The Crochues-Berard traverse is one of Chamonix's classic ski-tours. The access is easy from La Flegere ski area, just 3km from Chamonix town, and the ski-tour passes through the beautiful Aiguilles Rouges to end up in the village of Le Buet.
From Chamonix, go up to La Flegere, and take the Index lift and the Floria draglift to the top. Start the ski-tour by skinning from here, towards the Aiguilles Crochues bowl, to the climbers right of the lift. After a short steep bootpack section to the Col des Crochues, ski down the bowl on the other side, keeping high to the skiers right.
There is a steep rock ridge above you which you must go around, and then start skinning again, up a shallow valley to the Col du Berard.
Descent of the Crochues Berard
The descent from the Col du Berard is beautiful anytime, and you ski down the Berard valley, a popular summertime hike. Towering to one side is the Aiguille du Belvedere, highest of the Aiguilles rouges, and the other side is Mont Buet, classic ascent of the Chamonix area. The pitch is comfortably mellow, often with very good snow. At the bottom of the valley, there is a flat section, then the ski-tour wanders through the forest, on the right side of the stream to the village of Le Buet. From here, hitch back to Chamonix, or take the train.
Due to the remote nature of this ski-touring route, we recommend hiring a mountain guide, and always be equipped with Transceiver, shovel and probe. Be aware of avalanche potential and snowpack conditions!
Time of Year: January to April
Time: 4 to 6 hours total
Altitude gain: 500m up; 1430m down