This little ski area called the Poya, can be found in Le Buet close to Vallorcine at the top end of the Chamonix Valley.
It has a gently sloping ski area with two small drag lifts and a rope tow to enable beginner skiers and snowboarders to get to grips with the basics. There's also a children's play zone and a small cafe on site.
To get there, you can take the Mont Blanc Express train to Le Buet, which is free if you already have a carte d'hote or a Chamonix Le Pass or full MBU ski pass. You can't get the bus to Les Buet, but you can drive and park close to the ski area.
Beginner ski lessons
If you're learning to ski for the first time, Chamonix has plenty of choice of ski schools who teach children's ski lessons and adult's ski lessons. Children's lessons are determined by their age and ability, whilst adult lessons are determined by ability and interests.
Beginner ski passes
If you're joining a ski school as a complete beginner, you will probably start off in the nursery areas where you can buy a beginner ski pass for a minimum of 4 hours or 1 day at a time. There are different prices for each of Chamonix's beginner ski areas which you can find via the link below.
If you're a skier looking to progress after having already learnt the basics, you can buy a ski pass for the mid to high mountain ski areas from as little as 4 hours. You should consider buying a 'Chamonix Le Pass' ski pass rather than the 'Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass.' The Chamonix Le Pass pass is valid for Brevent-Flegere, Grands Montets (but not the summit lift), Le Tour-Vallorcine, Vormaine, Chosalets, Savoy and Planards.
Beginner ski hire
Pre-booking your ski hire in advance allows the hire shop to prepare for your arrival and smooths the process. A key thing you should consider when booking your equipment is how close your accommodation is to the ski hire shop, or to the foot of the pistes for when lessons have finished. Even if there are several equipment options to choose from, we recommend you go for the most basic. Beginner skis are short, flexible skis that are easy to turn or, if you're snowboarding, you'll have a shorter stiffer snowboard that's easier to control and generally cheaper too. You won't need to know about the technical aspects of any of the equipment as ski hire shops will advise you to get the best model for your ability and size once you've booked.
What should I wear when skiing or snowboarding?
Buying all the gear before you go can be daunting if you’ve never set foot in a ski resort before. The key items to bring with you, along with the obvious ski jacket, ski trousers and sunglasses, are as follows:
- Layers - thermal tops and leggings, fleeces, hoodies, hats and a good pair of ski gloves and a helmet. Weather on the mountain can change pretty quickly, and you are much better off wearing layers of thinner items as opposed to a big, bulky jumper.
- Socks - a variety of socks ranging in thickness, it may sound weird but in our experience hire boots can be quite painful with the wrong socks.
- Sun cream - even when it’s cloudy the sun here can (and will) still get you, and don't forget the underneath of your chin as the sun reflects off the snow too. Don't forget a lip salve with an SPF.
- Piste map - make sure to always have one in your pocket while you're out on the mountain. You can pick up paper copies from the lift pass or tourist office once you've arrived in resort.