Arguably the most famous off-piste ski descent in the world, the Vallee Blanche is a thrilling and unforgettable challenge at high altitude in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps. Starting at 3842m at the top of the Aiguille du Midi lift station, you can enjoy the magnificent landscape as you descend for more than 20km and with a vertical drop of up to 2800m. The Valley Blanche finishes either at 1035m in Chamonix centre or on the Mer de Glace at Montenvers train station, dependent on snow conditions lower down.
The Vallee Blanche really is an unrivalled glacial ski itinerary, passing through stunning high mountain scenery with cascading glaciers and towering peaks of the Mont Blanc massif. These awe-inspiring views give a real sensation of wilderness.
Our UIAGM qualified mountain guide, David Gladwin, calls the Aiguille de Midi his second home! He will navigate you down a safe route around crevasses and seracs, ensuring that you enjoy one of the best off piste experiences in the European Alps.
There are a number of variants to the Vallee Blanche, the classic route ‘voie normal’ is the easiest descent, avoiding the steepest parts. The other routes are known as Le Vrai Vallee Blanche, the Petit Envers du Plan and the Grand Envers du Plan. These are technically more challenging and require very good off-piste technique, so are for more experienced riders. There are also many more options opened up if you have splitboard / ski touring equipment.
The season for the Vallee Blanche varies with snow conditions and weather, but usually is January to April or even May.
The Vallee Blanche on a snowboard
The Vallée Blanche is suitable for snowboarders who have previous off piste experience and are able to safely ride all kinds of terrain and snow conditions. You are required to be able to ride across traverses without losing height and flat stretches without falling – as the descent is on a glacier, taking your snowboard off to walk is not an option!
Equipment required for the Vallée Blanche
For snowboarders, we recommend a pair of telescopic poles which can be useful on the final part of the descent which is long and flat. You will need a transceiver, shovel & probe. We provide you with a harness and crampons that fit your snowboard / ski boots.
This is a full day itinerary.
Maximum 6 clients to 1 guide
The descent down the Vallée Blanche really is a unique experience and is one of the most incredible days that you could have outdoors. It is a truly memorable experience that should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already!
The Vallée Blanche is suitable for strong intermediate & experienced snowboarders. The difficulty of the descent can vary significantly, depending on the snow conditions at the time. The conditions can be anything from compact snow, to deep powder, wind blown crust and even moguls in places.
If you are not sure about your ability level then we offer a two day Vallee Blanche package, making sure that you are fully prepared for the descent and able to enjoy it to the max. The first day will be spent progressing your off piste technique, giving you extra confidence to tackle varying terrain and snow conditions. Then the second day you will be able to tackle the Vallée Blanche with added confidence.
Fitness Level 3/5: An average level of fitness required to enjoy this course to it's fullest
Below is a description of the skill levels suited:
Level 4. High Intermediate
You are an experienced snowboarder, competent riding the whole mountain, in almost all snow conditions and terrain types. Even if you’re content with what you’re riding, a session with an top level instructor can help you enjoy it even more … and chances are you’ll find out there’s still plenty left in the tank. It’s time to increase your performance, dominate the mountain, master new tricks and venture further off piste.
Level 5. Advanced
You are a seasoned snowboarder who has an extensive experience off piste and / or in the snowpark. You can ride any terrain and make it look good. Join a program for riding steep & deep terrain, or finding how 3 feet out of a pipe can be 10 with a bit of coaching.
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