There are several shops near the chalet – Praz Sports, Ravanel and Echo Base are all good, and it’s useful to rent locally as it makes life easy if you need them to be serviced, adjusted or changed. There are also plenty of good choices in Chamonix. It’s always best to book in advance for a good deal, and well worth checking a few sites before you book, as there are often special offers to be had.
Close to the chalet
Echo Base are in a small shop just by the Flegere entrance and have an excellent selection of skis and snowboards for all levels including wide WhiteDots for powder days and local eco-friendly Idris. Also on Facebook.
Ravanel Sports have a very good selection, will deliver, Salomon, Dynastar and Volkl, cross country, snowshoe, ski, snowboard (Salomon women’s snowboard boots available), touring and kids. Mountaineering and touring gear such as transceivers,ice axes, poles, crampons are also stocked, and waxing etc available. Family run and friendly, in a nice wooden shop close to the chalet at the Flegere base.
Praz Sports have very reasonable prices, opposite the village shop in Les Praz. Small and friendly, family run, have touring & avalanche gear to rent, board and ski wax and service available.
In Chamonix: Snowboards
Zero G is the best place in town for snowboard hire.
Burton for all levels plus a really good selection of top end boards, including all kinds of unusual and local brands. They are also the local splitboards. They also have a friendly and helpful workshop area and keep plenty of spares in stock.
Also the best selection of clothes in Chamonix.
In Chamonix: Skis, boots & mountain equipment
Sanglard Sports has a good selection, free delivery and houses The Boot Room – a really top class boot fitting service, Jules fits the boots for the French Ski team. On the roundabout on the way in to Chamonix. Good selection, also have ABS bags, Goretex jackets and pants to hire.
Sole are a small independent bootfitters who stock only the best! Highly recommended. They fitted my boots for the Haute route and I didn’t get a single blister. Sales only, but well worth a look if you’re thinking of buying.
Freshtrax (formerly Otovalo) is the best place by far for telemark skis – call up and ask for Jeremy, he is really knowledgeable and enthusiastic. 163, rue Joseph Vallot, Tel +33 (0) 4 50 53 02 17. They are K2 specialists, but you can also rent the locally made, beautiful and highly recommended Rabbit on the Roof tele skis here – made just around the corner from the chalet, in Les Praz.
Fat skis for powder days
Echo Base, as above, have the excellent Whitedots. Hurycana on the way to Argentiere (look out for the sign on the right) have the best selection of Black Crows including Noctas, plus a good selection of touring skis. Snell and Sanglard would also be good places to look.
With mountaineering gear
Snell Sports have possibly the biggest selection of skis in Chamonix, will also rent ABS bags, avalanche beepers, crampons, touring gear, ice axes for mountaineering and ice climbing, mountaineering boots etc. They also rent carriers for babies and small children.