FATMAP difficulty grade
When the first major snowfall arrives in Chamonix, many ski tourers flock to Le Tour to do this route or a variation on it.
Le Tour village is at 1400 metres so even if it has rained in Chamonix (1000 metres), it may well have snowed in Le Tour.
The fact that this is often the first ski tour that is possible at the start of the season means that you're unlikely to have this line to yourself but there is a real sense of camaraderie amongst all the people making their way up.
The route follows the Les Caisets, Retour Charamillon and Béchat pistes all the way to the top of the Tête de Balme and Plan des Reines lifts.
The views throughout are fabulous, with the Chamonix Valley and its legendary peaks laid out below you as you gradually ascend the famous pistes of Le Tour. Once the resort is open for the season the pistes will inevitably be busy but the route is still possible, and the lower section (from Le Tour village to the top of the Charamillon gondola) has been designated as a ski touring route between the ski resort closing and 8pm every night.