Skiing in Chamonix

Skiing in Chamonix

Altogether, the pistes at Chamonix offer a total of 152kms of downhill runs, spread across five ski areas and 490 pistes. There are 14 black runs with a total of 34kms, 25 red runs totalling 70kms, 29 blue runs totalling 46kms and 12 green runs with five kilometres of piste.

The pistes are served by 49 ski lifts, with the lowest run at 1,040m and the highest run at 3,840m. The maximum vertical available is 2,800m. Thanks to the number of runs above 2,500m, skiing and snowboarding is possible for most, if not all, of the season.

Les Houches is the lowest-altitude run and is ideal for families and skiers alike who enjoy runs through the forest. The low elevation also means this run is generally still open when fog cuts visibility and closes many other runs. Apart from Les Houches, almost all of the runs at Chamonix are above the tree line.

Les Planards is another popular low-valley run. Sitting at 1,062m to 1,242m, Les Planards is easy to reach from Chamonix and is a good option for both beginners and intermediate skiers. There are two green runs and one each of blue and red runs. Snow cannons bolster natural snowfall to keep the runs open as much as possible.

Le Savoy is one of the best choices for beginners. At the foot of Le Brévent, budding skiers find a rolling carpet and two drag lifts as well as artificial snow. There is even a snow kindergarten for young children.

Les Chosalets, at 1,230m, is another beginners’ ski run that is good for kids. It is found by the entrance to Argentière and is 500m from the Lognan cable car. The La Vormaine ski area sits at the base of Charamillon Mountain, at an elevation of 1,480m, is another great choice for kids and beginners.

Les Grandes Montets, which stretches from 3,300m to 1,235m, is the great legend of Chamonix. The pistes cover three mountainsides (Lognan, the Pendant and the Argentière glacier) and provide a wealth of skiing both on- and off-piste. At mid-station Lognan, snowboarders will enjoy a recently-created boarder cross and a freestyle snow park.

The runs at Le Brévent (2,525m) and La Flégère (1,030m) are both popular and easy to reach from Chamonix. The Le Brévent ski lift can be reached on foot but there are also regular shuttles. These two popular runs, which offer panoramic views of the Mont Blanc area, are linked by cable car, which runs from Flegere at the Planpraz. Skiing in both of these areas offers spectacular panoramic views.

Yet more fantastic wide-open views across the Chamonix valley can be enjoyed across two mountainsides in the Le Domaine de Balme area, which sits at 1,450m to 2,270m. The runs are reached through the villages of Vallorcine and La Tour, and offer runs on pistes lined by trees hugging the Swiss border.