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Worth a visit
Rating 1.3 (213 votes)

Chamonix

Listed under Skiing in Chamonix, France.

  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
  • Photo of Chamonix
Photo of Chamonix
Photo by mikelyvers
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Both crowned and dwarfed by Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and its gigantic collection of attendant glaciers which tumble into the Mer de Glace - the second longest glacier in Europe - Chamonix is regarded by many as the “cradle” of climbing. It also has some of the most dramatic, and, for the true extreme skier or snowboarder, scarcely believable challenges in the world. The slopes in the Chamonix Valley are scattered among half a dozen areas, few of which actually link. Brévant and La Flégère are the two areas most intermediates will head for. Between them they have plenty of relaxed, enjoyable skiing, with some more challenging runs thrown in. Many strong skiers and boarders head straight for Argentière’s vast Grands Montets, with some of the finest skiing and boarding in Europe. A two-stage cable car takes skiers and boarders to the “sharp end” of the mountain at 3275 metres (10,745 feet). Apart from two serious off-piste routes which should only be attempted with a high-mountain guide, there are only two ways to start the long 2035 vertical metre (6677 feet) descent from the top: the tough black ungroomed runs of Point de Vue and Pylones. The highlight of your visit to Chamonix is likely to be the cable-car ride to the impossibly steep and spiny Aiguille du Midi. At the top, the exit is linked by a short causeway to the beginning of the legendary Vallée Blanche. There are three or four principal routes down it, all of which involve a rather hair-raising trudge down a ridge to a flattish plateau, carrying your skis and probably roped together. The main “tourist” route, contrary to rumour, is easy, and the only reason – albeit a good one – for a guide is to avoid the very real threat of crevasses. The scenery on the way down – myriad granite spires, steeples and towering, jagged peaks – is truly astonishing.

Written by  Arnie Wilson.

Other expert and press reviews

“Chaminox for beginners”

Obviously a great place for the off piste and extreme enthusiast but it’s also excellent for the beginner. You do have to put up with travelling around on bus unless you have your own vehicle! Read more...

Written by  Andrew Lockerbie.

“Boarding Chamonix”

This is another obvious choice, but for me I just love boarding against a backdrop as inspiring as Mont Blanc. Like everyone says it does look like a chocolate box view and I can’t look at a Toblerone box without wishing I was there. On the practical si… Read more...

Written by  Sally James.

“Chamonix”

You only need to be an intermediate skier to do the 20 km long Vallee Blanche run down the Mer du Glace glacier from the Aiguille du Midi. This requires a guide and is probably the most spectacularly scenic ski run in the world. Read more...

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

“Chamonix”

Easily accessible from Geneva, Chamonix Mont Blanc offers a huge choice of challenging skiing, making it the ideal escape for advanced skiers seeking a short break. The array of ski areas results in a segmented resort, necessitating the use of the gondo… Read more...

Written by  David Holyoak.

“The French Peak Season”

By Stephen Wood for The Independent. First published Saturday, 11th October 2008. ...Over the last couple of decades, since it overtook Austria as our destination of choice, France has taken an ever-increasing share of the UK market. The growth last se… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Independent, 11th October 2008

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Great resort in summer too

Chamonix is an amazing place in summer too with lots of itineraries from gentle to top quality mountaineering.

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