Les Sybelles Off Piste

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This domain groups six ski stations on the southern side of the Maurienne valley. La Toussuire and Le Corbier were built at the start of 1960s in the Le Corbusier style. Le Corbier is named in homage of this famous modernist. Saint-Jean d'Arves, Saint-Sorlin d"Arves, Les Bottières and Saint Colomban des Villards are more traditional Savoyard villages.

There is quite a bit of development work going on in the area including a controverial (with environmentalists) new lift between St Sorlin d'Arves and the Pointe de l'Ouillon which will link these ski areas and will also affect some of the off-piste possibilities in particular a favourite early season ski tour from the col du Glandon. This will bring the linked ski area to 225 km, with 300 km in total making this the fourth larges ski area in France with further lifts to following bringing the linked area up to 310km.

Les Sybelles new lifts

News lifts linking St Sorlin d'Arves on the col du Glandon

Situated on largely northern slopes behind the Grandes Rousses massive St Sorlin d'Arves is accessible from l'Alpe d'Huez via the Pic Bayle although this is over glaciated terrain with its associated risks.

The Bear Couloirs

Starting from the foot of the ski lifts in la Toussuire take the lift to the summit of the Tête de Bellard (2235 meters). The Carlènes restaurant can be found here and is recommended. From here walk along the south facing Bellard ridge to the foot of the Pointe de Ouillon. To the left you can see the Aiguilles d'Arves and beyond them la Meije, to the right the Belledonne chain is clearly visible. You can descend via the Combe aux Ours. There are lots of difficult couloirs which should be attempted as early as possible (before 10am) due to the avalanche risk.

St Sorlin Direct

From the bottom of the Combe aux Ours or from le Corbier lifts climb to the Pointe de Corbier (2266) to descend directly to St Sorlin d'Arves. This is a wide, south facing valley and loses its snow quite quickly. You may have to walk on the lower slopes and cross over the Source de l'Arvan brook. St Sorlin has a fantastic little church in the Baroque style at the bottom of the village.

Les Trois Lacs

Take the Lacs chair. This transports you into a high mountain environment close to the St Sorlin Glacier. There are ski touring possibilities in the direction of the Grandes Rousses. At the summit there are 50 degree couloirs although you will need a rope and crampons to access them. You can descend to the Col de la Croix de Fer via the Col des Lacs (frozen in winter) to return to St Sorlin d'Arves.

Toussuire Direct

From the Pointe de Corbier cross under the drag lift to follow a couloir towards la Toussuire. Quite exposed due to the presences of cliffs.

Toussuire Couloirs

Various couloirs are clearly visible from town and accessible from the lifts after a traverse.

Les Sybelles

Traverse des Stations

The first four off-pistes can be linked to traverse the ski domain with the return to la Toussuire by bus from St Sorlin (every 30 minutes) to the chair at St Jean d'Arves. From the 2002-2003 season there should be a direct chair link from St Sorlin. It remains to be seen how much of theoff-piste will become regular pistes.

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