This book is a collection of all the freeride/heliski in the area of Courmayeur, presenting them in clear 'cards' with all the necessary info for the journeys.
The last few years have made Courmayeur an essential destination for powder lovers. The gondolas of Youla and Arp are the doors to a world of wonder, mixing precious ingredients to create a unique experience: steep faces, immaculate conditions and perfect lines create the ideal setting for those who want a taste of the absolute freedom with their skis or snowboard.
Throughout the winter the fields, faces and the woods of Courmayeur become a blank canvas on which to draw your lines, going where no one has set foot since the last snowfall. The canals of Chécrouit, those of Vesse, Arp Vieille, Cresta Youla and Dolonne and The Mont Blanc Area allow you to find powder snow up to 5 days after a good snowfall.
To go off-piste you must be prepared, relying on the help of a guide and be sure to have the proper equipment and knowledge to use it. Always remember 'enjoying a full experience in complete safety does not limit your freedom'. Visit our links on the right for more informations on guiding, preparation and mountain conditions.
Below are two classic itineraries of our resort, click to open.
These itinerary cards are taken from the book/guide 'Courmayeur Mont Blanc Freeride' for more info on it's purchase click here.www.freerideworldtour.com
The concept of freeride informs the very soul of the snowsport experience. Indeed, the notion of ‘freeriding’ was born the moment folks figured out how to secure their feet onto long slats of wood in order to move easier over the winter landscape – and discovered that they could suddenly shuck the bonds of gravity and fly. They were free. They could ride down the hill at will. They never looked back...
As far back as the 1930’s and ‘40’s, legendary ski champion Emile Allais and his merry band of mountain adventurers were already assaulting the couloirs and gullies that dropped from the heady summits around Mt Blanc and Chamonix. Some of their early descents beggar the imagination – especially considering the rudimentary nature of the gear they were using back then. But it took until the late 1960’s and ‘70’s – when Ski Extreme was first coined by the French and the gear had improved substantially – for freeride to really attract global attention. Much of it was due to the hard-charging styles of its main proponents – visionary mountain men like Sylvain Saudan, Patrick Vallencant, Bruno Gouvy and Jean Marc Boivin – who were stretching the limits of downhill riding in a way that had never been seen before. In these years, freeride was truly extreme. If you fell, you died...
But the Americans weren’t far behind. Led by pioneers like Montana’s Bill Briggs and California’s Steve McKinney, a whole new generation of young riders begin testing themselves in the steep slopes of the Rockies, the Wasatch and the Sierra Nevada. More ‘Hollywood’ than their French counterparts, and far more into the entertainment aspects than the Europeans, icons like Glen Plake and Scot Schmidt brought a whole new aesthetic to the American ski experience in the 1980’s. It was their offbeat, out-there style, showcased by filmmaker Greg Stump in such seminal films at Blizzard of Aaaah’s that really set the stage for the launch of the first ever freeride contests.
And what a launch that was! The near-mythical World Extreme Ski Championships (WESC), contested on the hoary slopes of Alaska’s Wasatch Mountains, was the coming out party for a whole new gang of big-mountain freeriders. In fact, the start list for the inaugural 1991 contest reads like a Who’s Who of modern freeriding: Doug Coombs won the inaugural men’s title while Kim Reichhelm was tops in the women.
Meanwhile the Europeans – primarily the French and the Swedes – were honing their big-mountain techniques on the often-nasty inclines around Mont Blanc and the Savoie Region. But the moment they discovered there were contests happening in America, the while game changed. When a French teenager by the name of Guerlain Chicherit unleashed a corker of a run in flat-light and ugly Alaskan conditions to capture his first WESC title back in 1999 (and beat out his mentor, Seb Michaud), few people realized the enormous impact his Valdez victory would have on the freeriding movement. For the new World Champion wasn’t alone. Back home in France were dozens of young chargers just like him. Fast, smooth – and incredibly efficient on skis. Bold beyond belief. Yet completely sure of their stuff – even in big exposure.
The top expression of the sport in the means of competitions is the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face. We are very proud to host the first european stop of this international competition.