4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
Of the 3 cols which are regularly skied from the Les Contamintes lifts, this is the toughest one to reach and offers the best skiing.
All in all, this is an exceptional ski tour which has everything you look for in a mountain journey. Start at the top of the Bûche Croisée chairlift and make a slightly tricky traverse south into the wild, open terrain that lies behind the Les Contamines ski area.
Put skins on and head north-northeast up a low angled slope which has a fabulous view to the east.
Keep going to the foot of a rocky ridge and then swing around to the west and continue climbing gently up to the Col de la Cicle.
The final ascent to the col can be icy and is slightly exposed so consider taking ski crampons and, even if you don't end up needing them, keep concentrating all the way to the col. Once at the col, take skis off and bootpack north up a short, steep slope before putting skis on again and climb gently up a beautiful ridge to reach the Col des Chasseurs, which is essentially a small nook just below a spectacular cliff band. Drop into the gully/bowl to the north and tear down it, savouring every turn as it leads you down into the valley below.
There are no major hazards so simply go where the best snow is and have fun! The terrain is consistent and doesn't have many features so there's a lovely flow to the skiing. Once down in the valley, head down a snow covered jeep track and follow it down through the hamlets of La Rollaz, La Giettaz and Nant Borant down to the charming church at Notre Dame de la Gorge.
Hike along the road to the north for a kilometre or so to get back into the Contamines lift system.