3 ski touring itineraries at Bonneval sur Arc, by Thibault Anselmet

Bonneval sur Arc is a Mecca for ski touring and ski mountaineering (the "competition" version of ski touring). Along with neighboring Bessans, the resort has been awarded the "Terre d'Alpinisme" label by the Unesco Committee. The site is equally suited to introductory or discovery ski touring, with numerous itineraries to choose from. 3 ideas for outings suggested by Thibault Anselmet, local resident and winner of the 2023 Ski Mountaineering World Cup.

Hike to Pointe Francesetti via the Glacier du Grand Méan
His favourite outing

Pointe Francesetti via the Glacier du Grand Méan

From Bonneval sur Arc, head for the hamlet of Ecot along the snow-covered road (left bank of the Arc). Climb the north-facing slope at the same point as the summer path. When you reach the refuge, you'll see the impressive Evettes cirque of mountains and glaciers. Climb up to Pointe Francesetti, where a splendid sea of clouds on the Italian side often awaits the hiker. Conditions are often good, especially in spring, early in the morning.

Thibault's opinion...

"I like to do this outing at the end of the season, when the competitions are over. It's a great way to spend a day in the mountains and at altitude, and to recharge your batteries."

Fast, affordable release

Le Refuge des Evettes

Departure from Bonneval sur Arc. Use the lifts to the top of the Mulinet ski lift to save time and make the ascent easier. Once at the top of the Mulinet, at 2275 m altitude, put on your skins and start the route. Cross under the Ouille Mouta to the Col des Evettes: a magnificent viewpoint. It is possible to climb the Roc des Pareis just above the Evettes refuge to enjoy the panoramic view of the glaciers. Return to the refuge and enjoy a descent into the Gorges de la Reculaz.

Thibault's opinion...

"This is an outing I do when conditions are good during the winter and when I need an easy workout to recover from a competition. I like doing this route because the difference in altitude isn't very great and you get the full feeling of freedom in the middle of nature that ski touring gives you."

Hike to the Evettes Refuge
Plan des Eaux hike: balcony trail
Out in the sun

Le Plan des Eaux: balcony trail

From Bonneval sur Arc, head for the hamlet of l'Ecot, then climb the south-facing slope towards le Saut. Continue up to the plateau where you'll find the summer balcony trail. You can continue towards Col de Reys or Col des Arses. A pleasant outing in cold weather to get more sun, especially in early winter. The views are breathtaking and the wildness of this itinerary is striking.

Thibault's opinion...

"The mountains of Bonneval sur Arc and Haute Maurienne Vanoise, I've walked every inch of them. That doesn't mean I know them by heart, because they change every day, especially in winter: you always have to be vigilant and humble in the mountains. This somewhat remote valley has managed to preserve its landscapes and mountains to offer a truly unspoilt and wild postcard to ski tourers. I ski all over Europe, but I feel so lucky to come home to such a playground.

White warning pictogram
Before leaving the open and secure trails

Safety first

The mountain is a place of freedom and adventure. But before you leave the open and secure slopes to go into freeride or ski touring mode, always make sure you have respected the safety rules!

Check conditions with professionals, weather report, shovel, probe, avalanche transceiver.

Be accompanied and tell at least one person about your itinerary.

The easiest way is to call on the resort's professional instructors and guides, who will accompany you in complete safety to enjoy the fresh snow and wide-open spaces. In the mountains, you also have to know when to give up. After a long ski touring ascent, it's sometimes tempting to take on a virgin face. But if the safety conditions aren't right, always err on the side of caution and turn back or choose a less exposed slope.

List of professionals

Thibault Anselmet
Winner of the 2023 Ski Mountaineering World Cup

Thibault Anselmet is the leader of the French ski mountaineering team. Winner of the Gros Globe ski in 2023, he is also world champion in the mixed relay, runner-up in the world sprint and multiple French champion. A child of Bonneval sur Arc and from a "ski de rando" family, he is also a sportsman deeply attached to his region.

More about Thibault Anselmet

Meet Thibault Anselmet, The star of French ski mountaineering
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