HAUTE MAURIENNE SKI TOUR
Val d’Isere and Tignes backcountry skiing
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This is an excellent tour in the back country behind Val d’Isere and Tignes. The Haute Maurienne hangs between the Southern and the Northern Alps. It is a particularly snowy place and holds a numbers of records for the depth of snowfall. Although many seasoned French tourers love this area, relatively few foreigners have explored its savage beauty, perhaps because, unlike its neighbours, it cannot boast a 4,000 metre peak. But this is to ignore the multitude of summits over 3,500 metres which help turn this trip into classic example of a ski tour. It’s a circular route, leaving from the the well known piste skiing base of Val d’Isere. It’s ironic that this resort area is so well visited and yet on the doorstep lies the Haute Maurienne with its empty cols, impressive summits and wild, open spaces. This fine scenery and the high quality of the accommodation combine to make this trip something really special.
• A circular tour beginning and ending in Val d’Isere
• Ascend L’Albaron at 3637m
• Lovely skiing just behind the resort crowds
GRADE : D2 : A3 : F2
see our grade coding here
1450€pp / 1250€pp short week
This price includes :
• 6 days guided ski touring with a qualified UIAGM high mountain guide
• 7 nights accommodation
• All dinners, breakfasts & picnic lunches
• Transfer from/to Modane or St Michel - Valloire train station (4h train from Paris)
• Lift passes
• Hire gear
We either spend the night in Modane or we organise a taxi or bus to Bonneval sur Arc. Meet with your guide for a briefing on the week ahead.
The itinerary below has been altered for the departure from Bonneval sur Arc…
We leave from Bonneval and make our way up to the Refuge Carro (2759m). We will use the early arrival time to practice with the avalanche transceivers.
From the refuge we set out for a day tour to the L’Uja summit (3379m). This is a great day without packs. Return to Refuge Carro.
From the refuge this morning we ski over a moraine. This is basically a long traverse during which we seek to maintain altitude while continuing in a straight line about 500 metres below the Col de Trieve. It’s a place where you need to be careful and follow the guide’s advice as there are potential avalanches from above from high plaques of wind blown snow. Next we climb the 500 metres to the pass up a 40 degree slope before continuing on a widely crevassed slope and skiing down the 150 metres to the Col de Disgrace. From there we descend a further 500 metres to the Refuge des Evettes.
On this day we again start on glacier but heading now to Italy. From the hut we climb to the Sella Albaro (3474) and then head on down to the petites murailles d’Italie (the little walls of Italy!), and from there on down towards our final hut – a descent of about 800 metres . This part of the route can feel exposed in places. Our way comes out below the hut and we then have a steep climb on crampons to arrive for dinner and bunks in Refuge Gastaldi for the night.
This is a big day of a potential 1000 metres up and the same down again. We start on an easy slope to the Col d’Arnes. From here there is an optional extra climb to the Ouille d’Auberon at 3560. Alternatively we can head straight for the Refuge d’Averole.
From the Averole Refuge we climb 1400m up to the Albaron summit (3637m), the last 30m with a fixed rope. Hopefully lovely views at the top before a descent towards Bonneval, with 2000m of superb descent to arrive in a typical old Savoyard village – well worth the visit.
Transfer back to the train station in Modane for your onward transport.