An independent guide to Val Thorens
Here, you can read about about the Geffriand off piste itinerary.
This is a charming route from the top of La Masse to St Martin de Belleville. It involves a short walk to begin, then some great skiing. It finishes with a section through some woods which lead to the cross-country track to St Martin. There are considerable flat sections, so it is better not to make first tracks in deep powder.
Read about le Geffriand here.
Don't forget to read the off piste safety page.
Map: Les Trois Vallées 1:25,000
Top of Lac Noir
Start by taking Masse 1, then the Lac Noir chair. (Lac Noir may be removed, in which case you can take Masse 2, and ski down Crêtes or Bouquetin, then Choucas). The route begins by walking up to the right from the top of the Lac Noir chair.
Walking up from the top of Lac Noir
You ski down into a dip, then walk up (ideally with touring skis and skins) to the top of La Gratte, or off to the right of the summit of La Gratte.
On the other side of La Gratte is the valley known as Le Geffriand. Go left to a little col (2,510m), and ski into the valley from there, or go right along the ridge on that side of the valley; the main avalanche danger is on the steep slope in between, which is best avoided.
Now come the most enjoyable slopes to ski. They are NE facing, not too steep, and often have lovely snow.
Into Le Geffriand
For extra skiing, you can walk up the slopes on the left, towards the ridge, and ski back down towards the stream (le Ruisseau de Geffriand).
If you're doing the classic route, cross to the left hand side of the stream just before the Chalet de Geffriand (which is often largely buried by snow). As you traverse left, you pass a couple of ruined buildings, and you can see Les Menuires down in the valley.
The itinerary takes you along a spur, then you plunge steeply down to the left into the woods. Unless you're the first to ski the route after a snowfall, there'll be zig-zagging tracks down the hillside.
You emerge onto the cross-country ski track near Saint-Marcel. Cross the stream (le Doron) just after the prise d'eau (1,430m). There's a sign indicating 'Saint-Martin-de-Belleville 1km'. Continue to Saint-Martin, where you can pick up the lifts back to Les Menuires or Val Thorens.
Here's a little slideshow of the Geffriand off piste:
This is a short video from January 2013:
Back to the main off piste itineraries page.
A very enjoyable outing in the right conditions, the Combe Sans Nom starts from the top of the Cime de Caron, and heads SSW, into the Maurienne, and ends at the Maurienne chair. Read more about la Combe sans nom.