The best of the best
Sat 2 February 2008 by Dan51Fully deserves its rating as the no1 destination for any serious boarder in France. The off piste around Les Grands Montets is simply the nuts and will push riders to the limit. Le Tour also has some less hairy but easily accessible stashes if the weather's right. Yes, it's expensive, disjointed with crappy lifts and buses but a good day's riding here beats the hell out of anywhere else. BTW I thought La Vallee Blanche overrated and not immediately suited to boarders - get a guide to take u elsewhere... wish i had.
Good, but there are one or two big caveats!
Tue 16 January 2007 by Peter10
Let me first say that Chamonix is a great winter resort that should be visited by anyone who is serious about board riding! It’s steep, high, varied and testing. The views are amazing. And when it has just snowed the runs and backcountry are incredible. But I have to say there are a couple of things about the Chamonix experience that are worth bearing in mind if you are planning a trip there.
In the guide the lift system a queues are described as a ‘joke’. Unfortunately this does not even begin to cover how wholly inadequate they are. Waits of 45 minutes to an hour are not uncommon. Drags and chairs are often inexplicably closed. And even the main cars at Grand Montes, Le Tour etc. are slow and too small to cope with the crowds.
You also need to hire a car. The buses are unreliable and often impossible to get on to. Also if you stay outside the town and want to get back at night, be prepared to pay thirty euros plus for a cab!
According to the latest WSG Chamonix is a working town. And to an extent this is the case. But since the entry was penned things have changed some what. The local services are there, but you have to fight your way through ye oldie chocolate/sausage/Alpine tat shop to find them. And since the fall of communism the whole place has been over run by fat, badly dressed, fur clad, Russians which has also pushed up the already eye watering prices.
Sorry if this sounds like a ‘things aint what they used to be’ rant. Don’t get me wrong. Chamonix is still well worth a trip and up there with the best resorts in the world. And providing we don’t have another winter like this one, global warming is held at bay and the snow keeps falling I shall be going back, as the boarding is great. But I just wanted to share some of my experiences with you all.
not more than 1 descent per season
Thu 23 March 2006 by oli1For the first time (last year) we had a lot of doubts before stepping on the Aiguille du Midi (3847m) cabin, as most of the people had a stack of rope, axe, harness, etc. gear hanging off their backpack. But when up there, it was clear that it is not that bad at all. If the elderly british ladies can do it, so can we.
The 17km descent along the Vallee Blanche is fun and pretty easy, but nothing that would get your adrenaline going. The lower forest part of the itinerary has a very cool serpentine track, which is fun to take at a fairly high speed on your snowboard. Ah, and there is a section, which You have to walk uphill (20min), but it is not difficult.
Thanks to it being such a popular destination and not a very challenging descent, I cannot appreciate as much as La Grave. Try it, once!
Mon 23 May 2005 by emilychamonix was amasin this year. especially towards the end of the season, wether was goooood, snow was gooood. loved it!
Mon 2 May 2005 by Michelle6Went to Cham April 2005...quite quiet on the slopes which gave me plenty time to fall over and get back up without being hit! :) On the last day (Day 4), which may I add is only my 7th full day of snowboarding EVER, I was managing to stay on my feet most of the time and even successfully tackled a black run! Had a great time with plenty wine and great food at Chalet Whymper run by Bigfoot travel. All in all it's rather expensive but highly recommended!!
Mon 13 December 2004 by jamie9had a great time in cham went for the weekend in april 04 and it snowed twice, had 4 days riding not enougth so were going back for the new year for a week plenty of runs for all abilitys, five different ski areas keeps the slopes less busy.also very easy to get to from geneva airport, 50 minutes. 5 eurons a pint tho no good for us alko's
Mon 16 August 2004 by keriWhat can i say, Chamonix is a great palce and well deserves its 10/10, all of the mountains offer great fun and challenges.
Night life is not as good as it could be as everywhere is expensive.
In need of new lungs
Wed 11 August 2004 by Ian8Okay so I am now reviewing all my boarding experience but hey what the heck :-) Chamonix??? Well putting the over pricing of the beer aside due to apre skiing, its a top resort, very well managed, lovely slopes, but only one problem, and that is overcrowding! However, put that to one side and your in for some quality fun. My friends and I boarded most of the valley and it was tops. On the 2nd to last day we decieded to research Mont Blanc and decided it was worth the risk of just going for it.......! A one way ticket to the top station on mont blanc was all we needed along with water, a little food and plently of get up and go took us up the mountain. All I can say is if you have no guide be careful on the top section as you will need crampons to get down from the ice cave on Midi...... a sheer drop put the willies right up me but it was worth it!!!! The fist run down through the bowl was simply awesome! I cannot stress the point of stunnng enough but take a camera if you can stop your ride and stop smiling! It will sap you but when you get to the bottom and look up and say I have done it, it's such a feeling! A top tip though, follow the skiing guides if you do not purchase one, ITS WORTH IT, I nearly ended up in a massive gorge :-)