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Mont Lachat North-east Face


Les Houches

Le Tourchet


A fantastic and wild line which requires a large and stable snowpack.

Ski Touring Difficult

5.2 km
338 m
1.1 km
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1 km
High Point
2.1 km
Mont Lachat North-east Face Map

Stable conditions are absolutely vital if you're thinking about skiing this route because it basically follows, and passes under, one big terrain trap after another. Getting avalanched here would be disastrous, so make sure that avalanche conditions are favourable before setting off. A further complication is added by the fact that a deep snowpack is required to make the main gully in the line negotiable. A deep, stable snowpack is not an easy thing to find but when the stars align, this is an incredible trip and given how short the approach to the line is, it is incredible how wild and remote this route feels.


Leave the Bellevue cable car station and skin easily up Mont Lachat's West ridge. It is possible to skin up the train tracks of the Tramway du Mont Blanc and then up onto Mont Lachat's summit from this, but taking the West ridge is more aesthetic and enjoyable, albeit slightly tougher physically.

From the summit, ski wherever looks best/safest to the north-east. The exact line you'll take can vary but all are 30 - 40 degrees and provide fantastic skiing high above the Chamonix Valley. All routes lead you naturally down to a small plateau, just above a deep north-east facing gully. Drop into this gully and follow it down on the left bank, picking your exact route according to where the snow looks best/thickest. If the snowpack is not deep enough then negotiating the gully will be extremely arduous, but provided there is enough snow then there is a lot of fun skiing to be had in it. Be aware that all the way down the gully there are huge funnels and gullies above and right of you so even in stable conditions, don't spend any more time skiing the gully than is necessary.

Eventually, as the gully begins to mellow and widen, cross over to the right and get onto the jeep track which descends through forests down to the top of the small beginner's slope in Les Houches. Blast down the slope to the Avenue des Alpages, from where you can access the Chamonix bus system.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

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.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between January and February


  • Bowl
  • Couloir
  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area