Seasonal life in Chamonix
Chamonix, the birthplace of all things mountainous, a name long synonymous with big mountains, bottomless powder and hard partying. The Chamonix valley seems to attract the most hardcore skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, who spread themselves in the small towns along its 20km length, hemmed in by the massive that make up Mont Blanc on the south and the Aiguilles Rouges to the north. The valley is also home to probably the most famous off piste route in the world, the Vallee Blanch, which is an absolute must for anybody coming here. There are also many other off piste routes, some of which you could do yourself and ones that would require the services of a qualified guide.
Although Cham has the reputation of being strictly for the hardcore, there is more than enough for everyone to do. BEGINNERS should head on over to La Plange where you’ll find loads of those runs that everyone likes to call motorways, all leading off some of the higher peaks so you can get to enjoy spectacular views. It is, however, intermediates and advanced riders that will benefit the most from Cham’s varied terrain, get the infamous ‘top tickets’ for the Grand Montet on a powder day and you will realise why so many of the worlds best freeriders call it home. Loads of off piste, do take care however, the area is littered with glaciers so watch out for crevasses! Our favourite run has to be from the top of the Bochard bobble into the Combe de la Pendant bowl, 1000m of unpisted heaven.
All this great off piste comes at a price though, and that means that Cham see fit to build a park and then leave it to rot, with the attitude that you have incredible mountains. That is an outdated French attitude that will probably change with time, but for now you are left with some shitty jumps and an unrideable pipe. However, with unlimited kicker potential round every corner you might just have to use your imagination and build your own wonderful creations.