Tête de la Sallaz - Couloir de la Salletaz

Arve Valley

An easy ski tour to a perfectly positioned peak, followed by a steep and exciting descent. Ski touring doesn't get much better!

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
5 km
Ascent
468 m
Descent
741 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
36˚
Tête de la Sallaz - Couloir de la Salletaz Map

Despite being surrounded by some of the most popular and famous peaks in France, this route is rarely busy and, as an added bonus, enjoys one of the finest summit panoramas you will find anywhere.

Description

The tour starts in the tiny village/ski resort of Romme and although you can skin directly from the village, a one way ticket to the top of the resort's main draglift costs 2 (yes, you did read that right) Euros and saves a tedious slog up the pistes.

From the top of the draglift skin into the trees immediately above, picking the line of least resistance up until you reach a snow covered jeep track at the treeline. Once on the jeep track, follow it until you're directly north of the Tête de la Sallaz summit and then swing round and skin easily onto the summit itself.

The panorama from the summit is quite extraordinary and depending on which direction you face you could be looking at the rocky peaks of the Aravis, the ski mecca of the Portes du Soleil, or the king the Alps, Mont Blanc itself.

Drop west off the summit and then swing round south and follow a bowl which naturally leads you down into trees and then the Couloir de la Salletaz proper. If you're unsure about conditions straight off the summit, you can always retrace your steps down the ascent route and drop into the trees at a mellower spot.

Once in the couloir, enjoy the wonderful tight turns and the forest ambience. You can ski the line all the way down to the road below, or you can cut out right and make a descending traverse back into Romme ski area.

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

Features

  • Bowl
  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area