Ski resorts Near Chamonix

October 11, 2016
Beginner pistes accessible

Upon arrival at the ski area base, you have the choice of the main cable car or the new gondola. During busy times it is often faster to take the gondola lift to get to the mid-station as lines for the cable car can get really long!

The mid station on Les Grands Montets has seen some huge improvements in the past few years. The Bochard telecabine system replaced those 'old eggs' and a new Herse high speed 6-pack chair lift replaced the old two man chair.

The new Herse lift starts lower down and closer to the téléphérique making access very easy. There are two restaurants, with snack bars and covered areas for picnics (Hors Sac) plus two ski-test centres.

Bochard and Herse Lifts

At the top of the Bochard and Herse lifts the ski terrain is steep and glaciated. It is advisable to stay on the marked and controlled pistes.

The vast area served by these two lifts offers some fantastic skiing although the top sectors are just on glacier. Avalanche risk will be a moderate to high after fresh snow. The whole area is "skied out" quickly after a snow fall but due to its size there is plenty of exhilarating and challenging skiing.

The Bochard lift gives access to the Lavancher Bowl on the left side of the ski area; an extensive bowl; escape the crowds and ski 1000m of descent. Use the Pendant lift at the bottom to return to Lognon (or continue descending the track through the forest to Lavancher village and 1600m of descent).

The Summit of the Grands Montets

Skiing from the top of the Grands Montets (3300m) is a skiers dream. With a 2000m vertical drop to Argentière, on a good powder day, who needs heli-skiing?!

Two black pistes, Les Pylônes and Point de Vue, run out of the 3300m top station. The possibilities are huge. There is a small snack bar and terrace. Take a short climb up metal steps to the observation platform.

The sheer size of the mountains can be deceptive. Over to the south west is the Aiguille du Midi which is in fact over half a kilometre higher! Beyond that is Mont Blanc, another kilometre higher than the Midi.

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