FATMAP difficulty grade
There are a myriad of choices of how to link from Montgenèvre through the Vanoise, ending up in a week or so near Courmayeur.
The weather will dictate your route, as will your desire to avoid resorts, visit extra summits, avoid or take advantage of odd sections by road.
Our route intended to go further NE via Bonneval, avoiding the busiest lift areas altogether, but the weather had other ideas, forcing us to backtrack to the routes, as written here, for the next few days.
Leaving Montgenèvre early gives a silent skin up the deserted pistes.
If you wanted to split this day, by staying in Bardonnechia, you could have a much easier couple of days by leaving later, using the ski lifts first thing.
You leave the lifts at the Col de l’Alpet at 2442m, heading for the Col des Trois Frères Mineurs at 2586m.
It is an easy ski down the Val de l’Opon to the deserted summer hamlet of les Acles, followed by the wooded climb to the Ancien Poste des Acles at 2228m.
Slightly complicated undulating terrain the far side takes you into the Bardonnechia lift system, where you follow the pistes all the way in to the town.
Shoulder your skis and walk up the long Rochemolles valley, skinning once high enough.
You pass near to the Scarfiotti Hut in a deserted bowl, before more steeply up to the Col d'Étache at 2799m.
It is a great ski the far side, down the valley of the same name, with a steep NE facing section at about 2350m, then easier valley and track to the unguarded Suffet Hut at 1700m.