Exploring Chamonix – Part 2



Chamonix Skiing Guide Books and Maps


For more ideas of Chamonix skiing and ski touring pick up a copy of one of these guidebooks:


• Toponiege Mont Blanc published by Volopress
• Topneige Chablais (covers Aiguille Rouge) published by Volopress
• Mont Blanc and Aiguille Rouge by Anselme Baud published by Cordee


Maps – IGN maps 3630 Chamonix and 3531 for Saint Gervais cover the area. You can browse these online at: Chamonix Maps. Guide books and maps can be ordered online or visit the Masion de la Presse bookstore in town opposite Snell Sports.


Chamonix Conditions Reports and Blogs


I keep my blog up to date with regular posts at rosshewitt.net or check out Charlie Boscoe’s conditions reports at: http://chamconditions.blogspot.fr/. If you require route information then check out Chamonix Topo: http://www.chamonixtopo.com/


Chamonix Guiding Services


Mountain Spirit – Wolfgang’s relaxed manner will instantly make you feel at ease, enabling you to relax and get the most out of your trip. He really is the Wolf in sheep’s clothing, able to line up with Chamonix’s finest and mix it with them.


Jeff Banks Mountain Guide – Jeff is a great skier and a super nice guy. His laid back attitude is sure to relax you for maximal learning experience. Jeff offers a variety of technical courses aswell as conventional guiding.


Iso Zero – Stephane Dan aka Fanfan – you will recognise the Frenchman Stephane Dan from films like ‘Steep.’ This legend has skied most of the big faces that surround Chamonix including a lot of lines that to the uninitiated look unskiable.


Dream Guides – Guy Willet was a regular ski partner of mine for several years as we ticked our way through the steeps guidebook for Chamonix. I have fond memories of shadowing him as a trainee mountain guide on a hen party where we all wore pink bunny ears on a 5 day hut to hut ski tour. Be warned, he likes to party!


Smart Mountain Guides – Miles Smart is an American guide who moved to the Alps several years ago. He runs a steep course every year.


UCPA – good deals on holidays that combine accommodation with guiding. Supported by the French Government to promote sport into the youth. There is a notional age limit but as long as you are young at heart it is open to everyone. It is a great option for groups of friends on a budget with hostel type accommodation as well as private rooms on a budget. Action outdoors is the UK booking company http://www.action-outdoors.co.uk/
Chamex.com – Chamonix 5 day ski mountaineering course includes crevasses rescue and avalanche





Chamonix Weather


Situated at the foot of such a big mountain chain makes weather forecasting a tough job and I often look at several forecasts to get an idea of whats going to happen. If the Foehn wind is blowing from the south, it can be anything from bright sunshine to overcast warm gales. The Foehn appears to be the forecasters ultimate nightmare!

Chamonix meteo 5 day forecast
Meteoblue – Chamonix weather
Meteoblue for Aiguille du Midi 3842 m
Italy – Aosta Valley ski resorts


Chamonix Tourist Office


Situated just behind the high street towards the Brevent between the church and Hotel du Mont Blanc. It has free wifi that you can get outside after closing time and there are some handy benches outside to surf from with a laptop.


Chamonix Accommodation


Chamonix has accommodation for everyone and all budgets ranging from gites (hostels) to 5 star hotels. The valley is about 10 m miles long with Chamonix in the middle, Les Houches at one end and Argentiere (Grands Montets) at the other. If you are relying on the bus I would stay closest to where you want to ski and certainly stay in one of the 3 main areas of Les Houches, Chamonix or Argentiere (Grands Montets). Click on the link above to take you to Chamonet and the accommodation guide.


The following are examples of accommodation from 5 stars to 1 star:

• 5 stars – Albert Premier – and Michelin starred restaurant
• 4 stars – Grand Hotel des Alpes – Chamonix Centre
• 4 stars – L’Heliopic Sweet and Spa Hotel – Aiguile du Midi, Chamonix
• 3 stars – Hotel Aiguille du Midi – Les Bossons
• 1 star – Hotel les Randonneurs – Argentiere – I’ve stayed here several times
• Chalet Ski Station – Brevent – hostel accommodation





Eating Out in Chamonix


Moo – great burgers
Munchies – my favourite sensibly priced venue
Caveau – pizzas and tariflettes
MBC – burgers and pub like astmosphere
Casa Valeria – Italian at a reasonably price
Midnight Express/ Poco Loco – quick good take away food

You can try the traditional Savoyarde raclette, tartiflette, pierrade or fondue at pretty much any restaurant.




Elevation – Chamonix – you might bump into Seth Morrison here
Moo – Chamonix –
MBC – Chamonix – micro brewery, nice ales
Lapin Agile – Chamonix – great wines and nibbles
Chambre Neuf – Chamonix – lively après ski with the Swedes
Delice – Les Houches
The Office – Argentiere


‘Location’ Chamonix – Rental / Gear Shops


Concept Pro – for buying ski gear and ski services they have the best machine in the valley for ski services. Located behind the Aguille du Midi cable car – pop in by and see Craig Widdicombe and here’s the secret – Tuesday evening is Beer and Tune, you get your skis serviced and they give you draft beer while you wait.


Sanglard’s Boot Room – situated at the round about on Place Mont Blanc as you drive into Chamonix, custom boot fitting services by appointment – the boys withal the World Cup experience – Jules and Damien


Foot Works – rentals and purchases – situated opposite the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Ask to see Scottish Graham downstairs for all you technical ski needs


Snell Sports – rentals and purchases – located on the high street, this shop has been supporting alpinists since it all began.


Sole Boot Lab – for buying boots, bindings and boot fitting services – Steven Rooke and Niclas Ferin will help you out. Situated on Avenue Aiguille du Midi.