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Dôme des Nants via the Col des Thurges


Vanoise Massif

A big day up on to the Glaciers de la Vanoise

Ski Touring Difficult

20 km
2.2 km
2.2 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
3.6 km
Dôme des Nants via the Col des Thurges Map

This is a big day taking in 2 of the summits of the Glaciers de la Vanoise ice cap. If starting from Pralognan (in winter-time before the road opens) this is a big day with over 2100m of vertical height gain. This can be reduced by starting from the Roc de la Pêche refuge or the Valette refuge (un-guardianed in winter). In spring-time, once the road is open, drive up to the Pont de Gerlon (or beyond) thereby taking the sting off the initial approach.


From Pont de Gerlon follow the road then branch left opposite the hamlet of Les Prioux. At about 2000m pull left around the shoulder and into the Vallon des Nants. Above 2300m trend leftwards towards the Col des Thurges, giving a reasonably wide berth to the slopes directly below the west face of the Dôme des Sonnailles (which is prone to avalanches/sluffs running down the gullies). From the col climb more steeply up west and north-west facing slopes to reach the ice cap a quick detour can be made to ‘bag’ the Dôme des Sonnailles before continuing up to the Dôme des Nants. (The keen peak-bagger can add in the Dôme de Chasseforêt on the way up or down in return for a little extra climbing.)

From the summit reverse the route of ascent taking care not to be drawn into the tempting gullies that branch off left before the slopes above the Col des Thurges - most of these end with an icefall of varying size…!



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 February and May


  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area