A good introduction to Chamonix ski touring which nonetheless features a short bootpack and an exposed traverse.

Statistics

Analysing terrain data

Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs…) but only the consequences of the skier falling.

Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.

Medium Exposure (E2)As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Description

From the top of the Floria Drag Lift, ski north for 20 metres and put skins on and skin northwards towards the Col Crochues.

After around 250 metres of height gain it is usually necessary to take skins off and bootpack the remaining 50 vertical metres up to the Col.

Crampons are generally not required for the bootpack but may be useful in icy conditions.

From the Col, make a long descending traverse rightwards, passing under the Aiguilles Crochues west face and the Pointe Alphonse Favre south face to reach a large shoulder at c.2300 metres at the foot of the Pointe Alphonse Favre's west ridge.

The latter part of this traverse is exposed, particularly on icy spring mornings so take care and keep concentrating all the way! Once at the shoulder, put skins back on and climb north-east up to the Col de Berard- despite its innocuous appearance this slope does avalanche, sometimes unexpectedly from the recent wind direction.

From here, descend the wonderful Berard valley to the tree line.

There are countless variations which can be taken to reach the tree line.

Once there, stay right of the river and ski to the hamlet of Le Buet via a good track and the occasional tricky section of tight tree skiing.

Keep a check on your speed on this lower bit- it tends to ski a bit faster than you would like and it is popular with snow shoers, who occasionally walk up the track in large groups.

From Le Buet, take the train back to Les Praz and the Flégère carpark.