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Vallée Blanche off piste 2017
Descending the Midi Arête onto the top of the Vallée Blanche
Course overview

Vallee Blanche is the most famous off piste ski run in the world. Starting from the highest cable car in the Chamonix valley you ski 23 kilometers over the Glacier du Geant and Mer de Glace. A guide is esential to look after your safety and to pick a challenging route across crevasse bridges and past huge towers of ice.

Suitable for skiiers or snowboarders who are confident on all levels of pisted runs, this route is an ideal opportunity to learn off piste skiing. It is a great way of experiencing the high mountains as the route starts from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m. Many people enjoy it so much that they repeat it many times during their lives.

There are many variations on the Vallee Blanche, so the Guide can always choose a suitable route for your skiing level and the conditions. From February it is often possible to ski all the way back to Chamonix, otherwise you catch the Montenvers train.

Extend your ski trip by a day to enjoy this amazing ski descent. Our prices are for a private group bookings, and can only be booked up to 72 hours before your planned day. This allows plenty of time for accurate weather forecasts, to enable you to select the best day for weather and snow conditions.

On demand: We only offer the Vallée Blanche to existing groups, and do not offer 'collective' groups. If you are ready to book, select a date that fits, and you can then book securely online. If no suitable date is listed, let us know, and we will upload one for you.
Dates: these are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.


Day Itinerary

In the morning you meet with your IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide, an expert skiier and altitude mountaineer. After sorting out your safety equipment and fitting your harnesses and avalanche tranceivers (included in the price if you don't have your own), you go to the Aiguille du Midi cable car. This ascends from the valley to over 3800m in about twenty minutes, so when you arrive at the top, you will notice much thinner the air is at this high altitude. The cable car station provides stunning views of Mont Blanc and the high mountains.

The start of the Vallee Blanche run is accessed by a short snow ridge, fixed with rope handrails and steps, to reach a flat area where you put on your skis / board. Often the Guide will decide it is safer for the group to be equipped with crampons for this descent, which we will provide if required. The Guide will usually clip you on to a rope to ensure your safety. There are many challenging variations of routes down the Vallee Blanche, so the Guide can pick the most exciting one that best suits your group. All of the routes converge at the Requin mountain refuge, where you are about half way down the route. Here you can stop for a well earned hot drink and a bite to eat. You also have time to get some amazing photos of crevasses and the high mountains.
From the Requin you descend over the snow bridges through the Salle a Manger icefall, and the Guide will navigate you safely through the icy towers of seracs and past the huge exposed holes of the crevasses. This section of the route is impressive, and also the most technically demanding. You need to have good ski or board control, with experience of side slipping and varying snow conditions from icy crusts to soft powder. Soon you reach the easier, flatter surface of the Mer de Glace glacier, where boarders are advised to have some collapsible poles or keep up a good speed. It is a fairly straight run down towards the Montenvers mountain railway station, from where you can catch the mountain railway to Chamonix.

It is normal to finish the run at the Montenvers train station, but in exceptionally good snow conditions you may be able to descend all the way through the trees down to Chamonix. Normally you finish your day in mid afternoon in time for a congratulatory beer and some aprés! Great places to head to for a cheeky post VB pint are Chambre9, Moo Bar, Elevation, or MBC (Micro Brasserie de Chamonix). Enjoy!!!

ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.

Course Prices
Standard course
1 day IFMGA guiding, 1:6 max ratio.
Includes loan of transceiver & harness.
£340
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide for one day for the Vallee Blanche ski descent, 2) Pre course information booklet, 3) Equipment discount voucher for our UK shop, 4) Provision of safety harness and avalanche transceiver for each person, and crampons, snow shovel and probe (if required).
Exclusions: 1) Travel to & from Chamonix, 2) Cable Cars (if you already have the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass the Midi is already included), 3) Accommodation, 4) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 5) Ski / board hire, 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Note: If for whatever reason the Vallee Blanche is not possible (eg too windy / closed cable car / avalanche risk too high etc.) you have a day off piste ski guiding instead for the same price. Locations for this could include Grands Montets, Le Tour or another ski area in the Chamonix valley. By completing a booking form you accept this very rare potential change to the itinerary, for safety reasons.
Upgrade options
Avalanche Skills Day
£75 (throughout the season)
To learn avalanche prediction, reutschblocks and use of avalanche tranceivers. Course is available on any day during the week (includes ARVA), details.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Vallee Blanche
  • No Dates Available
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Price: £340 Book online

Alternative courses
Chamonix Off Piste
Haute Route (Cham-Zermatt)
Silvretta Ski Tour

Intro Touring & Backcountry
Client feedback


This day is a total must do for all skiers who visit Chamonix, and the guides just made the day a real hit for our group

Wayne R , Vallee Blanche

We managed to ski the VB twice in the same day, as we were strong skiers, and the weather was perfect. Each time we skied a different route, and both were amazing. I know how lucky we were

Sian V , Vallee Blanche

I'm still going through my GoPro footage, but what I've edited so far shows that we had a epic time, and hero snow!

Alec R , Vallee Blanche

Testimonials
Press & media
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Location data for this trip

The trips all start in Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.

Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Films & photo gallery
Skis & equipment advice
Because we know it is so important to you to have the most suitable equipment and clothing for off piste skiing and touring, we have devoted a page especially to it, which you can access by clicking on the image, or by clicking here. This page outlines the key equipment you should bring, and gives examples of skis that are suitable for the course. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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