ESF Chamonix has a number of specially qualified Handiski instructors. They can teach people with a range of disabilities to ski using adapted equipment including UniSki, DualSki, GMS, Armchair Skiing and Ski-kart. They also offer specific classes for people who are blind or partially sighted.
Both children and adults are catered for and the instructors are passionate about giving you the ultimate skiing experience, whatever your disability. You are advised to book at least 15 days in advance and then to confirm one week before arrival, to ensure that the most appropriate equipment is available for your lesson.
Les Houches has been a popular destination for adaptive skiers for many years now, due to its good facilities and relatively quiet slopes. ESF Les Houches are proud of their 15 years of experience in teaching Handiski and have a wide range of equipment that can be used free of charge. As mentioned above, advance booking is necessary to ensure that instructors and equipment are at your disposal.
ESF Argentiere also offer handiski lessons and guiding in the Vallorcine, Le Tour and Grand Montets end of the valley.
Disabled Tourism in Chamonix
Chamonix tourist office is proud to be the first alpine tourist office to obtain the official seal of approval for disabled tourism. They have introduced special brochures, made their office more accessible and trained their staff to be able to offer a better welcome to people with various physical and mental disabilities. The office is equipped with a loop system for people with hearing difficulties and you can download this brochure to find recommendations of accommodation, restaurants and other helpful information.
Wheelchair Access in Chamonix
Chamonix town centre is mostly pedestrianised, allowing easy access to the majority of shops and restaurants. The Mulet (free shuttle bus), local buses and trains are all wheelchair accessible.
Many of the town's amenities have wheelchair access and at least one disabled toilet; the library, bowling alley, casino, Espace Tairraz, Musée Alpin, Richard Bozon Sports Centre and the ice rink, amongst other places.
During the summer there is a walking trail through the Bois de Bouchet forest that has been evened out and widened for wheelchair access. Along the way there are a few benches and some information boards telling you about the local flora and fauna.
Lifts & Attractions
Not only is the Chamonix lift system wheelchair accessible but on presentation of your blue card (or other disability ID) you'll be given a 50% discount on your lift pass. All the main cable cars at Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour, Vallorcine, Les Grands Montets and Les Houches are wheelchair accessible. So is the top station of the Aiguille du Midi but there are steps to access to the Plan de l'Aiguille at the halfway station. Portable ramps are available on request for getting on and off the Montenvers train, just enquire when you buy your ticket. Most of the attractions at the Mer de Glace are wheelchair accessible but unfortunately not the ice caves.