Extreme Sports in Chamonix
A blog from Seren...
Looking to book your next ski holiday? Chamonix is known by most snowsports enthusiasts as the adventure sports capital, boasting a variety of land, air and water activities sure to please even the most daring of people.
Located between Switzerland and Italy, the French town attracts thousands of tourists every year. Just over an hour from Geneva, it is perfect for weekend thrills and adventures. It sits in the foothills of Mont Blanc, arguably Europe's highest peak, and its rolling hills and sharp alpine peaks are the playground for some of the world's most daring. Whether you want to fly high above the slopes or prefer your feet firmly on the ground, Chamonix is the place to visit.
If you want to see the beauty of the French Alps from above parapenting is the perfect way to take in the breath-taking views. The canopy can be packed into a rucksack, ideal for those experienced parapenter’s travelling light. Whether you are an experienced skier or a novice, the local instructors are there every step of the way, they are quite literally attached to you! There are several take off points throughout the valley, among the most popular being Planpraz du Brévent, Aiguille du Midi and Les Grands Montets.
Due to the weather conditions in the Alps, ice climbing is synonymous with Chamonix. Peak season is between early January and late February, giving the vast ice sculptures time to solidify and cascade down rock formations. There are more than 200 routes in the French Alps with 10 of the most popular routes being in and around Chamonix. To make the most of the season head towards Argentiere, a hub for the most daring of ice climbers. If you would prefer to travel without crampons these, along with ice picks, can be hired from local businesses in Chamonix.
If you would like to mix your air and land activities, travel to the top of the Aiguille du Midi to experience Europe's highest attraction and ‘Step into the Void’. Having opened in December 2013 the Void boasts some of the most spectacular views of the Alps, the glass cubic structure protrudes from the cable car station. This is not one for those without a head for heights.
The Aiguille du Midi is also the starting point for those looking to take on the Vallée Blanche, the most famous off-piste ski descent in the world. Stretching over 22km with a vertical descent over 2700m the entirely off-piste escapade is not for the faint-hearted. Popular with advanced skiers between January and early May, the Vallée Blanche is a guide lead run with a heart-stopping climb right at the beginning. Descending from the Aiguille du Midi into the heart of Chamonix the route passes through vast expanses, allocate 3 – 5 hours for this adventure.
If you’d like to conquer the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc, organised tours can be booked, ideally 6 months in advance, with popular times to hike including early June and late September. There are five main routes, all of which must be accompanied by a guide, the most popular route traverses through the Aiguille du Gouter. This is a hike that requires months of preparation, ideally, you must be able to complete a half marathon with ease before tackling this challenge.
For a slightly different experience, take to the water and try your hand at Hydrospeeding; swimming in white-water with a helmet, flippers, wetsuit, and floater. Or take on a team challenge and traverse the River Arve in a raft. If you’d like to combine both air, land and water, canyoning is for you. Run through some of Chamonix’s most beautiful terrain and abseil down waterfalls with several canyoning companies based in Chamonix.
For more information...
If you would like to know more about organising your ski break to Chamonix you can enquire online or call us on 02921 880022 to speak to one of our ski specialists, we have first hand experience of these ski resorts and more so let us offer our expertise and help you plan your perfect winter holiday.
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