This series of blogs aims to explore the different ski areas in the Chamonix Valley. Today, we’ll be covering the iconic slopes of Les Grand Montets. This world famous mountain is tricky in parts but an off-piste masterpiece. Below we’ll explore how to get there, why it’s such a legendary mountain to ski/board and even throw in some local tips along the way.
GETTING TO LES GRAND MONTETS
To make any ascent to the thousands of metres of slopes above, you’ll need to head towards the village of Argentiere. To get to Argentiere, there’s excellent bus routes across the valley, as well as trains and ample parking near the gondolas.
It takes about 20 minutes to get there from central Chamonix, with a short 5 minutes walk from the station if you were to arrive by train. If you get the bus, it conveniently drops you right at the lift. Remember, any bus travel in the valley is included in your ski pass, so make the most of it!
SKIING & BOARDING AT LES GRAND MONTETS
Grand Montets is separated in three distinct sections. The first being anywhere from the first gondolas up and below, the second taking you to some more challenging runs and the final part is at a whopping 3275 metres up, including parts of the argentiere glacier.
Lognan (where you first arrive from one of the two cable cars from Argentiere) acts as the final funnel for most of the runs you’ll find here. From here, there’s chair lifts and gondolas you can take to some more intermediate slopes, including the cable car to Bochard.
You can also take the gondola from Argentiere to an area just above Lognan. This area is where the marmottons chair lift takes you, and has some short but great runs connecting to other parts of the mountain (including a ski park!).
Unfortunately, a 2018 fire during maintenance has caused accessing the very top of the glacier quite tricky, with a project well underway for this access to be restored (still a couple of years off completion). For those that are really keen, you can do so with a 300m ski touring climb from the Herse or Bochard lifts.
When your day is almost done, it’s worth taking the awesome, long (1972m to be precise), red down from Lognan to the base. It’s the perfect way to cap off a day on the slopes.
Whilst anywhere lognan and above is of course a great place to grab a drink or something to eat, we love both the newly reopened Argentero as well as the everpresent Les Marmottons restaurants as you return to the foot of the mountain. Serving great food, and lots of comfortable outside space, you’ll want to make sure to make one (or both) of them serve as the meeting point after a challenging day on Les Grands Montets..
It’s also worth mentioning that you’re only a short walk into the bottom of Argentiere, with great pizza at Le Rencard (they’re happy to do takeaway, too).
If you’re travelling with little ones, there’s a great beginners slope that’s a perfect sledging spot only a few minutes walk from the base of Grand Montets called Chosalets. It offers two baby slopes (ideal for first timers), with two small drag lifts. There’s plenty of places to hire a sledge, so let us know if you’re looking for something for the little ones!
If you’re looking to book a place this winter, we’re delighted to be offering luxury stays mere minutes from Les Grand Montets. Contact us.