4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
A nice day tour from Courchevel to Pralognan, this can also be used to access the Roc de la Pêche refuge as the start of a longer tour in the Vanoise.
The descent is predominantly East/South-East facing so you will need to be slick on a spring morning to get through the lift system and skin to the col in good time so that you can ski the descent when the snow is good and before it gets too soft (and dangerous). From the Col de Chanrossa take the obvious traverse under the Roc Merlet North-East face then skin or hike to the snowy shoulder.
Drop behind this passing the Refuge du Lac Merlet and ski down to the valley bottom at the Chalets de la Grande Val.
Put skins on here and follow the valley and whaleback ridge East towards the Petit Mont Blanc and Col des Saulces.
Before you get to these pull hard right at about 2450m under the Petit Mont Blanc West face to reach the Col du Mône. From the Col ski the first bowl then take a long right-wards traverse on slightly steeper ground (30/35º).
Make sure you stay skier’s right of a stand of trees at 2050m - below (and left of) these are cliffs and more scabby terrain… Follow the wide open slopes to the valley bottom (or continue to traverse right if heading for the Roc de la Pêche refuge).
It is generally wise to cross the river as soon as possible to stay on the skier’s right side of the valley and avoid being underneath the steeper East facing slopes down to the Pont de Gerlon.
From here follow the cross country tracks back down to Pralognan.