The Vallée Blanche at Chamonix is one of the world’s great ski-runs, arguably the best in the Alps that is accessible by ski lift. But it is something more than that: it is the most challenging off-piste run in the Alps that a decent intermediate skier can safely and sensibly tackle. As such, it makes a brilliant climax to a week in Chamonix; indeed, it’s one of the prime reasons why Long Eaton Round Table and 41 Club decided to tackle the famous Vallee.
There are two dangerous aspects. The first is this initial climb down to get to the start of the run. You take the Aiguille du Midi cable car – which is pretty spectacular in itself – to above 3,800 metres. Then you rope up.
You emerge from the Aiguille du Midi station through a tunnel and suddenly you see why you are roped. You have to climb down a ridge, skis and poles in one hand, hanging on to a guide rope with the other, for about 100 metres, with sheer drops on either side.
Further down you have to cross a number of crevasses, and there are points where you are vulnerable to an avalanche. Needless to say all the chaps who attempted the 22km run made it down in one piece, I think it was the cold beer waiting for them at the bar that jeered them on. Well Done Chaps,
Cough! we won’t mention about the train journey at the very end and that Snowboarders were banned!!!