This ski-pass includes Megève and les Contamines skiing as well as the Combloux pistes.
Mont d'Arbois / Bettex / Mont Joly pistes.
For the remainder of the local skiing you need a more expensive Megève lift pass. It is less than 10 minutes drive to "La Princesse" lift (at 1000m) just by the roundabout on the outskirts of Combloux towards Megève (and all local ski lift car parks are free, by the way). La Princesse gives access to 15 chairs, 34 drags, 6 gondolas and 3 cable cars serving another 90 local groomed pistes - not to mention another two dozen mountain restaurants and excellent views of Mont Blanc.
The Mont d'Arbois skiing offers a variety of open pistes, some tree-lined red and blue runs and some nice red and black descents. The next peak is Mont Joux which lives up to its name with a choice of smooth runs and easy moguls for all grades. Then comes Mont Joly (2350m) with some more testing red and black runs. Down from the east of these three peaks is the Bettex area served by a gondola from Saint Gervais and a network of chairs and drags above St Nicolas and Les Communailles. The whole area including Mont d'Arbois, Mont Joly, St Nicholas, and Bettex will keep anyone well exercised.
Excellent value for a simple lunch - like saucisses frites and pression - can be had at le Boitet, a small restaurant near the top of the drag lift in front of the Bettex lift station. For a longer stop, the restaurant beside the drag lift at Les Communailles has a good menu and terrace facing Mont Blanc. The restaurant at Plateau de la Croix above St-Nicholas is good value for lunch, and a good meeting place for morning drinks or lunch is the restaurant near the base of the Mont Joux chair.
The west side of Mont d'Arbois leads down over a golf course at the Plateau du Mont d'Arbois - the restaurant is actually the golf club house, its a little more pricey. This is a possible starting place but the car parks tend to get full. From here, there is a cable back up or a horizontal cable across the gorge to Rocharbois on the other side of the Megève bowl where another cable ascends to the network of pistes running from Rochebrune around to Cote 2000.
Rochebrune / Cote 2000 pistes.
Rather than crossing by cable, we prefer to drive to Cote 2000 and start there because either side of Megève has enough skiing for one day. By driving from our apartments we get onto the slopes quicker than residents of the busier Saint Gervais and Megève resorts. Drive towards the centre of Megève and fork left, turn left again and climb the twisting Route du Mont d'Arbois, pass the Rocharbois cable and continue out along this road, which eventually takes you past the altiport to Cote 2000. This is still only about 20 minutes from home, but it really steals a march on the Megève visitors who are working their way out in the other direction.
Cote 2000 is shaded by a spectacular cliff and holds the snow well - especially later in the season it is the favourite place for local residents. It has very enjoyable red and black runs and the local competition/training slope. There are blue runs linking around to Rochebrune but expect a crusty start early in the morning and you will need a piste map (from any caisse) to follow the series of chairs and drags. Be sure to do a couple of runs down the superb but easy red, Lanchettes.
A good place for lunch is the "Javen d'en Haut" at the bottom of the Petite Fontaine, four man chair serving runs 63 and 64. You need to arrive early to get quick service because it is very popular - restaurants at L'Alpette and Rochebrune are relatively expensive.
Les Contamines has some beautiful skiing and is very pretty when it is sunny but is worth avoiding on cloudy days when it can be drab or bleak - it is at its best when other areas are suffering too much sun. It is also wise to avoid Sundays when the resort is very popular for coach parties.
Being at the head of a steep sided valley beneath a glacier, the village has a natural supply of cold air that holds the snow until late in the season. The skiing is mainly above the tree line and there is lots of variety for all standards of skier.
Driving from Combloux takes about 25 minutes to reach the second and least crowded of two gondolas. We can reach the (Signal) ski area faster than many holidaymakers staying in Les Contamines and having to get a ski bus or walk across the valley to the first gondola.
From our apartment, drive down through Combloux and turn left at the roundabout near the Princess lift. The road twists its way into St Gervais. You enter St Gervais via a straight street, over the gorge and sharp left near the ice rink - immediately after this corner there is a sharp semi-hidden right turn up a narrow one way stret signposted to les Contamines. Turn right at the main road and follow the road towards Les Contamines for about 6 kms. A right fork gives direct access to the lifts, completely avoiding the resort centre.
Go past the first gondola station and onto the second (La Gorge) for a quicker ascent. Both cables meet at a mid-station. There is a second stage continuing up to le Signal, but we usually take the chair lift up from here instead. There are a several restaurants dotted around the area but it may be worth skiing back down to the mid-station for lunch because the "Etape" restaurant is good value.
These maps display in separate windows. They are large files and may take time to download.
The first map (162kB) covers three quarters of the "evasion" lift pass area : about 480 kms of pistes centered on Combloux/Megève/les Contamines/les Houches.
Within that vast area is our local skiing. It takes two (62kB) maps to cover the 33 runs on our doorstep...
Combloux , and Jaillet/Christomet
and another four (70kB) maps showing the remaining 300 kM of the Combloux/MegMegèveve (village) areas...
Princesse & Mont d'Arbois, Bettex & Saint Gervais,
Mont Joly & Saint Nicolas, and Rochebrune & Cote 2000.