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Freeride tour of the week | Col du Passon

An extremely rewarding ski tour close to the great classics.

by Philip Crivelli ‚ÄĘ 02/14/2016
In the ski mecca of Chamonix, the powder slopes in the off-piste area are extremely fast. It's a good idea to pack your skins. As soon as you have to walk up a bit, there are far fewer people on the slopes. However, this does not mean that you will be alone.

In the ski mecca of Chamonix, the powder slopes in the off-piste area are extremely fast. It's a good idea to pack your skins. As soon as you have to walk up a bit, there are far fewer people on the slopes. However, this does not mean that you are lonely on the slopes.

Ascent

The starting point for the tour is the Grands Montets ski area near Argentière. Here you take both gondolas to the top of the Aiguilles des Grands Montets. The great thing about this tour is that you start with a descent. From the Aiguilles, follow the upper part of a variant piste in a north-easterly direction down to the Argentière glacier. This is where the actual ascent begins. After crossing the glacier, you first walk steeply up the lateral moraine. The terrain then flattens out a little and you continue in a north-easterly direction to the Col du Passon. The last section is a steep gully up to the pass. It is usually advisable to strap your skis onto your backpack here.

Descent

On reaching the Col du Passon, you first ski flat in a north-westerly direction over the Glacier du Tour towards point 2722 (or point 2751 on the Swiss map). From here, the terrain becomes steeper. Depending on the conditions, you can choose different descent options, the terrain is somewhat steeper to the west, especially in the lower part, and somewhat more open to the east. All options end in the village of Le Tour.

Tips

The crowds in the Grands Montets ski area, especially for the upper run to Aiguilles des Grands Montets, can be large. Which can also lead to some crowds. For claustrophobic tour partners, it may be worth reserving a place on the upper lift. However, this only reduces the queuing time.

As you are in the high mountains in Chamonix, it may be necessary to carry all your glacier equipment (climbing harness, rope and carabiner, possibly an ice screw), depending on the conditions.

In spring in particular, it may be worth carrying crampons and ice axes for the final ascent through the gully to the Col du Passon.

Information

Difficulty: ZS (3.2)
Duration: 4 h
Average | Maximum gradient: 30¬į | 45¬į
Exposure: NW
Altitude meters uphill | downhill: 750 | 2600
Best time of year: January to April
Directions: From Martigny via the Col de la Forclaz and the Cold des Montets towards Chamonix. Just before Chamonix in the village of Argentière is the Grand Montets cable car. From Geneva to Chamonix, continue towards Martigny, shortly after Chamonix at Argentière you will find the Grand Montets cableways.
Topographic maps: http://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/accueil map.geo.admin.ch

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This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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