Chamonix Mont-Blanc is exceptional – a vibrant cosmopolitan ski area that draws in people from all over the world – both the holidaymaker and the ‘hardcore’ – skiers, boarders and mountaineers. Chamonix is unlike most ski resorts – it has a wealth of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs to satisfy the non skiers and those looking for apres ski.
The skiing is world renowned, with a lift system that allows access to the kind of vertical drop that is normally only accessible by helicopter – as well as other, more gentle areas for the less aggressive.
Chamonix Valley is really a series of different villages spread along the valley floor, each with their own character.
The Chamonix area is split into four main areas all of which offer something different to both skiers and boarders at all levels.
The Grands Montets
This world famous area is the gateway to some of the best off piste you are ever likely to ski. As well as the accessible areas on the front face of the mountain and in the Lavancher bowl, with a guide you will also be able to explore high mountain routes from here such as the Pas de Chevre, the Rectiligne couloir, the Poubelle Couloir and the Rognon glacier – all of which are guaranteed to take your breath away.
This linked area is the largest in the Chamonix valley, south facing with fantastic views across to the Mont Blanc massif and the Mer de Glace glacier. It offers a large variety of skiing, blues and reds as well as more challenging off piste. It is also a magnificent place to relax in the sun, have a good lunch and admire the stunning views of Mont Blanc.
At the head of the valley, Le Tour offers the gentlest skiing in the valley; perfect for your first day to get the legs back together. A firm favourite with snowboarders, there are also some fantastic hidden powder fields off the back where you can slalom pine trees and find fresh snow long after the Grands Montets has been tracked out. Another benefit is the ability to ski from Le Tour back to your chalet (snow permitting) – something that is practically impossible in any other chalet in the valley.
Aiguille du Midi
8.00am: There is a palpable hum of activity in the air at the foot of this, the highest cable car in Europe, as it takes its mixed load of skiers, mountaineers and sightseers up to 3842m. For many this is the starting point on the long haul to the top of Mont Blanc. For those on skis this is where the Vallee Blanche begins, one of the most beautiful off piste runs you will ever ski amidst the glacial glint of the seracs and the hidden depths of the crevasses. The route begins with a walk down a knife edge arête. From that point on the routes are varied, from the classic route, which is accessible to a comfortable intermediate skier, to steeper gradients of the Envers du Plan with as many variations as you will ever need to keep you both exhilarated and challenged.
Depending on snow conditions in the valley, you may want to consider a trip to the classic resorts of Courmayer in Italy or Verbier in Switzerland.
The Compagnie du Mont Blanc offers a variety of lift passes for you to choose from.
Should you wish to visit an area that is not covered by your lift pass then you will need to buy a day pass on arrival in that resort.
We are unable to offer ski orientation around the resort anymore, as the French authorities do not allow it. We can however, help you find the best snow, restaurants and guides or instructors in order to maximise your enjoyment of the resort.
If you would like to ski off piste with a guide and explore some of the more exciting routes that Chamonix offers, then it is advisable to book a qualified High Mountain Guide from one of the ski schools or the Compagnie des Guides. We would be delighted to do this for you.