6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
The northernmost peak of the Glaciers de la Vanoise ‘icecap’, the Pointe de la Réchasse is a great way to begin to explore this high expanse of snow and ice either as an easy day tour from the Col de la Vanoise hut or as a bigger day hit from Pralognan.
The standard route is described here, though there are many descent variants further skier’s left for the adventurous. From Pralognan gain the Barmettes Refuge one way or another (legs or lifts depending on timings) and from here follow the valley up to the Lac des Vaches and below the Aiguille de la Vanoise to finally contour round in the direction of the Col de la Vanoise hut.
The wooden posts you pass date back to the days when traders would cross the pass bringing salt from Genoa and other goods being traded between Turin and Lyon. From the col skin south and and work your way up the lower slopes of the Réchasse to emerge onto the gentler slopes of the Glacier de la Vanoise.
Continue up this until you can access the south side of the summit triangle and skin up this to the top - the last section along the ridge is spectacular! The descent follow the line of ascent back down the glacier and the slopes above the Col de la Vanoise - it is possible to stay close in to the Rochers du Génépy and then keep taking a hard left at every opportunity to make full use of the slopes running into the Arcelin valley.
At 2000m you have the choice between going hard left for a more open shoulder or staying right to finish down a fun narrow gully - the run-out of either if these brings you back to the pistes down to Pralognan.