Le Chamoniard, from one century to the next

The Chamoniard will soon be one hundred years old! Originally named the “Hôtel des chasseurs”, before being called the “Chamoniard”, it was inaugurated in 1929, five years after the 1924 Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix. In those years, when the famous writer Roger Frison Roche became the first “foreigner” to join the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix, the valley opened up to visitors who had come to explore the Aiguilles de Chamonix.

The establishment, one of Chamonix's oldest mountain refuges, took part in the birth and golden age of mountaineering. On Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, the establishment transforms into a guinguette, and the dance floor comes alive to the rhythm of the accordion, as visitors begin to flock from all over the world to discover the Mont-Blanc massif.

Photo: Mer de glace en 1929, Chamonix

Forty years of passion for Mont Blanc

Erick and Sylvaine discovered the Chamonix Valley in the early 1980s. At the time, they were two thirty-somethings passionate about nature and wide-open spaces. Fascinated by the beauty of the Alpine landscapes and the mountain spirit of the valley, they decided to settle here. They bought the Chamoniard, which had been waiting for a new lease of life. Renamed Le Chamoniard Volant, thanks to Erick and Sylvaine it regained its original identity as a mountain-style refuge for mountaineers worldwide.

For almost a century, Le Chamoniard Volant has been a friendly stopover where the mountain spirit of the valley has been preserved. The Chamoniard Volant community, with its many loyal travelers (winter and summer alike), is animated by a unique spirit, based on mountain values (respect, simplicity, kindness) and cosmopolitanism. The whole world meets up at Le Chamoniard Volant!

The Chamoniard, witness, and actor in the beginnings of paragliding

Erick, passionate about aerial sports and holder of a “wing” qualification from the French Parachuting Federation, discovered Chamonix in 1980 when he was looking to learn paragliding. Attracted by this fledgling discipline, he signed up for a course at the Para Club de Mieussy, “Les Choucas”, the historic cradle of paragliding founded by Jean-Claude Bétemps, Gérard Bosson, and André Bohn. This course was a revelation for Erick, not only for the freedom of flight but also for the breathtaking beauty of the Alps.

This passion for paragliding led to the addition of "wings" to the name of the Chamoniard refuge, which became the Chamoniard Volant (The Flying Chamoniard).

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The ancestor of travel reviews!

From the very beginning, Le Chamoniard volant has always received, and continues to receive, kind letters from all over the world, from travelers who have stayed with us for a few days or weeks. We have preserved this collection of letters, photos, postcards and drawings received over the years by way of thanks, which have come to form a unique history of travelers in the Chamonix valley.


A trail runner's haven for 20 years

At the end of August, Chamonix is the place to be for extreme runners preparing for the start of the Ultratrail du Mont-Blanc (or UTMB), a legendary mountain race that every year reserves some of the strongest emotions the Alps have to offer.

The approximately 170 km and 10,000 m of ascent have to be covered in less than 48 hours and under perilous weather conditions (rain, snow, wind, heatwave, cold, night). The speed record is currently held by American Jim Walmsley with a time of 19 hours 1 minute and 54 seconds (2023). In the women's category, American Courtney Dauwalter holds the record with a United States time of 22 hours 30 minutes (2022).

Every year, Le Chamoniard Volant welcomes many UTMB trailers and their supporters and lives to the rhythm of this unique competition.