Av-Mor-Iaz – In Which I Defend Morzine to the Death

So it has recently come to my attention that my ‘home’ (after two winters and impending summer I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty committed) resort of Avoriaz received the most snow out of anywhere in Europe this winter just gone. Large cliffs became small cliffs, some drops disappeared completely; people started buying transceivers left right and centre… I love living in Morzine and riding in Avoriaz, but to my shock, not everyone seems to like it as much as me… so I’m going to take this opportunity to shamelessly rub it in everyone else’s faces.

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Pre-season snowfall in town

Before I start, I know what all these haters have to say: It takes too long to get from Morzine to Avoriaz, especially in February… the parks are shit… the night life’s shit… there’s not enough continuous vertical downhill… it’s too low to ever get really good powder… A conspicuous person whose name rhymes with Glam Horde controls all the seasonal rentals and massively over charges for them all… What about that really bad winter 2 years ago where there wasn’t any snow…? And so on and so forth.

Admittedly, I would be the first person to agree with some of these issues, for example, I DO think the parks are a bit shit, especially as Avoriaz had a reputation for having amazing parks just a few years ago. Now they seem a bit half assed and don’t really give you much of a chance to er, learn… which is quite important. Particularly with the rails; I mean, come on guys, DONT JUST PUT IN LOADS OF FUN BOXES AND THEN A DOUBLE KINK – PUT IN SOMETHING WE CAN ACTUALLY LEARN STUFF ON!! Phew, glad I got that one off my chest. And it does take quite a long time to actually get to Avoriaz sometimes, especially if buses are involved, not always good when you need to get to work…

BUT…

There’s something for every type of weather. There are heaps of awesome tree runs through Lindarets Bowl and Prodain for when the visibility is bad, and there’s the stash for when it’s snowing but not so much to make it a powder day. And speaking of powder and the copious amounts Avoriaz received this year, there’s plenty to go around; there are loads of secret spots and loads of great hikes. So what if you’re not getting like, 1000m of continuous steep and deep? At least when it snows you can get to places where the snow is good and you can still see.

Furthermore, I only had a pass for Avoriaz this year, but if you splash out for a local pass (which gets you Morzine, Aroriaz and Les Gets) or even a Portes du Soleil pass, there is a lot more skiable area, and it’s a lot quieter too. And don’t forget about best kept secrets Morzine and Les Gets, generally thought of as beginner areas, where there’s loads of powder that no one rides. And again, lots of trees, if you’re into that sort of thing… If you’re willing to hike (and of course if you have all the correct safety equipment!) there are all the delights of Pepsi Max and Vallee de la Manche to be had. And let’s face it; it feels better when you’ve put in some work for it!

But I think one of the best things about living in Morzine is that it’s an actual town. It’s not just a purpose built resort full of tiny apartments that are too small to swing a cat in; actually compared to some places that I don’t care to name which consist of a bunk bed, a corridor and a pull out sofa, you actually get quite a lot for your money. And it brings the cost of your shopping down too. Besides all these superficial things, there’s a really good community spirit. Who needs a horrendously expensive nightclub shooting out eurotrash music on every corner anyway? One is quite enough. There are plenty of nice bars and plenty of nice people in these bars.

So I’ve rambled on for about 700 words, I’m sure you get the picture; Morzine is great, Avoriaz is great. It may not be perfect, but then it would be pretty boring if it was, I mean I would have nothing to complain about which would be in fact completely tragic. Anyway, I’ll be here until I can get a visa for Canada. Or somewhere better… HA.

To read more about where else got great snow this winter, you can read Fraser Wilkin’s article at: http://www.weathertoski.co.uk/weather-snow/who-got-the-most-snow-2012-13/

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An awkward photograph that illustrates the amount of snow quite well

All photo credits to the lovely Lois Vero

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