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What's new in Chamonix winter 2019/20

New lifts, restaurants, activities and much more

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| Ana Hernández, Chamonix Editor | Published
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As more and more lifts open in the Chamonix Valley in the lead up to Christmas, we take a look at all that's new in town and on the slopes.

From new lifts and pistes to lots of new food options including restaurants and self-catering alternatives, Chamonix is always changing for the better.

New lifts

The talk of the town this winter is the new gondola connecting Le Praz and Flégère. The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc worked hard this summer to replace the old cable car, which had a much lower capacity, with this state-of-the-art gondola which is much faster and, according to those who have already tried it, much more comfortable. The lift started transporting skiers and snowboarders up the mountain last Saturday, December 14th 2019. A new lift station has also been built at the bottom of the lift, by the car park.

Also new this winter is the Les Posettes drag lift in the Balme ski area. Starting from the top of the Vallorcine cable car, it will help beginner and intermediate skiers get to the Charamillon area of Le Tour using blue runs only. There is also a new black piste, Béchat Esserts, running from the top of the Plan des Reines drag lift to the top of the Vallorcine cable car.

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New activities on & off the slopes

Also in Le Tour, the filmed and timed slalom that starts just below the Autannes chairlift has been turned into a parallel slalom, so you can now challenge your friends and family to see who's the fastest, and review your performance by downloading your film online.

On the other side of the mountain, ESF Vallorcine are offering pony rides and pony-drawn sleigh rides for kids this winter. Up to three children can hop on the sled and explore the snow on pony-back from December 8th 2019 to April 20th 2020.

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For those of you venturing off the Balme ski resort bounds and attempting the freeride descent of the glacier or the Col du Balme, Happy Tracks are offering shuttles in their 8-seater minivan to take you back into France and drop you off in Vallorcine. These transfers can be booked in advance at their Yourte, where they serve delicious meals and hot drinks to hungry skiers, and they cost €30 for 1 to 4 people and €5 for every further person.

Cloud 9 Adventure have expanded their activities on offer with new snowshoe trips which run on a private basis for groups of at least 3 from December until April. Half-day and full-day experiences are available, as well as expeditions to the nearest summits in the Mont-Blanc Valley or stunning moonlit walks. Also new this winter are their cross-country skiing private courses, running both on the tracks in the Chamonix Valley or the gorgeous Val Ferret area in Italy, just across the border.

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New restaurants in town

There are a few new eateries in town that will delight all the foodies visiting us. The most awaited for is Mumma, a modern fusion restaurant in the heart of Chamonix serving delicious Asian dishes with South-American and Mexican touches. Starters include 'Crab & jalapeño rice balls with Parmesan, crispy lettuce and spicy ponzu mayo' or 'Pickled cherry tomato & melon salad with soy-roasted pumpkin seeds'. As their mains, you can try 'Pancha Abotia pork & cabbage roll with pickled hon shimeji mushroom and gochugaru & garlic sauce' or 'Fried whole dorade royal with salsa verde and braised greens'. There are also lots of vegetarian and vegan options, including the yummy-sounding 'Soy & plum baked carrots with yellow curry aubergine, rice crisp and macadamia nut'. Open every day from 18:30 to 23:00.

Having made waves in Chamonix over the summer, the pop-up Le Shack has decided to stay and is opening this winter. This open-air beer garden and tapas bar will be kitted out with stoves and blankets to serve delicious drinks and snacks. Asian food is also strong here with gyozas, tempura, sushi and curries on the menu.

The four-star Hotel Le Morgane, in Cham Sud, are also opening a new restaurant this season. Le Comptoir des Alpes will serve Franco-Italian Alpine cuisine made with fresh, local produce. Risotto, grass-fed beef and fish from the surrounding Alpine lakes will all be served.

One of our favourite private chefs in the valley, Roo from Pom Pom Catering, will be hosting pop-up events throughout the winter. Her homemade, flavourful, authentic Indian dishes, made according to her grandma's recipes, will be on offer once a month at the Big Mountain Bar. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar to know when the next pop-up will take place.

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More choices for vegans

More and more people are worried about the consequences of climate change, which are particularly visible in the mountains, and adopting a vegan diet as a result. This winter, Chamonix has even more choices for you! At Bighorn Bistro, they're offering lots of new winter vegan specials including the ultra-famous 'Beyond Burger', the world's first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef, without GMOs, soy or gluten as well – served with a three-pepper chutney, sprouts & tomato spread on a homemade English muffin. Other vegan-friendly dishes include their 'Chickpea and lentil Dahl with cranberry chutney and turmeric oil served with homemade pita bread' or a 'Sweet potato and broccoli flatbread on homemade pita with roasted seeds and pistachios'.

Vegans can also enjoy Neapolitan-style pizzas made with a sourdough base at The Dainty Pizza where 8 of their 10 pizzas will be available in a vegan form for this winter season. Their creative recipes, all made with local ingredients, include a 'Vegan Parmigiana' pizza made with San Marzano tomatoes, aubergine, red onion, Kalamata olives and homemade vegan Parmesan. They also cater for private parties and events and can deliver between 25-45 pizzas for free all across the Chamonix Valley, from Les Houches to Argentière. 

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Faster food on the slopes

Sometimes you just want a quick bite to replenish your energy and get back on the slopes as quickly as possible. Well, your lunch break will be shorter than ever when skiing in Flégère and Grands Montets this winter. Mountain restaurants Tendance Foehn, at the arrival of the brand new Flégère gondola, and Le Spot de Lognan, by the Les Grands Montets mid-station, have set up a new Click & Collect system – just order your food online and pick it up at the restaurant. Also available this winter are online bookings at two of their most popular gourmet restaurants, Le 3842 at the summit of the Aiguille du Midi and La Bergerie de Plan Praz in Brévent.

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New ski hire options

One of the most widely spread ski hire franchises in the Alps, Skiset, have just launched their Netski app, a fast and easy way to rent your skis or snowboard this season. Choose between two packages – the Netski.comfort for the best prices or the Netski.plus for the latest gear (Netski.kids and Netski.teens bundles also available) – and confirm your booking in only two clicks. You’ll get a QR code to collect your equipment at your local shop. For a small fee, Netski clients can also benefit from priority assistance in shops, ski lockers with boot dryers and direct delivery to your accommodation.

Also available in two of Morzine’s Skiset shops this winter is Scanfeet, a state-of-the-art foot scan that takes a full 3D image of the skier’s feet in under 20 seconds and then pulls up the best-suited boots available in store. Enjoy rental boots that fit like a glove in record time! Even better, scans are shared among Skiset shops so you won’t need to scan your feet again if you rent your equipment with them.

Worried about slipping on those icy pavements when walking to the slopes? Fear not, Intersport is now offering GripWalk across their whole rental range. These innovative boot soles offer a non-slip surface as well as a more natural profile for walking (or dancing at La Folie Douce!), and they can be combined with GripWalk bindings for perfect performance on the slopes.

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New self-catering options

For winter 2019/20, Amazon Creek’s luxury chalets are available as self-catered properties, with short stays also possible in non-peak weeks. You can now stay in their luxury chalets at accessible prices, making the Amazon Creek experience available to a wider range of guests, and with 100% flexibility. Whether you are looking for total independence or complete care, you can choose any of their tailor-made services to curate your perfect winter holiday – handpick any add-ons to suit your group, from airport pick-ups and daily cleaning to private chefs, childcare and the best instructors.

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And new food delivery options

Do you want the flexibility of self-catering without having to think and prepare all the meals yourself? Well, then, there are plenty of new choices available in Chamonix. Dinners Delivered by TCS began their journey in Chamonix at the beginning of December offering recipe bags containing everything you need to create tasty meals whenever you want. They deliver to your door the freshest of ingredients pre-prepared and pre-portioned in recyclable packaging, you just need to follow their super simple cooking instructions and you'll have the perfect dinner in 15 to 30 minutes. Meals include international favourites like 'Chicken Satay', 'Cajun salmon', 'Burritos' or vegan options like the 'Cauliflower beignet with Dahl'. They also have family bags suitable for 2 adults and 2 children or gourmet bags for special occasions (easiest Christmas dinner ever!), as well as side dishes and desserts. You can order online or on the phone.

Huski revolutionised self-catering four winters ago when they launched their meal delivery service. Since then, for a fraction of the price of a catered holiday, you can enjoy delicious breakfast, lunch, three-course dinners, canapes, fine wines and even cheese boards at your apartment or chalet completely hassle-free. Huski delivers everything to your door and the only thing you need to do is pop your food in the oven to heat it up. This year, they’re offering a new, locally made, Savoyard-inspired range of meals called “Gourmet 73” cooked daily by chef Nick Casey at their headquarters in Bourg Saint Maurice. Think creamy tartiflette and moreish Beef Mondeuse! Also new this season is their very own beer, the Huski Mountain Pilsner created in collaboration with the Brasserie du Petit St Bernard.

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New ways to take care of your body

Mobile Alpine massage company Massage Me is offering two brand new therapies this winter. First of all is their 100% bespoke MY Massage service where you’ll be able to select every single step of your wellbeing journey, from the massage style and pressure preference (including Swedish, sports, holistic and even a combination of all of them), to the part of your body that needs more attention, the massage oil and even the music. This winter, they’re also adding Physiotherapy, Pilates and Yoga to their mobile services menu in partnership with Alpine Therapies. Not only that, but they’ve embarked on a green journey to be more eco-friendly, from reducing single plastic use and carbon emissions to assessing the materials they use. So it’s not only your muscles that will feel much better by booking a massage with Massage Me but also the environment.

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New rooms available to book

The five-star Grand Hotel des Alpes has renovated all of its rooms. Works started last April and they reopened on December 13th 2019. The crisp and elegant new rooms are a haven of peace and tranquility in the heart of Chamonix. The lounge and lobby have also received a makeover, even if they've kept the original wooden panels to maintain its historical soul. This spring, in April and May, they're planning to build a new conference room and redo their breakfast room. Come and check out their new look until April 13th.

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New properties for sale

Alpine Property is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Based in Morzine, this 100% online real estate agency is at the forefront of technology. Their 14 agents now cover all the ski areas in the Haute Savoie including, of course, Chamonix. Here they currently have some stunning properties for sale like this two-bedroom duplex apartment in the charming village of Les Chosalets, near Les Grands Montets ski area and just a few metres from the cross-country ski tracks. With outdoor and indoor parking, tonnes of storage space, a woodburning stove and breathtaking views of the Mont-Blanc range, this is a perfect pied a terre in the Chamonix Valley.

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More inspiration...

A handful of improvements set to make life even better in and around the vibrant little town that is Chamonix. Come and check them out yourself! 

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