A great introduction to ski touring, covering the essential techniques of ski touring for beginners, as well as exploring some of the great backcountry ski tours in Chamonix.

Avalanche rescue skills
Companion avalanche rescue training
Overnight ski tour
Stay for a night on a mountain hut and enjoy the winter alpine scenery & sunset.
Preparation for hut to hut trips
This is an excellent preparation course if you wish to join one of our hut to hut trips.

SKI TOURING COURSE CHAMONIX INTRODUCTION

Discover classic ski tours in Chamonix on our 5 day course

From 895.00€

The price is per person for groups of 3  minimum.

View Dates
   

Beginners tech level

 

5 days course

 

1 night on a mountain hut

 

Guiding ratio 1:6

 

Group of 6 maximum

 

Available January - April

Ski touring is the key to discovering all the secrets of the Mont Blanc Massif. With the right equipment and skills, no peak, hidden valley or remote mountain pass is out of reach!

Our 5 day course will provide a thorough grounding in the skills needed for ski touring in a high mountain environment. It is ideal preparation for multi-day ski tours such as the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt.

You will learn essential ski touring techniques such as how to fix skins and couteaux (crampons for skis), how to travel uphill and how to perform kick turns for traversing on steeper terrain.

We will stay one night in a mountain hut – no ski touring experience is complete without a pre-dawn start high in the mountains, watching the sun rise over the peaks.

The agenda will also cover the complementary mountain craft skills you will need when ski touring in the Alps, such as avalanche awareness and crevasse rescue.

On this course you will experience some of the most famous Chamonix classic ski tours such as Col du Tour Noir, Crochues Berard, Col du Passon or Col du Belvedere. The nature reserve of the Aiguilles Rouges is renowned for its excellent ski touring terrain and you've a good chance of encountering typical Alpine wildlife such as bouquetin (ibex) or the famous but timid chamois.

There is plenty of accessible ski touring terrain from the main Chamonix ski areas of Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour and Les Grands Montets - meaning that you can be out in the backcountry and away from the crowds in no time.

Of course, we will also be exploring the legendary off-piste terrain of the Aiguille du Midi, crossing over to Pointe Helbronner in Italy before skiing the Vallee Blanche back down to Chamonix. An unforgettable adventure that will set you on the path of many more!

Dates

Ski Touring Course Chamonix Introduction dates - 2019

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
January 14, 2019
895.00€
January 21, 2019
G
895.00€
January 28, 2019
G
895.00€
February 04, 2019
895.00€
February 11, 2019
2
895.00€
February 18, 2019
895.00€
February 25, 2019
895.00€
March 04, 2019
895.00€
March 11, 2019
895.00€
March 18, 2019
G
895.00€
March 25, 2019
895.00€
April 01, 2019
895.00€
April 08, 2019
2
895.00€
April 17, 2019
895.00€
April 21, 2019
895.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Itinerary

Welcome Meeting in Chamonix

You will meet with your group and mountain guide at the Chamonix Experience office on Sunday evening for a chat and to discuss plans for the upcoming week. At this point we can check that you have everything you need and answer any questions you might have. This is simply an example of a typical ski touring course - your week will very likely differ from what is listed below depending on weather and snow conditions. Your mountain guide will plan your course to give you the best possible experience of ski touring in Chamonix.

Day 1 - Les Grands Montets

You will start the day with a couple of warm-up runs to check out everyone’s skiing ability and run through the basics of mountain saftey and avalanche awaress at the famous ski area of Les Grands Montets. From the top of the lift station you will have your first introduction to skiing on glaciated terrain. Your mountain guide will assess the ability of everyone in the group and teach you all the correct techniques for using the ski touring equipment. A possible Grands Montets ski touring route is to put your skins on at the Argentière glacier and ski tour up the Glacier des Améthystes to the Col du Tour Noir.

Day 2 - Vallee Blanche Ski Tour

An exploration of the Chamonix Valley has to include a visit to the Aiguille du Midi and a ski tour of some of the most famous off-piste terrain in the world. You will cross the Vallée Blanche into Italy to reach Pointe Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Here your mountain guide will teach you some more glacier travel techniques before the fantastic off-piste descent down the Vallée Blanche back to Chamonix.

Day 3 - Aiguilles Rouges Ski Tour

Today you will discover one of Europe's best ski touring areas, the Aiguilles Rouges. It offers so many ski touring possibilities, allowing your mountain guide to choose an excellent itinerary taking the snow conditions and ability of the group into account. Easily accessible from Flegere ski area, you will be in the Chamonix backcountry in no time. If this is your first experience of ski touring then you've already ticked off one of the dream routes by ski touring in the Aiguilles Rouges!

Day 4 - Overnight Ski Tour

This is where ski touring really comes into its own - skinning up to a remote refuge and spending the night in the mountains, then getting up bright and early the next day to ski off-piste before the rest of the world wakes up. Your mountain guide will choose the best mountain hut in Chamonix or nearby based on the weather, the snow conditions and the ability of the group. There may be a short drive to the start of the ski tour, depending on which route we take.

Day 5 - Multiday Ski Tour

After waking up to breakfast in a mountain refuge, today brings an early start and a full day's ski touring - an excellent introduction to multi-day ski touring. By this point you should be feeling confident both in your ski touring skills and your mountain experience. This last day will be a fantastic adventure far from the crowds found in lift-served areas. The course ends with a debriefing in the Chamonix Experience office on Friday evening.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn hot to use the ski touring equipment
  • Learn the essential ski touring techniques (efficient skinning techniques, kick turns) Learn hot to use crampons and ice axe to climb steep snow slopes and couloirs.
  • Avalanche search and rescue techniques
  • Skiing the best snow in the valley!
  • 2 day ski trip with overnight on a mountain hut. 

Level Requirements

You do not need any previous ski touring experience to join this programme but you should be a competent off-piste skier (be able to ski comfortably in all snow conditions on slopes of up to 35 degrees). You should also have a good level of fitness and be prepared to undertake climbs of 2-4 hours on skis.

If you are not sure if this course is for you, please contact us on info@chamex.com and we will be happy to help.

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

Sun hat

Sun hat

Technical gear

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

Harness

Harness

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski touring skis

Ski touring skis

Ski touring boots

Ski touring boots

Ski poles

Ski poles

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

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

Crampons

Crampons

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

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag liner

Included or not

Included

Guiding & Tuition

5 days of mountain guiding and ski tuition by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Mountain hut

1 night in a mountain hut with breakfast and dinner included.

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.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

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 Aiguillle 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.

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.

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.

Practical Information

Getting to Chamonix

Chamonix is one of the easiest alpine resorts to get to, being just over an hour's drive from Geneva international airport. Lyon, Turin and Milan airports are also all within a few hours drive. The best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix is by transfer bus, either shared with other passengers or private. You will be met in the arrivals lounge by your driver and dropped at your accommodation in Chamonix; there is no extra charge for your luggage or equipment. We work only with the most reliable transfer companies in the valley and are happy to organise your journey for you, please contact us for prices and booking.

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 earplugs for the nights – but make sure that you wake up on time!
  7. Top Tip: clearly name or place a small amount of coloured tape on your boots, axe, crampons, harness and skins to help you identify them amongst all the others

Our Guides

All Chamex mountain guides are fully qualified, highly experienced and passionate about what they do. Everyone who works as part of the Chamex team has been thoroughly vetting and is trusted by us to give our clients the best experience possible - you are in safe hands! If you would like to know more then you can meet the Chamex team here.

Additional Services

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 which is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

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.

Chamonix accommodation

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

Mountain rescue insurance

We don’t include the mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses. A 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.

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