Cross country skiing can be either one of the most energetic workouts you can get, or a relaxing way for anyone to enjoy the beauty of the snowy woods and mountain scenery.
It’s also known as Ski de Fond or Nordic Skiing. There are 76km of cross country pistes in Chamonix. They consist of a fast “skating” track and, next to it, the two grooves in the snow used by the traditional style, which is suitable for all ages and abilities.
Equipment can be hired in plenty of places – try ‘Grand Ski de Fond’, 240 avenue du Bouchet, Chamonix, over the road from the main cross country ski foyer, or Ravanel Sports – details on the Equipment hire page.
Chamonix Cross Country Skiing Pistes
The pistes pass through the woods around the chalet, and you can join them directly there – there pictures are all taken close to the chalet (between 200 metres to 1 km)
You need a pass which can be bought at the foyer which you can ski to, opposite the MBC bar. The green trails into Chamonix and back, and around the golf course, are a great way to get started and very scenic.
There are also 17 km of pistes at Argentiere, which are a bit more challenging (see map for details) and 15 km of blue, red and black pistes at Vallorcine.
Les Houches also has two sets of pistes – one at 1000m altitude, starting from near Le Prarion lift and 6 km long, and a further 10 km at 1800m altitude.
The valley level pistes are normally open from the middle of December, earlier if the snow coverage allows.
And it generally continues until Easter, depending on dates and snow coverage – this video is from March 28th, 2020 which was a good season for snow.