Grandes Autannes

Chamonix

Balme (Le Tour)

A short climb gives access to a pleasing descent into the neighbouring Trient valley

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
5 km
Ascent
453 m
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2.7 km
Gradient
55˚
VIEW ON MAP
Grandes Autannes Map

Description

A popular round trip starting from Le Tour with a short climb and a beautiful long descent down interesting ski terrain into the Trient valley. The descent slopes are predominantly north facing and often hold cold snow.

From the top of the Charmillon-Balme chairlift, traverse over to the Col de Balme. Climb up the ridge heading south-west which leads to the Grandes Autannes. The climb is a bootpack which gains 500 meters and follows the ridge line. The ridge is technically easy, however there are a few somewhat exposed steps and crampons may be useful. The summit of the Grande Autannes is a fantastic spot from which to take in the views over the Le Tour Glacier and the Aiguille du Chardonnet and out across the expanse of the Swiss Valais.

Ski down rolling and open terrain into the Trient valley. There are many possible variations depending on snow quality and cover. The steeper trees on skiers’ right can hold good snow. Once in the valley it is low angle and easy to ski. However, be aware that it can be a major terrain trap and is exposed to avalanches releasing from above. From the village of Trient it is possible to get public transport back to Vallorcine or eventually Chamonix.

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

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Couloir
  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area