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Chamonix for honeymoon

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

 

Hey everyone. This is my first time on epicski. nice to see some comments on Chamonix.

 

My wife and I are going there for our honeymoon in February. For a few of the days I have a backcountry guide through Compagine des Guides, as well as a day doing the Valle blanche.We have never been in chamonix before, but we have skied in Austria (St. Anton and several other areas around Innsbruck). We're staying at hotel Oustalet. 

 

I'm just looking for any general tips/info that experienced people can give us. I think we plan on spending the majority of our time in the Brevent and Flegere regions. If we understand correctly, those two areas have the greatest variety of both pisted and off-piste terrain. We also want to do a day in Courmayour, Italy (probably spelled wrong, sorry) and a day in Verbier with the ultimate Mont blanc pass. So if anyone has any good info on those two areas we would appreciate it.

post #2 of 7

Moved to Eurozone for more visibility.

post #3 of 7
I guess you have got some if not all the answers you were looking for in the "Fresh Track" thread about Cham, started by CM...
But...how strange it's the world...I had my honeymoon back in '93..in Cham...'twas April though, and most of the areas were progressively closing down. Still, Les Grand Montets were superb to ski, I loved it (marriage didn't end up well...but that ending was 10 years later, not that it should mean something or have any inherence with yours!)
post #4 of 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by skisicko View Post

I'm just looking for any general tips/info that experienced people can give us. I think we plan on spending the majority of our time in the Brevent and Flegere regions. If we understand correctly, those two areas have the greatest variety of both pisted and off-piste terrain. We also want to do a day in Courmayour, Italy (probably spelled wrong, sorry) and a day in Verbier with the ultimate Mont blanc pass. So if anyone has any good info on those two areas we would appreciate it.


Yes, Brevent and Flegere are the main pisted areas in Chamonix, and the easiest to get to from the town centre. Chamonix generally can be a it of a pain to get around as everything is so spread out (Les Houches to Le Tour is 20km). The view from the top of Le Brevent is really spectacular. There are less publicised routes through the trees on the other side of the valley from the mid-station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Les houches has some beautiful runs along the top of the ridge with Mont Blanc looming above you, but not much that's challenging. Le Tour is very open, and there are some long runs down to Vallorcine (very pretty, but apparently the coldest town in France!). The Grand Montets area above Argentiere is fantastic (and is awesome if you like bumps!) with some really spectacular scenery (try the Blanchots run below the cliffs), though can get very busy.

 

In Courmayeur (which is much smaller than Cham; the tunnel is an interesting experience in itself!), try Bar Roma in the early evening - free nibbles and odd furniture, including a large number of sofas and beds!

 

It sounds like you've got plenty lined up, and there's no shortage of snow - much of Cham was closed due to excessive snow and high avalanche risk in the last couple of weeks - and there's more due on Friday. The site to check for conditions is Chamonix Meteo.

 

Have fun!

post #5 of 7

Courmayeur - Great ski area, easy to access from Cham, bus goes from the main railway station, free with your Ulimited ski pass, book a day or two in advance. Bus station to the lift in Italy is a few min walk, but not far. On the return from Italy to Cham there is a good cafe at the bus terminal while waiting for the bus to decide to turn up.

 

Verbier is a massive ski complex well worth a visit, but from Cham without a car it's a bit of a pain - possible though - you catch a train to Martigny Switzerland, another to Le Chable then take the gondola straight from the train station.

 

Oustalet is a nice place - central, but not (you can get to everything in 5 min but you can't hear the nightclubs) Brevent lift is 15 min hike, or 5 min bus ride - Midi is 2 min (30 seccond dash) away. I recomend the Train rather than the bus for getting to the Grand Montets or Le Tour (Vallorcine lift).

 

Enjoy Tom

 

www.idriskis.com

 

 

post #6 of 7


The train from Chamonix to Verbier is a rather lengthy journey (roundtrip it's about 5 hours). If you go by train, then you probably won't start skiing before 11:40 AM. You can check the timetable below in English. As mentioned above by idris, your destination would not be Verbier itself but "Le Chable". The earliest train from Chamonix arrives in Le Chable at 10:39 AM. When you get there, the first thing you will need to do is obtain a daily Verbier/4 Vallees pass (the Mont-Blanc Unlimited is not usable directly). This will probably take around 15-20 minutes. From Le Chable you will then take a 22 minute gondola ride to Les Runiettes (it's the 2nd stop). Once you get there, you will need to change and take the "Funi-Space" to Les Attelas (2700 meters). That's another 10-15 minute ride. Hence, according to my estimate, it will be around 11:40 AM when you first "click in" to your skis. As the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass gives you access to Verbier + Les 4 Vallees, it's a shame to start so late IMO. Here's the link for the train timetable:


http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

 

If you want to go to Verbier, you should be aware that there are plenty of bump runs surrounding the resort. The major ones are Mont-Fort, Chassoure-Tortin, Gentianes-Tortin, Plan du Fou... Some of these runs, such as Gentianes-Tortin or Chassoure-Tortin aren't really pistes, but high-mountain itineraries. These are shown on the trail map in yellow and black dots (see below). Most of the itineraries are similar to black diamonds: if you take the suggested routes (i.e. follow the poles), you shouldn't run into too much trouble. However, occasionally you will run into stuff that's more like a double black diamond, so be sure to proceed with caution. For a pure off-piste adventure, you can hire a guide and visit the backside of the Mont-Fort. It is arguably Verbier's most scenic run as you're skiing on a glacier that's part of the haute route. It should be noted that this run is quite isolated and the entry couloirs are rather steep (hence the necessity for a guide). This is Verbier's trail map:

 

http://www.powdertravel.com/ski_area_map/verbier_switzerland_ski_area_trail_map.jpg

 

P.S. A little snow update here for Chamonix (in English):

 

http://global.skipass.com/meteo/chamonix.html

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone. Thanks for all of the tips.

 

All of the info above on the Chamonix to Verbier journey is very helpful. however, after looking into this, we both decided that Verbier is just too much for one day and our "travel day" would be more efficiently spent going to Courmayeur, Italy. It looks like a really cool place, as Idris said above with all of that information.

 

I've been watching the weather and it looks like Chamonix is getting tons of snow! We have enough days there that she is considering another ski lesson and I may do another day of free ride touring with Compagnie des Guides (sorry, my American English forces me to spell anything foreign incorrectly). I'm doing one day of free ride and one day of the Valle Blanche with them already. I'm hoping to ski a pillow line somewhere if they are plentiful in Chamonix? On all of my west coast/Europe/S. America trips so far, that is one type of terrain that I have not yet skied.

 

 

So I'm hoping that powder keeps coming, which will make it an excellent honeymoon. Feel free to post any pictures or tales of shredding/more helpful info!

 

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