Backcountry Routes in Chamonix
Limitless blue skies, pierced by bright sunlight and the sharp Aiguille ranges of the Chamonix valley makes backcountry riding here something spectacular and magical! There's hundreds of miles of mountain for the backcountry rider to enjoy around Chamonix, all of which is fairly accessible after a short hike from some of Chamonix's excellent lift system.
Many of those who choose to take on Chamonix's backcountry terrain are experienced mountain riders as this is a serious sport. The highs that many riders experience are equal to the risks the sport itself presents. Avalanches don't just happen to the inexperienced or careless rider, many highly experienced riders and skiers with years of back country riding can be caught out by mother nature. Today due to advances in equipment and lift systems to get you to it, the alpine backcountry has now become much more accessible to the experinced as well as the inexperienced, but confident/cocky rider.
Always respect the mountain, understand the conditions you are riding in, know your route, and always make sure you are appropriately equipped. Essentials to carry are all included within our Avalanche Awareness article, but in summary, they should include: Transciever, shovel, probe, backpack, ropes, harness, crampons/snowshoes, poles and plenty of fluids, you'll dehydrate must faster at altitude too! Many people will access the backcountry with snowshoes, but using skins on the bottom of your skis (ski touring) is far easier and faster. Boarders may prefer to use 'mini skis' as an alternative. Whatever your mode of approach, you should be relatively fit and strong and be ready to hike!!
Please note: if you ignore safety warnings and barriers/ropes and undertake off-piste skiing/boarding you do so at your own risk. We always recommend that you take a mountain guide when heading off-piste. Skiing or snowboarding off piste may result in injury or death even with a professional mountain guide or instructor. The following is not a set of directions or instructions, we accept no responsibility for the use of this information.