5 summits to ski this spring

Mar 14, 2024
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5 summits to do on ski touring this spring

Spring is here, the birds are singing, the grass is turning green, we all want to cycle, climb or go to the beach... but you still want to ski because you see the white mountains, and you never want to take off your skis which have given you so much pleasure this winter!
The season is not over and in the high mountains, the peaks of more than 3500m in altitude are just waiting for you, because the glaciers are clogged by heavy snowfall.
It’s time to switch to “spring skiing” mode as our ancestors used to say, the best time to take on the giants of the Alps.
We therefore offer you 5 spring ski touring ideas for skiing in the high mountains on legendary routes:

  1. Mont Dolent
  2. Monte Rosa
  3. The Great Breakage
  4. Mont Blanc
  5. The 4000 of Saas Fee

1-Mont Dolent 3823m

It is a sharp and quite technical summit to climb, it has 3 borders: France, Switzerland and Italy, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful peaks of the Mt Blanc Massif to do on ski touring, even if the last part already requires mountaineering experience. Indeed, it will be essential for you to put on crampons if you want to wait for this magnificent view of the Argentière basin and the Ferret valley.
The route can be climbed for the day with a morning departure from La Fouly 1614m, in this case it will be necessary to align the 2170m of altitude difference to the summit, a beautiful day on a southern slope where it will be advisable to monitor the schedule to do not go down in too soft snow.
For those who are slower or bivouac lovers, know that 2 unguarded cabins are at your disposal: Bivouac Fiorio, this intermediate stage will allow you to enjoy the magnificent view of the Monts Rouges du Triolet, one of the mythical peaks of the dominant sector like a fortress, the Pré de Bard glacier, mountain atmosphere guaranteed!
Be careful, the summit slopes are at 45°, so you either need to be a very good steep slope skier or leave your skis at the foot of the last section to finish in crampons.

Technical sheet :

Difficulties climbed: PD
Descent difficulty: 4.2 / E2
Elevation gain: 2170m
Orientation: S
Departure: La Fouly (1614m)

mont dolent

2- The Montrose (4634m)

It is a small group of summits commonly called Mont-Rose which brings together no less than 11 peaks over 4000 m, Pointe Dufour: 4,634 m; Dunant Point: 4,632 m; Nordend: 4,608 m; Zumstein Point or Zumsteinspitze Point: 4,562 m; Signalkuppe or Gnifetti Point: 4,553 m; the Tête Noire: 4,318 m; the Vincent Pyramid: 4,215 m; the Balmenhorn: 4,167 m; the Pointe Giordani: 4,046 m, suffice to say that it is still complicated to do all 11 in a day! All you have to do is make your choice…
Under these peaks 2 refuges allow you to establish a base camp, the Citta di Mantova refuge belonging to the Gressoney guides and the Gnifetti refuge belonging to the Italian Alpine Club
Access is via the Gressoney ski lifts using the Indren cable car which goes up to 3275 m.
It is entirely possible to combine the ascent of these peaks with skiing in the Monterosa ski area which brings together the resorts of Alagna-Gressoney-Champoluc.
The easiest peaks to ski will be the Vincent Pyramid and the Punta Giordani which also constitute acclimatization routes before climbing other peaks such as Mont-Blanc.
The ascent of Pointe Dufour 4634 m which is the highest point requires serious mountaineering skills because it is a rocky summit, it will be necessary to remove the skis to climb from the pass 4359m, moreover this summit is done passing by via the Gornergletscher which is located on the Swiss side of Monte Rosa, we will favor access via Zermatt then a night at the Monterosa Hutte which allows the race to be split into 2 days.
This race is long and requires cheering because it takes place at altitude in a glacial environment, certain rocky parts also require seasoned mountaineering skills.

Technical sheet :

Difficulties increased: AD
Descent difficulty: 3.1/ E1
Elevation gain: 2080m
Orientation: W
Departure: Zermatt (Rotenboden) (2815 m)

The Mont Rose

3-La Grande Casse 3855 m

It’s the highest peak in the Vanoise Massif, and not the least steep! La Grande Casse there is not really an easy route to get to the summit and you will need to be a good skier to go via the route known as the “grand corridors” on the west face, again it is a magnificent race in the heart of the Vanoise National Park where wildlife is present on every level.
Departing from Pralognan, it is not uncommon to spend the night at the Col de la Vanoise or Felix Faure refuge which offers remarkable comfort with a friendly welcome.
This route has a large section of 300 m where the slope is around 40°. On the way up you need to wear crampons.
At the summit, an aerial but easy ridge allows you to reach the highest point and offers a grandiose panorama of all the Alps.
The Grande Casse can also be done in "one push" from the valley, it will be necessary to swallow the 2200m of altitude difference from Pralognan, this option also allows in spring to take advantage of the west face which is sunny from midday.

Technical sheet :

Difficulties climbed: PD
Descent difficulty: 4.2/ E1
Elevation gain: 2210m
Orientation: W
Departure: Pralognan la Vanoise – Les Fontanettes 1644m

la Grande Casse

4-Mont-Blanc 4810m

Mont-Blanc is the myth, the highest peak, the most popular in summer and also a superb ski touring route to do at the end of the season.
In general, it is climbed via the Grands Mulets refuge (3051m), a rocky island located in the middle of an immense glacier, which suffices to say that the atmosphere is fantastic.
In order to save a little time and energy it is not uncommon to take the Aiguille du Midi cable car at least as far as the Plan de l'Aiguille which allows you to cross to the refuge in a few hours with seal skins in the middle of the impressive crevasses of the Bossons glacier passing through the junction. It’s already a beautiful day in the high mountains.
The rest of the ascent is via the Dôme ridge leading to Pointe Bayeux (4258m) then the Vallot shelter (4351m) to finish with the bumps ridge leading to the summit of Mt Blanc (4810m).
The descent is carried out either from the summit if the conditions are good (via the north face) leading to the large plateau, this route remains exposed to the Sérac waterfall and you will need to be a good skier.
We reach the refuge by the ascent route, then the needle plan.
Another option is to leave the skis at the foot of the ridge of the bumps, to make the summit on foot then ski down the route of the ridge of the dome, this option has the advantage of being less exposed to the serac falls.
Another “one push” option from the Mont-Blanc tunnel to the summit – A long day.

Technical sheet :

Difficulties increased: PD+
Descent difficulty: 3.1/ E2
Elevation gain: 3555m from the Mt-Blanc tunnel
Orientation: NW
Departure: Mont-Blanc Tunnel 1270m or by the Aiguille du Midi cable car from Plan de l’Aiguille (2300m)

Mont Blanc

5-The 4000 of Saas Fee

This is undoubtedly the most beautiful way to end the ski season in the heart of the Valais Alps by skiing these giants over 4000m: Strahlhorn 4190m, Rimpfischhorn 4199m, Alphubel 4206m, Allalinhorn 4027m, all these peaks overlook the Saas Fee valley in Switzerland.

The Allalinhorn can be skied by using the Felskinn ski lifts then passing or sleeping at the Britanniahütte, it is the same for the other peaks and it is suitable to establish a base camp on the other refuges of this massif, the Täschhütte. and the Längfluehüte.

From these refuges it is easy to spend several days to align these peaks and do some good spring skiing at altitude. The environment is glacial and it is necessary to have good experience of skiing in high mountains, you must also be acclimatized or take the time on the first day to let your body get used to the altitude. Using the ski lifts also saves time and energy.

Technical sheet :

Difficulties climbed: PD+

Descent difficulty: 2.3/ E1

Elevation gain: 1810 m

Saas Fee Orientation: All Departure:

Saas Fee - Felskinn Cable Car

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