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!

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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

 

Our 3 Favourite Off-Piste Experiences for Skier & Snowboarders in Chamonix

It might have been a bit slow to start but with the arrival of a few massive dumps of snow recently, this winter is now looking pretty amazing!

So much snow fell last week that the pisteurs at Les Grands Montets were gob-smacked and have been hard at work ever since making the ski areas safe and avalanche-free for us to enjoy.

Pisteurs securing the ski area at Les Grands Montets in Chamonix

However, the late and sudden arrival of the snow unfortunately makes for fairly unsteady conditions up in the mountains. The avalanche risk has been consistently high and although there is huge temptation is to go ripping through the powder at every opportunity, mountain guides and pisteurs are advising everyone to be cautious and to ski or snowboard safely – especially if you are thinking of going off-piste.

Off-piste ski course with Chamonix Experience mountain guides

The Chamonix backcountry has so much to offer and there is fantastic off-piste terrain to discover. An ideal way to explore, and to learn essential safety skills, is by doing an off-piste course. Here are our top three…

All Mountain – one of our favourites, this 3 day course takes you all over the Grands Montets into bowls, gullies and powder fields where you’ll learn how to ride off-piste, make steep turns, attack moguls and handle bad conditions such as ice and hardpack. Your guide will seek out the best places for the conditions and teach you how to master the mountain like a boss. Split over 3 half days at 195€ per person, this is ideal preparation for doing the Vallée Blanche – your guide will let you know if you are ready to do it.
Book All Mountain Here

Off-Piste & Freeride – we’re not saying “don’t go off-piste”, it’s far too much fun to miss out on! You’ll have an even better time if you go with a pro and learn how to shred the pow and find the best stashes. Our freeride and off-piste courses go from half days to full weeks for everyone from complete beginners to experienced powder hounds. Starting from just 69€ they are definitely worth it, you’ll experience Chamonix in a whole new light.
Book Off-Piste & Freeride Here

Avalanche Awareness – learn invaluable skills and have a great off-piste experience. If you want to explore then you need to learn how to do it safely, especially with the snowpack being as unstable as it is this winter. This half-day course will take you into the mountains and teach you the basics of assessing the snow conditions, evaluating the avalanche risk, carrying out a search using a transceiver and what to do if the worst happens. At just 69€ per person it’s an investment that you’ll use every time you go off-piste. We also offer longer courses for those who want to learn more about avalanche, off-piste and glacier safety.
Book Avalanche Awareness Here

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Once you’ve mastered the techniques of off-piste skiing you’ll be ready to tackle the Vallée Blanche – Chamonix’s most famous off-piste run. Riding the lift up to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, stepping out through the ice tunnel onto the arete, skiing down amongst the seracs and crevasses of the Mont Blanc Massif – it is an unbeatable experience for any confident skier or snowboarder.

Ski the Vallee Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix

The Vallée Blanche is not technically a difficult route, it is often compared to being no harder than your average red piste, which is why it is so accessible even to those who don’t have huge off-piste experience. It is glacial terrain though, which is why it is essential to only ever ski the Vallee Blanche with a guide. Glaciers constantly shift and evolve, with crevasses opening up and changing shape with every different weather pattern. This is why none of our mountain guides would ever compromise your safety by taking you down if they thought that conditions were too bad or that you weren’t ready to tackle it.

We also have a ton of other options to offer such as private ski/snowboard guiding, off-piste lessons for everyone from beginners to experiences skiers/snowboarders, longer ski tours with overnight accommodation in mountain refuges, snowshoe treks and so on. Please visit our website or contact us for more details.

The Chamonix ski slopes are now in great condition and the next few days look like they’re going be as glorious as today’s webcam image from Flegere…

Chamonix webcam image of Flegere ski area

We get a lot of calls and emails asking us what the snow’s like – you can see for yourself with the daily video snow report, live webcams and local weather forecasts on our Chamonix Snow & Weather page.

Fresh Snow in Chamonix! Go Off-Piste with a Chamonix Mountain Guide

After a slow start to the winter season, it looks like we’re getting it all at once – 1.5m of fresh snow has fallen this week, with another 2.5m forecast over the weekend!

The great news is that any remaining rocks and bare patches are rapidly disappearing under a thick layer of the lovely white stuff, making for excellent conditions both on and off-piste.

Fresh Snow at Le Tour in Chamonix Mont Blanc

The warm dry conditions of December mean that the snow base is likely to be unstable though and this unfortunately makes the avalanche risk high. We would always recommend hiring a mountain guide for off-piste skiing anyway, but the current conditions make it extra advisable.

Here are just a few good reasons to hire a mountain guide:

  • Safety – a qualified mountain guide will have been thoroughly trained in avalanche awareness and rescue. So, not only are you less likely to be caught up in a dangerous situation in the first place, but you’ll be with the right person should the worst happen.
  • Local knowledge – why bumble around by yourselves missing out on the best snow when you could be making fresh tracks in awesome terrain? Your mountain guide will know exactly where to find the best powder stashes and how to navigate the vast Chamonix off-piste, maximising your time on the mountain.
  • Progression – got goals to achieve? Want to improve your off-piste skills and learn more about backcountry safety? Your mountain guide will have a wealth of experience and knowledge that you can benefit from. While not necessarily the same as a ski instructor, your mountain guide will take your abilities into account and give you invaluable advice on skiing different types of terrain.
  • Fun!!! – explore terrain that you didn’t know existed, shred slopes you didn’t know you were capable of, find excellent snow that you wouldn’t have found by yourself and generally have a fantastic time playing in the powder! All courtesy of your Chamonix mountain guide!

ski-off-piste-powderWe offer a number of different guiding options – the most flexible option is to hire a private mountain guide for one or more days, either just for yourself or get a group of mates together and split the cost. Because it is a private group you can go wherever you like and the guide will tailor the day to whatever you want to do. Time and time again we hear people tell us that this was the best day of their holiday!
Book your private mountain guide here

Snowboarding Les Grands Montets, Chamonix Mont BlancAlternatively, if you want to keep costs down you can always join a group for 4 hours of off-piste powder, gullies and moguls tuition on the Evo2 Off-Piste Clinic. At just 69€ it is a great way to kick-start your skills and give you heaps of confidence. You’ll be in a small group with either skiers or snowboarders of similar standard to yourself and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample some of the best off-piste terrain in Chamonix, under the guidance of an expert ski or snowboard instructor and mountain guide – an unmissable experience!
Book your off-piste clinic here

Off-piste ski course with Chamonix Experience mountain guidesStarting this Monday 11th January we have a fantastic 5 day introductory off-piste ski course, taught by a great team of UIAGM qualified mountain ski guides and ENSA qualified ski instructors. You’ll explore the couloirs, glaciers and snow-filled forests of Chamonix whilst developing your off-piste skiing technique and learning essential safety skills. This course is extremely popular and we only have three places left so CONTACT US NOW to find out more!
Book your 5 day off-piste course here

As much as all of the above is relevant at any time of the winter, it is especially important at the moment to take all necessary safety precautions. Venturing off-piste is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences you can have, so do it safely in the company of a qualified Chamonix mountain guide.

 

Go off-piste with Chamonix Experience mountain guides

You can see the fantastic snow conditions for yourself on our Chamonix webcams and watch the daily Chamonix snow report video on our Snow & Weather page.

Black Friday Sales on Chamonix Accommodation, Lift Passes, Ski Hire & Airport Transfers!

It’s been snowing all week and our favourite playground is about to open – Compagnie du Mont Blanc has announced the partial opening of Les Grands Montets and Les Houches this weekend – so we’re celebrating with a Black Friday sale on Chamonix ski holidays!

So, when is the best time to visit? We would say NOW!!! but that’s because we’re overly excited at the moment. In fact, January is the insiders favourite time of year – the festive rush has eased off, the kids have gone back to school, and the snow is usually excellent. Best of all, we have some fantastic deals to help ease you into the New Year…

Chalet in Chamonix10% Off Chamonix Accommodation
Our partners at Mountain Base are offering a generous 10% discount on all accommodation booked for any dates in January – just use the code MLJAN10 and save some money to spend on ski holiday essentials like fondue, new beanie, selfie-stick, or whatever your heart desires. They have a great range of apartments and chalets to suit all needs and budgets, so have a look and book yourself a bargain now.

ski-off-piste-powder50% Off Ski & Snowboard Rental
We work with a select group of ski and snowboard rental shops and they are offering great discounts of up to 50% when you book through Mountain Lifestyle. We’ve included Google Maps links to each shop so you can see which is closest to your accommodation, and some will even deliver to your door.
Find great discounts on ski and snowboard rental here


Chairlift at Les Houches in Chamonix25% Off Lift Passes

If you’re visiting Chamonix between 9th January and 5th February, you can benefit from a hearty discount on your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass.
The early bird catches the worm though and you’ll have to be quick, as this offer can only be booked today! Place your order before 17:00 GMT (6pm French time) today to save a bundle on your lift pass.


Airport transfer van from Geneva Airport to Chamonix10% Off Airport Transfers

Travel in style with our partners at Haute Transfer from 3rd January to 5th February.
Not only will they take you door-to-door and offer you refreshments during your journey, but they’ll also knock 10% off the price if you quote ML16 when
booking your airport transfer.

 

So, pop a ski pass in your loved one’s Christmas stocking and shake off the New Year hangover with a January trip to the Alps. It may be the coldest month of the year but that bodes well for crisp pistes, dry powder snow and endless fresh tracks – you can always warm up with a vin chaud and the heart-warming glow you get from having saved a load of cash!

If that doesn’t get you excited then have a look at our Chamonix webcams page to check out views like this one taken yesterday afternoon!

Flegere ski area on Chamonix webcams
Fresh snow at La Flegere yesterday afternoon!

What’s New for Chamonix this Winter? Ski lifts, snowparks, lift passes & more!

No sooner have the leaves started to change colour than we’re already hearing exciting rumours about what this winter will bring – we can’t confirm record-breaking earthshatteringly-epic amounts of powder (yet), but we can confirm the following:

Chairlift at Les Houches in ChamonixNew Ski Lifts at Brevent & Les Houches
A new mini-funicular is being installed up at Brevent to whisk beginner skiers and snowboarders up from the top of the Planpraz gondola to the Verte 2000 green piste – this will make the Brevent slopes much more beginner-friendly and an easier option for families with small children.
Les Houches has retired two of their oldest drag lifts, La Cha and Chamois, replacing them with a swish new chairlift called Les Melezes that will open up a whole new area for skiers and snowboarders.
Brevent & Les Houches ski areas – find out more

Snowboarding in the snowparkNew Snowparks at Les Grands Montets & Le Tour
Le Tour unveils its brand spanking new snowpark – one of the biggest in Europe! 100,000m² of runs graded for all abilities, packed full of jumps and modules. Or you can relax and watch the fun from the Cool Zone – a chill-out area with sound system.
Les Grands Montets has completely redesigned their snowpark to include two routes with tons of jumps, whoops and banked turns. The BMW route is 400m long with video and timer to record your run and relive the highlights afterwards, whereas the Enthusiast route is 800m and meet FIS competition standards.
Les Grands Montets & Le Tour Ski areas – find out more

An off-piste skier in powderBigger Ski Area with Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass
The Mont Blanc Unlimited just got even bigger and better with the addition of the Evasion ski area – now holders of the MBU can only only access the entire Chamonix Valley and Courmayeur in Italy, but also the wonderful ski slopes of Megeve, Saint-Gervais and Les Contamines! This not only busts open a massive natural playground but also gives us heaps more options on bad weather days.
Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass – find out what else is included

Chamonix bus serviceBetter Public Transport & Night Buses
Breaking news is that the winter bus timetable is to double its service, with buses running every half hour up and down the valley. Great news for party-animals is that the night bus will now run 4 times per night from 8:30pm until midnight. The Chamonix valley is fairly unique in that it consists of 4 separate ski areas, so an increase in buses is a definite bonus!
Bus travel in Chamonix is free with your lift pass – get to know the different Chamonix areas here

Kermit the frog making snow angelsAs for the powder, the rumour mills are predicted that this winter could be THE winter… but then, they always say that!

You can keep up to date with weather forecasts, snow conditions and lift openings on our Chamonix Snow & Weather page.

3 Fantastic Off-Piste Experiences Besides the Vallée Blanche

chamonix weather forecast
Chamonix weather forecast looking good for the weekend

There’s snow on the way and the week ahead is looking promising! We’ve been receiving a lot of calls and emails this week asking us what the snow’s like and, actually, it’s not bad! Wet weather early this week brought fresh snow up top, with more forecast for the weekend. Keep an eye on our Snow & Weather page for the latest reports.

This season’s been a funny kettle of fish so far, it’s not as bad as people seem to be expecting: pistes are reasonably well covered, there’s powder to be found if you know where to look and there’s a lot to be said for not having to dig your car out every morning.

Vallee Blanche Chamonix Mont Blanc
Vallee Blanche in all it’s glory (photo not taken this week)

However, the snow that we’ve had has come down in massive dumps then been interspersed with long dry spells and unseasonably warm weather, which makes for fairly unstable conditions up there. Mountain guides are understandably reluctant to take inexperienced skiers and snowboarders or large groups up the Vallée Blanche as they need to be extra alert for hazards and confident that they can lead their clients safely down the glacier. While they are still taking clients down the Vallée Blanche they are insisting on no more than 2 people per guide and those 2 people must be competent off-piste skiers, capable of handling conditions other than soft powder.

Crevasses in the glacier, Vallée Blanche, Chamonix Mont Blanc
Glacial crevasses, Vallée Blanche (photo not taken this week)

The Vallée Blanche is not technically a difficult route, it is often compared to no harder than your average red piste, which is why it is so accessible even to those who don’t have huge off-piste experience. It is glacial terrain though, which is why it is essential to take a guide. Glaciers constantly shift and evolve, with crevasses opening up and changing shape with every different weather pattern. This is why none of our guides would ever compromise your safety by taking you down if they thought that conditions were too bad or that you weren’t ready to tackle it.

Off-piste in Chamonix is not all about the Vallée Blanche though, it has so much more to offer and there is some fantastic terrain over at Les Grands Montets. An ideal way to explore (and to learn essential safety skills) is by doing an off-piste course. There are a number of options to choose from and once you know how to handle all types of terrain you’ll be shredding like Candide Thovex (kinda).

Skiing Les Grands Montets, Chamonix Mont Blanc
Do you know where the Dream Forest is?

All Mountain – one of our favourites, this 3 day course takes you all over the Grands Montets into bowls, gullies and powder fields where you’ll learn how to ride off-piste, make steep turns, attack moguls and handle bad conditions such as ice and hardpack. Your guide will seek out the best places for the conditions and teach you how to master the mountain like a boss. Split over 3 half days at 195€ per person, this is ideal preparation for doing the Vallée Blanche – your guide will let you know if you are ready to do it.
Find out more about All Mountain

Skiing Vallee Blanche Chamonix Mont Blanc
Escape the pistes to find fresh tracks

Ski Touring / Split Boarding – to find the best powder, sometimes you have to put in a little effort! Ski touring will take you away from the lifts and pistes into the back country where you will hike to find the best snow, then make fresh tracks all the way back down. This is an initiation tour, so the hike won’t kill you and your guide will give you plenty of tips on how to get the hang of it. At just 90€ per person, it is a fantastic day out.
Find out more about ski touring / split boarding

Snowboarding Les Grands Montets, Chamonix Mont Blanc
Play safe off-piste with avalanche awareness

Avalanche Awareness – learn invaluable skills and have a great off-piste experience. If you want to explore then you need to learn how to do it safely, especially with the snow pack being as unstable as it is this winter. This half-day course will take you into the mountains and teach you the basics of assessing the snow conditions, evaluating the avalanche risk, carrying out a search using a transceiver and what to do if the worst happens. At just 69€ per person it’s an investment that you’ll use every time you go off-piste.
Find out more about avalanche awareness

Mountain guide in Chamonix Mont Blanc
Off-piste at Brevent with a mountain guide

We also have a ton of other options to offer such as private ski/snowboard guiding, off-piste lessons for everyone from beginners to experiences skiers/snowboarders, longer ski tours with overnight accommodation in mountain refuges, snowshoe treks and so on. Please visit our website or contact us for more details.

In the meantime, have a great week and enjoy the snow!