Skiing La Grave, it's for the serious
In the company of major ski resorts like Alpe d'Huez & Les Deux Alpes, deep within the Massif des Ecrins lies the mountain village of La Grave. A small & pretty village that rests under the shoulders of the giant La Meije with its glacial blue ice & towering crevasses. La Meije reaches 3982m though only hardened mountaineers would attempt it, Dome de la Lauze, along the ridge and at 3568m is reachable from La Grave or from Les Deux Alpes by ski lift and it's the skiing down to La Grave that draws the world's highly skilled or crazy-brave winter sports fanatics.
In a way not found elsewhere, skiing & snowboarding down to La Grave is genuinely dangerous with adventure rising up to meet you as you descend 2200m vertically through towering séracs avoiding crevasses & finding the famous thrilling couloirs of La Grave.
Main routes are marked clearly but nevertheless should be approached with caution especially in icy conditions. Off-piste skiing in La Grave is excellent but a local guide & some good advice can make the difference between an adventure and a disaster.
The three Trifide couloirs (displayed in the slideshow) are a classic part of the La Grave Derby but also the scene of a catalogue of tragic accidents. They're a 'must do' for the winter sports adrenaline junkie but caution and preparation are neccessary, especially for the first time. The Derby invites hundreds of skiers & boarders to race the 2150m vertical descent with some covering it in just over 6 minutes!
Excitement & the feeling of danger is a great part of winter sports in general. At La Grave you can get serious about your hobby but you'd best be prepared!
Of all the La Grave videos I found on YouTube including some truly amazing professional performances, I'd like to share this one with you, I believe it's a very grounded view of a day out there.
With the tricky traverse & slightly nervous skiers helped by the experienced guide. They whole thing seems so worth it when they emerge skiing the couloirs to the hazy sunlit powder expanse.
A great base for exploring La Grave can be found in Les Duex Alpes & Alpe d'Huez nearby resorts with much to offer.
Luxury ski chalet provider Chilled Mountain offer catered chalets right by the lifts in the resort of Oz en Oisans. Ideally placed to ski between Vaujany & Alpe d'Huez, their staff include experienced skiers, veterans of the La Grave pistes. They're more than happy to assist their guests in planning an ideal excursion, their resort chauffeur service includes taking you out to challenge La Grave.
Find out more on Chilled Mountain's chalet service here.
For a fantastic range of catered chalets in Alpe d'Huez & much more.