We love Chamonix and it’s been our winter home for over 20 years. Chamonix is a mountain town and more than just a ski resort, steeped in both mountaineering and skiing history. For skiers and none skiers alike Chamonix has plenty to keep you entertained. The skiing of course is what it’s all about, from novice to pro we have it all. Great places to learn the fine art of skiing and plenty of options for adventure.
Chamonix has many face’s, it’s a resort steeped in inspirational climbing and skiing culture and history. The stuff legends are made from. The early pioneers recognized for forging extreme climbing routes and skiing descents. To today’s many skiers and climbers eager to test their nerve. Chamonix is the destination of choice for many keen to explore both mental and physical challenges on its stunning peaks. For those of us with aspirations a little closer to the piste the five main ski resorts in the valley have an abundance of world-class piste skiing and ski touring with a backdrop like no other.
Eye-popping views in every direction and un-told adventure to be enjoyed each and every day, why wouldn’t you want join in the fun. Away from the slopes Chamonix’s many bars, shops and restaurants are available to enjoy fantastic cuisine and an extensive range of ski shops and boutiques to sample and find that must have accessory.
CHRIS FECHER’S TOP FIVE CHAMONIX DAYS OUT FOR THE ADVANCED
Mont blanc – Courmayeur:
Nestled on the South side of Mont Blanc is the well known ski resort of Courmeyeur, not strictly Chamonix of course but it’s on the ski pass and only a short trip through the tunnel. This years Chamonix World freeride tour event was held on the steep slopes of the Arp, so if its good enough for them its good enough for you. Beyond the area boundary lies a huge range of freeskiing and back country options. From quick laps on the Val Veny couloirs to dropping off the back off Mt Nix or the D’Arp Courmeyeur is firmly on my list and not only for the great coffee!
Chamonix – Aiguille Rouge
This Chamonix classic is a huge area with off-piste powder stashes in every direction. Well know for its ski touring routes like the ‘Crochues – Bernard traverse’ and the many Cols which access the different corner of this area There are Steep North faces to challenge your nerve and skiing technique to sublime sweeping powder fields to lay down those smoking turns, the Aiguille Rouge has it all. Steeps off the Aiguille Pourrie are a good place to start with a nice 40º slope to get stuck into or for a more exposed variant from the Col Crochues try the Glacier ‘Mort’
Mont blanc – Italy – Helbronner
Another short trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel or a quick ski tour across from the Aigillie du Midi brings us to the Helbronner lift system. Accessing the South facing slopes of the ‘Toule glacier’ and surrounding area. Its not as though skiing the Italian side is not enough but I always have a bit of an ulterior motive to a trip over. The coffee and great food make it all the more worth while. This is pretty serious skiing however, even the easy route is on a glacier, beyond the Toule Glacier in every direction are many route variations and steep couloirs. This is big mountain stuff and all the better for it.
Chamonix – Valley Blanche
What Chamonix guide would be complete without the famous Valley Blanche, with something for every one from intermediate to the cream of the crop this very special area has literally hundreds of skiable lines and powder stashes. This is ‘High mountain’ skiing though, it’s the real deal! especially away from the well beaten classic routes of the Valley Blanche. Any glacier skiing route demands a great deal of respect, crevasses claim lives on a fairly regular basis. Try the ‘Grande Envers’ for some great steeper slopes. If in doubt book a pro.
Chamonix – Cosmiques Couloir
Recommended for expert skiers only this classic Chamonix steep descent has to be on the tick list for any serious steep skier. Not always in the best this 45º couloir condition its important to pick your day carefully. The top section is peppered with rocks most of the time, so either sketch you’re way over this exposed section or rappel in. I guide is a must for this descent.
Chamonix ski resorts:
The Grands Montets
Maximum altitude: 3300m
The pistes are spread over 3 mountainsides (the Argentière glacier, Lognan and the Pendant) and offer tremendous on and off-piste possibilities. Ski adjacent to the glacier and take advantage of excellent snow conditions right up until early May.
Bottom station ski info map/board by main entrance
Mid station (Lognan)Info map/borad
Brevent & Flegere
Maximum altitude: 2525m
These 2 ski areas have been linked by a cable car since 1997 and offer one of the most outstanding panoramas of the Alps. South-facing slopes with a wonderful variety of slopes and jaw dropping views over the Mont-Blanc Massif. The starting point for many of our single day ski tours.
Bottom station info map/board
Mid station info map/Board
La Tour (Balme)
Maximum altitude: 2270m
Accessed via the villages of Le Tour and Vallorcine, the snow-covered alpine pastures offer a wealth of possibilities on two distinct mountain sides. From Charamillon, enjoy the wide open gentle slopes overlooking the entire Chamonix valley and on the Vallorcine side, ski beautiful tree-lined slopes bordering on Switzerland.
Bottom station ticket office
Mid station patrol hut left of main cablecar exit.
Maximum altitude: 1900m
Delightful forest runs for all skiers. Fantastic views of Mont Blanc
Aiguille du Midi
Maximum alittude: 3842m
Chamonix ski map
Check out the Chamonix Off-piste page for more info
Tinderbox ski school