The time of year has arrived when the weather gets warm again. Having had poor weather for a lot of the season in Chamonix including very cold temperatures, high winds and frequent overcast periods with snow, Spring is finally here. More stable weather has meant that backcountry skiing and snowboarding is well and truly here. Today three of us climbed up to Helbronner from the Aig du Midi as a bit of practice at altitude. A mountain guide friend was doing the same with a small group who head off on the Haute Route over to Zermatt tomorrow. A 7 day tour from Chamonix staying in Mountain Refuges.
Chamonix is a great valley to explore for touring either with skins and skis or show shoes and snowboard. Base yourself in a cosy catered chalet like Ski Breezy to get advice on what the snow conditions are like in different parts of the valley. Ask about hiring a High Mountain Guide to show you the ropes and make sure you get up and down safely.
For those who prefer to make full use of the lift system then spring skiing and boarding means that a slightly later start in the mornings gives a little more time for the snow to soften up. By mid afternoon the sunny slopes are starting to get a bit slushy, great for boarders and telemarkers but less fun on alpine skis. So early apr?É¬®s ski on a terrace in the sun could be in order or even a rock climb or two at the roadside crag of Lac Gailands. The north facing domain of Grand Montets keeps it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s snow longer as it is less affected by the sun, great snow there at the moment.
This is a great time of year in Chamonix as the town slows down a little. It is noticeable as you walk down the main street as people meander and chill out rather than strut on a mission to get as much skiing in as the daylight allows.
Check out last minute Chamonix accommodation offers and ski deals with Ski Breezy to top up the tan and grab the last of the ski season the comfort of a cosy catered chalet. Fine food and flowing wine.Scroll to top
Getting away for a long weekend or short break in Chamonix has never been easier. No longer are you limited to staying in impersonal hotels on the fringes of town and “holeing up” in your room on bad weather days.
Lots of chalets like Ski Breezy have changed their booking policies in light of consumer needs and are accommodating guests for completely Flexible Ski Deals. Now you can get away and stay in a beautiful chalet with a cosy, relaxed atmosphere, a short walk from the town centre. Prices include catering with fabulous home cooked food and flowing wine. If you want to take a night off and dine in town thats fine too.
Chamonix is only an hour from Geneva airport and a Transfer Company will pick you up at arrivals and drop you at the chalet door. You no longer even have to traipse into a ski rental shop and queue to hire snowboards or skis, Chamonix Ski will take your booking online and turn up at the chalet for ski fit when you arrive.
This season has also seen the advent of the new Priviledge Cards giving 5% off Mont Blanc Unlimited ski passes for 3 days or more plus loads of other discounts in Chamonix shops, restaurants and bars. Priviledge cards are available at the chalet.
Chamonix short breaks, long weekends and last minute ski holidays have never been as easy.
If your ideal holiday skiing or snowboarding is to be able to ski out the door and cruise kilometers of perfectly groomed pistes all day without doing the same run twice then perhaps Chamonix is not the perfect destination.
A couple staying at Ski Breezy commented just yesterday that Chamonix is unlike anywhere they have been before. At first it seemed a bit “disjointed” and “unconnected”. After the third day skiing in a different resort they now love it. “Each resort has a completely different feel to it and there is plenty of terrain in each area to go at for a day.” With the added bonus of Courmayeur and Verbier being included on the MBU Pass you can even ski or snowboard in a different country altogether.
Chamonix is a real town with shops to suit everyone. There are at least 6 exhibitions running through the season, regular ice hockey matches, ski and snowboarding events from slalom competitions to radical off piste freestyle events. Not to mention the Saturday morning market and the roast chicken stall, a must for a piste picnic with olive bread.
So if you think that Chamonix is just for the hard core then think again!
Ski Breezy offers quality catered chalet accommodation. The chalet layout lends itself perfectly for families, groups, couples and individuals. The food is wholesome home cooking accompanied by flowing wine. The sound local knowledge of your hosts, Breezy and Alun, will help you get the most out of your precious holiday no matter how long or short it is or what standard of skier or snowboarder you are.Scroll to top
Gone are the days when a catered chalet owner like Ski Breezy ask clients to write something to go on the website as a testimonials. With the advent of Web 2.0, where the user interacts with a site and creates the content, there are far more trusted ways to build a reputation.
The risks are huge. Essentially anyone can write anything they like about your business and you have no control. You can no longer gather testimonials and just publish the ones that you want prospective clients to read. Whether you like it or not there is a load of user generated information available out there and some of it could be about the experience people have had staying at your accommodation or the service they received in your establishment.
So why not embrace it – encourage prospective clients to read it, and encourage past clients to publish more?
Having asked new enquirers and clients where they found details for Ski Breezy. We discovered that about 15% are from referrals, some are from search engines but a growing number are from sites like Trip Advisor and Google Maps. There is a developing population who are cynical of static website content and more trusting of sites of user generated content.
More recently a few clients suggested that we set up a Facebook Page . This provides yet another forum for generating reviews as well as discussion forums. The more interesting thing about the Facebook Page is that it taps into the social media psychology as well as the user generated web content. The Chamonix Page for example has a following of over 7,000 people who love the place and share photos of the valley. So anyone who becomes a fan of a page automatically promotes that page to everyone they are ?¢‚Ç¨?ìconnected?¢‚Ç¨¬ù to. Thus a Facebook Page is a kind of network marketing tool. The puzzle is how to create a page that people want to interact with? And that is indeed a puzzle.Scroll to top
Last week three of us set off to do Glacier du Mort ski tour, Breezy Anne and myself Alun. The tour is on the Aiguilles Rouges and it descends into the Berard Valley to Buet.
Near the top of the descent we came across a lone skier stuck on a cliff band and called in a chopper rescue.
Initially we called 112 thinking that we would get through to Chamonix Mountain Rescue but alas we were chatting to Swiss Mountain Rescue. having established that they did not know where we were they put us through to PGHM in Chamonix. Both services were fantastic and within 20 minutes a chopper arrived to pull the lone skier off the cliff and take him back to safety.
PGHM called us back a couple of times while we waited for the chopper with questions and instructions. The whole incident would have been a lot swifter if we had the number for PGHM in our phones and dialed them first. So here is the lesson – put PGHM in your mobiles now.
PGHM +33 188.8.131.52.89
Since our meeting on Glacier du Mort we have seen the same lone skier twice more but never followed his tracks.Scroll to top
Last week an old friend sent me a mail requesting availability at Ski Breezy. He was quite excited, not having skied for some 20 years and having just ?¢‚Ç¨?ìinvested in?¢‚Ç¨¬ù skis, boots and poles. I read on with a slight premonition that there was going to be a twist. As an old friend was he after a cheap deal? No. Maybe he was going to suggest getting the old rugby team together to go skiing too? No. Then I found it, right at the bottom of the email, it read ?¢‚Ç¨?ìPS the skis are Elan and poles Scott got them from the charity shop I now work in for ?Ç¬£10 – do you think this is a bargain??¢‚Ç¨¬ù
So do you think it is a bargain?
I did not reply for 2 days. Call me a chicken if you like but I felt that I had to ponder my response and come up with a plan. After all, a simple No may cause offence. I had to find a way of saying No in a positive and constructive way.
What would you have said?
After careful consideration and research I did write a reply and it went something like this.
?Ç¬£10 Bargain!!! I assume that the boots fit and the poles are the right length. Having your own boots that are comfortable and fit well is always good. If you can use the side of the skis as an architect?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s ruler then you probably don’t want to bring them. Skis have moved on a lot in the last few years and modern ones are so much easier to use. Plus there is an economy thing too. Basically with airlines like Easyjet charging ?Ç¬£18-50 each way for a pair of skis, then a return flight is gonna be ?Ç¬£37 extra with your own skis. Unless they are brand new then servicing (wax and edging) is gonna be another ?Ç¬£25. Put that little lot together ?Ç¬£62 and you can hire a set suitable for intermediates in resort for the week including poles. Advantages are that they will already be serviced, they will be modern waisted skis, you don’t have to carry them to and from an airport, don’t need a ski bag and don’t even have to bring poles either, if you only do a week a year you get to ski on new skis without the purchase, you don’t need to store them the rest of the year and lastly if you scrape a rock you don’t have to get them repaired. Plus, if you use Chamonix Ski then they will deliver and fit skis, and boots if you want at the Chalet. That way the ski shop comes to you so you don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t have to queue up for a couple of hours on your first morning and if it dumps a load of powder when you are in Chamonix then just change them for something wider.
So, do you think I will see my friend this season?
The new Priviledge Card is out and easily available around town.
What is it? Well it’s about the size of a credit card and it opens out to be a really useful map of Chamonix Town with loads of bars, restaurants, shops and other interesting places marked on it.
What is the benefit to me? There are also a stack of vouchers for free stuff and money off etc. For example if you are planning to buy an MBU Ski Pass for 3 or more days you get 5% off. If you want to eat at the Jekyll with a friend you get 2 for 1 on main meals. Fancy a quick half a beer – pop over to Mix Bar before 8pm and you get 1 free. Plus there are 10% and 5% vouchers off some shops.
What’s the catch? It costs ?¢‚Äö¬¨10 for the card. Having said that the minimum off a ski pass is ?¢‚Äö¬¨12 so you are already ?¢‚Äö¬¨2 up and you still have loads of discounts and free stuff to cash in on. There is no catch!
We have a stack of cards at Ski Breezy and will be recommending clients to buy one. If you wanna see exactly what you get have a look at the web site.
Having enjoyed a dose of light fluffy powder snow at the begining of the week we are gonna run out of places to put it all when clearing the drive. 3 times in a day is reminicent of the “Big Snow Year”. Yesterday was blue sky and fresh tracks were still available at the Grand Montets at 2pm.
Today an inversion hung in the valley an guests reacted accordingly with slow movements and a reluctance to get the kids organised. A quick look at the webcams at the lift stations revealed blue sky above and completely clear conditions at 1800m. A frenzy of activity followed repatriating appropriate garments with the relevant owners and charging out the door.
With chaos reigning in the UK due to snow and the general advise being that if you don’t have to go out “don’t bother”, have a look for some Great Lastminute Deals in Chamonix. What a refreshing change to think that loads of snow means loads of fun rather than loads of grief.
Chamonix Green & White