[ FRANCE ] Chamonix

CONS • Separate

PROS • Gnarly skiing — serious challenges and steeps for adventurers • Authentic French

mountains with bus travel required • Not great for piste skiers especially of different abilities • Serious race for first tracks after snowfall, queues can build at lifts • Chamonix town gets busy and only one lift/mountain directly from the town

What it’s really like skiing the world’s most iconic resorts – Chamonix, Verbier and Jackson

town with a real adventure vibe

• Home of the

famous Vallée Blanche, one of the world’s longest off-piste runs

• Masses of

mountain schools to upskill


EVER SINCE GREG STUMP SKIED THE COULOIR POUBELLE off the Aiguille du Midi in the ski film Blizzard of Aahs, Chamonix has been hailed as one of — if not the best freeride resort in the world, and one that no self-respecting skier should leave off their bucket list. Sitting in the shadow of the famous Mont Blanc, the scenery in “Cham” is dramatic and the skiing steep — it’s every bit as good as the movies. Chamonix is of course home to the Vallée Blanche, the most famous off-piste descent in the world, and definitely one of the longest, at 18km. The downside of all this is that the place gets busy, with a lot of testosterone and competition especially when the forecast is for snow. Chamonix town is big and bustling, so it’s a place to sit and absorb. This is a place for extreme skiers, mountain guides and mountaineers — even the equipment left outside bars is next-level. But this comes


with benefits: there are numerous mountain guides/training schools teaching mountain craft and off-piste skills, much of which is set up for solo skiers or small groups, so it is very affordable. If you’re thinking of going off piste or venturing into the backcountry then you’ll definitely need a guide. Because of its size, Chamonix is also relatively affordable and it’s also easy to reach — just an hour from Geneva airport with great bus links.

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