This winter, come and discover the « Fenetre », « Cicle » and « Chasseurs” mountain passes in Les Contamines.
Situated between 2200 and 2500 metres altitude, these three famous passes have the advantage of varying altitudes, atmospheres and views. Moreover, the slopes under the” Cicle” and the “Fenêtre” passes often offer great conditions for ski touring.
If you are accustomed to contemplating or walking around l”a Balme”, intrigued by the tracks in the snow rising behind the “Aiguille de Roselette” or attracted by the little round mountain pass visible from the village, then it is possible to achieve these objectives without any great difficulty if you are comfortable in the powder, have a minimum physical condition and are properly equipped.
Choose from a gentle outing or a sporty itinerary and indulge without moderation!
Opt to escape from the crowds on the slopes without too much effort. Start from the top of “Buche Croisée” and access the itineraries for the different mountain passes having economized a 1000 metres of your ascent.
For a sportier version, one can start from Notre Dame de La Gorge, up the Roman road, the valley of “La Balme” and then enjoy a choice of itineraries to the right. One can, for example, tour upwards towards the north side of the “Cicle” pass. If your heart desires, or rather if your legs will carry you, at the foot of the north side of the “Col des Chasseurs, descend towards la Balme and continue in the direction of the itineraries situated between the “col du Bonhomme” and “lac Jovet”, for a full day of pleasure and exercise!
Access to the “Col des Chasseurs” mountain pass from “la Cicle” may, at certain times, require a pair of crampons on the steeper ground. This short passage will give your outing a more alpine flavor!
This area offers ski touring for all tastes, all physical conditions and all levels. One may return several times in the season, or even in the same week, conditions permitting.
A dozen routes for all styles!
These three mountain passes represent only a fraction of the potential in the area: the “Lacs Jovet” with a descent via “La Cantine”, the “Tufs”, the “Col du Bonhomme,” and the “Zub” corridor make up no less than a dozen routes with different variations around the small valley of “La Balme” .
All these routes offer magnificent views of a famous goal amongst ski touring fans: the “Domes de Miage” and the fantastic descent towards the Armancette glacier, offering more than 2000 metres of skiing back towards the village.
These outings, as reassuringly close to the ski area as they may be, are more than simple off-piste routes. Ski mountaineering necessitates the appropriate safety equipment, the essential trio: DVA (avalanche victim detector ), shovel and probe and the knowledge of how to use them. If you lack in experience or have any doubts on your knowledge and capabilities, then make sure you ask at the Mountain Guide’s Office in Les Contamines. These professionals are here to accompany you and share their passion. Beyond security and advice, a guide will help you choose the right route and the correct timing to enable you to benefit from the most perfect conditions on your descent.
Check your maps, guide books and equipment before calling in at the Mountain Guide’s Office to programme a ski touring outing this winter. I myself look forward to meeting you along one of these routes in the near future!