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WINTER ACTIVITIES IN CHAMONIX
As well as skiing and snowboarding, Chamonix has a multitude of other fantastic winter activities on offer. Take a look at our winter activity guide.
Snowshoeing is a great way to get off the beaten track and away from the skiers on the slopes. An activity for young and old. Aside from being good fun, showshoeing is also a diverse sport. From a gentle stroll above the tree line, enjoying the fauna and flora to a challenging hike in the high mountains. A snowshoeing excursions can cater to all groups. For anyone who loves snow and is looking to explore a winter wonderland at a pleasent pace, this is the activiy for you.
OUR TOP SUGGESTION
Snowshoeing in the Parc Du Merlet. An intimate hike, in groups of 5-8 people, supervised by a Mountain Guide. You will discover the Parc de Merlet (deer park) from behind the scenes. Appreciate the peace and quite of the great snowy spaces and approach the animals in their natural habitat. An easy level hike that will take around 2 hours.
Combine your coordination, physical stamina, concentration and precision with this unique family, group or corporate event. After some initial target practice at the shooting range, embark on a fun cross country circuit.
The dogs are raring to go, you just need to decide whether you want to drive your own sled or ride as a passenger and leave the steering to the musher. The husky sleds can be driven by anyone over the age of 8 years, younger children can ride accompanied by an adult. The dogs are super friendly and just waiting for you to come and play.
Enjoy the unique experience of mountain-biking across snow on the paths of the Chamonix valley. Thanks to fat tyres and electric motors, this kind of mountain bike offers guaranteed grip and stability on snow, and fun for everyone.
If you’re looking for a little adrenaline kick, or simply want to try a new outdoor activity, then a day out ice climbing could be the answer. Conquer frozen waterfalls in the Chamonix valley (most often in Argentière) and marvel at the icy beauty with a qualified mountain guide. It takes a full day to discover the activity and new sensations are guaranteed, which you can share with your small group of 3 or 4 people. Winter ice climbing is available in January and February, subject to the right conditions.
The Chamonix valley and Mont Blanc Massif are excellent for ski de randonnée (ski touring). Ski touring is a great way to access nature as it was intended to be seen. The Massif is a vast area of spectacular, glaciated mountains. The lifts provide easy access to the mountain wilderness that make this region special. With the necessary equipment and a bit of hard work, riders will be able to escape the crowds on the slopes and find some great skiing.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Maybe you know it as Langlaufing or Nordic Skiing: as a way to take a relaxing Sunday afternoon glide through beautiful scenery with breaks at enchanting buvettes or ... the best workout in the whole athletic world! The choice is yours.
Techniques of Cross Country Skiing
There are 2 techniques, TRADITIONAL or SKATING. With traditional, the skier stands with the skis parallel, then slides each ski forward with an alternate, straight and exagerated stepping motion. The Skating technique emulates the acceleration action when skating on ice. The skis are positioned diagonally with the tips splayed out and the tails almost touching. The skier thrusts forward over the ski. Skating should provide greater accelertion and speed but requires more energy and agility. Two techniques requires 2 different ski trails. Sets of two grooves are cut by machine each night for Traditional skiers. In Chamonix, Skaters and Traditionals share same piste, so a flat 2-5 metre wide piste for the skaters is prepared adjacent to the traditional tracks.
MONTENVERS AND MER DE GLACE
The little red train that leaves from behind the main Chamonix train station has been chugging up to the Mer de Glace for over 100 years. A ride on the Montenvers train up to the longest glacier in France is a must. The train winds its way up the side of the mountain, amongst the pine forests and through dark tunnels of rock to emerge beside the Mer de Glace at 1913m. As well as the glacier itself, you can also visit a crystal museum, ice caves, the Temple of Nature, the Glaciorium, Le Panoramique restaurant and the historic Grand Hotel du Montenvers.
AIGUILLE DU MIDI
One of theworld's most iconic cable cars, the Aiguille du Midi goes from Chamonix town up to 3842m in just 20 minutes. You'll step out into a different world, surrounded by the peaks of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The views are spectacular and even if you have no desire to do explore further, you can get a taste for just how high up you are by stepping into The Void; A glass box suspended over a 1000m drop!
Fly over the breathtaking peaks of the Alps, skim over jagged ridges and hover beside sheer granite cliffs. You will have unimaginable views of the majestic Mont Blanc Massif with its famous peaks such as Les Drus, Grandes Jorasses and of course the Mont Blanc itself at nearly 16, 000 ft; the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest in Europe west of Russia's Caucasus peaks.