Best beginner areas
There are three nursery areas for beginners in Les Houches. One is in the village of Les Houches, and the other two are higher up in the main ski area.
Le Tourchet nursery area is located not far from main church in the centre of Les Houches, about 1km up the road from the Bellevue cable car. You’ll find two drag lifts and two pistes here on which to practice. The shorter drag lift gives you access to the lower part of the piste whilst the longer one takes you to the top of the ski area and allows you to get more turns in, before getting back to the bottom. The slopes have a very gentle gradient and are nice and wide, allowing you to make confident, large turns.
Look out for night skiing on the Tourchet piste - on certain evenings during peak season the slopes are floodlit and there is music and hot drinks at the bottom.
There are two nursery slopes at the top of the mountain in the main Les Houches ski area. The 'Mont Blanc' area is at the top of the Bellevue cable car and the 'Ecole' is at the top of the Prarion gondola. The Mont Blanc piste is the slightly longer run of the two and both pistes are served by their own drag lift. Ecole also has a slow-moving chairlift which you can use to practise getting on and off. The gradient at Ecole is incredibly shallow, so you might want to progress onto one of the nearby blue pistes once you've mastered the basics.
Head down the back side of the mountain to the Melezes chairlift which takes you to a variety of wide blue pistes. These slopes tend to be slightly quieter than other areas in Chamonix valley, making them great for beginners to practise on. A word of caution - don't go any lower than the bottom of the Melezes lift as you'll end up on a red piste and the only way back up is an incredibly long and difficult drag lift. When ready to return home, you can ski blue pistes all the way back to the bottom of both the Prarion gondola and the Bellevue cable car.
Also see: Ski Areas in Chamonix, France