For expert skiers, there’s no better skiing than at Les Grands Montets!
This is certainly one of the best skiing regions in the world, unsurpassed in Chamonix and in France.
The Chamonix Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass is required to access the top section of this region, which descends from 3275m for 2000m to the bottom of the mountain. For advanced skiers, wanting the best experience of skiing in France, this unlimited pass gives you access to the best regions in Chamonix, a world class resort.
The most popular areas at Les Grands Montets:
Getting to the Top:
The Chamonix ski bus drops skiers directly at the building housing the Lognan Cable Car which goes to the mid level, the principal ski area of Les Grands Montets. The Chamonix Le Pass is valid for this extensive groomed area. Most skiers, however hop off here to catch the next cable car, which goes to the top of the mountain. You can’t get on this second cable car without the Unlimited Ski Pass.
The Steep Long Pylones Run:
On exiting the cable car at the top, you go down a steep steel staircase to reach a level area where the run begins. It’s the highest lifted point other than Aiguille du Midi.
There are spectacular views across the Glacier d’Argentiere.
View of the Glacier from Les Grands Montets
Because of the high altitude and the fact that this area faces away from the sun, the snow conditions here are superb.
Les Grands Montets reputation for its challenging steep deeps is well deserved. From the very top, the black runs are ungroomed which means high trafficked areas become quickly moguled. You'll generally find there are alternative ways down - steep but perhaps not as bumpy.
Look out for a left hand track to head down the best run - Pylones. This left turn is a few hundred metres from the initial landing area. There are orange markers so look out for it. The Pylones run which goes under the cable car is a long, excellent, exhausting run that takes you to the bottom of the Les Grand Montets Cable Car.
The run is very steep, but not suicidal.
It’s a challenging but a regular steep slope.
It’s not cliff scary.
None of it is groomed.
The Pylones run was our favourite of all the runs. We did it in a leisurely 20 minutes, with regular breaks; the cable car ride takes about 15 minutes.
Point de Vue:
The very long run, Point de Vue – goes on the Right hand side of the ridge. It’s a very long black run that goes along the east ridge to the bottom of the Grand Montets Chair. It runs alongside the Glacier d’Argentiere.
The views along this ridge run are magnificent.
The best skiing is at the top of this ungroomed piste - it's steep, challenging and gets moguled in sections where skiers are funneled through a narrow path.
Glacier d'Argentiere from Les Grands Montets
Combes and Bochard:
These are groomed pistes, graded red and it sees a lot of traffic descending from the top of the mountain as well as skiers from the Herse chair lift and Bochard cable car. These runs get skied out quickly.
The intermediate red and blue runs are long and there’s a good variety of skiing, even on the limited pass, Chamonix Le Pass. There's more than enough excellent intermediate terrain covered by the Le Pass.
We had great fun at the Snow Park located next to the Marmottons Chair Lift. This very popular park is fitted out with rails, boxes and built up ramps. It was always well patronized by both skiers and boarders.
This black run is accessed from the Bochard cable car. The piste goes through a tunnel and joins the blue piste, Coqs. It’s wonderfully strenuous.
The Home Trail:
The long red piste goes from the mid level to the bottom of Lognan lift south of Argentiere village. This delightful trail goes through a forest. You arrive at the back of the building housing the cable car terminal.
This trail doesn’t go through the village.
Although it’s highly trafficked, it is reasonably wide to accommodate the fair amount of skiing traffic. You never felt like you had no where to go.
So, it’s perfectly ok for intermediate skiers. The advantage of this home run, was it saved waiting for a cable car.
This is a small green area at the bottom of the mountain. The Argentiere Ski School conducts instruction here.
It’s about 500m from the bottom of the Lognan Chair Lift and further away from the village.
Eating on the Mountain:
There is a modern eatery at the bottom in the cable car building. It’s cafeteria type with reasonable eating at reasonable prices. The food here is quick, cheap and good value. We recommend the Panini.
At top of the Grand Montets cable car is a tiny little bar. There are a few bar stools inside and outside and only a limited amount of space. They do some food. The views from here are superb.
At the bottom of the chair lift, Plan Rojour, is a large bistro with lots of seating places. It caters for full meals and has a reasonably large choice on the menu.
Les Grands Montets: Overall Impression
A lot of the mountain is accessible on the regular le' pass, but the best part of the mountain is the top of the Les Grand Montets for which you require the unlimited pass.
This ski region was the most popular with skiers in Cham.
Les Grands Montets was the favourite of all our skiing at Chamonix. We returned for more, again and again.
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