Vallee Blanche - Normal Route F
Normally done in descent during winter/spring on skis. Exit the Midi tunnel and get down the arête. Tip: If there are crowds, put on crampons and walk on the outside of the fixed line trench, passing all the tourists and guided groups who do not have crampons. If no crowds, slide down the trench with just ski boots using the fixed line. If no fixed lines (May-January) and good snow and you are feeling brave, you can sideslip or ski down, slightly below the ridgeline on the North Face. It is not recommended to ever rope on on the Midi arête, except when taking unskilled partners, because it is not protectable. There have been many deaths here. Be careful.

Halfway down the arête you can put on skis and descend the South face shoulder (35-40 degrees, sustained) or continue on foot to a large plateau, then ski a brief steep slope (35-40 degrees, often icy and bumpy). Ski across the nearly flat plateau near the Col du Midi making a large left-turning arc towards the Gros Rognon. At the Rognon it gets slightly steeper - bear towards the Italian border making a wide left-turning arc.

From here the route varies depending on the state of the glacier. Generally you want to stick to the left bank of the glacier (skier's left) aiming generally for the Refuge de Requin. However this area is complex and full of nasty crevasses and the route meanders among them, sometimes precariously.

When about level with the refuge, turn right and thread through the zone just below the Seracs du Geant. This zone is likewise riddled with crevasses and the route typically zigzags wildly between them.

When nearly in the centre of the glacier, turn straight downward, negotiating a bit more remaining glacial nastiness, until you finally reach safety at the long and flat Salle a Manger. Late on a Spring day or early on a powder day, this may require a lot of effort to push through. Continue down this nearly flat and boring glacier for nearly five kilometres, picking a route among the mostly-harmless glaciated terrain. Aim for the Montenvers train station which appears on the left bank.

Towards Montenvers the glacier again becomes complex and potentially dangerous. Route finding is not helped by the countless trails of lost skiers so take some time to plan a good route instead of blindly following the path in front of you. You have three choices at this point - 1) Montenvers by the gondola - aim straight for it, negotiating some tricky final terrain. A gondola takes you to the train, which takes you back to Chamonix. NOTE: This is included in the ChamSKI pass but not in an Aiguille du Midi ticket. 2) Descent to Chamonix - continue along the centre of the glacier past Montenvers 500-1000m until you reach a place where the left bank moraine can be climbed. Climb up 100m or so to reach a path that climbs gradually to a small indistinct col where there is a nice little buvette. Then continue down a narrow switch-backing path, sometimes pisted, sometimes wild, bumpy, icy, and/or rocky. You eventually cross the train tracks and reach the Planards pistes which make for a gentle final stretch to Chamonix. CAUTION: Be careful in the zone just before the train tracks. The owner of the farm there likes to dump rocks onto the trail and put up makeshift barricades to prevent people from jumping the train tracks. Many have been injured here due. Slow down, even if it means losing speed on the flat traverse.

THIS IS NOT A PISTE! Even if the high traffic makes it look like one. The Vallee Blanche is the most sought-after ski run in Chamonix and because of this it receives a lot of traffic that it shouldn't. ** Many people die on the Vallee Blanche each year ** and many more make the descent in a way which endangers their lives. A qualified mountain guide is recommended for any parties with questionable ability.

All people in the group must have adequate crevasse and avalanche rescue skills. All people in the group must wear a climbing harness and carry on the harness the minimum equipment for crevasse rescue: 1-2 ice screws, 1-2 slings, 2 prussiks cords. In addition, there should be at least two people in the group carrying a 30-45m rope (so that is, at least two ropes per party) and additional gear for building anchors and pulley systems.

All members of the team must carry avalanche rescue gear - beacon, shovel, probe - and be trained in their usage.

All members of the team must be able to ski confidently as you often ski within a meter of death by crevass fall. You should be at least able to descend black pistes that are icy and mogully (bumpy), perhaps slowly, but confidently and without falling.

Ideally, one member of the team should have already skiied the route. If not, review guidebooks and maps before and during descent. Be aware there are dozens of variations, some quite dangerous and difficult. It is very easy to get off route.

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This climb is in 88 logbooks, and on 4 wishlists.

RuthW - 07/Aug/15

Mike.Kinge - Lead O/S - 14/Jul/15 with Owen Williams

JonWoolacott - 16/Jun/15

Hidden - TR - 11/Feb/15

Skied and boarded many times. Brilliant scenery.
stugreen75 - 2015

Followed a group along upper route at crevasse section near Hellebroner. Route wasn't clear and middle route was too crevassed so took lower route. Just under 4 hours for our first independent route! Scared myself silly descending the soft ridge at the start!
batterj2 - AltLd O/S - 16/Aug/14 with Phillipa Ball

Chrissy202 - 2nd O/S - 25/Jun/14 with Charizard, Bart, Jack

John Procter - Solo O/S - 17/May/14

Hidden - 31/Jan/14

Hidden - Solo - 28/Jan/14

Hidden - Solo - 28/Jan/14

Hidden - 2014

joe.91 - Solo O/S - 20/Sep/13 with Alex Marchant, Thomas Reid

j.buckley87 - Lead O/S - 08/Sep/13

dremelmaster - 2nd - 02/Aug/13

Hidden - 08/Jul/13

BoulderyDave - Lead O/S - 08/Jul/13 with BlizzardLizard

steve_gibbs - Solo O/S - 25/Jun/13 with Joe Innes

Mr Fuller - AltLd O/S - 21/Jun/13 with Paul Gibbison, Joe Barker

Ski descents of normal route (3) and grande envers (2) routes
andyinglis - Apr/13 with emily roo, Ally Fulton

williamsd79 - 13/Mar/13

Nigel Bond - Solo - 03/Jul/12 with Bern Hardman

Nigel Bond - Solo - 26/Jun/12 with Bern Hardman

Prez - 22/Jun/12

snowboard descent with guide, lovely fresh powder and sunshine
maxsmith - Jan/12

Hidden - AltLd - Sep/11

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 25/Jul/11

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 25/Jul/11

Third and final day of Conville course. Snow ridge used to descend to the Col du Midi (it was terrifying!) then went up a rock ridge (about PD?) to the Réfuge des Cosmiques. Scary but fun! Had to ascend the snow ridge again to get back up which was better than descending - if it wasn't for the gusts of wind...
col3 - 2nd O/S - 08/Jul/11 with Paul

Paul1 - 2nd - 08/Jul/11 with Convile course, Nicole

Hidden - Apr/11

Hidden - 10/Mar/11

Gros Rognon to Requin hut and down Requin Couloir, and then again going left of Gros Rognon and Bray variation - perfect blue skies and fresh tracks
switch - 14/Jan/11

Hidden - Solo - Sep/10

Whitty2012 - 01/Aug/10 with Ian Whitfield

Took quite a detour over the top of the crevasses.
Ly-Cilph - AltLd - 18/Jul/10 with Clare A

baldie_chick - AltLd - 18/Jul/10 with kidB

baldie_chick - AltLd - 17/Jul/10 with kidB

Done in reverse.
Ly-Cilph - AltLd - 17/Jul/10 with Clare A

Amy Kilpin - 14/Jul/10

Hidden - 11/Jan/10

Ski descent
adw07 - 11/Jan/10 with Scott Becker

Hidden - Jan/10

Hidden - 2010

Hidden - 2010

Hellflame - Aug/09

KatieG - 11/Jul/09

Hidden - Lead - Jul/09

Hidden - 2nd - Jul/09

A fabulous day out. On the way back in the gondolas we saw a helicopter rescuing someone off the Cosmiques Arete.
Howard J - 29/Jun/09

Hidden - 29/Jun/09

ended the season with a quick play down the valley blanche. came down close to the gros rognon. was skiing like a spanner and took one tumble :( last decent day of skiing down hte usual route. one bridge half collapsed under dan and was gone by the time id crossed it. folks behind had to pick another line :P
ebunick - May/09 with Dan (Skiing)

QuentinSu - Apr/09

Hidden - Feb/09

Hidden - 02/Jan/09

first back country foray with adventure base. guy guided and the boss girls came along too.
ebunick - Jan/09 with Dan (Skiing)

barksmo - 2009

Hidden - 2009

Hidden - 21/Dec/08

Hidden - 21/Dec/08

KatieG - 11/Aug/08

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Aug/08

Hidden - AltLd - Jul/08

Awesome long ski run, got last lift up and went down the grands envers variation and all the way to Chamonix. Well worth doing. Didn't have to work the moves or fall over but did ask for information so maybe a beta flash.....
Chad123 - Solo O/S - Feb/08

AndrewJenkins - 2008

markfairbank - Solo - 27/Aug/07 with SteveyM

SteveMyatt - AltLd O/S - 27/Aug/07 with Mark Fairbank

whispering nic - Solo O/S - Mar/07 with Al Reid

Sarah Bough - 2nd - 27/Jun/06 with Tim Ebdon

Martyn - Solo rpt - Sep/05 with James Williams

sacdenouilles - Aug/05

bpmclimb - AltLd O/S - 14/Jul/05 with Cham group

Ly-Cilph - 2nd - Jul/05 with Guided

On ski with the Verdets
Richard Weller - Feb/05

Hidden - Solo - 04/Apr/04

Ski descent with a guide, didn't need him, it's a motorway!
Zoomer - Solo - Apr/04 with Hiedi Sparks

Hidden - Jul/03

Hidden - 2nd - 2002

Stone Muppet - 2001

Martyn - Solo O/S - Sep/99 with Rob Boylin

Ski Mountaineering.
olekemi - Solo O/S - 10/Jan/98 with Jerome P

stokesrees - AltLd - 1997 with Asmus Norveslet

Hidden - Aug/92

Hidden - 01/Mar/90

Dan Uneken - Solo - 12/Jul/88 with Monique Staal

Ski descent
mark-abz - Solo - Mar/82

Hidden - 1976

pneame - 28/Dec/75

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
alexei.nicholas, Sianny, ebunick

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