Where to ski in Chamonix – starting with beginners....
Chamonix is renowned for its vast skiing areas all along the valley from Le Tour to Brevent, not forgetting Les Houches just a few minutes further down the road. You may be forgiven for wondering where to start. Read on as Collineige takes you through some of the the possibilities, starting very much ON the pistes….
Chamonix Ski Areas for Beginners
There are plenty of nursery slopes in the Chamonix Valley. Le Savoy and Les Planards are close to the centre of Chamonix and Les Chosalets is towards Argentière. At the top of the Chamonix Valley in Le Tour is La Vormaine.
All these areas are used by the ski schools, and of course by beginners who are intent on going it alone - with varying degrees of success!
Special Chamonix lift pass rates are available to purchase at Les Planards and the other beginner slopes, this will save your pocket until you are ready to venture onto the higher slopes when you will need to buy a full Chamonix Lift Pass.
Le Savoy is ideal for for complete beginners here you will find 2 drag lifts and a magic carpet, also a snow garden for children. It is situated close to the base of the Brévent telecabine.
At Les Planards there are 2 green runs, a long blue and 2 reds for the more adventurous beginners. This is the only nursery slope with a chairlift (up to about 1250 metres)
20 minutes walk from The Grands Montets Ski area (Argentière) is Les Chosalets nursery slope for absolute beginners, with 2 drag lifts. Then continuing up the valley to Le Tour is La Vormaine, at the bottom of the Charamillon lift, with several green slopes and a blue run.
You will also find a little beginners’ area with 2 green runs at La Flégère accessed by the 4 person La Trappe chairlift.
There are some great slopes here and, south facing, it makes a good place to start in the sunshine on cold winter mornings. There are a variety of slopes from gentle wide blues to some more challenging reds from the Col Cornu. There is a not-too-tricky black run from the top of Le Brevent at 2525 metres, where you will find magnificent views and the Panoramic restaurant. You can also get across to La Flégère where there are some beautiful reds down down from L'Index.
A lovely gentle area to ski with plenty of wide blue and red runs, it seems to get its fair share of sunshine. Here you are on the borders of Switzerland with stunning views across to The Emosson Dam in Switzerland from the Tête de Balme. Snow permitting ski from the back of Le Tour down through the trees to the little village of Vallorcine for a delicious meal at Le Café Comptoir.
La Vallée Blanche
This famous off-piste ski descent of 23 km, surrounded by stunning glaciers, blue crevasses and close up views of Mont Blanc is open to intermediates with some off-piste experience. You will definitely need a Chamonix Ski Guide which we are happy to organise for our guests. Have a look at this video as our very own Jean Marie Olianti guides the Collineige staff down the Vallée Blanche. It starts at 3812m from the ridge at the top of the Aiguille du Midi, takes you through the Mer de Glace and down to Chamonix at 1035m. You can stop for lunch at the Refuge Du Requin. A truly unforgettable experience, something to marvel about in your chalet that evening as you gaze back towards Mont Blanc and your day on the Vallée Blanche.
To be continued in March - where to ski in Chamonix for Experienced and Advanced skiers.