There are several things that you can be guaranteed to encounter when you visit Chamonix: brimming glaciers, the towering Mont Blanc, cheap and tasty eateries, a vibrant nightlife, incredible snow conditions, and hundreds of eager skiers and snowboarders lining up for the first chairlift of the day! This article will explore all of the pros and cons for boarders heading to Chamonix – from the exciting terrain to the not so exciting lift queues!
One of the greatest things for boarders who visit Chamonix is the wide variety of freeriding, with amazing off-piste slopes and adventurous tree runs offering challenging and exciting terrain. The Vallée Blanche is a popular choice for off-piste, as it offers terrain for intermediate to extremely advanced boarders, meaning you can challenge yourself as much or as little as you like. For the big thrill-seekers out there, try the Envers du Plan or Grand Envers for what will be a bumpy ride through the seracs and snow bridges, paired with some of the most breath-taking mountain scenery. Tough, but extremely rewarding choices!
Warning: when there’s fresh powder, be prepared to get up at the crack of dawn if you want to catch the first cable car at Grands Montets. All of the locals and holiday makers will be racing to get first dibs. Once you’re up there in the sweeping hills, you know it has been worth your time!
Advanced boarders will relish the opportunity to test the endless off-piste options, but Chamonix’s wild and untamed conditions are not exactly welcoming to beginners. I would highly advise anyone who is new to snowboarding to purchase a course when they visit Chamonix to get to grips with the tricky terrain. You can book a block of three 2.5 hour lessons for €135 with the local ski school. There are lots of English-speaking instructors who are patient, friendly, and keen to get you shredding powder!
While Chamonix offers an abundance of freeriding for boarders, freestyle options are unfortunately more limited. The valley’s first snowpark at Les Grand Montets offers a choice of different sized boxes, gaps and rails. Although it’s nothing flashy, it is a good place for less experienced freestylers who want to practice their new moves. For those of you looking for the latest and greatest facilities, though, you might be disappointed. My advice is to spend most of your time exploring the off-piste slopes to make the most of your visit. Chamonix has so much to offer boarders, from its varied slopes to its awe-inspiring scenery; just don’t get your hopes up when it comes to its freestyling.
If the variety and vibrancy of Chamonix sounds like your type of holiday destination, then don’t hesitate in booking your flights as the upcoming season gets very busy. You can arrange private or shared airport transfers with our team at Shuttle Direct, and one of our fast and friendly drivers will be more than happy to drop you straight to your resort. Let us take care of transporting all of your luggage and snowboarding gear, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the stunning drive through the Alps!
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're planning to visit Chamonix for a ski holiday, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you get to and from the airport swiftly and safely with your ski luggage and ski equipment.