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Canale della Balme

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Canale della Balme

Canale della Balme For powder snow lovers. This is a tour only for expert skiers and it's possible to deal with it only with perfect snow conditions. It's a couloir that begins very narrow but it widens out farther on becoming a very steep slope... fantastic!


Going up to Balme's couloir
Departing from the hut (2410 m) carry on following the track until Plan de la Sabla (2610 m). After that, go through the plateau diagonally from the right to the left. At the end of the plateau carry on towards left over the slope that leads to a narrower couloir under the boundary ridge with Switzerland. This is the most difficult and the steeper part of the tour (aside from the last part under the top). At the end of the couloir you will come in a plateau called Plan Plat and you will see in front of you the Mont Gelé Pass (3180 m). Carry on in the middle of the plateau and go up the steep slope that leads to the Pass. From there follow the flat watershed that divide Bionaz from Ollomont and then go up towards left under the Mont de la Balme. Carry then on going up over the glacier towards the top (from the Pass you can see the cross on the Mont Gelé). Carry on at the foot of the Mont de la Balme and you will notice a bifurcation along the watershed between Italy and Switzerland.Here begun the descent in the Balme's couloir; at the beginning the inclination is 50 degrees, but it became then 45 degrees.

The first 10 m of the couloir are very narrow and sometimes there are some emerging rocks, but then it becomes wider and the skiing is really amusing. The difference in height is 600 m. After reaching the plateau below you will have to put your skins on again to reach Crête Sèche Pass. Normally it's better to ascend on the right side of the Pass (until Plan Plat) or on the left side (below the Trouma di Boucs) going up 100 m higher of the Pass because of the frequent snowdrifts caused by the wind in the middle of it. Than, descend to the hut. For any information on snow conditions please feel free to contact Daniele to the Crête Sèche Hut.

Canale della Balme Canale della Balme Canale della Balme

  Rifugio Crête Sèche - Bionaz (AO)    P.IVA: 01095680078
Mobile Phone +39 3470330713      Credits by Luca Turrin