FATMAP difficulty grade
THE classic line at La Grave.
As well as having the most logical / natural line down the valley, this line also has beautiful views of the Meije.
With good snow cover you get more than 1800 vertical metres back to La Grave.
You can scope most of the route from the cable car and the terrain is wide open allowing many variations on the line shown.
The route is long and should not be under-estimated. Whilst it is considered the classic, it is not without it's dangers.
You should be careful of serac fall from above - particularly if venturing further skiers right.
Descend a few metres from the cable car exit and head right to get in to the Meije Valley / Vallons de la Meije.
The skiing is relatively steep but on a wide open slope before a narrower section leads to a flat section.
Continue down to the bottom of the moraine and after another short flat section, follow your nose down a series of small bowls.
At the first larch trees, head towards the right bank of the stream - but don't hang around here, there are big seracs high up that threaten the area.
Continue down to the chalets at Chal Vachere.
You continue down - always staying on the right bank of the stream - through a few exposed sections before reaching the Lauzette alpage and then finishing at the Romanche bridge. You can also get back to the mid-station of the cable car through a long skiers left traverse near the Clot de la Calat. Later in the season you will not be able to reach the valley floor.
There is a sign-posted route back to P1 which starts shortly after the flat section at the bottom of the big moraine at around 2350m.