Gebroulaz glacier - Mottaret

3 Valleys

Albertville

Meribel

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Val Thorens

The Val Thorens classic!

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
16 km
Ascent
413 m
Descent
1.8 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
27˚
VIEW ON MAP
Gebroulaz glacier - Mottaret Map

Description

The ‘Vallée Blanche’ of the 3 Valleys. A good ratio of up to down and a tour that sees a fair bit of traffic, this is however not a run to be under-estimated from an objective danger point of view despite the fact that you will see people cruising over here with no obvious signs of crevasse rescue kit - the Gébroulaz glacier has been known to swallow the occasional person (though none permanently as far as I know!). The route described takes the ‘long way’ back down into the head of the Mottaret valley - it is also possible to branch right at about 2950m and ski down to Pralognan, or bear left at 2800m and link up to the Col de Borgne for a bonus run back down into the Mottaret lift system.

From the Col chairlift head down onto the Chavière glacier and skin up to the Col de Gébroulaz - it's a big "S" left then right, with a final boot-pack (normally) to reach the col. An easy detour to the summit of the Mont de Gébroulaz is possible from here. From the col a slightly rising traverse around the first big bowl takes you the middle branch of the Gébroulaz glacier below the Aiguille de Polset - a first steep pitch leads to more moderate terrain, but be wary of more heavily crevassed sections down between the rock ridges lower down.

Once through the upper section (once the 3 branches have joined up) you have about 5km of easy cruising (great fun in good spring snow) down a short but narrow and steep-sided gully to pass through above the Refuge du Saut, then follow the Tuéda valley under the Aiguille du Fruit to eventually emerge in the cross-country tracks above Mottaret. One last bit of work here takes you back to the lifts.

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, May

Features

  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area