Day trip to the Vallée Blanche

The Vallée Blanche is one of the most beautiful and famous off-piste ski run in the world. It is located in the French Alps and is a fantastic 22-kilometer-long ski descent. In fact, it’s one of the longest in the world! 

Starting from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, we will put our skis on for an incredible itinerary on extraordinary glaciers at the feet of Mont Blanc, to Chamonix. 
Almost 3000m of descent, with beautiful powdery snow and a unique high mountain ambiance. 
We meet in Chamonix, at the bottom of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. We embark towards the High Mountain and start this morning by a presentation of the Mont Blanc massif from the panoramic terrasse, at 3842m high. After descending the Aiguille du Midi ridge, we put out skis on for a first descent of the Vallée, admiring the landscape and feeling relieved of any stress. We'll stop of lunch in the sunshine and finally join the mythical Mer de Glace and the famous Montenvers train which descends to Chamonix. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Discovery of the Vallée Blanche

    We meet early in the morning at the bottom of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. The guide will verify our personal equipment and give us a safety pack each before going to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, at 3842m high. Around 30 minutes later, we will discover one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Alps. From Mont Blanc to the Aiguille Verte, crossing the Grandes Jorasses and the Dent du Géant, the highest summits of the massif seem within easy reach.

    After taking time to contemplate them, we descend on the Aiguille du Midi ridge roped up before putting our skis on to start descending on the classic itinerary of the Vallée Blanche. The difficulty is intensive and the path passes right next to prestigious walls like the Gervasutti at the Mont Blanc du Tacul.
    During our descent, the guide will be in front of you and will indicate passages at a correct distance from crevices. The passageway the Géant's seracs requires to be focused and to follow the guide's instructions before reaching the "Salle à Manger" where we'll have a lunch break and drink a hot tea!

    The final descent will take place on the Mer de Glace. If snowing conditions don't allow us to take this route, we'll hop on the Montenvers train which will get us back to our starting point. Our fabulous day end in Chamonix, where we'll say goodbye.

    Denivelation+ : 100m | Denivelation- : 2800m | Altitude Max : 3842m | Accomodation : Hôtel ou guesthouse

ITINERARY CHANGE

The program can be modified by your guide due to weather conditions or participants physical conditions. For safety reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation if your technical or physical level are lower than the one required. The interruption will not give you any right of refund or payment of compensation.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: SVBC

Included

  • The technical organization of the stay
  • Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
  • Collective equipment provided (ropes)
  • Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel

Not included

  • Individual ski material : shoes, ski, poles
  • Picnics
  • Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, chocolate bars, etc .. 
  • All the drinks and personal expenses in refuges
  • Insurance and assistance
  • The Aiguille du Midi cable car and the descent on the Montenvers train ( if there isn't enough snow to descend on skis from the Mer de Glace to Chamonix)
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Subscription

Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon. 

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy

If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s priceLess than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above:
  • Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt. 

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Montagne Expeditions has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer

In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply. 

Insurance

We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Montagne Expedition. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

Your trip will be supervised by a high-mountain guide who will teach you technical elements needed for the good progress of your stay. He may need to modify the program in order to ensure safety regarding weather conditions and participants physical conditions.

Food

Meals 
  • Plan to bring a picnic as well as some snacks according to your tastes (cereal bars, dried fruits, etc...).

Drinks
  • Bring a 1L water bootle
  • A tea thermos slightly sugared is always much appreciated (ideal capacity : 0,75L)

Transportation

Access : 
  • By train : SNCF Saint Gervais les Bains le Fayet train station then the touristic Mont Blanc Express TER to Chamonix. Timetable and prices on : www.voyages-sncf.com
  • By road : A40 "Autoroute Blanche" to Chamonix 

Dispersion :
  • In the end of the afternoon in Chamonix (74)

Lodge before or after the trip :

Budget & exchange

France is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!). 
Refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • An avalanche transceiver
  • A harness and a carabiner

Vital equipment

You can rent your equipment in Chamonix : 
  • Mountain shoes
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Harness
  • Helmet

Material

  • Alpine skis + poles
  • Ski shoes
  • Helmet

Luggage

You will carry all of your belongings and your technical equipment in a 30L alpinism backpack. 

Medicine

Your guide will be equipped with a first aid emergency kit. 

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in France : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit France.
  • Over 90 days visit in France : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit France over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : https://france-visas.gouv.fr/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to France. 

Mandatory vaccines

There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to France. 

If your have any questions concerning a trip to France or if you’re wandering what vaccines you might need for your trip, take an appointment with your local clinic and travel doctor. You can call Passport Health at 1-888-499-7277.

Health information & recommendations

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. 

Training advices to check with your general practionner : six months before departure, try to do at least 1 to 2 endurance sport sessions a week (each one must last at least one hour) and do a 6 hours trekking during the week-end with an elevation of 400m/hour during three hours. Three months before departure, try 2 to 3 endurance sport sessions a week and increase your trekking time during the week end from 7 to 8 hours.

Please inform us of any health issues : allergy, diabetes, asthma, or old strokes...

Weather

The weather in the French Alps varies up and down the mountain chain. It is a mountainous region between 800 and 4000 meters, so altitude plays a big part in the local weather. 
As you climb higher into the mountains it gets 1 degree cooler every 100 meters. It is the case all year around but other factors such as temperature inversions and winds influence the climate.  The sun plays a very important role too. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, some lower or north facing valleys are blocked from the sun by mountains for a large part of the day and are colder.  

Keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable. Therefore, the trip organization can me modified for your safety. 

Electricity

There will be electricity in Chamonix, if you decide to stay a night before or after your trip. If you are scared to run low on battery, we advise to bring an external battery charger.  

Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time : they have 2 prongs and a receptacle. If you need an adapter, please purchase if before departure.

In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Local time

France is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in France is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of France by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical adviser on all trips.
  • Passionate about mountains and particularly with backcountry skiing.
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Region
France
Activity
Freeride Ski
Duration
1 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
SVBC
Price
From €145
Level
2/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • A mythical itinerary in an astonishing glacial universe
  • Safety equipment included

Guide's advice

« The Vallée Blanche offers the unique opportunity of a great ski run in altitude. But be careful, we aren't on a slope, we have to be aware of the dangers of the mountain. Our job is to open up the way for you as well as making sure you are safe ! »

Required level

  • You need a good skiing level, a great control of skiing (red/black slopes). 
  • The different itineraries of the Vallée Blanche are very steep. However, it is important to know your skis trajectory and to be capable to pass precisely at the location the guide indicated. 
  • A first off-piste skiing experience in necessary : you have to know how to ski on all type of snow and on all terrains. 
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