- What to do
- Rock climbing
- Mountain biking
- Road biking
Denne side er på engelsk indtil at vi har fået oversat inholdet til Dansk. Med tiden vil det blive en side hvor det er muligt at finde gode tur og udflugts muligheder under opholdet i Vallorcine - Chamonix.
Unrivaled in the world for its beautiful mountains and easy access to the mountains. It is often called the birth place for alpinism and skiing. In these mountains and valley floors you find all mountain sports on offer. We have collected a few ideas for you to explore during your stay in Vallorcine.
Skiing in Chamonix is not like anywhere else. The big mountains are seperated by deep glacier valleys and gorges. The lift system is spread out and you normally choose a mountain to ski for the day. Intotal the area proposes 157 km on-piste and more offpiste skiing than anywhere else. In between the different mountains you will have bus and train connection, but many people prefer using their private car. You will find car parkings at the bottum of each area, but during the most busy weeks, parking can become sparse.
Here we will talk you through the different ski areas.
Le Tour/Vallorcine - Grands Montets - Flegere/Brevent - Aiguille de Midi - Les Houches
Le Tour - Vallorcine area:
The closest area to the Bellevue Alpine Lodge and a new bubble lift gives easy access just 2 km down the road. It is by many regarded as the best skiing in Chamonix, where the varied terrain and great snow offers great skiing. Its a good beginners area, as the pistes are wide and well groomed. For the offpiste enthusiast there are many exciting runs on all aspects of the mountain. Often you get the best snow in Chamonix here since the slightly lower altitude and northern helps keep the snow light and fresh. This is especially true for the skiing on the Les Esserts chairlift. Be careful. It is also a place renowned for avalanches.
The choice of places to eat are quite limited with the cafeteria halfway up from Le Tour attracting most business. Other good options are the restaurant L'arret Bougnette at the base of the Vallorcine gondola (tel. +33 (0)4 50 54 63 04). We can also recommend a great little place in the terrain called Chalet de Balme. It is situated at the buttom of the drag-lift "Les Possetes". Its very cosy and food is good. Very limited spaces so call in advance. (Tel. +33 (0)63 83 33 86 61). Having your car on the Vallorcine side also makes going to the restaurant Les Trois Ours a good option on days where you might not want to ski all day. The restaurant is in between Bellevue and the lift (Tel. +33 (0)4 50 54 63 06).
Grands Montets area:
The freeride mountain. With a jaw-dropping altitude difference of more than 2000m from the top to the valley this mountain is one of the best offpiste paradises in the world. You will also find good piste skiing, but being steeper and narrower, you need a fairly high level to enjoy the best runs. Some easier runs goes in the trees towards Plan Joran, and in bad weather this can be a good option. Grands Montets wouldn't be the same if it was not for the top tram that goes all the way to 3300m. From here you have the choice of 2 controlled piste runs and unlimited offpiste. The terrain can be quite impressive for the novice offpiste skier and many runs takes you out on the glacier. Make sure you are with some one who knows their way around or do as many others - hire a guide to show you the best offpiste runs.
Dining in the Grands Montets area can be done on the two main cafeterias. One at the Lognon carrefour, the other at Plan Joran, beneath the forest chairlifts. Other options are eating a delicious croute on the top Grand Montets station at Karim's, or at the Lognon Refuge, below the slopes off the Herse lift. To get here it's offpiste skiing. At buttom of the Grands Montets you also have a choice of several different places to eat. Escpecially the Cremerie de Glacier in the forest is a good spot (Tel. +33 (0)4 50 54 07 52).
This is the main piste area and situated right across from the Mont Blnac range you have breathtaking views on all slopes. The area is south facing and snow changes over the course of the day. Both Flegere and Brevent also has good offpiste skiing. At the Brevent hotel face the yearly Freeride World Tour hosts their competition. Flegere is the start point for many great ski tours in the Aiguille Rouges chaine.
The best places to eat are either at the top of the Brevent at the Olympique restaurant, the Bergerie at the top of the Brevent valley gondola. The cafeteria at the Flegere is not worth going to!
Aiguille du Midi:
Is not a ski area, but more so a view point. And what a view point it is! Impressive drops on all sides of the top lift station that is pierced on a precipite high above the valley, looking straight out over the immense glaciers and towards the summit of Mont Blanc.
This is also where the famous Vallee Blanche run starts. If there is snow all the way to the valley floor you can enchaine about 22 km of offpiste skiing. There is no markers on the run and you ski on glaciers all the way. To do this run you should book a mountain guide.
Is the area at the end of the valley. Here you find a lot of good beginners slopes. Most runs are in the forest, so well sheltered on bad weather days. It's a bit lower than other Chamonix resorts.
With the Unlimited skipass access to Courmayeur is included. From the Bellevue it takes around 45 mn to get there, and you have to cross through the Mont Blanc tunnel to get there. With you're lift ticket you can buy cheaper tunnel tickets at the Montenvers (in Chamonix) liftpass office.
Its well worth doing a day in Courmayeur. The skiing is great, both on- as well as offpiste. Coming from Chamonix you can either stop at the first lift you see as you drive down from the tunnel or go all the way to Dologne in Courmayeur where there is also a car park. The area is not very big, and easy to figure out. The offpiste is really good and especially on bad weather days you have good tree skiing here.
All over the area small places offers fantastic pizza and other local Aosta dishes.
For a more extensive read visit the chamonix.net.
Lightweight boots and shorts are sufficient. Waterproofs are essential and trekking poles useful. Don't forget sunglasses and skin and lip protection. Always carry drinking water.
Here is a few suggestions for hikes :
Vallon de Berard
Loriaz - Col de la Terrasse
The Chamonix valley has since a very long time attrated climbers and alpinists from around the world. Some quite good sports climbing crags can be found around the valley.
The Vallorcine crag or "Rocher du Saix" is about 15mn walk from the Bellevue. The climbing is excellent on compact gneis. The style is slabs and corner crags. You can do 3 pitches to the top, and descent is either by foot or by rappel.
Barberine crag: Test your slab climbing skills. Technical slab routes. 4-6 grade. Barberine also sports some of the best boltet multi pitch climbs in the region. The routes like Autoroute Blanche, Sylvie Phobie, Viper au Pied, Barbourine, Bonne Voyage are all great classics.
Gietroz: Very steep gneiss, and considered the best sports climbing crag near Chamonix for climbers who are comfortable at 6th degree. There are different sectors and routes in grades from 6a - 8a.
Falaise de Renard: A great crag in Vallorcine. 30-40m routes of 6a-7c grade. A real pump fest.
Le Couteray: Walking distance from the Bellevue this little site sports some hard crack routes, where some are traditionally protected. Grades 6a - 7b. Only 5 routes.
Les Gaillands: Good gneiss and lots of varied climbing. This is the biggest crag in Chamonix and usually quite busy with guided groups, courses and beginners. The site is very big and even when busy you can have a great time. Routes up to 7th grade, but most routes around 4-5.
Other site such as La Joux, Chapua, Arveyron and la Poya are also worth a vist.
Bouldering. Around the valley there are different bouldering sites, and a guide book can be bought in Chamonix with explanations about access and routes. The best bouldering site is witout a doubt the Col du Montets site not far from the Bellevue. Here you big granite blocks strewn across the pass. The best boulder to start is the "Transat" boulder. You find this across the road from the "French side parking" .
There are two possibilities for indoor climbing in Chamonix. Good for rainy days.
Indoor wall in the Richard Bozon center: Fairly small bouldering wall in the same structure as the swimming pool. It's pretty good, but feels cramped when busy.
Mont Blanc Escalade: In les Houches you find this very good climbing wall. Many routes up to 20m and off all difficultee. There is also a bouldering wall.
The topo "Guide des Ecoles d'Escalade de la Vallee de Chamonix " can be bought in Chamonix's Snell Sport or in some of the many book shops. You can also order it online at Amazon.
The climb of Mont Blanc and other peaks in the Mont Blanc range attacts alpinist from all over the world. The choice of climbs are great and well documentet in lots of different topos and guide book. A good idea is to visit the "Office de Haute Montagne" in Chamonix (next to the church) for inspiratioin and information about recent conditions.
Some good routes to begin with are:
Cosmique ridge - this route is a ridge going up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi. The climbing is fantastic in a beutiful setting.
Petit Aiguille Verte - from the top of the Grands Montets this little peak can be climbed in half a day, and is a good adventure. The route is not very difficult, but sometimes exposed and takes care and attention. Can be very busy.
Traverse of the Lachenal - A mixed climb from the top of the Aiguille du Midi and a good daytrip. The climbing is on both snow, ice and rock.
Traverse of the Chrochues - A rock ridge in the Aig. Rouges. Provides good climbing and a great training ground for bigger ridge-routes in the massive.
Traverse of the Aig. d'Entreves - after an interesting glacier approach this ridge is reached. The climbing is good and well protected in a stunning setting. Best climbed east-west.
Paragliding is a popular sport in Chamonix. The liftsystem makes it very easy to get to a good take off. Most popular take-off points are Brevent and Plan de l'Aiguille. For the very experienced paraglider the Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets take-offs are also frequentet. There can be special restrictions certain times off the year for take-offs.
If you would like to try this sport together with a professional, whether it be a tandem flight or a specialized course, we can recommend Shaun Potts and his company Fly-Chamonix to arrange a great day of flying for you.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone : 00 33 610 28 20 77
Mountain biking in Chamonix is a great experience. There are trails that follow the valley floor through luch pine forest to high alpine trails on the upper slopes. On many of the lifts you can bring you're bike and only do the downhill part if you don't fancy the sometimes big vertical climbs.
A few suggested trails are:
Balcon sud and nord - are the trails that follow the valley floor on each side of the valley. You share the trail with walkers, so beware when you race around corners. It's a failry easy ride and escpecially the downhill towards Chamonix on the lower Balcon sud is very enjoyable, since the trail is smooth and takes you next to the river all the way to Chamonix. Recommended is the balcon nord from Chamonix - Argentiere. This is a good challenge for those who like uphills. The section between Le Bois and Le Lavancher presents a good and fairly steep climb. A little cafe awaits you on the top of the climb entering Le Lavancher for refreschments, before the next stage towards Argentiere.
Vallorcine - Chamonix high level ride - This is a trip that uses the lifts to join some great rides.
From Bellevue cruise down the road or take the trail on the opposite site of the river to the Vallorcine lift station. Take the gondola up. From here bike up over the col de Posettes and ride down a wide trail (dirt road) to the Le Tour Mid station. Join the 4 seater chairlift for a ride up to Col de Balme. From here join either an fairly easy dirt road back down to the midstation where you just came from, or the more exiting riders left singletrack. Both rides down join the mid-station. From here the best descent is joining the left hand single trail down to the valley, but you can also take the piste/road down. From Le Tour cruise down for a pizza the the Stone bar. After a well deserved refreshment take the cable car from Grands Montets to Lognan, best reached by joining the forest trails behind old Argentiere. From Lognan head east towards Plan Joran - Le Lavancher. Its a bit up and down, but finally you will find the trail towards Le Lavancher which is a wide track down the forest. You reach Le Lavancher at the top of the village at the cafe. From here take a left down the trail towards Le Bois or alternatively go down the road through Le Lavancher to cross over and do the last half of the lower balcon sud. Anyhow, all roads lead to Chamonix. From Chamonix jump on the train back to Le Buet in time to get a cold beer on the Bellevue terrace. This is just a suggested trip, and you can make it longer or shorter by skipping a ride here and there. Enjoy!
Le Tour loup - Vallorcine - Col du Montets - Argentiere - Mont Roc - Le Tour - Trelechamp - Vallorcine
A good loup with many variations. The suggested itinerary starts with the climb towards Col du Montets. From here take the trail or road from the col down to Trelechamp (little village inbetween the Col and Argentiere). Follow through Trelechamp and hit the switch-back ride down towards Argentiere . This trail is a the end of the village. As you join the road, take a left over the bridge (road towads Le Tour) and join the back road through old Argentiere. Entering Argentiere take a left and find the trail towards Le Planet as you go under the bridge into the forest. The climb towards Le Planet is devastating, and only the strongest can do without getting of the bike (this is a very good challenge!). From Le Planet go down the road to Mont Roc, and join the road for the climb towards Le Tour. At Le Tour join the trail at the top left of the parking. This is a great mixed uphill, but mostly downhill towards Trelechamp. Good tricky sections, and fun fast single tracks. As you can imagine this loup can be combined and modified in many ways with endless variations.
Loriaz - Bellevue - top of Le Couteray - Loriaz road - Loriaz trail - descent to Vallorcine - Bellevue
A much favoured trip for good MTB riders. The climb is hard enough to earn you a good beer on return and the descent by the trail towards Vallorcine will test you're switch back riding skills.
Road biking with Vallorcine as a base can prove to be a very interesting option. The many mountain passes around offer endless climbs for the "mountaineer" orientated biker. The roads in Chamonix are often not as smooth as down south, because of the harsh winters, but as soon as you get a bit out of town you will find great tarmac and smooth rides.
Check out these options:
Bellevue - Chatelard - Finhaut - Emosson - Finhaut - Chatelard - Bellevue. A good 2.5-4 h round trip. That climbs towards the Emosson dam overlooking Vallorcine. The views are stunning and the road is smooth and good. Not to much traffic!
Col de la Forlaz:
Bellevue - Chatelard - Trient - Col du Forlaz - Trient - Chatelard - Bellevue. 1.5 - 2.5 h round trip.
Bellevue - Chartelard - Trient - Col de la Forclaz - Martigny - Col de la Forlaz - Trient - Chartelard - Bellevue. 4-6 h round trip. A great classic that will leave you quite tired.
Built on to this trip by doing a look around Champex . Martigny - Champex - Martigny. An additional 2h.
Built on to this trip by going to Verbier. Martigny - Sembrancher - Le Chable - Verbier - Le Chable - Sembrancher - Martigny. An additional 2.5h.
Bellevue - Argentiere - Chamonix - Les Houches - Servoz - Passy - Plateau d'Assy. Same return.4-7 h round trip.
Trips where you'd take a car to the start point.
Col de Colombiere:
A classic Tour de France stage. Take the car to Cluses, and bike from here. The trip to the Col and back takes around 3-5h.
Col de Petit Saint Bernard:
Go through the Mont Blanc tunnel and bike from Morgex to the Petit Saint Bernard pass. 3-5 h round trip.
In Vallorcine there are 2 hard courts just 5mn walk from the Bellevue at the Vallorcine camp ground.
45 €/6 hours
60 €/10 hours
Vallorcine tennis: +33 (0)4 50 54 60 45 (camp ground number)
In Chamonix there is 13 outdoor and 2 indoor courts situated behind the public swimming pool and sports center. There are also 2 squash courts. The outdoor clay courts are very nice and offers million dollar views to the surrounding mountains!
Book your court to make sure you have a place. You can rent rackets, but need your own tennis shoes if you want to play on clay.
Chamonix tennis: +33 (0)4 50 53 28 40
The 18 hole golf course at Chamonix was designed by the world famous Robert Trent Jones Senior set between the Mont-Blanc range and the massif of the Aiguilles rouges.
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