Guidebook

The 10 Best Steep Ski Lines in Chamonix

The very best lines in the Mecca of big mountain skiing, this is what a steep skier's dream winter looks like.

Description

Listing great ski descents in Chamonix is a potentially endless task but even in this most famous of valleys, some routes stand out above the rest. Here they are.

By Chamonix standards, none of these descents are cutting edge but by any measure they are all serious and command respect. Skiing them will take you all over this rightly revered mountain valley and will demand you to possess a wide range of skills, from the skiing itself through to abseiling and cramponing. Beyond the hard skills, deciding when to ski each of these lines requires expert judgement and decision making.

Getting these ticked off in a single week might just be possible given exceptional conditions and motivation, but even getting them done over the course of a season would be a superb achievement for any serious skier.

Mont Buet North Face
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Mont Buet North Face

Arve Valley
1 - 2 hrs
5.2 km
22 m
1,563 m
49 °
A beautiful and classic steep face with a hazardous entrance
Severe
Private
E.N.S.A Couloir
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E.N.S.A Couloir

Chamonix
1,404 m
47 °
14 m
2.8 km
Steep and serious terrain reached easily from the Brevent cable car, in a nutshell what Chamonix steep skiing is about.
Severe
Private
Trappier Couloir
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Trappier Couloir

Chamonix
6 - 7 hrs
10.4 km
1,396 m
2,091 m
56 °
A large and very attractive couloir in plain view from Chamonix
Severe
Private
Cosmiques Couloir
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Cosmiques Couloir

Chamonix
1,647 m
50 °
253 m
6.4 km
This is a classic extreme skiing line, not only in Chamonix, but across the Alps. 900 meters of sustained and serious terrain between 40-50 degrees; enough to get anyones heart pumping.
Extreme
Private
Glacier Rond
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Glacier Rond

Chamonix
789 m
50 °
NW
5 m
1.1 km
A mythical run down a hanging glacier overlooking Chamonix, the steep and serious the first pitch is often icy and has led to many an accident.
Extreme
Private
Marbree Couloir
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Marbree Couloir

Chamonix
1 - 2 hrs
6.2 km
96 m
1,997 m
47 °
Probably the most spectacular descent on the Hellbronner, this line goes through some huge terrain and features steep freeriding.
Severe
Private
Capucin Couloir
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Capucin Couloir

Chamonix
1 - 2 hrs
3.3 km
318 m
1,346 m
65 °
A steep and technical couloir that gives way to big open slopes in a magnificent setting.
Extreme
Private
Les Courtes North East Face
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Les Courtes North East Face

Arve Valley
3 - 4 hrs
3.0 km
952 m
952 m
52 °
A truly inconic ski face, THE line of the Argentière Basin
Extreme
Private
Aiguille d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu
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Aiguille d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu

Chamonix
5 - 6 hrs
9.8 km
1,309 m
2,040 m
54 °
A prominent and sought after summit at 3900 meters yet it remains much more accessible than the other major peaks of the Argentière Basin.
Severe
Private
Aiguille du Argentiere, Y Couloir
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Aiguille du Argentiere, Y Couloir

Arve Valley
2 - 3 hrs
2.0 km
664 m
664 m
58 °
A fantastic route which is surely on every steep skier's tick list
Extreme
Private