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Chamonix ski guide recommendations?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Looking for recommendations for a guide to do some off-piste skiing around Chamonix this season.  Guides are easy enough to find online, but would love to hear recommendations from anyone who has used one before.  Thanks in advance.

 

Mod note: moved to International Zone

post #2 of 14

We were there last March and did Le Vallee Blanche with a guide.  We actually joined the ski club of Great Briton and their local rep booked the guide for a group of us.  Our guide's name was Florian but I don't remember his last name nor do I have his contact info. Our group was my girlfriend, Robin and I and about 6 British skiers. This was a good way to go as we had a group of english speaking folks to ski with and the cost of hiring a guide was less due to being split between all of us.  The ski club also has some organized off piste trips as well, though with the new French laws regarding non citizens instruction (or whatever) I am not sure what the Brits are doing.

 

Vallee Blanche can be skied fairly easily or with a good amount of challenge.  We were there in horrendous conditions everything completely  thawed and then frozen over so we stuck to what I would call an average black run at a big mountain... though to fall would have been a very dangerous thing.  I had fat skis on and was wishing I had nice thin carvers. There are tons of off piste options not only off the Aguille du Midi but from many other areas as well.  

 

Here's a video I made from our trip.

 

 

post #3 of 14
Early April 2011 we hired Franck Plenier through his website: http://www.guides-des-cimes.com/home/

Conditions were not unlike Crank's description above except things warmed up so we had corn snow most of the time, and we had a bit of a slog on rocks getting to the stairway to the gondola at the end (very low snow that year). It was a tame run throughout but an amazing ride regardless. We too had the wrong skis for the day.

That was my first time ever hiring a guide and Franck was great. I vow to someday return with both sons in better snow to ski with Franck again. My video isn't as good as the one above, but still worth a look for those dreamers out there (especially as we wait for snow to fly...):

Vallee Blanche from Brian on Vimeo.

post #4 of 14

I'm also looking for a good ski guide for Chamonix/Vallee Blanche for around Christmas to New Years. Anyone have any advice in terms of good pricing? We are two advanced skiers...

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicskigirl View Post
 

I'm also looking for a good ski guide for Chamonix/Vallee Blanche for around Christmas to New Years. Anyone have any advice in terms of good pricing? We are two advanced skiers...

 

From what I can tell , pricing is almost uniform.  All of the French schools/instructors seem to be in the 300 euro to 350 euro range for a full day.  The British instructors are a bit higher, in the 350 to 400 range - sometimes more.  Joining a group is more like 90 euro/pp .  One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the larger ski schools won't book VB descents that early in the season (at least that was my experience).  I would suggest just booking a guide and not being married to the idea of where you ski.  If VB is doable, great.  If not, then let them pick somewhere with good coverage.  Should be an amazing day either way.  I ended up booking with chamonixskiguide.com.  Can't say anything about his skiing/guiding abilities, but Yan has been very responsive and helpful thus far.  Looking forward to the trip.

post #6 of 14


That's very helpful, thank you. What is a full day considered? 8am to 3pm? 

post #7 of 14

Chris Fecher is a good guy

 

http://tinderboxskischool.com/courses/private-guiding/

 

but to be honest you won't go far wrong with most of the guys out there provided you make it clear what you're after and what your ability and experience level are.  Vallee Blanche is kinda bread and butter but you probably want to find someone who doesn't regard it as a full day trip if you want to make the most of the area.  You might even get a more interesting variant.

post #8 of 14

Hi fatbob, thanks for that link, I looked into the guides and it seems that they are all pretty similar priced. 

 

Does anyone know what a full day private guide for chamonix or a group guide of vallee blanche is considered? What is the timing usually? 

post #9 of 14

A good guide will meet you for an early bin at the Aiguille Du Midi, sort a resevation for you, do Vallee Blanche in the morning then take you somewhere else in the afternoon like Pas de Chevre or Argentiere Glacier after a decent lunch (you pay)  so 8.30 - 16.00 at least but will probably hang around for drinks and definitely won't be abandoning you if for some reason you are running slow.

 

 

Should add that I'm not sure Chris is full UIAGM so might be Russ that guides glaciated terrain. That's generally the rule in Europe, Instructors are insured to guide off piste but not in glaciated terrain.


Edited by fatbob - 11/3/14 at 5:22am
post #10 of 14

I will add that when we did it twice we took different routes.  The second was a lot steeper.  At some point, you are just skiing straight down a wide, low angle valley for a long ways, but there is a lot of fun terrain and many different ways to get down to that valley.  Also, teh first time we skied all the way to town, on our second run we took the train down.

post #11 of 14

Some years back we used Serge Obert of the Compagnie Des Guides.

We skied together for a week.

Serge is an exoceelent guide, and palns the right itinerary based on current conditions and safety. We skied Vallee Blanche, Pas de Chevre, Glacier Argentierre,

Frotn side of Aguille du Midi, and great off piste at Le Brevent and Flegere.

post #12 of 14

I suggest: http://www.iso0.com/

 

Stephane "Fan Fan" Dan. We skied with him for several days before the Haute Route 2 years ago. He is perhaps the highest rated and best known current guide in Chamonix- used in many ski films Chamonix segments - Edge of Never, Steep, Deeper etc.... Great guy.

post #13 of 14

Another excellent guide is Simon Elias--Spanish, speaks excellent English,very friendly, patient, and encouraging

email   info@simonelias.com

phone +33675366107

I don't know his private rates since we booked a group rate through the Compagnie des Guides. I'm not sure he's an official CDG guide since he wasn't wearing a CDG uniform--he may have been helping out on a sold out day. I've skied with 5 or 6 Cham guides--he's the first I'd recommend.

 

Another excellent guide is Pierre Labbre. He was with the CDG when we skied with him 4 years ago.

He has a web site: http://www.pierrelabbre-guide.com/ in French (but his English is good.) Interesting climbing resume if you google him.

post #14 of 14

Rachel Kerr - www.rachelkerr.net

John Taylor - Mt Blanc guides

Dave Cummins - davecumming@chamonix.net

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