How to Ski From Morzine to the Stunning Ranfoilly Viewpoint
The Portes du Soleil is absolutely littered with stunning views and the one from the summit of Le Ranfoilly is up there with the best.
What’s more, getting there from Morzine on skis is a great adventure and enables you to explore a large section of the Morzine and Les Gets ski area.
A Great Option For Beginners
This route is a great option for less experienced skiers who are keen to explore. The whole route can be completed using only blue pistes. For more experienced skiers, red pistes can be used instead at various points and the route takes you through areas where additional, more challenging pistes can be enjoyed before rejoining the route.
Following this route will take you from the top of Le Pleney in Morzine, across the Chavannes into Les Gets then back up into the Nauchtes bowl before heading up to the summit of Le Ranfoilly at an altitude of 1826m.
From here you can admire the breathtaking views of the Alps and the summit of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak.
The highlight of this adventure is of course, the view. With this in mind, you’ll want to do this route on a nice sunny day. As comprehensive as we have tried to make this guide, we also strongly recommend you study the piste map prior to exploring the route and carry a copy with you whilst out on the mountain.
It’s also crucial to remember you need to use the lift network to get back to Morzine, so ensure you leave enough time to get back before the lifts begin to close.
There are a few different variations of this route but this is our favourite.
Leaving Morzine you’ll need to take the Pleney gondola up to the summit.
As you exit the lift station, clip into your skis and take a right onto the blue Chardons Bleu piste. This slope will gradually descend and traverse around the mountain before passing under the Nabor lift then the Folliets du Golf lift.
Take caution as you cross the piste under the Folliets du Golf lift as you need to cross the piste directly under the lift heading for the tunnel, but many others will be skiing straight down the piste heading for the lift so be aware of traffic coming from your left.
Go through the tunnel onto the Bruyere piste which again is blue and will take you all the way down into Les Gets.
There is a split in this piste along a fairly flat and open section of piste just after you merge with two other slopes, bear left here as you are heading for the Chavannes Express lift.
Take the Chavannes Express lift back up the mountain. This long open chair lift will take you all the way up to the top of the Chavannes slopes. When you reach the top, exit the lift and ski down to your right.
You are now heading across towards the bottom of the Nauchets bowl and will want to take the blue Violette piste.
This lovely wide blue piste will take you all the way to the lift stations at the bottom of the bowl. You’ll find four lifts when you arrive here and if you want to explore more, you can take any of the four lifts and ski the slopes back into the bowl. However, to get to the viewpoint at the summit of Le Ranfoilly, take the Ranfoilly Express lift.
The View From Le Ranfoilly
As you disembark from the lift the view opens out in front of you and if you ski a few yards to your left you will see the viewing platform. This new structure was installed in 2019 to compliment the upgrades to the lift you will have just ridden up the mountain. The view from the platform is simply astonishing.
The alpine paradise that presents itself before you provides one of the best views in the Portes du Soleil.
Directly below you is the Col du Joux Plane which, in the summer months, is the summit of a very challenging road cycling route made famous by the Tour de France.
Beyond that, the mountain tops of the Samoens valley and the rocky outcrops of Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval sit in the foreground and are crowned by the Mont Blanc Massif and the summit of Europe’s tallest mountain. Believe it or not the summit of Mont Blanc sits a further 3000m above the summit of Le Ranfoilly.
At the viewing platform you will find an automatic photo machine. It is free to use and is operated by your lift pass. The best part being you wont need to have one of your friends or family missing from the picture as the machine takes it for you. You can view the photo on the machine and share it directly on your social media. You can also log into the Les Gets website, enter your ski pass number and download the photo from there, all for free.
Getting Back To Morzine
The route back to Morzine is pretty straightforward and again allows for plenty of opportunity to ski other slopes should you wish.
There are two options, one stays in the same areas you skied through to get to Le Ranfoilly, the other explores the Charniaz and Nyon slopes before returning to Le Pleney. Both have good spots to stop for some lunch or light refreshments and the last slopes of the day drop you directly back into the centre of Morzine, just in time for some apres.
Option 1 – Retrace Your Tracks
When you feel you’ve taken in the view from Le Ranfoilly, you’ll want to head back down to the lift stations at the bottom of the Nauchets bowl. There are a number of pistes you can take of varying difficulty but sticking with the blues, take the Tulipe slope. At the lift station, take the Nauchets Express lift, where at the summit you’ll find Les Lhottys which is a great place to stop for some refreshment.
From Les L’Hottys take the blue Bruyere piste and follow this all the way down to the bottom of the Follietes du Golf lift. Jump on the lift and at the top you will find Le Vaffieu restaurant which is a great spot for lunch. From here take the blue Nabor piste down past the top station of le Pleney, then take Piste B at the split which will take you all the way back down to Morzine at the bottom of Le Pleney.
Option 2 – Fresh Tracks
From Le Ranfoilly, take the blue Tetras piste to your right and then bear right at the split. This then joins another blue piste called Choucas which is a wide and gentle slope. At the bottom of the piste take the Troncs Express lift. This lift will whisk you up to the Nyon slopes where you can take the blue Raverettes piste.
If you wish to take on some refreshments, there are a number of restaurants on the Nyon plateau with wonderful views over the Morzine valley towards Lac Leman.
You can also take La Pointe lift up to the top of Nyon where there is another spectacular viewing platform. Please note that the only slopes back down from the top are red or black graded so not suitable for beginners.
From the Nyon plateau you can rejoin the blue Raverettes or if you’re feeling adventurous take the red graded Chamois slope. At the point where these two slopes meet (Raverettes turns into another blue called Lievre higher up), take the left split signposted for Morzine. You will pass the bottom station for the Pre Favre lift and ski through a tunnel under the road. Here you’ll continue on to the Retour des Nantes piste which is a gentle blue that traverses the lower part of le Pleney and drops you back at the lift station in town.
Stay At The Farmhouse To Explore The Mountains
Due to the unique location and setting of The Farmhouse, it really is the perfect place to stay to explore the whole Portes du Soleil on skis. The Farmhouse is a stunning boutique hotel that is centrally located yet tucked away in a very quiet part of town. The town center, Pleney lift station and ski bus stop that connects the wider ski area are just a short walk from the hotel.
We have 11 unique en suite rooms, a cosy bar with an open roaring fire and our gardens offer magnificent views across the village and up to Avoriaz. We occupy a very special building, the oldest in Morzine and our team of staff look forward to welcoming you.
To see more on The Farmhouse click here.