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Backcountry Skiing in La Grave

Nacho Garrido-Lestache
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1 Person
5 day
Nacho Garrido-Lestache
Reserve deposit (30%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • Treat yourself to five days in La Grave, France, and experience some of the best off-piste skiing in the world! Although skiing in La Grave and its area is known for challenging off-piste terrain and steep slopes, your guide will adapt to the level of the group and tailor an ideal adventure for you. Witness and ski on some of the classic routes in this area. If you already have some experience in the backcountry, but want to upgrade your skills, prepare for an exhilarating La Grave backcountry skiing adventure!

    • Day 1: Evaluation and classics in the area

      On the first day of this electrifying adventure you’ll meet up with your guide who will evaluate the level of the participants so that he can tailor a perfect trip for you! You’ll head out to La Grave’s classics such as Les Vallons de La Meije and the Chancel route and get a chance to ski down some scenic routes and head down through several steep couloirs, all while taking in the glorious mountainous vistas that the French Alps offer.

      Day 2: Experience the Girose Glacier, the La Banane and Patou couloirs

      On this day you’ll experience some steep slopes and descents and ski on the Girose glacier, the highest point you can reach using a lift in the resort. On the Chancel Route, you’ll head down La Banane and Patou, the steep-sided couloirs, with La Banane being longer and, as the name suggests, a bit curved.

      Skiers on the Girose Glacier

      Days 3, 4 and 5: Conquer stunning couloirs, Saint Christophe, Trifides…

      During these three days, your guide will show you and take you through different alpine valleys and some legendary couloirs such as Couloir de Fréaux, la Voûte and the Chirouze couloirs. Couloir de Fréaux has the easiest access and is narrow and steep at first, after which you can enjoy skiing down a long descent and eventually reach the village of Les Fréaux. La Voûte contains an open slope and gets progressively steeper as you move along. The Chirouze couloirs count three steep couloirs, one more stunning than the other. You’ll also ski towards the small village of Saint Christophe en Oisans and the Trifide couloir.

      The left Chirouze couloir
    • What you get in this adventure:

        • An experienced, UIAGM High Mountain Guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • Five days of backcountry ski touring
        • Avalanche safety kit if necessary (transceiver, shovel, probe and harness)

      What’s not included:

        • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
        • Transportation of the participants and guide on the days that you leave La Grave, transportation to La Grave and all the trips during the adventure
        • Food and snacks
        • Accommodations
        • Cable car transportation
    • To enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to be in very good physical shape. You will be on your feet for 5-7 hours a day for five full days covering a lot of diverse terrain every day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging red-level resort runs or higher and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain. For the advanced program, you need to be in really good shape seeing as you’ll go uphill on 1000 m of uneven terrain.

    • To participate in this tour, you need to have previous backcountry skiing experience. For the intermediate tour, you need a good level of skiing. For the advanced adventure, cross-country skiing experience is beneficial and recommended, but not essential. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain for hours every day. Your guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe.

    • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

        • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
        • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)

      For personal items, we recommend bringing:

        • Helmet
        • Sunglasses or ski goggles
        • Gloves and hat
        • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Down jacket or vest
        • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
        • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
        • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
        • Water bottle and 1L of water
        • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
        • Food you can eat on-the-go
        • First aid kit
        • Sunscreen
        • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
        • Camera — optional
    • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

        • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe from Objectif Meije
        • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from Objectif Meije

      Ski rental locations are in La Grave and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

    • Group sizes and pricing:

        • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
        • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for this adventure, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family.

      Backcountry skiing in La Grave can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
        • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

      If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.


    • To get to La Grave, most people fly into Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport, 2 hours away from La Grave. When you get to Lyon, you can rent a car or take a bus or train to Grenoble, and then take a bus directly to La Grave. You can also fly into Turin Airport 2.5 hours away. From Turin, you can rent a car or take a train to Bardonecchia and then drive to La Grave for 1h 20 minutes.

      The meeting place is in La Grave. Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in La Grave, France, please refer to France Diplomacy’s advice for travelers and foreign nationals.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information

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