This is one of the mega classics and as a result extremely popular. Away from the main descent however, there are many interesting alternatives worth discovering.
Val d’Isère is the ideal village to be based in since, unlike nearby Tignes, it has retained some of its characteristic feel and it has a great nightlife, too. To get there from Italy, drive through the Mt. Blanc tunnel and follow the signs, via Megève, to Albertville. Continue to Moutier, then drive up the Isère valley to Bourg St. Maurice and then Val d’Isère.
From Fornet take the lifts to Col d’Iseran, then the chairlift to the Pissaillas glacier and then the skilift des Montets.
From the top of the lifts turn left, ski down the piste for a few hundred meters and then traverse rightwards (north) for the Col Pers. Pass the rope at the top of the Col and descend into the valley below.
From here there are three alternatives:
1) the classic itinerary which takes you down the entire valley, past Gorges de Malpasset, to Pont St Charles. The cross country piste leads back to Fornet.
2) if there isn't much snow on the lower section and you find a sign "Gorges infranchissables", then follow the classic itinerary to 2700m altitude and traverse upwards to the left, thus going around the hill which leads to Pont St. Charles.
3) keep to the left after the hill, traverse high beneath the rocks and ski down into il Vallonet. This is much steeper and more demanding
The initial section, in a wide, gentle valley, is easy whilst the final section in the Gorge de Malpasset is more demanding. Be careful of hard snow, since there is a danger of sliding into the river.
For general information contact the Val d’Isère Tourist Office:
For information about hotels and appartments contact Val Hotel, the official booking center:
For detailed information about the snow conditions contact the Off-piste Ski School ALPINE EXPERIENCE. The office is open daily from 17- 20.
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