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+20km of off piste (vallée Blanche) - any insights ?

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  • +20km of off piste (vallée Blanche) - any insights ?

    I'm tentatively planning to do the Vallée Blanche ( +20km of off piste descent http://www.vallee-blanche.org/ ) later this winter, most likely from Chamonix, and I'm wondering if anybody (particularly the European friends) has any insights about that, I suppose people have already done it on skiboards so I wonder what boards have you used, what time of the year did you go, any local guide that you would recommend, anything that in retrospect you would have planned or done differently, or that was a surprise to you, or whatever would be worth knowing in advance
    Myself: RVL8 2015 Blunt XL, RVL8 2009 ALP "Condor", Spruce 125 LE
    Daughter: Twoowt Pirania 95cm; RVL8 2010 Revolt Trees; Spruce 120 Yellow/Red

  • #2
    That looks like it would be a blast. Are you going to get a guide or go with someone that's done it before?
    Do you get a lift ticket or just take off from a trail head?
    I think I'd get the rescue insurance and made sure my cell/sat phone would work in that area.

    I've not skied Chamonix. But, in 2001 I was just South of there in The Three Valleys, Tignes and Val desiree. I paraglided tandem off the Grand Motte and bought my first pair of shortys in Tignes.

    They have a great local aperitif liquor that's served after dinner on top of vanilla ice cream and peach half's. I think it's made from a local herb similar to wormwood that's used in absinthe.

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    • #3
      it will be my first time in Chamonix, I find that other resorts have a better ski area for a regular, one week skiing holiday, for this one I'll make arrangements for a 3-4 days stay. Will definitely get a guide, but have to look into this further, I understood most/many guides will drag the descent to last 4-5 hours, when it should be much shorter. Some will plan it so that you can fit two different routes in the same day, which sounds more exciting

      You take the cabin to 3842m, then you have a slow descent on foot with crampons for almost an hour, and then you can start the actual back country route (several options of different difficulties being possible)

      Very good point regarding the cell signal, being quite a remote area, I doubt that you would get much of a signal...

      i quite like the Three Valleys area, although I haven't been there in ten years, that's a good idea for this winter, thank you somehow I've never tried that liquor, I'm rather a whisky guy, especially on cold winter days

      I wonder what boards would be best for such a trip, I suppose over such a distance you'd get a bit of everything, some ice, some powder, more of less of each depending on the last snow... something like the XLs might be good because quite maneuverable, but not that great on ice... Should I favor the best conditions - something that would work great in powder - or for the worst - make sure I have good ice hold, like the 125s ?

      Myself: RVL8 2015 Blunt XL, RVL8 2009 ALP "Condor", Spruce 125 LE
      Daughter: Twoowt Pirania 95cm; RVL8 2010 Revolt Trees; Spruce 120 Yellow/Red

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