EXPERIENCE Grand Traverses
La Grave - Chamonix Traverse
An unforgettable five-day ski traverse that links two legendary mountain places and offers varied itineraries with stunning panoramas
Starting from La Grave, we offer you the possibility to do a five-day ski traverse covering more than a hundred kilometers through the Alps, combining several ski touring itineraries, great off-piste runs close to some resorts and a few short taxi transfers. We will ascend south-facing slopes, ski great north-facing descents, including some amazing glacier runs: this traverse is a segment of the integral traverse of the Alps. Indeed, La Grave-Chamonix corresponds to the middle part, and is mostly located in the department of Savoie. The section further north is the Chamonix-Zermatt traverse and the one further south is the Briançon-Nice section. Every evening we will spend the night in cosy accommodations (hotels or inns). The La Grave-Chamonix ski traverse is undoubtedly a very original and grand traverse, guaranteeing wonderful skiing and mountain experiences you will remember forever.
You occasionally ski off-piste and ski tour in the backcountry, you are capable of walking for many hours for outings with around 1000m of gain.
You are in good physical shape. You are able to walk 6 to 8 hours with around 1000m of gain, with a 10kg backpack while also keeping energy for the descents.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON EACH DAY?
We will meet in La Grave in the morning, where we will check the gear, and then take a taxi up to the Col du Lautaret. We will start skinning just below the Lautaret pass and climb up to the Col du Galibier (2642m/ 8,667ft), and then ski down into the next valley towards Valloire with a beautiful descent. If conditions allow it, we will ski down the wild Vallon de Mortavielle from the summit of Pic Blanc du Galibier. One plan B will be the traverse of the Grandes Rousses massif from the ski resort of L'Alpe d'Huez with a ski descent down to the village of Saint Sorlin d'Arve. The night will be spent in a hotel in Valloire.
After a short transfer, we reach the small ski resort of Orelle. With the help of ski lifts and a quick incursion into Val Thorens ski resort, we will skin for about one hour up to the Col de Gébroulaz (3434m/11,266ft), and reach the long descent of the Gébroulaz glacier. At the end of our day, we will stop at the comfortable Roc de la Pêche mountain hut (1911m/6,269ft). A plan B will be ascending the Col d'Aussois from the ski resort of Aussois. A short transfer will take us there, and we will skin up to the Col d'Aussois for about two to three hours, before skiing down to the Roc de la Pêche mountain hut.
This third day is as magnificent as it is intense, combining two great off-piste runs. The first descent will be down to Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Then a short taxi transfer will take us to the small village of Champagny-en-Vanoise, from which we will reach the summit of Bellecote (3200m/10,498ft) by taking the lifts of La Plagne ski resort. From the summit, we will ski the classic steep slope of the North face of Bellecôte down to the small village of Les Lanches. A short transfer to Peysey Nancroix will take us to Les Arcs ski resort. From the top of the lifts, we will reach Grand Col (2935m/9629ft) or the Aiguille Rouge (3227m/10587ft) for a long final run. A plan B will be a ski day around the ski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs. We will spend the night in an inn in the village of Seez.
Different options will be possible that fourth day depending on the conditions: a small detour by Sainte Foy Tarentaise will allow us to access the beautiful off-piste runs of the Foglietta sector. Or a second possibility will be from the ski resort of La Rosière. We will skin up to nearby the Col du Petit Saint Bernard and do a short ascent of Mont Valaisan. From the summit, we will ski its Italian side down to La Thuile. Transfer to Courmayeur and La Palud. A plan B will be a direct traverse to Italy through the Col du Petit Saint Bernard with possible off-piste descents from the ski lifts of Courmayeur. The night will be spent at the Funivia Inn in Courmayeur.
From the recently renovated Helbronner lift, now known as the Skyway, we will ski down the Italian side of the Vallée Blanche, the Vallée Noire which is much less crowded than the French side. There will be the possibility to ski tour to the Grandes Jorasses, and then we will reach Chamonix on skis or by train depending on snow conditions. Chamonix will be the final destination of our Grand Traverse, after a long and memorable journey across many different valleys. A taxi will drive us back to La Grave.
Depending on your availability, we strongly advise you to add a day to complete this major ski traverse. It is also possible to organize an introductory day on the off-piste resort of La Grave or on the ski touring itineraries around it.
Outing with a certified mountain guide or instructor
Professional Civil Liability Insurance
Group technical gear (rope…)
Transceiver, shovel, probe, harness