To Ski or Snowboard?
Skiing is easier to start with but takes longer to master
Snowboarding more natural to people that have skateboarded or surfed.
Skiing is best suited to mountain touring
Snowboards excell in fresh untracked powder
Snowboard boots are much more comfortable than ski boots!
Ski or Board, beginner or near pro you should always be thinking about lessons. Whether you're looking to link your first turns, stomp your first 360 or ski some of Chamonix's classic off-piste we have the instruction you're looking for. With most people only getting on the hill for a week or 2 each year we can't recommend the benefits enough.
The Chamonix Valley offers a choice of 2 lift passes, the LePass and the Unlimited. The Chamonix Le Pass covers the whole Chamonix Valley including Brevent, Flegere, Grands Montets and Le Tour. The only lifts not covered are the Aguille De Midi cable car (which gives access to the Valley Blanche Glacier), the top cable car at Grands Montets (giving access to the glacier there), and Les Houches a small family ski area at the beginning of the valley which can be good when its snowing heavily as there are some good tree runs. All these areas are included in the more expensive Unlimited pass. The Unlimited Pass also includes Courmayeur the Italian resort 30 minutes away through the Mt Blanc Tunnel. Courmayeur offers some incredible skiing and for the powder hounds among you it stays untracked for days after good snowfall.
Clearly the two glaciers are part of the attraction of Chamonix but you need to be experienced skiers/boarders and to hire a high mountain guide to ski there safely so you would also need to factor in around £250 per day for a group of 6.
If you choose the LePass then it is still possible to pay for a trip up the Aguille for £25 or up the top ticket at Grands Montets for £7. You can also upgrade your pass at any time during your stay by simply paying the difference. For more details and prices please see the Compagne du Mt Blanc website here - http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/en/lift-passes
We started in the early days of snowboarding as this early picture of Barney aged 12 in 89 illustrates! Over the years the sport has gone from alternative to mainstream and now with the resurgence of skiing may well be returning to a more niche position. Snowboarding has without question pushed skiing onto new levels over the past 10 years. The ability of snowboards in fresh deep powder snow has pushed ski's ever wider and the whilst the snowparks were originally developed for snowboarders it's now increasingly the skiers that go biggest and hardest.
Ski & Board hire
The Valley Blanche
A once in a lifetime experience for skiers and boarders with at least 4 weeks riding under their belts.
First thing in the morning you’ll emerge from the Aguille de Midi cable car at 3,840 metres to be met by probably the best view in the Europe from the highest point in Europe accessible by lift. From there the only way is down and it’ll take most of the day for you and your high mountain guide(s) equipped with harnesses, ropes and avalanche transceivers to reach the valley floor. Over the course of the day you’ll travel through 14 miles of genuine high alpine wilderness without a single piste, lift, marker or barrier between you and the mountain. You’ll cross the infamous initial arête, pass incredible ice formations, seemingly bottomless crevasses and find the freshest powder that the valley has to offer that day.
FreshTraxxx will recommend a guide for the day who will provide all the necessary safety equipment. All guides for the Valley Blanche must be members of Compagnie Des Guides and will have completed a minimum of 5 years high mountain training generally only begun after many years as a ski/board instructor. The cost for the day will be around €300 for up to 6 people per guide. For more information about the Valley Blanche read this article from The Independent Newspaper.
As a company our directors and staff are always a mix of boarders and skiers and often do both depending on the conditions. Whichever route you've chosen or decide to choose (unless it's snow blading!) we're just stoked to get more people into the mountains and pushing themselves. Please see below for more imformation on ski passes, lessons, equipment hire and the legendary Valley Blanche.
SKIING & SNOWBOARDING IN CHAMONIX
The snow sports industry has seen huge changes in skiing and snowboarding over the past decade and FTX Holidays has been there to witness it. Recent design advances in skis and snowboards including carving profiles, rocker, fat skis, serrated edges and new binding technologies mean snow sports have never been safer or easier to learn.