TOURING IN LE TOUR
17th March 2019 | Katie Bamber, Chamonix
Last modified on November 27th, 2020
Le Tour is a wide open Chamonix ski area that has a beautiful marked route to skin. PlanetSKI puts on its skins.
More and more ski resorts are adding marked mountain ski touring routes within their confines.
Chamonix is one of those.
We were advised to skin the Le Tour in-bounds touring route or another in Les Houches.
Le Tour is higher, so the snow is better in March.
And my God are the views good.
This ski touring path is the third of its kind in Chamonix.
It allows skiers to participate and practice the ever increasing popular sport of ski touring and ski mountaineering on a pre-determined and safe route.
750 metres of vertical is ascended.
From Le Tour base at the start of the Charamillon gondola to the top where there’s a more than perfect breakfast stop.
Then you climb the height of Les Autannes chair up to 2,195m.
This second part is rolling, white, wide open landscape.
Dreamy ski touring terrain.
The first stage is a little different – a litle more challenging.
It’s initially a bashed route, then crosses the piste and scales under the gondola line but on a fair pitch and interesting fall line.
Not one for first-time tourers.
It’s not easy, but not tough either.
One to do before you take it outside the confines of controlled ski areas.
In true Chamonix style, it’s more challenging than your average resort ski tour trail.
Less in the wilderness than some I’ve safelt skinned in, say, Crans Montana and the black and red trails there.
But one to raise the pulse and be great training for what ever is next.
Or rather, a good day without lift assited skiing.
One of my favourite of the season (no joke!).
The views were unparalleled, on a gorgeous March ski day.
It reminds you why Chamonix is just as famous as it is.
The aiguilles – the needle rocks are spectacular.
The panorama, the unbeatable peaks, cols and valleys that’s just looking at them…)
More and more tourers took up on the route as the morning wore on.
It is a sport growing in popularity.
Especially in an adventure playground such as Chamonix.
Here was probably the happiest pair on the descent.
A favourite activity:
Challenging a touring partner after long moment of quiet comtemplation: “What are you thinking about?”
A blueberry tart – an avalanche rescue – a mathematic sum – an ancient memory.
Ski touring is all about freeing the mind…
And I should mention my touring partner was the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.
He had a quick word with Thierry Durand from the Intersport shop in Argentiere about its rise in popularity: