If you have time to fit them in around all the usual apres-ski parties, DJ nights, snow sports competitions, live music and world-class ski races, Chamonix also has the following events that take place every winter - there's no rest for the wicked!
Opening weekend: Usually scheduled for the 1st or 2nd weekend in December, depending on snow. Pistes open, lifts whir back into action and the town comes to life with opening parties and the 1st apres-ski sessions of winter.
The lighting of the town Christmas tree: Usually taking place the first week of December, this is now an annual tradition and comes complete with a procession through town at dusk, street entertainers and mulled wine.
Christmas & New Year: A magical time to be in the Alps, Chamonix is especially pretty at this time of year with lights and decorations glinting off the snow. Take the little red train up to Santa’s grotto on the glacier and join in with Christmas carols in the main square. Christmas Eve processions of street performers and artists through the town also build excitement for the big day!
Don’t count on skiing much on the 1st January, as New Year’s Eve in Chamonix goes on all night long!
Night skiing in Les Houches: Usually taking place every Thursday evening in January & into early February on the Tourchet nursery slope in Les Houches, try night skiing on the flood-lit slopes with hot chocolate and mulled wine served to warm up.
Kandahar World Cup:
After a 4-year hiatus, the Kandahar Men’s Alpine Ski World Cup returned to the Chamonix Valley in 2020. This event, one of the most important in the
global ski calendar, takes place on Les Houches' famous Kandahar run, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world. There are 2 days of competition, as well as numerous activities and entertainment to accompany the event.
Chamonix Unlimited Festival:
This Black Crows sponsored electronic music festival is a week-long event full of DJs, parties and events. The vibe of the festival is urban meets alpine with the majority of main venues either at the lift stations or at the top of the mountain, for hedonistic vibes and stunning views.
Closing Weekend: By early May the snow may have seen better days but the sun is out and Chamonix is ready to say goodbye to winter in style! Get up early if you want one last day on the slopes, as by midday it will be soft and slushy. By that time the BBQ will be smoking, the drinks will be flowing and the tunes will be banging! If you’re feeling particularly brave you can have a go at the water slide, if you end up wet (you will) you can just change into your fancy dress costume (you did bring one, right?). Usually held on the first Saturday in May at Les Grands Montets, finishing off with apres-ski in Argentiere.
Hockey Matches: Chamonix hockey team, the Chamonix Pioneers, compete in the Synerglace Magnus league and host regular home games against teams from all around France. Matches usually take place on either Wednesday, Friday or Sunday evenings, depending on the schedule, and you can buy tickets directly on site at the ice rink.