About 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. 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: Transceiver, 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. Snowboarders 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.
Backcountry routes in Brevent & Flegere
Some of the most popular backcountry routes in the Chamonix valley begin from the top of the Index chairlift at Flegere. They involve a fair bit of mountaineering knowledge as well as off-piste skiing and avalanche safety techniques.
Read more in our guide to Backcountry routes in Brevent & Flegere.
Backcountry routes in the Domaine de Balme
In one moment you can be skiing in France, the next in Switzerland, there are very few other ski resorts that can offer the same in backcountry riding. Many of the routes incorporate glacial terrain so a good knowledge of crevasse rescue is essential as well as avalanche safety equipment and techniques.
Read more in our guide to Backcountry routes in Domaine de Balme.
Backcountry routes in Grands Montets
From the very top of the Grands Montets cable car you have access to kilometres of high mountain powder and glacial terrain. Theses are some of the world's best and most famous backcountry routes.
Read more in our guide to Backcountry routes in Les Grands Montets.
Also see: Les Grands Montets Ski Area in Chamonix