France — Le Grand Mont Tour — Dynafit Seven Summits

Post by blogger | January 15, 2015      
From the lift we head towards the ridge below Le Grand Mont, 2587m.

Lovely early morning touring in the French alps, below Le Grand Mont f2587m.

Dynafit’s annual press event this year was based in Areches Beaufort, an area known for the famously brutal mountaineering race, Pierra Menta. Racers climb 10,000 meters over four days. To stay in the race, they have to climb at least 600m per hour. For hours. And hours.

Luckily our tour to test Dynafit’s new gear didn’t follow that pace. Because of thin snow down low, we rode the lifts to gain 2000 meters elevation. With blue skies and views of magnificent Mont Blanc, we went off piste and skied to a subpeak below Le Grand Mont, 2587m. Snow conditions were lovely, about 8cm of fresh powder and only a few spots were wind affected.

Dynafit’s new Seven Summits was my ski for the day. They of course weren’t as surfy as the fat skis I’ve been on lately (115cm underfoot) but they were certainly more carvey, which was enjoyable on a day with snowpack ranging from ski resort groom to condensed powder off piste. Overall they impressed me as a fun, all around ski.

7-Summits remains a classic of the Dynafit line.

7-Summits remains a classic of the Dynafit line.

Length: 171cm
Triple radius

Since the snowbase is thin, we meet guide Franz Perchtold at the lift and ride to Grande Combe, 2080m.

Since the snowbase is thin, we meet at the lift and ride to Grande Combe, 2080m.

Near to top we find a nice layer of powder and only minimal spots of wind affected snow.

Near to top we find a nice layer of powder and only minimal spots of wind affected snow.

Happy Lou, clearly in the land of his heart.

Happy Lou, clearly in the land of his heart.

Summit Photo on Point du Dard with media partners from around the world.

Summit Photo on Point du Dard with media partners from around the world.

Guide Franz Perchtold points out a few of the stunning peaks around Mont Blanc.

Guide Franz Perchtold points out a few of the stunning peaks around Mont Blanc.


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15 Responses to “France — Le Grand Mont Tour — Dynafit Seven Summits”

  1. Scott Nelson January 15th, 2015 10:06 am

    7 summits looks like a great ski, even in an age of everything getting fatter. Looks super fun for spring skiing around here. Beautiful views!

  2. Keith Roush January 15th, 2015 12:04 pm

    Hey Lou, looks like a fine tour..I think you meant to say Le Grand Motte

  3. aemono January 15th, 2015 12:31 pm

    No, I think he meant “Grand Mont”! Touring on skis to the Grande Motte glacier at Tignes from Arêches would be one hell of a “tour”..make the Pierra Menta seem trivial!

  4. Lou Dawson 2 January 15th, 2015 3:17 pm

    Sorry about the spelling you guys, we were trying to get out the hotel door on a tight schedule, up the Jakobshorn here in Davos for a night ski to dinner up on the mountain with Scott. Turned out nice. Back now, editing…. It’ the Grand Mont of the Pierra Menta, the tour was on the upper reaches of the peak, didn’t go to the top this time. Lou

  5. OliC January 16th, 2015 2:34 am

    To help Lou out with the confused people, even tho is facts are correct.

    At the end of a tiny valley up above Areches is the tiny resort of le Planay, which from the photo of the lift is where the crew headed up. It’s a tiny area. It’s where I lived this past summer. In the summer the lift is only open on Thursdays and links into to two of the best mountain bike trails in the whole world. I like Thursdays!

    There is a whole mini ridge line featuring peaks with similar French names. The Grand Mont I believe can be accessed from either le Planay or the Grand Mont ski area which is straight out of Areches. Classic ski touring area! Hence why Dynafit were there.

    It’s funny tho that Lou mentions above doing a night ski tour in Austria. This sounds great, but it’s something that just wouldn’t happen often in France (except in a seasonal refuge). You want us to work in the evening, up the mountain? Such different cultures. I hope the Beufortain Massif looked after you! for some summer photo’s

  6. Andy M January 17th, 2015 10:22 am

    I’ve had a couple of days on the new Seven Summits and really enjoyed them. Not had a chance to do anything serious uphill but in resort was better than expected – even in terrible early season French conditions. Much more responsive for short turns, and solid enough. I’m using them with Diamir Vipecs which I’m adjusting to but happy so far. Out of interest what did Dynafit have on them for the test?

    They don’t like rocks (who does?) so they were wrapped back up for a better day. I can confirm they perform fine in heavy Jan rain too…

  7. Lou Dawson 2 January 17th, 2015 10:35 am

    Andy, Radical ST demo bindings, nothing special, they worked fine. Lou

  8. hippie January 19th, 2015 6:27 am

    Witch size do you think would be great in those skis for a beginner 53kg, 173cm tall girl?
    The activity would be mountaineering in general. 7-8h of easy activity per day. All snow conditions but mostly spring snow.

  9. Michael Browder January 20th, 2015 2:10 pm

    Of course we ski tour at night in France!

  10. Kevin January 21st, 2015 7:33 pm

    Completely unrelated to this article other than it has to do with Dynafit. I have a broken toe lever: excenter on my TLT Vertical FT bindings. I contacted Dynafit to get a replacement and they do not make it anymore but stated the Speed Radical replacement will fit. I bought one of these as a replacement but it really doesn’t fit properly as it doesn’t make contact when engaged in tour mode. I am worried that this might cause extra stress on the toe piece as it won’t stay properly engaged. Any thoughts on this? Or know where I can get a direct replacement?

  11. hippie February 3rd, 2015 12:22 pm

    Can anybody resolve my doubt?
    Witch size do you think would be great in those skis for a beginner 53kg, 173cm tall girl?
    The activity would be mountaineering in general. 7-8h of easy activity per day. All snow conditions but mostly spring snow.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 February 3rd, 2015 12:42 pm

    I’d go for the 171… Lou

  13. Mark P March 29th, 2015 12:26 am

    I have the DPS Wailer 112rp for skiing soft snow and at the resort, but looking to buy a back country ski for spring/summer/fall conditions where snow is hard or variable. I am thinking about the Dynafit Seven Summits, Dynafit Cho Oyu or Dynastar Cham HM 87. What would you recommend?

  14. Lou Dawson 2 March 29th, 2015 5:05 am

    Seven and Cham, I like my Cho Oyu but they sometimes have too much sidecut. Seven is a classic “80 mm” Euro style touring ski, about 82 at the waist. Lou

  15. Casey E October 31st, 2016 3:02 pm

    Hey I currently own the Chugach’s and I am currently looking for a high altitude ski (14ers) after I has a scary experience in hard conditions in the Lutrell line on El Diente Peak with my Chugach’s. These seven summits seem like a good fit, I am 5’11” 170lb do you recommend these skis or do you think something else would be better? If so do you think I should go for the 171s?

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