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Ski France

Les Houches Ski Resort Guide

Les Houches Ski Resort Guide

Les Contamines - Evasion Mont Blanc, Les Houches photo

Les Houches

Photo credit: skye-1

Les Houches - Evasion Mont Blanc photo

Les Houches

Photo credit: skye-1

Mont Blanc, Les Houches photo

Les Houches

Photo credit: Clive Warren

Les Houches photo

Les Houches

Photo credit: Clive Warren

  • Latest
  • Slope Stats
  • Lift Stats
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Latest Snow Report

Issued: 1 Nov

  • Last Snowfall:
  • Snow Depth (upper):
  • Snow Depth (lower):
  • Piste: -
  • Off-piste: -

Today’s Weather (1434 m)

night
clear
5 SSE5
11 °C F-Level
3300m
AM
clear
5 SW5
13 °C F-Level
3250m
PM
clear
5 W5
12 °C F-Level
3250m

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.

Resorts close to Les Houches include: Saint Gervais (6 km), Chamonix (7 km), Les Contamines (9 km), Combloux (11 km), Argentiere (14 km),

Les Houches ski chalets, resort hotel accomodation and ski lodging Les Houches Chalets, Ski Hotels & Lodging


Les Houches Location Maps

Les Houches Location Map

All Les Houches Resort Stats

Piste info

  • Trails (Pistes): 22
  • Beginner: 40%
  • Intermediate: 50%
  • Advanced: 10%
  • Cross-country: 15 km
  • Snowmaking: 70%
  • Acres of ski: -
  • Terrain Parks: -
  • Halfpipes: 0

Social

  • Restaurants: 14
  • Bars: 14
  • Slopeside accommodation: Y

Mountain info

  • Vertical Drop: 852 m

Lifts

  • Draglifts: 9
  • Chairlifts: 7
  • Gondolas / Cable Cars: 2
  • Toplift: m

Travel

NEW! Announcements & News from the Les Houches ski resort manager

Les-Houches logo

Easter Sunday was sunny on the slopes and there was about 5 cms of frsh snow. Not exactly a powder day but pretty got for the penultimate day of the season here. It may snow again overnight. Today was better than the forecast so Easter Monday could see some sunsine in the morning and it might yet again be a magical day of powder snow to bring the season at Les Houches to a close. But perhaps this year the powder will only be a couple of centimetres deep! I am an optimist!

The earlier warm weather has meant that Brevant, Flegere, and Balme ski areas closed early. But Les Houches has remained surprisingly enjoyable even though there is only a skeleton lift system running and all runs are closed before reaching as far as Maison Neuve. So less than half of the resort is open, but come early and you will be able to enjoy the morning as you move from slope to slope to find the best conditions. The Prarion Hotel remains open though most other mountain restaraunts are now closed. But as it has a large comfortable terrace offering a magnificent view of Mont Blanc it is an excellent place to relax after skiing and before you ride down to the village in the Prarion lift. The Bellevue cable-car also offers an alternative ride down. The friendly and charming little cafe right by the top station is open.

Meanwhile, the Valley Blanche is in good conditions (but take a guide!) and Argentiere and Les Grands Montets have great skiing on and off piste if you wait for the snow to soften to perfection. The run to the village is still open but is only worth skiing in the morning. Ride the lift down to avoid evil slush in the afternoon. There should be good skiing here well into May.

The restaurant notes below are for future reference. For now most are closed for the season:
Remember that, there are 9 mountain restaurants on the slopes of Les Houches, three of which are arguably the very best in the whole Chamonix valley. So if your skiing involves eating this is a good place to be. I recommend particularly La Taniere, Les Vieille Luges, and Le Hors-Piste. The latter is expensive but wonderfully stylish. This is simply my own informed opinion. Try them all and arrive at your own conclusion!

The Kitch Inn at the bottom of the Bellevue cable car has recovered from a catastrophic fire at the end of last season and is a lively spot for apres-ski (and you can have a full English breakfast here before riding the lift right up to my 'secret' powder area).

Eric Jacquier's small patisserie just opposite the Prarion lift allows you to stand inside at small tables and enjoy truly superb coffee and a wonderful breakfast pastry before crossing the road to ride the gondolas. Delicious and good value for money too, and now you can even buy a beer!

In Summary: Les Houches is a small area and yet perfectly formed. The reason that so much race-training and instructor-assessment happens here is that this is where you can find the best piste-skiing in the Chamonix valley, and the extensive snow-making is particularly effective in an area that remains very deeply shaded until late February. Off-piste opportunities can also be excellent especially when poor visibility or huge crowds adversely affect the higher resorts in the valley. Nearby Domaine de Balme is probably the best for powder days if visibility is good, while Les Grands Montets gives access to maximum-adventure off-piste, but does tend to attract huge crowds after any dump of powder. The Argentiere lifts stay open well into May and are only a 20 minute drive from Les Houches. Bus and trains connect the areas too.

Information supplied 20 Apr 2014




Visitor Reviews of Les Houches


Kylie McIntyre from France writes:

Picturesque Les Houches. Very pretty skiing amongst the trees with magnificent views of the Mont Blanc chain. Great choice of on-piste eateries for all budgets. For a treat Les Vieilles Luges restaurant: a charming old alpine farm is a must. Delicious home cooked dishes, yummy desserts and heartwarming spiced wine simmering on the wood fire. Bookings a must. Whilst skiing the Chamonix valley it is worth skiing in Les Houches a day just for Vieilles Luges! It's included in the Mont Blanc unlimited pass and just a bus ride from Chamonix. Can be accessed by snowshoes too (20 mins walk). New sledge track this season at top of Prarion telecabine. Have fun snowbunnies.

Click here to read 17 more reviews of Les Houches or submit your own


City Forecasts
Closest to Les Houches

city forecasts
Aosta, Italy 44 km
Annecy, France 52 km
Annemasse, France 54 km
Sion, Switzerland 58 km
Thonon-les-Bains, France 58 km

Surf Breaks
Closest to Les Houches

surf forecast
Acque-Calde (Savona), Italy 221 km
Varazze, Italy 221 km
Cogoleto, Italy 222 km
Voltri, Italy 224 km
Finale Ligure, Italy 227 km

Resorts and Mountain Peaks Surrounding Les Houches

Contours: Roads & Rivers: Display specific location
Les Houches neighbourhood basemap Les Houches neighbourhood contours Roads and rivers close to Les Houches

Mountain Peaks
Closest to Les Houches

mountain forecasts
Aiguille de Bionnassay, France 6 km
Le Brevent, France 6 km
Pointe Bayeux, France 6 km
Dome du Gouter, France 7 km
Aiguille Du Midi, France 8 km