Les Karellis Off Piste

Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Savoie (73) > Maurienne > Les Karellis > Off Piste

The off-piste is varied and extensive and will keep intermediate to expert off-pisters happy. There is also some ski touring to the Grand Chible and Pointe Emy. However it is not without danger. In January 2005 a season worker was killed by an avalanche in the Combe de Messolars. You should not ski alone, carry avalanche search and rescue equipment and talk to the piste patrol. If the black or black and yellow chequered avalanche warning flags are flying (risk 3 to 5) we advise sticking to the first four routes in our guide.

La Crete

This section is reached from the Plagne drag lift and follows the line of the Crete black run. It offers 400 meters of vertical on moderate slopes terminating at the Vinouve run.

La Plagne

From the Plagne drag follow the Vinouve for around 200 meters before heading off the slope on gentle slopes to the Chalets de la Plagne (this flat section is not ideal for snowboarders). Continue through the woods via a series of clearings on slightly steeper slopes then head left to pick up the Albanne lift giving a total of 300 meters of vertical.


From the Tete d'Albiez the off-piste is found to the right of the Enfer black slope and the Cote des Agneaux to join the Fontagnoux run lower down. The clear slopes head into open forest lower down. About 200 meters of vertical on moderate slopes.


pointe de chaudannes
Pointe de Chaudannes and Moulins bowl

From the Chaudannes chair take the slopes to the left which end in the Bachaches run. 200 meters of vertical on moderate, lightly wooded slopes.

Plan du Four

Take the plan du Four chair then the plateau du Plan des Fours. Follow the valleys and clearings down through the woodland below the chair lift. Easy slopes for 300 meters of vertical.

Combe de Messolar

This classic itineary is reached from the Tete d'Abiez lift by traversing to the north under the wide open face of the Casse Massion. Ski over the Porte Brune ridge, the slope is quite steep at first (and liable to avalanche), follow a series of clearings and bowls to 1650 meters then ski around the Porte Brune to rejoin the resort for 700 meters of vertical.

Couloirs du Midi

These five couloirs offer 600 meters of vertical on slopes ranging from 30 to 40 degrees. Take the Chaudannes chair then traverse to the south under the Grande Chible. Climb to a col then the south-west ridge to the Paroi du Midi. Allow about 45-60 minutes for this approach. Following the north-east ridge a number of couloirs present themselves to the north side. The first is quite narrow and steep at first (toponeige 4.1) then opens out onto a wide slope. The second is wider and less steep (3.3) but is more exposed, it joins the same slope as the first couloir, beware of slab avalanches joining this wide slope. Ski one at a time and stop in protected areas.

couloirs du midi
Couloirs du Midi

Couloir 3 has a number of entrances separated by rock bands, the last is easiest (3.2). The slope goes over a butt with a steep (4.1) narrow couloir directly after. Finally the classic run is a wide and not too steep couloir at the end of the ridge that winds down through woodland.

Paroi du Midi
Paroi du Midi

Moulins Bowl

The slopes below the couloirs du Midi offer 600 meters of gentle off piste skiing accessed from the Arpon lifts. Traverse under the la Plagne plateau to reach Albanne village for a spot of lunch. The bowl is north-east facing and threatened over most of its length by avalanches from the Grande Chible. Speak to a profesional before taking this route or the Couloirs du Midi. The south facing slopes can be crusty on sunny winter mornings.

Rama Bowl

From the Vinouve blue run you can ski down the north-west facing Rama bowl between open woods. Note that this woodland does not offer any protectoin from avalanches and trees can act as stress concentrators in the snowpack.

Ski Touring

The Grande Chible (2932m) and Pointe d'Emy (2792m) can also be climbed if you have touring skis or snowshoes. You can start from Albanne climbing through the woods to join the Combe de Moulins then the col d'Emy. Take the south ridge to the Grande Chible or flat north ridge to the Pointe d'Emy. This gives 1350meters of climbing for about a 6 hour round-trip. You can also follow use the Chaudannes chair to reach the Combede Moulins.

Valloire is not far away and the adverturous can traverse across from the village of Albanne to the lifts at Poingt Ravier. There is around 500 meters of climbing and descent. It is also possible to take the south-west face of the Grande Chible but this steep slope is rarely in good condition.

See also Albiez Montrond

<< History | Les Karellis | la Grande Chible from les Karellis >>