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Short skin routes in Les Arcs

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
With 2 kids in morning and afternoon lessons me and the wife can't really do any "proper" touring as we are tight on time doing pickups, lunch etc. So in the last couple of years we've just been picking spots where we can skin for maybe 30-45 minutes, get off the beaten track, maybe have a snack/drink and ski back down. We've mostly ski'd the three valleys so have some favourite spots there, but this year we are going to Les Arc (1800) and haven't explored this area for a while.

So just wondering if anyone knows some spots we could check out.
A perfect example of the type of thing is just skinning up Pointe du Borgne in Val Thoren, having a pit stop at the top then skiing back down, only about 1.5 hrs total, so nothing major!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes, you can skin up to the Grand Col. Be careful if you skin onto the Glacier du Grand Col, it is crevassed in its upper sections, just before it gets steep towards the col des Roches but the first few hundred meters barely have any ice now. There is a small hut at the Grand Col if you want to stop out of the wind for a few minutes. It is also relatively flat and if you stick to the center of the valley the avalanche risk is nearly zero.

I've also skinned up to the Aiguille Grive. You climb the ENE ridge from where the chair lifts meet. The ridge is reasonably safe but all the slopes bar the south are avalanche prone. I've skied down the north, west and south sides. The north couloirs are steep but they take you back to the pistes. The south side towards the col d'Entreportes is ok but it is quite a tour back to the col de la Chal, it seems to take forever.

You can also ski down from the Col du Chal which is fairly mild, no real avalanche risk if you avoid the obvious terrain traps. You could probably ski to the Chalets de Rossets and get back in time.

Or towards the refuge du Mont Pourri and ski back up but the les Arcs side is flat. You'll have to judge what 45 minutes of skinning is though.

Sorry don't know the north side of the area, maybe someone else can help with ideas?

I'd start with the Grand Col but it is a fair few lifts from the Arc 1800.
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 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?
Cheers, will check these out, thanks for the suggestions.
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@davidof, I hadn't realised that the grand col glacier still existed. When I walked it a couple years ago it was just scree.

@ish303, get a copy of the cle du paradiski by didier .... though it gives lots of routes it is not a guidebook but a coffee table book with lots of photos and suggested itineraries.

It is only 2 lifts from arc 1800 to the grand col
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ish303, I forgot to mention that you have to attend a course before being allowed into the nature reserve on skis over the grand col. I will try and find out details when I'm next in les arcs
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Grand Col Glacier last June, you can see the ice that is under the snow, it is crevassed where the slope is steeper (rimaye etc.)

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@ish303, It is quite organised in Les Arcs these days with a special Rando ski piste map for some routes which I think you can get at the lift office. Also on the French OS style maps they give the ski rando routes for the area so easy to work them out if you know what you are doing. If you go onto the Les Arcs Winter page on facebook you can see loads of photos of the many off piste routes we do. Some are half day trips others are shorter or longer. Loads of options in Les Arcs to get away from it all without having to do too much skinning. Are your kids in Morning group lessons all morning or just private? If all morning you have many more options. Hope that helps.
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