Mont Buet North Face

Arve Valley

Chamonix

A beautiful and classic steep face with a hazardous entrance

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
5.2 km
Ascent
22 m
Descent
1.6 km
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
3.1 km
Gradient
49˚
Mont Buet North Face Map

An attractive and prominent face, it is impressive to think that it was used as a venue for the Swatch Big Mountain Pro freeride contest in 2008.

Description

There are two approaches to skiing the face. Climb the line itself starting from Le Buet (follow the descent route in reverse as is described below), or the more popular option of starting from Flégère and skiing the face 'on-sight'. If starting from Flégère, ascend Mont Buet via one of the two routes as described for its south-east face. Once on the summit area, be sure to keep a very healthy distance away from the edge of the huge cornices that guard its north face - these can break off much further back than expected. There is normally one good entrance into a prominent couloir that splits the north face. From the summit itself, head north along the length of the ridge for about 300 meters until it's possible to locate a good and safe entrance (approach the edge while being belayed with a rope if you are unsure). Ski down the face and out onto what remains of the small glacier at the bottom. Continue rightwards down the Val de Trè-les-Eaux until the valley turns into a narrow canyon. Here there are two (both adventurous) options. The easier way in lean to moderate snow conditions is to bootpack up the left bank before the valley turns into a narrow canyon. Climb up through some trees until it's possible to continue down. To the left there is a rock slab with a via-ferrata style cable attached to the rock wall, use this to assist your descent before it is possible to continue skiing. With a good amount of snow build-up and cold temperatures it is possible to ski straight down the Trè-les-Eaux gorge. This can involve some pretty tricky skiing and possibly even an abseil and/or some wading in the water if there isn't enough snow. After exiting the canyon on the left bank, continue down the Bérard valley, crossing the bridge and reaching Le Buet. Stop for a celebratory drink at the conveniently located bar at the end of the slopes before hopping on the train back to Les Praz.

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

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area