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Chamonix - Where to ski for 3 days

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Hopefully its the correct place to ask a few questions about Cham.
We are (3 mid 30's experienced skiers', with mainly piste skiing preference, but some side piste "jibbing" preferences too!) visiting on 30th January for 4 nights (3 days skiing) and staying in the centre of town at the Les Refuge De Aiglons. We're proposing to ski Flegere / Brevent on our first day, but then we are unsure as to where we should ski for the following two days. We're not proposing to rent a car and will use public transport / taxis to get around.

We like blasting around and racking up the miles with a decent lunch stop & an après beer on the mountain.

TIA, Liam.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
"We like blasting around and racking up the miles with a decent lunch stop & an après beer on the mountain"

I'm afraid you're in the wrong neighbourhood my dude. Every area in Cham has a pretty limited number of pistes that a decent skier can get round in half a day moving at pace. I also cannot in good conscience recommend any where on the mountain for lunch or beer (with the possible exception of a couple of place in Les Houches).

In your position, I'd arrange an off piste lesson and get to Grand Montets. If thats not your thing then head to GM anyway, the pistes, though limited in number, are good and you can have a go at the sides. Then toss a coin between Le Tour and Les Houches. Le Tour has the best views in the valley IMO in good weather. Your hotel is right next to the Cham Sud bus stop so you can get anywhere in the valley pretty easily on public transport.

I'm not trying to put you off, I live in Cham and think its great! Its just not the place for big on-piste mileage. The lunch, dinner and beer options in town (not mountain) are also fantastic (if not always the cheapest)
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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?
@Meltus, thanks. I sort of knew that Cham wasn't the perfect fit, but we felt the desire to go anyway. It's a bit of a box tick I suppose.

We're not overly precious about making sure we ski a different slope every time. Yes, we like a bit of a mix-up but we're happy to ski the same slopes, where there is a decent bit of vert!

I'll take a look at the off-piste lessons. Whilst we are all capable off-piste, none of us own any off-piste equipment so we would need to hire this too. If you have any recommendations that would be appreciated.
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GM and Le Tour. Swap in Les Houches if you get a bad weather day. Also look at joining a group to do the VB. As said it’s not the place to try and rack up the miles.

If you can rent a car.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Liam, in fairness, closest probs to what you're after is Le Tour. Which has two decent lunch spots, Les Ecuries de Charamillon and l'Alpage de Balme. Both need reservations...

Bottom of Grands Montets you have the Cremerie des Glaciers which offers some rather eclectic croutes.

Weather would decide for me, sunny and clear, anywhere; claggy and cloudy, Les Houches (in which case the Taniere, if you can find it, skiers left near the bottom of the long drag lift, is rather cosy and fun).

"Racking up miles" is quite a perceptual thing. You can certainly rack the miles up here, just not in geographical terms. But lap Lachenal (Flegere), Herse or Lavancher (Grands Montets) a few times and you'll deserve a beer or 19.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 23-12-19 11:27; edited 1 time in total
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Best on piste vertical drop currently is top of Bochard all the way to Argentiere - approx 1500m. Some thoughts:

-As a general rule, Brevent/Flegere and GM pistes are steeper than those on Le Tour. Quality rather than quantity, and some runs are at the challenging end of the grade (e.g. the Lachenal piste on Flegere is superb but fairly steep in places for a red)

-If you have three days and good weather, do all three. Each is easily big enough to keep you amused for a day, and the scenery is in a different league to most places

-If the weather is bad, les houches is a nice change (kandahar black is a great fast blast normally, despite the grade)


As for decent lunch stops, it can be difficult... we normally do a picnic lunch (there are special rooms for this). But if you want a hut:

-At GM there's the Cremerie (just off the home run), and a decent self service place at Plan Joran (just below mid-mountain). Refuge de Lognan is in a cool setting but is a little way off the pistes

-Don't know the brevent/flegere ones too well. There's a posh spot at Planpraz (which I've never been in). The one on the summit of Brevent is OK for standard alpine death by tartiflette

-On Le tour, the spot just off the Aiguillette drag is cozy. Again, mostly classic local alpine stuff

If we want a proper slap up lunch, we normally go through the tunnel and spend a day in Courmayeur
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Steve77, thanks. We can rent a car but we had hoped that the short transfer & buses / taxis would negate? Happy to be convinced otherwise though??

@under a new name, thanks for those. I'll take note.
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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!
Good shouts for lunch spots at Le Tour actually, I'd forgotten about them. The place at the bottom of le tour does a cracking spag bol as well.

If you're happy to lap the same runs then as @under_a_new_name says there's plenty of vertical to be had. I'd still recommend getting an off-piste lesson though as that really is where Chamonix comes into its own and there's huge areas in between pistes to be explored. There's loads of ski schools and you can rent skis/avi kit from pretty much every shop in town. Near your hotel I'd recommend Concept Pro.

No need for a car, loads of buses. If going to Le Tour I'd recommend the train to Vallorcine which is a longer journey but very pretty.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@hollando, that's most helpful. Given the short time we are visiting we like to make the most of things so i'm taking note of all those places.

I might go back to the drawing board & look at car hire from Geneva - we wanted to avoid it if we could, but it might make more sense & ensure we maximise our skiing for our short time there.

We've a half board option at the hotel which seems very good value for money so we need to decide whether we take that up.
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@Meltus, thanks. I'll check out those guys for the avi kit. I'll do some digging online for some off-piste options. As long as its not cost prohibitive then I suppose its something we should do in Cham.
Good to hear about the car vs bus option - I appreciate the obvious benefits with a car, but the apres ski restrictions made us decide on buses / cabs to get around.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
No worries. I wouldn't bother renting a car, there's loads of cheap transfer companies from GVA and loads of free buses/trains once you're in the valley.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

I'd still recommend getting an off-piste lesson though as that really is where Chamonix comes into its own and there's huge areas in between pistes to be explored.


@Meltus, spot on. Train suggestion to Vallorcine also a good one. The Comptoir at base of Vallorcine bubble seems well regarded but we've never been.

We definitely need a Cham fine dining thread.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Take a look at the bus timetable before you decide against renting a car. From your hotel to Le Tour is an hour, and it’ll likely be an hour stood up in your ski boots squeezed in like a sardine.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Steve77, thanks Steve. We'll look at the car hire as an option. the hotel charge 20 euros a night for parking which seems a lot!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Liam, there is a small public car park opposite your hotel and maybe a 5-10 min walk from the Grepon cp which is huge. Maybe check out prices there?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bus timetables here, Cham Sud-Le Tour ~34 minutes. Not so terrible.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
As suggested courmayer is good for food and there is a return bus from Cham sud for a reasonable price ,worth considering if weather in the valley is bad as it can be completely different on the other side.
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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?
There are also lots of in resort transfer options (normally about about €70 return to the main ski areas). More like €180 to courmayeur. A bit of a luxury but allows you a few beers.

Train is also a good option if near one of the stations - but get the time table as they only go once an hour. It’s a perfect day to get the train to vallorcine. You can then lunch either at Cafe du comptoir, the train station itself (l’arrette bougnet I think it’s called) or even the Passon restaurant in the le tour car park if you ski over there. A beer at the end of the day at the train station restaurant is nice. This al depends on weather though. Le tour can be a tough place on a cold and windy day.

So I would do brevant/flegere (probably eat at bergerie at Brevant), le tour (as above), by train and GRand montets. For me lunch at cremerie is a must (but do book). If the weather is nice you can grab a beer at the marmottons as apres. Worth getting back to Chamonix for apre ski though as loads of good bars in town.
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Sorry just re-read your message. Given location bus or in resort transfer is best. Drinks in cham sud for apres at either Monkey, south Bar (say hi to Claude - big rugby fan) or Beckett. Or closer to you Jekyll but no idea what that is like these days. Seems to change hands every year.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Day 1 get your ski legs back, day 2 booking a morning or a day off-piste at Grand Montets (guide should provide transponders), Day 3 book to ski the Vallee Blanche with a guide - it's a very memorable day and in average snow conditions not difficult skiing.
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Wouldn’t get too excited about the Bergerie ... over-priced, under-quality
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@under a new name, agreed on over priced but quality is not too bad and it’s at least a nice place. Best of a bad bunch up there. Can’t stand Altitude 2000. We tend to ski early and get back down for a late lunch but if only there for a few days....
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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!
@Chamboy, in fairness haven't eaten there in years, because ... But...

We take sandwiches.
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