Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceLe Grand Bornand

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Overview

The resort of Le Grand-Bornand is a wonderfully quaint Alpine village that shares its slopes with its equally charming neighbouring village of La Clusaz. The village has retained its traditional atmosphere by ensuring that no planning ‘horrors’ have been allowed to spoil it and it remains a true community. It is well served by shops, bars and restaurants and has a weekly farmers market that is interesting. The available accommodation includes catered chalets, hotels, guest houses and some good self catered apartments. Away from the slopes entertainment for non skiers is limited, but excursions to Annecy are possible and there is a good pool complex at La Clusaz which is a ten minute bus ride away, and is well worth a visit for its regular market and weekly vin chaud and cheese reception held by the villagers in the main square.

Profile

The village stands at 950m and provides access to 90 km of local piste served by 39 lifts. Combine the La Clusaz slopes (accessed by shuttle bus) and there is a total of 222 km of runs served by a system of 94 lifts. Snow cover is normally fairly reliable because of the orientation of the majority of the slopes. The region is not particularly high however, so conditions can be difficult despite the presence of extensive snow making facilities.

Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels will have no trouble in keeping themselves occupied for a week within the combined region. Experts have a number of seriously steep black runs to try as well as plenty of great off piste areas to explore. Intermediates will find that Le Grand-Bornand has some of the best blue and red runs in the region, while beginners have a choice of excellent nursery slopes and plenty of progression runs to move on to. Snowboarders can choose either of two very well equipped terrain parks, while cross country fans have 70 km of trails as well as the specialised ‘Nordic Park’ to enjoy. There are three ski schools within the village and some reportedly very good child care facilities.

Mountain Information

Generally the slopes of both sectors are quite widely spread which leads to longer runs and better variety. From the village, there are two gondolas that take the skier up to the mid station below the main local peak of Le Lachat. From here, the intrepid can carry on to the top where the tough red and blacks are to be found, while the less skilful and can explore the blue and green runs towards Le Chinaillon or back down to the village.

Experts will find some of the best local slopes up on Le Lachat while over at the La Clusaz sector, the areas around La Balme and L’Aiguille hold the best opportunities both on and off piste. The best wooded runs are again on the La Clusaz slopes around La Croix-Fry. Mountain restaurants are plentiful and are all of an excellent standard, serving local Savoyard dishes in pleasant settings.

Apres Ski

For those seeking a wild time, the lack of any particular après ski scene in Le Grand-Bornand is going to be a real problem with only a few fairly quiet bars on offer — the best being Maurice’s and Les Deux Guides. For those prepared to take the bus, La Clusaz has the Ecluse Disco and Club 18 with live music as well as some excellent lively bars including le Pressoir and Pub Le Salto.

Resort Information • Le Grand Bornand

Resort Height Resort Height 1100m
Top Station Top Station 2100m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1000m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1100m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 25
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 12
High Capacity High Capacity 2
Opening Dates Opening Dates Mid Dec-Mid April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 5
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 8
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 9
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 6