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Off Piste

Ski de Fond / Cross Country Skiing /Nordic Skiing

This is especially popular with locals and is a great way to get away from the masses on the pistes. Chamonix has a good network of cross country trails and all are graded, like downhill skiing, into green, blue, red and black. There are trails at Chamonix, Argentiere, Vollorcine and Les Houches. In particular Les Houches has two trails, one on the valley floor located near the main carpark for the Prarion lift, near the Chavants lake. The other is at the top of the main ski area.

Aiguille du Midi and the Vallée Blanche (3842m – 1015m)

Imagine this – a cable car takes you from the valley floor up to the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, with an up close and personal view of the summit of Mont Blanc. Then you leave the day trippers behind as you turn your back on the cable car station and start you decent of one of the most beautiful  and spectacular off-piste ski treks in the world. This is a 4½ hour descent down the Vallée Blanche and the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice glacier). Surprisingly enough you don’t have to be a super experienced skier or boarder to do it, a good intermediate level is sufficient. This is one days skiing for which you do need a guide.

Ski Touring

Ski touring is a skiing adventure that combines the thrill of off-piste skiing with the tranquillity and beauty of traversing through remote glorious Alpine scenery. Attach the skins to your skis, release the heel  of the specialised binding and commence your ascent.  Not restricted by a lift system, much more mountain is available you. And when you reach the top, click the heel lock and a thrilling off-piste descent open up before of you. Although a certain amount of uphill work on skis requires fitness, the effort expended is rewarded by the quality of the descents.

Heliskiing

Although heliskiing is illegal in France, its possible to make drops in neighbouring Switzerland and Italy. Seasoned skiers and snowboarders are always on the lookout for the best snow riding adventures on offer. Experience the ultimate form of skiing and snowboarding, and get dropped off on the mountain top by helicopter. Usually heliskiing trips are organised through guiding companies. Chalet in the Mountains recommends Mountain Spirit who are well experienced with Heliskiing.

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