Ski resort sheet
Ski resort of the “Mont-Blanc Natural Resort” group, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a destination that enjoys a certain distinction among fans. Here everything is part of the legend. You just need to look up. At the center of the myth, at the foot of Mont Blanc, within reach of absolute happiness.
History of the Chamonix ski resort
Chamonix made history in 1091, when Count Aymon I of Geneva endowed the valley with the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Michel de la Cluse, in Piedmont. The monks settle on the right bank of the Arve.
It does not take an expert to feel part of this mountain. Between fun skiing and extreme skiing, you will enjoy festive and leisure activities in a bustling city center, day and night.
Thanks to the topography that mark the valley, the Chamonix ski area allows you to discover and alternate, with your family or friends, all the joys of skiing. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, telemark, freeride, freestyle, snowpark, speedriding, discovery ski, off-piste … Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the quality of the facilities and natural areas is unsurpassed to provide you with multiple sensations under Mont Blanc.
At the foot of Mont Blanc
If winter sports are the main activity of the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley, there is an authentic cultural mix in the Chamonix Valley. The proximity of Switzerland and Italy is related to this phenomenon. In season, the numerous nationalities present in the Chamonix complex give the Mont-Blanc valley a surprising cosmopolitan appearance; unrivaled wealth. Internationally renowned ski areas (Grands Montets, Brévent, Flégère); unmissable tourist destinations (Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers, Tramway du Mont-Blanc …)
The Chamonix Mont-Blanc ski resort is spread over 3 main slopes: Brévent / Flégère facing south, to the Mont-Blanc mountain range. Grands Montets to the north, dominating the town of Argentière. The Balme area, at the top of the valley, on the Swiss border.
The neighbour resort, Les Houches, is opposite the valley. Chamonix has 3 areas in the valley, ideal for children and to practice snow sports.
Chamonix ski areas
Due to its geographical location, Chamonix differs from other ski resorts. In fact, Chamonix does not offer a single ski area, but four (Le Brévent – la Flégère, Balme, Les Grands Montets and Les Houches). Each one has its characteristics and particularities. But they favor the possibility of every day changing and discovering new environments. We could say that you can ski “à la carte”.
Strong feelings at Chamonix
In the “Grands”, slopes, valleys, powder snow and unevenness await you on the north face. It is the favorite area of freeriders of all nationalities. All this under the watchful eye of the legendary Aiguille Verte.
The Grands Montets domain is unique, being most of Chamonix’s reputation built around it. In fact, we find here the most significant vertical drop in the valley, very steep ski slopes and fabulous off-piste routes.
From Argentière, access to the Grands Montets area is through the Plan Joran cable car. Once at the top, you are offered the “big ski”: the area is vast, the slope are steeped and the possibilities for freeride skiing are numerous. Even on certain marked but unconditioned trails, like the Black Blanchots incline accessible via the Herse chair lift. However, it is important to note that some accessible cross-country ski routes at the top of the ski area are located on the Argentière glacier. It is advisable to hire a guide. A wise decision if you plan to get away from the marked and safe trails.
Les Grands Montets has two areas for beginners:
- The Lognan Plateau: the beginner’s area (accessible from the second star). Claim for families who want to glide according to their level in the most famous ski area in the Alps.
- Chosalets: at the bottom of the resort, it is worth knowing its opening beforehand.
Attractions – Grands Montets ski area
- Altitude of the ski area: 1235m – 2765m
- 19 trails
- For freestyle enthusiasts, a snowpark and boardercross in the Lognan domain.
- Heavy snowfall until May.
“Easy” skiing in the Balme area
Balme offers a sun-drenched area on the edge of the Swiss border. It offers a splendid panorama of the Chamonix valley, varied and easy trails for an excellent day. Among the 4 ski areas that Chamonix offers, the Balme sector is undoubtedly the most accessible and the most suitable for beginner or intermediate skiers.
Leaving the towns of Tour and Vallorcine, the Balme ski area has two trails:
- Charamillon and its wide slopes, not very steep, that meander through the mountain pastures.
- Vallorcine and its trails run between fir trees near Switzerland.
Access: Le Tour ou Vallorcine (15 km from the center of Chamonix).
Note that the Balme sector also offers very nice off-piste routes from the top of the Autannes chair lift.
Places of interest – Balme
- Altitude of the ski area: 1453m -2270m
- 21 trails
- Possibility of eating in the Chalet of Charamillon.
Ski getaway on the Saint-Gervais and Les Houches side
From the top of the Les Houches-Saint-Gervais ski resort, enjoy an exceptional 360 ° view of the Mont-Blanc chain, Val Montjoie, the Aravis massif, the Fiz chain and the Chamonix valley. Trails traced through woods, skiing on 2 slopes depending on snow and sun conditions; for beginner or experienced skiers. Everyone will find their rhythm in this area with varied activities.
Also discover the Kandahar trail: a mythical piste in the Mont-Blanc massif present in the Les Houches ski area, surrounded by fir trees. Its green surroundings and the orientation of the sun offer an icy track, in green colors, hence its name. In fact, it is a black track of 870 m unevenness and 3343 meters length. The best skiers in the world are able to cover it in two minutes.
Places of interest – Houches-Saint-Gervais ski area
- Altitude of the ski area: 990m -1900m
- 21 trails
- The almost obligatory stop for lunch can be made at: Le Prarion, la den, Hors-Piste, Les vieux Luges.
Chamonix Nordic Ski Area
Lovers of cross-country skiing can practice it in the heart of the Chamonix valley thanks to the different routes; whatever your level. The valley offers two magnificent sets of cross-country trails; in Argentière, on one side, and from the center of Chamonix to the village of Les Bois, on the other. The trails network is very well maintained, with quality artificial snow.