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Châtel

Châtel Ski Resort Guide

Châtel, France

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForBeginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length85km
Highest Lift2,200m
Resort Height1,200m
 Nearest AirportsSion and Geneva
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Châtel

An old Savoyard village with a long farming tradition and today a strong tourism infrastructure. Well placed on the Portes du Soleil circuit, arguably the world's biggest lift-linked ski area offering 650km of piste.

Summary

The French ski resort of Châtel is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,200m, with 85km of marked runs.

Châtel is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area with access to 400km of downhill skiing, with 285 marked pistes, served by a total of 196 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Châtel itself (85km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Portes du Soleil ski resorts of Abondance, Avoriaz, La Chapelle d'Abondance, La Grande Terche, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, Saint Jean d'Aulps, Champoussin, Champéry, Les Crosets, Morgins and Torgon.

With ski lifts as high as 2,200m, snow cover is generally reliable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Châtel?

The next notable snow forecast is 9cm, expected on 5 December.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Châtel
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun

Ski Area Stats

Châtel Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 5 
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
15
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
18
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
11
Downhill
Total Length
85km
Cross Country
Total Length
49km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
41

Portes du Soleil Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
32
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
100
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
122
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
31
Downhill
Total Length
400km
Cross Country
Total Length
243km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
196

Altitudes

Châtel Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,200m
Resort Altitude (Châtel)1,200m
Lowest Piste1,100m
Max Vertical1,100m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Châtel
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Châtel Overview

An old Savoyard village with a long farming tradition and today a strong tourism infrastructure, Châtel is well placed on the Portes du Soleil circuit, arguably the world's biggest lift-linked ski area offering 650km (406 miles) of piste.

It differs from other Portes du Soleil resorts in a variety of ways. Firstly, the often busy road through it comes in from Switzerland, with the border post at one end of town; it's easy to reach the other French (and Swiss) Portes du Soleil resorts by ski, but not so easy by road. Secondly, the Portes du Soleil circuit is broken by the village, with a fast and frequent bus service making the connection across the village. This is actually quite good news for those based in the village, as they can decide which sector they wish to ski each morning.

Thirdly, the village offers a high number of relatively inexpensive small family hotels and chalets rather than having the usual 99% apartment accommodation that is on offer in most French resorts. Finally, despite its meteoric rise leading to more rapid expansion than most other Portes du Soleil resorts (although arguably Morzine's expansion is Avoriaz...), Châtel has managed to maintain most of its development in chalet style buildings in keeping with the natural ambience of the resort. At the same time the farming tradition remains strong with farm fresh produce on sale direct from various local outlets.

The resort's own radio station, radio Chatel on 98.8, keeps you informed as to what's going on from day to day in the village.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Châtel is 6km long.

Skiing

Châtel's skiing effectively breaks in to two huge sectors of the Portes du Soleil circuit, with the Linga gondola at one end of town heading off towards Avoriaz, and on the other from Super Châtel side gondola going towards the Swiss resort of Torgon. In addition, there are individual and unlinked drag lifts dotted around the valley floor, serving very easy or easy runs and used for beginners. The main beginner area is, however, at the top of the gondola above Super Châtel where a snowy open bowl contains a further dozen or so short drags radiating out in all directions and serving generally easy or very easy terrain.

Indeed, with so many lifts dotted around, and Châtel's two gondolas linking in to two sections of the vast Portes du Soleil, it's a bit difficult to work out exactly where the extensive skiing the village claims as it own comes to an end and the next resort's territory begins. Rather than trying to work that out, most skiers and 'boarders will be admiring the picturesque scenery for which the area is renowned, with thickly forested slopes above the valley floor giving way to open snow fields and then the rocky pinnacles above and beyond.

Intermediates will enjoy Châtel's skiing and the vast range of opportunities in the Portes du Soleil beyond. For advanced skiers the Linga sector is the place to go initially where you'll find challenging runs beneath the gondola.

There are now six ski schools operating in the resort, including some small specialist snowboard and off-piste operations which will be able to locate more advanced terrain away from the crowds.

Châtel offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate and Beginner skiers.

Snowboarding

Châtel has a fun park with half pipe up at its Super Châtel off-shoot, and with most of the key lifts in the area chairs or gondolas it's not a bad base for the Portes du Soleil, home to still more famous snowboarding centres like Avoriaz.

There's a good choice of 'boarding hire and sales shops and schools for tuition including Ski Surf Ecole International and l'Ecole de Ski Snow Ride.

Location and Map

Where is Châtel?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in Portes du Soleil, Haute-Savoie.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Châtel is Sion, 57 minutes drive away.

Geneva, Annecy, Berne, Chambery, Basel, Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, Lyon St-Exupéry, Zurich and Grenoble airports are all within three hours drive.

Sion is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 41 ski lifts are able to uplift 41,630 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 3km of ski runs, with 237 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Châtel open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Châtel, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Châtel Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Châtel

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Whilst many of the major French areas have become dominated by one international group or another, often the British, Chatel retains a very French feel which appeals to many (especially the British!). That being said Châtel is livelier than most French dominated resorts with several dozen bars and night spots open to 4am.

The Tunnel Bar, owned by Scots, and the Pelican Bar, both have a vibrant feel and frequently stage live music. Another popular spot is l'avalanche, in the village centre on the road to Linga. L'isba is the local action video bar. Evening alternatives are the bowling alley and a cinema showing English and French films on various nights.

Châtel