Chalet Etape

59 Route des Rives, Chamonix, 74400, France
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More about Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Photos

Chamonix - FranceChamonix - France

Snow park at Les Grandes MontetsSnow park at Les Grandes Montets

taking a break.taking a break.

Making snowballs at PlanprazMaking snowballs at Planpraz

Forum Posts

Martigny-Chamonix trains in Apr-May

by prasad14

Hi,

This is a follow-up question to the previous question by JayanthiV. I notice that there are no morning trains from 5-Apr from Martigny to Chamonix (the first via Vallorcine is at 15:01). I did search several websites including tmrsa.ch. Chamonix.com has a pdf in which the train timings are available only till 5-Apr. Any idea by when the time table for Apr-May would be announced? (I did get hold of Apr-May 2009's time table and there are enough and more trains in the morning). I presume there would be morning trains this time around too. tmrsa.ch didn't respond to my question and Chamonix.com asked me to look into sbb.ch - hence request VTers to shed some light.

Thanks,

Re: Martigny-Chamonix trains in Apr-May

by Manara

I have tried with Bahn.com and inserted a date in May: they show the morning trains as well. Here's the website:
http://www.bahn.com

First of all you need to choose the country of departure, afterwards everything is easy. Remember that the main station in Chamonix is indicated here as Chamonix-Monblanc.

Re: Martigny-Chamonix trains in Apr-May

by cubsur

It's the ski season timetable current until 5 April. I cannot remember when the 2009 summer times came out, but there will be trains from Martigny to Chamonix in the mornings but I think only about every 2 hours if memory is correct.

The all knowing DB railway database at www.reisesauskunft.bahn.de has 0801, 0901, 1101 etc later in April.

I hope that helps.

Re: Martigny-Chamonix trains in Apr-May

by prasad14

@Manara and @Cubsur thank you very much for your inputs. I did check out both the sites and now confident I can indeed make a day trip to Chamonix MontBlanc from Martigny. May be it would appear in sbb.ch a little later.

@Cubsur: Last year, the ski season ended on 29-Mar (the time table I have from 2009 is from 30-Mar to 12-Jun).

Thanks a lot,

Travel Tips for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

stunning mountains i have seen

by call_me_rhia

Chamonix means mountains and skiing: i went in November: too early for skiing, and too late in the season for any significant hike. But the mountains, the glorious mountains, were still there... tall... majestic... impressive. I've seen some of the most perfect mountains there - a place that i should return to, to hike. l'aguille verte and the dru... the mother of all mountains. I have never seen a prettier one than this

Building stone piles

by Martinewezel

They are present in large numbers and year after year there are more of them. Little ones, big ones, whole fields of stone piles.
By adding a stone when crossing, hikers help these piles growing. Some of them are very nice.
The climax is at "Le Signal", high above the "Mer de Glace", where there are hundreds of these piles (see second picture in this tip).

Beginner's Heaven plus nice off-piste

by firechick

Domaine de Balme (formerly Le Tour) is a great place for beginning skiers - sort of a large (very) rolling hill - a giant cow pasture (literally) to ski down. However the 'backside' of Le Tour also has great tree-skiing towards Vallorcine and some nice off-piste. Located at the end of the valley, on the border with Switzerland - great views of the valley.

If you are a completely rank beginner, there are very flat green runs to the right of the main lift station ( with drag lifts ) - practice here or take a lesson, and when you feel up to it, take the lifts up and ski some nice rolling blues.

Snowboarders (and adventurous skiers) will also find great fun here in the natrual half-pipes (several) which form between the top and mid-station. For expert skiers/boarders, the 'backside' of Le Tour on the Vallorcine side of the Col de Balme lift has some great off piste, but go with people who know the area (there are cliffs).

Free but sometimes scary parking lot if it gets icey (on a hillside, so watch out and make sure you bring chains if it looks like snow).

In high season (holidays and school holidays) be sure to get here early if you are driving - or take the bus if you are leaving after 10am. The parking lot gets full and gendarmes will stop you and force you to park in Montroc or Argentiere and take the bus to Le Tour anyhow!

From the top of Le Tour there are beautiful views down the entire Chamonix valley. New in 2005 a lift services this area from Vallorcine France as well. Parking is easier on this side and the new lift is great. Skis or snowboard, lift pass, chains for your car if it looks like snow (this road is the highest elevation in Chamonix so if it is raining in Cham it's often snowing at Le Tour). Le Tour is also known as the Col de Balme in summer, and as a col, it is very windy - be sure you have enough warm clothes.

I highly recommend taking the free Cham Bus there (stops are all over town) if you are in an easy-to-reach hotel, as the parking can be gone quickly in high-season and you may end up being told by the police to park in Argentiere and take a bus anyhow (unless you get there before 10am). Out of high season it's easy to find parking. In school holidays - go to Vallorcine and take the lift from there. It is a bit further from Chamonix but the parking is easier and the new lift is fast without queues.

Hitchhiking

by firechick

Yes, this could be a dangerous practice, because the world is not safe, so that is the only caveat I will offer. I never hitchhiked when I lived in the US because I didn't feel comfortable doing it. But here it is a common practice. School kids hitchhike from LaFayet to Chamonix every day, and backpackers regularly hitchhike to get from Chamonix to Argentiere or visa versa (or you will see them on the motorway with a sign requesting "Paris").

My husband and I hitchhiked a lot when we first came here to get around in town and had no problems. We always got a ride very quickly (faster than the bus most times) and often met nice people this way. Now that we have a car, we often stop and give rides to needy (and tired looking) backpackers.

If you are going to hitchhike to get around in Chamonix one tip I can mention is that in France the car number plates end in the 'Department' code. The local department is '74'. So if you find a '74' number plate stopping for you, they are more likely to be locals (or from surrounding Haute Savoie area at the very least). Also a lot of British people live here, so if you see a car stopping with the driver on the 'wrong' side, then likely they are English.

A walk around Chamonix.

by dabidc

The centre of Chamonix, is a mix of car fee area and some form of restricted access for vehicles.The streets include, Place Balmart, Place de Garmisch, Ave Michel Croz, Rue de Doctor Paccard,Rue Joseph Vallot, Place l 'Leglise and Alleede Majestic l'Amite and Quai d'Arve.
There are shops, hotels, restuarants and oudoor cafes rubbing shouders around the centre. Makes for an interesting and friendly place to stroll.
p the hill a little from Place l 'Eglise is the Information Centere, very helpful and well stocked with material in many languages.

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