Chamonix

By Richard Dubreuil

It was 1979 when I made my way to Chamonix for a hockey tournament and set my luggage down in this picturesque town for the very first time. It was love at first sight—the people, the place, I simply adored everything about it! And, since that first visit, I’ve been back every single winter to enjoy some skiing there.

Long reserved for the elite of downhill and backcountry skiing, Chamonix has opened up over the years, making its immense terrain more accessible to the public and partnering with other resorts. A skiing package now provides access to Verbier (Switzerland), Courmayeur (Italy) and, more recently, Megève (France), a posh resort sought after by intermediate skiers.

When you first set foot in the Chamonix Valley, you instantly feel that special energy no other place in the world can offer. A superb blend of modernity and the unique treasures of the past, this ski destination is unlike any other you will explore (note that you may find a guide much more useful than a piste map in these parts). One of the must-see attractions is the most famous glacier in the Alps: Vallée Blanche.

Just hop on the Aiguille du midi cable car (3,842 m) to access this dizzying run that will take you down over 20 km. Over 85% of Gendron Travel customers who skied Chamonix have tried this spectacular descent. In fact, it’s become so popular that an average of 5,000 to 6,000 people are said to make their way down this absolutely wonderful trail every single day! In such a vast resort, there is clearly an incredible abundance of snow. But, if you’re out of spots to lay down some fresh, new tracks—no worries! Just head over to the Italian side in Courmayeur. As luck would have it, it seems like the Italians prefer parading around in their trendy ski outfits to tearing up the slopes. As an added bonus, you will be treated to some heavenly culinary delights in the mountain restaurants on this particular side of Mont Blanc. Only a short 20-minute shuttle ride away, you’d be crazy to pass it up.

Located 85 km from the Geneva airport, Chamonix is the most accessible French resort around, which is great when all you want to do is ski, ski, and ski some more! There is also a great variety of accommodations to choose from. From inns to villas, you are sure to find something within your budget. Foodies will definitely want to stop in at Le Bivouac restaurant to indulge in some Savoyard specialties. Tourists, locals as well as professional skiers and boarders flock to this place. Oh, and while you’re there, please say “Hi!” to Jean-Guy and Chris (the restaurant’s owners) for me!

Throughout the years, I’ve become close friends with many wonderful people in Chamonix, made incredible memories while skiing its mountains, and shared my love for this little corner of France with countless people I know. Chamonix has truly become my home away from home, and I hope you get the chance to experience it for yourself this winter. You are sure to be welcomed with open arms!

 


The Mont-Blanc without constraint!

MONT-BLANC Unlimited – twice the difference in level : «Glaciers, skiing on the Valley + Italy + Switzerland»

 

CHAMONIX Le Pass «  skiing from 1000 to 2500m in Chamonix »

Comprising unlimited access to the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc’s three ski areas, « Brévent- Flégère; Domaine de Balme; Lognan – Les Grands Montets (excluding access to the 2nd stage of the Lognan cable car – Les Grands-Montets) and to the ski areas that begin at the bottom of the valley, i.e., « Le Savoy, Les Planards, La Vormaine » + access to the Chamonix Bus shuttle service in the municipality of Chamonix – Mont-Blanc.

 

MONT-BLANC Unlimited

Comprising the whole area accessed by the Chamonix Le Pass

+

  • Unlimited access to the 2nd stage of the « Lognan cable car– Les Grands-Montets
  • Unlimited access to the Aiguille du Midi cable car
  • Unlimited access to the Montenvers – Mer de Glace railway+ telecabin and entry to the Ice Cave, the Crystal Gallery, Glaciorium.
  • Unlimited access to the Mont-Blanc Tramway (Le Fayet – Bellevue)
  • Unlimited access to the Courmayeur – Italy ski area (for all MBU lift passes of 2 days duration and longer)
  • Unlimited access to the les Houches ski area
  • Access to the Verbier / 4 Vallées – Switzerland ski area (for all MBU lift passes of 6 days duration and longer : -50% off package Verbier 4 Valleys Day according to the validity of the package, valid 1 to week)
  • Unlimited access to the Evasion Mont Blanc* (*without Portes du Mont-Blanc) Ski area at Megève & Saint Gervais cash desk only (for all MBU lift passes of 2 days duration and longer and during validity period)
  • Unlimited access to the Chamonix Bus inter-resort Chamonix Valley shuttle bus service (from les Houches to le Tour)

 

 

YOU CAN ENJOY A LARGE NUMBER OF BENEFITS :

  • SKI & UNLIMITED VISITS : SKI & VISITS SAFARI IN 3 COUNTRIES

– In France, SKIING AREAS OF THE CHAMONIX VALLEY : Brévent Flégère,

Les Grands Montets, Balme (Tour Vallorcine) et les Houches Saint-Gervais.

– In Italy, Courmayeur, accessible with “MONT BLANC Unlimited (2 to 21 day pass)”

– In Switzerland in Verbier 4 Valleys area : accessible with the “MONT BLANC Unlimited

(6 to 21 day pass)” : 50% off the 1 day pass Verbier 4 Vallées

(offer available once a week depending of the validity of the pass)

ACCESS TO THE 3 LEGENDARY SITES :

Aiguille du Midi – Mer de Glace et Tramway du Mont-Blanc

  • EVASION MONT-BLANC* SKI AREA: UNLIMITED ACCESS with a 2 days pass minimum (*without Portes du Mont-Blanc)
  • THE « CHAM’VAL » : unlimited the pool, rink, museums of Chamonix…with a 3-21 days pass
  • SLED ON RAILS OF PLANARDS : 1 down day.with a 3-21 days pass
  • YOUR AFTER SKI : See our offers on www.montblancnaturalresort.com



Interested in this Destination? Request a Quote!



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2015-2016 Ski Magazine

memories of chamonix

By Eve Boissonnault, Special Contributor

A feeling of nostalgia sweeps over me as I fondly remember the moment when I first set foot on the Vallée des géants. I can still remember the sound of the ice on the Mer de Glace crackling in the distance. And the smell of the fresh alpine snow—pure, cold… and simply exhilarating! But, most of all, I can still feel the sense of exaltation, of high-flying adrenaline, that came over me as I stepped out of the cable car at Aiguille du midi, in the heart of Mont-Blanc, the very highest peak in all of Europe.

I have been fortunate enough to ski at Chamonix twice. And, of all my ski vacations, I have to say that Chamonix is the one that carries the most vivid memories of sheer joy and discovery. I have no need for souvenirs and trinkets to remember this place—what I took home with me from these trips cannot be bought, and definitely has no price tag. The images in my mind and the feelings I am able to relive in my memory will stay with me for a lifetime. As I close my eyes and remember Chamonix, I see the dazzling midday sun, bright against a backdrop of royal blue sky. Behind me stand the massive, rugged mountains capped with sharp, jagged peaks, and before me lies an endless stretch of pure white snow. Just the thought of it still conjures up the most intense feeling of joy. I often think about the seemingly boundless Grands Montets ski area, especially the Argentière Glacier, which has some of the most easily accessible and mind-blowing off-piste skiing you have ever experienced anywhere. I think back to the neighbouring Brévent-Flégère area (and that fabulous lunch on the terrace at L’Adret de la Flégère where I sat the whole time just staring at him—yes, none other than that gorgeous Mont Blanc!). And who could forget the unbelievably serene Les Houches and Balme ski areas right along the Swiss border? I still clearly remember the comfort of climbing into bed at the same wonderful hotel every night. I would lie there, almost in disbelief at the vastness of it all and the endless possibilities that lay ahead. I replayed the day’s adventures in my head as I drifted off to sleep, hoping to recapture every single second and hold on to it forever. I can also remember boarding the little red train to Montenvers, taking me up to the Mer de Glace at 1,913 m in altitude—to the place that served as Mary Shelley’s inspiration for her beloved Frankenstein. After donning my walking boots, I made my way to the charming town of Chamonix where my travel companions and I enjoyed the most delectable Savoyard cuisine and wine at a local bistro. With spring in the air, time stood still as we lingered at the table for hours.

Of course, a visit to Chamonix would not be complete without trying Le pas dans le vide, a brand new vertigo-inducing attraction that allows visitors to step into a glass structure hanging off the mountain at 3,842 m in altitude—over a 1,000 m drop! This is as intense as it gets. Then again, what else would you expect in the Vallée Blanche!

And now that you can explore this area using an unlimited ski pass, borders are no longer a restriction… and this snowy white paradise is entirely yours for the taking. Through Courmayeur and Verbier, Italy and Switzerland are just waiting to be explored, and more memories are just waiting to be made. Enjoy!

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Photo of Michel Chevret
Michel Chevret
Représentant à destination – On-site representative

Michel Chevret est nouvellement arrivé au sein de l’équipe de Voyages Gendron mais est un amoureux des Alpes françaises depuis très longtemps. Après plus de 10 années au service de la compagnie du Mont Blanc, Michel est reconnu pour son entregent, son professionnalisme et sa passion du ski.

Moniteur de ski de longue date, il saura vous faire découvrir la montagne, vous orienter vers les meilleures pistes et rendre votre séjour encore plus agréable. En sa qualité de représentant à destination pour Voyages Gendron, il attend les Québécois de pieds ferme à Chamonix pour vous transmettre sa passion des Alpes françaises et partager votre passion pour ce sport.

 

Michel Chevret may be new to the Gendron Travel team, but he has been a lover of the French Alps for a long, long time. After 10 years spent working at Mont Blanc, Michel is recognized for his interpersonal skills, professionalism and passion for skiing.

A long-time ski monitor, Michel is your best ally when it comes to discovering the mountain, finding the best runs and ensuring your stay is a memorable one. As Gendron Travel’s rep for Chamonix, he is eager to greet Quebecers and share his passion for skiing and the French Alps.

Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -8 2
February -7 7
March -7 7
April 1 13
May 5 18
June 7 24
July 7 24
August 6 22
September 6 22
October 4 18
November -1 10
December -8 2

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