The Col de Passon is a popular ski-tour above the Chamonix valley which offers breathtaking views. The Col du Passon (3028m) can be reached by midday from the Grands Montets, with a great descent mostly on glacier, to the small mountain village of Le Tour (1450m).
The route starts from the top of Les Grands Montets cable car rising from the village of Argentière near Chamonix. Take the cable car to Lognan and then take a second cable car to the top of Les Grands Montets. Go left down the Rognon glacier keeping to the right of the rock and onto the heavily crevassed Argentière glacier. This is an awesome ski itself with just under 1000m of descent.
Traverse the Argentière glacier and the ski-tour starts with a skin up along the snow covered moraine slopes to the left (North) of the aiguille du Chardonnet.
Skin up about 750m towards the Col du Passon, before a short steep bootpack section up to the Col itself, then take a break at the Col before beginning the descent.
The descent of the Col du Passon towards le Tour village
The descent from the Col de Passon is generally pretty mellow, with good snow, and some trickier route finding near the bottom. Head north, down onto Le Tour Glacier (2850m). Keep to the left until reaching a vantage point with a view overlooking the village of Le Tour. From here, there is a choice of descents to the village.
Due to the remote and glacial nature of this ski-touring route, we recommend hiring a guide, and always be equipped with Transceiver, shovel and probe. Be aware of avalanche potential, snowpack conditions, and crevasses!
Time of Year: Feb to May
Time: 8 hours total
Altitude gain: Up: 750m; Down: 2260m