Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)
 

Vallee Blanche Difficulty?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
snowball, it's the summit of Mont Jovet. From the Cretes drag look over to the right and you'll see it.



From the top of the drag continue down the track for perhaps 100m then boot up the short steep slope in front of you. Then skis back on and head downhill but keeping left. When you reach the bowl you'll need to skin or boot up the broad slope in front of you to the col - about 0.5 hours. You can get to Bozel this way. Instead, skis off again and boot up the ridge line - steep in parts so all fours job! Then across that ridge - it took me two goes and a lot of concentration. The photo of Mrs A was taken from the other end looking back. Then clip back in again and continue on but keep right as much as possible. Hop back over the ridge into sweet powder that takes you down to the river and eventually the Coqs chair.

Map: http://warringtonbears.org.uk/laplagne/20090226.png


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 9-02-12 20:13; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks altis, will be staying in Ste Foy second week of March and may visit La Plagne.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rednblack, depending on how keen you are to do it (and how willing you would be to pay for a whole guide yourself), it might be easiest to rock up at the Maison des Guides in Chamonix when you get there. Unless it's epically busy there should be a guide free at some point during your stay, and they should be able to give some advice on when would be the best weather to try the VB on. I can't remember if they will help you team up with other skiers to hire a guide though, so if that's something you're interested in (and guides are expensive, so it makes sense), then either email the MdG to confirm if they'll help, ask on here, or find a company that arranges guided groups on the next in advance.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Cross-post to our Vallee Blanche outing on Saturday.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just back from skiing the VB on Saturday - our Christmas present from sons. It was an amazing experience that we have always wanted to do. Not too scary on the arret but I've got much better with heights the more I ski. The actual skiing is not difficult, just a few moguls to be negotiated and getting off the end of the glacier. The worst bit was skiing back down to Chamonix, very hot and soft snow which seemed to go on for ever. Also quite a climb up from the glacier to reach that route off so consider the train. Interresting to see how much the glacier has melted back. We all walked up 28 years ago when the boys were youngsters. We were looking after them at that time but now they were guiding their aged parents!
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I feel quite sick after watching that vid (can't see the throwing up emoticon, or I would add that)
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
mogulski wrote:
Just back from skiing the VB on Saturday - our Christmas present from sons. It was an amazing experience that we have always wanted to do. Not too scary on the arret but I've got much better with heights the more I ski. The actual skiing is not difficult, just a few moguls to be negotiated and getting off the end of the glacier. The worst bit was skiing back down to Chamonix, very hot and soft snow which seemed to go on for ever. Also quite a climb up from the glacier to reach that route off so consider the train. Interresting to see how much the glacier has melted back. We all walked up 28 years ago when the boys were youngsters. We were looking after them at that time but now they were guiding their aged parents!


You were lucky. The track was avalanched that afternoon.

http://pistehors.com/news/ski/comments/1044-avalanche-on-the-vallee-blanche/
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes we saw where there had been an avalance as we skied down.
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The ridge walk with the rope at hip level is no problem, when it's snowed a lot and it's 6 inches from the ground it's a different thing entirely!
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Of course, sometimes the crevasses are directly under the path made by the guide Happy


http://youtube.com/v/nWOTVHhgnIs#t=10
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
nbt wrote:
This is what the ridge is like before they rope it up for you to walk down


Skiing out the Door from Tom Greenall
http://vimeo.com/34555644

Very Happy


I know this is 5 years old, but bloody hell, this is beyond my week a year ability.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
That's not the conventional way to get down the ridge. Most people walk in a well cut track with a relatively well anchored handrail next to them, and put their skis on just where this video ends.
snow report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@snowdave, I should hope so, I had read in this thread its red run standard, that's not like any red run I have ever done. Still a big drop!!
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
cockofthenorth wrote:
Entick, its not so much the skiing of the valle blanche , its more of the getting down the rope at the start which you would find the most daunting Smile if your not an experienced skiier seeing that for the first time may put you off Confused


Agree here. I've been skiing for 30 years and described as a good skier but I suffer badly from vertigo. I puked when I got to the bottom of the roped bit. After that I sort of found the entire decent to be sort of nice views but why bother, nothing challenging at all. Although it was a nice sunny day
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have heard you can do it from the Italian side & it is a very ease entry compared to what is being described here.
Anyone know if that is true? Also how much would a guide cost approx. & does that price go up if you are a party of 6 say?
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The worst bit is now walking up to the train! Evil or Very Mad
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Jonny996,
Accessing the VB from Helbronner is significantly more relaxing. I have been down the Midi ridge dozens of times, summer and winter, and still feel a little frazzled going down. I am certainly familiar with all the Midi toilets.

The bus from Chamonix to Courmayeur now stops at the new lift first, meaning you can be there for about 9:30. It only costs about £15. The new cable car is a thing to behold, and at the top there is none of the Midi scrum of guides roping down umpteen terrified clients.

A couple of the routes down from Italy, such as the Combe Vierge, are fantastic. To extract the maximum value (depending on the ski ability of your team), it is a top day to start at Helbronner, ski the Toula glacier (facing Courmayeur ski area) to the half way station, back up to Helbronner, then down a version of the VB/Valley Noir to a bar in Chamonix.

And with a bit of luck you will avoid several thousand moguls on the way down

Sorry, I know nothing about guides and rates.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@HammondR, thank you for this write up, I think that is the way for me to go. I would be nervous enough about doing this without the scary start. I am going for weekend away next week with a very good & seasoned VB skier, I will get his take on my ability.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
You gotta do the ridge once in your life surely wink
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Have skied Vallee Blanche and its variants Enver du Plan and Col du Plan numerous times. For the vallee blanche the more snow the better to fill in holes. I never got guided but ended up guiding others through familiarity, practicing crevasse escape and having and carrying/wearing harness/ropes/probe/prusiks/transceivers/shovels etc but tbh run is normally like a blue piste most of the way with short sections through the seracs that are more like reds. best be fully prepared of course.

As others have said the ridge walk down from the cable car is the bit likely to scare some, best to get your skis tied on a backpack or get someone experiecned to carry them so you have 2 hands on the rope. Once you've done it once it's a piece of cake after.

Not great for snowboarders at the last part which is flattish as some poling is sometimes required.

If you are lucky when you get the short chairlift off the mer du glace glacier to link to the wee train, with enough snow you can then forget the train and ski all the way back to Chamonix on a forest trail and find yourself at Chambre Neuf bar for some refreshments. That would be a red run for narrowness rather than anything steep. The train is kinda fun too if legs are done.

If you leave the trip until the afternoon it tends to be much quieter but you dont want to hang about. wink
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
snowdave wrote:
That's not the conventional way to get down the ridge. Most people walk in a well cut track with a relatively well anchored handrail next to them, and put their skis on just where this video ends.


It looks like the handrail has been buried by recent snow falls.

What is the avalanche risk on that ridge???
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
bar shaker wrote:


It looks like the handrail has been buried by recent snow falls.

What is the avalanche risk on that ridge???


By nature there's little avalanche risk on a ridge, ridges don't accumulate enough snow, avalanches occur in hollows/gulleys/chutes between ridges.
Very good skiers often ski the poubelle which is the couloir to your right as you go down that ridge. It could easily avalanche with a combo of different snow types I think but I expect they blast it being next to a lift and ski pedestrian route.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Anyone who's done any hillwalking will wonder what the fuss is about once they start down the ridge. I did and I'm not the worlds best with heights; we even stopped halfway down to spot landmarks in town.
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Mosha Marc,
Well I must be pathetic then! I could be described as a hillwalker, having done a number of classic North Faces, and quite a lot of ice climbing away from the Alps. That ridge, especially when plastered with guided clients, never fails to worry me.

@bar shaker,
Don't think the rope has been buried. They don't normally cut out a track and secure the ridge until there has been sufficient snow cover on the glaciers (and therefore punters) to justify the effort. I guess we are beaucoup snow away from that yet.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@HammondR, probably down to conditions. It was blowing a bit (there was a half hour delay in the cable car opening because of it) but it hadn't snowed in weeks, so it was a walk down a fairly flattened and wide ridge path.

As I'd never used crampons or had the benefit of a hand rail before, it felt fine.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Mosha Marc,
Also, if you are actually from Halifax, as opposed to me, who only resides there, then you may simply be nails. I, on the other hand, was brought up in Bradford, with a silver spoon in my mouth!
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The second time I did the ridge it was much easier/better than the first time. Just the conditions, way the path had been cut, etc.
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@HammondR, ah, I didn't realise.

I'm sorry to hear that wink
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You just can't wait to get up there @HammondR, can you Toofy Grin
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@MadMountainMan,
Tell you what, I will be nowhere near the VB until there has been another 6ft of snow to fill those holes in properly. Still, there is a whole book of other off piste skiing to get through.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The only time I did the VB the guide said
"You are a good skier, you go first"
and then he said to the person behind me
"If he falls left or right, don't try to hold him just jump off the track the other side and I will then sort everything out" !!!

No issues until the next morning when I could hardly use my right hand...I had been Death-Gripping the rope handrail so tight that I had strained all the muscles in my hand and wrist!

The run down (the punter friendly Classic Route) was very nice, a communicative guide who is willing to stop and explain all the different aspects and features, greatly adds to the day.

The climb back up to the railway was tough...really exhausting as it was a warm day, and it is a long way.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rungsp wrote:
The only time I did the VB the guide said
"You are a good skier, you go first"
and then he said to the person behind me
"If he falls left or right, don't try to hold him just jump off the track the other side and I will then sort everything out" !!!

Love it Laughing Laughing
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rungsp wrote:

The climb back up to the railway was tough...really exhausting as it was a warm day, and it is a long way.


After the first time doing it, I took a pair of trainers with me. Took 2 minutes to change but made the stairs 100% less crap.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
HammondR wrote:
@MadMountainMan,
Tell you what, I will be nowhere near the VB until there has been another 6ft of snow to fill those holes in properly. Still, there is a whole book of other off piste skiing to get through.

Hehe I shall say no more. Not that I'm disagreeing mind you Laughing Twisted Evil
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
That jumping off the opposite side is the regulation technique when roped moving together on a ridge. Your guide was being completely orthodox.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
jedster wrote:
That jumping off the opposite side is the regulation technique when roped moving together on a ridge. Your guide was being completely orthodox.

Makes total sense. It's just to a rookie mountaineer, which many punters on the VB are (including me) would be shocked by the idea. And I suspect many of them wouldn't do it. But again I suspect the guide knows that also!
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Minor threadjack - how is the VB for snowboarding? I have heard that you need to be "advanced" to try it rather than decent intermediate.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I wouldn't have thought you would need to be technically that good on a board, there really isn't anything very difficult on the classic route. However there is several kilometres of fairly flat ground at the end which seems to make it less attractive to boarders.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

And I suspect many of them wouldn't do it. But again I suspect the guide knows that also!




I think you are right. From what I can see, guides pretty much assume clients are only a liability and if they are better than that it is a bonus!
To be fair, guides do climb some hard stuff with clients which requires clients to take some responsibility but I imagine, for example, a guide would regard a client having to hold them on a fall as a complete faux pas.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
plus 1 get a guide
it's nothing too difficult for a good intermediate skier when conditions are "normal" That means early/late season or following a big storm things can become complicated rather quickly.
More info can be seen here
http://www.nosiesta.com/vallee-blanche/
snow conditions     



Derived from phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group & 2004-2013 snowHeads.com Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy