Vallee Blanche Ski
Ski the Vallee Blanche - the most famous off piste descent in Europe
The Vallee Blanche, quite simply, should not be missed! Fresh mountain air, stunning scenery and a real sense of skiing in high mountains gives an unforgettable day ... for intermediate skiers and above.
We start the day taking the cable car to the top of the Midi at 3800m. From there we rope up and descend the narrow snow ridge for about 200m to a flat area where we can put our skis on and unrope. There are fixed ropes in place to make the ridge easier and we strap our skis and poles to our backpacks to keep our hands free to hold the ropes.
From here we have about 17km of skiing on a glacier through truly amazing scenery. Half way down we stop for lunch, either at the well positioned Refuge Requin or on the glacier for a picnic.
The majority of the skiing is quite gentle (blue run), with 2 steeper sections (like steep red runs). The snow conditions can vary from piste-like and even mogulled(!) after a long spell without fresh snow, to thigh deep powder to wind blown & crusty and everything in between! We must always remember that we are on a glacier and there are crevasses, but your guide will steer you away from these!
The final stretch down the gentle Mer de Glace provides amazing views before a mountain train takes us back into Chamonix. It is sometimes possible to ski all the way to Chamonix with a 30 minute uphill hike.
Who is it for?
You must be able to ski red runs on piste comfortably and have some off piste experience, as the snow conditions can vary greatly from day to day on the Vallee Blanche. You should be able to side-slip in control. Boarders should be of a similar standard, but should also be able to hold a traverse well and acknowledge that there may be long sections where it is unsafe to take take a foot out of the bindings. Boarders should also be aware that there are long flat sections. Bear in mind that if there is a lot of fresh snow, or the snow is in difficult conditions, then you will all need to be more proficient than described above! Your guide will decide, on the day, whether skiing the Vallee Blanche is viable for your group. Contact us if you have any questions, or are not sure if your group is suitable or not.
We meet at the base of the Aiguille du Midi cable car station (in Chamonix Sud) at 9am and will be back in Chamonix mid/late afternoon.
Daily throughout the winter season (Dec-April), conditions allowing.
Kit list – Vallee Blanche
1. Skis - not blades or skinny skis or piste carving skis - we are off piste!
2. Poles – boarders bring 1 collapsible pole for the flat sections
3. ski boots
4. warm hat and gloves
5. sunhat and sunscreen, lipsalve
6. sunglasses and goggles
7. backpack to carry your kit without strapping it to the outside. You need to be able to strap securely your skis to the outside.
8. packed lunch (unless stopping at the Refuge Requin)
10. liftpass - you can buy this in the morning with the guide
11. normal ski clothes and warm layers (no jeans etc!)
12. rescue insurance, including off piste cover (can purchase with ski pass)
13. harness, 2 locking carabiners, transceiver (shovel & probe) – we can provide if you don’t have these.
We offer daily guided ski descents of the Vallee Blanche. This is on a group basis of up to 6 skiers to 1 guide and costs are split between the group.
This includes guides fees and expenses and loan of avalanche transceiver and harness . Not included – lift pass, Montenvers train pass, personal ski equipment, insurance (compulsory), lunch.
Please try to book several days in advance – if you wait until the last minute we may be fully booked! Payment is made in advanced to secure your guides booking.
If the weather is bad (the guide makes this judgement):
1.The guide will take the group skiing at an alternative location appropriate for the conditions.
2. Or, if possible, rearrange for the following day
3. If no skiing is possible due to weather/conditions we will offer a refund less £50.
4. If the clients cancel, no refund will be given
You must be honest about your skiing ability and experience, as this can become a safety issue – not just for the individual but for the whole group!
You can download the info pack which should be signed, named and dated and given to the Guide on meeting him (unless booked online). If signing on behalf of a group it is your responsibility to ensure the group have read this document.
Skiing the Vallee Blanche and Off Piste Skiing – these are potentially hazardous even when in the company of a Guide, due to the nature of the mountain environment. Risks such as (but not limited to) avalanche, crevasses, falls and weather can not be entirely eliminated.
In order for your Guide to minimize these risks you must follow his instructions and abide by his decisions.
We look forward to showing you the Vallee Blanche!