Refuge de la Leisse Ski Tour

Espace Killy

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Tignes and Val d'Isère

What this ‘descent’ lacks in quality skiing, it more than makes up with some of the most stunning ski touring available for beginner backcountry skiers.

Ski Touring Easy

Distance
6.6 km
Ascent
366 m
Descent
375 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
25˚
VIEW ON MAP
Refuge de la Leisse Ski Tour Map

Description

Starting at the base of the Leisse chairlift, this route can be completed in a half day, even when you choose to take your time and stay for a few beers at the Refuge de la Leisse (if it’s open - always check!).

From the Leisse chairlift station, descend initially in an easterly direction around a rocky outcrop before turning down the valley and ski down in a southerly direction down the valley, keeping your height against the south - south east facing lower slopes of the Grande Motte as best as possible.

You will find a short, steep section before the path drops down towards the Lac des Nettes. Again, keep you height above this lake to avoid too much pushing/skating.

A small stream splits down from the southern end of the lake and this is where you will aim towards, which gives a short ski down to the refuge. The refuge is nestled perfectly in the valley, with large peaks and striking faces surrounding it.

Take your time in the refuge (even if the guardian isn’t present, one of the buildings will be left open for shelter) and you may possibly be visited by some of the rare wildlife that inhabits the nature reserve, including the rare Bearded Vulture which hunts by dropping bones onto the rocks below from a height and feeding on the bone marrow found within the bones.

The return is almost the same as the descent down to the refuge, but you will find it easier to stay on the flats of the frozen lake to ascend back up to the base of the Leisse chairlift.

Difficulty

Easy

Wide gentle slopes at around 20 degrees or less.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

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, June, December

Features

  • Alpine
  • Ski Safari

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area