The Brevent-Flegere skiing area is excellent for those of intermediate ability and above and has enough runs of varying difficulty to keep mixed ability groups happy all day long.
Brevent and Flegere are two separate ski areas, linked by a cable car. Brevent can be accessed from Chamonix centre, the lift station is just a few minutes walk (uphill!) from the tourist office, and the Flegere lift station is beside the golf course in the nearby village of Les Praz. Together they form one of the biggest ski areas in the valley and offer a great variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
Le Brevent is perhaps a little harder than La Flegere but still has a couple of nursery slopes that are suitable for beginners, with some steep skiing off the top with some exhilarating hikes along the ridgeline and lots of gnarly descents down the mountain face. A red intermediate piste runs from the top of the Cornu chairlift where you can access some great off-piste just metres from the piste itself. From the top of the Brevent cable car you can take the Charles Bozon piste which is a black run and is a definite ‘goodie’ for testing your techniques. Because of its high altitude, the snow on the Charles Bozon run usually remains in superb condition throughout the season.
The home run from Brevent is via Les Nants, a winding cat track that leads through the forest back to Chamonix town centre. Nants is a long run that on a sunny day offers some beautiful views across the valley towards the Aiguille du Midi, Mont-Blanc and the snow-covered Chamonix valley below. Although this is classified as a black piste is actually not very steep, but it is quite narrow in places so you need to be aware of other people. On this route you’ll also often see people taking more direct lines between the zig zags of the run, if you’re tempted to follow watch out for rocks and the tree stumps! The bottom of the run brings you out at the top of the Savoy beginners’ slope; from here it’s easy to head back up on the Chamonix-Planpraz gondola or down the Savoy run if it’s the end of your day. We recommended you avoid doing Nants at the end of the day though as it can get busy. Instead, do it in the morning after it’s been freshly groomed and is quieter and then take the gondola down at the end of the day.
La Flegere is known to the locals as 'riders paradise'. Lots of fun runs, mostly fairly easy, with cat tracks to jump off and big open off-piste sections for letting rip on a powder day. Speed junkies should look out for the speed zone area near La Chavanne where you can race the clock down a designated run, if that doesn't sound appealing then you can watch the action from a deckchair on the terrace of the nearby bar halfway down the Chavanne piste.
La Flegere bowl is challenging and fun, and after some fresh snow it opens up a world of possibilities that you don't have to be an expert freerider to enjoy, intermediate riders shouldn't get into any trouble here. Also all down the front side there are kilometres of open ground, but be aware, light snow cover can obscure rocks and heavy snow cover can bring a high risk of avalanches; La Flegere is a very "beginner-friendly" area but the lower off-piste terrain can be treacherous and avalanche-prone. Some of the tops of the cliffs can also become very windswept and icy making it difficult to stop. If in doubt, if you can’t see over it, don’t ski over it.
The Index chairlift opens up access to some of the longest runs at La Flegere. Lachenal piste is a red run that’s almost black, giving good intermediates a technical challenge with its physically demanding, consistently steep upper section. After a fresh snowfall the whole Lachenal bowl offers exceptional off-piste but can also be avalanche prone so if it’s closed it’s for a very good reason; don’t ignore the signs.
If you take the little Floria draglift from the top of the Index Chair you’ll find the Crochues and Floria pistes which are great runs for long steep skiing. With the Crochues being the less difficult of the two; often groomed to perfection, they’re great for carving on first thing in the morning. The shorter Chavannes chairlift gives access to some easier blue runs and some gentler off-piste to the skiers left for those trying powder for the first time.
Both Le Brevent and La Flegere have long scenic runs that finish down in resort but the lower sections need good snow cover, otherwise, you'll find yourself dodging rocks and scraping over gravel. Have a look at the conditions from the cable car on the way up before you decide whether or not to attempt it.
Location: Chamonix - Le Brevent