, 110 red and 28 black. From a snowboarders perspective, the classifications at Portes du Soleil can be translated as green means walking, blue means occasional walking, red means intermediate and black means difficult. In addition to the groomed pistes, there is plenty of off-piste terrain to explore under craggy peaks and down steep couloirs. Keep in mind that there are plenty of t-bars and Poma platter lifts spread throughout the region, along with flat or rolling traverses between ski areas. Overall, you are not going to find many snowboarders here, maybe 15%, except up at Avoriaz. By the way, Avoriaz makes for a great central and high elevation base to explore the entire Portes du Soleil region and it has exceptional terrain in every direction. Since the region tends to be lower in elevation, snow depth can be a problem throughout. If the quoted minimum depth is less than 60cm (24 inches), the off-piste routes are pretty sketchy to explore and you will be stuck on the icy groomed pistes. There can be some inconsistencies in published snow reports, such as centimeters reported as inches, so make sure to check several snow report sources before coming.
If you are looking for apres ski in the relatively quiet town of Champery, your best Le Gueullhi at the tram base station. Another option is Mitchells, Cafe du Centre, Ziggy's or Bar Des Guides up in town.
If you are looking for nightlife, keep in mind that it really starts about 11pm (if at all). Try checking out Bar Le Levant for billards, then either La Crevase Bar/Disco or Le Farinet Nightclub.
To reach the town of Champery, the best bet is to take a train which has two stops in town (the latter is next to the tram). The train serving Champery is a regional AOMC train that can be picked up from the main train station in Aigle. The nearest airport is located in Geneva where you can pickup the train to Aigle.
Overall, Champery is the 14th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 81 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Champery including Morzine, Avoriaz, Chatel, La Chapelle d Abondance, Abondance and Montriond.