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Col de Polset, on the route from Val Thorens to Pralognan


On this page, we cover the off piste route from the top of the Col chair, to Pralognan.

This is a great day out, but it does go on glaciers, so it's better done with a high mountain guide. 

Read about the off piste route to Pralognan here.



Don't forget the off piste safety considerations.

Val Thorens off piste itineraries: Pralognan

Map: Les Trois Vallées 1:25,000, 3615 IGN

Off piste itinerary, Val Thorens to Pralognan, skinning up on touring skis

One of the most spectacular days out from Val Thorens is Pralognan.

The route involves skiing on glaciers, so you should be wearing a harness, and be equipped with ropes. Unless you have the equipment, and know about crevasse rescue, the best option would be to book a high mountain guide. Touring skis and skins are required. The initial slopes are steep, so it should be done only when the avalanche risk is low. You need to book a taxi to take you from Pralognan to Brides les Bains.

From Val Thorens, take the Moraine and Col chairlifts. From the top of Col, follow the piste round the corner, then trek across the Glacier de Chaviere towards the Col de Polset. 

Off piste itineraries - trekking across the glacier de Chaviere

Cross the ridge just to the left of the Col de Polset. Ski down to the Lac de Chaviere, then trek NE up the Glacier de Polset, to the col close to the trig point marked on the map (2992m).

View from the top of the col near Col de Chaviere  View towards Pralognan 

Ski down from the col, on a slope that is steep, intially, then flattens out. You're heading towards the long-distance path GR55. You get views of the Roc du Souffre and the Glacier de Gébroulaz up to the left; and pass the Refuge Peclet Polset on your left.

Roc du Souffre    View of glacier de Gébroulaz

Refuge Péclet Polset  Val Thorens to Pralognan off piste - streambed

(It's possible to ski the little valley to the right of the path, which is a more interesting and picturesque route). You arrive at the Refuge du Roc de la Peche, which has a picnic area, and restaurant. You can buy drinks there. 

Refuge du Roc de la Peche  Refuge du Roc de la Peche

You can sometimes see chamois around here. has footage of a herd of chamois escaping an avalanche just above the Refuge.

Chamois near Pralognan  Chamois near Pralognan

It's a further 6km or so down the valley, in which the Doron de Chaviere stream runs. The last part is on cross-country ski trails, which bring you into Pralongan-la-Vanoise. From here, take a taxi to Brides-les-Bains; then the Brides bubble brings you to Méribel, and the pistes and lifts back to Val Thorens.

Stream in the valley above Pralognan   Cross country track near Pralognan

This is a short video of the route from March 2013:

Here's an album of photos from a Val Thorens - Pralgonan trip in March 2010 (toggle right to see more images):

Pralognan March 2010

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