Chamonix's ski area is, unlike many other ski resorts, made up of five different ski areas, two of which are linked together with the rest separated along the length of the valley. Since the Chamonix valley is low and the ski lifts rise to over 3000m, there are plenty of opportunities to ski 2000 or more metres of vertical descent here.
The pisted ski terrain in Chamonix ranges in altitude from 950m to 3300m (see the piste maps), whilst the backcountry skiing offers much more in terms of altitude, vertical descent and of course, difficulty.
If you're coming here piste skiing, there are around 150km of pistes, accessed by a total of 65 ski lifts split between the main ski areas and the low mountain beginner zones. Chamonix has 6 green pistes, 30 blue pistes, 31 red pistes, 10 black pistes and two snowparks, distributed through the five mid-high mountain ski areas which you can read more about below.
You'll find lots of gentle slopes along the bottom of the Chamonix valley with easy access for beginners. These areas are suited to complete beginners or those looking to get their ski legs back before heading up onto the higher mountain.
- La Vormaine (1480m) in Le Tour
- Les Chosalets (1230m) in Argentiere
- La Poya (1120m) in Vallorcine / Le Buet
- Le Savoy (1049-1125m) in the centre of Chamonix by the bottom of the Brevent gondola
- Les Planards (1062-1242m) near the town centre and Montenvers train
- Le Tourchet (1000m) in Les Houches next to the outdoor ice rink
These areas are accessed via the ski lift system and offer a much greater range of pistes for all abilities from confident beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders, as well as being the gateway to the incredible Chamonix backcountry terrain.
- Les Grands Montets (1235-3300m)
- Brevent/Flegere (1030-2525m)
- Le Tour/Vallorcine (1453-2270m)
- L'Aiguille du Midi/La Vallee Blanche (1030-3842m)
- Les Houches (950-1900m)
With a Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass, you not only get to ski in the Chamonix Valley, but also neighbouring ski areas such as Courmayeur in Italy, the Evasion Mont Blanc ski areas and Verbier. Find out more below about skiing in Courmayeur (Italy) and Les Contamines, Megeve and St Gervais (collectively known as the Evasion Mont Blanc area).
- Courmayeur ski area
- Evasion Mont Blanc ski area
- Beginner areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
- Advanced areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
- Off-piste areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
- Snowparks in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
- Bad Weather areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
- More inspiration...
Courmayeur ski area
Courmayeur, although not strictly part of the Chamonix valley, is included on the Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass and is easily accessible from Chamonix through the Mont Blanc Tunnel (journey time 30 minutes).
Read more in our detailed guide to the Courmayeur Ski Area.
Evasion Mont Blanc ski area
The Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass might only be the size of a credit card, but with the addition of the Evasion ski area (Megeve, Saint Gervais, Les Contamines, Combloux, St Nicolas & La Giettaz), it gives you access to a large and wonderfully varied ski area.
Read more in our detailed guide to the Evasion Mont Blanc Ski Area.
Beginner areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
First time skiers and snowboarders, or beginners looking to improve their technique will find plenty of good areas to practise in Chamonix. There are 6 different nursery ski areas in Chamonix as well as 6 green pistes and 30 blues pistes for those who are looking to progress on the mountain.
Advanced areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
If you like challenging steep runs that seem to go on forever then Chamonix has got plenty to keep your legs working hard. The Chamonix valley is known for its steep pistes and challenging slopes making it a mecca for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Off-piste areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
Chamonix's off-piste and backcountry skiing is legendary, offering some incredibly challenging and steep routes for skiers and ski-mountaineers, bringing people here from around the world.
Snowparks in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
If you are new to the slopes there's a good chance that you'll be wanting to try your first kicker or rail soon. Freestyle is great fun and if you want to learn there is no better place to head than a Chamonix snowpark. As well as the natural gullies and half-pipes in the Chamonix valley, there are also a growing number of snowparks, boardercross and freestyle zones for you to try out and a handful of fun zones for children.
Bad Weather areas in Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley
Where to go when the cloud comes in, the snow starts to fall and you find yourself in white out conditions. The trick is to head for the pistes that are tree-lined, as they help provide definition when everything else seems to be white. Keep in mind that the valley itself can be covered in an all-encompassing fog, but the top of the mountains can be bathed in glorious sunshine (check out the webcams).