Vallée Blanche

We’d hoped to ski the Vallée Blanche this year but had thought we’d missed our chance. But Friday’s fresh snow and Saturday’s skiing practice set us up for one of the super classic off-piste descents of the alps.

On a windy day the Arête down from the Midi scares me to death in the summer. Who’d have thought that in winter, thanks to massive poles and thick ropes on both sides it could be so easy!

Laetitia having passed the heavily crevassed Géant glacier

Not a bad place to have a beer!

Lessons for next time? Go lighter and don’t bother to take all that gear (skins etc.) for going up hill, and even consider leaving the crampons at home thanks to those amazing fixed ropes from the Midi.

13 thoughts on “Vallée Blanche”

  1. Wow!! 😎 😎 😎 looks like you had a fab day! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I’ve wanted to do the Vallee Blanche for ages.
    And it looks like you got great weather aswell!! 😀

  2. Yeah, we couldn’t have planned the weather better – pouring with rain when we arrived and pouring when we left – sunny in between! 😀 Although I did miss not getting a route done…

    Can’t wait to do the “VB” again Ian, ignoring the cost of another lift pass, we almost went straight back up right there and then! So, even though it may be next year now before we get another chance, we could make a mass descent together?

  3. Yes it’s a great descent isn’t it? Which side of the Rognon did you go, look fwd to seeing the map.
    I’m sure I did not take skins (there isn’t any “up”, and I didn’t own any in those days anyway). I don’t think we used crampons either. Only took crevasse rescue stuff. I wouldn’t mind doing it again (= would love to, except for the cost of the ‘pherique).
    Nice to see the pics.

      1. Brian, you should know in yourself if you are good enough to do the VB. Really the skiing isn’t that hard, or at least doesn’t have to be if you choose an easy route. But the high mountain terrain demands respect! If you are a mountaineer it’ll come easy, if you are not (and only in your your third year skiing) it may kill you!!!

      2. I agree with Pete – snowplough doesn’t quite do it on the valle blanche. You wanna try some other off piste skiiing without the risk of falling down a crevasse first. There’s plenty to be had in the Chamonix valley.

  4. Anna, we went what I think is probably the easier side of the Rognon. As for taking the skins “just in case”, we thought it best to find our way carefully… Next time, now that we know the route (and the ‘quality’ of the fixed ropes), we’ll likely be a lot more adventurous! 😛 Map. What do you mean?

    Pete, yeah, I find the aréte quite scary. I guess it’s my imagination running wild – it’s a clear line of sight all the way down to Chamonix, over 2500m below!

  5. Some people were actually bottom sliding down some of the aréte. Bloody insane! They weren’t being adventurous, just scared of slipping. I tried to explain that they should turn around and walk backwards, but they didn’t understand my English or French, or even me showing them what to do. Thankfully there were two lines that could be taken, and three in some places, so they were easy to avoid.

  6. Oh, and I think next time we go we should do it when we can ski down to the valley. That not only saves a bit of money, but extends the trip. I was quite sad when we’d finished.
    Although I did enjoy the beer before the train ride :yum: :yum:

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