The Mont Blanc lift pass covers eight ski areas within the Chamonix valley, from the gentle tree-lined slopes of Les Houches to the glaciers of Grand Montets above Argentière, and boasts over 700km of terrain. The price to pay for this wealth of choice is the fragmented layout. Nearest to town is Le Brévent, its mainly reds and blues accessed by six-person gondola. La Flégère is also mainly intermediate and there's a lift now linking it with Brévent. The views across the valley to Mont Blanc are jaw-dropping and not to be missed. Le Tour and Les Houches are at opposite ends of the valley and excellent for beginners and intermediates, while Grands Montets in the middle is where the experts head. Snow cover on the north-facing higher slopes is good while lower, south-facing areas such as Brévent and Flégère suffer in warmer weather.
Chamonix is not the place to choose if you' are a beginner as in a mixed group you'll be learning in a completely separate area. Perhaps not the best place to learn!
The more confident boarders love it here for the off-piste and powder. Grands Montets has a fun park and half-pipe and Le Tour has a natural gully which doubles as a half-pipe. Vallée Blanche is worth a try, but watch out for the flat spots.
Chamonix has long been known as the extreme freeriding capital of Europe, and is also known Worldwide for the excellent scenery and expert skiing terrain.
As you would expect you can have lessons in a huge variety of skiing techniques from telemarking and ski touring, to carving and moguls. There is the ESF who offer private and group lessons, independent British-run ski schools, and a huge selection of qualified mountain guides, many of them British. Children taught from age 4 years upwards and there is childcare at the Panda Club from 6 months, and at Maison Pour Tous from 18 months.
Information Updated for Winter 2013/14