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Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

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Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

We are a family of 4 and are trying our hand at skiing for the first time this coming March. We are staying in Les Houches and wondered if someone could please point us in the right direction with regards to hiring the gear and the costs involved. Can we just turn up and hire the stuff there and then? Also, please can anyone recommend skiing passes. As we are complete beginners we will only be on the nursery slopes within Les Houches and so wouldn't need anything that covered Chamonix. Finally, we are hiring a car and have been asked if we will require snow chains - is this advisable??


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1. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

I;m not sure about driving.

We was at Les Houches last week, there are ski ticket offices and ski hire shops at the base of both lifts, daily or weekly available. The nursery slope is at the top of the bubble Perion (sp?) lift.

There is a Les Houches pass, something that is not advertised on the chamonix website.


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2. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

As per the previous response. There are hire shops everywhere you take your pick or go with the resort rep's recommendation. (They get a commission by the way but your choice.)

Hire costs for basic ski/boots/poles will be £80 a week per person.

Tuition - not sure of costs but if you have never skied before get to your local dry slope for 4 - 8 hours and do a basic course it is well worth it.

Failing that best of luck and try Evolution 2 if they do Les Houches. Cost should be E110 for 5 or 6 lessons of 2.5 hours each.


Lift passes the previous reply was not strictly accurate as Les Houches is not covered by any Chamonix lift pass it is part of the St Gervais/Megeve area try :-


Car hire - if you hire from the Swiss side of geneva airport you will find them in the boot as it is compulsory in Switzerland. Not too sure about the french side rules.

However, in 20 years driving around the Chamonix valley I have never put chains on. So don't worry too much.

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3. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

Thanks you have both been really helpful. I dont suppose you happen to know how far the Residence MGM in Les Houches is from Prarion ski lift? The car hire company have also asked us if we will require ski racks and (being a toal beginner) i dont know if we will have to transport the skis in the car to the lift?

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4. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

Don't know about the MGM. Les Houches is a bit long and thin , as a village that is, but you will not be too far.

I doubt you will need a ski rack, your skis will be relatively short and should just fit in the car.

Mine normally do even in the renault Clio we rented at New Year.

You won't need chains.

Who are you hiring from ? as chains are standard from any company on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport.

I think your car hire company are trying to increase their revenue from you.

Renting equipment (skis, boots and poles) will cost about £80 for 6 days, for basic skis.

All the shops have plenty of stock.

Go to the closest hire shop to either the lifts or your accommodation, they are all much the same.

have a look on the Les Houches web site (Google it) and there might be some online stores that offer a discount and you can reserve your needs in advance.

Ski passes again go to the Les Houches web site.

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5. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

Thank you very much you have been really helpful. The car hire company is Hertz and we are hiring from the French side. I have not asked for snow chains and see if they come automatically once we are at the hire place.

Thanks again.

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6. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

If you have hired from the French side your car may very well not come with the Swiss motorway pass. If this is the case you will have to pay for the annual pass if you stray onto a Swiss motorway. Cars from the Swiss side already have the pass.

Also the Frenchside can be tricky getting back to, make sure you have a good map.

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7. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

Driving direction from the french side:-

To get to Chamonix/Argentiere

Ask a policeman.


If picking the rental car up from the French side. You will not have a pass for the Swiss motorways so it is best to follow these directions to avoid a fine.

When you exit the car park follow the road through the airport. There are fences either side.

Go through a tunnel and at the T-Junction turn right.

You now pass through a Swiss customs control, normally they do not stop you.

At the roundabout follow the sign for Geneva (2nd exit). Pass over the motorway and straight through the traffic lights.

Follow this road all the way to the lake. You will pass the United Nations building and go over the railway. After this bridge there is a set of traffic lights go straight on.

You are now at the lake, on your left.

Follow the road round to the right , Hotel Woodrow Wilson should be on the right, through a couple of sets of traffic lights down to the bridge and another set of lights.

Turn left.

You drive across the bridge (it is the only one !!!) on the left you will see the lake and fountain, if it is running and on the right the start of the river Rhone.

Keep in the middle or right hand lane.

From here on all the relevant turnings are sign posted for Chamonix.

· Some of them are written on the road surface.

This road now continues through the town, stay in the right hand lane (loads of shops for about 5 minutes depending on traffic) you also are going up a hill.

Keep an eye out for the

· BIG GREEN SIGN, like on a motorway, showing right turn for Chamonix. There is a Nissan dealer on the left.

Turn right at these traffic lights.

This looks like a residential street , tree lined etc..

At the bottom of this street there is a

· T junction again sign posted for Chamonix TURN LEFT

You are now on the approach road to the


Just follow this through the

· customs post

and about 20kms later a road toll ( use credit card or about E1.40)

There is one more toll at Cluses (about E3.60 but you can use credit card)

From here you just stay on the auto route until you come to Chamonix.

However on the way you will climb a huge ramp, go through 2 tunnels, after the 2nd tunnel you are in the Chamonix valley.

Stay on the main road and you will see Chamonix on the left and to the right is the Mont Blanc mountain range.

As you enter Chamonix there is the Aguile Du Midi cable car on the left.

A couple of kms further the road bend sharp left,

Over a level crossing and onto a roundabout.

Turn right here. (There is signing on the road for Martigney/Argentiere)

About 200m on the left is a sports centre (running track)

Stay on this road , it bends to the left, then onto a roundabout.

Go straight across.

The road now bends to the right and goes straight.

On the left there is a golf course, on the right a railway track.

Go over the level crossing and then bear left (it is just a continuation of the road).

The road now climbs up hill and bends quite a bit.

You go through an avalanche tunnel

There is a tennis/Squash club on the left

The road now goes straight for a km or so. Then bends to the left over a river.


It is sign posted for the Telepheric de la Grand Montets

If you do a sharp left over a river , at this point do a U-Turn !!

You stay to the right , the lift station car park should be on your left.

Pass on the right a big hotel.

Before the lift station turn right into Chemin Des Carterons this is the lane that Residence La Verte is on.

The car park is on the left about 20m up.

Agence Grand Roc is located in the Commercial Centre about 200m away.

Walk past the front of the lift station and you will see some large blocks of apartments with a path between them. Head for them across the river and the grey concrete building in front of you is the Commercial Centre.

Grand Roc are located on the lowest floor near the laundrette.

Nb The electricity switch is in the grey cupboard facing the bunk beds – turn the dial – also please note that the lounge and bathroom heaters have an on/off switch as well as a thermostatic control.

8. Re: Les Houches - Skiiing beginners help

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