Freeriding, terrain parks and pistes
in Les Gets
This place is well covered with pistes, which doesn't really leave much room for freeriders to explore. Try the trees either side of the run returning to the Perrieres express chair, especially down on the left side. Alternatively there's the "bowl" area, serviced by the Ranfoilly and Rosta chairs. The lift journeys here are pretty short and you'll find one or two steep sections along with some opportunities to wander off piste. You can spot the useful areas on the chair up. Consider hikes to the right of Ranfoilly and the trees underneath. On a snowy day the runs will be empty so that could be your chance to get some very easy powder turns in while everyone else is getting drunk.
With Morzine's slopes being right on the doorstep, you might want to venture to the Chamossiere Bowl. Try to check that the lifts accessing it are open before making your way across the slopes, which can take some time.
Les Gets has spent some time and money developing the Mont Chery side into a "Freestyle District", including a mix of kickers, rails, boxes, jibs and a hip. There's a boarder-cross too. The park kickers have good transitions, it's actively maintained and well laid out, with the rails and boxes following after the kicker line, allowing you to get in a good number of hits per run. What's more, the park is serviced by a chairlift that drops you right at the top, which for many will be more appealing than a drag. It's not the newest of chairlifts however, you'll find it takes around 12-13 minutes to complete a lap. There's a handy restaurant right at the top of the park, so if you want to session it for a full day you don't need to leave the area...
Les Gets has certainly put more effort into freestyle than Morzine, and in general, the park compares well with similar French resorts. They offer a cheaper pass for the park only, and this side of Les Gets tends to be crowd free even on busy days. The freestyle terrain of Avoriaz is close by and the Portes du Soleil pass will allow you to ride both. If your just starting out in freestyle, Les Gets will be fine; more advanced riders should look across the valley to Avoriaz, probably starting with the Snowpark de la Chapelle.
Go straight to the "Bowl" area of the mountain where La Rosta and Le Ranfoilly will give you access to a good selection of reds and blues. These runs are wide and well looked after; the red run off of Ranfoilly is especially good as it's long and includes rolls and long turns. The "Bowl" is really worth exploring as it has pistes to suit any intermediate and the runs are separate from the beginner areas. There are a couple of steep blacks here too. Sure, they get mogul'ly pretty soon after new snow, like most steep sections, but great if there's still some fresh around or, if you like being on the edge of control riding over massive mounds!
Across in Morzine, the Pointe de Nyon has a challenging red run which is quite thin, fun on some days but simply avoid it when busy - for your safety! Either way, it does have a great view of Mont Blanc.
Les Gets isn't a resort littered with natural hits around the slopes. So whilst the Freestyle District is progressive, if you're looking to jib on the pistes you're best off heading to the Lindarets area, which as well as some nice natural features, also contains the Avoriaz Stash.
Beginners are well looked after in Les Gets. First off, buy yourself a "points pass". Each lift has a value and your pass is charged with 50 points when you buy... Use a lift, lose some points. Simple. The average beginner will make that pass last for a few days and it costs less than a full day-pass.
The top of the Chavannes gondola is a great place to learn; the magic carpet is free and sectioned off for beginners only. Once you move past the carpet the nearby la Croix chair will give you a nice wide blue to improve your skills. In this area there are cafes allowing you to meet up with your more adventurous friends and at the end of the day you can ride the gondola down to the village, avoiding the difficult run home. It's good for feeling part of the group.
There's a good blue running off the Grains d'Or Express chair: Renardiere. In the main it's a steady gradient, great for learning turns, but there are one or two little steep sections thrown in, which will build the excitement for the progressing beginner. It does have a slight trail section at the end, but not so much to be a problem. It's a nice short chair too.
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