Pointe de la Terrasse

Arve Valley

Chamonix

A beautiful ski tour which features some fabulous terrain in a wild location.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
16 km
Ascent
1.5 km
Descent
1.5 km
Duration
7-8 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
2.7 km
Gradient
39˚
Pointe de la Terrasse Map

Lying close to Chamonix but feeling remarkably far removed from the bustle of that famous town, this is a classic ski tour.

Description

Start in the hamlet of Le Couteray and skin up a snow covered jeep track which leads through the cluster of houses that is Les Granges and continues up to the huge plateau which is home to the gorgeous Chalets de Loriaz.

Cross the plateau past the Chalets and then swing northwest and skin up towards the Col de le Terrasse. Shortly before reaching this the terrain steepens to the point that it can't be skinned up and you will need to transition to bootpacking for the final gully up to the Col. Depending on conditions you may need crampons and an ice axe.

Once at the Col, turn left and follow the easy but utterly spectacular ridge which leads to the summit of the Pointe de la Terrasse. The panorama from the summit includes views across the entire Mont Blanc Massif, the mountains of the Western Swiss Valais and and peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges. Needless to say, it all looks pretty incredible.

When you're done taking photos and enjoying the view, ski northeast off the summit into the wide gully that passes due east of the Pointe de la Terrasse's rocky east face. The gully is never overly steep and it provides some amazing freeride terrain.

Once out of the gully ski down the valley you skinned up and go skier's right at the bottom so as to skirt around and above the Chalets de Loriaz. Once past them, head down to the jeep track you began the day by skinning up. Either descend this or explore the trees close to the track, which can hold wonderful skiing provided there is enough snow to cover the shrubs and tree stumps.

Ski back down to Le Couteray and go to the Hotel du Buet for a drink before heading back to Chamonix.

Difficulty

Difficult

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.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April

Features

  • Bowl
  • Couloir
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area