||Le Brévent is the obvious hill
on the south facing side of the valley. Why obvious, because the
2 lifts that take you to the summit are the most noticeable from
town: one 6 person lift going straight up through the forest to
the mid station and one big gondola that spans above emptyness going
alongside the Brévent's towering cliffs. The summit is at
2525m and has a gastronomic restaurant, a snack bar and a terrace.
Why do I mention these things? Because the summit of the Brévent
offers an incredible view on the Mont Blanc (western Europe's highest
peak), le Buet (a classic of ski touring) and on all the mountains
in the backside, towards the lake of Geneva.
On sunny days, the resort is the place to be to work on great skiing
and your suntan, the sun hits early in the morning and does not let
go until late in the afternoon. It is possible to ski from the summit
all the way down back to Chamonix when the snow conditions allow it.
This makes for a memorable experience, 1500m of vertical, starting above
the treeline with wide open view of the mountains around, and finishing
down a snow covered dirt road zigzaging through a thick forest.
Skiing from the top offers incredible photo opportunities,
most ski photos from Chamonix with the Mont Blanc in the background
have been taken from there. The expert trails are gentle for the top
part, but don't be fooled, as soon as you have turned around the first
cliff, the serious skiing takes place. Just remember to not go off the
marked area to the skier's right, as the cliffs below will not give
you a second chance.
The Col Cornu area also offers some great on and off piste skiing
on both the left and right side of the lift, including, on the
skier's right as you get off the lift, a big bowl going to the
linking gondola that can take you to the neighbouring resort,
La Flégère. Skiing in
the small couloirs right under or next to the chairlift is very
interesting and challenging.
The beginner area around the mid station will please everybody
as there are some really gentle slopes for the total beginners
and some easy off piste to get warmed up for the higher areas.
It is also a great place to enjoy lunch on a sunny day. The restaurants
offer decent, not so expensive food, if you carry your own lunch
you will be limited as to the possibilities of seating areas.
(Usually in the snow next to the top of the lift.)
DO NOT ski in the wide open bowl just below the mid station
(where the paragliders take off), unless you are with a guide or the
ski patrol agrees that the conditions are safe, first of all there are
many cliffs and second, people have died in avalanches down that bowl.....