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Italy: Alps – On the quiet side of Mont

Descending close behind my guide, Beppe Villa, my head rises when I hear shouts coming from a few hundreds metres to the right. A second guide is traversing fast towards us, his skis rattling on the glass-like snow. I stop as the men talk and reach for their mobile phones. I learn only later that they are calling Alberto, their friend and another guide, who, while leading his group, has fallen down a crevasse.

I’m high on one of the world’s most famous descents, the Vallée Blanche. A continuous off-piste run of nearly 20km, it offers even intermediate skiers with reasonable fitness and a sense of adventure the chance to marvel at one of the Alps’ most stunning regions in the shadow of Mont Blanc. Of course there are risks, posed chiefly by shifting cracks in the glacier, but they remain happily slim and the valley has become a must-do for any skier who itches to leave the piste far behind.

Italy: Alps – On the quiet side of Mont Blanc – Europe – Travel – The Independent via @Independent

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