Freeride : France-Italy-Switzerland

Treat yourself to the best run of all! The three bordering countries of Mont Blanc offers you the most beautiful off-road paths of North-Alpes mountains. This trip has been made for you to enjoy steep slopes and breathtaking views. Our guides will take you skiing on Chamonix, Courmayeur, Verbier and Zermatt slopes for five days of pleasure, out of pisted areas.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Warming up next to the Tour

    Warming up next to the Tour We meet in front of the Aiguille du Midi cable car where guides will check your equipment and brief you on following days program. Then, we will leave towards the ski area of the Tour and the Feston des Posettes, and have fun on wild off-road slopes, far from chairlifts.

  • Day 2 From France to Italy

    From France to Italy The Aiguille du midi cable car shoots us up in 20 min to the kingdom of high-altitude mountaineering (3777m). At the top, this is where you press the pause button and open your eyes to contemplate the beauty of what lies ahead. We start our trip up there, on a path at the beginning of the Vallée Blanche until the giant glacier to go back up to the oriental Toule pass and arrive in Italy. Then, we ski on the Toule glacier right down to Courmayeur. The descent on the South Face is great fun, never too extreme and with many different itineraries, allowing each and every skier to find fresh tracks in the powder!

  • Day 3 Let's enjoy skiing on the Veny valley

    Let's enjoy skiing on the Veny valley After a nice breakfast, your energy for the day should be at its peak!
    We take a chairlift and escape from the tourists to slide on unknown slopes, between pastures and Mélèzes forests, heaps of fun! We reach the Youla pass and the Arp pass to ski on the Arp Dolonne off-road and join Courmayeur once more.

  • Day 4 Verbier, pure freeride

    Verbier, pure freeride Verbier is not a usual ski station, it is a freeride station! We have no choice but to stop there and enjoy this fantastic secured space, and also explore more and ski on the Bec de Rosses, famous step of the Freeride World Tour. We enjoy the freeride marked trails, learn more about snow conditions and make some research exercises with avalanche transceivers.

  • Day 5 The hugeness of Zermatt

    The hugeness of Zermatt Zermatt has also integrated freeride culture to its ski area. Its beautiful snow beds are easily accessible by chairlifts and will allow us a succession of runs through amusing forest paths to finish our trip in a perfect way!

Important info : The program can be modified by your guide due to weather conditions or participants physical conditions. For safety reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation if your technical or physical levels are lower than those required. The interruption will not give you any right of refund or payment of compensation. 

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

835€

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

  • The technical trip organisation
  • Cable cars
  • High mountain guide
  • Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver (without battery)
  • Collective material (carried by your guide)
  • Lunch picnics
  • Harness
  • Free access to : valley buses, Richard Bozon centre (swimming pool, sauna, steam room), ice-skating rinks of Chamonix, Argentière and Les Houches (free skate rental), museums (Alpin museum and Chamonix Tairraz space, mountain museum in Les Houches), one descent of sledge in the Planards (entrance of Chamonix) and price reduction for cinema in Chamonix (3,5 euros)

Not included

  • Individual equipment : helmet, ski, shoes, poles
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Insurance / assistance : cancellation, research and help fees by helicopter, hospitalisation,..
  • Booking fees (18€ per person)
  • Accommodation
  • Avalanche transceiver battery (LR03 AAA)
  • Everything not included in « included »

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Subscription


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.

Invoice procedure


Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy


If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
  • Less than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the date of the cancellation or contract change, the following fees will be added to the charges above :
  • Airline fixed costs : plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plane changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs : you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees : Insurance fees will not be refunded if you subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation

If you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Altaï Alpes and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Altaï Alpes has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer


In case of transfer of the contract by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We can offer you three formulas :
  • Repatriation insurance : 2% of your trip's price, includes mountain search and rescue fees, disease or injury assistance during your trip.
  • Cancellation insurance : 3% of the price of your trip, includes all accidents or diseases, dismissal, transfer, and any events occurring before your departure and preventing you from achieving the trip.
  • Multi-risk insurance : 4% of the price of your trip, includes the same features as the cancellation insurance, as well as search and rescue fees, hospitalisation, disease assistance, and medical fees refund during your trip.

If you are not willing to subscribe to any of our insurances, you must send us the insurance discharge and your travel subscription confirmation. If you chose any other insurance and assistance contract, please check that the search and rescue cover is suitable : cover sector, fees, risk covered. For your information, a minimal fee of 15 000€ is recommended for an appropriate search and rescue cover. Credit cards offer only a few or no guarantee at all.

Practical info

Staff

The trip is supervised by a mountain guide who has been chosen for his field experience, his specific knowledge of one geographical area and the culture attached, and his passion of high mountain.

Food

Meals

  • Lunch : home made picnics
  • Diners in refuges
  • Bring some snacks that you like for quick bites during the day (cereal bars, chocolate, dried fruits...)

Drinks

  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price : water, tea, coffee, beer, coke...
  • Water is not free in the refuges, and it is quite expensive (around 5 to 8 euros for one bottle) so think about bringing water-purification tablets (Micropur-type) in case you don’t want to buy water there. Warning! Water is frozen sometimes during winter so you may have no choice but to buy some bottles.

Transportation

During this trip, transport will mainly be on foot and skis, but there will be short journeys by car.  You will be carrying all your belongings daily : please do your best not to carry too much weight (in a 40L bag). Your guide will check your belongings before departure. Keep some space for water and picnic.

Budget & exchange

France and Italy are in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). It is better to change money before departure, however euros are widely accepted in Switzerland. 

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in France, Italy or Switzerland. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

Technical equipment and rental of individual security material (Avalanche transceiver without battery, shovel and probe) if you need (please inform us when booking).

Vital equipment

Head

  • Windstopper bonnet
  • Hat or cap
  • Scarf
  • Solar cream (high protection, face and lips)
  • Glacier sunglasses (index 4 category) + ski googles 

Upper body

  • Technic breathable undershirt with long sleeves (Carline-type), no cotton (it is not drying quickly)
  • 1 technic breathable undershirt
  • 1 thick polar coat
  • 1 warm massive coat
  • 1 windproof and waterproof coat (Goretex-type)
  • 1 pair of windproof and waterproof mittens (polar or wool)
  • 1 pair of windproof gloves (polar or wool)
  • 1 pair of silk under gloves 

Down body

  • 1 windproof and waterproof ski pants (Goretex-type)
  • 2 pair of socks (1 thin and one thick) 

Other

  • One toilet bag + one night outfit
  • One evening outfit
  • Biafine (cream for sunburns)
  • Toilet paper + lighter
  • 1 trash bag to protect your belongings if rain
  • One waterproof sleeve where you will put your ID, phone, money, insurance and assistance contract, and emergency numbers
  • Warm hands and feet

Material

 Rented material

We can advise you on material rental shops in Chamonix :
  • Freeride skis, shoes, poles, helmet and backpack
  • Technical clothes 

Technic material

  • One pair of skis
  • One pair of ski shoes
  • Telescopic shoes
  • Ski helmet
  • Ice anchor
  • Swivel snap hook rope
  • Harness 

Other

  • Life blanket
  • Clasp knife
  • Thermos bottle

Luggage

You will be carrying all your belongings in a 35/40L bag in the mountain. One bag containing replacement clothes will remain in the hotel.

Medicine

Your Stages Expéditions guide will carry a collective first aid kit. However, it is important that you bring your own individual pharmacy kit:
  • Analgesic (avoid aspirin)
  • Anti-inflammatory (pills and cream)
  • Bandages and second skin
  • Alastoplast (excellent to prevent blisters)
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50)
  • Biafine cream (for sunburns)
  • Light sleeping pills (if you need some) and/or Quies earplugs
  • Your own medicine...  
Non-limited list.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit France, Italy or Switzerland.
  • Over 90 days visit : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit France, Italy or Switzerland over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : https://france-visas.gouv.fr/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to France, Italy or Switzerland. 

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

Before your departure, make sure you are in good physical conditions in accordance with the activities prospected. The regular practice of an endurance sport is compulsory for mountain activities. It could be jogging, cycling, swimming, fitness walking. If you are not trained at all, it will be hard to consider mountain activities without taking the risk of facing too important physical complications that would penalize you and your group. Practicing an endurance sport is compulsory to enjoy the tour as much as possible. Three months before departure, plan to do one to three sport sessions a week of at least one hour and trekking of at least 6 hours with an ascent of 350 meter per hour. The best training for trekking remains mountain walking. Knees problems remain the main issue during that kind of trekking: please talk to your doctor about it before departure. Please inform the agency of any medical indications such as food allergies, diabetes, recent and old cardiovascular events, asthma...

Weather

The weather in the Alps varies up and down the mountain chain. It is a mountainous region between 800 and 4000 meters, so altitude plays a big part in the local weather.
As you climb higher into the mountains it gets 1 degree cooler every 100 meters. It is the case all year around but other factors such as temperature inversions and winds influence the climate.  The sun plays a very important role too. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, some lower or north facing valleys are blocked from the sun by mountains for a large part of the day and are colder.  

Spring can be a bit unpredictable : rain, sometimes even some snow interspersed with hot sunny days. 
It can be quite hot in summer: around 20 to 30 degrees, but the fresh mountain air cools you down during your hike. 
In autumn, temperatures start to cool down, but it is still perfect conditions for a walking holiday.  
During winter time, the higher you get, the more snow you will see. Snow usually starts to fall in November and stays until April. 

Keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable. Therefore, the trip organization can me modified for your safety.

Electricity

There will be electricity in most places you will stay. If you are scared to run low on battery, we advise to bring an external battery charger.  

In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time : they have 2 prongs and a receptacle. If you need an adapter, please purchase if before departure.

The electrical current in Switzerland is 230V, 50Hz. Swiss sockets are recessed, three-holed, hexagonally shaped and incompatible with many plugs from abroad. They usually, however, take the standard European two-pronged plug.

Electricity in Italy conforms to the European standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz. Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two or three round pins (the latter grounded, the former not).

Local time

France, Italy and Switzerland are in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in France is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of France, Italy and Switzerland by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavours which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical advisor
  • Mountain and ski touring lover. She will advise you on Mont Blanc tours, trekking, hiking and multi-activities.
Request a quote
Region
France Italy Switzerland
Activity
Freeride in the Alps Ski Winter
Duration
5 days
Code
SFFIS-LIB
Price
From €835

Strengths

  • Discovering of Mont Blanc massif from all angles
  • 5 days of unique and wild ski off-road and far from cable cars
  • Descent of one Vallée Blanche variant and hiking of the Aiguille du Midi
  • Diversity of views on the North Alpes
  • Supervision and learning on avalanche rescue missions by a high-mountain guide
  • Small groups : max 6 persons
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