Itineraries, couloirs La Grave La Meije
At La Grave there are no marked secure pistes, only high mountain itineraries. The two classic freeride itineraries are the Vallons de La Meije and the Vallons de Chancel. They start at 3550 or 3211 meters at the Col des Ruillans, where the arrival of the second section of the La Grave cable car, the Téléphérique des Glaciers de La Meije is located. Beautiful descents beneath the peak of La Meije and more than fifteen couloirs: Triffides, Banana, Fréaux ... are waiting for you. But the main attraction of La Grave - La Meije are the great off-piste itineraries that attract skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers from around the world in search of freeride experiences! At 3568 meters, you ride with gravity and have a big selection of routes with vertical descents of more than 2400 meters / 7900 feet: Derby de La Meije 2150m, The Vault 2400m, Chirouze 2400m... You have the choice of a multitude of lines on the south face, the north... A description of the tours or descents around La Meije ski touring, or split-boarding is also in this section. Safely discover these incredible extreme skiing itineraries with the Snowlegend guides who are specialized in freeride. If your off piste itinerary ends on a road, the Snowlegend shuttle allows you to quickly return to the La Grave ski resort and maximise the enjoyment of your freeride day.
Vallons of La Meije
This itinerary follows the different valleys shaped by the moraines of the former Râteau glacier.Beware of avalanches and seracs falling off the Râteau and La Meije glaciers.This run is not, technically speaking, difficult, but beware of the natural dangers (such as those mentioned above) and check your line. There are many variations of route. Snowlegend offers you the discovery day. The vertical drop is 2150 meters / 7050 feet from Pur Bonheur starting from the dome of La Lauze.
Couloirs Trifides - Vallons de La Meije
Three couloirs "0, 1, 2" around 40/45° below Trifide point. Exposed acces, a rope might be needed depending on conditions. For info Trifide 3 rarely possible, (jump of 30m and more !) Click on the picture to see the atmosphere in 7 photos. If you need a Freeride coach : the Snowlegend guide is also a ski instructor.
Vallons of La Meije - Couloir de l’Ours
The Couloir de l’Ours (Bear Couloir) is short but intense. Access is via the magical east slopes of the La Grave La Meije cable car. Take care as avalanches are possible, as these slopes are exposed to several directions of wind and heat up in the sun at the end of the morning. These lines are ideal for making big freeride turns in powder on steep terrain. Two entrances are possible into the couloir: technical, steep and narrow. It widens often with a snowdrift, a magical ride to the right and a final straight or big turn to choose from to join the moraine and the classic lines skiing on the Vallons of La Meije.
Vallons of La Meije - Saint Antoine couloir
The Saint Antoine couloir has a small vertical descent of 300 meters. The access on skis or snowboard is by the Vallons de La Meije then the Zone Interdite. The Saint Antoine is on the right of the Enfetchores. This extreme couloir is a narrow groove in the rock face. Crampons, an ice axe and rope are needed to climb up. The couloir is narrow and very steep (48.5 degrees max). The descent is vertigo inducing and exposed: sensitive people shouldn’t do it! It is not often skiable! but it’s a gem in good conditions. It belongs to the category: Extreme couloirs of La Grave - La Meije!
Vallons de Chancel
The start takes place at the top of the second section of the La Meije lift at 3200m. We can ride to the river Romanche. Discover : Vallon de Chancel are the easiest off piste descents of La Grave ski area. The slopes are gentle and regular above lake Puy Vachier, but ... take care, even if it seems pretty obvious, you could easily be stuck above cliffs, especially near the lake, then in the forest. There are many discoveries to be made on this itinerary! The Refuge Chancel is found at 2508m. The food is excellent with panoramic views and of the Patou and Banana couloirs ... It is great to sleep there and wake up already on the slope. Book a mountain guide in La Grave.
Couloir Patou - Vallons de Chancel
This magnificent straight Patou couloir overlooks Lake Puy Vachier. The access is by the Pacave valley, the most beautiful and the least frequented of the various freeriding / free-skiing lines of the Vallons de Chancel, steep and regularly in good snow. Take care, there is avalanche risk (wind slab due to strong wind from the southwest, west ...). A short traverse above the cliffs overlooking the lake leads to the entrance of the couloir. This entrance can be very narrow for a few metres. Then the slope is regular and straight, becoming wider but sustained at 36/38 degrees to the lake.
Atmosphere and emotion guaranteed!
Banana Couloir- Vallons of Chancel
Lake Puy Vachier is located just under Chancel refuge (2508m). This frozen winter lake is dominated by impressive cliffs 150m high. Three couloirs: the Patou, Banane and the Lake, are very steep and cross these cliffs in a very alpine atmosphere. The Banane is the longest of them and slightly curved. The entrance can be technical and often has moguls. The rather large main slope allows you to get some good turns in. It is the ideal couloir to discover steep slopes and to test or progress technically and mentally. It allows the Snowlegend team to assess your ability and thus guide you on some freeride routes on the north or south face and other longer and steeper couloirs!
Tree skiing in La Grave
Between the intermediate station of the cable car at 2400m and the valley bottom (La Grave, Les Fréaux), the vertical drop is 1000 meters. The larch forest is interspersed with clearings, couloirs, valleys, ice cascades and cliffs. This playground is super varied, very steep for playful yet technical freeride skiing or snowboarding. A day is not enough to explore all the possible lines in our "Magic Forest".
Tree skiing at La Grave is generally accessible even when the top of the domain is closed due to strong wind or high avalanche risk.
Vallon de la Selle
The Vallon de la Selle is a small descent in the high mountains. The start is from the top of the Dome de La Lauze at 3568 meters. This freeride off-piste descent takes you to the village of Saint Christophe en Oisans in the Vénéon valley at 1440m and is one of the off-piste skiing itineraries at the La Grave ski resort that is accessible allowing you to return to the slopes again at a good time. This freeride skiing route is located on the south face and is exposed to the sun very early in the morning. You have to have the right timing to benefit from snow that is not too hard or too soft. Ski down the wide slopes of 35 ° with more than 1000m of vertical descent. At the level of the Refuge de La Selle 2673m, we let ourselves ride along the 5km long valley and soak up the wild and high mountain atmosphere. After passing the Torrent du Diable, you only have to ski the last fields before the village and arriving at the Bar de la Cordée. A Snowlegend shuttle or taxi will be waiting for you to return to La Grave. Discovery day with Snowlegend.
La Rama couloir - Descente sur Saint Christophe
The Rama couloir is the extreme version of skiing, snowboarding or telemarking to Saint Christophe. The vertical descent is 1300m before joining the Vallon de la Selle. La Rama is one of the most beautiful couloirs in La Grave - La Meije. This freeride route is located on the south side. The start is from the Dome de La Lauze towards the top of the ski lifts of the Les 2 Alps glacier. Wide open slopes feed onto the valley below and lead to the entrance of the couloir. The couloir is long, steep, narrow and extremely narrow in some places (the width of the skis). At the end of this magnificent couloir is the Vallon de la Selle. There are then 3 kms of descent to the village of Saint Christophe en Oisans. A Snowlegend bus or taxi will be waiting for you to return to La Grave. Book your mountain guide with Snowlegend.
The vault is one of the exceptional La Grave freeride routes !!! Hyper varied, the difference in altitude is 2400 meters / 7900 feet of pure happiness! It begins with wide freeride turns on the glacier of La Lauze and then continues with more sustained slopes and small wild valleys before taking a break halfway to the 35 meters rappel ! With skis or snowboard on your back, the mountain guide belays you down with a rope. The second part of the run begins with a steep and narrow couloir for the first 150 meters / 500 feet. Then it expands, less steep and allows beautiful turns in a grandiose setting! The atmosphere is big and wild! But keep in mind that we are always exposed to avalanches that may come from higher slopes, so groups keep riding until the exit of the couloir without too much delay. Then there is the beautiful forest to ski through to the river! A Snowlegend shuttle will pick you up to go back to the La Grave ski resort! This beautiful descent is a must during an off piste skiing La Grave holiday or weekend with the Freeride ski and snowboard camp Snowlegend.
Canyon - Tantric line
At the top of the Dome de la Lauze at 3550m, each step is slower, you catch your breath while admiring the panoramic view from the Ventoux to Mont Blanc. We are at the beginning of the Tantric line.
With wide open spaces on the Lauze glacier, we let go. We carve big turns on the sparkling snow, watching the gaping crevasses as we go by. The soft and round shapes take us into the first couloir, the slope becomes steeper, then a second couloir of 40°.
It’s time to take a break, then refocus to continue through the canyon. The rhythm is slower, the corners tighter and more precise in this gorge at 45° and 4m wide. Even steeper and narrower up to a drop. Is the rope necessary?
At 1600m, the clearing of the meleze brings us smiling and tired, to the Romanche river. We pass over it to reach the road.
The descent is sensational and without escape! 2450m vertical descent without a flat area! Without traversing! It is one of the most beautiful descents of the Alps. Book a Snowlegend mountain guide.
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