Col de Premov
This descent is both demanding and exposed and should be attempted only by excellent skiers. A rope, ice axe & screws may be useful if the north face is icy. Wait for ideal conditions in spring when the snow has transformed itself. Climbing skins are necessary for the re-entry to Val d’Isère.
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 Tignes Val Claret, take the funicular railway, then the cable-car de la Grande Motte.
From the top of the cable-car put skis and climbing skins on and walk up the slope opposite the piste, the north face. Continue to a small col between the rocks and from here descend about 100m onto the Glacier de Premou. Then traverse leftwards to reach the west face and descend another 100-150m to the obvious, large hill set between the Grande Motte e la Grande Casse.
The descent down the south face begins from here. If snow is scarce in the lower section then traverse leftwards after about 150m.
Once you've arrived at the end, in the vallon de la Leisse, put on your climbing skins and ascend to the refuge de la Leisse (excellent for a pic-nic, open all year round, no guardian). Continue from here to the chairlift de la Leisse and then return to Tignes Val Claret.
Note that the lifts to Val d’Isère shut at 16.30.
40 degree slopes with crevaces on the north face. Cornices may obstruct the entrance onto the slope from the hill (depends on the snow conditions).
The time of descent is important; not too early, otherwise the snow will still be icy - wait until it changes. Worse still, do not descend too late; the risk of avalanches is extremely high. If everything works perfectly, then you've got 1000m of spring powder on a slope angled between 35-40 degrees - a dream come true!
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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