WARNING: Mountains are dangerous places. Always ski within your abilities, assess slopes and conditions yourself.

St Gervais les Bains - Easy off-piste


At some point you’ll be wanting to start taking a few ventures off-piste, but it can be a big jump. Ideally you want terrain with a low chance of leading you to cliffs or avalanche-prone slopes, with piste close at hand to escape to if things get a little much. If you’ve chosen to visit Saint Gervais les Bains / Megeve as a confident intermediate ready to try some powder, you’re in luck as there are plenty of great intro spots. Given that many of these slopes are relatively low, be aware that the number of days where this will be lovely fluffy untracked powder are limited.

As a warm-up, head to the Marmire red piste under the Monts Rosset chair. There are plenty of opportunities to sneak off into meadows either side of this higher up, or into the trees lower down. A good spot to lap undisturbed easy powder after a dump – the chair is fast and not as busy as others.

Also in this area, as you’re skiing down the blue Finance piste, watch out for the top of the Venaz drag lift. Shortly after this, duck through the lift and into a wide open field of powder stretching below you. Keeping generally left leads down gradually through clearings in the forest to drop out onto the Chateluy green slope below. But if you keep straight ahead / slightly right rather than following the funnelling of the clearing to the left, you might be able to spot the route into an old ‘tobogan‘ route. There are small rotting signs down this fun little gentle chute-like track that winds its way down through the forest, over bridges, and eventually also popping out on Chateluy.

Further up, at the very top of Finance, after a few metres on your right look to head through the trees. Careful as there are cliffs here, but pick a safe route down and you’re spat out at the top of a huge snowfield. The Bosses draglift crosses it, but you can blast straight down here, following the clearing until eventually you have to enter the trees and pick your way carefully back out onto Chateluy.

The Croix du Christ chair is also a great option for taking tame but thrilling detours off-piste. The tangle of reds (Coq-bruyeres and Croix du Christ) surround some great little wedges of prime practising ground – when it’s deep here, just take any route you like down here.

On the Megeve side of the hill, head to the area around Argent, Freddy and Marmotons – the trees and off-piste meadows here are mostly gentle if you’re not too cocky.

Don’t forget that off piste can be extremely dangerous, it’s unpatrolled and not protected with avalanche blasting. This guide intends to show a few of the easier ‘dabbling’ routes that can be taken as a taster for confident and well-controlled intermediates who can easily handle any red thrown at them. A route’s inclusion in here is just a tip, not an official route, suggested itinerary or right of way.


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