Situated at the base of Mont Blanc, which at 4807 m is Western Europe’s highest mountain, the skiing is split across five distinct areas serviced by a free ski bus. A huge variety of terrain is on offer from beginner slopes to tree runs and some formidable off-piste. It’s safe to say that on its day Chamonix boasts some of the best off-piste skiing in the Alps.
Summit 3275 m
Vertical Drop 2240 m
Base 1035 m
Cable Cars 20
Chair Lifts 27
Drag Lifts 18
Freeriding Hire a mountain guide and do the 22 km run down the Vallée Blanche.
Freestyle Ski the Grands Montets snowpark, butter up the pistes and natural half-pipe at Le Tour.
Pistes Beginners should head to Le Tour. Advanced skiers, Les Grands Montets and Bochard.
Beginner Pistes 15
Intermediate Pistes 36
Advanced Pistes 40
Expert Pistes 15
Total Riding 170 km
20 December - 28 April
58.50€ Day Lift Pass, 285€ 6-Day Lift Pass
Geneva (1 h 12 min), Chambéry (1 h 32 min), Lyon (2 h 11 min), Grenoble (2 h 14 min)
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Office de Tourisme
85 Place du Triangle de l’Amitié
Phone: +33 (0)4 50 53 00 24
Chamonix Skiing Guide
Chamonix is quite unlike any other ski resort you may have been to. Very much the birthplace of Alpine sports in France, the area just keeps giving and giving to skiers who return relentlessly year after year in their search for adventure.
Chamonix is a little bit haphazard, in the most charming way possible – it’s made up of five distinct areas serviced by a free ski bus, the lifts are old, and it lacks the finesse of neighbouring resorts – but this ruggedness coupled with the incredible terrain just makes people keep coming back for more.
While Chamonix does cater for skiers of all levels, you will get more and more out of it the stronger you get. There are four dedicated beginners areas and also a beginners snow park, so if you’re just finding your ski legs you will be well catered for. There are 5 distinct ski areas that make up Chamonix, comprising 170 km of on-piste skiing and over 500 km more off-piste. In fact, that’s what Chamonix is best at – extreme, demanding, amazing freeride terrain, and tons of it. On its day the place boasts some of the world’s best freeriding, no question.
Of course, no discussion about Chamonix would be complete without mentioning the world-renowned Aiguille du Midi and the Vallée Blanche. The first being the pinnacle of rock that dominates the valley reachable by what was for many years the tallest cable car in the world, and the second being the most famous off-piste skiing experience in the world. The Vallée Blanche isn’t reserved for experts only, it can safely be navigated (with a guide) by a decent intermediate. There are 4 main descents of the Vallée Blanche with differing levels of difficulty, so even a very advanced boarder should get a decent bang out of it.
The ski areas that make up Chamonix are incredibly varied in themselves from the pretty chill Brevent-Flegere area to very non-chill Les Grands Montets. There is a decent snowpark in Les Grands Montets also but if freestyle is your thing there are definitely better resorts for you in the Alps.
Accommodation, Restaurants & Après
Where to stay
There is accommodation to suit every taste in Chamonix – be careful to think about what you want from your holiday before you pick your accommodation (Chamonix isn’t the most accessible of resorts and having a car can be a God-send). If you’re looking for serious après and early access to the slopes go for Chamonix centre, but if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing and quiet, one of the nearby villages may be more your thing.
Where to eat
For serious gourmet eats check out Atmosphere for its Michelin starred food, fabulous views and delightful interior. On the more relaxed end of the spectrum Micro Brasserie de Chamonix (MBC) does great burgers served with their own home brewed beers.
MBC is also a great place to start your evening’s après (if you’re so inclined) after which you might head to Monkey Bar for some more live music and then, if you’ve still got the energy you might mosey on over to the late opening Garage Bar to finish off the debauchery. If you prefer a quiet and sophisticated tipple, check out the Clubhouse Bar for slightly more sensible après.
Chamonix Skiing Videos
Chamonix Skiing Gallery
Chamonix Skiing FAQ
Is Chamonix good for skiing?
Chamonix has excellent off-piste and backcountry terrain and a lot to offer intermediate and advanced skiers. The slopes are steeper than many other Alpine resorts and the skiing is considered challenging. A blue run in Chamonix may be graded a black elsewhere. The skiing is spread out along the valley and each ski area is connected by a shuttle bus that’s included in your lift pass. For gentler terrain and tree runs head to Le Tour at the top of the valley, or Les Houches 6 km down the valley from Chamonix town. If you’re unlucky enough to get full whiteout conditions, you can try heading through the tunnel to Courmayeur where the weather will often be completely different.
Is Chamonix snow sure?
With pistes over 3000 m and northeastern facing slopes that hold the snow, Chamonix offers some of the most reliable conditions in the Alps. In addition there’s glacier skiing and year-round snow fields accessible from the Aiguille du Midi cable car. If you plan on skiing the glacier, make sure you take a guide.
What’s the nearest airport to Chamonix?
Geneva is the closest international airport to Chamonix. It’s 100 km and the journey time is 1 hour 10 minutes. Being one of the closest resorts to Geneva airport (and the only ski resort within 90 minutes that offers pistes over 3000 m), Chamonix is a good choice if you’re an expert skier looking for a short transfer.