Le Blog BlackRock

Nous avons pensé que vous aimeriez en savoir un peu plus sur la vie au BlackRock Ski Lodge du début à la fin de l'hiver, voici donc notre blog. Nous espérons que vous l'apprécierez.

Lizzy et Paul Mercer
Thursday 12 November, 2020
Driving to the French Alps for your ski holiday 2020-2021

Given how complicated travelling can be at the moment, we thought we’d share all our best tips and advice for a self-drive ski holiday in the Chamonix valley.

With some pre-planning, you can turn the journey into part of your holiday. Driving to the Chamonix valley means you don’t have to worry about the ever-changing situation with airlines. It also has the advantage of meaning you can bring all your own ski equipment with you if you have it. And, if you don’t, then we can arrange to have someone come to the chalet to kit you out with boots, skis and boards...

When you bring a car with you to BlackRock Ski Lodge in les Houches, it also means you are in a position to really make the most of your Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass. It gives you the freedom to ski in three different countries and explore 10 different ski areas! That is what you called spoiled for choice.

Crossing the English Channel

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to your Channel crossing. Depending on where you are travelling from within the UK, you can opt for short and sweet – like Le Shuttle – or use an overnight crossing as the chance to rest on a longer drive. Le Shuttle from Folkestone to Calais takes only 35 minutes, although you will need to allow time to check-in.

Travelling by ferry, particularly the Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk and Newhaven to Dieppe routes remains one of the cost-effective ways of crossing the channel. However, depending on where you are driving from, you can opt for a longer ferry journey to save time on the road once you reach France.

There are overnight options from Plymouth to Roscoff, Poole to Cherbourg and from Portsmouth to St Malo, Caen or Cherbourg. You can book direct with the main ferry operators like DFDS Seaways, Brittany Ferries and P&O Ferries but sometimes we find its worth using sites likes Direct Ferries as it gives a quick way of comparing routes and prices.

Planning your route to Chamonix


For many, the 7 to 8-hour drive from the French coast to Chamonix is something they are happy to tackle in a day. The French autoroutes are mostly toll roads, but that means they are less busy than UK motorways and well-equipped with very regular comfort and service stations on the way for fuel and food stops.

Families travelling by car may find it is more fun all round to include a stop as part of the holiday journey. Travelling from Calais or Dunkirk our recommendation is a stop around Reims or Troyes. Equidistant from the coastal ports to the valley.

When heading back to the UK we often opt for a stop either at Bourg en Bresse or near St Quentin. Bourg may be less than halfway, but particularly if you are travelling with very small children it’s a great option to allow for an afternoon departure from les Houches and a 3-4 hour drive before stopping for a chicken dinner (Bresse has a reputation for being the producer of the best chickens in France).

Alternatively, if you are early risers, then a stop off at Domain du Vadancourt - near St Quentin is another great option. It’s only an hour and 45 minutes from Calais and means you can tackle the second part of your journey and the Channel crossing fresh the next day.

Planning a winter road trip


No winter road trip preparation is complete without a checklist for making your car winter compatible.

1. Winter tyres – swapping from summer to winter tyres is a normal everyday practice for many people who live in Europe but much less common in the UK. We recommend that you winterise your car by adding winter tyres.

2. Whatever type of tyres you have you should also have snow chains or snow socks – sized to fit your vehicle – onboard as well. Even winter tyres are no guarantee of being able to get out of deep snow or icy conditions and they are mandatory when driving in the mountains. They aren’t easy to deal with, so practice before you go.

3. Keep in mind however that you should only use snow chains when there is snow on the road to avoid damaging your wheels and tyres. You should ideally fit them on flat ground and off the road – lookout for the designated areas for fitting snow chains. Be sure to fit them to the wheels that drive your car – for most vehicles that’s the front, but doublecheck and if you have a rear-wheel drive add them there or, if you are driving a four-wheel drive, you should add chains to all wheels.

4. If you need to drive with your snow chains on, then keep your speed down and take corners slowly and smoothly.

5. The French authorities also require drivers to carry the following equipment. Failure to have these onboard carries an on the spot fine if you are checked: an emergency triangle, high visibility jacket for every person on board, a First Aid kit, spare bulbs for headlights, indicators and brake lights as well as a personal breathalyser kit. 

6. You will also need to adjust the beam of your headlights. Either by switching them from RHD to LHD beam pattern – if your car has that ability. Otherwise, you should buy and fit stick-on beam adaptors for driving in Europe.

7. Be sure to swap your screenwash to one that can cope with temperatures of up to -20 or -30. Trying to clear a salty windscreen is impossible if your washer reserve is frozen solid.

8. From a safety and comfort perspective then water, flasks of hot drinks, food and a warm blanket are a good idea. The mountains in winter often involve large storms and unexpected delays, so much better to be prepared than spend a cold night in your vehicle.

9. You will also need to have the following documentation with you too: your driving license, a European driving permit, your vehicle registration and certificate of motor insurance. 

10. Check that your car insurance covers you for overseas and add overseas breakdown cover to it too.

Top tips for driving in the mountains in the snow


Always allow a good distance between you and the vehicle in front. It takes longer to stop in snow and ice.

Keep your speed down and brake gently to avoid skidding – gently pumping the breaks can give you more control.

When descending in poor conditions use engine breaking and low gears rather than constantly breaking.

Keep in mind that buses, HGVs and large vehicles need both lanes to negotiate narrow bends. You need to allow them the space to do so.

Be considerate and give priority to those driving up the mountain as it’s much harder for them to make a hill start than it is for you to continue down the hill.

Snow chains – practice putting them on before you go, and also check them after driving 10 metres.

Have your headlights on - it’s a legal requirement for driving whilst snow is falling.

If you should get stuck in the snow:

  • Put your hazard lights on
  • Try rocking your car out of position by putting it into high gear and rolling it forwards and then backwards

Concierge service

We are always just an email or a phone call away if you need any help with planning your Ski Trip for Winter 2020-21. We are also offering a flexible booking and cancellation policy to help our guests to plan ahead.

You'll also find lots of great information about everything ski related in our top tips on the Mont Blanc Unlimited Lift Pass.



Sunday 1 November, 2020
Flexible holiday deposit, refunds and cancellations policy for 2020-2021

The current pandemic is having a profound effect on all our lives

We know how important it is for our guests both to feel safe at BlackRock Ski Lodge during their stay and to have complete clarity about our updated terms and conditions of booking. This blog outlines the changes we've made for guests booking after 31 May 2020.


Our chalet cleaning and hygiene policy

Firstly, we have changed our check-in and check-out times. Check-in is now at 5 pm on the first day of your booking and check-out is at 9.30 am. This is to allow us a full 8-hours for a deep clean of the Lodge.

Our change-over clean will include all the things you would normally expect. All bed linen will be changed, all rooms cleaned and fully aired. In addition, we will also meticulously clean all hard surfaces and touchpoints such as handles, taps, remote controls and so on.

We are following all the recommendations for self-catered properties and for hygiene reasons have removed certain decorative pillows and soft furnishing items.

Our COVID-19 Booking, Deposit and Cancellation Policy

Late bookings and flexibly policies

We appreciate how difficult it is for our guests to plan given the changing nature of the health crisis and the potential for updates to Government travel policies and restrictions. We understand the need for late bookings and later cancellations and more flexible chalet holiday policies.

For the remainder of Summer 2020 and for Winter 2020/21 bookings made after 31 May 2020, we have updated our booking policy so that guests have more flexibility and certainty about which payments we take are fully refundable.

Refundable deposits

Securing your booking for our luxury chalet in les Houches. We ask guests to provide a deposit of 30% of the total value of their booking to secure their stay. In the event of changes to French, UK or your/other relevant governments’ travel restrictions making it impossible for you to travel, then we will fully refund your deposit.

Final payments

The balance payment for your booking would normally be payable 10 weeks in advance of your stay. During the current health crisis, we have reduced that timeline to four weeks. Meaning you only have to pay the balance of your booking one month before you travel.

Last minute travel or health restrictions

If there are changes to French, UK or your/other relevant governments’ travel advice/restrictions relating to Covid-19 during the four weeks following your final payment and before your visit which make it impossible for you to travel then we will refund you in full.

What is happening in Les Houches and Chamonix?

We will update this blog regularly and at the time of writing [21 July 2020] we are delighted to say that summer activities in both les Houches and the rest of the Chamonix valley are in full swing.

Visitors are welcome and the majority of the activities you might hope to enjoy are available.

Mont Blanc Natural Resort lift openings
– there is a full programme of lift openings including the iconic Aiguille du Midi lift, Brevent and Flegere as well as the Panoramic du Mont Blanc. Numbers per cabin are reduced and the wearing of a mask is mandatory on all lifts (with temperature tests also in place for access to the Aiguille du Midi).

Public transport
– buses and trains are in operation as usual for travel up and down the Chamonix valley and into neighbouring Switzerland. Again, it is mandatory to wear a mask when travelling on public transport.

The running, cycling and hiking trails are open and fresh air and mountain views await you.

Climbing, mountaineering and other active sports are also possible, and you can make plans with your friends, or with your guide, as normal. Rest assured that visitors have quickly adapted their approach to maintaining social distancing whilst out and about.

Bars and restaurants – these are all open following the new social distancing rules and with staff wearing masks. If you are seated at your table either inside or out at a bar or restaurant then you need not wear a mask. If you need to access the establishment or its toilet facilities, then you are required to wear your mask whilst doing so.

Nightclubs – these remain closed given the difficulty with maintaining social distancing.

Shops, banks and the post office – these are all offering their normal service, but you will be required to wear a mask whilst you are there. For banks and the post office then it is advised to carry your own pen as well as these are no longer provided!

In addition, the French Government has just made it mandatory to wear a mask at all times when you are in a public space and the authorities are imposing fines for non-compliance.

Our commitment to our guests

We want you to enjoy your stay with us in every way. If you have any particular concerns about any of our late booking, cancellation or refund policies then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Similarly, if you have any specific requirements raised by the current pandemic then please do not hesitate to ask for our help and we will do our utmost to accommodate you.

You will find our full Terms & Conditions of Business here.

Find out more about summer activities for 2020 in Chamonix.

Thursday 28 May, 2020
Summer holidays in the French Alps 2020

Spend time in a mountain retreat in Chamonix for summer 2020


The events of recent months have taken everyone by surprise and changed our lives in ways we thought unimaginable until now.

Whatever your travel plans may have been, then there has never been a better reason to spend time in nature. Stopping, resetting, listening to the birds sing and discovering the restorative power of time spent in the mountains.

We are blessed to live in an exceptionally beautiful part of France. The valley’s mythic status as the birthplace of alpinism, and with western Europe’s largest mountain watching over us, make Chamonix a natural choice for a holiday or short break during 2020.

We are ready to welcome guests again and you can relax knowing that BlackRock Ski Lodge is going to be your home from home for as long as you would like – from a weekend break to a month-long retreat, the choice is yours. Naturally, we will be taking all the precautions needed to ensure the health of our guests and will be following all relevant government guidance.

About our luxury chalet in Les Houches

The Lodge is ideally placed to allow you to create the style of holiday that suits your mood. It is a great place to be able to continue to maintain your social distance, it is also the perfect location from which to explore all that the Chamonix valley has to offer.

We are happy to make all the arrangement you need to achieve the style that suits you best. If you would like us to shop and stock the chalet with food, wine and essentials before your arrival, then simply ask about our concierge service. If you’d like delicious meals delivered ready to eat or to have a chef on hand, then just ask and we will give you a quote for additional services you’d like.

Whether you love to hike, trail run, mountain bike, paraglide or simply want to revel in the wide-open spaces that you can access from the front door of BlackRock Ski Lodge, then this is the luxury chalet for you.

We know from our previous guests that those travelling en famille and with their children love the flexibility of the accommodation on offer at the Lodge. Family suites, en suite bathrooms, and the ability to sleep between 14-18 people in comfort, mean you can choose to spend time with extended family or groups of friends.

What’s more with our above ground Intex swimming pool and ping pong table in situ, there’s lots to entertain the children without ever having to leave the large private gardens that surround the chalet. For the grown-ups, there are large decks, loungers, a sauna and a Jacuzzi with breath-taking views of Mont-Blanc and the Chamonix valley.

Mont Blanc Natural Resort is putting all the measures in place needed to allow visitors to safely enjoy Chamonix’s classic attractions. The Aiguille du Midi lift, the Montenvers train and the Tramway du Mont Blanc.

With Chamonix’s lifts open, it also means that, for the mountaineers and alpinists amongst our guests, the opportunity to participate in the sports for which the valley is famous are also available. Whether your ambition is to summit Mont Blanc or explore the classic high mountain routes that criss-cross the Mont Blanc Massif, we can introduce you to our handpicked selection of mountain guides.

If your goal is to simply explore our majestic mountains, then there are 100s of kilometres of trails, alpine lakes and viewpoints aplenty to discover.

We also know that many people have not been able to celebrate the milestones that they would normally mark – birthdays, christenings, engagements, weddings and anniversaries. If you would like to celebrate an event during your stay with us, then we would love to help. From fine chefs to florists and from cake makers to wine merchants, we know everyone you might need to help create magical memories for you and your family and friends.

If you are already planning for the winter, then discover all about a Chamonix Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass and all the fun you can have on your skis and our self or fully-catered holiday options.


Tuesday 10 March, 2020
Mont Blanc Massif in May

Take a mini-tour du Mont Blanc in May 


Spring is coming and with it the May half-term holidays, which now feel as though they are just around the corner. For anyone looking for inspiration for a great way to spend the May holiday with family or friends, then this latest blog is for you.

Create an action-packed family trip to France this May half-term

May in the Mont Blanc Massif sits somewhere between Spring and Summer and promises long sunny days at a time when the Chamonix valley is arguably at its prettiest and its quietest.

For those who love wide-open spaces, fresh air and some great activities, then this is your moment. Make your base at BlackRock Ski Lodge – which sleeps up to 18 in comfort so great for a group trip – and take an alternative demi-tour of Mont Blanc. Discover the living spaces at the Lodge.

Les Contamines

Just 30 minutes from the lodge past the village of the Les Contamines you’ll find the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet. This leisure park has it all:

  • a swimming lake complete with pedalos and kayaks for hire
  • trampolines, mini-golf, electric quad bikes and inflatables
  • grown-up golf, a driving range and eight outdoor tennis courts
  • archery with instruction
  • donkey adventures and pony riding
It also has a year-round ski du fond/roller-ski track so you can ski even though its summer and even have a go at the famous Nordic sport of biathlon.  

St Gervais

This architecturally rich town sits on the Tramway du Mont Blanc with a bustling centre with lots of great restaurants and sun-filled terraces on which to enjoy a meal. It also has a great leisure centre with a 25m pool complete with underwater speakers, a large family-friendly leisure pool, and an outdoor pool, not to mention sauna, steam room, solarium and snack space.

Passy

Just 20 minutes from the lodge there are adventures galore to be had with everything from a sandy beach next to Lake Passy to a go-karting rink. With Mont Blanc as a backdrop, Lake Passy is a delightful place to spend time and offers:

  • a sandy beach and access to swim in this 1km lake
  • small electric boats and paddle boarding too
  • mini golf, walking and mountain biking routes as well as a keep fit route!
  • a modern, well-equipped children’s play area and treetop adventure installation too

If you want to try something faster, then, Karting du Mont Blanc is open year-round for high-speed adventures.

Chamonix

Meanwhile, in Chamonix, there’s beautiful Parc Merlet to explore. A wild space with a panoramic view of Mont Blanc, it is home to a host of wild animals that are native to this region of Europe.

The Accro Park in les Gaillands offers tree top adventures for all sizes as well as climbing tuition from members of Compagnie du Mont Blanc. Les Planards promises year-round fun with its luge circuit and an amusement park complete with rides, slides, minibikes and trampolines.

Chamonix’s most famous lift is also open. The Aiguille du Midi which gives access to breath-taking views of Mont Blanc and alpine ranges stretching into France, Switzerland, Italy and beyond and is not to be missed. The opportunity to Step Into The Void is another once in a lifetime experience – the chance to stand in a glass box at 3,800 metres with a 1,000-metre drop beneath your feet. 

You can also make your way to Italy from there too, thanks to the Panoramic lift which carries you across the famous Valley Blanche and the confluence of glaciers that surround Mont Blanc.

We also recommend taking a trip on the train. The Mont Blanc Express winds its way from Les Houches via Chamonix to the Swiss town of Martigny. Stops along the way include pretty villages like Finhaut as well as Les Marecottes Zoo.  You’ll also find the world-renowned art gallery and sculpture garden at the Foundation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny.

Back in Chamonix, you can also explore the rich history of this part of the world by taking the selfie tour of the town’s many and varied galleries and museums. And if all that’s just not enough, then there are, of course, all the wonderful Petit Balcons and river trail to be explored on foot and by bike!

Other links that you might find of interest. The Mont Blanc Massif in August and our luxury spa facilities where you can relax at the end of a busy day.


Thursday 28 November, 2019
Top Tips to Keep Teens Happy

The key to happy family ski holidays in Chamonix is keeping everyone entertained

When the weather is at its stormiest, even the hardiest and happiest of skiers can find themselves in search of something else to do. And sometimes it's just fun to ring the changes.

That can be particularly true of holidays with teenage children. We know, from lots of experience in creating happy family vacations in France, that sometimes, adding some variation means everyone enjoys their ski days even more. So, here are our top tips for keeping teens on top form!



Number 1 – Paret Sledging

A high speed, big smile, activity which generally takes place at the end of the day les Houches after skiers and boarders have cleared the pistes – meaning you get the mountain to yourselves to discover just how fast you teenagers can make their Paret run.

These little single runner sledges have a plank for a seat and a single handle for steering. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, these things will speed. They first came into use at the beginning of the last century as a way of kids getting to school on snow-covered roads. Pareting would certainly make it more fun even now – check out the video


Number 2 – Husky Mushing

Next on our list is working with huskies and having a canine powered sledging experience. Sledging with a dog pack pulling you may look straightforward, but there is lots to learn. It can be kept simple, with an experienced musher taking the reins or expanded into an opportunity to work with a pack. It’s an extraordinary sport and discovering more about how to work in harmony with man’s best friend is something we know our guests love.


Number 3 - Ski Joëring

Another opportunity to take a step back in time and discover how man has adapted to travelling across the snow in the winter. All that’s needed are ski boots for this adventure which involves exploring the backcountry using horsepower and skis.  Nordic in its origins, ski joëring with horses was a demonstration sport as long ago as the St Mortiz Winter Olympics and is early history dates back to 2,500 years BC. The term applies whether you are skiing with dogs or with horses. 


Number 4 – Feel the Luge

This Planards-based favourite is in operation all winter. And, better yet, if you have a Mont Blanc Unlimited 6-day pass, you get a free go on the luge every day! There are 1300 metres of fun at the luge with jumps, turns and a 540° spin. What’s more, it’s weatherproof and floodlit – so fun no matter what time you get there or what the elements are throwing at you. You can ride alone or in pairs, so a terrific option for teens or families with kids of all ages.


Number 5 – Get Your Skates On

Chamonix has a fantastic indoor ice rink which has regular and frequent openings. In the centre of town, it’s easily accessed by bus and skates can be hired on site. A great way to burn off steam. Definitely on our fun for all the family list!


Number 6 – Cinema Chilling Time

Did you know that tucked in the centre of Chamonix, you’ll find a small but perfectly formed three-screen cinema? As you’d expect, there are lots of films in French, but there’s also a great line up of films in English – look out for VOSTFR which means it’s in English with French subtitles. A great way to relax and to brush up on your language skills. The Cinema Vox programme is available to download any time you want


Number 7 – Take A Dip

We know that guests of all ages love the Jacuzzi and spa facilities at BlackRock. For those who love to swim or simply fancy mucking about in hot water, then there are leisure and training pools, water jets, a Jacuzzi and a water slide too at the Centre Sportif Richard Bozon in Chamonix. You can even add on a trip to the sauna and Hammam. 


Number 8 – Fat Bikes Fine

No need to let snow stop play, when you rent a Fat Bike. It may be the tyres that are fat, but that’s what makes these fun. With tyres more than double the width of a standard mountain bike, you’ll be out of puff just pumping them up. 

All you need to is ask us about the great activities we can arrange to keep all the family happy and we can arm you with the latest information.

Happy holidays from Lizzy and Paul

Wednesday 11 September, 2019
Cinq raisons de skier à Chamonix en janvier 2020

Chamonix en France est une station de ski rendue célèbre par les premières icônes du free ride. Il attire un large public de visiteurs français, anglais et scandinaves pour les semaines de ski liées aux vacances scolaires. Cependant, voici ce que les connaisseurs vous diront…

Premier - mois de janvier à Chamonix est un mois magique pour une visite. Les locaux savent trop bien que le moment est venu d’être ici. Sans surprise, ils aiment garder ce fait pour eux. La raison en est qu’il est calme sur les pistes. Après les semaines de ski bien remplies consacrées à la famille, Noël et le Nouvel An, le nombre de visiteurs est en baisse naturelle. La ville devient un terrain de jeu pour adultes et c’est le moment idéal pour se retrouver entre amis skieurs.

Deuxième -  janvier est généralement un cadeau qui continue à donner, avec de nombreuses occasions de skier de la poudre fraîche des Houches à Vallorcine. Si vous souhaitez étendre vos ailes plus loin que la vallée de Chamonix, consultez notre blog pour savoir combien de stations vous pouvez skier en achetant un forfait de ski Chamonix Unlimited. Vous pourriez également être à l'avant de la file d'attente des remontées mécaniques dans des villes comme Verbier en Suisse, Courmayeur en Italie, Megève, St Gervais et les Contamines.

Troisième - C'est normalement le mois le plus froid de l'année. Dans une station de ski, le froid est ton ami et ces dernières années, il ne manque pas de neige qui tombe tout au long du mois. Au BlackRock Ski Lodge, c’est au moment où nous nous attendons à pouvoir rentrer au Lodge à la fin de la journée et pouvoir marcher 200 mètres pour accéder à la piste la plus proche lors d’une matinée de ski aux Houches.

Quatrième - Janvier étant le mois le plus calme de la saison de ski à Chamonix, vous pouvez réduire le coût de vos vacances au ski. Profitez de vols moins chers chez des transporteurs comme EasyJet et SWISS (qui emporteront également vos skis gratuitement) et profitez également d'options d'hébergement de grande qualité. En janvier, nos semaines sans repas ne représentent que 6 495 € pour l’usage exclusif du Lodge, qui peut accueillir confortablement jusqu’à 14 adultes - soit seulement 464 € par personne. Sinon, vous pouvez vous nourrir à 857 € par personne et prendre votre petit-déjeuner, votre thé de l'après-midi et un dîner de trois plats avec du vin.


Cinquième - Même s’il est vrai que les journées sont courtes, il est également magique de faire de cette expérience de ski une expérience unique. Avec un petit-déjeuner fait maison, vous pourrez profiter d'une journée complète de ski et d'un déjeuner chaleureux dans un restaurant de montagne. De plus, à votre retour au Lodge, vous pourrez vous détendre et profiter au maximum de nos installations de spa.

Imaginez tremper vos muscles fatigués dans le jacuzzi sur le pont et siroter un verre de champagne tout en regardant la neige et les lumières scintiller dans la vallée de Chamonix. Vous pouvez également vous asseoir près du feu de bois après une longue douche chaude et savourer le gâteau et le chocolat chaud faits maison.


Vacances dans notre chalet de ski de luxe aux Houches

Si vous aimez l’idée de vacances de ski en janvier 2020, consultez nos disponibilités. Que vous réserviez un hébergement indépendant ou complet, nous sommes toujours ravis de vous aider à planifier votre voyage et à tirer le meilleur parti de votre séjour dans notre chalet de luxe aux Houches.

Lizzy et Paul Mercer

Thursday 29 August, 2019
Les 10 meilleures raisons d'aimer votre forfait de ski Chamonix Unlimited

Êtes-vous un ancien ou un visiteur pour la première fois à Chamonix en hiver?


Quelle que soit la catégorie dans laquelle vous vous situez, les raisons d'aimer votre forfait de ski Chamonix Unlimited ne manquent pas. Voici notre top 10 pour l'hiver 2020.

Votre passe de six jours est rempli d'opportunités pour le type de safari à ski que beaucoup de gens envient. En plus d'une longue liste de stations de ski, cela signifie également que vous pouvez utiliser l'ascenseur de l'Aiguille du Midi, le Train du Montenvers Mer de Glace et le tramway du Mont-Blanc. Piscine, patin à glace, une excursion à la luge par jour et par personne et tarif réduit pour le cinéma - quoi de moins!

Notre service de conciergerie signifie que nous vous aiderons à planifier votre séjour et à maximiser votre billet de remontée. De plus, si vous vous joignez à nous pour une semaine exclusive avec traiteur, votre service de chauffeur VIP facilitera davantage l'exploration.

Un - la vallée de Chamonix compte cinq domaines de ski distincts et il y en a pour tous les goûts, des novices aux experts. L’hiver 2020 verra l’ouverture d’un ascenseur attendu depuis longtemps à La Flegere. Peut-être mieux décrite comme la petite soeur moins appréciée des Grands Montets, pour ceux qui sont au courant, ces pentes exposées au sud sont souvent un paradis de poudre.

Deux - les Houches est le favori de la famille. Un excellent mélange de pistes vertes, bleues et rouges fournit le lieu idéal pour prendre des cours avec la fantastique équipe de l'ESF et de nombreuses pistes pour la pratique progressive. Nous devrions ajouter que nous sommes, de toute évidence, biaisés dans nos vues. Après tout, le Lodge est niché près des pistes et vous pouvez skier pendant la haute saison. Il abrite également la célèbre course de descente de la Coupe du monde de Kandahar, qui aura lieu les 8 et 9 février 2020.


Trois - rien ne laisse présager que la remontée des Grands Montets revienne à l'action de si tôt, pour les skieurs experts, cela signifie simplement des possibilités infinies. La saison dernière, le manque de remontée signifiait qu'il y avait moins de visiteurs, mais avec Bochard, Herse et Retour Pendant toujours en action, cela augmentait simplement vos chances de faire ses premiers morceaux. Pour les adeptes du ski de randonnée qui sont heureux de gagner leur tour, cela signifie que les chances de trouver la poudre parfaite ont augmenté. Que vous soyez confiant d’explorer seul ou que vous préfériez vous faire accompagner par un guide de haute montagne expert, Grands Montets reste une destination de ski emblématique de Chamonix.

Quatre - Un forfait de ski Chamonix Unlimited comprend l’accès à la remontée mécanique de l’aiguille du Midi. Cet exploit d’ingénierie extraordinaire détient le record du plus haut téléphérique d’ascension verticale du monde. Il s’élève à plus de 2 800 mètres du centre de Chamonix, via le Plan de l’Aiguille, jusqu’à la station la plus haute, à 3 777 mètres. C’est plus de 9 200 pieds qui sont couverts en seulement 20 minutes sur une expérience de la liste de seau.

Cinq - La Vallée Blanche. Plutôt que de prendre l’ascenseur depuis l’Aiguille du Midi, vous pouvez chausser vos skis et découvrir l’un des itinéraires de ski parmi les plus célèbres au monde. En parcourant 3 842 mètres sur une vingtaine de kilomètres, la Vallée Blanche est l’occasion de découvrir un monde extraordinaire de glaciers. Au plus fort de la saison, vous pouvez remonter jusqu’à Chamonix à 1030 mètres d’altitude, c’est plus de 2 800 mètres de descente en un seul passage.

Que vous optiez pour la «piste James Bond» qui vous conduira jusqu’en ville ou que vous sortiez par le chemin de fer du Montenvers, vous devrez garder quelque chose dans les banques d’énergie pour que la montée du glacier puisse y accéder.

Six - Dirigez-vous vers le célèbre terrain de jeu suisse des riches et célèbres, Verbier. Les Quatre Vallées couvrent 412 km de pistes à travers Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz et Thyon. Avec 67 remontées mécaniques, le domaine skiable débute à 821 mètres d'altitude et culmine à 3330 mètres d'altitude.

Ici, les options de ski pour les amis de la famille ne manquent pas. Pour ceux qui aiment le ski raide et profond, il y a aussi des choix difficiles. Vous pouvez toujours programmer une visite pour coïncider avec les tournées annuelles du Freeride World Tour et de Verbier Extreme!

Sept - Découvrez le Mont Blanc, ou le Monte Bianco, de l'autre côté du Massif. Le trajet à travers les 11,6 kilomètres du tunnel du Mont-Blanc est une expérience en soi. De plus, votre passe Chamonix Unlimited inclut une réduction sur le prix de votre billet de retour et vous donne également accès au magnifique télésiège Skyway Monte Bianco - pour que vous puissiez skier également du côté italien de la Vallée Blanche. Le «côté ensoleillé», comme nos amis de Courmayeur insistent pour qu'ils appellent leur côté de la montagne, ne manque jamais de ravir.

Huit - Découvrez St Gervais. Le premier de nos choix Evasion Mont Blanc (et ses 446 km de pistes), cette belle destination française remonte à l’époque romaine. Il présente une architecture élégante et une société de café grâce à son histoire de ville thermale. Principalement composé de pistes bleues et rouges, il relie Saint-Nicolas et Megève, la plus grande zone interconnectée couverte par le col.

Neuf - Skiez de St Gervais à Megève et découvrez les endroits où se promènent les gens charmants. Avec huit sommets face au Mont-Blanc, vous avez la chance de voir cette montagne majestueuse sous un angle différent. Faisant partie de la collection de stations de ski Evasion Mont-Blanc, il propose 235 pistes, sans oublier une longue liste de restaurants fantastiques.

Dix - Par une journée ensoleillée, Les Contamines est l’un des plus beaux endroits pour passer la journée. Avec 120 km de pistes larges et roulantes desservies par 24 remontées mécaniques, c’est l’un des favoris des clients. Que vous souhaitiez jouer dans la paire de terrains ou sur les 46 pistes, c’est une journée amusante!

Thursday 15 August, 2019
Retour de la Coupe de Kandahar en février 2020

Courses de ski aux Houches 2020


La Coupe du Monde de Hommes de Kandahar fera son retour tant attendu aux Houches les 8 et 9 février 2020.

Nous ne pourrions pas être plus heureux de voir cet événement emblématique à nouveau sur le calendrier de la vallée après une pause de quatre ans. Chamonix est l’un des deux seuls sites français à figurer sur le circuit de la Coupe du Monde de descente hommes - l’autre est Val d’Isère.

La réapparition de la course est une histoire longue qui a nécessité un investissement massif de 10 millions d’euros. L'argent a été dépensé pour réinventer la légendaire piste noire sur laquelle se déroule la Coupe de Kandahar, «La Verte des Houches». Le point de départ de la course est de 1871 mètres et la course couvre plus de 3,3 kilomètres, avec 870 mètres de dénivelé à l’arrivée sur le village.

La reconfiguration de la piste a été nécessaire pour que l'événement, organisé par le Club des Sports Chamonix, réponde aux normes les plus récentes de la Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS). La bonne nouvelle est que non seulement il annonce le retour de la Coupe du monde de descente, mais il signifie également que les épreuves de slalom alpin peuvent également être ajoutées au calendrier.

L'espoir est que la Coupe Kandahar redevienne un rendez-vous annuel aux Houches. La FIS a déjà annoncé que la vallée de Chamonix accueillera la compétition de ski alpin en février 2020, puis les épreuves combinées hommes de descente et de ski alpin en 2021.

Les travaux ont débuté à l'automne 2018 et comprennent d'importants changements qui profiteront également à tous les skieurs aux Houches. La restructuration comprend de nombreux tunnels - un tunnel pour traverser la route du col de Voza, un second tunnel pour permettre aux skieurs du Prarion de passer sous la piste noire et d'éliminer le flux de croisement avec la piste de course et de doubler la taille du tunnel. qui traverse la route principale près de l'arrivée.

Les autres changements incluent: terrasses pour créer une piste adaptée au slalom parallèle, élargissant la largeur de la piste et élargissant la zone d'arrivée en bas de la piste. Beaucoup plus de canons à neige ont également été ajoutés, améliorant ainsi l'enneigement dans la station.

Pour tous ceux qui visitent la Coupe du Monde de Descente en février 2020, cela signifie que même pendant la course, ils peuvent accéder facilement aux pistes qui ne sont pas de la course.

De plus, vous pourriez faire partie du spectacle de la Coupe Kandahar si vous réservez une semaine de ski chez nous du 8 au 15 février 2020. À vous de choisir. des options entièrement approvisionnées ou indépendantes sont toutes deux disponibles.

Le Dauphine a indiqué que le projet avait été financé par le conseil communautaire de Chamonix, le centre national pour le développement du sport ainsi que par des conseils départementaux et régionaux.

L'histoire de la course à Kandahar


Beaucoup de gens se demandent comment il se fait qu'une course qui se déroule en France s'appelle la Coupe de Kandahar. Cette course a une longue histoire qui remonte à la création du club de ski de Kandahar le 30 janvier 1924 à l’hôtel Murren’s Palace, en Suisse.

Le nom remonte à la course Roberts of Kandahar, la plus ancienne descente jamais enregistrée. La coupe pour laquelle a été donnée par le maréchal Lord Roberts de Kandahar. Aujourd'hui, Garmisch, St Anton, Sestriere et, heureusement, Les Houches, Chamonix, portent toujours ce nom.

Si vous souhaitez vous joindre à nous pour la Coupe du monde de Kandahar en février 2020 ou même en 2021, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter.

Tuesday 23 April, 2019
Le massif du Mont Blanc en août

La vallée de Chamonix en août peut être une révélation pour ceux qui n’ont pas passé de temps dans les hautes montagnes en été. Naturellement, les températures au fond de la vallée sont généralement plus chaudes qu’en altitude et le microclimat qui entoure la plus haute montagne d’Europe, le Mont Blanc, contribue à créer une sensation tropicale à la fin de l’été.

Pour les amateurs de tempêtes, la chaleur générée par les ‘grands orages’ - impressionnants orages de tonnerre et de foudre - qui se dissipent puis se dissipent rapidement signifie que l’on se croirait plus à la Méditerranée que le massif du Mont-Blanc.

Les journées sont généralement longues et ensoleillées - en août 2018, 22 jours sur 31 n'étaient que ça! Les températures moyennes restent à environ 18 ° C mais ce chiffre dément vraiment la réalité. Consultez les prévisions de température fournies pour août 2019 - avec des températures journalières prévues dans les 20 degrés les plus hauts tout le mois.

Pendant toute la saison estivale, il y a généralement de longues périodes de temps stable qui entourent le massif du Mont-Blanc et font de la vallée de Chamonix le terrain de jeux idéal pour les vacances en famille.

Alors que les températures commencent à baisser vers la fin du mois d'août - souvent pour coïncider avec l'Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc et l'emblématique course de sentiers -, la nature escarpée de la vallée reflète le soleil et les températures locales dépassent souvent les 30 ° C.

Si vous vous promenez dans la ville de Chamonix ou explorez les hautes montagnes, l’écran solaire facteur 50 est un must, car l’altitude influe grandement sur la force du soleil.

L'autre grand avantage du mois d'août est le fait que les lacs de montagne autour du massif du Mont-Blanc prennent tout leur sens grâce à une température de l'eau approchant les 20 ° C. Les lacs de montagne ne manquent pas à moins d’une heure de route de la vallée de Chamonix. Si vous voulez passer du temps à la plage ou tout simplement à la baignade en eau libre, une semaine de vacances à BlackRock est le point de départ idéal pour tout avoir.

Choisissez parmi le lac de Passy, ​​à seulement 20 minutes de route du lodge. Il est accessible tout l’été et, au mois d’août, vous pourrez profiter de zones de baignade et de plages de sable fin, sans oublier la vue imprenable sur le Mont Blanc.

À Combloux, vous pourrez découvrir le bio-lac de montagne avec une eau naturellement purifiée par plus de 10 000 plantes et chauffée par le soleil à des températures pouvant atteindre environ 26 ° C. Juste des eaux cristallines pures faisant également face au Mont Blanc.

À Sallanches, vous aurez le choix entre trois lacs, un pour la pêche, un pour la baignade et un pour la planche à voile, ainsi que pour toutes sortes d’activités les entourant, allant des aires de pique-nique aux parcours de santé.

Contactez-nous ou appelez-nous pour en savoir plus sur les vacances à la montagne en août.

Thursday 21 February, 2019
Happy French ski holidays with the under 5s

You love to ski but you’re not sure how your toddlers will take to the snow and winter in the mountains…

Fret not, we’ve helped lots of guests create the perfect introduction for their young family to the joy of a skiing holiday. It can feel daunting, but there are lots of ways to keep little people entertained whilst you enjoy time exploring all the ski areas of the Chamonix valley.

If you are joining us for an exclusive catered week then, as part of our concierge service we can also create an itinerary just for the toddlers. Or if you are joining us for a self-catered stay, then we are always happy to create a package of child support which you can add on to your Self Catered Plus booking with us.

Here are just some of the ways to keep the children happy…

One major advantage of choosing to stay in the village of Les Houches at the bottom of the Chamonix Valley is its Famille Plus status. A national tourism initiative, it recognises the great approach the village takes to entertaining children and families during their holiday.

For the under threes, we can recommend the services of babysitters and nannies from respected services based in the valley. Baby Cham is just one and they also offer a great rental service too. So, if you need snow-friendly buggies or child carries they can supply these too and you can save on your luggage allowance.

That way you can leave younger children at the Lodge to be entertained and cared for whilst you ski. There are lots of play options at the Lodge including sledges for the garden, great places to build snowmen outdoors and lots of games and books indoors.

We believe there’s no better way to introduce children to snow sports than by making it fun! The team at ESF Les Houches are experts at doing just that. For children over three, the Piou Piuo club is the perfect option. The snow garden, inflatables, models and statues not to mention a giant caterpillar are nestled close to its nursery lifts. Hosted by a ski instructor, children learn as they play. 

Chavants Children’s Club is another great option. In the winter it caters for children from 18 months to 11 years. It has the advantage of offering a great mix of packages which include skiing, a lunchtime meal and/or daycare too.

The advantage of both of these is that they are a short drive from the lodge and only 200m from the main Prarion Lift.

There’s also a huge range of family-focused events in and around Les Houches throughout the winter ski season:  Welcome drinks at the Office du Tourism, free children’s entertainment on ski slopes in the afternoons, ice skating at the Patinoire in the village, animations on the ski area during the afternoon, torchlit descents by the ESF at the beginners area le Tourchet, treasure hunts, downhill fun on ancient “paret” sledges and much more. 

There are also great places up and down the valley to enjoy some sunny sledging – which is great fun no matter how old you are! Not to mention the sports complex in the centre of Chamonix which has a swimming pool to suit everyone. Or, if you want to head high into the mountains then a trip on the Montenvers Train to the Mer de Glace and its ice caves is a must!

Why not bring your family to a French ski destination designed to make magical memories for everyone?

Get in touch and we’ll help you create the perfect French ski holiday based in our luxury chalet in Les Houches.

Tuesday 15 January, 2019
Qui aime aller skier au Printemps?

Nous sommes toujours si enthousiastes à l'idée de voir le thermomètre chuter et voir les premières chutes de neige dans la vallée de Chamonix que nous oublions que pour beaucoup de gens, le ski de printemps est ce qu'ils attendent.

Il y a beaucoup à dire sur le ski de printemps à Chamonix - il y a une transformation en ce début de février et les journées rallongent sensiblement. Au début du mois de mars, le soleil reste dans la vallée, ce qui rend l’assise à l’extérieur plus agréable.

Les remontées mécaniques de l’ensemble des zones de remontée de Chamonix Unlimited ou Chamonix Le Pass ouvrent également plus tôt et continuent à fonctionner plus tard. Ce qui, si vous y réfléchissez bien, en fait un meilleur rapport qualité-prix, car vous pouvez gagner plus de place et vous donner plus de place par jour pour vos dollars durement gagnés!

Il ya rarement une pénurie de neige de fin de saison autour de la vallée de Chamonix, ce qui signifie que vous augmentez vos chances de matinées poudreuses et pour ceux qui aiment le beurre comme la texture de la neige de printemps, qui vous appartient plus tard dans la journée.

Arriver à Chamonix pour faire du ski de printemps signifie également que pour les clients qui ont la Vallée Blanche sur leur liste de skis, cela peut être le meilleur moment pour skier cet itinéraire emblématique. C’est un problème à affronter avec un guide et compte tenu de sa hauteur de départ, vous démarrez à environ 3 800 mètres, vous ne manquerez pas de lac pour neiger - il est fort possible que vous passiez de la poudreuse à la neige de printemps en cours de route.

Il est également possible que la célèbre piste de James Bond, qui vous ramène jusque dans la vallée, soit en bon état. C’est une aventure à part entière qui porte le total de vos kilomètres de ski à environ 16.

Nous savons que certains de nos invités adorent la neige de printemps. Une fois que le soleil frappe la piste et commence à transformer les cristaux, il prend une toute nouvelle texture et change complètement l'expérience de ski.

Si vous initiez le ski aux enfants en bas âge, il ya également beaucoup à dire pour un voyage plus tard dans la saison. En plus de la neige de printemps douce, il leur est plus facile et plus facile de s’adapter aux chaussures de ski ou de snowboard, à de nombreux vêtements et à la possibilité de glisser dans les montagnes, puis des températures plus élevées et une meilleure visibilité peuvent le rendre moins intimidant.

Pour les adeptes du ski de randonnée, le printemps est alors le temps classique pour partir à la recherche d'aventures en dehors des limites des remontées mécaniques. De Chamonix, cela peut signifier des itinéraires classiques comme la Haute Route à Zermatt, des itinéraires dans la vallée d’Aoste en Italie ou des excursions plus courtes dans des régions telles que la vallée du Bérard, les Aiguilles rouges ou cette année pour accéder au glacier de l’Argentière sans bénéficier des Grands Montets top lift.

C’est aussi le moment où certaines personnes considèrent la plus grande randonnée de ski que Chamonix a à offrir. Monter au Mont-Blanc sur des skis n’est pas une mince affaire, il nécessite une bonne condition physique ainsi que la capacité de skier tout ce qui vient de la poudreuse à la neige au printemps en passant par la croûte de soleil, la gadoue et la glace.

Nous avons la disponibilité pour le printemps 2019, il n’est donc pas trop tard pour réserver et profiter d’une pause de ski de printemps.

Thursday 20 December, 2018
Noël chez BlackRock

Nous sommes des fans de Noël et notre objectif pour nos invités est de créer le lieu idéal pour leurs célébrations festives - qu’il s’agisse d’habiller la maison de manière autonome ou de créer le menu de célébration parfait pour nos visiteurs.

Quand vient le temps de planifier des vacances de ski en famille pour le ski de Noël, l’essentiel est d’avoir tout organisé à l’avance afin que les clients puissent simplement se détendre et s'imprégner de la merveilleuse atmosphère montagnarde.

C’est là que notre service de conciergerie prend tout son sens: réserver des tables dans les meilleurs restaurants de montagne, y compris notre préféré La Vielle Luge, faire livrer et installer les skis et les chaussures dans le confort du lodge ou organiser des leçons de ski ou de guidage privées.

Naturellement, l’élément de neige «blanche» pour créer le décor de Noël idéal pour le chalet est quelque peu hors de notre contrôle! Bien que cela nous rend toujours heureux lorsque les premières chutes de neige éclaircissent le jardin, reflétant les lueurs nocturnes des petits pois autour de la loge.

Il ya aussi quelque chose de beau à regarder la neige tout en se blottissant avec un verre de vin devant un feu de cheminée. Il élimine tout le bruit de fond et transforme la vallée en un décor de film Disney.

L’hiver 2018 a bien commencé et Les Houches est déjà ouverte, comme le reste de la vallée de Chamonix. C’est notre deuxième Noël consécutif rempli de neige et nous avons célébré avec une journée de ski en famille au soleil le samedi 15 décembre 2018.

Nous prévoyons davantage de neige alors que nous nous dirigeons vers les vacances de fête, ce qui ne fera qu'ajouter à la transformation de la vallée du bourg automnal en destination de vacances d'hiver.

Il y a des arbres de Noël dans la vallée et les rues principales sont toutes ornées de lumières festives. Parcourir la grande rue dans le noir et regarder les lumières tout en achetant des cadeaux de dernière minute est vraiment quelque chose de spécial à Chamonix.

Comme toujours, les événements conçus pour divertir toute la famille ne manquent pas: événement Red Zebra à l'Espace Olca, Marche des moniteurs de ski, Happy Hour nordique au Ski du Fond et possibilité de découvrir le biathlon au clair de lune, Défilé Lumineuse à Chamonix, descentes aux flambeaux, courses de slalom, matchs de hockey sur glace, et bien plus encore. Découvrez ce qui se passe aux Houches, Chamonix, Servoz, Argentière et Le Tour pour Noël et le nouvel an 2018/2019.

Si vous souhaitez faire l'expérience d'un chalet de ski de luxe à Noël, pourquoi ne pas vous joindre à nous pour Noël 2019?

Joyeux Noël et bonne année prospère.

Lizzy et Paul Mercer

Thursday 6 December, 2018
Calendrier des agendas de skieurs Chamonix hiver 2018-2019
Quel que soit le lieu de ski ou de snowboard que vous préférez dans la vallée de Chamonix, il est toujours utile de savoir quand les remontées mécaniques s’ouvrent et se ferment pendant la saison.

Nous savons maintenant que la météo a un rôle important à jouer dans les chronométrages. Voici donc les dernières informations dont nous disposons concernant les ouvertures d’ascenseurs pour Chamonix Hiver 2018 - 2019. Nous avons effectué les démarches nécessaires afin que vous puissiez tirer le meilleur parti de votre journée. Chamonix Le Pass ou Chamonix Unlimited Ski Pass.

Les Houches doit ouvrir ses portes le 15 décembre 2018 et jusqu'au 14 avril 2019. Rappelons que le BlackRock Ski Lodge est l'un des rares chalets à se vanter d'être au pied des pistes pendant la haute saison d'hiver (à quelques pas piste aussi).

La plupart des domaines skiables principaux de la vallée de Chamonix, notamment le Brévent et Planpraz, la Flegère, le Domaine de Balme au Tour et Vallorcine, suivent les mêmes dates, sous réserve de la neige bien sûr. L'exception concerne les Grands Montets qui resteront ouverts jusqu'au 5 mai 2019.

Le domaine skiable pour débutants des Planards devrait également ouvrir ses portes le 15 décembre, tandis que les autres sites du Savoy, de La Vormaine, des Chosalets, du Tourches et de La Poya seront confirmés dès que nous aurons de la neige jusqu'au niveau de la vallée. le look de la prévision n'est pas très loin!

Certaines des grandes attractions de la vallée, notamment l’Aiguille du Midi et Step into the Void, ne seront ouvertes que fin décembre 2018 en raison de travaux d’infrastructure, mais nous mettrons à jour le site Web avec les dates d’ouverture dès que nous les aurons.

Le train du Montenvers et la mer de glace sont déjà ouverts et la télécabine et la grotte de glace ouvriront le 15 décembre 2018 avec le tramway du Mont-Blanc de St Gervais, puis se rendront aux Houches et au Nid de l'Aiguille le 22 décembre 2018. reste ouvert jusqu'au 31 mars 2019.

Si vous souhaitez acheter un forfait de ski Chamonix Unlimited, vous pourrez profiter de la possibilité de skier à Verbier en Suisse et à Courmayeur en Italie - les deux sites ont déjà ouvert leurs portes pour l'hiver 2018/2019 - tandis que d'autres, comme St Gervais, Les Contamines et Megève devraient ouvrir à partir du 15 décembre 2018 pour le début de la saison.

Quels que soient votre niveau de ski ou le groupe avec lequel vous voyagez, profitez des services de chauffeur VIP et de conciergerie VIP du BlackRock Ski Lodge et laissez-nous vous aider à créer les vacances parfaites.

L'hiver est arrivé!

Lizzy & Paul
Monday 26 November, 2018
Aimer la vie à BlackRock Ski Lodge

Nous croyons que la gestion du chalet que nous possédons et que nous aimons est ce qui contribue à différencier le BlackRock Ski Lodge de ses concurrents.

Quand nous l'avons construit, nous savions que nous voulions créer un espace et une expérience de vacances que nous aurions choisis pour nous-mêmes. Nous avons été inspirés par des voyages de ski aux États-Unis, des destinations comme Jackson Hole.

Le site sur lequel nous avons construit le lodge était idéal pour créer des espaces et des vues intéressants en utilisant des retours en mezzanine et six niveaux entrelacés. Nous voulions créer une destination de vacances idéale pour skier en hiver - c’est l’une de nos grandes passions de la vie - mais aussi une base fantastique pour les aventures estivales. Nous sommes des triathlètes intrépides et des passionnés de trail. Nous sommes donc tous prêts à faire du vélo de montagne, du vélo, de la natation, de la course, de l'escalade et de l'alpinisme.

L'une des raisons pour lesquelles nous avons finalement choisi l'intrigue sur laquelle nous avons construit le BlackRock Ski Lodge est le fait qu'il offre une vue imprenable dans toutes les directions - le Mont Blanc et ses glaciers d'un côté et l'emblématique Fiz de l'autre. Nous avons sans aucun doute un parti pris, mais nous pensons que notre jacuzzi offre certaines des meilleures vues de la vallée de Chamonix, mais vous pouvez vous en convaincre grâce aux photos. Les montagnes offrent une toile de fond en constante évolution pour tout séjour au Lodge.

Lorsque nous avons ouvert nos portes aux visiteurs en 2012, nous avons contacté les entraîneurs et les entraîneurs avec lesquels nous avions travaillé ou dont la réputation avait été acquise. Nous avons donc créé toute une série de semaines et de longs week-ends de formation. Aujourd'hui, nous travaillons avec des groupes de triathlon pour créer des packages sur mesure - nous l'appelons notre option de prise en charge par équipe. Cela signifie que d'où qu'ils viennent - notre dernier groupe venait des États-Unis -, nous sommes en mesure de tirer parti de toutes nos connaissances acquises des meilleurs endroits pour s'entraîner.

Pour nous, cette attention aux détails et le partage de notre amour de la vallée font partie des raisons pour lesquelles la gestion d’une activité d’hôtellerie est passionnante et enrichissante. Que ce soit pour les cyclistes, nous créons un forfait qui englobe le Tour de France 2019 - empruntant ses célèbres routes locales et, parce que les scènes alpines incluent souvent des sections à proximité, le regardant en direct - ou aidant les couples à planifier leur mariage parfait à Chamonix.

Notre service de conciergerie est ce qui nous distingue. En hiver, nous proposons une gamme d’options allant de la restauration complète aux semaines de ski en pension complète. Nous avons également ajouté quelque chose entre les deux. Notre option Self Catered PLUS vous donne toute la liberté d’une semaine avec restauration personnelle, tout en vous permettant d’ajouter autant d’extras que vous le souhaitez. Nous créerons un package sur mesure pour vous, comprenant les chefs, les livraisons de repas, le chauffeur VIP, la location de matériel et l'achat de forfaits, ainsi que l'accès à nos services de conciergerie, selon les besoins. De cette façon, vous pourrez combiner et créer les vacances de ski parfaites pour vous et votre famille.

En plus de notre connaissance approfondie de la vallée de Chamonix, nous avons également exploré de nombreuses possibilités pour utiliser pleinement le col du Mont Blanc Unlimited. Cela signifie que nous pouvons également faire office de guichet unique pour les dernières mises à jour sur les conditions de ski dans la région - le forfait de ski Mont Blanc Unlimited vous donne la possibilité de skier n'importe où dans la vallée de Chamonix (y compris l'accès à l'emblématique ascenseur Aiguille du Midi). et la Vallée Blanche) et également à St Gervais, aux Contamines, à Megève, à Courmayeur en Italie ou à Verbier en Suisse.

Pour les clients qui se joignent à nous pour des vacances au ski en famille dans la vallée de Chamonix, Les Houches est le domaine skiable pour les familles et, de plus, en haute saison, vous pourrez skier directement dans le jardin depuis la piste de départ l’ascenseur Prarion et vous pouvez accéder à la piste et au système de remontées mécaniques avec une courte promenade de 200 m le long de la route depuis le chalet.

Quelle que soit votre activité en montagne, notre passion est de créer les vacances idéales pour vous, vos amis ou votre famille. Nous aimerions avoir de vos nouvelles et vous trouverez toutes nos dernières disponibilités en hiver 2020 et en été 2019 sur le site Web.

Monday 2 July, 2018
L'été, les Alpes sont un lieu magique

L'été, les Alpes sont un lieu magique. De plus, les vacances s'offrent à tous lorsque vous réservez des vacances au BlackRock Ski Lodge.

Que vous souhaitiez vous faire chouchouter par notre chef privé ou si vous préférez vous préparer en autonomie, nous pouvons créer le forfait idéal pour vous - c’est ce que notre service de conciergerie est.

Voici donc un peu plus d'informations sur les offres de Chamonix en été…

Bien sûr, il y a des montagnes! Si vous aimez l'escalade ou si vous voulez l'essayer pour la première fois, la vallée de Chamonix est une magnifique région rocheuse ensoleillée à explorer. De plus, nous pouvons prendre toutes les dispositions pour vous. Ou, si vous avez envie d'un objet de liste exceptionnelle, alors pourquoi ne pas escalader le Mont-Blanc.

Il y a aussi des lacs - nos magnifiques montagnes sont également dotées de lacs de montagne incroyables pour vous permettre de nager sous un magnifique ciel bleu.

Chamonix a un A à Z d'aventures alpines pour toute la famille, du canyoning au parapente et bien plus encore.

C’est un séjour après tout et ce ne serait pas complet sans repos et détente. Alors, quand vous en avez assez des joies du fun et des folies, BlackRock Lodge est l'endroit idéal pour profiter d'un repos et d'une détente bien mérités. Dînez sur le pont, passez du temps dans le jacuzzi, passez du temps au bord de la piscine Intex, profitez du sauna, reposez-vous dans le hamac ou détendez-vous simplement au bar!

Naturellement, aucune fête n'est complète sans une nourriture fantastique. Nous proposons des options de restauration, B & B et demi-pension en été. De nombreux restaurants sont également proposés dans la vallée.

Nous aimons également penser que nous sommes également prêts à créer des événements spéciaux. Si vous recherchez un lieu de mariage merveilleux, une destination de fête élégante ou un endroit pour divertir les clients d'entreprise, contactez-nous et laissez-nous vous aider!

Lizzy et Paul Mercer

Friday 29 June, 2018
Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc - a classic mountain hike


Walking around Mont Blanc might sound like a daunting challenge, but the Tour du Mont Blanc, known by keen walkers as the TMB, remains one of Europe’s most popular multi-day hiking routes.

Walking in the high mountains is a magical experience – and circling Mont Blanc is an adventure which takes you through three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. It’s the chance to explore the different terrain, culture, food and flora that distinguishes each section of the hike.

Normally starting in the Chamonix valley, the Tour du Mont Blanc covers 110 miles of trails with 6.2 miles of ascent/descent – that’s 170 kilometres and 10 kilometres of climb. If you are an experienced hiker, then there is nothing to stop you heading out on the TMB on a self-guided basis. For those with little or no experience, then there are a host of companies offering trips guided by an International Mountain Leader.

The route, when walked anti-clockwise moves through the Arve valley (Chamonix) then Montjoie, Vallee des Glaciers then into Italy and through Val Veny and Val Ferret before entering the Swiss Val Ferret and finally into Switzerland and the Arpette or Trient valley.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is normally a 7-10 walk depending on the route taken, but at the end of August every year, there’s a now icon trail race, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, which sees competitors run around this mythical mountain – with the winner generally crossing the finish line in less than 24 hours.

BlackRock Ski Lodge is perfectly positioned in the les Houches village of the Chamonix valley to act as a start or finish point – or as somewhere to rest your head enroute – and offers both bed and breakfast and half board options during the summer hiking season.

Set close to the TMB path, the chalet offers the perfect combination of majestic views of Mont Blanc and its glaciers combined with everything you need after a long day’s hiking including: swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.

The beds are large and comfortable, and you can continue your Tour du Mont Blanc well rested after a great night’s sleep and a hearty, sustaining breakfast.

Other stops along the way include Les Contamines, Col de la Croix du Bonhomme refuge or Les Chapieux (depending on variant route taken), Elisabetta Soldini refuge, Courmayeur, Bonatti refuge or Elena refuge, Champex, Trient village, Argentiere, La Flegere refuge and finally back to Les Houches.

Whether you are walking with a guide or are planning a self-guided trip it’s always best to scope your itinerary and book your accommodation in plenty of time as during peak walking season, hotels and refuges tend to book up very quickly.

We know from personal experience that the mountains in the Mont Blanc Massif can be deceptive and the weather incredibly changeable. The route passes through high exposed mountain trails and the highest point in France and Switzerland – the Col des Fours and the Fenêtre d'Arpette – are both at an altitude of 2,665 m above sea level or 8,743 ft.

If you’d like to spend a night or two at BlackRock Ski Lodge as part of your Tour du Mont Blanc, then we’d be delighted to welcome you. You can contact us at blackrockskilodge@me.com.

Tuesday 1 May, 2018
Discover the magic of the Mont Blanc Massif this Summer!

Luxury Lodge Self-Catered Holidays

Make BlackRock Ski Lodge your home-from-home and enjoy breathtaking views of Mont Blanc, great spaces to relax indoors and out and, NEW for Summer 2018 an Intex Swimming Pool!

Our concierge service is included FREE of charge with every exclusive booking, so let us help you create the perfect summer holiday. Whether you want to discover the best ways to relax and unwind or prefer to discover all the fantastic mountain sports on offer, just tell us what floats your boat and we'll help make it happen.

Self-catered prices start for Summer 2018 start from just 2,499€ per week or if you'd prefer to be fully-catered, we can make that happen too.

Discover all that's on offer in summer around the Chamonix valley with fun activities for all ages.

If you are planning further ahead, then why not join us for summer 2019 and explore the Mont Blanc Massif - one of France's icon destinations!

Monday 2 April, 2018
All about Tour de France Week 2018

Time to see the Tour de France up close!

The route has been unveiled and were delighted that it's on our doorstep again. To celebrate we've created the ultimate holiday for cycling lovers from 14-21 July 2018 is Tour de France Week 2018

It's your chance to cycle like a pro with technical bike and road support.

Based at BlackRock, this is a fully-catered week complete with private chef, concierge support, a professional cycling leader and full bike support from Kev Worster at Vaudagne Velo all included in the price of 1,750€ per person.

OUR ITINERARY FOR TOUR DE FRANCE WEEK 2018

Arrival at the Lodge and bike set up on Saturday 14 July and departing on Sunday 21 July 2018:

  • Sunday 15th a relaxed first day's cycling with a climb to the Col de Plane Joux, the Col de Domancy and then on up to the Bettex finish line
  • Monday 16th ride part of the Etape stage from Annecy to le Grand Bornand as preparation to seeing the stage on Tuesday!
  • Tuesday 17th see the Tour de France live after cycling to the Col de Romme  and the Col de la Colombiere
  • Wednesday 18th an Italian day with a ride to the Colle San Carlos and Petit St Bernard with an option (depending on timings and road closures) to see the end of that days stage in La Rosiere
  • Thursday 19th a day closer to home discovering some of the Tour and Criterium's classic climbs including the Col de la Forclaz and the famous climb to Emosson Dam before heading back to the Lodge to watch the culmination of the day's race in Alpe d'Huez on the big screen from the comfort of the bar!
  • Friday 20th last and longest day in the saddle taking in the Col de la Ramaz and the Col de Joux Plane 

Find out about our cycling team take-over options and availability for cycling holidays in summer 2019.

Monday 26 February, 2018
Chamonix Winter Exploring

Don’t ski, don’t ever want to ski?

Don’t let that stop you enjoying a Chamonix winter holiday.

It’s the perennial dilemma for families split by a love it or loath divide when it comes skiing or snowboarding. Fret not however, we’ve created a list of some of the amazing ways you can create a Chamonix winter experience for everyone.

Here are our top tips of amazing activities non-skiers should put on their holiday hit list to keep them entertained whilst the ski-lovers hit the slopes doing their own Chamonix winter exploring.

Ticket to ride to the top of Europe

Take a trip up the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi to see Mont Blanc up close and personal and view the entire of the snow-covered massif from atop the needle at 3,842 metres.

The worlds high vertical ascent cable car, it whisks visitors in two stages from the valley floor at 1,035m to the l’Aiguille du Midi at 3,842m. The second stage, which covers 2.5 kilometres of height gain is in a single span, so potentially not for the feint-hearted.

For those less happy with heights, then the Plan de l’Aiguille at 2,317m still gives an amazing close up of the glacier, views down into the valley and the chance to look up in wonder at this man-made access to the top of Europe.

At the summit you’ll find all the things you might expect from a destination such as this – and a few that you might not.

There are panoramic viewing platforms with breath-taking views, a café, a restaurant and informative installations showing how the lift station was built and showcasing all the high adrenelin mountain sports the valley has to offer.

You can also 'Step into the Void' whilst you are there. Take the elevator to cover the final 100m of ascent and you can walk into a glass box with a view 1035 metres directly beneath your feet!

You can also walk to the end of the ice cave to take a look at the l’Aiguille’s famous arete – a knife edge descent taken by skiers, snowboarders and climbers who are accessing the iconic Vallee Blanche or making their way to access classic climbing routes such as Mont Blanc itself.

Let the train take the strain and head for Montenvers

This is never going to be the fastest train trip you have ever experienced, but the fact that this rack and adhesion rail line transports you from the valley floor to the bottom of the Mer du Glace, the sea of ice, climbing nearly 900m in the process, more than makes up for it!

Originally drawn by steam engines, today the line is operated by a mix of electric railcars and diesel locomotives. All the more impressive, is the fact that this line has been in operation for 110 years. 

At the end of your 20-minute journey you’ll find a hotel, viewing platforms, café and gift shop overlooking the confluence of the glaciers that flow down the Vallee Blanche from Mont Blanc. It quite simply transports you high into the mountains and is the kind of journey you should add to your bucket-list.

Scarily you’ll also be able to see the extent to which the glacier has receded. For those who don’t mind a walk, then you can take the bubble lift and more than 400 steps below that to reach the glacier (but don’t be tempted to go for a walk!)

Spa Day in Italy

Given Chamonix’s proximity to Italy, via the engineering wonder of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, it is always worth spending at least a day discovering Courmayeur – the sunny side as the Italians would say.

Just a short drive from the town, you’ll find the village of Pre Saint Didier and it’s ancient and acclaimed natural thermal baths.

A unique experience, the original thermal baths remain and have been extended with a host of ways to warm and relax your body in the restorative waters. What’s more, its external hot pools, which are surrounded by snow in the winter, give beautiful views of a very contrasting Mont Blanc. Whilst snow covered and benign looking from the Chamonix valley, Monte Bianco is an imposing mountain mixed with glaciers and granite spurs and outcrops from the Italian side.

Whether you want to be super healthy or indulge in a visit to the Spa’s hotel for a glass of champagne to finish your days – this is a treat not to be missed.

Hitch yourself behind some Huskies

There is an enduring appeal about being at one with nature whilst being pulled in a sled by some exuberant Huskies. Imagine, being nestled into a fur covered seat and travelling across the snow.

The raison d’etre for these dogs is to pick up the traces and pull a sledge. For anyone who loves animals, then this is an adventure not to be missed. There is huge pleasure simply from being out with the dogs. 

For the more adventurous then there’s the chance not only to travel under Huskie power, but also to learn to mush a team of dogs for yourself. 

Try Snow Shoeing or Cross-Country Skiing

Not all chamonix snow sports demand that you race down hill on one or more wooden planks! There are other ways to travel in the snow and the further you are able to distance yourself from the hustle and bustle of resort, the more magical the experience becomes.

Snow Shoes were designed hundreds of years ago to help people move through snow effectively. Suitable for adults and children alike, no previous experience is necessary, and you can head out to explore gentle slopes, alpine meadows and snow-covered cols with an International Mountain Leader as your guide. Walking between snow covered trees catching glimpses of the mountain range as you go, is an experience everyone should try at least once.

What’s more, on a pristine powder field there’s nothing more fun than unleashing your inner child and running down the hill at full tilt with the snow crunching beneath your shoes!

For those who’ve always liked the idea of putting on skis, but not heading down big mountains at the same time, then cross-country skiing – either classic or skate – is an amazing way to take to the snow. All the kit is easily hired and there are dedicated tracks in Les Houches, Chamonix and Argentiere. Combine a half day kit hire with a lesson, and you’ll be up and away in no time at all.

Spend the day adventuring on the Mont Blanc Tramway

The highest tramway in France, it offers a wonderfully relaxed way to take in the breath-taking views of Mon Blanc massif. Accessed via the Bellevue lift in Les Houches, you can put yourself in the footsteps of generations of mountaineers who’ve ridden the tram to its highest stop – the Nid d’Aigile whilst on their way to climb Mont Blanc via an overnight stop at either the Tête Rousse Hut or the Goûter Hut.

Stay on the tram for its return journey and you’ll travel down the mountain from Les Houches to St Gervais where you can hop off to explore this pretty, architecturally rich French town. Why not take your pick from among its lovely brasseries and restaurants and treat yourself ot a leisurely lunch too.

We’re always delighted to help our guests make the most of their stay and as part of our inclusive concierge service we’ll create the perfect itinerary for everyone – skiers and non-skiers alike!

Monday 29 January, 2018
Magical White Chamonix Christmas

Whether you are a huge snow sports fan, or just love the idea of hiding away in the hills for the festive season, there is something truly magical about a Christmas skiing or snowboarding holiday in Chamonix.

This year our guests were treated to the most incredible white Christmas which meant that they could ski to the door – something that normally doesn’t become possible until later in the season.

It also meant that they got to enjoy BlackRock Ski Lodge at it’s snowed-in best, offering a wonderful peaceful haven from the bustle of the rest of the valley, nestled on the mountain surrounded by snow with sunshine glistening off it during the day and pea lights illuminating it by night.

We are huge fans of Christmas and we believe it shows in the attention to detail we give to making sure that the chalet is stylishly dressed for the festivities. That includes an over-sized Christmas tree in the dining room around which there’s no shortage of space to arrange the parcels that Santa delivers on Xmas Eve!

Our guests tell us that the fact that they can tap into our complementary concierge service to help them make all the arrangements they need to create the perfect Chamonix Christmas holiday for their friends and family, is just one of the reasons they chose to book BlackRock.

The fact that you can seat 14 with comfort around the dining table – even 18 at a squeeze – also contributes to creating time in which to just relax and enjoy the company of those you love.

For skiing and snowboarding fans then the fact that we are ski-in, walk out (we’re only 100m from the pistes of Les Houches) definitely also adds to the chalet’s appeal! So too does our VIP driver service which is included with every exclusive fully-catered winter booking – our driver will take you to whichever Chamonix valley ski area you’d like and pick you up again as and when you like.

Whilst, for many, the focus of their Christmas holiday may well be skiing or snowboarding everyday, the Chamonix valley is also a winter wonderland for those who don’t want to wiz down the mountains on planks of wood.

We can create a complete itinerary of activities for adults and children of every age and size. Choose from winter-focused fun like sledging with a team of huskies, exploring mountain paths and peaks on snow shoes, taking a lift to 3,810 metres to take a close-up look at Mont Blanc and the iconic Vallee Blanche, hiking to an igloo for a star gazing evening or heading for an ice driving circuit to test out your skills.

There are no shortage of more gentile pursuits as well, from the vibrant Christmas market in the centre of Chamonix, to the chance to enjoy mountain views from the warmth of a natural thermal spa and from lazy lunches at Michelin starred restaurants to exploring the rich and varied history of the valley with visits to its many and varied museums and exhibitions.

Naturally, food is a vital part of the Christmas holiday experience and our professional chefs take huge delight in delivering a festive feast for everyone to enjoy – whether you want a traditional turkey roast complete with all the trimmings or prefer to adopt the more local custom of a seafood focused dinner on Xmas eve.

Whatever you choose, it will always be our pleasure to help create the kind of memories that last a lifetime, and which make Christmas truly magical.

Lizzy and Paul


Tuesday 31 October, 2017
Reasons to love a Chamonix Unlimited Ski Pass

Make the most of your Chamonix Unlimited Ski Pass 


There are a number of Chamonix ski pass options for visitors to the valley. Much depends on whether you want to buy by the day or pick up a Chamonix lift pass that covers the whole of your stay.

For those who want to spend all their time close to the Lodge, then the Les Houches Pass might be the best choice and the Chamonix Le Pass gives access to much of the valley too. For those who really want to max out their ski exploration though, then the Chamonix Unlimited Pass is the way to go.

Here are just a few reasons why we love it!

Not only does it gives you access to hundreds of kilometres of pistes in three different countries it covers all of the lifts in the Chamonix valley. That means the top bin at Grands Montets is included which will give you access to some of the valley’s most legendary off-piste terrain. If you are old enough to remember Blizzard of AHHS, then this is where Chamonix’s reputation for extreme was born. [Sadly after the fire, getting to the top means earning your turns by ski touring!]

You can also use it on the Aiguille du Midi lift and take a ride all the way to 3,810 metres. Whether you plan to ski the Vallee Blanche or not, this is no ordinary lift and counts as an experience in and of itself. And, whilst you are on top of Europe looking at the mighty Mont Blanc, you can also enjoy stepping into The Void and experience having only a glass floor between you and a 1000 metre drop to the glacier below.

You can ski 10 different ski areas on one lift pass because it covers Les Houches, Brevent/Flegere, Grands Montets and Le Tour/Vallorcine in the Chamonix valley. It also means you can ski in St Gervais, Les Contamines and Megeve as well as Verbier in Switzerland and Courmayeur in Italy. No two areas are the same and here’s what we like about each of them:

Les Houches – often seen as the less demanding option in Chamonix, is, in fact, an awesome place to ski. It definitely qualifies as the most family-friendly of the ski areas but what many people don’t know is that on powder days it’s a hidden gem and we’re always happy to show our guests the secret stashes!

Brevent/Flegere – from the ‘top top’ Brevent delivers the Charles Bozon black piste which is one of our favourites because of the sublime views of Mont Blanc as you ski back to the mid-station at Plan Praz. And if you want some downtime, then there’s a great vibe at mid-station with great music and deck chairs for catching the sun or just taking in the views.

From Plan Praz then there are lots of red and blue runs to explore and a delight ski across to the Flegere liaison. Then, the world is your oyster. On powder morning’s you can do worse than get out early to get to the front face of Flegere for pillows of snow.

Grands Montets – a legendary ski area which is more about the off-piste than the piste. It’s lifts give access to this ski and snowboard paradise and to get the most from it we’d recommend you take a guide – not least because for the uninitiated there is glacial terrain on which it’s all too easy to wander.

La Balme - Le Tour/Vallorcine – offers a glorious mixture of blue, red and black runs as well as off-piste itineraries which are the haunt of expert skiers. With views of Mont Blanc in one direction and the imposing Emosson Damn in the other, there is much to love about this end of the valley.

If you decide to head further afield, then St Gervais, which links into the Megeve ski area, is vast. You’ll be hard-pressed to ski it all and depending on the weather, might want to give it a couple of days to fully explore all that’s on offer. Now home to its very own Folie Douce, where you can eat lunch and then dance in your ski boots all afternoon, it’s become a popular spot with Après lovers of all ages.

Whenever we think of Les Contamines, we think of wide well-grouped slopes and sunshine. If that’s not tempting enough, heading off with a guide is a must for anyone who loves skiing off piste. It’s one of the region’s hidden gems – so please keep that to yourself!

One of the amazing things about Chamonix’s location is the weather patterns. The chances are, that if the weather’s not good here, then it will be the opposite in Verbier or Courmayeur which is where three countries covered by a single pass really comes into its own.

Verbier is a swish Swiss ski resort and often plays host to the rich and famous. Its ski terrain is huge – some 410 km – and there’s something for everyone from challenging black itinerary routes to long sweeping blue runs back to town and Après spots like the such Le Rouge and Pup Montfort.

Alternatively, a trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel – just flash your Chamonix Unlimited Lift Pass for a discounted return ticket – brings you to the beautiful Italian town of Courmayeur. The ski area comes complete with some of the best mountain restaurants you’ll find anywhere. What’s not to love about earning your lunch when that comes in the form of fantastic pizza, pasta and delights like Tiramisu!

Whatever your wish list for your luxury ski chalet holiday in Les Houches, then we think you’ll find it with a Chamonix Unlimited Ski Pass.

Thursday 28 September, 2017
Holidays with a VIP Driver

If you’ve ever wondered why you should consider booking a luxury ski chalet for your next skiing trip to the Chamonix valley, here are the top reasons that spring to mind:

  • When you book an exclusive week’s winter holiday at BlackRock Ski Lodge – either self-catered or fully-catered - our concierge service is included in the price. That means we’ll work with you every step of the way from the moment you make your booking until you arrive to create the perfect holiday for you and your guests. 
  • There’ll be no need to spend hours queueing at the hire shop to get your boots and kit fitted either. We’ll provide our ski rental specialists with everyone’s details so that they can bring everything you need to the chalet and you can enjoy a glass of fizz whilst having your boots and skis fitted.
  • Our concierge service means that every member of your party is taken care of. We’ll organise it all - from the best mountain guides to take the adventurous amongst you into the back country terrain that makes Chamonix world-famous to organising spa trips for the non-skiers, and from making reservations at the perfect lunch stop to booking your baby-sitter so you can head to the best aprés parties in town.
  • If you book a fully-catered break at our luxury chalet les Houches, then you’ll have a VIP Driver at your disposal between 8am and 6pm every day and never more than an hour’s notice away. That way you can explore all that the Chamonix Unlimited ski pass has to offer from the family-friendly slopes of Les Houches to the off piste wonderland of Grands Montets or, if you want to venture further afield, then we’ll whisk you to the high spots of Verbier in Switzerland, the ‘sunny side’ of Mont Blanc in the gorgeous Italian resort of Courmayeur or the millionaire playground of Megeve. So, whether you want to ski, relax, shop or just go exploring, the world’s your oyster.
  • Another key ingredient of any great ski holiday is without doubt the food. Our experience professional chefs will make sure that everyone is catered for, from the fussiest of children to those with food allergies and intollerances, the menu will be tailored to meet your tastes! For those of you with children in the group, then high tea is always on offer if you’d rather make dinner a grown-up only affair.

Whatever your idea is of the perfect skiing holiday, then it will be our pleasure to create it for you. It’s all part of our five star service.

#luxury #chalet #leshouches #skiing #snowboarding #catered #concierge #VIP #driver


Wednesday 9 August, 2017
Summer family fun

Everyone thinks of Chamonix as a destination for winter ski holidays, but what lots of people don't realise is how fantastic it is in the summer too!

If you are looking for an adventure playground for an family activity holiday, then a luxury chalet in Chamonix should be at the top of your wish list. Whether you opt for self catered or fully catered (or somewhere in between) no two days will be the same.

You'll discover there's no shortage of things to do to keep children of all ages entertained and as part of our concierge service, we can help you create the perfect package of activities for all the family.

Chamonix is famous for rock climbing and mountaineering and children as young as five can embark on classes at Les Gaillands and learn how to climb. There are tree top adventures and zip wires to whiz down too at the Acro Park next to the climbing crag. 


White water rafting and hydro speeding are big favourites in the summer and when it's 30 degrees and you want to cool down, this is a brilliant option for all the family - grown-ups included!

No trip to Chamonix is complete without heading high into the mountains and with the Aiguille du Midi lift available to whisk you to 3,800 metres, there's no excuse not to go and take a close up look at Europe's mythical mountain, Mont Blanc.

With stunning views across France, Italy and Switzerland, this is an adventure which should be on everyone's bucket list. And if you aren't too phased by heights stepping into the void - a glass box at the summit of the Aiguille du Midi to gaze and the glacier 1000 metres below your feet shouldn't be missed either.

Chamonix isn't all about mountain sports either. For golf lovers then there's a beautiful course in Les Praz. There's also the Paradis de Praz, which is perfect for smaller children, with the river to splash in and pony rides and a play ground to be enjoyed. A great picnic spot nestled in the trees, its a great place to while away the time.

Mountain bikes also play a part in any Chamonix summer holiday. You don't need to bring them with you, there are hire options and no shortage of trails to explore once you are kitted out.

Road bikes also feature and with some of the best cols of Le Tour on our doorstep, you can always pit yourself against some local classics such as the col de Montets, the col de Forclaz and Emmoson Dam.

If you are a water baby, then why not swap the seaside for a mount lake with magnificent views. Passy, Annecy and Montruond are an adventure in themselves.

No summer trip to Chamonix would be complete without checking out the breathtaking views from on high whilst floating beneath a paraglider - the closest experience you'll ever have to flying like a bird.

Why not give us a call and let us help you plan your next summer holiday? 

Tuesday 27 June, 2017
Climb Mont Blanc

We’re excited to be hosting 360 Expeditions Climb Mont Blanc weeks again this summer. Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc has been the source of both awe and inspiration for generations of climbers since the 1800s.


Local IFMG Mountain Guide Stuart MacDonald will be guiding these weeks. We caught up with him to ask about what it takes to make the climb and the kind of preparation which will help you make it to the summit. 


“The key to a successful summit is your fitness level,” comments Stuart. “Guests for these trips don’t need to have any previous climbing or mountaineering skills, however they do need to be fit.


“We have a number of days to acclimatise and teach the technical skills demanded for the climb – use of crampons and ice axe, glacier travel and rope work. A week however isn’t long enough to make guests fit enough to complete the climb.


“I’m often asked the question, ‘how fit do I need to be?’. The answer can be quantified as, fit enough to jog a half marathon. If you’ve previously walked up Kilimanjaro or walked to Everest base camp, for example, then Mont Blanc would be within your capability.


“We tell anyone wanting to join these climbing weeks that it’s not about speed – you don’t need to able to sprint – you need stamina. It’s a long day so you need to have the stamina to walk the ascent and make the descent, which can take up to nine hours.


“It’s not too late to get fit for a summit attempt this summer. My advise is go to your local gym and ask for a fitness assessment. Also think about your overall health. If you’ve been carrying a few extra pounds, they could make the difference between success and failure on this adventure.


“Then, if you possibly can, head for the hills and start walking. Your goal is lots of low intensity/long duration hiking with as much up and down hill as possible. It’s all about training your body to deal with being on the move.


“One of the great things about the 360 Expeditions trips is that they are based at BlackRock Ski Lodge, which means that whilst you’ll be working hard in the mountains, you’ll be pampered when you get back to base. This luxury chalet has everything you might want at the end of a long day, from a Jacuzzi with glorious views to an honesty bar from which to grab a well deserved beer!”

Find out more about our Climb Mont Blanc weeks.


Sunday 18 June, 2017
Summer at BlackRock Ski Lodge

The sky is blue and the lifts have now all opened for the summer season and we can't wait. There's so much to do in the Chamonix valley both for adults and for children.

Use our luxury chalet in Les Houches as your base to discover all that's on offer in Chamonix. There are classic bucket list adventures like a trip to the top of the Aguille du Midi lift and the Montenvers Railway to the Mer du Glace and it's famous ice caves - they cut them new every year so that visitors can walk inside the glacier!

There's also a host of sporting and cultural events on the calendar including:

  • Marathon du Mont Blanc - a weekend of trail running at the end of June with places still available for the 10km race and the children's events.
  • Chamonix Yoga Festival - a gathering of yoga's best teachers and the opportunity to discover or expand your own practice in an international atmosphere.
  • World Cup Climbing - watch the world's best as they compete on the climbing wall in the centre of Chamonix.
  • Cosmo Jazz Festival - artists from around the globe will be playing open air concerts in breathtaking locations.
  • Fete des Guides - culminating in an amazing sound and light show on the climbing wall at Les Gaillands, this annual celebration of Chamonix's guiding community shouldn't be missed.
  • Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - a gather of amazing athletes from around the world who will pit themselves against the challenge of running around the mountain through France, Italy and Switzerland.

Whatever your goals for your holiday, from simply relaxing and enjoying the views to creating your own action-packed adventures, we're always on hand to help you make the most of your stay in the Chamonix valley.

There's biking, hiking, climbing, running, swimming and more. Here's Chloe, the youngest member of the BlackRock team, discovering the high wire tree adventure for the first time!


Monday 29 May, 2017
Counting down to summer

Inter-season in the Chamonix valley always brings extra-ordinary weather as this fantastic picture shows - winter to summer in a single day. It's also been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and family here at the Lodge - which is open all-year round.
We had a wonderful time putting our triathlon knowledge to good use working as support crew for friends competing in the Rumilly triathlon, as well as heading to Italy for some wake boarding fun.

It's also been the perfect opportunity to focus on our training programme for this summer's Marathon du Mont Blanc at the end of June. A first for both me and Paul, the course profile is 42km (so a standard marathon distance), but run on high mountain trails and including 2,730 metres of climb and 2,043 metres of descent.

We're hoping the weather will be on our side, but valley weather patterns can be unpredictable, as friends found when they were running through torrential rain and freezing hail storms a few years ago.

Training is on track though and we have some big training sessions coming up over the next few weeks when we'll be able to see for ourselves whether the course is now snow free (another key consideration for a high route this early in the trail running season).

In the meantime, summer bookings are coming in and we're getting the chalet ready to welcome visitors from all over the world.

Lizzy and Paul

Wednesday 5 April, 2017
Marathon training gets underway

We've loved being able to ski tour out of the back garden all winter, but Spring's here and it's time to think about the Marathon du Mont Blanc. Although marathon distances aren't something new for us - they've generally been mostly flat at the end of a triathlon.

This one is a mountain trail marathon which includes some 2,700m of ascent and 1,700m descent alongside the 42km route. Having tackled the half marathon in 2014, I know it's no mean feat and demands to be taken seriously.

For me and Paul that means it's time to get the trail shoes out and get our running mojo back. It's been helped by the fact that snow has disappeared from the lower trails now, revealing some of our favourite rolling trail routes, and making some of the longer climbs easier.

It also has the added benefit of being another way to 'walk the dog'. I think Koda might love running as much as he does skiing - and here's a picture to prove it - although it's always best done in the cool of the morning or evening rather than in midday sun, even this early in the year.

For those of you unfamiliar with this particular marathon, here's a link to the race profile - it's making me nervous just looking at it. It's a beautiful course though which takes in most of the Chamonix valley. A rolling 17km route takes you out to Vallorcine via the petite balcon Nord, Argentiere and the Col du Mont. What follows is the climb to the Aiguilettes des Posettes at 2,201 metres before dropping back down to le Tour and then la Flegere and Plan Praz at le Brevent for the finish.

One of the biggest unknowns for this race will be the weather on the day. It takes place at the end of June but we know from supporting friends who've raced the course, that's no guarantee of good weather.

Whilst in 2014 I did the half marathon on a warm, dry sunny day, the marathon the following day started in frigid temperatures with wind, rain and storms on high - Paul delivering a flask of coffee and a dry T-shirt to our friend at the col du Possettes then waived her off into a hail storm!

What we do both know though, is that the key will be consistent training, so we'll be keeping you posted on how we get on over the next few weeks.

Right, where are my running shoes!

Lizzy

Friday 27 January, 2017
It's never too soon to learn to ski

One of the reasons we built BlackRock Ski Lodge was to fulfill a long held ambition to create for other people the kind of skiing holidays that we love - it was also so that we could indulge our love of the sport and be able to live in the beautiful Chamonix valley.

The fact that we've now been able to introduce Chloe our daughter to our love of snow sports has been one of the highlights of this winter. It's not been without its anxieties however - I'm sure we aren't the first and nor will be the last  parents to be crossing our fingers that she'd love it rather than hate it.

Luckily we have friends with children of a similar age so we were able to arrange a small group private lesson for them last weekend and we all did our best to keep our nerves from running away from us.

As you'll see from the pictures though, she loved it and we can now start to look forward to skiing en familie even if that's only on the nursery slopes. Definitely qualifies as happy days thoughs.

Lizzy


Thursday 26 January, 2017
Triathlon training starts here
Lots of you who are following BlackRock Ski Lodge on Facebook will have seen our lovely pictures of skiing with Koda our very own #PowderHound.

What many of you won't know is that our early morning and late afternoons 'walking' the dog up the hill on touring skis is actually the first phase of our training for a triathlon this summer.

One of our friends who's having a significant birthday in June decided that what she'd most love to do to celebrate was enter the Rumilly Triathlon near Annecy.

So effectively, she's kicking-off our sporting Team Take-over option having booked out the Lodge for a week and roping us all in to compete with her in a half Ironman.