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5 Day Chamonix Splitboard Course

Splitboarding in Chamonix, discover the Mont Blanc valley on a backcountry tour

Splitboarding is the newest discipline in snowboarding - allowing you to discover the Chamonix backcountry as well as any ski tourer.

The splitboard is the best tool for backcountry exploration and off-piste freeride. It functions as a regular snowboard when going downhill, but for going uphill the board splits lengthwise down the middle and the bindings can be turned to face forward, allowing you hike and tour the mountains without the hassle of carrying snowshoes.

If you have always wanted to explore the backcountry on a snowboard then splitboarding is definitely for you!

Discover the classic Chamonix ski tours on a snowboard; Col du Passon at Les Grands Montets, the Crochues-Berard traverse through the Aiguilles Rouges, Col d'Entreves from the Vallée Blanche and many more.

Once you've learned the basic splitboarding techniques and gained confidence on different types of terrain, you'll be ready to tackle some of the famous multiday ski touring routes such as the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt or a hut-to-hut tour with a private mountain guide.

 

Course objectives

  • Get to know and learn how to use the split boarding gear
  • Lear skinning techniques on varied terrain
  • Basic avalanche rescue training
  • We will hike to ride the best snow in the valley

 

Description

Our Chamonix Splitboard Course is for advanced snowboarders who wish to leave the crowded ski areas and explore the hidden runs further in the backcountry. Our UIAGM mountain guides are also qualified snowboard instructors and will be happy to give you tips on how to improve your snowboarding technique and style.

We will teach you how to read the terrain, how to use the gradient to your advantage and, of course, how to pick the best line for an amazing descent. The Chamonix Splitboard Course package also includes additional mountain safety tuition such as avalanche awareness and glacier travel safety techniques.

Level requirements

This course is for advanced snowboarders with at least 5 weeks of riding. You need to be physically fit and be prepared to hike up a steep hill for up to 2 hours. Please note that riders unable meet the required criteria may be unable to complete the course, if you are not confident of your level then consider doing our Chamonix Snowboard Freeride Course instead. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need advice about the fitness/level requirements.

Price

795€

Price per person; groups of minimum 4 and maximum 6 riders per guide

Course Dates

2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jan 08 Jan 12 6
Jan 22 Jan 26 6
Feb 05 Feb 09 6
Feb 19 Feb 23 6
Mar 05 Mar 09 6
Mar 19 Mar 23 6
Apr 02 Apr 06 6
Apr 16 Apr 20 6
Apr 23 Apr 27 6

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Guiding & Tuition

5 days of guiding by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide & snowboard instructor.

Safety Equipment

We can provide the essential safety equipment of harness, avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel if you do not have your own. We can also lend you a backpack with straps for carrying your skis/snowboard on request.

Avalanche Training

Specific avalanche awareness tuition including assessment of the conditions, correct use of a transceiver and how to carry out a rescue using shovel and probe.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Skis / Snowboards

The price does not include skis/snowboards, boots or clothing. If you do not have your own we can help you organise rental, please ask us for details.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Chamonix Splitboard Course Itinerary

This splitboard course is based in Chamonix and we will depart from here for our daily explorations. We will use local lifts to quickly gain elevation and continue on foot to reach the best backcountry runs.

This program is an example of what can be done in ideal conditions. The exact itinerary will be decided on your arrival according to weather and snow conditions.

Optional Extra : we can incorporate a 2 day splitboarding tour with 1 night in a mountain hut. This option will be subject to additional 85€ per person and will have to be agreed on by the whole group.

Day 1 - Le Tour & Avalanche Awareness Training

Today we have an early start at Le Tour, a ski area at the northern end of the Chamonix valley, right on the Swiss border. Your mountain guide will start by checking your equipment, assess the overall group level and run through the basics of mountain saftey and avalanche awaress. Then we'll take a short hike up into the great Le Tour backcountry terrain. Le Tour is an ideal place to find your splitboarding legs and warm up; the off-piste is easily accessible and the descents are not too steep. We'll also prepare you for the week ahead by carrying out basic avalanche safety training.

Day 2 - Touring in the Aiguilles Rouges

Discover one of the many great tours of the Aiguilles Rouges - the sunny side of the Chamonix valley.

This is a beautiful and remote area where'll you'll quickly find yourself far from the crowds and the lifts. It is also a nature reserve, so there is a chance that you might see some typical alpine wildlife such as bouquetin or chamois.

You will also have a tuition session on safe and efficient travel in the winter mountains, group management and trip planning. Following on from yesterday we will also look at reading of the terrain, snow conditions ans assessing the avalanche risk.

Day 3 - Les Grands Montets

Today we start by taking the lift up to the Grands Montets ski area in Argentiere; the highest ski area in Chamonix at over 3000m.

From the top of the ski area we'll ride down the Grands Montets and across the glacier d”Argentiere.

Time to take the split boards apart for the tour up to the Col du Passon. The last 150m of the ascent is a climb up a steep couloir using crampons, ice axe and rope. Your efforts will be rewarded by a fantastic off-piste descent of over 2km along the glacier du Tour.

Day 4 - Aiguille du Midi & Vallee Blanche

Coming to Chamonix and not going up the Aiguille du Midi is like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower!

Today we'll take the Aiguille du Midi car up into the heart of glaciers at an altitude of 3842m.

We'll explore one of the many Vallee Blanche splitboard tours, all of them beautiful and quite literally breathtaking!

Your mountain guide will teach you essential glacier safety skills and crevasse rescue techniques, to enable you to snowboard safely on off-piste glacial terrain.

Day 5 - Splitboard Tour in Chamonix or Courmayeur

Today is your last day, so we go wherever you want!

We can either revisit whichever area you’ve enjoyed most during the week, discover somewhere new in Chamonix, or explore the fantastic freeride terrain on the other side of Mont Blanc in the Italian resort of Courmayeur.

Whichever option you choose it'll be a fun day where you can practise all the splitboard techniques that you've learned throughout the week.

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Sun hat

Sun hat

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Splitboard

Splitboard

Snowboard boots

Snowboard boots

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski / splitboard skins

Crampons that fit snowboard boots

Crampons that fit snowboard boots

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well established airport transfer companies which use new and comfortable vehicles and which have the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.

To book your transfer, we will need the following:


  • Your full name

  • Mobile phone number

  • Email address

  • Your destination address

  • Your flight details (date, time and flight number)

For Geneva airport - Chamonix / Chamonix - Geneva airport:

SHARED TRANSFERS:

This is the most economic and ecologically friendly way of travel. The driver will meet and greet you at the airport, gather you and the rest of the passenger group together and then head off to your chosen destination. The door-to-door service means that you will be dropped off and picked up right at your hotel /chalet / apartment. From 40€ per person for one way and 80€ per person for a return trip.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS:

Private Transfers are the quickest way to get to and from the airport. Your driver will meet and greet you at the airport and guide you to your vehicle. There is no waiting for other passengers. Private transfers are available for one to eight person bookings and travelling together and you are guaranteed sole occupancy of the vehicle for your transfer. And, of course, it's a door to door service, so you won't be lugging any bags very far. 250€ per car for one way and 500€ per car for a return trip.

Chamonix accommodation

If you need help to find a place to stay in Chamonix, don't hesitate to let us know! We work with a network of excellent chalets, hotels, gites and B&Bs offering Chamonix accommodation to suit all tastes and all budgets.

Mountain Rescue Insurance

We don’t include mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses but we strongly recommend that you have it. Mountain rescue may be very expensive, particularly if helicopters are involved. Check with your travel insurance provider if you are covered for the specific activity you are going to do with us.

However, we can organise the mountain rescue insurance for you.The cost is 8€ per person per day for EU residents and 12€ per person per day for non-EU residents. Details of the insurance cover are different for EU and non-EU residents, please contact us for more informations.

Optional equipment

Thermos – Not essential due to weight, but it can be comforting to have a hot drink on a cold day.

Water bottle – Should be at least 1 1/2 litres and durable. 
Camelbak hydration systems. Good as long as they are kept clean. Not recommended for winter sports / Mont Blanc as the tube tends to freeze up.

A pair of spare gloves is essential.

Spare goggles are highly recommended.

Food

We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite hill snacks.

Technical

Have your board well waxed and serviced for it to glide well in the given conditions (cold snow and spring snow require differed waxes!).

Check your bindings prior the course that they are in good working condition.

Crochues-Berard Traverse

Ski

One of Chamonix's classic ski tours, starting from La Flegere and passing through the beautiful Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve. We start with a nice traverse from the top of the Floria draglift, towards the Aiguilles Crochues bowl. After a short steep climb to the Col de Crochues, we ski down through the bowl, keeping high so that we can descend from the Col du Berard into the next valley.

At the bottom of the valley there is a flat section where ski tour through alpine forest, alongside a crystal clear stream to the charming old village of Le Buet with its old stone chalets and wooden barns. From here we can pick up the bus or the train back to Chamonix.

Elevation gain 500m // elevation loss 1500m // duration 1day

 

Col du Passon

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The Col du Passon ski tour route starts from the top of the Les Grands Montets cable car in Argentiere (3283m). We start by skiing down the spectacular Rognon glacier, keeping to the right of the rock and onto the heavily crevassed Argentiere glacier. This descent can be an amazing ride when the snow is fresh but very challenging when the snow is wind and sun affected. 

After crossing the Argentiere glacier we put on our skins and start climbing up a short section over a steep moraine and continue over open slopes towards the Aiguille du Passon, then turn right towards the Col du Passon. The final part of the ascent is a short, steep couloir (45°). 

Once we've reached the col we can take a quick break and admire the spectacular view before skiing all the way back down towards the pretty village of Le Tour. The descent is truly rewarding. There are many options in terms of which way to descent as the terrain is pretty wide and open. 

Elevation gain 650m // elevation loss 2400m // Length 9.8km // Duration: 1 day

Col du Belvedere

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The Col de Belvedere is a classic Chamonix ski touring route, starting from the slopes of Flegere.

From the top of the Floria drag lift we traverse around a high bowl, passing beneath the jagged ridge of the Aiguilles Crochues. We continue on to the beautiful alpine lake, Lac Blanc, and then skin up to the Col de Belvedere at an altitude of 2780m.

The views from the col are just fantastic and you can see all the way across the Berard and Samoens valleys; this is a remote mountain area in the middle of the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve, so there is also the chance that you may see some alpine wildlife such as bouquetin or chamois!

The descent from the Col de Belvedere is a steep 40° slope, accessed from a narrow 80m couloir; if snow conditions are not good you may need to use ropes to descend safely. Once you've cleared the couloir you'll ski all the way down through the magnificent Bérard valley into the charming little village of Le Buet.

Due to the steep descent and the potential complications in the couloir, this route is only advisable for advanced ski tourers who are accompanied by a mountain guide.

Elevation gain 480m // elevation loss 1450m // Duration 1 day