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The Chamonix valley

Chamonix Mont-Blanc


In 1741 two english men, Windham and Pococke, discovered the 'Chamouny' valley and its glaciers. Their expedition was met by a rural population of mountain farmers. This community lived off animal husbandry and a sparse harvest of oats and rye.Windham and Pococke explored the valley and visited the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice). The stories of their exploits, published in literary journals throughout Europe, started a craze to find out more about Chamonix.

By 1783, celebrities such as Saussure, Goethe and Bourrit, had visited the valley and raised its profile. Around 1500 visitors ventured to Chamonix each summer.

Two local men Paccard and Balmat, made the first ever ascent of Mt-Blanc in 1786.

In 1821, 'La Compagnie des Guides' was created following an accident on Mt-Blanc.

In 1860 a carriage road was built joining Geneva to Chamonix via Sallanches.

Until the end of the 19th century, the mountain guides were the main economic power in Chamonix. However, from the beginning of the 20th century with the construction of numerous hotels, the hoteliers become the predominant economic power in the valley.

In July 1901, the railway line that passes through the Chamonix valley was inaugurated. This opened the town to winter visitors.

Between 1908 and 1910 Chamonix took on its present rhythm of winter and summer seasons.

In 1924 Chamonix hosted the first ever Winter Olympic Games.

Dr. Michel PACCARD

Ski areas

Here is the list of ski areas in the Chamonix Valley. By clicking on one of these links, you will be redirected to the official page of the corresponding ski area.


Ski passes & Skilifts

Following the link below you will find all discounted packages prices of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc.

Prices for the skilift

Grands Montets

Useful information

Here are some useful websites and phone numbers to know before coming in the valley.

  • Weather forecast for the Chamonix valley
  • Baby sitters
  • Baby equipment renting (bed, chair, pushchair...) : 04 50 54 00 35
  • Tourist Office : 04 50 53 00 24
  • Local Police : 04 50 53 00 55
  • Police : 04 50 53 75 02
  • Mountain Rescue : 04 50 53 16 89
  • Taxi : 04 50 53 40 90 // 06 85 10 72 62
Numéros utiles

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