Les Houches Ski Resort Guide
1 pm 29 May 2016(local time) Weather Forecast for Les Houches at m altitude issued:
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Les Houches Ski Resort Guide
- Acres of ski:-
- Terrain Parks:-
- X-Country:15 km
Les Houches is the home of the world famous Khandahar Verte des Houches Downhill ski run, hosting the Chamonix Valley leg of the World Cup circuit in early January of each year. Although a rather small resort, the 47 km of runs offer a good variety of alpine skiing sweeping down through woodland on the north-western slopes of Mont Blanc, the white dome of which tower's above the ski area. A number of race clubs use Les Houches as a training ground so, understandably, the standard of skiing is generally on the high side. Les Houches is also the winter training base for the British Ski Academy. Whilst not an area large enough to consider for an exclusive trip, unless specifically for training, it is well worth paying a visit if skiing in the Chamonix valley. For Intermediates and above, with the exception of race days, you can ski the Khandahar from the 1860m summit, back to the town centre at the resorts base, uninterrupted.
Les Houches is at last being managed by the Chamonix Lift Company and many changes are scheduled for next season (2012-2013) with new lifts and expanded pistes. In the meantime the two terrain parks have been closed. This gives more space for the resort's traditional use for race-training and instructor development courses.
- Nearest Airport:Geneva
- Nearest Train Station:Houches
- Tourist Office Phone:+33450555062
- Tourist Office Website:www.leshouches.com
- Slopeside accommodation:yes
Announcements & News from the Les Houches ski resort manager
Well the skiing is over here at Les Houches and another season ends. Today was rather overcast and temperatures had not fallen below zero overnight. This and some rain on and off all morning meant that the snow was softer than yesterday. But the pistes were well prepared and the handful of brave souls who ventured onto them had an opportunity to enjoy a deserted resort.
The 2015-16 season was not a classic, and got off to a late start. The resort was only fully operational a week into the new year. But after that things went well despite every challenge the weather threw at us. And it has finished with good skiing on the last day.
Below is my report from yesterday. It shows the strengths of this area. Although relatively low it is deeply shaded in the early season. In combination with extensive snow-making and excellent piste management this allows it to offer reliable skiing conditions which attract race teams and instructor-training groups. And it is part of the iconic Chamonix region.
REPORT FROM 16th April 2016:
I have said it before and must say it again. The piste-preparation here is second to none and today the groomed slopes were immaculate with smooth surfaces of firm fast snow which was fun to ski. I skied every run that remains open and enjoyed them all. Start early because the snow will soften and get sticky by 1300 at the latest.
Only two possibilities for lunch remain open and reachable on skis. The little cafe at the top of the Bellevue lift and the Prarion Hotel near the top of Prarion with its fine terrace offering a fantastic view of Mont Blanc. Don't stop for lunch until the snow gets too soft to enjoy, because after lunch things will probably be very soft indeed. All runs to the village are now closed so you will have to ride down in the Bellevue cable-car or the Prarion gondolas.
These are the remaining runs set out in the order in which they will soften: Col de Vosa, The Kandahar top section down to the Kandahar chair, Grand Bois and Bellevue (uplift via steep Poma). Remaining firm for longer are La Cha, and Chamois. Although there are a few thin patches all these runs are in excellent condition. The resort was deserted today so why not bring your piste-carvers and blast down the empty slopes making long turns at speed to bid Les Houches goodbye?
The very high areas of Les Grands Montets at Argentiere are less affected by the increasingly warm weather and still freeze hard at night of course. This means that the slopes there only become pleasant to ski after they soften. This can be well after midday on some high slopes. This area will stay open until the 1st of May.
Excellent news is that the Compagnie Mont Blanc has announced that the lifts at the Balme area and at Flegere will remain open for an extra week because of the unusually good cover they still enjoy. Balme is accessed via Le Tour which is only 15 minutes away from Les Houches by car. There are also bus and train links. Le Tour has one of the best nursery slopes in the Alps which also enjoys wonderfully dramatic views of the mountains. It is still fully covered with snow.
Avalanche risk throughout the region is now 2/5. There may still wind-blown accumulations which may produce slabs here and there at very high altitude, but in general the remaining threat in most places is from wet-snow slides and glide releases on moderate to steep slopes in the warmth of the afternoons. They are clearly visible on many South facing areas. So be very cautious on steep slopes when they become soft, as they will as the afternoon goes on.
For your information next season, Les Houches has many mountain restaurants. If you have gourmet inclinations you may like to sample the super Vieille Luges, the cool and stylish L'Hors Piste, or the atmospheric La Taniere. A surprising variety of other mountain restaurants offer further choice at lower cost. At the bottom of the lifts there is the quirky Kitch Inn near the Bellevue cable-car, and Eric Jaquier's very professional boulangerie which has expanded to become a welcome cafe-bar at the Prarion lift. Perhaps arrive early and breakfast at one of these places before riding the first lift up to make the most of the best snow.
The Compagnie Mont Blanc website shows an accurate map and webcams for you to check the slopes of Les Houches and all the other areas. So use this link for information about the skiing here and throughout the Chamonix valley:
Latest Snow Reportview full snow report
- Issued:29 May
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Today’s Weather (1434 m)view full snow forecast
Les Houches Location Maps
Visitor Reviews of Les Houches
mary from Ireland writes:
Second time to Les Houches. Really long queues to get up the mountain and many hundreds of children given priority so we had to wait nearly an hour, on 2 separate days, to get on the gondola. Also had to wait another hour to get the lift passes so it was 2 hours to get up the mountain on our first day. Trails down were ice rock and grass yet remained open. Would not recommend this resort.