Ski Beneath the Chamonix Giants : Freeride La Balme

10 unmissable ski lines below the towering peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif.

Freeride Skiing Difficult, Severe

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Wonderful light and views from the mellower lower section.
Wonderful light and views from the mellower lower section. Photo: Charlie Boscoe


With the Aiguille du Midi, Brévent-Flégère and Grands Montets stealing the limelight, it can be easy to overlook La Balme - an absolute gem of a ski area at the northern end of the Chamonix valley. At first glance La Balme looks a little tame (so do most areas when compared to Chamonix's raddest ski lines!) but the resort rewards those with an adventurous spirit - a little exploration goes a long way here!

Once you've peeled back the slightly tame-looking exterior of La Balme you'll find lines which will satisfy any freerider, regardless of their level. There are some mellow-ish lines, but the majority of routes in this guidebook are geared towards the advanced skier able to handle themselves in big, steep and serious terrain.

Many of the lines described here take you down - over the Swiss border - into the little village of Trient, and this only adds to the element of adventure. Don't worry, there's a bus back, but dropping into a different valley - let alone a different country - always makes a run feel more exciting... as if La Balme's freeride routes weren't adventurous enough already!

Routes included

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