/ Earliest ski of the Vallee Blanche

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Tyler - on 01 Sep 2012
When's the earliest in the season you can expect to be able to ski the Vallee Blanche? I'm look to use a couple of days holiday before the end of the year and there are cheap flights in late December. Obviously it will depend but I'm happy to take a chance if during a normal season people start coming down before Christmas
andy - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to Tyler: This was before the rope was put on the arete just after new year 2012 - doesn't tell you what it was like further down though.

http://www.vimeo.com/34555644
chrisfecher - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to Tyler: The Arete doesn't get equipped until later in the season, having said that it's possible without the rope, just not so popular. Generally snow cover on the lower slopes is too thin at that time of year. Most people would give the glacier chance to fill-in with snow a fair bit before hand. I'd say it's way more fun and better skiing later in the season. Another option for that time of year would be skiing off the grands Montets, always worth a weekend mission. Just check the weather!
stuartmacdonald - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Tyler: I've skied it as early as mid December, but that was a very snowy start to the season. Usually it's not a good bet until mid January. Things are different every season. Better to stay flexible - book a ticket, go skiing, and do what the conditions allow you to do. You may have more luck skiing the Pas de Chevre from Grand Montet, or the Toule Glacier from the Helbronner in early season conditions.

Have a great trip....
bongoray - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Tyler: You'd be lucky to ski it in December, and the ridge will probably not be equipped so if you do go, take crampons and axe or be prepared to ski from the tunnel (from where a fall would most probably be fatal). Best ask locally though because its the glacier conditions lower down that will cause you a real problem, not the ridge or how snowy it looks at the top.
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Frank4short - on 18 Oct 2012
http://www.vimeo.com/51310104


Well actually that's slightly disingenuous as they're basically only skiing the top of the midi and touring back up in that clip. As to that death from falling whilst skiing the ridge thing. Whilst i've no doubt if you fell down the nth face or at 1 other spot on the ridge it would be seriously unpleasant. It certainly far from so extreme that one wouldn't chance it. As the ridge itself isn't that hard to ski and usually the biggest obstacle in trying to ski it is the ropes and vallee blanche punters.

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