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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!!