Pointe de la Sana, ENE Face

Albertville

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Tignes and Val d'Isère

An imposing ENE facing line that watches over Val d’Isére.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
3.6 km
Ascent
383 m
Descent
796 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.6 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
53˚
VIEW ON MAP
Pointe de la Sana, ENE Face Map

Description

You can get a great view of this face from the top of either the Madeleine or Solaise lift stations. The ENE Face of the Sana is located just below the summit of Pointe de la Sana and with an extremely exposed and technical upper section, it should only be considered by seasoned experts who are 100% sure on the snow stability.

The line is accessible from the summit of Pointe de la Sana which is reached by starting at the top of the Grand Pre chairlift and taking the Tour du Mont Roup ascent path, going onto the Barmes de l'Ours ascent path when it veers off right at the rocky pass.

Before reaching the Col de la Barmes de l'Ours which splits Pointe de la Sana and Rochers Barmes des l'Ours, leave the ascent path and head right towards Pointe de la Sana. You’ll begin to feel the altitude as you start to climb to fairly steep south east face of Pointe de la Sana, so make sure you’re feeling fit! The climb isn’t anything technical, but it’s recommended that you’re happy with completing kick turns on a fairly steep gradient, on an aspect which is usually icy in the morning.

The 3,435m summit of Pointe de la Sana is breathtaking, with a true 360 degree panorama - take a look at the stunning south face of the Grande Casse and Grande Motte to your north west.

Carefully ski along a ridgeline in a north east direction from the summit of Pointe de la Sana to reach the top of this face. The top section of this face is extremely steep and open, split by shallow couloirs which funnel down into cliffs below. Controlled technique is required throughout this top section where you are constantly exposed by the cliffs below.

After descending roughly 100 vertical meters on the open face, you’re then required to traverse in a skier’s left direction to avoid the cliffs below, this will lead you towards a snowy ramp which then joins into a beautiful east facing couloir.

You can breath a sigh of relief once you make it into this couloir, knowing that all the exposure if behind you. The couloir then leads out onto the Glacier de Barmes de l’Ours which then follows into a long and mellow descent into the wide Pisset valley leading back to the Manchet chair.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

April, May

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area