St Gervais Ski AreaSt Gervais is one of the six villages that comprise the Domaine Evasion Mont Blanc ski area. The open layout of the upper slopes makes it possible to ski in the sun for the majority of the day and navigation around the ski area is easy. Or you can take the Mont Blanc tramway to explore the separate Les Houches area.
Evasion Mont Blanc
The Mont d’Arbois hub at 1840m looks down on St Gervais and St Nicholas de Veroce on one side, Mergeve on the other. It can also be used as a staging post along the way to first Mont Joux (1958m) then to the highest point of the area, Mont Joly at 2,525m (although the lifts don’t go the top). From Mont Joly, off-piste skiers can ski across to Les Contamines (be careful, if in doubt take a guide) where a whole new sector opens up. Those who prefer to stick to pistes can join them by skiing down to St Nicholas de Veroce and taking a bus.
But there is no need to hurry away from the excellent local skiing on Mont D’Arbois and Mont Joux. The Red and Blue Princesse runs through the trees, Milloz, Prapacot, Gd Bois and Encraty, are superb. They link with the more gentle green Le Plan run half way down to take you to the bottom of the Princesse gondola for the ride back up.
The red Marmire run to the bottom of the Monts Rossets lift and the blue Finance run into le Bettex are both non-stop leg burners and the shorter Idealand Raviere runs are also great fun. For more of a challenge, ride the Mont Joly lift ski the black Chamois run down from the top.
The run back to St Gervais is a more tricky red and many people opt to ride the gondola from Le Bettex down at the end of the skiing day.
But that’s far from all. Please read our Megeve ski area section for the rest of the skiing in the Evasion Mont Blanc area.
St Gervais Mont Blanc Tramway (Les Houches)
The tree-lined pistes above Les Houches are accessed from St Gervais using the Mont Blanc tramway to Prarion. They are mostly for intermediates and below. Advanced skiers will want to explore the off-piste routes through the trees.
From the train station at the top of Prarion (1900m) you can ski down on either the St Gervais side or the Les Houches side. On the St Gervais side, the pistes go down to the bottom of the Plancerts lift (1370m) but advanced skiers in good snow conditions can carry on off-piste all the way back into St Gervais. On the Les Houches side, skiers can descend on piste all the way to the bottom of the Bellevue lift (1000m) outside Les Houches, on either blue or black runs (and there are some red variants as well but they don’t go all the way to the bottom). Alternatively they can veer off to the Col de Voza (1650m) and take a couple of smaller lifts to reach more pistes at the top of Bellevue (1800m).
In total there are 55kms of piste at Les Houches divided into 2 greens, 8 blues, 13 reds and 4 blacks, including the famous world cup run ‘La Verte des Houches’, usually simply referred to as Verte. For experts, the main challenge is not its steepness, but seeing how fast they can take it.
And of course Les Houches is just the start of the Chamonix valley. For more details see our Chamonix ski area section.
Mont Blanc Unlimited
If you splash out on a Mont Blanc unlimited pass, you can use St Gervais as a base to explore not only the entire Evasion Mont Blanc area and Les Houches, but also the rest of Chamonix, Verbier and Courmayeur. Although there are good buses in the Chamonix valley, to get full value from the pass you are going to need a car, and several days holiday.