Ski Touring in Les 3 Vallées
Whatever your off-piste experience, ski touring opens up a whole new world. Book a trip in the 3 Valleys and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
The 3 Valleys’ Best Ski Touring Itineraries
Ski Touring is a fantastic way to discover the wild side of Les 3 Vallées. Striking out under your own steam, far from the ski lifts, you get up close and personal with the majestic mountain terrain of this beautiful region.
This is a big mountain environment and the incline can make you work hard at times, but there’s a huge sense of satisfaction when you reach your goal. You’ve earnt your turns. It’s time to pack your skins away, drop in to some untouched powder and enjoy carving your own lines down huge vertical drop back to the resort.
Most ski touring day trips start with a meeting at around 9:00am at the lift station. Once your gear is checked, the conditions are assessed and the itinerary is decided upon, you head up to the edge of the pisted area of the resort.
After an initial off-piste descent, it’s time to put your skins on and start the climb to a col or summit adapted to your fitness level and skiing ability. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to take photos and a stop for lunch will be built into the day. You can expect to be back down in the resort before 4:30pm.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced off-piste skier, the itinerary will be tailored to your fitness and objectives. However, to get the most out of your ski-touring trip you need to be comfortable skiing red pisted runs and fit enough to climb at least 500 m of vertical ascent.
Book a Ski Touring Trip
Our Ski Touring partners offer affordable one-day & multi-day packages designed for adventurous skiers looking to access best natural terrain in Les 3 Vallées. Take a guide, you’ll be safer and you’ll have a lot more fun.
Courchevel Ski Touring
Ski touring at the spectacular Brèche de la Portetta in Courchevel | © Ski Progression
The following ski-touring itineraries all start from the Vallée des Avals. To access the Vallée des Avals, take the Chanrossa chairlift up from the Creux to the Col de Chanrossa at 2544 m. A 15 minute bootpack up a steep incline brings you to the summit of Pyramide (2626 m). From there you can drop into the valley.
Col de Chanrouge (2531 m)
The Col de Chanrouge is a great route for newcomers to the sport, even if it’s your first ski-touring trip. There’s not much vertical ascent, and it’s never too steep, but you quickly get that backcountry wilderness feeling amidst big 3000 m peaks. You can extend the route by bolting on a loop round the Col du Rateau (2688 m).
Petit Mont-Blanc (2677 m)
Strike out on skins from the Grand Plan refuge at 2300 m in the Vallée des Avals. It’s just under 400 m vertical ascent to the summit of the Petit Mont Blanc where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view over the peaks of the Vanoise National Park. Return to Courchevel via the same valley.
Brèche de la Portetta (2651 m)
Known as ‘The Little Dolomites’, this route takes you through an amphitheater of jutting pinnacles of rock as grandiose as the name suggests. The top section is seriously steep. Make sure you take a guide, the snow can be unpredictable, and there are some epic lines you won’t want to miss on the way back down. There is also a run all the way down to Pralognan-La-Vanoise at 1410 m which is suitable only for very good skiers.
Méribel-Val Thorens Ski Touring
Backcountry isolation in the 3 Valleys | © Flickr – Stéphane Bouley
Col du Borgne (3042 m)
A large open valley makes this a very accessible ski tour. The route becomes progressively steeper reaching 30° under the col. There’s about 600 to 700 m of vertical ascent depending if you start from Cote Brune or Mont Vallon.
Col de Chanrouge (2531 m)
It’s a long ski in from Méribel-Mottaret (1680 m) to the Lac du Tueda (1700 m) which can be shortened if you access the route from the Col du Fruit. A gradual ascent from 2000 m takes you up to the Saut Refuge. Thereafter it gets steeper and more sustained. Once you reach the col you’ll be treated to outstanding views over the Couchevel valley, La Plagne and the Mont Blanc range. Loop back to Courchevel 1650 m.
Pointe du Borgne (3078 m)
This is an accessible 3000 m ski touring itinerary, ideal as an intro to the sport. Having said that, at 40° the final couloir is quite steep. From Val Thorens, you can either skin up the Ruisseau des Borgnes valley following the Plein Sud chairlift, or you can cheat and just jump on the chairlift. From the top of the chair (2550 m) it’s about 300 m of vertical ascent up to the top of the valley which rounds off in a beautiful glacial cirque. From here it’s a steep climb up through the couloir and a short skin along the ridge.