Le Grand Bornand

Questions and information regarding aires in France and other places to park up and stay over

Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby andyinspain » Mon Dec 19, 2011 21:14

Hi Anyone been skiing to 'Le Grand Bornand'in France, what is the road access like?

Cheers Andy
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby rick » Tue Dec 20, 2011 09:59

Hi Andy.
Approach from Bonneville or Annecy.The road is flatish and well cleared usually.

Do not come in via Col de le Colombiere or Col des Aravis ,check your map do not rely on sat nav alone.

The road up to the aire at Chinaillon is twisty and longer than it looks on a map but is kept clear for buses ,if there is a big dump (you wish) and you are staying in LGB take the bus up or take the lift.You may need to catch the bus from the town bus station.

Enjoy!
Rick :)
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby andyinspain » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:07

Thanks Rick,

We are looking to take the Motorhome on its first snow trip and stop at Camping L es.
Route looks good you suggested via Annecy, this has just been confirmed by the camp site.

Merry Christmas Andy :)
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby rick » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:41

Andy.

Not the most obvious place to go if you are coming from Spain!! But I guess you know what you want.

The roads to the cols will have signposts to indicate if they are open or closed.

Usually they are o.k. most of the way BUT!!! the tops can be a quite/very narrow clearing of snow & ice and tretcherous in a motorhome especially on the way down even for drivers used to these conditions.

If you are looking for easy open runs try Chinaillon.You could park in the aire for the day and use the m/h as a base for lunch ect,there is a bakers just up the hill and a big supermarket opposite the tourist office.
The aire is at the very far end of the village as the road doubles back on itself to the left up to the upper part of the vallage where the tourist office is.
I would go by bus the first time to have a look,200mts past the "casse" ask the driver to drop you there.(aire campingcar).You can walk 50mtrs to the slope via the disabled ski club.Don't drive if its been snowing heavily.

If you are not a confident skier I would come back down to LGB in the lift the first day and look at the run down to see if it suits you.Better to think "Oh I could have done that" than to shake your confidence.


Good luck
Rick
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby andyinspain » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:49

Hi Rick,

You are correct, we could have opted for Sierra Navada,there is a camper site there but its very basic, only 4hrs drive from where we live, Rojales Alicante, we could have also headed for the Pyrenees but we didn't see many good places to park up.

We have chosen LBG as it was recommend for fist timers with Camper vans (off this forum), the Aire there has not got very good write ups that's why we opted for the campsite which has spa and indoor pool area etc etc.

We plan to hit the last few miles around midday, hopefully the roads will have been plowed, I have my snow chains, and have driven HGV class 1s in Uk winter conditions years ago when the UK used to have proper winters.

I am greener than the green slopes, so the plan is to to let the family go skiing by them selves if i don't take to it this time and enjoy the French village.

I will send you a full update when i return, should make good reading!!

Cheers Andy.
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby rick » Tue Dec 20, 2011 13:26

Andy.
If you enquire at the tourist office or the lift casse there may be a "cheap" pass on a Wednesday depending on the time of year.Try the LGB website for info.

Chances are the roads will be completly clear don't worry too much(famous last words).But still don't try the cols.
Try to get a sunny spot on site .Ask to have a look first before you pitch up.In January the sun will be very low and many places will not get the sun at all .

Loads of easy runs ,do have a go!!. Don't buy a weeks pass if you are not sure though ,just do a day .
There are some cross country ski (ski du fond) trails in the village.Hard work but not scarey,I like gravity to help me.

There are shops but more choice and cheaper to stock up at a big supermarket before you arrive.

All this talk makes me wish I was going.(But not to that campsite,most people like it but I don't .With a family it is probably a good choice though).

Rick
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby andyinspain » Sun Jan 08, 2012 19:07

Hi Rick
Well we arrived LGB on the 1st of Jan after a 14hr drive, less 198 euro on fuel, and 120 on tolls, we will plan our journey better next time as we could miss a few of these tolls out.
The roads were clear all the way to to the camp, in fact we were starting to worry due to the lack of snow, no problem loads on the slopes.

The Aires at LGB seem to have no water, electric etc so glad we stopped at Escale camping, the French guy there spoke better English than me! he was very helpful, we took your advice and found a good sunny position, we had our oil rad on 24hrs, only on the lower setting, we also used our Air-con to heat and the webasto was left on a lower setting which always kicked in during the night, we had no problems at all with the low temps, we left the water tanks full, with the waste open, switched water heater on before we went to bed for 30 mins, found out that we had a double floor so this defiantly helped.

Campsite was great, the large tumble dryer was brill as we would have never been able to dry our ski clothes, pool was good even if a little chilly, WiFi for 2 euro for 24hrs,
the toilet and showers were pipping hot and great after a day on the slopes.

Again we took your advice and bought our Ski passes from the tourist info and also a private Ski lesson for 1hr30 for me, went with a guy called Eric, he was brill and finally got me skiing to good standard for me.

The only time we needed the snow chains was to get off the camp site, it snowed like mad the night before we were due to leave, we stopped for night overs there and back at the motorway service stations, always next to the truckers or other motor-homes, we had no problems at all and always felt safe.

Also took your advice and let some air in on night via the shower room this really helped to keep the condensation down to minimum.

We had a great holiday and would recommend LGB to others, a good point when filling up with diesel look for the ELF fuel stations, the price per Ltr was 1.33, everywhere else was 1.50 plus, we pay around 1.29 in Spain.

Again, :D thanks Rick for the info this really came in useful.

Cheers Andrew
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby rick » Mon Jan 09, 2012 18:25

Hi Andy.
Thanks for your write up .Glad you had a good time,just the credit card bill to deal with now !!
If you go again there is water and a loo for toilet waste at the casse near the aire in Chinaillon.It is only open when the casse is open,they keep the keys.It is not great but free.
If you want to stay on the LGB aire(lay- by come narrow car park) not great I would say ok for a night.You could get some water from the toilets by the tennis courts below the level of the tourist office.
I carry a push on tap connector from a bath/ shower connector,propably from a Spanish 1,2 euro shop for you and a 5ltr container in rucksack or holdall.
Getting water in winter can be a challenge.If there are a few of you wildcamping in winter it is a bit of an adventure rather than a holiday.
I think its best to make the family enjoy it then they will be keen to go again.
Well done anyway ,its not easy and a lot to learn each trip.
I guess at least you can now unpack and wash the ski socks in the Spanish sunshine hopfully.
Rick
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Re: Le Grand Bornand

Unread postby andyinspain » Mon Jan 09, 2012 20:13

Hi Rick,

We did see the car come camper park as there were two campers there, also saw toilets but there was sign saying aire closed, but looked a good place to park in the summer.

Wasn't to happy about having to fit the snow chains just to get the camper off its pitch, but apart from that we had no real problems.

Good Job we didn't go to sierra Nevada as the slopes have been closed for the last few days due to no snow, probably something to do with the warm weather we having had during the last 10 days.

Anyway camper cleaned and parked up drive ready for its next trip, probably Easter.

Talk soon, Cheers Andy
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Re: Le Grand Bornand - Update

Unread postby fairytooth » Sat Feb 09, 2013 19:30

Just to add a few comments for anyone going to 'LGB' this season 2012-13, massive snow there at the moment. Camping L'Escale highly recommended for winter motorhoming, nice heated pool, wifi, etc. Not too expensive but ACSI card not valid til around May. The Aire just up the road from Escale not up to much just somewhere to stopover if you are fully self sufficient, or pay to use Escale water, etc. The village of Le Grand Bornand is very nice. Good Pizza restaurant in the centre.

Up the road at Chinaillon better location to access the slopes, Aire for 'motorhomes only' at very top. Coming up the hill from LGB, turn right after all the hairpin bends following signs for ski area. It is one way, follow road all the way up past the ticket offices and Aire is at end just before going left over bridge and short hill up to Chinaillon village. The only free water I have found is in public toilets at rear of tourist information in Chinaillon village. The Aire isn't totally level but not bad and very near tickets and lifts.
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