A safe option for crossing the Vanoise, avoiding as much steep ground as possible

Statistics

1

day +

1,939

m

1,130

m

16

max°

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

Crossing the Vanoise is a key link through this part of the Alps.

This route is certainly the easiest option and we picked it due to category 4 avalanche risk and stormy weather.

To the extent that locals, albeit non-skiers, tried to put us off saying it was too dangerous to go skiing! Our original intention had been to avoid the fleshpot massive French resorts, to maintain the wilderness feel.

So we had hoped to cross further E, into Italy and then W from there, once NE of Val d'Isère.

In good stable snow conditions I think this would be preferable, but as the pictures make abundantly clear, we had to avoid steep slopes. From Termignon you are taking the hopefully snow-covered track through the Bois de Suffet.

This meanders easily up the hillside, with several zig zags, slowly rising to the Plan du Lac Hut at 2380m.

A short descent the far side of the hut takes you to the bridge at 2017m, where the two rivers meet.

From here you follow the main valley N, past the Entre Deux Eaux Hut, bending NE, then E, as the valley bends to the R.

You are heading for the Leisse Hut, unguarded, but in a very charming remote spot.

This would be a lovely place to spend the night.

It is a short distance beyond here, gently uphill to the Col de la Leisse at 2758m.

All that remains is the easy ski down, soon joining the pistes, to take you into Tignes.

This seems disconcertingly busy after the Vanoise wilderness!