About the Ski Areas in Chamonix
If you like challenging steep runs that seem to go on forever then Chamonix has got plenty to keep your legs working hard.
Because the valley floor is low and the lifts rise to over 3000 metres there are plenty of possible runs offering 2000 or more metres of vertical. The largest amount of vertical is offered from the Aiguille du Midi, however the gradient on La Vallee Blanche is flat at times so it won’t offer you the high speed thrills that you’ll be looking for. From the dramatic glaciers and peaks of the Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets to the gentle rolling slopes of the Domaine de Balme, each unique skiing area in Chamonix has something different to offer skiers and boarders. One thing's for certain, skiing in Chamonix is unlike skiing any other French resort. It's variety on and off the slopes are almost guaranteed to keep you sufficiently entertained during your stay. In summary, the differences between the two main categories of Chamonix ski area are:
Small/low - Beginners, typically along the bottom of the valley with easier access, including:
- La Vormaine (1480m) near La Tour Les Chosalets (1230m) in Argentiere
- Le Savoy (1049-1125m) in the centre of Chamonix by the Brevent
- Les Planards (1062-1242m) again near the town centre
These areas are suited to youngsters and the less adventurous beginner skiers/snowboarders. If you are a confident person your learning curve is likely to be curbed by just staying in these areas Snow cover is assured for most of the season by the use of snow cannons
Big/high - Confident Beginners + Everyone else, these areas are immediately up the mountain and require slightly more effort getting to:
- 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)
These areas are suited for all skiers though may be challenging for beginners in certain places. Beginners will find Le Tour and Brevent the most accommodating.
Chamonix's different areas are linked by a regular bus and train system that is included with the price of your weekly or season lift pass.