Learn the skills, experience the thrills

Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend

Ski touring in the European Alps is a breathtaking and exhilarating experience and must-do for any passionate skier. To maximise your experience we have put together the Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend.

The perfect precursor to one of Europe's classic ski-touring itineraries, this weekend is designed as a great short getaway in itself or to sharpen skills and technique before you head deep into the backcountry.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Low ?
Duration 2 days
Elevation 2,285M / 7,497FT
Large view

Classic Chamonix touring - Vallée Blanche - Paolo Pieroni

Large view

Escape the crowds and revel in the big mountain scenery on Vallée Blanche - Paolo Pieroni

Large view

Choose from a range of ski touring destinations throughout the Chamonix region - Paolo Pieroni

Large view

Taking in fresh tracks in the Chamonix backcountry - Paolo Pieroni

From January to April
Departs from Chamonix, France
RATIOS 2 DAYS
1:1 €1,650 EUR
1:2 €1,040 EUR
1:4 €800 EUR
  • Overview

    • Sharpen your skills on skis over a jam-packed two days
    • Learn or refresh backcountry techniques, including avalanche awareness, skinning and safe glacier travel
    • Ideal warm-up for a classic multi-day ski tour such as the Haute Route or short break in itself


    With world-class terrain accessible as a day trip from town, Chamonix is the perfect host for a weekend of ski touring. The Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend is specifically designed for those who wish to learn or refresh skills before heading out on a classic multi-day ski tour; or for those time bound and looking for a short break away in the mountains. If you feel your experience is light or you've been unclipped from your bindings for a season or two, our guides will set you up with the c
    ompetencies required to safely and successfully negotiate the backcountry.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to their trips. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition and trip to offer our ski tourers the best possible experience.

    We employ strong and specialised IFMGA Ski Guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry.

    Many of our expedition members and climbers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make expeditions and guided ski tours safe and successful.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Ski tour guide
    • Group technical equipment
    • Lift passes as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Hotel accommodation twin share B&B as per the scheduled itinerary
    • Local ground transport as per the scheduled itinerary


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Any costs that are additional to the programme that come about due to changes to the programme caused by weather or organisational changes (any changes will generally be due to factors outside our control such as weather, lift failure, etc. and actioned only after you have been consulted by your guide)
    • Personal ski/mountaineering clothing and equipment as per lists supplied
    • Evening meals during hotel nights
    • Lunches
    • Extra additional meals or snacks/drinks purchased from hotels
    • Insurance
    • Transport to and from trip departure location (although we can arrange it for you)
    • Gratuity

    Account Information

    For our European trips, prices are in Euros and must be settled in Euros. All prices are subject to change.

    Following is our EURO bank account information. All deposits and final payments for European trips can be sent by telegraphic transfer to this account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    42 Willis Street
    Spark Central
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22
    Beneficiary’s Account Number: 1000-594771-0002
    Beneficiary’s Account Name: Adventure Consultants Limited
    Account Type: EURO

    Beneficiary’s Address:
    20 Brownston St, Wanaka, New Zealand.

    Please request that all charges are for the remitter’s account.

    Please contact us if you have any problems sending moneys to this account.

    We can accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% credit card transaction fee.

    Please note that in order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance. This especially applies to the high season period (mid-July to end of August).

    Deposit

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Booking Form and a deposit of EUR500.

    Balance Payment

    Full payment is due 60 days prior to the start date for your trip. We will send you receipts for all payments.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date. A skier may then cancel their participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 60 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.


    We recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    Chamonix Ski WeekendThe Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend Trip Notes

    Team Membership

    The number of guides is determined by the size of the group, the ratio of guides to climbers is 1:1 up to 1:6 depending on the skill level of the group.

    Our Guides

    You will find the Adventure Consultants Ski Guides companionable and strong guides with considerable power and willingness to see you enjoy your ski touring experience.

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to their trips. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition and trip to offer our ski tourers the best possible experience.

    We employ strong and specialised leaders/mountain guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams with the best back-up and support available.

    Many of our climbers, ski tourers and trekkers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make our trips safe, enjoyable and successful.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Hayley Furze Profile April 17Hayley Furze, Client Liaison

    Hayley joins the AC team with a wealth of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry along with a love of travel. She works as Client Liaison on a number of our European and international ascents, treks and expeditions.

     

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

    Level of Experience Required

    To ski tour in the European Alps you will need to be able to link parallel turns in all types of snow conditions and be physically fit. However, previous ski touring experience is not a pre-requisite for this trip.

    Please note that skiing and climbing even at moderate altitudes in Europe has a definite physical effect on people. Most climbers and skiers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Ski touring days are physically demanding and can entail a 1,000m/3,300ft ascent at altitude.

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your skiing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your trip.

    History

    The European Alps are full of climbing and skiing history. They are the birthplace of mountaineering and the rich heritage adds to the superb facilities (catered huts and lift systems) not seen elsewhere.

    Food

    You will be required to pay for your lunches and evening meals whilst on the trip. Any additional food, beverages or meals you purchase that are not mentioned in the inclusions will be at your own expense. In addition to lunches, it is a good idea to bring a small selection of your favourite snack food and hydration drinks with you to ensure you are fuelled by your preferred brands. Actual amounts depend on your consumption but two snacks per day would seem reasonable.

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.

    Accommodation

    Accommodation is provided on a twin share basis. The 2-3 star hotel B&Bs we utilise are clean and comfortable and include breakfast. We can arrange a single room or upgrade to a higher quality hotel if you prefer. Please enquire about options and costs at the time of booking.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Skiing in the European Alps requires high quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions that may be encountered. You will be sent a clothing and equipment checklist upon confirmation of your booking. A selection of rental equipment is available in Chamonix should you need to hire any equipment.

  • Itinerary

    This trip option will take in two days of ski touring around Chamonix. There are many options available and a selection of our favourite ski touring areas is listed in our Daily Options tab. Your guide will suggest an itinerary based on your experience, goals and current snow conditions in the area. As an example, a weekend itinerary could look like this:

    Day  
    0 Arrive into Chamonix and overnight at hotel.
    1 L’Aiguillette des Houches (2,285m/7,496ft) – From the village of Le Coupeau, it is a gentle ascent through the forests that takes us up past Chalet de Chailloux. Now we are well above the tree line and the open slopes take us up to one of the best viewpoints of the entire Chamonix valley for some memorable runs. Return to Chamonix, overnight hotel.
    2 Vallée Blanche and Col d’Entrèves – Any ski trip to Chamonix wouldn’t be complete without a descent of the Vallée Blanche. From the Aiguille du Midi, we ski down the classic Vallée Blanche to Pointe Adolphe Rey before putting our skins on and climbing for 2 hours up to the Col d’Entrèves on the Italian border. Now it is time for our final run down the majestic Vallée Blanche, before heading back to Chamonix for a celebratory meal and depart for home, or continue on to an Adventure Consultants ski tour.

    Brévent-Flégère

    The Brévent-Flégère pistes face south. The steep couloirs for which the Brévent is known as an ideal introduction to steep skiing. The couloirs range from the serious ENSA couloir which has a very steep and often corniced entry to the delightful Col de la Glière, which is reached by a short hike (use skins or carry the skis) and takes you away from the crowds for awhile.

    Flégère Lift System

    The Flégère lift system has a wealth of fine ski tours which will take most of the day to complete; some are classic introductions to ski touring such as the Crochue-Bérard traverse (one hour to the top of the 40° Crochue couloir, a scenic west-facing traverse, a 30 minute skin to the Col de Bérard and then the reward - north facing powder and a picturesque valley). Others are more serious, such as the superb Glacier du Mort, the climb to the top of which usually entails the use of a rope and ice axe.

    Tour-Vallorcine Lift System

    Moving further up the valley, the Tour-Vallorcine lift system has both North and South facing pistes, and the off-piste skiing here can be some of the best in the valley. There are the Vormaine gullies, mildly steep south-facing skiing, the north and south sides of the Posettes which are both thoroughly excellent outings with a 900m of descent. There is the playground area of Les Jeurs, which will pay dividends if you bring skins; a 20-minute skin back to lift gives access to terrain ordinary skiers cannot reach or at least, cannot get back from! Finally, there are the descents to the Swiss village of Trient, the fabulous and easy Nant Noir, a long scenic valley and the steep couloirs (40°, 50° and 35° depending on the route) on the north east side of the Pointe du Van. Serious stuff, but you have the pleasure of skiing into one of more popular ice climbing valleys in the region.

    North facing Grands Montets for many people IS Chamonix. Huge wide pistes, skiing from 3,200m down to 1,200m, endless off-piste variations returning to the lift system. Because of the altitude and aspect, the snow remains in condition here until late spring. There is good glacier skiing on the east of the Argentière Glacier, steeper skiing on the north side and to the west side of the top station are the brilliant Pas de Chèvre variations, which lead down to the Montenvers Cog Railway; some of the great classics of off-piste. The one downside of Grands Montets is that because it is so good there, it attracts a lot of good skiers and the competition for fresh powder is fierce.

    Grands Montets is also the starting point for the Chamonix - Zermatt Haute Route as well as some classic short ski tours such as Col du Passon and the Three Cols, both of which finish down the Tour Glacier.

    Aiguille du Midi

    If you do nothing else in Chamonix, you really should ski from here at least once. There are no pistes here and from 3,800m, you are in mountain terrain. There is an embarrassing wealth of off-piste descents from the two lift stations. The absolute classic is the Vallée Blanche. When the snow reaches down to Chamonix, the descent is 2,800m over 22km. The variations on the classic route follow steeper slopes and alternative aspects exploiting the northern aspects for powder and southern slopes for spring snow. The Col de Plan, Envers, Vrai, Rognon and Noir variations all hold their special attractions; powder filled corners where you may find yourself alone surrounded by ice and snow-capped granite spires.

    The Midi also is home to some of the very wild sides of skiing, but that is another story and you will find out about it when you are here. The mid-station on the Midi lift system, le Plan de l'Aiguille is the starting point for two or three great winter outings, and these need snow down to Chamonix. The Combe des Glaciers has a marvellous shallow couloir that is long and perfectly angled leading to a hidden entry to the forest above Chamonix.

    Helbronner Lift System

    On the other side of Mont Blanc (just 20 minutes from Chamonix) is the Helbronner lift system, which serves the Vallée Blanche as well as the south-facing slopes leading to the Italian side. Like the Midi, there are only off-piste runs from here. A great day can be had by skiing the Toula Glacier in the morning and finishing down the Vallée Blanche to Chamonix. And of course, skiing off the Mont Blanc Massif, there are a lot of exciting-going-on-wild steep couloirs and the classic on this side is probably the Marbrée, which has a steep entry (45° to 50°) followed by 200m of fine open slopes at 40°, then cruising, if you are lucky with the conditions, back at the lift some 2,000m lower. All of this set in the hugely atmospheric cirque under the Dent du Géant.

    Courmayeur

    Ten minutes further down the Aosta Valley are the lifts of Courmayeur, which have a network of pistes with off-piste variants, plus some quite long and scenic excursions into adjacent valleys. The latter are often used as the back half of a heli-skiing day.

    Les Contamines

    About 45 minutes from Chamonix and on the west side of Mont Blanc is the Les Contamines lift system. Here, like Courmayeur, are great opportunities for easier off-piste runs, a place to experiment and learn on the big powder days. The South West Face of the Aiguille Croche is a classic example; 800m of open slopes with a short section of 35°. In spring this is perfect for the old lags and beginners alike.

    Les Contamines also has quite a few classic one-day ski tours. As with all the descents around Mont Blanc, there is a certain amount of overlap between skiing off the piste and full on ski touring. A lot of the off-piste require a short walk, booting it up to a better col or hill, sometimes it is worth attaching skins for half an hour to climb up. For this you will be using ski touring bindings on your skis.

    At the other end of the spectrum are the multi-day tours and ski mountaineering. Different but related activities, all of which can be experienced at the highest level in the Mont Blanc Massif.

  • Add Ons

    Chamonix is located in the heart of the Alps and is central to some of the best ski touring that Europe has to offer. There is a huge variety of properties on offer in Chamonix and after many years of operating in the Alps we have uncovered some of the area's finest. At Adventure Consultants we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing accommodation providers to remain aligned with our high standards.

    Contact us if you would like to upgrade your hotel before or after your European Alps trip, as there are several superb properties in the area. We profile our favourite selection below:

    HOTEL MONT BLANC

    Why we recommend this property

    Originally built in 1849, this fine establishment is located in the heart of Chamonix. Surrounded by private gardens, the hotel was recently renovated to be reminiscent of an elegant 19th-century palace. Each room offers a stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains and has been interior-designed by renowned French designer Sybille de Margerie, inspired by nature and the environment. The 14-metre outdoor heated swimming pool can be used year round and offers spectacular views of nearby Mont Blanc. The hotel's in-house restaurant, 'La Mafatan', produces cuisine that will take you on a culinary journey.

    Hotel Mont Blanc Room 600x400Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Winter 600 x 400Hotel Mont Blanc Library 600x400 1Hotel Mont Blanc Exterior Summer 600x400

    HOTEL LE MORGANE

    Why we recommend this property

    This luxury boutique hotel is located right in the centre of Chamonix and offers guests top-quality service. Chef Daniele Raimondi produces some of Chamonix's finest cuisine at 'Le Bistrot' restaurant. Le Morgane offers a variety of rooms from singles to deluxe and suites, each featuring balconies with views of Mont Blanc or Le Brévent. Hotel facilities include a small lounge, library, relaxation pool and spa, a ski storage room and free WiFi. Rental of bicycles and electric bikes, as well as a valet car service is available.

    Le Morgane Terrace resized 600x400Le Morgane Junior Suite resized 600x400Le Morgane Exterior night resized 600x400Le Morgane Pool and Spa Resized 600x400

    euro ice jon bracey 2Looking to make the most of the winter break in the Alps? Have a go at ice climbing on our Cogne Ice Climbing Weekend, or push it out to a full week of adrenaline and exploration on our Chamonix-Cogne Ice Climbing Week, taking in some of Europe's best and most classic ice climbing routes. Suitable for both beginner's and more experienced climbers, contact us to learn more.

    Your family or friends may wish to join you on your holiday but may not like the idea of ski touring or climbing a mountain. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so contact us and we will help to organise the perfect programme.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Finding the right travel and rescue insurance for your mountaineering adventure can be tricky! Rest assured when you book with the expedition specialists here at Adventure Consultants we'll help by sending through advice on what you'll need, including:

    • Travel insurance including trip interruption and cancellation cover
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance


    For further information check out our Travel and Rescue Insurance page or contact us.

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AC are very professional yet still friendly and helpful.
Backcountry Ski Course 2017

Will Power
Australia
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Adventure Consultants are simply fantastic! 100% professional and supportive from start to finish, I always felt confident that I would learn and grow without being pushed too far. I cannot recommend you all highly enough team!
Gran Paradiso Course & Ascent, 2017

Brydie Ockwell
New Zealand
suze euro skiing

Our guide was excellent – really experienced, professional at all times and someone we could put our trust in to make good decisions. To top it off, our guide was also good company and fun! I would definitely recommend AC again – professional, experienced and great trips.
Europe Haute Route Ski Tour, 2017

Helen Dransfield
Australia