Skiing the Vallée Blanche

France

“Because it’s there…” George Mallory

“Because it’s there…” George Mallory

Guided Glacier Off-Piste

Skiing the Vallée Blanche

Skiing the Vallée Blanche, you’ll experience the longest lift accessible off-piste ski run in the Alps. When skiing the Vallée Blanche, we start from the Aiguille du Midi lift station at 3842m. First we descend the ridge which is equipped with ropes in the winter time. This involves roping up with harnesses and making our way down to where the skiing starts.

The off-piste ski route then follows the 15km long Glacier du Geant through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery. The skiing either ends at the funicular train of Montenvers, or with enough snow-cover, we can ski all the way to Chamonix. Either way, there is a fifteen minute climb up at the end of the glacier.

There are many off-piste routes to choose from when skiing the Vallée Blanche:

  • The classic Vallée Blanche route which takes the least steep area down the middle of the Glacier du Geant with amazing scenery on all sides.
  • The Gros Rognon Vallée Blanche, which follows the large rock formation named the Gros Rognon, giving open off-piste glacier slopes.
  • The Vrai Vallée Blanche, which is one of the most crevassed runs with an entrance that isn’t always possible, to be discussed with your Chamonix Mountain Guide.
  • The Moyenne Envers Vallée Blanche which takes the middle of the large east facing glacier descending directly towards the Salle a Manger and the Mer de Glace. Some great open slopes and narrow passages between crevasses.
  • Grand Envers Vallée Blanche is the steepest of the normal Vallée Blanche runs your Chamonix mountain guide may take you on. The off-piste run has sections at 45 degrees and requires great ski technique.

Skiing the Vallée Blanche is generally done as a day excursion with a picnic half-way down. We have all necessary group safety gear and we can advise you on hiring other equipment you may not own yourself.

Typically, we speak the evening before and make a plan for the following day.

Would you like to do other great off-piste runs in Chamonix as well as skiing the Vallée Blanche, check our Chamonix off-piste page.

Day’s Itinerary Skiing the Vallée Blanche

Contact us to confirm weather, conditions and equipment for the Vallee Blanche. Ask any questions that may be concerning you.

FAQ

We will mail you an equipment list on booking. Ask us if you have any specific questions.

Are these activities risky?

Studies done by the Swiss on annual risk of death in mountain sports compared to annual risk of death in road transport in Switzerland came up with the following conclusions:

  • High Mountain Sports ≈ 2 × the risk of death in road transport
  • Rock Climbing ≈ risk of death in road transport
  • Ski Touring ≈ risk of death in road transport
  • Mountain Hiking ≈ 5 × less risk of death compared to road transport

(Extract from ‘Sports de montagne d’hiver’ © 2005 Edition du CAS) 

A professionally qualified Mountain Guide will try to keep the risks down to what our guides associations consider to be socially acceptable risk levels. We carefully consider the conditions, terrain, group capabilities and aptitudes. We work to reduce the consequences of an accident (e.g. Avalanche transceivers) and build redundancy into our systems (e.g. 2 points on a rock climbing belay)

However, this does not eliminate the risk! Like driving your car, there are residual risks even if your car is serviced, you drive within the laws and take due care, you can still have a mortal accident.

The mountains are not a controlled environment, there are objective dangers. i.e. Seracs, Avalanches, Rock Fall and more.

Responsibility

Anyone considering participation in these activities must understand that these are adventure sports with real risks.  You must take responsibility for your own participation.

Generally it is possible to still have a good day in the mountains when the weather is bad or conditions aren’t optimal.

Skiing in average snow conditions is part of high mountain skiing and often we learn a lot in average snow conditions. We don’t cancel or refund due to snow conditions.

Climbing and Mountaineering courses will always run regardless of the weather or conditions. We will do our best to find appropriate routes for the conditions. We can train skills, do a hut approach, or occasionally indoor climbing if the weather is very bad.

We can’t offer a refund due to injured participants. We recommend a good travel insurance that covers such eventualities.

If you felt a guide went out of their way and gave you a great experience, a tip is much appreciated. Guides don’t expect tips and understand that it’s easier for some guests to offer a tip than for others.

It’s good to keep track of where you are on the mountain. Ask the guide questions so as to take an active role in the team and understand where you’re going.

In case of an accident of any kind always think about keeping yourself safe first and then take your time to consider secondary action.

Call: 112 in Europe

Tell the rescuers where you are, what happened, how many victims there are, what the weather is like there. They will generally guide the questioning. Keep calm and speak in short clear sentences.

Often the guide will carry a radio for rescue.

If you have a victim remember: Airway, Breathing, Recovery Position

Then very important: the COLD will put an injured person into a hypothermic state very quickly. Protect them from the elements.

Vallée Blanche Location on Google Maps

Vallée Blanche on Swiss Maps

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  • As many days as you like

    Let us know how many days you have and what you’d like to do in the mountains and we’ll build a program together.

  • As hard or as easy as you like

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