This winter we’ve teamed up with J. Lindeberg and Flexiski to offer our members the chance to win an awesome ski escape to the iconic mountain town of Chamonix. Our lucky winner has been drawn and contacted – better luck next time – but if you’re still eager to explore the wonders of Chamonix, we’ve pulled together this handy guide to the ski areas with the help of the Flexiski team.
With the valley of Chamonix at a fairly low altitude of 1,035m and the peaks reaching 3,840m with lifts towering over 3,000m there is plenty of vertical descent to explore and find the slopes you are looking for. From dramatic glaciers, peaks, steeps and colouirs of the Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets to the rolling hummocks of Domaine de Balme, Chamonix is a resort of many faces and we’re here to de-mask its delights.
All of Chamonix’s ski areas are linked by the bus and train system that is included in your lift pass so there are no hidden costs there.
For learning and improving
Domaine de Balme – Le Tour and Vallorcine
At the bottom of Le Tour there is a beginner area serviced by three drag lifts of various lengths and speeds that lead to wide green runs with wonderful views of the Le Tour glacier and if you go up the bubble you get to an area full of blues and even a red or two if you feel up to it. It’s a wonderful area for progression or getting your ski legs back at the start of a ski break. A nice spot to take it easy, with a couple of mountain restaurants for lunch. At the top of the valley, this area goes up to around 2,200m and has 29km of slopes.
From Chamonix town – Le Savoy
At the bottom of the Brevent ski area, the beginner area is serviced by two drag lifts and a magic carpet for getting your first turns in. The area being linked to Brevent means if you have some more advanced skiers in your group you can ski the same area and easily meet for lunch.
For challenging your skills
Le Brevent and La Flegere
Reaching 2,525m, this is Chamonix’s largest ski area with 57km of pistes and 15 lifts. On the sunny side of the valley and close to the town centre the area has a wide variety of runs from cruisey blues to long steep blacks as well as access to some challenging off piste itineraries. It’s easy to enjoy this area with a group of mixed abilities just make sure you’re confident in your turns before heading up.
Domaine des Houches
6km down the valley from Chamonix centre, Les Houches is the home of long, rolling descents through the trees with fantastic views up the valley. A wonderful area full of mountain restaurants tucked between the trees and served by runs for all abilities. There are 4 black runs, 13 red runs, 8 blues and 2 green runs spread over 55km of pistes including a world cup downhill slope.
For testing your nerve (and your legs!)
Les Grands Montets
Above Agentière, up the valley from Chamonix town and with a reputation for offering some of the most challenging pistes in Europe – it’s a big draw for thrill seekers but can often see long queue lines on powder days. However, it can be worth the effort due to the sheer number of descent combinations that are on offer as well as its height – rising up to 3,275m with North facing slopes holding their snow well into May. Along with the 29km of pistes, there’s plenty of off piste to discover with a guide. A great area for some deep exploration.
Aiguille du Midi – Vallee Blanche
Whilst there are no pistes from the top of the Aiguille du Midi this is an area full of world famous off piste itineraries. Hire a guide and, weather permitting, you can scale the ridge from the top of the lift into some fabulously long runs. Routes range from intermediate to highly advanced. Taking a guide will allow you to thoroughly enjoy some spectacular scenery on your 4 to 6-hour descent. Not a bad days skiing at all.
To learn more about the fantastic skiing of Chamonix and check out other destinations head over to Flexiski or give them a call on 020 8939 0874.