I'm planning to rent a place for a month in the Chamonix valley from mid-August to mid-September to use as a base for day hikes and a week-long hut hike. We are trying to decide whether to stay in Chamonix proper or in Argentiere. Is the summer bus service truly reliable and frequent enough (and departing early enough) to stay in Argentiere without a car? Or if we plan to go carless should we stay in Chamonix? Bus schedules I've found are for winter not summer.
Likewise, if we stay in Argentiere but rent a car, will it be difficult to find free parking near the lifts in Chamonix? (We don't mind parking and walking a bit if necessary).
Finally, when people say it's crowded on the hiking trails in the area. Just how crowded is crowded?
Thanks for your help!