17.01.2020

We Rise – Rossignol Women

Marion Haerty takes us on a tour of her favourite French freeride spots!

In France, we are fortunate to have a landscape with a wealth of places to escape and enjoy freeriding. Are you struggling to think of a great place to find fresh snow? Don't panic, Marion Haerty, the famous snowboarder, shares six incredible and easily accessible spots to relish next time you go out.
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Marion HAERTY

Age : 27 ans

Nationnalité : Française

Discipline : Snowboard 

Palmarès :

- Freeride World Champion 2017 & 2019 (FWT)

- Vice-championne du monde de Freeride 2018 (FWT)

Home Spot : Chamrousse

Spot du moment : Chamonix

 

 

LA GRAVE - LA MEIJE

 

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Point culminant : Sommet du téléphérique - 3200 m

Massif : Ecrins - vallée de l'Oisans

Département : Hautes-Alpes (05)

Région : PACA

Location :

- 200 Km de Lyon

- 80 Km de Grenoble

- 330 Km de Genève

 

In the world of freeride, the La Grave ski resort is a “Mecca” perched at around 1525m above rocky slopes that descend towards the River Romanche.

With up to 2150m in difference of elevation, La Grave offers a vast off-piste area in a unique landscape shaped by glaciers, narrow valleys and steep gullies resembling natural half-pipes. A breathtaking panorama with both steep and shallow slopes where you can create your own tracks by giving free reign to your imagination and ski the mountain as you wish.

Here, you are not really in a resort - you are in the high mountains, faced with a paradise of untouched descents, at an altitude of 3200m, which are accessible in just 30 minutes via a cable car. Far from marked pistes and pylons, the area is not secured or groomed. So you need to ensure that you tailor your routes to your ability, as well as to the weather and snow conditions!

 

« Undoubtedly the only resort in France where there are no “piste bashers”! »

 

ARECHES-BEAUFORT

 

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Point culminant : 2320 m

Massif : Beufortain

Département : Savoie (73)

Région : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

Localisation :

- 170 Km de Lyon

- 100 Km de Grenoble

- 120 Km de Genève

 

Arèches-Beaufort is a small resort located in the heart of the Beaufortain mountain range with a variety of amazing spaces to play in. Lying between the forest, untouched spaces, steep or more gentle slopes; freeriding here means creating tracks across landscapes with wide-open panoramic views.

With exceptional snowfall from an altitude of 1080 to 2300 m, the quality of the ski area will allow you to enjoy the best freeride day of your life, at the heart of a flawless and harmonious mountain landscape with the bonus of Mont Blanc as the backdrop.

 

« Packed with idyllic locations for building backcountry kickers »

 

CHAMONIX

 

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Point culminant : Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du midi - 3842 m

Massif : Mont Blanc

Département : Haute-Savoie (74)

Région : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

Localisation :

- 230 Km de Lyon

- 200 Km de Grenoble

- 90 Km de Genève

 

Chamonix is, without doubt, the most historic French freeride spot and one of the best known in the world. Here, you are in the heart of a legendary landscape, at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc, within reach of absolute bliss.

Access the famous Aiguille du Midi in just 20 minutes via the cable car and be taken up to an altitude of 3842m to admire a 360° view over the entire chain of the Alps in France, Switzerland and Italy.

The area offers you a vast choice of runs with undoubtedly one of the most incredible off-piste glacier routes in the world: the descent of the Vallée Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi. This twenty kilometre route with a drop of some 2000m offers the best freeride skiing experience in the Mont Blanc mountain range.

A high-mountain, ungroomed and unpatrolled route taking around 4 hours to cover, crossing snow-covered glaciers with crevasses including the Géant Glacier, the Tacul Glacier and the Sea of Ice. This descent is a dream for all freeriders, but you must not take on this adventure without an in-depth knowledge of the terrain or, failing this, without being accompanied by a high mountain guide!

 

«It is rare to experience such stunning beauty as you see in its glaciers and granite giants. »

 

LA CLUSAZ

 

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Point culminant : 2600 m

Massif : Aravis

Département : Haute-Savoie (74)

Région : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

Localisation :

- 170 Km de Lyon

- 140 Km de Grenoble

- 60 Km de Genève

 

Situated in the heart of the Aravis mountain range in the Haute-Savoie region, La Clusaz is unquestionably a freeski paradise, a bastion of freestyle, freeride, backcountry and free-rando. As a pioneering resort in this field since the 1980s, it has acquired a worldwide reputation.

An international and dynamic resort, just a few kilometres from Annecy, offering you a playground packed with possibilities in a breathtaking landscape covering no less than 5 mountain ranges, each with their own characteristics, allowing you to vary your enjoyment.

You can access the impressive La Balme range, a well-known backcountry spot recognised by the greatest freeriders as a true natural snowpark where step-ups, domes, wind lips and hips are linked, to the enormous delight of freeriders of all kinds.

 

« This place has become one of my absolute favourites! »

 

LES 7 LAUX

 

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Point culminant : Dent du Pra - 2623 m

Massif : Belledonne

Département : Isère (38)

Région : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

Localisation :

- 140 Km de Lyon

- 40 Km de Grenoble

- 140 Km de Genève

 

A ski area in the Belledonne mountain range, Les 7 Laux is a resort offering numerous possibilities with no less than 2 skiable mountainsides accessed from 3 sites: Prapoutel to the West, Pleynet to the East and Pipay, overlooking the Grésivaudan valley.

Known in the world of freeride for its Vallon du Pra, a marked but ungroomed piste offering a long, wide and easily accessible run. A true tiny paradise with plentiful powder when the conditions are right. You could keep going forever, for a week or a weekend, or at least until your legs have had enough.

 

« I have spent (…) my best ever Wednesday afternoons and weekends there having fun with my friends »

 

VAL D'ISERE

 

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Point culminant : La Grande Motte - 3656 m

Massif : Vanoise

Département : Savoie (73)

Région : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

Localisation :

- 240 Km de Lyon

- 170 Km de Grenoble

- 220 Km de Genève

 

Stunning Val d’Isère lies in the Tarentaise Valley. An accessible and sporty resort with its 10,000 hectares of untouched snow, 300 km of pistes and 150 days a year in which to enjoy it, this resort is definitely one of the most attractive and best loved.

The area’s high altitude and plentiful snowfall make Val d’Isère the perfect destination for freeriding. Take advantage of the many wild, ungroomed and unsecured slopes between the Iseran valley, the Gorges du Malpasset and even the Vallée Perdue.

From January to late Spring, escape for a weekend or longer and experience the freeride spirit embodied by Val d’Isère: ski freely, in an untouched, quiet and magical area.

 

« Really sweet refuges, making you want to stay for several weeks admiring these beautiful rolling landscapes »

 

These are the places of our dreams but, before going off to ride, think of your safety and remember to equip yourself with an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel. You should also take a look at the local weather forecast, in order to make the best decisions both on the way up and the way down. Why not opt for our Black Ops 98W skis or Marion Haerty’s Diva LF board, for even more fun whenever you go out!

 

 

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