The Vallée Blanche is an awe-inspiring off-piste ski itinery route down from the Aiguille du Midi lift station, down the Géant and Mer du Glace glaciers to either the Montenvers train station, or Chamonix town (snow conditions permitting).
Mythical Off-Piste Descent in Chamonix
This infamous run is an amazing 24km off-piste – through some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. You will be skiing on the glacier – past crevasses, huge ice seracs, over snow bridges.
There are several routes down the Vallée Blanche which range in difficulty – hence a route will be chosen, taking into account your skiing ability, expectations and the quality of the snow.
The Classique Vallée Blanche:
This follows the valley floor zig-zagging around crevasses. It is not too steep and can be done by good intermediate skiers. However, there are lots of variants from this route which can be done to avoid the “crowds” on a busy day.
Le Petit Envers :
This is a good alternative to the Classique when it is a busy day – although the slopes are more sustained and it requires good snow cover.
Envers du Plan :
A Labyrinth of crevasses and séracs with sustained slopes and couloir skiing.
Le Grand Envers :
This is the most difficult and most spectacular of the Vallée Blanche descents with sustained descents of 40-45° and requires excellent technique – however, for advanced skiers, it offers an experience you’ll never forget!
I would recommend James as the guide for you. We 3 snowboarders had a day off-piste riding the Vallée Blanche, truly an awesome day. Without a doubt, I would do this again. Thank you James for making tte day so much fun and making our route so exciting. We will definitely see you again.
Vallée Blanche guiding, February 2010
Your Skiing Ability
The minimum skiing ability to ski the Vallée Blanche down the easiest route (the Classique) is a good intermediate red piste skier. You must be able to side slip and ski good parallel turns. You must also be able to stop in a controlled manner – should James shout, “STOP” – there will be a good reason! You are skiing in terrain where there are crevasses up to 80 metres deep!
If you are a snowboarder, you should be able to hold an edge and hold a sustained traverse without losing a great deal of height. We also recommend extendible ski poles for the long, sustained fairly flat section near the end of the descent. You must NEVER remove your skis or board on a glacier – and the poles can help to push yourself along if you run out of steam..
How long does it take?
The Vallée Blanche normally takes approximately 4-5 hours – however assuming you have skied quickly and that the snow enables us to descent back to Chamonix, why not do a second run? or perhaps another route departing from the Plan de l’Aiguille to make the most of your day?
Normally, the maximum group size is 6 persons – however in exceptional circumstances, when the conditions are excellent and all the skiers in the group are a good standard, it is possible to have up to 8 skiers.
Equipment You Should Bring
You should bring wear a warm snow-proof jacket and trousers and bring an extra clothing layer, such as a fleece in your back pack. Also, bring snack food, water, goggles or sun glasses depending on conditions, sun cream and warm gloves and a hat. You require good quality ski equipment, and although off-piste skis are most suitable, they are not essential.
Your guide will supply you with a harness – the quintessential piece of safety equipment for skiing on a glacier, and may supply an avalanche transceiver, crampons, etc., if he deems necessary depending upon conditions, your ability, the route etc.
340 Euro per group.
Second route…….. +30 euros (divided amongst the number of participants)
Includes : Private guiding, all necessary glacier and avalanche safety equipment.
Does not include : Lift pass (note: the Aiguille du Midi is included on the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass), packed lunch, ski equipment or mountain rescue insurance.
Please call James on +33 608 90 31 29