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“In 30.000 years, Chamonix will be under 600 meters of snow...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vallee Blanche

Vallee Blanche
Chamonix, France
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Ranked #6 of 62 things to do in Chamonix
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A beautiful ski area in the Chamonix Valley.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“In 30.000 years, Chamonix will be under 600 meters of snow...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

Took the little mountain train to Montenvers and then the cable car down to a man made cave / gallery cut into the glacier. The Vallée Blanche is a mountain region which covers an entire vallée and the "Sea of Ice" (glacier coming down the mountain). Well worth the trip and a small museum at the top displays the cyclic phases of the glacier. It has considerably shrunk in size over the past 100 years but having said this, it is now back at the same level as in the middle ages... We tend to forget that all functions in cycle and that the melting of the glaciers is a natural process, perhaps accelerated due to global warming but the sun has definitely a role to play. Scientists estimate that in 30.000 years the glacier will be 600 meters higher than today. In the last glace age it went all the way down to Lyon (200 km away). Well having said all this, enjoy the site and no need to stop recycling ;)

Visited May 2013
Thank Patrick2300dk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
156 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Stunning, but pick your day & time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Stunning! We went on a beautiful sunny day after lots of fresh snow had fallen, so conditions were perfect. As a result, the mountain was teeming with people. subject to your ability I suggest you either choose to go really early or really late to avoid the crowds. Clealry the VB should not be skied without a guide and I recommend taking a private guide if you you are either not totally confident of your ability or want to take photos. The skiing itself was relativley straightforward, nothing steep or narrow but it is off piste and so you need to be competent in powder and on moguls to enjoy the day. People with fear of hights need not apply - the descent along the ridge from the Aiguille du Midi onto the level from where you can commence skiing (the Arerete) is scary even on a good day. Oh and freezing cold. The views make up for this though. On a good day you can ski all the way back down to Chamonix (arriving at Les Planards) however this does involve hiking up to the Montenevers road from the Mer du Glace with the ski's on your back or shoulder so make sure you reserve plenty of energy for that. This is the bit nobody tells you about and it can be a real killer. The road down to Les Planards can be filled wiht icy moguls - make sure you check with your guide whether you should attempt this, otherwise it may be better to take the train down for the last bit.

Visited February 2013
Thank EIDH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Do it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

A great way to spend a day. Cable car to the top, across the short arête and a great days skiing back to Chamonix.

Visited April 2013
Thank Stuart W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
188 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Great scenery, so-so skiing on the classic route”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Don't expect a breathtaking skiing experience, unless this is your first off-piste run in big mountains. Almost all of it is quite flat, with a few steeper sections challenging lower intermediates. The traverse down from the top can be scary if you have issues with heights.
Going down between peaks, each of them a legend among climbers, is a thrilling and humbling experience though, and the shear scale of it is amazing. Simply beautiful.
I wouldn't take a guide on a good-weather day: it is quite obvious where to go, and what to do; but have a piece of rope, or crampons for the top part; if the weather doesn't cooperate, it might be a completely different story though.
If you don't speak French, make sure your guide speaks your language; it's a long day, and you're going to miss a lot if you are unable to understand stories told about this place.
At the end, you're going to experience the climate change the hard way: the glacier receded so much, hundreds of feet within the last century, that you have to climb for at least 20 minutes before continuing into the valley.
If you are a good skier, and there's enough snow, try to take one of these more ambitious routes, the toughest being Grand Envers. Our guide succeeded in talking us out of it, and at the end, it looked that he was just lazy because we met people who did it on the same day, and loved it.

Visited March 2013
Thank wind_n_water_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
101 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Don't be seduced by the hype- it's a red run tourist trap”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

Yes, it's scenic. Yes, it's not everywhere that you can ski from 3800 meters. Seriously- it remains a tourist trap. At best a red run, with endless flat traverses. 1500 people ski this route per day, you can easily shadow a group with a guide to travel a safe route and save on the exorbitant fees to enjoy this over-touristed safari.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank f200918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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