BLOG: Skiing – Grands Montets, Chamonix

Saturday saw the first skiing of the season at Grands Montets in Chamonix and my first skiing for about three seasons (gulp)!


Chamonix skiing - the opening day at Grands Montets, 27/11/2010

But surely it’s just like riding a bike…?! Well, unfortunately skiing is a bike I never really mastered in the first place! At least I’d be skiing with someone who also didn’t know what they were doing though…

Having arranged to fly out and visit Alison for the weekend, I jetted out to Geneva on Friday night, being lucky enough to get a swift finish from work. A smooth journey (thanks to EasyJet and Mountain Dropoffs) had me in Taconnaz by just after 10pm, greeted by freezing temps and a thick blanket of snow! (Fortunately I didn’t have Steve in tow to suggest we slept in the car park!)

View from the window- a snowy Taconnaz

Saturday morning and some stalling tactics (coffee drinking!) had us out on the slopes by 11am. Visibility was poor and the temps were low but good snow cover on the pistes gave a few wobbly runs until I found my legs again! (Oh wait…I said earlier that I never actually had any legs!) Alison kept up…just ;-), although I sensed she was tiring by the end of the day. I on the other hand was just getting warmed up!

One of these people can ski!

With daylight fading we took the telepherique back to base and headed home. A detour via Chamonix centre, bookshops and Snell Sports (if I ran a gear shop it would probably be like this!) was followed by a trip to what may be the best cake shop I have ever been to, (obviously I don’t really like coffee or cake, but Alison insisted!) rounding off an awesome day out on the hill.

The best cake shop also has one of the best views...

Saturday evening allowed some serious lazing time (for my quads to recover from all that snowploughing) and a viewing of the classic steep skiing documentary, Steep. If you haven’t see this film then I can highly recommend it. Whether you ski or not, it is awe inspiring!

A leisurely Sunday morning of full English breakfast (in France too, tut tut…), a wander in the snow and then another trip to the world’s best cake shop (under duress again, I hasten to add). Unfortunately I had a flight to catch and my hope of a last minute cancellation didn’t come through 😦 so we set off to Geneva mid-afternoon. It was a fantastic weekend though and I certainly can’t wait to go back.

Have a look at the compagniedumontblanc site for up to date info on skiing at Grands Montets.


Okay so I may have exaggerated the skiing a little! Alison is actually quite (very!) handy on skis. She even had me improving by the end of the day! If you’d like her to pass on some knowledge to you I’m sure she’d be more than happy to, so have a look at the courses on offer at BASS Chamonix.

Being forced to go to the cake shop is all true…


  • Lowe Alpine Powerstretch Tights
  • Arc’teryx Venta SV jacket
  • Black Diamond Specialist gloves
  • Arc’teryx Phase AR Top (on test)
  • Patagonia R2 Jacket
  • Patagonia Winter Guide Pants
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