The Christmas festivities and New Year’s parties are now behind us and soon the school holidays will be over.
January is typically the month when those without kids come out to play, so although town feels a lot quieter the bars and restaurants will be buzzing and apres-ski will be getting into full swing. So, what does January have lined up for us?
Thrill Collins at Monkey - 6th January
If you’ve never heard your favourite tunes belted out in a skiffle-pop style then you’ve missed out. Seriously. Not only are these guys cracking musicians but they’re also really good fun and know how to get a crowd dancing along to the least likely but weirdly enjoyable tracks. They’re not in Chamonix often enough for our liking, so give Thrill Collins a whirl this week at Monkey.
Kandahar Junior Alpine Ski Race - 6th, 7th & 8th January
The best European junior skiers gather to compete on the infamous Kandahar piste in Les Houches for the Kandahar Junior Alpine Ski Race. 240 keen young skiers from around the world will compete in two slalom races and another two giant slalom races, for individual and team prizes in mixed groups. There will be some seriously talented kids there, so be prepared to feel completely outclassed.
Wine Tasting Lunches at Hameau Albert Premier - 14-15th January
Start the new year off in sophistication by sipping posh wines in a fancy restaurant. No need to feel intimidated though, as you will be guided through them by an expert sommelier as you savour a gourmet 5 course lunch at the Michelin starred Albert Premier. The tasting will start at 10:30am, when you will learn all about the origin of the grapes and the production of the various wines; lunch will be served at midday alongside four of the wines that have been carefully selected to complement the menu. Reservation is essential.
French Freeride Qualifiers - 21st January
Watch France’s best freeride skiers and snowboarders battle it out to win their place on the 2018 Freeride World Tour. The Freeride Qualifiers competition usually takes place on one of the steep off-piste faces up at Brevent (weather and snow conditions depending); it is completely free to watch, just grab yourself and good vantage point and watch the action unfold. You’ll see some incredible skiers and snowboarders giving it their all to be in with a chance of competing in one of the world’s biggest freeride events.
Australia Day - 26th January
With so many aussies doing winter seasons in Chamonix, this national celebration is a big day for a lot of bars. Fancy dress parties, BBQs and kicker sessions up the hill all make our exiled antipodeans very happy. Bar’d Up and The Pub often throw some sort of a party, keep an eye out around town for impromptu aussie-themed antics.
Swatch Freeride World Tour - 27th January - 2nd February
The best skiers and snowboarders in the world compete in the ultimate freeride competition, the Swatch Freeride World Tour right here in Chamonix. Pro-skiers and snowboarders from all over the globe are here to compete for the world title on the off-piste terrain at La Flegere (snow and weather conditions permitting). The competition travels to ski resorts in France, Russia, Switzerland, America and Austria - riders have just one shot at nailing the perfect line down an off-piste face. The Chamonix leg of the tour is usually held at the top of the Index at Flegere, down the Pente des Chamois, keep an eye on our news page for updated information closer to the time. The Freeride Village takes over the centre of Chamonix town with big screens showing live action footage, sponsor stands, live music bands and more.
No Limits at Chambre Neuf - daily
Everyone’s favourite scandi-rockers are back in their rightful place on the stage at Chambre Neuf, belting out all the classics as well as a few new numbers. Chambre Neuf has recently undergone a major refurb and is now sporting hip new image and more spacious layout. No Limits play their famous apres-ski set every day except Saturday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, followed by happy hour on half-price cocktails at 8pm.
Avalanche Awareness at Bighorn Bar & Bistro - Mondays
Learn all about the dangers of avalanches and how to avoid them, in the warmth and safety of the bar at Bighorn in Chamonix Sud. The sessions are free and lead by professional mountain guides; invaluable in giving you an insight into mountain safety and the potential risks of going off-piste. They are held on Mondays at 6pm.
Ice Hockey - Tuesdays
Grab a seat near the front to watch the action (and the crashes!) up-close - Les Pionniers play most weeks at the Chamonix ice rink, either in friendly or league games. The rink, or “patinoire” has a bar and restaurant, so you can make a night of it and then head over to the MBC for some home-brewed craft ales to celebrate or commiserate with the team.
Night Skiing in Les Houches - Thursdays
Floodlit pistes, a bit of music and a glug or two of vin chaud at night make the beginner piste at Le Tourchet much more fun than watching 5 year olds perfect their snowplough during the day. Night skiing is open every Thursday evening this January from 8:30-10pm, with snow toys and vintage ski gear available to try out on some dates.
Weekly Markets - Saturdays and Wednesdays
Off-set all that cheese fondue and mulled wine with some fresh fruit and veggies from the local markets; there is one every Saturday morning in Chamonix centre and in Vallorcine, and on Wednesday afternoons on a farm in Les Houches.
Regular Live Music & DJs
Most bars in Chamonix have a good lineup of bands and DJs playing on various nights throughout the week: La Terrasse on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Friday; La Yaute on Friday; Munster Bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Monkey and La Yaute both host pub quizzes on Thursdays - let’s see how many brain cells we killed off during the festive period, shall we? Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for all music and events in Chamonix.
Location: Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley