Tête de Bostan

Arve Valley

A long popular classic of the Chablais with an adventurous mellow descent.

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Ski Touring Moderate

Distance
15 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
1.4 km
Duration
7-8 hrs
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
19˚
Tête de Bostan Map

This is the classic ski touring summit of the Chablais, offering stunning views of the Dents Blanches, and surrounding mountains. It is a long but rewarding ski tour, where you really ‘earn your turns’, the antithesis of the nearby huge Portes du Soleil commercial ski area. The angle is mostly sub 30 degrees, and with the right line, can be a safe choice if snow stability is in question.

Description

The route described is a round trip, apart from the final summit ridge, and can be done in both directions. Make your choice depending on which aspect has the best snow on the given day!

Take the wide track through the forest from the parking above les Allamands. This easy angled track continues and takes you out of the forest before les Bois. As you skin up, down to your right is a small valley, which becomes shallower and wider the more height that is gained, cross this with a very short descent and up the other side. Then ascend the slope above to the Chalets de la Blottière.

Initially from here follow the very broad ridge which has a few trees to help incase of variable visibility. From where the ridge narrows it is often better to ascend using the slopes on the south side of the ridge, as the ridge line can be scoured, until it is better to rejoin the ridge just before a small notch (this involves a very short shuffle downhill and back up the other side). From here there are a couple of false summits on the easy angled ridge, before reaching the superb skin on summit, and the magnificent panorama on the Swiss border.

Descend via your ascent line, until you reach a point before the notch that was passed on the way up, from here you leave the ascent line. Ski towards the valley below which if timed right can produce excellent spring snow. The terrain is mostly easy angled but there are some small terrain traps to be aware of incase of uncertainty of the snow conditions. There is plenty of space to play with here, and some beautifully spaced trees, be careful not to drop too low as you are aiming for the Refuge de Bostan! This stunning refuge is open from Friday night over each weekend and during the School Holidays. The perfect place for a coffee stop. From here there is often a pisted track to the valley. In the right conditions further fun can be had cutting the corners and enjoying some ‘side country’ and arriving back at the parking.

Difficulty

Moderate

Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, December

Features

  • Face
  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area