High Mountain Guides / Gallery / Chamonix Ski Touring / Mountaineering / Glacier Des Periades - Breche Puiseux, Vallee Blanche (3432m)


Glacier Des Periades - Breche Puiseux, Vallee Blanche (3432m)

The Start Of The Ski Journey Up The Glacier Des Periades From The Vallee Blanche

Skins are put on here in the Salle à Manger at C. 2400m on the Vallee Blanche descent, approached from either the French or Italian side of the Geant Icefall. The latter offering the possibility to remain a little higher before starting the upward journey. The zig zagging skinning track takes the long & sustained ascent left of the picture and leads up and slightly right to the base of the hidden couloir leading to the Breche Puiseux.

The Transitional Balcony At 2800m On The Periades Glacier

Teams to the North East are seen in the picture heading towards The Col Du Tacul (3337m) with it's famous steep ski on the far side down the glacier du Capucin. There is another hidden couloir to the left which climbs to a shoulder on the Aiguille du Tacul for a steep north facing descent. Joining the fine Periades exit couloirs lower down.

Superb North West Facing Couloirs Exiting The Glacier Des Periades To Re-Join Vallee Blanche

These great features can be accessed from the transitional balcon area as per previous photo. A good option is to skin up towards the Col du Tacul and enjoy a ski down before another short skin accesses the mini plateau above the couloirs. This is where teams join from the Aiguille du Tacul shoulder above (via a short rappel).

Topo Photo Of The NW Facing Couloirs Described In Previous Photo

Great terrain but with some complicated route finding and very steep exits if the right line is not taken. Great conditions here in early March 2016 show lots of tracks enjoying the various couloirs, slopes, terraces and easy access back on to the Vallee Blanche.

Ski Down The French Side Of Geant Icefall Near Requin Hut

The Salle a Manger can be seen lower left and Glacier des Periades mainly in morning shade beyond.

Team Near The Top Of The Periades Glacier In Great Powder Snow

The journey from the Salle a Manger to the Breche Puiseux is about 1000m of vertical ascent although 200m+ or so of this is in the final couloir which is climbed with crampons on ski boots and skis on packs.

Great Tracks Down The NW Facing Slopes Of The Glacier Des Periades

Well earned turns! After the physical skin up the descent is comically short - but great fun, either directly back to the Salle a Manger or via one of the steeper Periades exit couloirs.

Great Powder Snow Skinning Conditions Heading Into The Upper Slopes Of The Periades

A magnificent arena with the Dent du Geant and Mont Mallet overlooking proceedings above. There are some spectacular & steep lines accessing the Periades from high on the Italian side of the Vallee Blanche - if teams are skiing these then those skinning steadily below are treated to a spectacular view of some extreme descents. Photo Hannah Vickers.

Great Powder High On The Periades Glacier With The Dent Du Geant Above

Brilliant terrain and often, as here, providing snow that is neither trashed by the sun, wind or other skiers! Photo Hannah Vickers.

Great Sustained Skiing Back Down To The Italian Side Of Geant Icefall & Salle A Manger

Lovely views back to the sunny French side of the Vallee Blanche with the Aiguille du Midi top centre left and a great view of most of the VB variations from Gros Rognon far left to Vrai, Petit Envers and Grand Envers on the right. Photo Hannah Vickers.

High On The Gros Rognon Variation To The Vallee Blanche - Great Views Across To Italian Side

With a good topo view of the Combe Vierge descent, far right with the steep & shady Combe Noire in the centre and Dent du Geant above. Further left is the shady bowl of the Glacier Des Periades with it's upper left subsidiary bowl leading up to the Col du Tacul and just visible, narrow couloir leading to the Breche Puiseux further right at the extreme upper right of the bowl. Photo Hannah Vickers.