Chamonix Ski touring intro course, France

Dates: December – April

chamonix-skitouring-intro-course

Do you want to really escape the crowds, properly experience the back country and aren’t afraid of a bit of a good workout? Then ski touring is for you!

The Chamonix valley and Mont Blanc Massif are excellent for ski touring. Ski touring is a great way to access nature as it was intended to be seen. The Massif is a vast area of spectacular, glaciated mountains. 

Your skis become a mechanism for hiking in the mountains, giving you access to anywhere you want to go. The wilderness, the views, the fresh tracks and feeling of personal achievement is what makes ski touring a true passion.

During this course we spend lots of time developing the techniques and skills needed to become a good, safe ski tourer. As you progress both your speed and technique will improve.

Intro Skitouring course – 2 days

In our 2 day ski touring course you learn all you need to start to explore the mountains by yourself. 

Are you a good red slope skier? Then join us on one of our ski touring intro courses in the Chamonix Valley.

Earning our own turns is our favourite way to get up close with mountain terrain in the winter months. 

In our 2-day intro course we provide the perfect base from which to launch into the backcountry.

Day 1: Aiguilles rouges discovery

We ski at Brévent or Flegere ski area out of Chamonix. This day trip involves a short skin up to improve your skinning technique and we will work on  your back country skiing technique. 

Day 2: Develop your back country skills

Develop your back country techniques on a short ski tour and practice with your transceiver. Today you will get an answer to all your questions regarding snow safety and route planing.   


What you will learn:
  • Navigate safely in the backcountry
  • Develop a smooth and safe skinning technique  
  • Plan your route
  • Kick turns 
  • Transceiver training
  • Recognising avalanche terrain

Level

Advanced piste skier, good off piste experience, new to ski touring. Ideal course as an introduction


Mountain Skills

This is all about being safe on the mountains. How to read snow conditions, assess avalanche risks, how to navigate, make sense of the weather forecasts and what they mean to skiers. 


Costs for this 2 day course: (1-6 skiers)
  • 2 skiers: 450.-€ / skier
  • 4 skiers: 250.- € / skier
  • 6 skiers: 200.-€ / skier
Included in the costs:
  • 2 guided days with a certified ski instructor 
Not included in the costs:
  • Accommodation, lift pass, food, personal insurances

Accommodation

If you like we can organise for you to stay in a cozy, sporty Ski lodge in the Chamonix valley.


Material needed

Ski touring ski with ski touring binding, ski touring boots, skins for the ski, poles, backpack, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, skiing cloths, thermos bottle, pack lunch for both days (we can prepare a delicious pack lunch for you for 15.00€)

Chamonix ski touring course


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Monte Rosa Ski touring Loop

Dates for private tours: January – middle of April
  • 2 days ski touring in Switzerland and Italy
  • 1 night in an Italian mountain hut
  • 6000 vertical meter ski descent
  • 1300m vertical ascent with skis and skins
  • + 4500m vertical ascent with cable cars

Our Monte Rosa ski touring loop brings you to the most stunning and beautiful mountain world that Switzerland and Italy have to offer. We spend the night in a mountain cabin on the Italian south side of Monte Rosa and ski over 6000 vertical meters in two days. Ideal for fit, expert ski tourers. The Monte Rosa massif, flanked by glaciers, is the highest mountain in the Swiss Alps. Depending on the method of counting, it has ten peaks higher than 4,000 m, and lies partly in Italy.

Skier on the Monte Rosa Skitouring loop in Zermatt

Itinerary Monte Rosa Ski touring Loop
Day 1: Zermatt to Cabanna Gnifetti

We meet in Zermatt (1600m) in the morning to catch the first lifts up to Klein Matterhorn. Zermatt offers much more than only the famous Matterhorn. Thanks to a great network of cable cars it’s possible to access glaciers and ski slopes at almost 4000m. Once up on Klein Matterhorn (3883m), we ski down the slopes to Colle Superiore delle Chime Bianche on the Italian side. After skiing down over 2000 vertical meters on great off piste terrain we reach Val d’ Ayas (1600m). A couple lifts make it easy for us to reach the next Valley, Val di Gressoney. Once there we catch a cable car up to Punta Indren (3275m) and skin up to Cabanna Gnifetti (3625m) for the night (+350m).

Day 2: Refugio Gnifetti – Zermatt

After the breakfast we skin up to Lysjoch (4152m) a pass between Italy and Switzerland (+950m). From there it’s relatively easy to reach one of the many 4000m peaks in the area. Now a superbe descent over the Grenz glacier lies ahead of us. We pass Monte Rosa hut and continue on the Gornergletscher. If conditions are good we can ski trough the Gorner gully all the way down to Zermatt.


Costs: (Max. 6 skiers)
  • 2 Skiers: 864.00€ per Skier
  • 4 Skiers: 599.00€ per Skier
  • 6 Skiers: 519.00€ per Skier

Included in the price: Organisation, 2 days IFMGA mountain guide, lift pass up to Klein Matterhorn, ski pass on the Italian side, night at Gnifetti mountain hut with half board

Not included: Personal insurance (travel, annulation etc.), personal skiing equipment, lunches, beverages at the hut


Map of the Monte Rosa Ski touring loop
Map of the Monte Rosa skitouring loop from Zermatt to Val d'Ayas, Val di Gressoney and Gnifetti hut for the night.
Or check out this interactive map!

Guide:

Federico Arletti, IFMGA mountain guide


Meeting point Zermatt and how to get there

Zermatt in the Swiss Valais Alps can be reached by train. You will meet your guide at the train station in Zermatt.

Find the schedule here.


Who is this for?

This tour is for expert skiers that ski comfortable on a black slope as well as off piste in all diferent snow conditions. If you also have some ski touring experience, than this tour is perfect for you.

Skiers at the Monte Rosa Skitouring Loop
Foto: Felix Ortlieb

Packing list
  • Complete ski touring equipment (Skis, Skins, Boots, Poles)
  • Ski touring clothing for 2 days
  • Harness
  • Backpack
  • Avalanche safety equipment
  • Liner or thin sleeping bag for the hut
  • Thermos bottle
  • Valid Passport
  • € to pay your drinks at the hut and the lunch
  • Sun protection

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Kyrgyzstan ski touring adventure

Best time for this tour is February, please contact us.
What to expect:

Imagine waking up in a traditional Yurt, in the middle of the snow caped Tien Shan mountains.  You are ready for a day of ski touring with your friends…! Your dream can come true.

We would like to introduce you to a fascinating country. Kyrgyzstan, a country of nomads, in the heart of Central Asia. Largely unexplored mountains offer a wonderful playground.

We take you to yurt camps in snowy summer pastures. That offers us immediate access to endless skiing terrain with mountains up to 3,400-3,600m.

Traditional, cosy yurts will be ready for us swell as a traditional Russian Sauna next to a river with refreshing spring water. All yurts are heated by wood burning stoves.

10-day program / 7 skiing days:
Arrival day:

Arrive early in the morning at the airport in  Bishkek. Meet with the group and join the privat transfer to Karakol  (6hrs). We drive along the north shore of Issyk Kul lake, the second biggest alpine lake in the world. 

  • Night near Karakol in a privat home, dinner cooked by the family
Day 2: Yurt arrival

We skin up to the yurt today, do some avalanche training and get installed for the next 5 days.

Day 3 – 7: 5 complete days of skiing

Yurt based skiing days in Jyrgalan and Aksuuvalley

Day 8: Ski and back down to Karakol

We ski in the morning and go back down to Karakol in the evening.

  • The night is spent in Karakol
Day 9: Travel to Bishkek:

You will have some time to explore Karakol in the morning before we travel to Bishkek. Hot spring visit.

  • Last night and farewell dinner in Bishkek
Day 10: Back home

Flight back home


Prices per skier: 
  •  2495€  (minimum 4 skiers)

Included in the price:
Guiding with IFMGA mountain guide Federico Arletti, organization, all accommodations as mentioned in the program (Hotel, guest house Yurts), all meals, all transportations from/to Bishkek

Not included in the price:
Flights, personal insurances, alcoholic drinks, personal equipment


Check out our video:


Kyrgyzstan… a fascinating country in central Asia:

A welcoming landlocked oasis located at the heart of Central Asia. It’s surrounded by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China. Kyrgyzstan is a  in a remote, always fascinating, sometimes volatile, and oftentimes misunderstood part of the world. With an average elevation of 3,000m (9,840ft) and 30% of its landmass buried under permanent ice and snow. The country’s landscape and people are defined by a ruggedness utterly unique to the highlands of Central Asia. The republic is a little smaller in area than the UK minus Northern Ireland.


Home sweet yurt

Yurts are the archetypal shepherd shelters. Circular homes made of multilayered felt stretched around a collapsable wooden frame. The outer felt layer is coated in waterproof sheep fat, the inner most lined with woven grass matting to block the wind. Long woolen strips secure the walls and poles. The interior is richly decorated with textiles, wall coverings, quilts, cushions, and ornately worked chests. Floors are lined with thicket felt and covered with bright carpets and sometimes yak skin. Look up: the central wheel-like tuneup that supports the roof is none other than the design depicted in the middle of Kyrgyzstan’s national flag.


Kyrgyz People

Native Kyrgyz make up around 70% of the country’s population. The remaining percentage made up mostly of Uzbeks and Russians. Kyrgyzstan gained its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Many Kyrgyz today follow the nomadic traditions of their ancestors, erecting hand-crafted yurts in the high mountain pastures above their villages. There they graze their animals and live for the summer.

The central Tien Shan mountains

This region offers many superlatives of Central Asia. The highest mountains, the coldest temperatures, the longest glaciers and the strangest natural phenomena. It’s a region of ice, snow and unexplored peaks. The world’s fourth longest glacier and an amazing disappearing lake can be found here. You will be discovering the valleys close to Karakol where the temperatures are more pleasant. The Chinese were the first to explore this foreboding mountain zone, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that European explorers penetrated the region. The snow that falls on this former Soviet state is particularly light and fluffy. This, combined with the country’s mountainous geography, makes it something of a paradise for powder-loving backcountry skiers.


Food

All food is prepared by local chefs. Our breakfast menu is Western-inspired, featuring omelets, frittatas, burritos, pancakes and french toast, and always the option of muesli or porridge. The dinner menu highlights traditional Kyrgyz cuisine.


Getting to Kyrgyzstan by airplane

Bishkek’s Manas airport is the main hub with relatively inexpensive international connections on Turkish and Pegasus (via Istanbul), Flydubai (via Dubai), Ukrainian International (via Kiev) and Aeroflot (via Moscow).


Visa

Around 60 nationalities can stay for 60 days or longer without a visa. Citizens of most major Western and former Soviet countries are included in those.


Language

Kyrgyz is a Turkish language that has the usual characteristics of that language group. Most notably vowel harmony, which is strictly adhered to. As part of the Kyrgyz-Altay group of Turkic languages, it is most closely related to the Altai language and fairly similar to Kazakh. Russian is also an official language and Uzbek is widely spoken in the south.


Book Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt

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