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Chamonix Resort Report Feedback Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a feedback thread for Ski Bat's resort report:

Chamonix (March 2007)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just seen this, I think you could call that a glowing report!!!

How cool to meet Glen Plake - the guy is a legend. Wonder if he'll be there at Easter when I arrive.

IMT
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'm just back from my first visit to Chamonix and l loved it. The snow was superb and we had some great off piste skiing (ok, 'mini-adventures' in some cases!) at the beginning of last week. Sadly the weather on our final day was too bad for the Vallee Blanche.

Regarding lunches.....one recommendation. Rather than going to the self service restaurants at lunchtime, seek out the refuges for really good food and great local atmosphere. Our resort guide from Inghams who lives out there gave us the names of some. Ok, they do look a bit like grey stone prison blocks (!) but I heartily recommend you ditch the self service and seek them out.

One is at Col de Balme just near the top of the chairlift that goes up to the blue T6 piste. You'll need to hike up piste a bit but it's worth it. I can't remember the name of it but the owner a tiny, fierce Frenchlady is nicknamed 'Dragon Lady'. Great place, like stepping back in time and v. small so worth hanging around for a seat (we nearly left but were told by another chap it would be worth the wait in the howling gale outside and it was). The steak and chips for 9€ is definitely worth going for.

The second we tried is Refuge Logan at Grands Montets. This can only be reached by going down the black L1 or a short piece of L2 left off the chair and joining L12 (the route we took) However these are not really pisted runs and the last part is a short off piste section to get to the restaurant itself, so not one for novices. To get back down you can have a bit of fun across a short off piste to join the red L5/L10 which goes all the way back down to Argentiere. This restaurant is a bit bigger but still has great local atmosphere and food.

Our favourite one was at Des Houches but was a devil to find. I have 2 marked on my piste map but am unsure which one we went to I think it is the one reached by going down the red run No 26 then looking out on the left for a little wooden sign and cutting through the trees, along a track, past a newish wooden chalet on the left and keep going a short distance along the track til you see the old wooden chalet restaurant. The other is down blue piste No 3. Not sure which we went to, but its run by a great lady who seems to do all the cooking in her open plan kitchen and lunch was 2 hours long and fantastic.

All in all the buses worked really well. We stayed at 3* Hotel Prieure which provided a free bus from the hotel hourly in the morning, so we just had to catch the Chamonix bus back in the evening, but it all worked well and wasn't any hassle.

We only had one meal out in Chamonix and this was at Atmosphere restaurant which has a nice room with tables overlooking the river through the town and does good food.

At the beginning of the week I didn't think I could see myself coming back, but now I can. It's not a typical ski resort, ski/out etc., but has a proper town with a great feel to it. One great advantage being close to Geneva meant that after landing mid-norning, by lunchtime Saturday we skiing in the Brevant area and managed to get in a couple of hours. My favourite ski areas are Grands Montets (more challenging) and Le Tour/De Balme for cruisey reds and blues. I do agree with those who say that there are some blues which are like reds and reds that are definitely blacks, but on the whole all skiable with a bit of care for an early intermediate so don't be put off. All in all, it was nice to pick a different area daily and even when going back for the second time, conditions/weather etc., meant it felt completely different.

Chamonix comes highly recommended.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I also went to Chamonix for 1st time in January and also would really recommend it.
Used to be intimidated by its reputation for 'advanced' skiers and boarders but actually there's plenty there for everyone and there's a great atmosphere to the place which I haven't felt in some of the purpose built resorts.
It was helped that our holiday included an instructor and minibus so didn't have to even think about which area to go to each morning or where to stop for lunch - so can see that if on your own may have to do a bit more planning - but the great thing is it feels like each area is a separate little resort.
I will definitely be going back in 2008!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hello, just back from Chamonix and as a novice, I preferred it to Morzine where I started skiing earlier this year. Lots of nice blues and reds. La Tour was particularly good with some great fun runs through the trees and round the mountains. It was beautiful weather and the slopes were almost deserted so totally perfect. My one criticism would be that it was very English, and populated almost entirely by Piers and Caroline types. Also Beverley - me and my brother looked out for those refuge places, but the only ones we could find were buried in snow and quite clearly shut! So we ended up paying the usual £15 a head for a coke and school-dinner-style-and-quality spaghetti bolognaise at the rip-off self-service restaurants on the slopes!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Whitegold has added another resort report for Chamonix:

Chamonix (January 2009)

Feel free to add, comment, or write your own report...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
1. Resort: Shamoneeeee, Clunk Monk
2. Country: Rented on the long term by the English to the French.
3. Domain: Yes
4. Author: Tried, but was poo-poo.
5. Date: Jan 2009
6. Our Holiday: Sitting around a pool in east Africa in June.
7. Website: www.radicalsportsmanagement.com
8. Basics: Has big white mountains, loads of people and a permanent 'Party' feel.
9. Lift System: The lift system is wholly inadequate and owned by a company called "Schindler", Haha, "Schindler's Lift.". Lifts are old, slow and covered in Cellophane". Liftlines in the valley can be long even stretching as far as Austria in the offseason. Waiting halfhour for 'Hadock' to be delivered by a skibus is common-plaice.
Scorecard = Magic Darts
10. The Terrain: The onpiste is good if you are not scared of some Disappointed Pro Rider ripping the Piste into Bacon Rind, before heading to CH9 for an early start to apres ski. . Limited but useful mix of snow and mountains creating a domain, where if you have the correct equipment prevails as to a reward of hidden treasures that the Chamonix Legend truly offers. 7 / 10
11. The Snow: Exceptional snow during our stay. Valley is shadowed by tall mountains, helping to maintain the snow. 8 / 10
12. Off-piste: The liftserved offpiste is the best in Galaxy, unless you've skied anywhere else and had more time to pick your line through good snow. Steep and deep everywhere, unless you just traverse. 10 / 10
13. The Resort: The town wears a POC helmet and over-warm resort footwear. Jean Claude is busy. The nightlife is at the end of the day and will continue as long as you can stay awake or keep the locals entertained. Spectacles are reasonably good. Lots of Vauxhaul Chevettes, however. 7 / 10
14. Food: There are some decent restaurants, but you have to search for them. 7 / 10
15. Accommodation: Mostly intermediate, average, not bad, could have given us real butter, didn't know i liked that, self cleaning, mid-range hotels of an average, not bad to intermediate status. 6 / 10
16. Costs: Chamonix offers it's world famous 'Child Market', where disgruntled and dissatisfied parents can swap or sell their offspring for hard cash or sporting goods of a winter bias. reasonable value, considering it is such a popular resort. 8 / 10
17. Conclusion: Chamonix has the steepest offpiste, freeride, slack, back, front, side, wild, touring, epic, free, back, slack, crack, country on the planet. This makes it a must-visit destination for the Welsh. But be prepared for tracked-out powder filled cups of teeth, huge "World's Strongest Liftlines" competitions and tiresome 'sock stroking' billies waiting for overcrowded skibuses.

Total Scorecard = Three Bananas and a big fat pile of spinach. For comparison, Verbier gets a new satchel and a bath filled with spanners..
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
PMSL at SZK Laughing

I was in Cham for New Year. My first visit. Oh the years of my life that have been wasted. What a resort!!

We had the car but the bus and train service got fair-good reports from those that used it and I also really enjoyed moving around the valley, day by day. The runs are definitely steeper than I was used to, for their colour grading but this just pushes you to up your game and by the end of the week I was boarding blacks that I would never dreamed of considering a year ago. I didn't get to GM as my wife injured her knee and, apart from her concern at what I would get up to off alone, part of me wanted to save it and go back there with her. I understand it is everything that people say!!

Highlights... Cruising Laisson Blame - Esserts - Forret Vert down to Vallorcine in one non stop high speed run (approx 9km long). Balme reds that were like new soft corduroy, devoid of people and ready to be taken at high speed. The blacks at Flegere and Brevent, especially on powder days. Evenings in Cham town, having a few beers and watching the world. The views, everywhere you went the views were stunning.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
anyone recommend a reasonablely priced hotel in Chamonix/area? Need half board, bar, log fire, good atmosphere, food
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I think the place you mean in Les Houches is les Vielles Luges www.lesvieillesluges.com/accueil_en.php. Excellent choice.

Hotels - Hotel Eden is fantastic. Hotel du Bois in Les Houches quite good also.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I think the place you mean in Les Houches is les Vielles Luges www.lesvieillesluges.com/accueil_en.php. Excellent choice.

Hotels - Hotel Eden is fantastic. Hotel du Bois in Les Houches quite good also.
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