Climb Mont Blanc – Discover the Alternative Route

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps, the biggest glacier in western Europe, and at the top of many people’s bucket list of “must do” experiences.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Tramway du Mont Blanc in Les Houches, ChamonixThousands of people flock to Chamonix each summer to see this magnificent sight, hundreds are fortunate enough to reach the summit at 4809m. The classic Mont Blanc route starts with a ride up through the pastures of Les Houches on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, a night in the refuge, followed by a dawn ascent. It is an incredible experience, but often one that is shared with a lot of other people, especially during the busiest months of the summer season.

But… did you know about the other route? The path less trodden? The Italian Mont Blanc route is slightly longer and more technical, with more daily ascent and no lift assistance, making it a more authentic experience for “purist” mountaineers.

Val Veny in ItalyStarting from the beautiful valley of Val Veny, you spend a night at the Rifugio Gonella, a remote mountain hut at 3071m nestled beneath the Miage and Dome glaciers. The ascent to the summit of Mont Blanc is via the Piton des Italiens route; a long but spectacular climb amongst breathtaking scenery.

The solitude of this itinerary means that you have a greater chance of seeing alpine wildlife such as ibex and chamois, as well as enjoying the tranquility of the mountains. After a full day on your feet you will reach the summit and find yourself looking out over the peaks of France, Italy and Switzerland from the highest point in the Alps.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Take a while to soak up the view and experience the emotions that come with such an achievement before beginning the descent via the Gouter refuge, back down to the classic route to Chamonix. The beauty of this trip is that you get to experience both sides of Mont Blanc!

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Training to climb Mont Blanc in ChamonixDue to the technical and physically challenging nature of the Italian route, this is best suited to experienced mountaineers with a love of authentic alpinism. However, you do not have to be an expert as our mountain guides will spend three days prior to the trip preparing you for the terrain amongst the crags and glaciers of the Chamonix valley; ensuring that you have all the necessary skills needed to use crampons, axes and ropes effectively.

If this sounds like your kind of adventure then visit our website or contact us directly for more information. Places are already booking up fast, so don’t delay!

5 Reasons to Love Chamonix in Spring

Time to Relax

The difference between Chamonix during peak season and inter season is dramatic – come during the quieter periods of spring or autumn and you’ll find a haven of peace and quiet. The town doesn’t go into hibernation like some of the purpose-built ski resorts do, it just slows its pace a little. Once the hoards of holidaymakers have gone you can enjoy simple pleasures such as hiking up to deserted lakes, running along empty trails, strolling round the market on Saturday morning, enjoying a coffee at a pavement café… not to mention being able to get a table in your favourite Chamonix restaurant at short notice!

Chamonix hiking trails in spring and summer


Chamonix spring flowersFlora & Fauna

As the snow melts, the colours of spring reveal themselves in all their glory! Pink blossom has started to appear on the trees, a bright carpet of wild flowers is poking through the remnants of snow, marmots and other alpine animals are starting to venture out of their burrows. You don’t have to venture very far to explore this magical land and there are plenty of accessible hikes that don’t require lift access. Join us on a discovery walk with Teresa and discover the hidden treasures of the Chamonix valley, keen photographers will pick up some invaluable tips on capturing their favourite views.


End of Season Parties

Chamonix loves nothing more than a good party (well, maybe an epic powder day but one often follows the other) and the end of winter is always marked by a raft of parties, BBQs, fancy dress nights, and general merry-making. The closing party at Les Grands Montets is the one that no one wants to miss with rail comps, tunes, crazy outfits and the legendary water slide – this year’s bash takes place on Sunday 1st May, don’t miss it! Many of the bars in Chamonix stay open throughout interseason and as the weather gets warmer the BBQs come out and we make the official switch from vin chaud to rosé as the apres-ski drink of choice. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the upcoming events and parties.

Freeride Days end of season party at Les Grands Montets


Chamonix climbingWarm Weather & Longer Days

The sunny spring weather brings a whole new list of fun things to do; the hiking and biking trails are clear of snow, the climbing crags are drying out and road bikers are enjoying sunny days and quiet roads. Lighter mornings and evenings mean that training can now start in earnest for all the summer events such as the Marathon du Mont Blanc and the UTMB. Join us for an invigorating retreat to kick-start your fitness plan.


Cheap Flights & Accommodation

All of the above, plus a few extra euros in your pocket to spend on enjoying yourself! You’ll often find deals on cheap flights at this time of year but remember to quote Mountain Lifestyle when you’re booking your accommodation and you’ll bag a 10% discount on all chalets and apartments for the remainder of this month as well. Not only that, but Mountain Lifestyle guests can claim a further 10% discount on airport transfers during April when you book on this page using the promo code “april”. Don’t forget that lift passes are also discounted for the last week of the ski season, so grab a last minute bargain and treat yourself to a spring break in Chamonix!

Chamonix in summer with flowers and Mont Blanc

Chamonix Spring Skiing, Sunshine & Special Offers

The past couple of weeks have brought typical spring weather to Chamonix – glorious sunshine and blue skies one day, heavy cloud and rain the next. The good news is that the rainy days are bringing more snow to the mountains, for us to enjoy on the sunny days!

Monoskiing in ChamonixThe Chamonix ski areas are still open, with Flegere and Le Tour enjoying an extended period up until 24th April and Les Grands Montets staying open until the end of the month. Now that we reach the tail end of the season, the pistes are delightfully deserted and lift queues non-existent. If you’ve ever fancied switching from skiing to snowboarding, or vice-versa, now is the perfect time. Plenty of space on the slopes to master your turns, no one whizzing past you at high speed and soft spring snow to cushion the falls! I might even get the monoski out for another try…
Ski & Snowboard Lessons in Chamonix

Ski touring in ChamonixThe Chamonix ski touring season is now well under way with many people striking out on multi day hut-to-hut adventures such as the famous Haute Route ski tour from Chamonix to Zermatt. The Chamonix valley has many classic ski touring routes such as the Crochues-Berard in the Aiguilles Rouge nature reserve and the Col de Passon at Les Grands Montets. We offer a range of options from a initiation day with only a short ascent, or multi day courses where you’ll really improve your technique and explore the best backcountry terrain in the Chamonix valley.
Ski Touring in Chamonix

Spring at Le Tour ski area in ChamonixThis time of year is perfect for a late season ski break – quiet pistes, great weather, plenty going on in town and, best of all, discounted ski passes. The Mont Blanc Unlimited pass is now on offer with an average of 20% off all passes of more than one day – with the additional bonus of 3 days for the price of 2, saving you a lovely 46% (that’s 80€!). Anyone fancy a last minute weekend away? You never know, we might even be able to swing you a deal on accommodation, so get in touch now and find out how much you can save!
Chamonix Special Offers & Discounts

The upcoming weather forecast looks promising, with the start of the week bringing more sunshine, so don’t forget to pack your sun cream!

Springtime in Chamonix : What’s On & Where to Go

With the news that Chamonix golf course is partially open as of today, it really feels like spring is in the air – despite the return of the snow.

Since the clocks went forward a couple of weeks ago, the days have been getting longer and warmer with the emphasis leaning more towards the apres than the ski… Conditions are still fairly good up in the mountains and there has actually been some fresh snow this week but one of the many joys of spring is the amount of possibilities that it brings.

Aiguille du Midi Chamonix webcam view
View from Aiguille du Midi yesterday afternoon

You can have the best of both worlds and go skiing in the morning, followed by rock climbing on a sunny crag in the afternoon. Chamonix has loads of easily accessible climbing walls and even complete beginners can master the basics in a couple of hours with a rock climbing guide. Les Gaillands is the most popular crag in the valley, not only for its myriad routes of varying grades but also for the picturesque lake and the close proximity of the bar and restaurant at Hotel Le Vert – won’t be long until they start firing up the BBQ and getting the tunes on the terrace.

Chamonix rock climbing

The Aiguille du Midi cable car stays open long after all the other lifts have closed. From here you can experience Chamonix from the skies on a parapente flight, explore the seracs and crevasses on a glacier hike, or even get roped up and kitted out for some high altitude alpinism amongst the soaring peaks of the Massif du Mont Blanc before toasting your achievements in one of the sun-traps of Chamonix Sud; South Bar, Monkey or Bighorn.

Paragliding in Chamonix

Water sports such as canyoning and whitewater rafting will soon be up and running again, with all the melted snow from the mountains turning our streams and rivers into gushing torrents. Both activities are great fun and considering you’re going to get soaked through anyway, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like!

Chamonix canyoning and rafting

With discounted prices on lift passes, accommodation and ski hire, spring is a great time to come to Chamonix and work on your goggle tan. This week welcomes the Chamonix Unlimited Festival to town – 5 days of international DJs and musicians rocking the mountains.

Chamonix Unlimited Music Festival

Although the season is not yet over, Chamonix’s best apres-ski band plays their final gig this evening. No Limits will be rocking Chambre Neuf from 6pm so claim your spot on the table, stockpile a few pitchers of beer and be prepared to sing your throat hoarse one last time this winter – SKÅL!!!

Chamonix apres ski with No Limits at Chambre Neuf

 

Spring Skiing in Chamonix – Discounts on Lift Passes, Accommodation & More!

It might have been a little late to get started but it looks like winter is here to stay a bit longer than expected – extended opening dates were announced this week for the Chamonix ski season!

Blue skies and sunshine at La Flegere this week

La Flegere and Le Tour/Vallorcine ski areas will remain open until 24th April, a week longer than scheduled, and Les Grands Montets won’t close until 1st May. So there’s a whole month of skiing to be had before the season is officially over!

Our next bit of good news is that lift passes are discounted from 9th April to 1st May, saving you as much as 46% on a 3 day pass – perfect for a cheeky last minute ski weekend! You can find all the prices here and pre-order your discounted Chamonix lift pass here, or simply contact us now for details.

Blue skies and sunshine at Les Grands Montets in Chamonix

You can also find great savings on Chamonix accommodation through our partners at Mountain Base, who are offering 10% discount on all bookings made for April. They have a fantastic range of chalets and apartments in Chamonix to suit all budgets, our favourite picks are:

Apartment Brevent in Chamonix, self-catered ski accommodation

Apartment Brevent – a large newly refurbished apartment right at the foot of the Brevent ski lift. Super stylish, bright and spacious, find out more here.

Apartment Clos de Savoy – spacious three bedroom apartment in an ideal location just minutes from the ski slopes and the centre of Chamonix. Quiet but very central, find out more here.

Sunny terrace with view of Mont Blanc at Chalet Alpins in ChamonixVilla Floria – charming modern apartment just a few steps from the centre of Chamonix. Quiet yet convenient location, find out more here.

Chalet Alpins – a large comfortable chalet with hot tub looking out over Mont Blanc, perfect for large families or groups of friends. Sunny terrace with fabulous views, find out more here.

Save 10% on all Chamonix accommodation here – all you have to do is quote “Mountain Lifestyle Spring Sale” when booking!

Blue skies and sunshine at Les Houches ski area in Chamonix

Once you’ve saved money on your lift passes and accommodation, you’ll be happy to know that we can also offer you a 10% discount on your airport transfers! Simply book your Chamonix airport transfers on this page and use the exclusive discount code “april” to save yourself a few more euros on all journeys from the 1st to the 30th of April.

You can also benefit from massive discounts of up to 50% on ski and snowboard rental when you book in advance from our friends on this page – all are conveniently central to Chamonix and some will even deliver to your accommodation!

Chamonix webcams showing the valley in spring

If you needed any more reasons to visit Chamonix this spring then here are just a few of the great events that are lined up over the next few weeks:

  • Chamonix Unlimited Festival 7-11 April : 5 days of DJs on the mountains and in the bars and clubs of Chamonix. A great line up of international house and techno DJs awaits you; many of the parties are free entry, some require tickets. You can find more details here.
  • La Corse à Cham 22-24 April : Corsica comes to Chamonix in a whirlwind of street markets, folk dancing, live music and delicious delicacies. Most of the fun is free, just take a stroll through the centre of town and soak up the sunny Corsican vibes.
  • Freeride Days (date TBC) : the end of season closing party is one of the best events of the winter with DJs, BBQ, freeride contests, fancy dress, live music and not forgetting the infamous water slide up at Les Grands Montets. Bring along your best rail and kicker skills to impress the crowds or just turn up, grab a beer and enjoy the spectacle. The party continues down in Argentiere and Chamonix long after the ski area has closed. Free entry, you just need a lift pass to access the ski area. Freeride Days usually takes place on the last Sunday of the season, we’ll post the date on our Facebook page as soon as it has been confirmed.
  • Saturday Market : pick up some fresh local produce from the weekly market that fills the centre of Chamonix every Saturday morning – fresh bread, meat, cheese and fruit to make a handy picnic to take up the hill. You can also pick up succulent roasted chicken or hot-from-the-oven pizza for a quick and tasty lunch, as well as Savoyard wines, cakes and honey.
  • Live Music : the apres-ski scene is still live and kicking, spring is when the bars spill out into the streets to soak up the late afternoon sunshine and it becomes acceptable to start sporting a goggle tan. Chamonix night life is chock-a-block with live music playing from 4pm until late into the night – keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out where to party after the slopes have closed for the day.

As well as the ski areas, there are still loads of things to see and do in Chamonix. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our amazing valley!