7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
Lying close to Chamonix but feeling remarkably far removed from the bustle of that famous town, this is a classic ski tour.
Start in the hamlet of Le Couteray and skin up a snow covered jeep track which leads through the cluster of houses that is Les Granges and continues up to the huge plateau which is home to the gorgeous Chalets de Loriaz. Cross the plateau past the Chalets and then swing northwest and skin up towards the Col de le Terrasse.
Shortly before reaching this the terrain steepens to the point that it can't be skinned up and you will need to transition to bootpacking for the final gully up to the Col.
Depending on conditions you may need crampons and an ice axe. Once at the Col, turn left and follow the easy but utterly spectacular ridge which leads to the summit of the Pointe de la Terrasse.
The panorama from the summit includes views across the entire Mont Blanc Massif, the mountains of the Western Swiss Valais and and peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges.
Needless to say, it all looks pretty incredible. When you're done taking photos and enjoying the view, ski northeast off the summit into the wide gully that passes due east of the Pointe de la Terrasse's rocky east face.
The gully is never overly steep and it provides some amazing freeride terrain. Once out of the gully ski down the valley you skinned up and go skier's right at the bottom so as to skirt around and above the Chalets de Loriaz.
Once past them, head down to the jeep track you began the day by skinning up.
Either descend this or explore the trees close to the track, which can hold wonderful skiing provided there is enough snow to cover the shrubs and tree stumps.
Ski back down to Le Couteray and go to the Hotel du Buet for a drink before heading back to Chamonix.