Pic des Trois Évêchés

Briançon

A classic tour up surely one of the best located mountains in the southern Alps.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
11 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
1.1 km
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
3.1 km
Gradient
41˚
Pic des Trois Évêchés Map

Starting and finishing from the Col du Lauteret (which is open all winter except on the stormiest of days) this is a great way to get some views and turns in without too much stress or commitment.

Description

Park at the ever-cold (even in summer!) Col du Lauteret and skin north, climbing up to a snow-covered jeep track. Follow this jeep track as it takes you into the peaceful valley immediately north of the Montage de Chaillol. Stay on the jeep track until it begins to double back on itself, at which point you need to leave the track and continue skinning north-west, heading directly towards the Pic des Trois Évêchés.

The bowl you skin up is fairly mellow but as you get closer to the peak it begins to kick up and becomes increasingly steep. Depending on conditions you may need to bootpack but if the snow is soft, you should be able to keep skis and skins on. The slope eventually crests the Pic des Trois Évêchés's south-west ridge at a spectacular hanging col. 99% of ski tourers call this col their high point and choose not to go to the mountain's summit. If you do want to tag the top it involves covering some pretty technical terrain and is reserved for experienced mountaineers only.

The col has a pretty wild feel so pause for a while to enjoy it. When you get too chilly (and you probably will because it's an exposed spot) put skis on and retrace your steps back to the Col du Lauteret via some fun skiing and excellent views.

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, December

Features

  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area