The words French Alps and skiing seem to be synonymous; very few think of one without the other. The word alpine is derived from the Alps themselves and alpine skiing is a draw many cannot resist. The region receives visitors from all over the world that enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the variety of ski slopes available.

The hundreds of ski resorts found cater to cross country and downhill skiers, with one of the most luxurious, and famous, being Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. This resort holds prestige for being first, in 1924, to host the Winter Olympics. Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, at 15,744 feet, the area is well known for not only its extreme skiing, but a plethora of other mountain sports, including mountain climbing, snowboarding, and even biking in summer months.

Imagine if you will, waking up, looking out the window, and seeing a light dusting of new snow, alluring you to rush outside and ride the highest cable car in the world up to the peak of the mountain, only to find your way slowly back down the slope, the brisk air chilling, knowing when you return to the resort, a cup of hot chocolate and a warm fire await. Many find the challenge of the ski slopes well worth the effort, pitting their skills against the elements a way to feel invigorated. A more leisurely path at the base of the mountain, exploring the woods as you cross country ski can be just as enjoyable, though perhaps not the adrenaline rush of a fast downhill slope.

With so many diverse pastimes available, there is no doubt why the French Alps hold popularity. Glaciers sculpted the Alps, which gives the valleys located here a mild climate, and guarantees beauty in the summer months, the rich soil being perfect to accommodate an array of wildflowers. This makes the French Alps a year round location for the outdoor enthusiast.

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