Mountain Travel

Skiing in Chamonix: Ski Areas and Resorts

people heading to a mountain station in Chamonix

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, or most commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. This is where the first Winter Olympics in 1924 was held.

Two English aristocrats discovered Chamonix in1741, and what they have found out about the routes of the place was included on the map. They had witnessed and experienced the “Prieuré de Chamouni,” a charming alpine village surrounded by awesome snow-covered mountains.

Situated at Mont Blanc’s north, between the peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and the notable Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of France’s oldest ski resorts. The Chamonix commune is famous for skiers and mountain enthusiasts. The off-piste (backcountry) ski run of the Vallée Blanche is accessible via the cable car lift to the Aiguille du Midi.

When interest in mountaineering was beginning to take off, the village opened its first inn in the year 1770. Soon, many visitors flocked to Chamonix to see the mystical summits.

In 1816, the first luxury hotel was built, followed by more hotel construction and establishments in the 1800s. Road network and systems were improved during the reign of Napoleon III, and the road access and railways to Chamonix were inaugurated.

Some trains transport visitors to Chamonix in winter due to the good railways, making it a popular winter sports destination.

Skiing in Chamonix Mont-Blanc – Chamonix Ski Areas and Resorts

With its 5 ski resorts namely:

  • Grands Montets
  • Les Houches
  • Le Tour/Balme
  • La Flegere
  • Le Brevent

Whether coming with skiing solo or with a company, Chamonix Mont-Blanc offers an incredibly perfect ski holiday for all skiing enthusiasts. All winter sports lovers as Chamonix Valley are considered by many to be the best freeride resort in the world.

Skiers who wish to experience the breathtakingly beautiful Vallée Blanche should consider hiring a mountain guide for safety precautions. Vallée Blanche is Chamonix’s well-known 20-kilometer ski route over glaciers, navigating around and over crevasses and surrounded by some of the most inspiring mountains in the Alps.

The ski resorts from Chamonix have plenty of adventures and fun to offer.

Chamonix Mont-Blanc Ski Resorts and Ski Areas

Goûter Hut in Mont Blanc

Chamonix offers such diverse and enjoyable slopes for skiers of all levels. Chamonix is very popular and is also a year-round mountain town with 157kms of on-piste, accessed by 65 ski lifts split between the main ski areas and the low mountain beginner zones and virtually unlimited off-piste.

Chamonix has 6 green pistes, 30 blue pistes, 31 red pistes, 10 black pistes, and two snowparks, distributed through the five mid-high mountain ski areas.

Low Mountain

Down the bottom of the Chamonix valley are gentle slopes with easy access for beginners or those looking to get their ski legs back before heading up onto the higher mountain.

  • La Vormaine (1480m) in Le Tour
  • Les Chosalets (1230m) in Argentiere
  • La Poya (1120m) in Vallorcine / Le Buet
  • Le Savoy (1049-1125m) in the centre of Chamonix by the bottom of the Brevent gondola
  • Les Planards (1062-1242m) near the town center and Montenvers train
  • Le Tourchet (1000m) in Les Houches next to the outdoor ice rink

Mid-High Mountain

The following areas below can be accessed via the ski lift system and offer a much greater range of pistes for all abilities from confident beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders and the gateway to the incredible Chamonix backcountry terrain.

  • Les Grands Montets (1235-3300m)
  • Brevent/Flegere (1030-2525m)
  • Le Tour/Vallorcine (1453-2270m)
  • L’Aiguille du Midi/La Vallee Blanche (1030-3842m)
  • Les Houches (950-1900m)

The lift system accommodates all year-round that gives access to the high mountain areas around the Mont Blanc, whether for skiing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, or for guests who only visit to have some sight-seeing vacation.

Besides skiing, visitors can do golf and tennis playing, paragliding, hiking, rock climbing, or just relaxing.

When is the best time to visit Chamonix?

Peak season where most tourists visit Chamonix is during winter and summer. People enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow, and après ski in Chamonix’s best bars during winter. With pistes up to 3300m, skiers can enjoy more during Chamonix ski season that runs from November to May. It’s best to look at Chamonix’s current weather between the middle-end of January and the end of March. For the very best snow conditions and make the most of Chamonix’s full extent mythical skiing, including the Vallée Blanche.

Besides skiing, many other activities offered that take advantage of the snow, such as snowshoeing, parapenting and hiking, and not forgetting ski touring!

On the other hand, activities like hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and cold drinks in mountain refuges are perfect in summer.

If you want a quieter and relaxing holiday away from the crowds, the ‘interseason’ is the ideal time to visit Chamonix and make the most of the peaceful walking trails.

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