Recent Posts

The History of the TMB

Today, the Tour du Mont Blanc is the most popular long distance hike in Europe, if not the world. But ...
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Mont Blanc from La Jonction - snowy mountains with footpath in the foreground

La Jonction – Chamonix Hikes

The trek to La Jonction is one of the toughest of the classic day hikes around Chamonix. With around 1500 ...
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View from Aiguillette des Possettes towards Aiguille Verte

Aiguillette des Possettes – Chamonix Hikes

The Aiguillette des Possettes stands at the head of the Chamonix valley, dividing it into two branches. One leads to ...
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View over Mer de Glace glacier, runner in foreground

Chamonix Hiking – the Grand Balcon Nord

Along with Lac Blanc, the Grand Balcon Nord is one of the must-do day hikes of the Chamonix Valley. The ...
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Crossing Lac Blanc with the Col du Belvedere behind

Col du Belvedere

With a magnificent setting, a sunny aspect, and an amenable 500 – 800 metres of ascent, the Col du Belvedere ...
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Mont Blanc from summit of Prarion in Les Houches

When to visit Chamonix

When is the best time to come to Chamonix? It’s a question we get asked all the time but the ...
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Napoleon Crossing the Alps - painting

Tales of the Alps – Napoleon’s unpaid bill

The story of a very longstanding debt owed to a very small village At the dawn of the 19th century, ...
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Barry on display in museum

Tales of the Alps – Barry der Menschenretter

How a St. Bernard named Barry became a Swiss legend Although relatively unheard of outside his native Switzerland, Barry is ...
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Childrens navigation course

What to bring on our navigation courses

Covid-19 has led to a few changes in how we run our navigation courses, and this affects what you need ...
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Alchemilla alpina

Alpine flower notes: Alchemilla

Lady’s mantle Alchemilla A fascinating plant that is easy to overlook, lady’s mantle can be seen flowering across the Alps ...
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Alpine Wildlife Notes: Eurasian Lynx – Lynx Lynx

The Eurasian Lynx is a distinctive species of wild cat that was common in the Alps until the 19th century ...
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Le Sapey and Pied Moutet

Le Sapey walk

An almost circular walk from Les Deux Alpes to Venosc via the delightful pastures in Le Sapey. Distance: 15km Ascent: ...
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Female Wolf

Alpine Wildlife Notes: Grey Wolf – Canis Lupus

The grey wolf is one of the three large predators that disappeared from the French Alps towards the end of ...
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Italian Val Ferret

TMB or Haute Route?

Which long-distance hike is for you? Chamonix has long been a centre for mountain sports of all kinds, and this ...
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Alpine Ibex

Alpine Wildlife Notes: Alpine Ibex –Capra Ibex

With its large curved horns and incredible climbing ability, the Alpine Ibex is one of the most instantly-recognisable animals in ...
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Pont du Diable

Tales of the Alps – The Devil’s Bridge

This story recounts the legendary origins of the Pont du Diable, or Devil's Bridge, in St. Christophe-en-Oisans.  Saint Christophe-en-Oisans is ...
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Alpine Wildlife Notes: Alpine Chamois – Rupicapra Rupicapra

The Chamois is a species of goat-antelope found across the mountain ranges of Europe and Asia. Native to the Ecrins ...
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Alpine Wildlife Notes: Alpine Chough –Pyrrhocorax Graculus

The Alpine Chough is one of two species of birds commonly referred to as choughs. The other is the red-billed ...
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Painting of the battle

Tales of the Alps: L’Escalade, Geneva

How one old woman saved the city with a pot of vegetable soup... In this series, we look at some ...
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Alpine Wildlife Notes: Golden Eagle – Aquila Chrysaetos

The golden eagle is arguably the most famous of all raptors, and has been revered throughout history. In ancient Greece ...
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Colchicum Autumnale

Alpine flower notes: Colchicum autumnale

Autumn crocus: Colchicum autumnale For the final Alpine flower article of the year we take a look at Colchicum autumnale ...
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Bearded Vulture Close Up

Alpine Wildlife Notes: Bearded Vulture – Gypaetus Barbatus

In this post, we look at the Bearded Vulture, or Ossifrage (‘bone-breaker’ in Latin), the rarest in the Alps. This ...
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Flying Griffon Vulture

Alpine Wildlife Notes : Griffon Vulture – Gyps Fulvus

Following on from our series on Alpine Flower Notes, in this series we’ll be taking a look at some of ...
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Great Yellow Gentian

Alpine Flower Notes: Great Yellow Gentian

Great yellow gentian – Gentiana lutea From June until August, the great yellow gentian makes an impressive sight standing tall ...
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Alpine Flower Notes: Purple Saxifrage

Purple saxifrage Saxifraga oppositifolia I’ve been meaning to write up some notes on Alpine wildflowers for a while. Seeing clumps ...
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Snowy road

Easiest Ways to Travel to Les Deux Alpes

Our first guest post from Alps2Alps If you’re planning your next ski holiday, why not try Les Deux Alpes? This ...
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Avalanche risk 3

The Avalanche Risk Scale – Why 3 is a Dangerous Number

The International Avalanche Risk Scale is an important tool in off-piste decision making, but it is frequently misunderstood. If you ...
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Alpe de Villar d'Arene

Col d’Arsine Walk

The Col d'Arsine is a beautiful hiking destination at any time of the year I have written a few posts ...
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Autumn colours - St Christoph

Indian Summer – should we be worried about the winter

Here in the French Alps, we are enjoying a seemingly endless summer. It is almost November and the sunny, cloudless ...
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European Ski School Off-Piste Course 5th-9th March 2018

This archive post is about the 2018 Off-Piste course. Watch out for details of the 2020 course to be posted ...
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Nine things you didn’t know about marmots

These large, ground-dwelling squirrels are a symbol of the Alps and other mountain ranges. They are easy to recognise from ...
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Cheeselore in the Western Alps

We all know that France and Switzerland are famous for their cheese, from Camembert to Gruyere, and cheese dishes like ...
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La Cordée

Off-piste course 2017 – Looking back

In March 2017, we ran our first European Ski School Off-Piste course in conjunction with TipTop Ski Coaching. I had ...
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Glacier lake

New plans for snowmaking in Les Deux Alpes

Many ski resorts have felt the effects of recent poor winters. Investment in snowmaking is seen as a way to ...
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La Berarde Church

Village architecture in the high Dauphiné

This post is based on a talk I prepared for my recent International Mountain Leader summer assessment in Samöens. Candidates ...
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Roche Château ski tour

This is another nice ski tour in the Mont Thabor range. We did it on the last day of the ...
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A break on the way up

Rocher de la Grande Tempête

The Refuge des Drayeres in the Mont Thabor range is a superb base for a few days ski touring, with ...
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Alex Filming

TipTop Ski Coaching Family Week 14th-18th August 2017

This August will see the return of the TipTop Family week after the success of last year. Ski racing, piste ...
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Les Deux Alpes Outdoor Festival

Featuring a slew of sports over four days with competitions, big names and a world record attempt, the Deux Alpes ...
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Jon climbing

Pic des Trois Evêchés

The Pic des Trois Evêchés from the Col du Lauteret runs parallel to the very popular Pic Blanc ski tour ...
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How to ski La Grave – untracked

Under normal conditions you need to get up really early after (or during) a snowstorm to ski La Grave on ...
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La Grave Sign

La Grave update – Alpe’D’Huez to run the lifts for the next 30 years

After months of uncertainty, a rejected crowdfunding bid and the withdrawal of the biggest company in the running, the conseil ...
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Clot de Chalance, Les Deux Alpes

I've written a few posts on the classic backcountry descents that start from Les Deux Alpes heading towards St. Christoph ...
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Halfway view

Mont de l’Arpille

Few ski tours are safe enough to do when the avalanche risk is a high four out of five. Mont ...
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Pic Blanc du Galibier

For my first day off since Christmas I was itching to get out and do some ski touring. It still ...
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Christmas Day Snowshoeing – Lauteret and Galibier

Low level snow is a bit lacking at the moment in the Oisans, but from 2000m upwards there is decent ...
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La Meije

The Classic ‘Easy’ La Grave Itineraries

The Vallons de la Meije and Vallons de Chancel might not be everybody's idea of easy skiing, but ease is ...
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European Ski School Off-Piste Course 13th-17th March 2017

The European Ski School's Off-Piste:Freeride Course is a new product this winter, taking advantage of the wonderful terrain Les Deux ...
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Autumn Junior Freeride Camp with TipTop Ski Coaching

Click here to watch the video edit of this course on YouTube. Every autumn, Les Deux Alpes opens for skiing ...
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Resort Profile – Chazelet

Chazelet has to be one of my favourite resorts for a day trip. A small, alpine village that retains a ...
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Les 2 Alpes signpost

Resort profile – Les Deux Alpes

People I ski with in Deux Alpes often ask where my favourite ski resort is. They sometimes seem surprised when ...
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Les Deux Alpes to La Berarde via the Col du Replat

My final ski tour of last winter was one that I had been wanting to do for some time. The ...
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Petite Buffe trig point

La Petite Buffe (2683m) – Chazelet

Chazelet is a tiny but beautiful little ski resort with south facing slopes across the valley from the La Grave ...
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Spring Snow

Aiguilles Rouges to St Christoph via Puy

The Aiguilles Rouges route from La Toura is one of the two classic descents from Les Deux Alpes to St ...
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Cime du Pied de Barry Walk

At the moment I am working through the International Mountain Leader (IML) award. Part of this means logging mountain walking ...
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Col de Laurichard (2654m)

The Col de Laurichard from the north east is deservedly one of the most popular ski tours in the Combynot ...
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Skiing the Bear Couloir

Couloir de l’Ours (Bear Couloir)

The Couloir de l'Ours in La Grave is one that I had often looked up at whilst skiing one of ...
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Col du Galibier

One of the classic Alpine road biking cols in the summer, the Col du Galibier makes for wonderful ski touring ...
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In front of Pic de la Grave

Vallon de la Selle

The Vallon de la Selle is one of the classic routes from Les Deux Alpes or La Grave to the ...
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Ben Nevis – Number 4 Gully and Number 3 Gully

Although now based in the Alps, I did start my skiing career in Scotland. It is easy to overlook the ...
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Combeynot, Col du Lautaret

Just to the south of the Col du Lautaret, the Combeynot range offers a range of interesting ski tours of ...
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