Pure Powder's Ski Blog

Call +44 (0)20 7736 8191

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Chamonix

Location: Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France located in the Haute Savoie region in the heart of the Mont-Blanc Massif. Famed for its spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix offers abundant snowfall due to its high altitude and is able to operate from early December to early May.

Chamonix Valley

Chamonix is particularly famed for its off piste skiing mostly accessible from the lift system and has one of the most famous off piste ski runs in the world, the “Vallee Blanche”. As it’s a short drive to French, Italian and Swiss borders, skiers are able to find different weather systems in nearby resorts.

With 5 main ski areas, only 2 of these are suitable for beginners (Les Houches and Le Tour) but Brevent offers good ski terrain for intermediates. The majority of runs are better suited to strong, experienced skiers.

Beautiful powder in Chamonix

Getting there:  Fly to Geneva from Gatwick, Luton, Southend or Stansted with EasyJet. Alternatively British Airways operate daily flights from London Gatwick or Swiss Air from London Heathrow or London City.

Chamonix is only 1 hour from Geneva making it one of the most easily accessible ski resorts.

Where to stay: For ultimate luxury, try Hameau Albert 1er known for its award winning restaurant. The hotel also has a fantastic pool and spa.  Alternatively, Le Morgane is a fantastic four star hotel right in the centre of town. The spacious rooms all have balconies and there is a pool, spa and underground parking. It’s also great value. For those on a budget, Hotel Gustavia is the accommodation choice for intrepid skiers but rooms are basic.

Hameau Albert 1er

Highlights: Due to its location, Chamonix offers flexibility in all weather scenarios. With easy access to France, Italy and Switzerland you are likely to find powder nearby even if it’s raining in Chamonix town.

Downsides: The town attracts serious skiers so we feel the resort is a little behind in terms of luxury options. This is better suited for those looking to share a drink with the locals and talk ski tech than enjoy long lunches on piste.

Best piste run: Due to the ever-changing weather, you can find yourself in Italy for the day but still claiming that Chamonix is your favourite resort as they’re all interlinked. But in good weather, head to La Flegere and enjoy the Mont Blanc scenery. The off piste here can also be spectacular.

Peaks and steeps

Best mountain restaurant: This is where Chamonix is let down as there is a real lack of good mountain choices and we prefer to use our days skiing here and enjoy a good dinner instead. The new Les Consorts in the middle of the Balme ski area is a newly renovated farmhouse with traditional fare and a good terrace. Let’s hope it lives up to expectation.

Best restaurant in town: Be sure to book ahead for family-run Le Monchu – a typical French Savoyard restaurant with great local food and service. Also worth a visit is L’Impossible, to be found in a 1754 farmhouse and serving delicious organic food in a stunning setting.

Best après bar: Chambre Neuf is the liveliest bar in Chamonix – usually jumping to the tunes of their local cover band, the Bilboas, you’ll be surrounded by locals and Seasonnaires (always a sure sign of the best place to be). Arrive early to bag a table and settle in. The Micro Brasserie (MBC) is also a favourite for a local brew.

Le Monchu and L'Impossible respectively

Best off piste run: Chamonix is renowned for its epic off piste notably the Vallee Blanche and Argentiere. We’d recommend avoiding the crowds of the Vallee Blanche and instead head to Les Grand Montets which gives access to fantastic powder, or Le Brevant which provides access to some interesting couloir skiing. We strongly suggest we use the expertise of a local guide (see below!)

Best guide: Matthieu is our man on the ground.  With over 15 years of guiding experience, Matthieu knows all the tricks to finding the best powder in Chamonix whatever the weather. As well as a ski guide, Matthieu is also a mountaineer and climber and is a fully certified member of the IFMGA.

Up for beautiful views and down for powdery slopes!

If you are still aching to get out on skis and off piste skiing in Europe is your ticket, get in touch with the off piste and heli skiing experts at Pure Powder!

Posted by: Suzy Small

Off-Piste Skiing: Your Questions Answered

  If taking on challenging terrain sounds like a thrilling adventure, then off-piste skiing may just be the ideal outdoor sport for you. Venturing outside the boundaries of standard ski resorts can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to leave behind the groomed slopes and instead make tracks across the fresh snow of the backcountry. […]

Posted by: Samantha

Heli Skiing: Everything You Need To Know

  Heli skiing is an invigorating outdoor sport involving breathtaking views from remote backcountry slopes. Whether you are an excited first-time/beginner skier or a seasoned skier looking for a new challenge, heli skiing has something to offer. In this quick read, we will be covering everything you need to know about heli skiing.   If […]

Posted by: Samantha

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Location: Most famously known as just Whistler, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side and make up Canada’s biggest resort. Together they make up a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, split between pisted runs, Alpine bowls and glaciers. Whistler Village is at the base of Whistler, the hub of the village […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s fourth largest ski resort where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love due to being further west. The varied terrain spreads over 3,282 acres and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there: Silver Star is extremely easy to get […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location: Sun Peaks is the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler. It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there: Sun Peaks is located in the heart of British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops and less than an hour by […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Tree Skiing in BC, Canada

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of British Columbia is very unique.  The trees protect the snow from wind and sun damage; so not only is it where you would expect the deepest snow to be, it is also where the powder remains perfect for longer which makes tree skiing a very enjoyable experience! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

CMH Private Heli Skiing Trips

Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing experience – we don’t know a skier out there who doesn’t have heli skiing on their bucket list.  What’s not to want – deep, untracked powder in every direction, fresh tracks at every turn, no lift queues and a helicopter at your service!  Now, imagine it all to yourself […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Go Small Group Heli Skiing?

Smaller heli ski groups mean greater opportunities for deep snow and more epic lines; and  heli skiing in groups made up of 4- or 5- guests can mean that your mountain experience is as intimate as possible.  You can either fill a helicopter with your buddies or join a ready made small group.  It’s best […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Revelstoke

Location: Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in North America’s ‘deep snow capital’ in the heart of British Columbia. It was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in 2020, which is most likely due to its 3,120 acres of skiable terrain that includes the longest vertical ski hill in North America, trumping Whistler in 2008 when their […]

Posted by: Suzy Small

Where Can I Heli Ski In Chile? 

What a better way to spend the summer than heli skiing in the Andes…Powder South, offers an excellent heli skiing programme which is be based out of four different locations.     The Heli Skiing Programme:   Heli Skiing in Chile is based out of the Chilean Andes Mountains and it has access to over 1 million acres of terrain – where to heli ski here is endless. Most of the skiing is on open Alpine […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

Stuck for Christmas gifts for the skier or snowboarder in the family or for friends…then check out our ultimate gift list for this upcoming Christmas Go Pro Hero9 A Go Pro has to be the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder and the Go Pro Hero9 is the one to go for. As the […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

In The Press: Forbes Photo from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Alaska has to be one of the most desired places to heli ski in the world, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. Forbes have recently written an article saying that “avid skiers are seeking out Alaska as the top place to heli-ski” Alaska […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

It’s all very exciting – you’ve got your trip booked; flight tickets in hand; passport at the ready…  you can practically smell the powder!  However, you’re standing over an empty bag thinking – have I got everything?  We’ve pulled together our top packing tips to make sure that you’re all set.  What ski clothes to pack?  […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

We’ve updated our top 10 favourite ski blogs which bring you the latest ski news, top tips and fashionable destinations.  Get your powder fix today and whet your appetite for the season ahead…  powdermatt.com/   To kick off the list we have this cracking a blog by Matt Mosteller – one year, while his friends were busy getting […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell