Winter Ski Rental

Part of the Aravis region, Le Grand Bornand-Chinaillon is renowned by the French as a great Ski Area for both Alpine and Cross-Country skiing. Several ski, snowboard and cross-country champions come from the village, having originally trained on our slopes. The resort is also known as a sympathetic place for disabled skiing. The next door resort of La Clusaz is just a 20-minute drive away and also linked by ski bus. Major resorts including Chamonix can be reached in around an hour’s drive.

Apartment to rent in Le Grand Bornand

Chalet Balaena is a 3 minutes’ drive or 15 minutes’ walk to the main ski lifts of Le Grand Bornand-Chinaillon. From here you can link into 90km of pistes suitable for all standards of skiers and snowboarders and there are plenty of off-piste opportunities when the powder is right. One evening a week there is floodlit night-skiing.

Chinaillon Vieux Village

The view to the old village of Chinaillon from Chalet Balaena

Ski Passes, Rental and Instructions

As well as a range of day or weekly passes, a season’s pass can be purchased at a very reasonable rate in advance of the beginning of the season.  There is also a slightly more expensive pass for the Aravis area, which allows skiing in nearby La Clusaz. The is a large choice of ski shops for equipment rental or purchase. For instruction, as well as the ESF (Ecole de Ski Français) there are two private, independent ski schools with several excellent English-speaking instructors.

Cross-Country Skiing (Ski de Fond):
Chalet Balaena is right by the start of the Cross-Country pistes which extend over 12km into beautiful woodland. There is a total of 58km of tracks including Le Grand Bornand. There is a link to the La Clusaz/Confins Cross-Country area. The ESF have a team of dedicated Cross-Country ski teachers.

The little road leading to Chalet Balaena

cross-country ski

Cross-country ski tracks being just behind the chalet.

Winter Walking & Snowshoeing:
The chalet is located on an official winter walking track which is machined to make walking on snow easier, even just with walking boots. You can also hire snowshoes to enable you to go off the official track more easily. The Cross-Country ski school arranges weekly Snowshoeing outings.

Winter Life:
The location of Chalet Balaena with its stunning view across the mountains is a perfect compromise between easy access to slopes, shops and restaurants, and a quiet place to get away from the crowds. The shops and restaurants in Chinaillon are open every day during the ski season from the weekend before Christmas until the last weekend in April. The village of Le Grand Bornand has a greater choice of shops and restaurants and is particularly worth visiting for its weekly market, which continues every Wednesday morning whatever the weather, as it has for hundreds of years. The village hosts several ski competitions through the winter and often lays on activities such as torchlight ski descents, fireworks and other entertainments.

ski mountain restaurant

Restaurant Panoramique at the top of the Floria chairlift, accessible by ski or on foot

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