/ What skiing is there in Chamonix late April?

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cas54321 on 01 Feb 2014

I've recently booked a week in Chamonix for the third week in April. I did a small amount of research, and it seemed there was normally still plenty of snow then (http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/news/a/106725/spring-skiing-in-chamonix--meribel--morzine), but I stupidly didn't think to check that the lifts would also be open (I've only skied previously on a resort where the slopes were right there).

It now looks like only Les Montets is open by that time of year (and I'm not a very confident skier), which seems crazy when it's Easter week.

Am I missing something? Are there other choices there - or are we going to be sightseeing and not skiing? Appreciate that I've been a bit daft by booking without checking everything out thoroughly, but any constructive advice would be much appreciated.
deepstar - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:

I don't know about the current situation but in 2011 I ski'id at Le Tour and most of the lifts were open though the snow was a bit patchy.
Paulww - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:


Yeah it appears most areas shut on the 13th April... touring could be an option?
richlan - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to Paulww:

I have skiied in May before in Chamonix, limited fift opening if snow is still good, Montets will probably still be a fair bet.
Alasdair Fulton - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:

Chamonix is not the best place if you are an intermediate skiing, at any time. April is going to be tricky!

Do you climb as well? April is plenty warm enough for valley cragging, climbing off the midi, bouldering etc.
cas54321 on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to Fultonius:

Yes, much more a climber than a skier - might have to just change our expectations a little! Will have a look on here at the crag info around there.
dave frost - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:

Im not sure why folks dont like chamonix for beginner / intermediate skiing. I learnt to ski there !

If there is only the Grand Montets open (and that does seem likely) the best thing would be to try and join in with a group lessons at the ESF. They'll take you places you probably wouldn't go and you'll have a good time.

There are blue runs on the Grand Montets. If they have been pisted and there hasnt been recent snow, the reds are not too difficult either.

I'll be there in April, and I know some people who think April is by far the best month of the year

My advice would be dont panic!


PeterBlackler - on 01 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:

Whilst on this subject...

Any idea how long into the season the Midi arete goes on being "equipée" with a fixed rope?

I'm asking as the ridge isn't exactly ideal for a "family outing" in Summer mode but with alpine style caution/gear is more feasible with the fixed gear in place

In the references I've found it just says it is fixed roped until the end of the ski season...so I'm guessing is pretty variable. When is the usual end of ski season with regards to the Midi/Vallee Blanche?


Edradour - on 02 Feb 2014
In reply to PeterBlackler:

Almost certain I've been down the ridge in August with ropes still in place.

Have certainly skied the VB in mid April with ropes still in place.

Realise that isn't very helpful to you...
mattc - on 02 Feb 2014
In reply to cas54321:
Le tour and d'Argentière are are normal ya good bet in April
climatechangeisreal - on 02 Feb 2014
In reply to dave frost:
I have always found Evolution2 very good for affordable ski courses & good instructors.

cas54321 on 02 Feb 2014
In reply to dave frost:

Cheers Dave - that's v useful.

Previously we'd emailed a couple of ski schools and got back course dates which ended before our trip. But I've now successfully booked lessons with ESF, so, as you say, they'll hopefully find us a bit of beginner level snow

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