Col du Belvédère

Brévent/Flégère

Chamonix

A Chamonix classic which features a beautiful ascent, an exciting, long abseil and some stunning north facing bowls.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
5.5 km
Ascent
611 m
Descent
1.2 km
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
57˚
VIEW ON MAP
Col du Belvédère Map

Description

From the top of the Floria draglift, traverse around Combe des Aiguilles Crochues, holding as much height as possible, until at the foot of the long blunt ridge above the Cabane de la Tête Aubuy. Sidestep/shuffle uphill for 10 vertical metres to a large flat area. Put skins on here and climb up to Lac Blanc, which is completely frozen in winter. Cross the Lac and make a long and beautiful ascent up to the Col du Belvédère. On the north side of the Col is a narrow and very steep (c.50 degrees) couloir, which can be side slipped but is abseiled by most parties using an in-situ bolted anchor. (The abseil requires at least 2 50 metre ropes but 60's are better.) From the bottom of the abseil there is another bolted anchor on the left (when facing downhill) that allows for another abseil down the 45 degree slope below but most people ski (or sideslip!) from the bottom of the first abseil. Either option leads to gradually the gradually mellowing slopes of the Glacier de Bérard. Stay skiers L down this glacier- it is more of an old icy tongue rather a true crevassed glacier- crevasses are very rarely found here if you stay L. After this you join the Bérard valley itself with many additional tracks joining from Col Berard. Descend to the tree line and then 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. From Le Buet, take the train back to Les Praz and the Flégère carpark.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area