/ Chamonix on the cheap with a family?

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Bobling - on 06 Jan 2013
My brother in law lives in Geneva and my wife and I are thinking about going to see him in March. To my mind it would be insane not to extend the trip for a few days and go to Chamonix while we are there (I have never been), the problem is we are poor and Chamonix is notoriously expensive so can I pick UKC's collective brain about ideas for how to a trip cheaper (places to stay/things to do/getting about) - even if you have thoughts about somewhere else I could go that would be fine I'd just like to see the Alps. NB Snell's Field and shoplifting are not an option.
Bobling - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:
Oh yeah - when I say family I mean one almost two year old.
highclimber - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling: Camp?
jon on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

> NB Snell's Field (...) not an option.

You're right there!
JLS on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

If you've got free accommodation in Geneva then, unless you are going to ski, you'd as well just go for a day trip. Hire a car for the day perhaps. There isn't much point in going unless you can afford to go up a lift to look at the views (take your own sandwiches).
Doug on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS: Maybe not as good as from some of the lifts but the view back from the Col de Montets isn't bad
jon on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

I don't know anyone who hasn't been impressed by the view from the top of the Aiguille du Midi. However, a trip up there for the two and a bit of you will likely cost 100 and the altitude (3800m) is not recommended for tiny kids.

As Doug says, the view from the col des Montets is as good as it gets: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=153388

If you take a walk up to Loriaz above Vallorcine you'll see this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=151613

... and if you walk the Balcon on the Aiguilles Rouges side of the valley you'll be rewarded by this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=152910
deepstar - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling: Yhm.
JLS on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:

What's the walking like in March? I've only been in summer and imagined getting far from the road in winter would be hard going due to snow. Is it not that bad?
timjones - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:
There isn't much point in going unless you can afford to go up a lift to look at the views (take your own sandwiches).

Rubbish a walk along the Grand Balcon Sud provides some of the best views of the range free of charge.
jon on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

Ah, good point, I missed the March bit! Sorry. All the uplift will be crowded out by skiers too. Still, the col des Montets view might look similar... but more likely like this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=190199
Nigel Modern on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling: There's a hostel in the village of Le Tour but everywhere will be banked out with skiers in March.I'd say you could do a lot with a 2 year old, especially if they are back packable still. I'd go for it...snow shoeing?

Look at Camping Glacier D'Argentiere (might be open and in good weather temperatures might be reasonable in March) - Jon's the one to advise as he lives in Vallorcine...in fact you could do worse than splash out a little on a snow shoe trip with Hilary, Jon's wife, rather than go up anywhere in a cable car. She has a website...'Hilary alp' or similar.

btw Getting about is no trouble - excellent trains, free if you are camping (and I guess hostelling) in the valley.


Nigel Modern on 06 Jan 2013
Run_Ross_Run - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

Try and get up the Brevent on a clear day, Alt cica 2500mtrs i think. Get a lift to the 1st station, circa 2000, then a good walk to the summit station (2-3hrs slow). The route gives you some great views towards MB and the glaciers. The summit is a good spot to stop for views also, just need to dodge the Japs/Yanks.

Walk not too technical with only a short section on a metal ladder (not as bad as it sounds). There is a 4x4 path to the summit also so the descent can be on that.

The wife hates hard mountain walking but she reckons she'd do it again if she had the chance.
Doug on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Darren09: A good idea for June but maybe not for March
shorts - on 06 Jan 2013

>
> btw Getting about is no trouble - excellent trains, free if you are camping (and I guess hostelling) in the valley.
The railway between Chamonix and Vallorcine is closed until April whilst they work on the line, but there is a replacement bus service.

Bobling - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Darren09:

You did read the bit about the two year old eh? Just kidding.

Thanks all for replies lots of food for thought, I'll have a think and come back with any questions.
Bobling - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

Also - if we wanted to get a day or two of skiing in can anyone recommend somewhere that one can day-trip to from Geneva?
Slugain Howff - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:

Chamonix is less than 90min drive from Geneva.
Slugain Howff - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to

Scroll down here for transfer times between Geneva airport and a number of ski locations

http://www.geneva-chamonix-transfers.com/transfer_queries.php
ads.ukclimbing.com
dave frost - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling: There is nowhere cheap to stay in cham i think, unless your willing to go into a hostel style places, theyre probably not suitable for a small child/ Hotel le Dahu in argentiere was about the best value we could find but still came in at around 70 euro's a night.

If you in Geneva i would suggest day trips.

If your going in winter you'll probably have to get a lift pass to get out of the valley for the views (and do soem skiing). I think your child is a bit young for the ski school (though not by much!).

Cheers
Dave


deepstar - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Bobling:
> (In reply to Bobling)
>
> Also - if we wanted to get a day or two of skiing in can anyone recommend somewhere that one can day-trip to from Geneva?

Col de la Faucille is about 45 mins and Le Crozets about 25mins both good for beginers if they are in condition.

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