FATMAP difficulty grade
Another of the great classics of this part of the Vanoise, the Grand Bec dominates the Bozel valley as you drive up from Moutiers and is a must-do for any mountain lover visiting the area.
Ski tourers with strong thighs will nail this in a day from the car park at the cross country ski hut but the refuge du Plan des Gouilles is perfectly situated at half height to split the trip into 2 more mellow days. From the cross country hut cross the river and double back down the cross country tracks to find the summer path leading up through the woods - follow this until you can emerge onto more open terrain and skin up wide slopes to the refuge.
Follow the obvious ‘bench’ of Les Côtes Vertes and pass through the small col/notch between La Beqcuetta and the Grand Bec itself to set foot on the Glacier de Troquairou.
Follow this ( via some crevasses which obviously need to be avoided) to gain the summit ridge which is followed easily to the top. The descent follows the line of ascent down the upper part of the Glacier de Troquairou and then continues down this same general line to the valley floor.
The steepenings at 2700m and 2050m are generally passable in several places by well-filled couloirs.
Below 1900m bear left onto the shoulder of Plan du Pré to pick up the summer path down through the shrubbery (or take a machete and prepare for a long battle!) - this drops you out at Laisonnay, from where a few kms of skating on the cross country tracks (or walking in late Spring) will get you back to the car park.