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Chamonix in February half term?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are looking for places to ski in February half term and have found a nice chalet in Chamonix. We are advanced skies but like quieter pistes and have stayed at some more back country places recently. The Where to Ski and Snowboard for Chamonix mentions some queues of an hour for some lifts. Is this common over half term? And how busy did you find the slopes?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There can be queues.

1. At the top station of the Grands Montets- but these are avoidable by booking a place and are not necessary.
2. Going down from the midstation at Flegere

But- we were there at half term just gone- the only really bad queue we had was when wind shut the cable car dow from Flegere and there wasa scrum to get on the gondola across to Brevent and then down from Brevent.

But- how old is your book? The chair lift up to the Grands Montets has been replaced by a high speed gondola and is much much faster- with no noticable queue even at ski school departure in Feb half term.

Chamonix is a bit Marmite- we love it. Many don't.

Pros- great town, amazing bars and restaurants, easy transfer from Geneva, huge range of accommodation from budget to ultra luxury. Very easy for UK customers. Very international - people to to Chamonix from every corner of the planet. You can buy any mountain thing if you want to - if they haven't got it then either- it is rubbish or it does not exist.

Mountains- amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Views in every direction spectacular. Many of the pistes have stunning scenery of the like that exists almost nowhere else.

Huge range of ski instruction available.

Off piste- varied, lots of guides, huge descents possible.

Pistes- some of the (IMO) best pistes. Pointe de Vue, Pylones with quite steep, unpisted, challenging and remote experiences. A couple of great places to eat on the mountains. Huge vertical many lifts are the equivalent of 2 or 3 in places like Val D'Isere.

BUT. Each ski area is distinct. Buses between them busy (and now spookliy silent). Each by themselves small if km of piste is what interests you (or massive if vertical floats your boat). Some pistes a bit busy- Pierre a Ric- the home run from the Grands Montets can be very busy and some people ski t really really really fast (because they are really really good generally). A couple of lifts are pinch points. The SERAC restaurants are (generally) a bit rubbish / expensive. Ski in ski out does not exist.

We found the slopes absolutely fine and not too busy for our selves and kids (all 6 of them between the two families). We had a lovely lovely time. Some / most of the best runs we most enjoyed had no other parties on them at many points. (ie Pointe de Vue, Pylones, Floria, Crochues).

So not really an answer. Either you'll like it or you won't. I can't say which it will be.
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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?
@skifans1, nope.

Well. Not generally. The Flegere cable car can often have quite a line. The Grands Montets cable car too, but there's a new gondola that takes you to the same place, more or less with almost no q.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks for the advice @ed123, & @under a new name, the book we have is the 2016 edition so fairly up to date.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@skifans1, yes although the new gondola which has radically changed the uplift (if that is the right word) from Argentiere is new from I think 2016.

There are other reasons for many people not to like Chamonix. And many reasons for peopel to love it with all its flaws
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
If you "like quieter pistes" then you might not find Cham the place for you. The piste skiing is limited. Beautiful, but limited. The off piste is fabulous.

Re Feb half term - we've skied there every Feb for at least the past 5 years (as well as every Xmas, NY, Easter etc.!) Its generally fine - it's less of a family/holiday resort than some others. 2016 required good timing to avoid the hotspots on lift queues (UK, Paris and local half terms all coincided). 2017 was problem free (Paris + UK I think, but not local). However, as a Cham novice you could get yourself into long queues at almost any time at Flegere as UaNN @ Ed have described, and half term has potential for 1-2hr queues. The gondola up at Le Tour can also be a bottleneck 9.10-10am, albeit probably 30-45mins at its worst. All of these can be avoided with planning and/or an early start.

The point that Ed makes regarding the vertical served by each lift is a massive positive that often gets overlooked IMHO. Every time we ski somewhere else we realise just how spoilt we are in Cham - in Argentiere, in descending order, the vertical served by each (single) lift is: 1300m (top lift), 1000 (PJ gondola), 850 (Bochard), 700 (bottom cab car), 650 (Herse)...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@skifans1, book up to date, review possibly not.

@ed123, makes many good points. We continually forget just how long our local runs are.

Quote:

Pierre a Ric- the home run from the Grands Montets can be very busy and some people ski it really really really fast (because they are r̶e̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ idiots generally)
FIFY

This was Feb 11 (admittedly a Saturday so transfer day)
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