Chamonix has a great choice of ski schools and ski instructors for both children and adults.
Locations vary according to the school, the age, the group and so on, and may change according to conditions – there isn’t a specific ‘learner area’ that all schools use. Buses or trains run to all the slopes, and some ski schools offer transport – for instance Evolution 2 will pick kids up for their Panda Club, and some private instructors will collect you from the chalet.
They generally have plenty of English speaking options. It’s a very good idea to reserve the lessons in advance, especially during peak season, as they do get booked up, and also to book any equipment hire you may need at the same time.
You can either join a group or book private instruction. Joining a group is of course cheaper but if you are a large party then a private instructor can be comparable in price.
Areas for learners can be anywhere in the valley, varying from the central Chamonix Planards and Savoy slopes to Le Tour.
Whether for children or adults, we recommend Evolution 2 – it’s friendly and well run, with an excellent range of classes and the best facilities for small children at their Panda Club. They will pick up or drop off children at the chalet by arrangement.
The British Alpine Ski School has a good reputation for instruction at all levels. They use all the ski areas but are most often in Les Houches. My brother had several days instruction with them as a family group and recommended them highly.
ESF- The Ecole Ski Francais has a bit of a reputation for being militant but there are some very good instructors working there – ask to meet them if possible before lessons start. Lessons in English usually available, but in all honestly they would not be my first choice especially for smaller kids.
Very small children
It’s generally recommended that kids start skiing at about 4 – depending on the individual child. Evolution 2’s Panda Club, in Argentiere at the base of the Lognan lift, has loads of fun activities, inflatables and ski lessons for kids over three, and always have English speaking staff available. From 5-7 they can start snowboard lessons here too. They can pick up children from the chalet in the morning. Full details and levels here.
For a large family, or two families holidaying together, it’s often worth thinking about a private instructor for the group, which needn’t cost much more and can be a very rewarding way to learn. All the above companies will offer this, also Anne Bosvieux is an independent ski and snowboard instructor with a very good reputation.
Kids at the chalet
The chalet is very family-friendly, with plenty of family equipment available. If you’ve got little ones, you may find the Family activities in Winter page also useful, and there are lots of things to do in the Chamonix for Non-skiers section, with a full programme for a week here: Seven days in Chamonix for non-skiers.
Adult learners and advanced ski and snowboard schools
All of the schools listed above offer tuition for adults at varying levels – again, Evolution 2 probably have the widest choice – and there are also some specific advanced schools which you may be interested in.
Tinderbox Ski School offers guiding, private & family instruction, avalanche awareness, touring and off piste courses, and were highly recommended by our guests who used them.
Guillaume Ravanel (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an excellent local instructor and guide, also highly recommended by our guests
All Mountain Performance offer advanced off-piste and all mountain ski courses throughout the year.
Snowboarding & Splitboarding
Again, this is offered by Evolution 2, who run groups at various levels, plus I also recommend:
McNab Snowboarding – Backcountry, off piste snowboarding and splitboard touring courses. I did the McNab off-piste course a while ago and highly recommend it!
Stentiford Snowboarding is run by our friend James Stentiford. He’s a great guy, an excellent teacher and of course a fantastic snowboarder.
Horsemouth Snowboarding – Another friend of ours offers courses and instruction, backcountry or freestyle based.