Monday, September 12, 2011

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

It also breaks every normal European rule for a resort. None of the trails drop directly into town; instead, the ski areas are spread along a valley almost 10 miles long. Only two of the areas are interconnected. Some lift lines can be long, especially for the Grand Montet. Shuttlebuses are crowded and erratic but eventually arrive. The weather can change in a matter of hours from sunshine to a stormy whiteout. But what Chamonix does offer is perhaps the world’s best expert and advanced skiing on spectacular mountains rising more than 12,500 feet above the valley. And Chamonix itself has a strong Alpine flair. You won’t find the space-age structures that set the tone for so many of France’s other resorts. The world’s best expert skiing and one of the world’s most picturesque settings, in the shadow of 15,767-foot Mont Blanc creates an experience that is hard to beat.....

 Here is the Chamonix Resort Map.Small-town coziness is the rule, with plenty of restaurants, narrow streets for shopping and good hotels. This atmosphere can make one forget about the logistics of getting on the trails. But remember, to fully enjoy Chamonix, you’ll need a car or a bus to get to its slopes that are spread out for miles along the valley floor. There is an erratic shuttlebus service from Chamonix center to the outlying areas; some hotels provide bus service.
 In Chamonix you can ski hard all day long, then sit at a café in a small square and sip a kir, wine or beer. The bars are crowded with an international group. You are surrounded with other skiers who are here not for the ritz and the glitz, but for the challenge and the exhilaration of testing themselves against Europe’s most spectacular slopes.

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