Alpe d’Huez Area

Alpe d’Huez

The Alpe d’Huez ski area is located on the Grandes Rousses mountain range

 

It is a magnificent massif, huge, composed of 3 main summits:

the Pic Blanc (3323 m), the Pic Bayle (3465 m), the Pic de l’Etendart (3464 m).

 

Aligned from south to north, they give this ensemble a particular morphology and a incredible diversity of

slopes and orientations.

 

The ski resort of Alpe d’Huez includes several villages resorts (Alpe d’Huez, Auris en Oisans, Villard Reculas, Oz, and Vaujany), and gives us many possibilities of starting points and arrival points.

 

 

Alpe d'Huez versant est

Alpe d’Huez versant est

 

The ski resort of Alpe d’Huez includes several villages resorts (Alpe d’Huez, Auris en Oisans, Villard Reculas, Oz, and Vaujany), and gives us many possibilities of starting points and arrival points.

I ski here since 1996, I know this massif very well. There is pure freeride, on average or in the high mountains, steep downhill skiing, off-piste skiing for families and beautiful free-riding tours.

The different orientations allow us to ski on spring snow and powder snow during the same descent.

The eastern slope of the massif, which dominates the valley of Clavans Haut Oisans, is the slope that offers the most beautiful routes.

On more than 2000 m vertical drops, we ride this wild slope between lakes and glaciers.

 

 

 

The second largest off-piste area of ​​the resort is located on the west side, so-called Vaujany’s off-piste.

Accessible for the most part from the summit of Dome des Rousses (2810 m), it is possible to access it from the Col de la Pyramide (3351 m) or the Col du Milieu (3289 m).

On this slope the vertical drops are equally important, but the terrain is more complex and steeper.

I like to come here to realize the Grandes Rousses traverse.

This exceptional route takes us from the east to the west side and we discover the beauty and immensity of this massif.

It’s a long and technical route that takes place in high mountains. The use of mountaineering equipment is necessary (rope, harness, and sometimes crampons).

I usually choose the village of Vaujany as a starting point.

We join then thanks to the ski lifts the summit of Pic Blanc.

Start skiing at the feet of us, cross the middle glacier to reach the foot south face of Bayle Peak, summit of Grandes Rousses that is reached by the southern ridge is easy.

To get off, depending on the conditions it is sometimes necessary to abseil.

L’itinéraire de la traversée versant est

 

Then we ski the beautiful slopes of the Glacier des Quirlies, to the bottom foot of the Col de Quirlies, which we joined ski touring up.

From the Col des Quirlies, we have to go around the Pic de l’Etendard towards Maurienne, so that you can cross the ridge line and pass on the west side of the massif.

There are two possibilities: either by the Col de la Barbarate or the Brêche des Cochettes

Both passages require the use of the rope, but because of the marked melting of the Barbarate Glacier, passage through the Brêche des Cochettes is made easier than passage through the Barbarate Pass.

La traversée est – ouest

 

The descent is westward on large, but not steep, slopes.

We reach then the Plan des Cavals which dominates Vaujany.

 

Barbarate et Cochettes

 

 

 

The +:

  • A huge area and few tracked routes
  • A great diversity of runs of all levels
  • High altitude guaranteeing good snow from January to March

 

The – :

  • A station “factory” and a mountain exploitation a little exaggerated
  • A massif sensitive to the north wind

 

 

 

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