Originally Posted by onepiece
1) How is the skiing in mid-late March in Europe? Are any mountains usually better this time of year (I figure we should look for the highest elevation)?
2) Any suggestions on how to get around or where to stay (hotels, rent a chalet, hostel)?
3) Has anyone hired a guide to show you around the mountain? How much does that usually run and do you think it is worth it?
4) Anything else we should know or do?
1) This season? If it carries on like it has, you should be able to ski pretty much everywhere: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Chamonix... I doubt elevation will be an issue this year, and it's generally more of a concern at the start of the season anyway (when there's no established base). Last year the snow was crap, but we were still skiing in April (in T-shirts, in streams!).
2) Depends where you go: check out transport options listed on my Combloux page, as they will work for Cham too. Chamonix is 1 hour's drive form Geneva airport. Cham can be a bit of a pain to get around as it's very spread out - typically you'll pick an area (Brevent/Flegere, Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour etc) and stick with it for the day. Dunno about accomodation, however, I'd advise you to sign up for the ChamShare mailing list on ChamSocial.com and post your requirements - you'll often find last-minute stuff on there.
3) This is Chamonix! By saying 'mountain' (singular), you're giving away your origins! While there are plenty of good pisted runs in Cham (though nowhere near as many as say the trois vallees), there are plenty of astounding places you can go around Cham that you really shouldn't go without a guide, but you really should give it a go as that's what Chamonix is all about. Guides can be expensive, so you might like to try to hook up with others to split costs (Chamshare is good for that). I had a very good day on the Vallée Blanche with dream-guides.com last Friday, but there are many other providers too.
4) Alpine12 mentioned Verbier, and that's definitely a cool place to go - it would make a good day trip from Cham as it's only an hour away via the awesome Forclaz pass. Another place worth a go is Courmayeur in Italy; weather tends to be a bit better there, and the town is rather more charming than Cham. It's only about 45 mins away through the Mont-Blanc tunnel.