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  #1  
Old October 22nd 03, 02:45 PM
Steve
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Default Chamonix Infos

Lobster Grrrl wrote:

I'm headed to Chamonix for two days in March, before I travel to
Zermatt for a week long holiday. I have a couple of questions I hope
you kind folks can help me with. First of all, is it easier to take a
train or bus to Chamonix from Geneva airport? Are these stations
adjacent to the airport? I found a link for the Swiss rail system
online, but nothing for the French rail, any links?


I'd get the bus from GVA to Cham. There is a train but last time I
checked the bus was quicker. The french rail company do have a site -
try www.sncf.fr perhaps??


Second, any ideas on where to stay and ski? I'll be traveling alone,
so a single room is fine. Nothing real ritzy, but I would like a bit
of night life nearby. Good places to eat? It appears to me, while
looking at a trail map, that not all villages is Chamonix have lift
service? I see a lift at Les Praz 1060m, Le Savoy, and Argentiere
1252m only.


The 3 main areas are Chamonix itself (skiing on Le Brevent and La
Flegere). Argentiere (skiing on the Grands Montets) and La Tour (skiing
on the Col du Balme). My personal recomondation for 2 days would be to
stay in Argentiere and ski on the Grands Montets. There are quite a few
hotels in Argentiere - La Courone (?) is central, and there are a few
inexpensive restaurants.

Do you ride a shuttle from your hotel to the lift?

Not sure, I don't know of any hotels that run shuttles except the 4-star
places. There is a public bus service.

I'm a telemark skier, and enjoy skiing red and black trails with the
occasional blue cruiser. Moguls are ok for a few runs, but I don't
want to ski them all day. Would I do better at Les Grande Montets, or
Le Brevent?

Either would suit these criteria, you could try both!

Back to the train again. I need to travel from GVA to Chamonix, then
from Chamonix to Zermatt, and finally from Zermatt back to GVA. Is
this possible on one train line? Do the trains run freely across the
Swiss- French border?

Cham to Zermatt should be pretty easy. Trains don't stop, they check
passports on the train. Zermatt to GVA should be possible, check the SBB
website for both of these journeys.

Ads
  #2  
Old October 22nd 03, 07:38 PM
Jim Hutton
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Default Chamonix Infos

"Lobster Grrrl" wrote in message
...
I'm headed to Chamonix for two days in March, before I travel to
Zermatt for a week long holiday. I have a couple of questions I hope
you kind folks can help me with. First of all, is it easier to take a
train or bus to Chamonix from Geneva airport? Are these stations
adjacent to the airport? I found a link for the Swiss rail system
online, but nothing for the French rail, any links?
Second, any ideas on where to stay and ski? I'll be traveling alone,
so a single room is fine. Nothing real ritzy, but I would like a bit
of night life nearby. Good places to eat? It appears to me, while
looking at a trail map, that not all villages is Chamonix have lift
service? I see a lift at Les Praz 1060m, Le Savoy, and Argentiere
1252m only. Do you ride a shuttle from your hotel to the lift?


Hollow laughs. Unless the hotel has its own minibuses (divide number of
guests by 8 and multiply by 20 or 30 to find the number of minutes before
you hit the bottom lift queue), or you can afford a taxi, you are at the
mercy of the worst bus service IN THE WORLD. See advice below.

I'm a telemark skier, and enjoy skiing red and black trails with the
occasional blue cruiser. Moguls are ok for a few runs, but I don't
want to ski them all day. Would I do better at Les Grande Montets, or
Le Brevent?


Chamonix is a few little ski areas totally unconnected. The only reason
anyone goes there (except by mistake) is for the off-piste at the Grands
Montets (lots of rave reviews on the net which will get you in the mood.

eg http://www.freeskier.com/places/arti....cfm?refID=147

So I would stay in Argentiere, at the foot of the
Grands Montets, and get there EARLY - also buy your lift pass the night
before if poss.

NB get your ticket for the top cable car (tram) when you arrive at the
middle station - its numbered and the numbers are displayed around - when
yours is near, head for the lift. Busy times, you might get a ticket at 11
am for a 3 pm ride .....but it's worth it, trust me.

Back to the train again. I need to travel from GVA to Chamonix, then
from Chamonix to Zermatt, and finally from Zermatt back to GVA. Is
this possible on one train line? Do the trains run freely across the
Swiss- French border?

Thanks for all your help.
Nadine
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  #3  
Old October 23rd 03, 10:10 AM
Marco Cattaneo
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Default Chamonix Infos


"Lobster Grrrl" wrote in message
...
I'm headed to Chamonix for two days in March, before I travel to
Zermatt for a week long holiday. I have a couple of questions I hope
you kind folks can help me with. First of all, is it easier to take a
train or bus to Chamonix from Geneva airport?


Definitely the bus. By train you would have to cross Geneva by bus, then
take a very slow and infrequent train to Le Fayet, and then another even
slower train to Cham. There are 4-5 buses per day from GVA airport to
Chamonix during the winter season, timetable at
http://info.chamonix.com/ACCES/ChxGva.php (look at Secteur International
times, which is the main airport exit)


Are these stations
adjacent to the airport? I found a link for the Swiss rail system
online, but nothing for the French rail, any links?
Second, any ideas on where to stay and ski? I'll be traveling alone,
so a single room is fine. Nothing real ritzy, but I would like a bit
of night life nearby. Good places to eat? It appears to me, while
looking at a trail map, that not all villages is Chamonix have lift
service? I see a lift at Les Praz 1060m, Le Savoy, and Argentiere
1252m only. Do you ride a shuttle from your hotel to the lift?


Yes, there is a frequent, free shuttle bus, that can get crowded. If you
want night life, stay near to Chamonix centre, if not, better stay near any
one of the Brevent/Flegere/Argentiere lift stations

I'm a telemark skier, and enjoy skiing red and black trails with the
occasional blue cruiser. Moguls are ok for a few runs, but I don't
want to ski them all day. Would I do better at Les Grande Montets, or
Le Brevent?


Try both. Grand Montets has to be seen to be believed, but you *have* to be
confortable with moguls. There are groomed pistes, but the best of the
skiing and of the terrain is on wide open mogul fields both on and off
pistes. Mostly north facing and high altitude, ideal conditions in March

Brevent (and Flegere, the two are linked) is less extreme, more of a family
resort, but nevertheless with plenty of advanced stuff if you look for it,
and fantastic views over the Mont Blanc massif. Mostly south facing and
lower, can be *hot* in March, snow cover will depend on how good a season it
has been.

Back to the train again. I need to travel from GVA to Chamonix, then
from Chamonix to Zermatt, and finally from Zermatt back to GVA. Is
this possible on one train line? Do the trains run freely across the
Swiss- French border?


No problems crossing the border. To get to Zermatt, take the Mont Blanc
Express (cog wheel, superb scenery) to Martigny, then mainline to Visp, and
cog wheel up to Zermatt. Takes about 5 hours, timetables at
http://www.rail.ch/pv/index_e.htm (but no winter timetable yet online for
the Chamonix-Le Chatelard (swiss border))

To get back to GVA airport, one train every two hours from Zermatt (change
at Visp), takes about 4 hours.


Thanks for all your help.
Nadine


--
Marco Cattaneo |
| XYZ = freesbee


  #4  
Old October 23rd 03, 05:21 PM
Steve Pardoe
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Posts: n/a
Default Chamonix Infos

Hi, all,

"Marco Cattaneo" wrote in message
...
I have a couple of questions I hope
you kind folks can help me with. First of all, is it easier to take a
train or bus to Chamonix from Geneva airport?


Definitely the bus. By train you would have to cross Geneva by bus, then
take a very slow and infrequent train to Le Fayet, and then another even
slower train to Cham.


Well, you can get a train on the Swiss system (the Swiss train station is
right in the airport at GVA : use a ticket machine to save queuing) to
Martigny, may be direct or change at Lausanne. Then over the border to
Chamonix on the exciting metre-gauge train, again you may have to change at
le Chatelard (near the border) but it's all on one ticket. We're big fans
of Swiss railways.

HTH,

See http://www.pardoes.com/climbing/tourettes.htm and linked pages for some
travel details.

Steve P


  #5  
Old October 24th 03, 09:03 AM
Steve
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Posts: n/a
Default Chamonix Infos

Jim Hutton wrote:


Hollow laughs. Unless the hotel has its own minibuses (divide number of
guests by 8 and multiply by 20 or 30 to find the number of minutes before
you hit the bottom lift queue), or you can afford a taxi, you are at the
mercy of the worst bus service IN THE WORLD. See advice below.


It's not that bad, except in high season when it is over crowded. It's a
long way from being the worst bus service in the world.

I'm a telemark skier, and enjoy skiing red and black trails with the
occasional blue cruiser. Moguls are ok for a few runs, but I don't
want to ski them all day. Would I do better at Les Grande Montets, or
Le Brevent?



Chamonix is a few little ski areas totally unconnected. The only reason
anyone goes there (except by mistake) is for the off-piste at the Grands
Montets (lots of rave reviews on the net which will get you in the mood.


Well, the Flegere and Brevent are connected, for what it's worth. All
the main ski areas in the valley are worth a visit in their own right
and offer superb skiing in spectacular surroundings. The off piste on
the Brevent is superb and the skiing down from La Tour to Vallorcine is
worth a trip in it's own right if the conditions are good.


  #6  
Old October 24th 03, 11:47 AM
Clive Perry
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Posts: n/a
Default Chamonix Infos


"Steve" wrote in message
...
Jim Hutton wrote:
Well, the Flegere and Brevent are connected, for what it's worth. All
the main ski areas in the valley are worth a visit in their own right
and offer superb skiing in spectacular surroundings. The off piste on
the Brevent is superb and the skiing down from La Tour to Vallorcine is
worth a trip in it's own right if the conditions are good.


Steve,

Is this connection a recent addition?

I have not skied at Chamonix for over 10 years and can't remember a
connection either way, although we often thought it would be a great
addition to the badly fragmented area.

Clive


  #7  
Old October 24th 03, 12:43 PM
Ian Spare
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Default Chamonix Infos

On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 11:47:54 +0000 (UTC), "Clive Perry"
wrote:


"Steve" wrote in message
.. .
Jim Hutton wrote:
Well, the Flegere and Brevent are connected, for what it's worth. All
the main ski areas in the valley are worth a visit in their own right
and offer superb skiing in spectacular surroundings. The off piste on
the Brevent is superb and the skiing down from La Tour to Vallorcine is
worth a trip in it's own right if the conditions are good.


Steve,

Is this connection a recent addition?

I have not skied at Chamonix for over 10 years and can't remember a
connection either way, although we often thought it would be a great
addition to the badly fragmented area.


Finished in 1997 for the 97/98 season IIRC

Ian
--
Yeah, because you never know when the value of 2^15 will change and
you have to go through all your code fixing it.
-- Paul Tomblin
  #8  
Old October 24th 03, 07:46 PM
Jim Hutton
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Posts: n/a
Default Chamonix Infos


"Steve" wrote in message
...
Jim Hutton wrote:


Hollow laughs. Unless the hotel has its own minibuses (divide number of
guests by 8 and multiply by 20 or 30 to find the number of minutes

before
you hit the bottom lift queue), or you can afford a taxi, you are at the
mercy of the worst bus service IN THE WORLD. See advice below.


It's not that bad, except in high season when it is over crowded. It's a
long way from being the worst bus service in the world.


I meant worst SKI-BUS service, of course. Where is there a ski resort with
worse bus service ?

My own experiences include - missing services (ie timetabled buses didn't
arrive at all), all buses left Chamonix town in the morning full with no
backup, so we couldn't get on at a later point, not nearly enough buses from
Argentiere to Chamonix at end of day (I saw vast seas of people trying to
get on the one bus, REAL fighting, and a child crushed in the rush),
overloaded bus with burst tyre just outside Argentiere and no relief bus -
we had to walk back, bus driver refused to stop at our village official stop
and took us nearly a mile further on - so we had to walk back in the rain,
etc .....

The important point is that each ski area is so small, and they are so
widely separated and unconnected, that you really NEED the bus, or your own
car. Compare Val d'Isere, where the runs are so interlinked that you can
ski from one end to the other without using a bus, and yet the bus service
is superb.


I'm a telemark skier, and enjoy skiing red and black trails with the
occasional blue cruiser. Moguls are ok for a few runs, but I don't
want to ski them all day. Would I do better at Les Grande Montets, or
Le Brevent?



Chamonix is a few little ski areas totally unconnected. The only reason
anyone goes there (except by mistake) is for the off-piste at the Grands
Montets (lots of rave reviews on the net which will get you in the mood.


Well, the Flegere and Brevent are connected, for what it's worth. All
the main ski areas in the valley are worth a visit in their own right
and offer superb skiing in spectacular surroundings. The off piste on
the Brevent is superb and the skiing down from La Tour to Vallorcine is
worth a trip in it's own right if the conditions are good.


Flegere and Brevent are supposed to be connected by the Liason (from
Charlanon/Brevent to Lachenal/Flegere) but in several weeks in Chamonix I
haven't seen it open.

Let's face it, compared to the superb interlinked set-up of Val d'Isere or
3V, no-one should go to Chamonix for general convenience skiing. The
attraction (for me anyway) is the off-piste of the Grands Montets, and the
fabulous mountain scenery (which is part of British Alpine legend).

Jim Hutton


  #9  
Old October 25th 03, 03:37 PM
Steve
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Default Chamonix Infos

David Off wrote:
Jim Hutton wrote:

It's not that bad, except in high season when it is over crowded. It's a
long way from being the worst bus service in the world.




I meant worst SKI-BUS service, of course. Where is there a ski resort
with
worse bus service ?



I'd second that, where in the world is the ski bus service worse? Truth
is Chamonix is no.1 so they just don't care that much.


I spent 4 months there without a car and used the bus probably 3 or 4
times a week. I never had the problems you described. I didn't use it
over Xmas and New Year and we probably avoided it during the February
rush too, but at other times it worked fine. It got busy, and the French
idea of queuing is a contradiction in terms, but it worked. It's not a
good service by any means, the buses are infrequent and crowded, but I
got around fine without a car.

The areas are spread out and unless you have a car or fork out for taxis
then the ski bus is pretty much esential. A few hotels and some of the
British tour operators run shuttles, so if you are taying with these
guys you would be OK, but I doubt the cheaper hotels offer this service.

  #10  
Old November 6th 03, 05:54 PM
funkraum
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Default Chamonix Infos

"Jim Hutton" wrote:

[...]
Hollow laughs. Unless the hotel has its own minibuses (divide number of
guests by 8 and multiply by 20 or 30 to find the number of minutes before
you hit the bottom lift queue), or you can afford a taxi, you are at the
mercy of the worst bus service IN THE WORLD. See advice below.

[...]

Overall I agree with Jim. Cham sucks in this respect. But it is a
place everyone has to visit once and thus one may make the decision to
make return visits on the information gathered in this first trip.

Meanwhile, we can help people avoid the worst difficulties or if not,
prepare their expectations.



 




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