/ Chamonix on the cheap with a family?
Oh yeah - when I say family I mean one almost two year old.
You're right there!
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).
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
> btw Getting about is no trouble - excellent trains, free if you are camping (and I guess hostelling) in the valley.
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.
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?
Chamonix is less than 90min drive from Geneva.
Scroll down here for transfer times between Geneva airport and a number of ski locations
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!).
> 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.
Elsewhere on the site
The Christmas Gift Guide at Outside.co.uk Check out our top selection of Christmas Gift Ideas for climbers,... Read more
Make the most of this months HALF PRICE OFFER on the Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid!! Designed as a hybrid approach and... Read more
Over the years I've been asked many times about work as a Rope Access technician, often by Instructors and Guides working for... Read more
2012 saw the release of the beautiful first volume of definitive Yorkshire Gritstone climbing, produced by the YMC with Robin... Read more
In this excellent film from Latitude Photography we see Raphael Slawinski, Ian Welsted and Jesse Huey travel to... Read more