The Chamonix Valley is 16km’s long, made up of five major ski areas. The valley has an excellent snow record with 90% of the ski area above 2000m, making it one of the most snow sure resorts in Europe. With over 150km’s of patrolled ski runs, limitless off piste opportunities including the infamous la Vallée Blanche and four dedicated nursery slopes for beginners, the Chamonix Valley offers a little something for everyone.
The Ski Areas
Le Brevent (1035m – 2525m)
The Brevent ski area is situated directly above the town of Chamonix. The lift station is an easy 5-10 minute walk from the town centre. Le Brevent is located on the sunny side of the valley and enjoys stunning panoramic views of Mont-Blanc. It is well suited for intermediate skiers with challenging piste and off-piste opportunities. It is also linked to La Flegere by cablecar.
La Flegere (1060m – 2500m)
The Flegere ski area is situated in the village of Le Praz. Similarly to Le Brevent, it enjoys the sunshine with its south facing slopes and spectacular panoramic mountain views. It caters mainly to intermediate skiers with some beginner slopes situated close to the mountain restaurants. La Flegere is linked to Le Brevent by cablecar.
Les Grands Montets (1252m – 3275m)
Les Grands Montets is an advanced mountain with an abundance of steep terrain to challenge even the most extreme skier. With its north facing slopes and high altitude, the Grands Montets enjoys exceptional snow quality up until early May. It is divided up into three major skiing areas, including the extremely picturesque, Argentiere glacier.
Le Tour (1462m – 2270m)
Le Tour is located at the end of the valley. It is an ideal place for families and intermediates with its wide, open, long pistes. The terrain on the Vallorcine side of the mountain offers tree lined skiing, giving both protection from bad weather and providing some of the most scenic descents in the valley. With the introduction of the Vallorcine telecabin, it has also opened up new off-piste skiing terrain on the swiss side of the mountain.
Les Houches (950m – 1900m)
Home of the Kandahar World Cup skiing event, Les Houches is situated 6km’s south Of Chamonix. Les Houches offers a good variety of long ski descents on picturesque tree-lined slopes with stunning views of the Mont Blanc massive and the Chamonix Valley. It is a great resort for beginners and intermediates and it is also a good option in bad weather conditions due to the shelter provided by the tree line cover of the resort.
The Valley Blanche (3842m- 1035m)
Boasting the world’s largest lift-served vertical descent of 2807m, the Valley Blanche is an amazing experience not to be missed. During the 22km journey, you ski through huge ceracs, towers of ice and past spectacular crevasses. To ensure your safety, a mountain guide is definitely recommended when you undertake the valley blanche.
Courmayeur – Italy (1223m – 2624m)
Located just the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel in Italy, Courmayeur offers a great addition to your ski week in the Chamonix Valley. A much slower pace than in Chamonix, often the most difficult challenge you might encounter for the day is to hunt down a deck chair to soak up the beautiful Aosta sunshine. Courmayeur offers a good variety of big wide open pistes that cater for skiers of all ability levels. The Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass covers the Courmayeur ski area so there is no need to buy an additional ski pass.
For those who have never skied before and for beginners, there are four skiing areas that offer exclusive nursery slopes for novices. They are;
- Le Savoy Right in the centre ofChamonix, at the foot of le Brevent.
- Les Planards 2 minutes from the Chamonix Centre, just across from the Montenvers train station
- Les Chosalets Located just before the entrance to the Grands Montets, 500m from the start of the Lognan cablecar
- La Vormaine Situated next to the village of Le Tour
Ski highlights for all levels
Beginners: Chamonix is not the ideal choice for beginners, but there are adequate nursery slopes and if there was ever a place to get bitten by the bug, this is it.
Intermediates: the Balme area is wonderful, and Les Houches has masses of cruising. There are plenty of suitable runs at all of the other areas.
Experts: steep, deep, wild. It's all here – and lots of ski touring possibilities, too. And of course there is the Vallée Blanche, a classic 20km run down a spectacular glacier (for which you must hire a guide).
Chamonix Le Pass
The Chamonix Pass is a standard pass and gives you access to the 4 main ski stations (Le Brevent, La Flegere, Les Grands Montets and Le Tour) and the beginner areas on the valley floor (Les Planards, Le Savoy, Les Chosalets, La Vormaine)
Mont-Blanc Unlimited covers the same as the Chamonix le Pass but also includes unlimited access to Courmayeur and the Helbroner ski lift system (In Italy), unlimited use of the Lognan – (les Grands Montets top cable car), unlimited use of the Aiguille du Midi (for Vallee Blanche and site seeing), unlimited use of the Montenvers Railway with free entry to the ice grotto, unlimited access to St Gervais, Megeve and les Contamines ski areas and 50% discount to Verbier ski system.
Beginners ski passes are also available for unlimited use on the four novice areas of Le Savoy, Les Planards, Les Chosalets and La Vormaine.
Day passes are available at each of the ski stations and new for this season is the introduction of the 4 hour pass – it activates the first time you catch your ski lift.