ChamonixResort Guide - The Skiing
The Skiing in Chamonix
Chamonix easily caters for a multitude of different skiers, from a terrific variety of beginner skiing to a wide range of off piste. Which means that if you and your friends or family have different levels of skiing, no one will be disappointed by what Chamonix has to offer. Beginners are not stuck on two or three beginner slopes in the town, but have the option of several different ski areas, some with superb views which really gives a beginner a proper taste of skiing in the mountains. For more advanced skiers there are some extreme pistes, off piste skiing through trees and freeride.
Our favourite mountain is Les Grands Montets, at the top you will be a teeth-clenching 3300m high! We love the fact that there are so many descent options, both on and off piste, combined with Les Grands Montets's steepness, this mountain can offer you some of the most fun runs of your life. Despite the fact that Les Grands Montets is infamous for containing some of the hardest pistes in Europe, there are still some wide, long slopes for the more daring of the beginners. Although Les Grands Montets is amazing, due to its shady north-western face, you may find the skiing a bit chilly here unless you can get up a sweat. During mid-winter, Les Grands Montets only manages to get some sun in the late afternoon, however, this is also why the snow conditions here are well preserved at the end of the season, even into May.
If you want to try some off piste with the added security of following markers and knowing that the run is patrolled, the Blanchots and Pylones runs are situated at the top of the Herse chair lift. A favourite marked off piste is Point du Vue, which takes you to the bottom of the Argentière glacier, the views of the glacier that you will see on this run will blow you away. We would recommend these runs for beginners to off piste, we would also recommend that you hire a mountain guide for any off piste excursions, not only will they be able to help you improve your off piste skiing but they will also be constantly looking out for your safety. For the more confident off pisters, try the Dream Forest, although be warned that there is a short walk at the bottom to the chairlift and this area can be avalanche prone, so carry the necessary safety equipment. The snow-park is situated on Les Grands Montets and a camera is being installed so you can get photos of yourself and your family trying out some jumps!
Our favourite beginner slopes are on Les Houches, the gentle, meandering runs through the forest are just as beautiful as the 360º view from the summit, including the Mont Blanc Massif. If you are a fan of your splendid mountain views then you should also try Brévent/Flégère, they have stunning panoramas but the skiing is a little bit more challenging. On the Flégère side why not try to stun the speedometer on Chamonx's speed piste? Specially designed for racing, this 500m run has a height loss of 150m, take care and do not try to race your friends together. La Vormaine is also ideal for beginner skiers and boarders, especially due to its sunny aspect, you know that if your descent is slow you will not freeze in the process.
What We Like
A trip up Aiguille de Midi
The tramway up to Aiguille de Midi takes you a breath-taking 9,000 vertical feet high in under 20 minutes. The views from here, especially on a clear day are completely unbelievable.
The Freeride World Tour
Seeing the best freeride skiers in the world hurtle themselves down a mountain, trying their best to impress the judges with back-flips off vertical faces, this event needs no explanation as to why its one of the most awe-inspiring things you will ever see.
Lunch at Auberge du Bois Prin
The best combination of spectacular views and michelin-star quality food, will make this a lunch to never forget! Hidden away from the hordes, stop in here to warm yourself in front of a blazing log fire.
Après Ski at Chambre Neuf
For the ultimate experience of après ski, pop in here if you want to know how skiers really party in the French Alps. Prepare for mess and muss, no fine dining and fancy cocktails here.