Les Gets - Freeride on Mont Chery - Where to go
The locals who live here all year round have their favourite hidden off piste areas. Areas that are off the grid and difficult to find. One of these areas is Mont Chery. Most beginners or families look at mont chery on the piste map and are immediately put off by what they see. Which is a mountain full of blacks and reds, this generally makes them go else where, which in turn keeps the mountain relatively calm.
Village locals will go up the left hand side four man chairlift turning left and running down the main piste. Going downhill they will take a small patch of unmolested powder to their right, the one with a couple of pines trees in it, they will then shoot across and pick up the area right underneath the chairlift. Fun as long as you don’t faceplant in front of a full chair! Then they will hop onto the off camber piece to the right of the chair and finish right where they began.
Then they will take the same lift up and turn left again but this time staying on the ridge for about 250 meters. Off to the left is a beautifully long powder field punctuated by a groomed ski touring track. Watch out for this track as it can catch you out as there is a bit of a drop onto it. It will be hard to wipe the grin off your face on this particular piece. At the end you will reach a copse of trees, you should be able to follow someone else’s tracks here, take it easy and slow as running into a tree might ruin your day! You will drop onto another pisted walking track which will bring you back to the very same chairlift.
These areas are very safe ie; the gradient is not steep and will not avalanche. That cannot be said for the next off piste area:
You take the back red off the ridge line ( there is only one) and ski down hugging the fence on the right. When this fence finishes about halfway down you need to look out for a gap in the young saplings, again there is only one chance of getting this spot on so take your time. Otherwise you will have to go back up to look for the opening. The off piste area absolutely wonderful, a straight steep descent .
You will be able to see the piste from this vantage point so that is where you are aiming for, but beware there is a small hill you have to get over. Most locals make sure they are carrying enough speed to see them to the crest and then it’s a short ski to rejoin the piste, and maybe a coffee stop to recharge the legs!
Don’t forget - when you buy your insurance always make sure it covers you for off piste or as the French say “hors piste”.
This article is written by Dave Lynch, Dave has been living and working in Les Gets for fifteen years, he guided close friends and relatives through nearly every 650 Kms of the Portes du Soleil, but his area which he comes back to time and time again is Les Gets.