4 day course designed especially for those with basic previous touring experience who are looking to progress to longer tours exploring the wilderness of the true backcountry

INTRODUCTION TO HUT TO HUT SKI TOURING

Your back country ski adventure starts here

From 1,050.00€

Price per person or group of minimum 4 skiers.

View Dates
   

Intermediate tech level

 

4 days programme

 

2 nights on huts

 

1:6 guiding ratio

 

High fitness level

 

Available March - April

With 2 nights in mountain refuges, this 4 day tour will give you the opportunity to get a feel for real hut to hut touring, to consolidate and build upon your existing skills, and to develop the endurance required to help you find longer and more challenging tours ultimately more enjoyable.

This is a great introductory trip to hut-to-hut ski tours for those who just started ski touring, and is the perfect preparation and precursor for more committed ski touring trips such as the famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt.

To be able to join this course you must have had some previous day touring experience, be a confident off piste skier on all types of snow (powder, crust, heavy wet and wind blown), and have a good level of fitness. You will be ski touring for up to 7 hours per day including 4-5 hours of ascent.

Our guides will start the course with an orientation day spent practicing some basic skills and avalanche awareness whilst exploring one of Chamonix's classic ski touring itineraries such as the Col du Passon or Col du Tour Noir, before transferring to Italy for 3 days of hut-to-hut touring in the beautiful Gran Paradiso National Park.

Ski touring in the Alps requires a broad skill set, not only fitness and stamina. To be able to safely navigate the varied terrain of the backcountry, our guides will teach you crucial ice axe and crampon techniques, basic rope work, glacier navigation and avalanche awareness. These skills really are the golden key that opens the door to the unlimited skiable terrain on the other side of the lift system...

This trip is absolutely perfect for those aspiring to take the next step towards becoming more independent in the mountains, and will serve as meaningful training to help you aspire towards more challenging future touring goals.

Learning Outcomes

  • Improve your skinning techniques and kick turns
  • Basic avalanche safety skills and rescue techniques
  • Be involved in the day to day trip planning 
  • Get familiar with staying on a refuge and the general hut customs
  • Good quality ski tours

Additional Services

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)

 

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.

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 information.

Equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book any equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season. You can collect your equipment the evening before the start of the course and return it in the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following Chamonix ski hire and mountain shop:

• Concept Pro Shop that is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Practical Information

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. When you’re staying overnight in huts it's best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.

If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food to supplement your hut dinners. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs. The huts can provide a small basic packed lunch of bread, salami, cheese and chocolate that you can buy each day but it’s important that you don’t rely on this option only. You do need to carry some snack food for each day.

You will also generally stop for short breaks every hour where you should eat and drink something in order to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.

Staying in Mountain Huts

The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us the time to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room.

Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in inhospitable terrain.

The guardian and his/her team serve a 3-course evening meal and breakfast - food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available. All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between 5 -10€ or 10CHF for a 1.5litre bottle of still water.

There are a few basic hut ‘rules’ that you need to follow so that you (and your fellow climbers) have a pleasant stay:

1) On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice-axe, crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush!

2) House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut

3) Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you your bunk

4) Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum – they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean

5) In the morning your guide will often want to leave early – be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organized and everything will be much easier!

6) It is recommended to bring ear-plugs for the nights – but make sure that you wake up on time!

 

Itinerary

Welcome meeting in Chamonix

The evening before the start of the course, you will have the chance to meet your guide and the other course members to discuss the itinerary, mountain conditions and ask any questions.

Your guide will also use this time to check over your equipment and help you prepare what you will need for day 1 of the course. Those who have reserved rental equipment will be accommanied to our partner shop to pick up what they will need for the duration of the course. It is a good idea to bring with you any clothing or technical gear that you would liked checked over prior to the start of the course.

Day 1: Ski touring & skill refresher in Chamonix

Warm up and practice day in Chamonix. Our guides will use this day to check eveyone's equipment, ski touring skill set and teach you the basics of avalanche beacon and crevasse rescue, on an introductory tour accesible from the local ski lifts. You will then return to Chamonix in the evening for any gear changes or additional equipment requirements in preperation for the following 3 days.

 

Day 2: Gran Paradiso national park

An early start and a taxi from Chamonix to the Grand Paradiso National Park in Italy, and a 2-3hh climb up to the beautiful Benevolo Hut, in the Valle di Rhemes, which will be our base for the follwing 2 days. You will be able to enjoy a traditional Italain lunch , before embarking on a short 2h tour from the hut to practice your ice axe and crampon skills.

The day will typically invlove around 450m to 800 elevation gain, depending on the route chosen by your guide. There are many different itineraries options available freom the hut to suit all levels and skill sets.

The Gran Paradio reserve is tranquil, wild and unspoilt, offering stunning views and great skiing. You definatley wont be fighting against with the crowds here, but may well be lucky enough to have the odd encouter with the local wildlife.

 

Day 3: The Punta Calabre

A bigger tour today lasting around 5-6h and returning back to the hut.  You will cover around 800m elevation again and decent 1000m meters. There are many varied options to choose from along the Grand Paradiso chain.

With some help from the weather you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views and great skiing along range. A nice late Italian lunch will be a welcome reward and well needed fule to keep you on track for the final day tomorrow.

 

Day 4: Grand Vaudala

This is the big day and final push! Around a 7-8h tour and possibly a summit (Grand Vaudala, Granta Parei). We will leave the Benevolo hut early and cover roughly 1200m elevation gain, but the ultimate reward will be lovely long 1600m descent back down to the trail head, where a taxi will be waiting to bring you back to Chamonix for a cold beer, a hot shower and your own bed!  

 

Dates

Introduction to Hut To Hut Ski Touring dates - 2018

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
April 26, 2018 1,050.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Included or not

Included

Guide fee - 4 days

4 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Transport

Return transport from Chamonix to Italy.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

Lift passes

The cost of any lift access that is required during the course for the itinerary described above. 

Not Included

Accommodation in Chamonix

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.

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.

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.

Insurance

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

Equipment

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

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

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

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

Crampons

Crampons

Ski touring skis

Ski touring skis

Ski touring boots

Ski touring boots

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)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Washbag and toiletries

Washbag and toiletries

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