Chamonix, Hiking
Follow the leader | Photo Credit (+Cover): Barclay Idsal

There’s a few places in this world where skiing with a guide can take a trip from ordinary to extraordinary. One of these places is Chamonix, France. From avoiding crevasses to snagging the best tables at locals only lunch spots, Ski.com hires only the most experienced guides for this To The Mountains Trip.

Choose your own adventure: To The Mountains Trips – Chamonix

9) The micro-climates and skiing are both extreme

The Chamonix Valley is a literal puzzle of canyons, glaciers, and cirques—all of which host their own weather patterns. Having a personal guide on hand to decipher what the daily weather holds for each ski area or backcountry zone is a huge factor in avoiding variable conditions and instead, finding deep snow.

8) Someone to get the shot

There’s nothing worse than having to ask a friend to sacrifice part of their run to take a photo. Avoid that altogether by having a guide on hand who is more than happy to stop mid-slope and get the hero shot you’ll show grand kids someday.

7) Guided transportation

Navigating the Chamonix Valley and surrounding Mont Blanc Massif is a massive chore on one’s own. The bus system is fragmented and crowded, so instead of sweating it out with the masses, take advantage of guided transportation directly to and from the ski area.

Chamonix Vallee Blanche
That way to the longest established ski descent in the world| Photo: Barclay Idsal

6) Locals only lunches

While lunching in the alps might seem like an effortless affair, there’s a lot of room for mistakes. Not all lunch spots are created equally and exploring some of the more off-piste refuges is one of the great treasures of Chamonix. If its tartiflette, fondue, or raclette you’re looking for—we’ve got inside lines at the best cafes, refuges, and boulangeries in the area.

5) The equipment doesn’t stop at ski rentals

In Chamonix, the gear list for backcountry travel is seemingly endless. Fear not as Ski.com’s guides are here to make sure everyone is familiar with everything from crampons to avalanche safety equipment. No matter where you adventure, you’ll always be prepared.

4) Café and couloir etiquette

Starting each morning, don’t neglect to offer the barista a healthy “bonjour” before heading off to go skiing. The effort to speak French and appreciate regional customs is far from lost on locals. Ski.com guides can help navigate the intricacies of Chamonaird culture, creating a culturally rich experience for guests.

Chamonix, Mer de Glace
Lunching above the Mer de Glace at the Refuge du Requin | Photo Credit: Barclay Idsal

3) Crevasses

Perhaps the biggest objective danger in the Mont Blanc massif are the prevalent crevasses that dot the glaciated terrain. These deadly holes are not be taken lightly and thanks to years of experience on the glacier, Ski.com guides are well equipped to keep guests completely out of harm’s way.

2) Challenge yourself

The main reason anyone visits Chamonix is to challenge themselves. After all, this is the home of extreme skiing and alpinism. Under the tutelage of Ski.com guides, skiers and riders can challenge themselves in terrain that is nothing short of a dreamscape.

1) Navigating the infamous “arete”

Ask anyone whose skied the Vallee Blanche and they’ll mention the descent down the infamous ‘arete’ from the Aiguille du Midi. This 300’ vertical descent down an exposed ridge is not for the lighthearted. Ski.com guides are especially equipped to help you overcome fear and tread lightly down this breathtaking route, after which you can put on your skis for a descent that spans some 15 miles over the course of 8,850 vertical feet.

Chamonix Arete
The infamous ‘arete’ | Photo Credit: Barclay Idsal

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Also Read: 7 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR YOUR FIRST SKI TRIP TO JAPAN