Ski: Mont Vélan – Annibal Couloir (Pennine Alps)

Mont Vélan is a nice mountain located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Easily accessible from the Great St Bernard Pass, it is a good ski objective.

Mont Vélan and Valsorey Glacier seen from Grand Combin (© P. Gatta)
Mont Vélan and Valsorey Glacier seen from Grand Combin (© P. Gatta)

The route described here is a round trip starting at Bourg-St-Bernard and climbing the Annibal Couloir: 4.3/E2 D/S5. From Bourg-St-Bernard it is 6.1 km and +1,787m.
Another good option is to climb the Annibal Couloir and ski down the Valsorey Glacier down to Bourg-St-Pierre: see the photo above.

Mont Vélan East Face (© P. Gatta)
Mont Vélan East Face (© P. Gatta)

Start at 1,915m in Bourg-St-Bernard (Switzerland) which is located just below the Great St Bernard Pass. Go straight toward the East up to the Glacier de Proz. The East face of Mont Vélan has multiple couloirs : the Y, the central, the Annibal and the Virgule.

Climbing the Annibal Couloir: Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)
Climbing the Annibal Couloir: Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)

Reach the bottom of the Annibal Couloir at around 3,100 meters where you can see the whole couloir for the first time (part of the couloir is hidden by a rocky spur). Climb the couloir; 500m at 40-45°.

The Grand Combin seen from the top of Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)
The Grand Combin seen from the top of Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)

Then reach a small plateau and from there the top of Mont Vélan.

Mont Blanc Massif seen from the top of Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)
Mont Blanc Massif seen from the top of Mont Vélan (© P. Gatta)

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