Armancette Glacier

Arve Valley

Les Contamines

Megève Evasion Mont Blanc

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

A long and adventurous two day tour traversing a breathtaking summit

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
20 km
Ascent
2.7 km
Descent
2.6 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
34˚
VIEW ON MAP
Armancette Glacier Map

Description

The relatively obscure Tré la Tête basin at the far west end of the Mont Blanc Massif has a hidden wealth of beautiful peaks and interesting ski terrain. The descent of the Armancette Glacier is one of the more popular itineraries, and with good reason. Starting from a stunning alpine peak and descending almost 2500 meters vertical, the Armancette is an attractive route for adventurous back-country skiers. Some mountaineering experience is recommended, yet the route to the summit of the Dômes de Miage is technically straightforward.

The Armancette is best skied onsight after traversing from the Col des Dômes, just west of the highest summit of the Domes de Miage. There are two approach options. Starting from the town of Les Contamines it is possible to skin up to the Conscrits hut largely following the summer trail. From the Conscrits hut, make a traversing descent back onto the Tré-La-Tête Glacier. Skin up the glacier and gain the ridge by the Col des Dômes or via the summit at 3633 meters.

Once on the eastern summit of the Dômes de Miage (marked 3670 meters) descend down the Armancette Glacier, making sure to cut out right before dropping too low. Continue down interesting and varied terrain, passing under Pointe Covagnet. Be sure locate the best exit through the rock bands above the Lac d’Armancette. Follow the summer trail past the Chalets d’Armancette and into the village of La Frasse.

It is also possible to drop into the Tré la Téte basin from the Italian side starting from the Courmayeur lift system (see the alternate line in the map). This is an attractive option for a two day tour. From the top of the Arp lift, traverse as high into Val Veny as possible before putting skins on. Skin up past the Elizabetta hut and to the Col de Seigne. Cross over to stunningly situated Robert Blanc hut via the Glaciers des Glaciers (avoid dropping too low here). Either stop at the Robert Blanc for the night or continue onto the Conscrits hut via the Col des Glaciers, descending the beautiful north facing slopes under the Pointe des Lanchettes.

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

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

February, March, April

Features

  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area