Winter in Les Houches and Chamonix
The ski area of Les Houches extends from an altitude of 950 metres to 1900 metres. The skiing is extremely varied, providing enjoyment for all abilities.
The recent replacement of the Prarion lift system has greatly improved the access to the Les Houches ski area, and this mountain also boasts a new Ski & Snowboard Fun Park. The famous international black run ‘The Kandahar’ is located in Les Houches and is well known on the World Cup circuit. Every winter, Les Houches hosts the Alpine World Cup (Men’s Downhill & Slalom).
Skiing in Les Houches is a real pleasure. Many of the runs are long descents meandering through pine and larch forests, set amongst beautiful scenery. From the resort summit there is a breathtaking 360° panorama of the Mont-Blanc range.
In contrast to the other ski areas in the valley, Les Houches ski area offers a tempting number of traditional character restaurants. All are perfect for taking in the views, topping up your sun tan, and tasting the local cuisine.
When necessary, artificial snow coverage is assured providing snow from the summit of the ski area. In addition, the ‘Tourchet’ piste in Les Houches village, offers floodlit evening skiing every Thursday
The ski bus is free to lift pass holders and connects all resorts in the Chamonix valley providing access to 700km of pistes. The bus to Chamonix takes 15 minutes from Les Houches
Information on lift passes can be found on the Les Houches and Chamonix websites, and at www.compagniedumontblanc.fr. There are a number of lift tickets available. The Mont-Blanc ski pass gives access to one of the largest playgrounds in the Alps covering 14 resorts, 25 areas of slopes and over 200 lifts, including the resort of Courmayeur in Italy (30 minutes by car) and Verbier in Switzerland (1 hour 15 minutes by car).
Courmayeur is a traditional Italian mountaineering village. It is very chic, and one can easily spend more time in the bars on the cobbled streets than on the slopes and we highly recommend a visit for skiers and non-skiers alike!
Staying in the Chamonix valley offers you the opportunity to ski one of the most famous descents in the world, The Vallee Blanche. Departing from the summit of the Aiguille du Midi (3790 metres), the route meanders for a length of 26 km back down to Chamonix.
The surrounding landscape is simply breathtaking as you ski between huge ice walls, crevasses and seracs. This trip is for skiers of intermediate level and above and a qualified Mountain Guide must be hired should you wish to ski this route.
Ski school in Les Houches can be arranged through ESF or Evolution 2. There are a number of local rental shops in Les Houches which offer every type of equipment for all levels. Cyprien Sports have a wide range of rental equipment and a well stocked sports shop. They offer our guests 10% discount on all rental prices (see discount cards in the chalet).
In the evenings, Les Houches has a varied collection of restaurants and bars only a short walk from the chalet. Generally, the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. Restaurants include La Ferme des Agapes, which serves traditional dishes and Le Delice which offers fabulous food at very reasonable prices. Le Delice is located in the village centre, opposite the church.
Hotel Slalom has recently been refurbished and has a friendly bar with Satellite TV and Happy Hours. For those who love the nightlife, Chamonix has discos, a casino and numerous late opening restaurants and bars offering lively entertainment. Recommended bars include The MBC, La Terrasse, Elevation, Barred Up, Poco Locos and Chambre Neuf which often hosts live music.
For non skiers, Les Houches offers numerous alternatives to downhill skiing and snowboarding. These include hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, dog sledding, ice-skating, climbing, husky farms, hangliding, helicoptor rides etc.
And for the less energetic, gentle snowy walks alongside the River L’Arve, hot chocolates and vin chauds in cafes next to cosy log fires, browsing the shops, a visit to the cinema, a treat at one of the local thermal spas, a trip up one of the famous trains to take in the fabulous views and enjoy a drink or a long, lazy lunch!