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Contrebandier's Couloir



Portes du Soleil

An awesome couloir that takes you from France into Switzerland.

Ski Touring Difficult

2.4 km
78 m
649 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
2.2 km
Contrebandier's Couloir Map

It is fairly straightforward to access this couloir: Simply take the Chavenette chairlift from the Fornet bowl and once at the top take the short hike up to the right side that gives views down into the Vallée de la Manche. There are often many people standing at the saddle preparing to ski down the itinerary into the valley below. However, once here, you will continue to climb up to the left to reach the beginning of the couloir.


The couloir is large and south facing and there is often a large cornice at the top, be careful not to stand on or close to the cornice as it could very easily break off. To enter, you must come to the left of the cornice and pass underneath - move quickly. Once inside enjoy a 300m descent into the wide valley which eventually leads you down to the Grand Paradis where you can return to Avoriaz via a couple of lifts.

It is best to attempt this route in the morning only due to its south facing aspect.



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.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between January and March

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area