Chamonix lift pass to include Grands Montets

One weapon in the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc’s recovery following a poor 2006 season is a new lift pass. The Forfait Mont Blanc Unlimited will cost 46€ per day (or 220 € for a six day pass) and includes unlimited use of the 3,300 meter Grands Montets cable car. The new pass brings les Houches back into the Mont-Blanc fold and also includes access to Courmayeur in Italy and the trains of Montenvers-Mer de glace and the Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB) as well as the Aiguille du Midi to ski the Vallée Blanche.

We don’t like the extra “Grands Montets” tax. The argument is that it keeps the less serious skiers off the cable car and that the altitude of Grands merits this special pricing. Other resorts including Tignes, la Plagne, Val Thorens and l’Alpe d’Huez have summits to rival Grands and include the trip to the top of the ski area as part of the lift pass. Given the queues of freeriders waiting for the Grands Montets car in season the additional cost does not appear to deter skiers.

So how does this new pass stack up against rivals? Pretty favourably. Despite a somewhat creaky bus service and unlinked ski areas Chamonix quite rightly considers itself as part of a world elite of mountain resorts that includes Whistler and Zermatt. A six day Zermatt International Pass will cost 398 Swiss Francs. 31 Euros more than the Chamonix Unlimited at today’s exchange rates. At 233 € the Paradiski ski pass is more expensive but gives access to a massive 425 km ski area including the Bellecote glacier… oh and you have a view of Mont-Blanc. For 215 € you can spend six days exploring the Trois Vallées, the world’s largest ski area with the top lift at 3230 meters. In comparison chic Val d’Isère is a mere 197.50 € for the Espace Killy. Whistler, North America’s finest is $322 or 235 €.

There is also a five day Unlimited pass, called the Pack 5, for 230 €. You can use the 5 days anytime during the year. That still works out at 46 € per day so apart from not queuing up the advantage was not completely obvious. Then we realized two key points. The pass is completely transferable. Give it to your mate who wants to ski Grands, your Granny who wants to experience the Aiguille du Midi and you can spend a long weekend skiing in Cham as well. More significantly if you buy it before the 15th of November 2006 both the Unlimited and the standard Chamonix lift passes are 30% off. If you are thinking of spending some time in Cham this could be very interesting. If you weren’t maybe you should?

Further Information

Posted by davidof on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 at 01:14 PM

Mont Blanc unlimited season pass advertises access to Courmayeur all season long. Upon purchase of said pass the CMB revealed that it was a “mistake” in the advertising, so upon reflection perhaps not quite such a good deal after all. Typical of their attitude

Posted by  on  Monday, 13 November, 2006  at 01:06 PM


Posted by  on  Sunday, 18 November, 2007  at 08:06 AM
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