With such a short window I would skip the Italian side and do one day on the Brevent/La Flegere section, one day at Grand Montets and one day for Valle Blanche which requires a guide. If you can swing it money wise hire the same guide for all 3 days. You really need a guide to get the most out of Cham.
"It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport."
Artic Explorer Fridtjof Nansen
Yeh I just wish I had more time there but this whole thing stared out as a Paris trip...but I refused to go to Europe in February without some skiing being involved!
As far as going to the Italian side it was more about going into Italy, checking out the town, and just the overall experience than just the skiing. Honestly, my wife would be challenged there, so I was thinking of hitting it first for the previously mentioned reasons as well as to not get her discouraged at one of the larger places on day 1. This trip just isn’t going to be a hardcore ski trip....will have to come back with just the guys for that.
If you spend the night in Courmayeur, check out the Roma Bar. It has a free apres ski spread that can be your dinner. You can do Grande Montes without a guide, if you stay close to the piste. Just don't venture up to the glacier.
Avitar=Left Gully, Tuckerman Ravine
No Fat Chicks, Just Fat Skis
I was on that trip with Poindexter. It was one of my favorite all time ski vacations. Neck and neck with Lech-St. Anton.
Unlike a previous poster, I wouldn't necessarily write Coumayer off. We arrived there one morning at opening and basically had the mountain to ourselves for the first 2-3 hours. The grooming was phenomenal ... Deer Valley level. If you enjoy fast groomers, definitely go. Also, the on-mountain food was excellent. Look for a tiny Italian restaurant run by a guy from California.
As for Chamonix, Brevent/La Flegere was wonderful, and we spent 2 days there. If conditions allow, Grand Montets has serious vertical, and with a guide (recommended), you can ski the glacier. Valle Blanche is a three-quarter day experience, and well worth it. Just be aware that once you get down the first third of the glacier, the skiing is pretty tame. Regardless, the scenery is spectacular, and you end up skiing some 25 km from the peak all the way into Chamonix, weather permitting. And the descent down the Arret will be a truly memorable experience.
Oh, and the town is wonderful. Not prefab at all. Plenty of great, but *very* expensive, restaurants.
Thanks for the feedback - I had read through you guys posts about that trip and it sounded great.
Glad to hear an alternative opinion on the town as well as Courmayeur. For me personally, maybe not what I’d target ski-wise, but for my wife perfect groomers would be great. I’m sure I can find enough challenging things to keep myself busy while skiing with her.
As far as cost in Chamonix - did you find it to be throughout every place or were you able to find some reasonable places cost wise?
And Courmayeur you didn’t find to be overpriced?
Also one more thing which I’ve been trying to figure out - I probably will buy the Mont Blanc Unlimited as you did - but where did you buy it? Just at the lift ticket booths? I wanted to try and get my hands on them beforehand because I may get into town after offices close and I don’t want to waste time in the morning acquiring one and then getting over to Italy. Delays on ski day mornings drive me nuts. I’m an early person.