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Chalets at Lachat, near the Col de la Fenetre

Col de la Fenetre

Find out about about the Col de la Fenetre off piste itinerary here. 

This route starts from the top of the Lac Noir chair, and finishes at le Chatelard, from where it's a short walk back to St Martin de Belleville. 

Read about Col de la Fenetre here.

Don't forget to read our off piste safety page. 

Belleville valley off piste itineraries: Col de la Fenetre

Map: Les Trois Vallées 1:25,000

Start by taking Masse 1, then the Lac Noir chair. The route begins by walking up to the right at the top of the chairlift.

  Top of Lac Noir chairlift, Les Menuires

After a short ski, you see La Gratte straight ahead. Follow the same route as for the Geffriand, initially. 

View of La Gratte  Col de la Fenetre off piste itinerary - view of Geffriand

The ski down from La Gratte is the same as that for the Gefrriand. However, instead of following the stream all the way along to the Chalet de Geffriand, walk up to the left (you need touring skis and skins for this) to the top of the ridge, where you see the Pointe de la Fenetre (2268m) in front of you.

The usual route is to go to the right of Pointe de la Fenetre, to the Col de la Fenetre, where there's a chalet building. 

Belleville Valley off piste routes - view of Col de la Fenetre

From here, there's some great skiing. Stay right, fairly close to the rocky side of le Cochet - if you stray left, you can end up in a tangle of springy alder trees ('arcosses', in French), which are a devil to fight through. Shortly, you'll pick up a pisted track, that takes you to le Chatelard. (The book 'Les Clés des 3 Vallées' suggests another possibility, following the stream called 'le rau des Vernes' until it joins le Doron des Belleville). 

Belleville Valley off piste routes - over Col de la Fenetre

A different option is to walk up to the left of the Pointe de la Fenetre, then ski down to Lachat, and follow the 'ruisseau de Téton', before hitting the pisted track to le Chatelard. 

View of St Martin from le Chatelard

Either way, there's a walk along the road from le Chatelard to St Martin, to pick up the lifts again. (Or, some of the restaurants in St Martin will pick you up, if you book ahead for lunch). 

Here's a video of the route, from February 2013:

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