A Guide to Off-Piste Skiing in Chamonix With Maison Sport
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Best Off Piste Skiing in Chamonix

Set at the foot of Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Chamonix is a legendary off-piste skiing destination that draws in backcountry enthusiasts year after year. It is considered one of the top resorts for a ski holiday in France. There are plenty of easy access, and varied terrain to explore. From narrow chutes to steep couloirs and wide powdery slopes, Chamonix off-piste skiing is paradise. There’s no wonder why it is regarded as one of the best ski resorts for off-piste skiing in the world!

Remember that off-piste ski areas are unpatrolled, so when venturing off-piste you are responsible for your own safety. A beginner off-piste skier should be confident skiing on pisted red slopes and in varied conditions. When skiing off-piste, you must have the correct safety gear and it is always recommended to hire a mountain guide. We advise booking an off-piste ski course in Chamonix before heading to the mountains.

Read our guide to the best off-piste skiing in Chamonix with Maison Sport, Europe’s leading ski lesson and guiding provider.

Beginner off-piste skiing

Off-piste skiing in Chamonix isn’t solely reserved for advanced skiers. The resort has plenty of easily accessible off-piste areas between the pistes. There are plenty of opportunities to venture off-piste for the first time to practice your turns. Build up your confidence in the backcountry without pushing yourself too far out of your comfort zone.

The front side of Le Tour in the Domaine de Balme is a great area for off-piste skiing newbies to explore. Accessed from the top of the Autannes chair lift, the off-piste terrain here is fairly gentle and close to the pistes. You won’t have to worry about getting lost. The route leads nicely down to ​​the Charamillon lift, so you can easily make your way back to the top of Autannes and create fresh tracks to your heart’s desire. 

The Flégère Bowl is another excellent off-piste ski area for first-timers. Accessed from the top of the Index chairlift, the large snowy bowl offers plenty of excellent off-piste terrain to explore. The high-altitude, undulating landscape features natural half-pipes and tabletops – but watch out for hidden drops! The area under the Trappe chair lift also has some excellent beginner-friendly off-piste terrain which is easily accessible from the surrounding green runs.

Stay At:

Penthouse Le Lustre is a beautiful art deco apartment in the heart of Chamonix. Take in the fabulous views from up above in this unique stay.

Chamonix ski holidays

Beginner off-piste skiing

Intermediate off-piste skiing

The Grand Montets ski area is famed for its easy-access, off-piste skiing. It is a playground for off-piste skiers with plenty of steep powdery slopes and glacial terrain to discover. The Glacier des Rognons and Glacier d’Argentière at Les Grands Montets offer excellent intermediate off-piste skiing with wide-open slopes.

Combe de la Pendant is a popular off-piste area accessed from the Bochard ski lift in the Grands Montets ski area. Combe de la Pendant sits above the village of Le Lavancher and features varied terrain. Escape into the powder-filled bowls, tree runs, and natural features, perfect for intermediate off-piste skiers. The area isn’t too steep and snow conditions are usually excellent, but it can get tracked out fast!

Finally, it’s about time we mentioned the famous Vallée Blanche – the longest off-piste ski descent in the world! Accessed from the top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car (3,812m) descending 20km and ending back in Chamonix resort centre (snow permitting). La Vallée Blanche is a legendary ski area boasting unbeatable views of Mont Blanc and breathtaking glacial off-piste terrain.

The Voie Normale route in the Vallée Blanche isn’t too demanding and is suitable for confident intermediate-level off-piste skiers. You will encounter impressive séracs, ice falls, and crevasses, so you will need to wear a harness as a precaution. The route can get fairly busy during peak season and ends in a long flat run – so snowboarders be warned!

Stay At:

Chalet Des Cristaux is an exceptional luxury chalet in an enviable location in the Les Houches ski area in Chamonix.

Chamonix ski holidays

Intermediate off-piste skiing

Advanced off-piste skiing

Expert off-piste skiers will revel in the Chamonix’s daring off-piste descents. But with heightened thrill comes heightened danger. Always be aware of avalanche risks and stay vigilant, no matter your level of experience. It is highly advised to ski with a local guide who has expert knowledge of the terrain and snow conditions. 

The other three ‘classic’ routes in La Vallée Blanche (Le Vrai Vallée Blanche, the Petit Envers du Plan, and the Grand Envers du Plan) are much more technical and steep than the Voie Normale route. These routes involve skiing on challenging glacial terrain, navigating open crevasses, and couloir skiing, so are best suited to advanced off-piste skiers.

Couloir des Cosmiques is a classic off-piste route accessed from the Aiguille du Midi lift. Known for its steep and narrow couloirs, Couloir des Cosmiques offers a thrilling descent for expert skiers and snowboarders. The 900m of challenging terrain has a gradient of 40-50 degrees, which will be sure to get your heart pumping.  

The ridge at the top of the Brevent ski area (accessed by the Brevent cable car) requires a small hike, but you will be rewarded with various steep chutes leading to the Charles Bozon piste. If you continue walking along the back of the ridge you will reach Col de Brévent, a steep drop with panoramic views over the valley. This area can be prone to avalanches, so, if conditions permit, it is best to tackle it first thing in the morning before the snow begins to melt.

Stay At:

Hotel Mont-Blanc is a fabulous five-star hotel surrounded by excellent bars and restaurants. Enjoy the first-class facilities during your stay.

Chamonix ski holidays

Advanced off-piste skiing

Embark on an off-piste skiing adventure

These are just a handful of the many off-piste ski areas to discover in Chamonix. It’s important to remember that off-piste skiing carries a high level of risk. So booking an experienced local instructor or guide who has extensive knowledge of the terrain is always advised. Not only this, but they are trained for any eventuality that may occur.

The instructors and guides on Maison Sport know their resorts inside and out and can help you to make the most of your off-piste skiing experience. They will be able to show you the mountains whilst teaching you the skills required to tackle deep powder and exciting new terrain so that you can embark on the ultimate off-piste adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime.

To find out more about the best off-piste skiing in Chamonix call our ski experts on 020 7471 7700.

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