Bust up between la Clusaz and the Croix Fry

Over the summer ski resorts have been busy. Improving ski runs modernizing ski lifts and, a key marketing tool, adding links between disparate domains. But not in the Haute Savoie where relations between some resorts have become decidedly frosty, unlike the above average temperatures this January.


Last week we were surprised, when half way down the mountain, to encounter the sign shown above. Our Clusaz lift pass would not be accepted by the Croix-Fry. This is not some far flung outpost of the Clusaz ski domain but an integral part of the Beauregard sector. A great area to head on poor weather days due to the tree lined slopes. The area is full of history, extreme skier Pierre Tardivel learned to ski here.

The Satelc a public/private partnership (SEM) runs 90% of the ski domain at la Clusaz. On the 26th April 2006 they ended the contract with La Clusaz Manigod with the aim of installing a hands-free system to more accurately divide lift pass receipts. The SATELC abandoned this project and in the summer of 2007 proposed what was described as “an unfavourable contract to la Croix Fry” as well as other smaller players. According to the Director this small ski area wants to develop their domain with snow making and new lifts. Last summer they replaced the Grand Crêt drag and lengthened the piste des bois. They don’t just want to be an access point to la Clusaz with a free car-park. (Parking in la Clusaz is payable).

Bizarrely Croix-Fry is on good terms with Merdassier (both privately owned) so it is possible to buy a lift pass covering both la Croix Fry and Merdassier as well as a lift pass for la Clusaz – Merdassier but if you want to ski all the 132km of runs and 55 ski lifts you will need to buy two lifts passes: Clusaz + Croix Fry for a total of 42.30 € (28.50€ + 13.80€). Expensive for a small ski resort. We asked the lift company in la Clusaz for comments but were met with a Gallic shrug.

Posted by davidof on Tuesday, 29 January, 2008 at 06:11 PM

Typical of France!  Cut off their noses etc.

Yesterday, in the paper here, Bareges (Tourmalet), Luz Ardiden and Gavarnie announced a joint pass for next season.  It is the only way that Gavarnie in particular and possibly Luz can survive.

We have skied in Gavarnie a couple of times over the last two weeks and the snow is far superior to the other resorts.  Ok no powder but whilst the alps is in feast we are in famine…

Posted by  on  Friday, 01 February, 2008  at 04:19 PM

There’s an update to the Croix-Fry story, apparently they will offer anyone who strays into their area with the Aravis lift pass can have a day’s pass for 5 € instead of the usual 13.80€. They are doing this as a good will gesture.

Is the Pyrenees pass part of the N’Py thing? I know that Altiservice are regrouping quite a few resorts. They pulled Artouste back from bankruptcy.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 01 February, 2008  at 04:45 PM

The Tourmalet and Luz are Npy and Gavarnie Altiservice.

The Tourmalet and Luz have a joint pass this year and there was talk of Gavarnie + Luz next year - for some reason Gavarnie didn’t want to link with Bareges!!  However, fortunately they have come to their senses - effectively a forfait ‘pays toy’.

Posted by  on  Friday, 01 February, 2008  at 04:59 PM

There is now talk of some cross border co-operation.  Apparently, a spanish ski lift company has made an agreement with n’py and altiservice for next season.

Benefits are joint marketing programs and cheap passes - 20% reduction for season pass holders in participating resorts....

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 05 February, 2008  at 05:34 PM
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