Advice

How will we ski this winter?

Sam Ingles / Morzine Office de Tourisme

Here at Morzine Source Magazine we’re in constant contact with the local organisations that manage your favourite ski resorts. We’re expecting each of them to continuously publish updates on how they’ll operate this coming winter season as it draws closer. Of course, it won’t be skiing as you know it; changes to keep us all safe and healthy will be essential. We’ll keep this page updated with all the details as they’re officially announced.

On 2nd November we asked Morzine’s Pleney Lift Company for a statement on their preparations for this winter season. This follows the implementation of a second phase of confinement here in France and the announcement that the UK will follow suit later this week, and speculation that delayed openings were already been scheduled. They told us…

“In these uncertain times, our entire team is mobilised to welcome you in the best conditions and in compliance with government directives. If we have the green light, we will therefore be ready to open from December 19 as initially planned.

The Morzine ski area is continuing its investment efforts and innovations such as the step into the vertiginous void at the top of Pointe de Nyon or the new Snowpark and Border Cross will be operational.

We invite our customers to book their packages on the Internet (www.ski-morzine.com) which are cheaper than at the cash desk.
Stay passes will be refunded free of charge if we receive a request by email to contact@ski-morzine.com no later than the day before the validity date of the pass.

The Morzine-Les Gets ski area offers 120 km of slopes that will allow you to escape and ski in complete freedom.

Find all the latest information on the social networks Facebook and Instagram @skipassmorzine and on www.ski-morzine.com”

Also on 2nd November, France Montagne and a group of organisations representing French lift operating companies issued a statement to the media reaffirming their intention to open the ski lifts of the French Alps this winter, should government regulations allow. We’ve translated the statement from French to English below.

“French ski resorts are getting ready to open as soon as the confinement ends”

As the season approaches, all elected officials and professionals from the French mountains are doing their utmost to welcome holidaymakers this winter. All players in the French mountains are fully aware of the seriousness of the health crisis and are adapting accordingly to the measures taken by the government to halt the spread of the virus in France. This 30-day confinement should help bring down the number of daily contaminations.

“Since the outbreak of the virus and the early closure of ski resorts last March, all those involved in the resorts have been working with state services. From the spring, all the actors worked out health protocols. Faced with this second confinement and a situation that changes daily, we work on the basis of our knowledge of our customers, of the experience of managing the customer journey and of the perfect mastery of our territories to be able to open all the stations. of French ski. We can assure that all of the economic players and forces that make up French ski resorts continue to prepare for the season. We will be working with the government in the coming weeks to ensure the best possible reception for our customers as soon as possible,” declared Jean-Luc Boch, President of France Montagnes and of the ANMSM (National Association of Mayors of Mountain Stations).

This is why, everywhere in the French massifs, all the actors of the mountain (ski areas, ski schools, shops and rental of ski equipment, accommodation and tourist offices, bars and restaurants …) are united and working to coordinate their mutual efforts in order to offer the best experience to their customers under increased sanitary conditions.”

On 19th October, the CCHC (Communauté de Communes Haut-Chablais – a collection of the various villages that make up our region) published a series of documents to demonstrate a regionalised approach to keeping our mountains operational as the COVID-19 pandemic rumbles on. Further down this page you’ll discover the individual announcements made by Les Gets, Morzine and Avoriaz lift operators.

Originally published in French, we’ve translated the key elements for you below this poster.

A NETWORK OF COMMITTED PARTNERS UNITED WITH A COLLECTIVE OF 30 HOLIDAY CENTRES, ESF, GUIDES, SKI LIFTS, CARRIERS AND ALL OTHERS LOCAL ACTORS TO GUARANTEE A 100% PLEASURE STAY AND DISCOVER THE MOUNTAIN IN COMPLETE SAFETY!

Winter sports is an outdoor activity, where the equipment (gloves, skis, poles …) promotes gestures barriers.

  • Wearing a mask is OBLIGATORY from 11 years old
  • Hydroalcoholic gel will be available
  • Regular disinfection of surfaces and materials
  • Social distancing enforced in accommodation centres and restaurants

On 15th September, l’association France-Montagnes (which is kind of like the trade association for lift operating companies and tourism organisations across France), made a statement to offer some insight into how we’ll ski this winter. There was nothing particularly new or detailed in this announcement, as we’d already received the information below from the lift operators of Morzine and Les Gets, but this statement is still useful; it backs up a clear intention to open our favourite winter playgrounds this summer and demonstrates that much thought, effort and planning is going into the winter sports industry at a national level. They’ve even announced a slogan to demonstrate their intention: “All committed so that the mountains remain a pleasure.”

In summary, the announcement tells us to expect:

  • Masks will not be compulsory whilst you’re physically skiing, but they will be compulsory in lift queues and on lifts
  • All contact areas will be disinfected frequently – often multiple times per day
  • Masks will be compulsory whilst you’re renting your ski kit, and all kit must be thoroughly disinfected between users. Hydroalcoholic gel must also be available during the ski rental process.
  • Restaurants and bars will only offer table service and tables should be at least 1 metre apart. Masks should always be worn when travelling around a restaurant or bar, Hydroalcoholic gel must always be available and contact surfaces will be cleaned frequently
  • When dropping and collecting children from ski school – both outdoors and indoors, parents should always wear masks. Students aged 11 and over must also wear a mask in lift queues and on lifts. Hydroalcoholic gel will always be available, surface disinfection frequent and any loaned equipment – bibs for example, must be disinfected between users.
  • Masks will also be compulsory on resort transport, such as on the ski shuttles, main bus service and on the petit train.

Avoriaz

On Wednesday 30th September Avoriaz lift operator SERMA announced their commitment to protecting and reassuring their employees and clients this winter with the following commitment:

  • Reinforcing hygiene procedures across the lift network
  • Imposting social distancing
  • Committing to the protection of all
  • Committing to clear communication for all

For SERMA team members, physical distancing rules will apply whilst at work and protective equipment will be supplied such as masks, visors, protective glass and hand gel. Mask wearing will be compulsory for all staff in enclosed spaces and specific training will take place before the season begins.

For skiers and snowboarders in the Avoriaz lift network, extra sanitisation efforts will be made in toilets and all public spaces. You’ll be expected to abide by social distancing arrangements in lift and other queues, and mask wearing will be compulsory on chairlifts. There are currently no plans to limit the number of people on chairlifts, and therefore the number of people on the mountain at any time. Hydroalcoholic hand gel will be supplied across the lift area and the resort is improving its communication tools to give information to all.

We’re reminded that the Avoriaz Up&Down App gives skiers the opportunity to limit their contact with other people and their waiting times in lift queues by showing real-time waiting times. We’re all encouraged to download the app, which also has a function to recharge your lift pass too.

In terms of lift pass purchasing and cancellation / refund arrangements,

  • 2020/2021 Avoriaz and Portes du Soleil lift passes (but excluding the half price season lift passes sold on 26th may 2020 as part of a flash sale) – cancellation without any particular conditions until the 11th of December 2020, you’ll receive a full refund, minus a 25€ per pass administrative fee
  • Regarding Portes du Soleil and Avoriaz daily lift passes (but not including the 1 day « Happy First » lift pass) and from 1 to 13 consecutive days lift passes bought online through our website www.skipass-avoriaz.com, cancellation and a full refund without any particular conditions if purchased 15 days before the validity start date of the lift pass
  • Cancellation and full refund if purchase until 1 day before the validity start date of the lift pass in case the holidays have to be cancelled for any reason due to COVID 19 (contagion proved, health emergency, containment in the country of residence or destination, quarantine measures or bordure closures on documentary evidence such as medical certificate, employee certification…)
  • The request of cancellation should be sent through the ‘contact’ page of our website www.skipass-avoriaz.com within the time limits on presentation of the requisite documents.

Morzine.

On Friday 11th September Morzine’s lift operating company made the following announcement, setting out their plans for the coming winter season.

“We’re prepare for the winter season and we’ve put everything in place to welcome you in the best conditions and in compliance with government directives.”

Safety Measures:

“We do not yet have all the answers, but we are doing everything we can to guarantee the best possible safety in the ski area.”

  • Wearing a mask will be compulsory in the waiting areas, at boarding stations and while on the ski lifts.
  • There are currently no plans to limit the number of skiers in the ski area at any one time.
  • You’re encouraged to order your ski passes on the Internet to avoid queues at the checkout and contact: the pass is cheaper online!
  • Physical distancing will be implemented in queues.
  • Hydro-alcoholic gel will be made available at the ticket offices and at the ski lifts.
  • The area has many ski-in ski-out entry points. Take advantage of certain free car parks and our shuttle network to limit your wait and be the first on the slopes.

Lift Passes:

  • Unused lift passes, even those purchased as part of an early booking offer, will be refunded without charge. You’ll simply need to contact contact@ski-morzine.com no later than the first day of your passes validity. This statement does not relate to passes purchased during flash sales and season passes.
  • For season passes, your Morzine-Les Gets season pass will be canceled and refunded up until 11 December 2020, you’ll need to contact contact@ski-morzine.com, by December 11, 2020 at the latest, to process your refund. There’s a €40 administration fee.
  • In the event that all of the ski lifts in the Morzine – Les Gets network are interrupted due to a force majeure event (refer to our general conditions of sale) resulting in the inability to use your season pass for 15 consecutive days, the Portes du Soleil season passes and Morzine-Les Gets passes may be compensated in the form of credit or reimbursement, corresponding to the number of closing weeks multiplied by the price of the season pass reduced to the number of opening weeks initially planned deducted from a shortage day at the basic rate in force (price of the 1-day package at the cash desk).

 

Les Gets.

Les Gets lift operator SaGets and the Office de Tourisme announced the following details on Friday 11th September:

“We are actively preparing for the 2020-2021 winter season which, we all know, will be different from other years.”

“We do not yet have all the answers, but we are doing everything we can to guarantee the safety of our customers, our employees and the inhabitants of Les Gets as much as possible.”

Ski Lifts:

  • Wearing a mask will be compulsory in all ski lift waiting areas, departure points and on the ski lifts
  • There’ll be no limit to the number of skiers in the domain at the moment
  • There’ll be a total refund on lift passes should holidays be cancelled, where the pass has not been used*
  • Holders of the Les Gets – Morzine season pass will be entitled to a refund, should the lifts not open, up to the resort’s opening date on 12th December.**
  • Online lift pass purchases are incentivised with discounts so you can avoid the lift pass office and any queues. Reserve yours online here
  • In the lift pass office, physical distance markers will be in place
  • Hydro-alcoholic gel will be available at all lift pass purchase points and at all lift stations

* Excluding promotions, flash sales and season passes. The refund request must be made by e-mail (orders@sagets.fr) no later than the first day of validity of the package. 

** Excluding booking fees (40 €). The reimbursement request must be made by e-mail (orders@sagets.fr) no later than December 11, 2020. 

Some details have also been announced with regards to the operation of ski schools this winter.

  • Wearing a mask will be compulsory during gatherings at the start and end of lessons, for the instructor and for students aged 11 and over.
  • In buildings, public and professional spaces:
    • Wearing a mask is compulsory for people aged 11 and over
    • Hydro-alcoholic gel will be available
    • Surfaces will be disinfected regularly
    • Loaned equipment such as ski school bibs, etc will be disinfected regularly

You’re advised to contact the ski schools directly for more information on their reception, reservation and cancellation conditions.

How will we ski this winter?
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