Season 2018-19 has all the lifts available on Grands Montets, except for the cable car system from Argentière to the top of Grands Montets (the cable cars Argentière-Lognan and Lognan-Top of Grands Montets are closed), but this is a great opportunity for powder skiing and ski touring for beginners.
Instead of the cable car Argentière-Lognan, the Plan Joran gondola drops you at 2135m, which is 135m above Lognan. Ski down to Lognan and, from there, you can take La Herse and Le Bochard lifts.
From the top of Le Bochard, fit your skins and track across the Grands Montets, to the Col de Rachasses. Once you pass over the col, you can drop directly onto the Glacier des Rognons, or turn right and continue up the Grands Montets, where La Face, Le Pas de Chèvre and a high line east on to the Glacier des Rognons are all available.
This vast expansive off-piste skiing will provide powder days where lift accessible slopes are tracked out. But be careful, this is hardcore off-piste terrain with a high risk of avalanche, and, as you will be skiing on the glacier, there is the risk of falling into a crevasse. Also, the east side of the Glacier des Rognons has a high risk of serac fall, off Le Vert. Hire a mountain guide or ski in groups with people who have a lot of experience and be responsibly equipped for off-piste activity.
Transponder, shovel, probe, they are all essential. And be sure you know how to use them.
Take a mobile phone on which you have the number of PGHM saved. (+33 4 50 53 16 89)
Season 2018-19 means extravagant adventure on the Grands Montets, dazzling fresh snow waiting for the extreme skiers. The slopes are all reserved for wild freestyle.
Plan Joran, Le Bochard and La Herse lifts
Despite being deprived of its two cable-cars, the Grands Montets ski area will be open for the winter season with access by the Plan Joran lift.
The Plan Joran is a ten pax gondola. It has an hour capacity of 3200 people. The cable car that made the connection between Argentière and Lognan could transport only 700 pax/hour. Consequently, there is only 18% loss of passenger capacity.
Another big advantage of the new Plan Joran lift is that it does not stop at Plan Joran, but continues to an altitude of 2138 meters, which is over 100m above the Lognan mid-station and the Plan Joran restaurant. The big positive aspect: you can access the lifts La Herse and Le Bochard without walking.
The Lognan plateau of the Grandes Montets is open for business with the Bochard gondola, capacity 3000 people per hour & the Herse, with a capacity of 2600 people per hour.
The only real compromise is the temporary loss of the cable car between Lognan and the summit of the Grandes Montets. But this creates an excellent opportunity for off-piste skiing and for powder enthusiasts.
Modernised Marmottons chairlift
There is a new, six pax detachable chairlift replacing the old two pax Marmottons chairlift. Its greater capacity helps enough, considering the fact that the cable cars Argentière-Lognan and Lognan-Top of Grands Montets are closed this winter.
Marmottons chairlift is not the one that gets you highest this year. The ski area is accessible through Plan Joran gondola, and then from the Bochard and Herse lifts.
New beginners’ slope
Marmottons chairlift provides access to the improved beginners' slope at Lognan, 2000m on the Grands Montets. The slope has been regraded so that it is more consistent from beginning to end and the snow cannons have been upgraded.
It is the biggest investment for the 2018-19 season. Work began on the new beginner slope in August 2018. The cost of this project is 8,5 million euros.
You can book a ski course at one of the ski schools on Grands Montets, Argentière, here.