Over the weekend, we ran off to Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France for some spring skiing. We skied the slopes on Brévent & Flégère and enjoyed it tremendously. Due to warm spring temperatures and lack of recent snowfall, the snow conditions weren’t optimal but it was a welcomed experience to ski in the French Alps.
Chamonix is located in the south-eastern part of France (in the north-western part of the Alps) with a population of around 10,000. Being a part of this majestic mountainous area, Chamonix provides breathtaking views in any direction you care to look. The entire area is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground as it offers loads of winter and summer activities like skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and rafting. Chamonix was also the site of the first Olympic Winter Games held in 1924.
Besides our day on the slopes, we also went to see one of Chamonix’s special attractions—the Mer de Glace glacier (see photo at top of post). We took a short train ride from Chamonix village on the Montenvers Train (which began operating in 1908) and snaked our way up the side of the mountain range for indescribable views of the valley and, of course, the Alps. The Montenvers Station is built on a ridge overlooking the Mer de Glace glacier and surrounded by Les Drus, Les Grands Jorasses and the Aiguille du Grepon peaks. At the station we watched droves of skiers complete their journey down the famous Vallée Blanche—an off-trail ski route 20 miles long with a vertical descent of almost 9,000 feet (see photo below). Kevin said he will return to do this.
We took the small cable car from Montenvers Station to a platform midway down and then descended approximately 300 stairs until we reached the glacier to check out the man made ice grotto (caves carved out of the ice).
Upon return to Chamonix valley, the sun was out and the sky was a brilliant blue—a sight we haven’t seen in months! (Sorry, London.) We ate lunch outside, sipped French Wine and reveled in the moment. Ahh, Magnifique!