Discovering ski-touring in Chamonix

Discovering ski touring around the Mont Blanc with Chamonix as a base camp. What can be more delightful than a 100% pleasure ski week within the mountains?  

This exciting 5-day backcountry skiing trip has been designed to help you discover ski-touring whilst enjoying the magnificent scenery of the Mont Blanc massif in the sunshine, even in winter. It’s a must for adventurous skiers! Located in the Haute-Savoie department in France and standing in the shadow of the majestic Mont Blanc, Chamonix is a renowned village for skiing and mountaineering.  

Your specialized guide will teach you how to ski safely, taking you to small hidden paths in the forest, with untouched glistening powder snow. Every day, you will admire a different landscape: valleys, ridges and slopes always accessible, far from crowded ski resorts (except for the first day which is a test day). Your week will be full of entertainment, pleasure and based on the preservation of mountain environment. You will ski descents of your life and hike steady paths on different peaks around the Mont Blanc: Aravis, Switzerland, Italy... varying pleasures and panoramic views. The program will be organized according to everyone's wishes, regarding the group’s spirit and level, its progression during effort, weather and snow conditions. The guide will adapt the paths and hiking program if necessary; he will always seek to make your stay as comfortable as possible. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Warm-up and level ckecking race on the Tête de Balme

    Warm-up and level ckecking race on the Tête de Balme Your mountain expert guide welcomes you in Chamonix in the morning and check your technical equipment (rental is possible if necessary). We warm-up on easy slopes and have a fun level checking race. We learn more about specific technics of ski-touring and research exercises (with an avalanche transceiver).

    After all of that theory learning, we leave Chamonix by car towards the village of Le Tour at the end of the valley. Our tour begins after taking the cable car up to Charamillon. We start climbing on steep slopes to reach the first peak: Tête de Balme at 2321m. During the descent, we will test our freeride abilities (off-piste). Yet we will remain close to the ski area and its ski trails where we can always return if necessary.

    Ascent : 500m / Descent : 870m / Max Altitude: 2371m / Accommodation: cottage / Physicial activity time: 4 to 6 hours

  • Day 2 Aiguilles Rouges - Aiguilles Crochues (2837m)

    Aiguilles Rouges - Aiguilles Crochues (2837m) This morning, we leave our cottage to discover beautiful slopes, generally powdered in the area of the Aiguilles Rouges, facing the great peaks and glaciers of the Mont Blanc. We take the cable car of La Flégère and the Index chairlift to start our ascent towards the Aiguilles des Crochues (2837m). Today is a tough one, but you will enjoy having a nice and relaxed evening in a typical and comfortable mountain hut.

    Ascent : 600m / Drop : 1000m / Max Altitude: 2837m / Accommodation: cottage / Physical activity time: 5 to 6 hours

  • Day 3 Croisse Baulet, discovering the Aravis massif enjoying a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc

    Croisse Baulet, discovering  the Aravis massif enjoying a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc After a 45 minutes transfer in the morning, we start hiking above the village of Megève. Your guide will take you in remote areas and slopes, crossing lush forests and alpine pastures to reach the "Petit Croisse Baulet" (2009m). Slight descent before heading up towards a final beautiful slope before the highest peak of Croisse Baulet (2236m), that the bravest ones of your group will climb! This is an ideal place to ski, going downhill on the snowy glades, heaps of fun!

    Ascent : 600 to 970m / Descent: 600 to 970m / Max Alt: 2009 to 2236m / Accommodation: cottage / Physical activity time: 6 to 7 hours

  • Day 4 La Punta Croce (2478m), Italy

    La Punta Croce (2478m), Italy Today, we cross the border from France to Italy to discover the southern slopes of the Mont Blanc. After a one-hour drive, we will cross the tunnel of Mont Blanc and arrive to Arpy, a small picturesque village lost in the mountains of Aosta valley, with houses made out of stone. This is where a change of scenery will take on its full meaning.
    We’ll go up through the beautiful valley of Arpy to climb the gentle slopes of the Punta Croce (2478m), great hidden hiking outlet away from the crowds. We’ll spend the night in a wooded setting cottage, lost in the Italian mountains.

    Ascent : 780m / Drop: 780m / Max Alt: 2478m / Accommodation: cottage / Physical activity time: 5 to 6 hours

  • Day 5 The Monts Telliers (2951m)

    The Monts Telliers (2951m) Today is our last day discovering the Mont Blanc massif. Thus, we head north towards Switzerland and the end of the Grand St Bernard road. This is a nice hiking path which makes its way on sunny and remote slopes. It will get us to a charming viewpoint: the Monts Telliers at 2951m. Breath in some fresh air before heading back down to Chamonix in the afternoon.
    Sadly, this is where we say goodbye after a wonderful week together in the Mont Blanc massif.

    Ascent: 1020 m / Descent: 1020m / Max Alt: 2951m / Physical activity time: 7 to 8 hours

MODIFICATION DU PROGRAMME
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 level are lower than the one 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

From 795€

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

A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure.

  • The technical organization of the stay
  • Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
  • Collective equipment provided (ropes)
  • Half-board accommodation in refuges, cottages and lodges
  • Lunch picnics
  • Safety equipment : Avalanche transceiver (battery not provided, 4 LR03 AAA batteries needed), shovel, probe

Not included

  • Individual ski material : shoes, ski, skins and knifes, sticks
  • Transfers to meeting and separation points
  • Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, chocolate bars, etc ..
  • All the drinks and personal expenses in refuges
  • Insurance and assistance
  • Application fees
  • Technical individual equipment : crampons, harness, ice axe
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"

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 recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

Your trip will be supervised by a high-mountain guide who will teach you technical elements needed for the good progress of your stay. He may need to modify the program in order to ensure safety regarding weather conditions and participants physical conditions.

Food

Meals

  • Lunch picnics and diners in refuges.
  • Bring some snacks according to your own tastes.

Drinks

  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price : water, tea, coffee, beer, coke...

Accommodation

We will stay in comfortable mountain cottages.

Transportation

During this trip, transport will mainly be on foot and skis, but there will be short journeys on private transfers (bus or minivan), chairlifts and cable cars. 

Budget & exchange

France and Italy are in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

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 or Italy. 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

  • Collective material (ropes) if needed
  • Sleepers and blankets in shelters : bring your own sleeping bag
  • Individual safety material  (avalanche transceiver - battery not provided-, shovel, probe) : please inform us if you already have yours

Material

Technical material


Skis

  • One pair of light touring-skis equipped with breaks or safety straps
  • One pair of ski-touring shoes with VIBRAM-type sole
  • 1 pair of sticky sealskins suitable for ski
  • Knife
  • Sticks with fender washers 

Other

  • Safety equipment
  • Life blanket
  • Clasp knife
  • Thermos or bottle
Everything must be in good condition before departure. 

Personal equipment


Head

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

Upper body

  • 2 technic breathable underclothing with long sleeves (Carline type, no cotton, it is drying too slowly)
  • 1 breathable technic undershirts
  • 1 thick polar coat
  • 1 windproof and waterproof coat (Goretex type)
  • 1 pair of windproof mittens (polar or wool)
  • 1 pair of windproof gloves (polar or wool)   

Lower body

  • 1 pair of technic tights (Carline type)
  • 1 pair of comfortable mountain pants
  • 1 pair of windproof and waterproof pants (Goretex type)
  • 2 pair of socks (one thick, one thin) 

Other

  • Toilet paper
  • 1 plastic bag (100L) + one upper bag to protect your belongings and backpack from rain
  • 1 waterproof sleeve to put your ID, phone, money, insurance/ assistance contract with all your emergency numbers

Luggage

  • You will be carrying your one-day belongings and equipment in a 40L- bag (equipped with ski racks)
  • Your personal belongings will stay in the lodge in another bag (travel bag)

Medicine

You guide will be carrying a first-aid kit. However, plan to bring your own medicine :
  • Personal medication
  • Pain killers (paracetamol)
  • Double-skin
  • Elastic adhesive tapes
  • Bandages
  • Local  disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal pills
  • Eyewash
  • Light tranquilizers and sleeping pills
  • Earplugs  
Non-exhaustive list.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

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

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

It is important to consult your doctor for medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements.
Please keep in mind that we are often in remote areas, away from medical facilities. Please carefully read the brochure and itinerary when selecting your trip, to make sure our style of travel suits you. 

Please note you will travel to high altitude. Most people can travel to 2 500m with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts differently to altitude and altitude sickness can occur.
For details on how to best prepare your trip please consult your physician.

Weather

The weather in the French 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.  

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.

In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Local time

France is 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 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 flavors 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 Carrier

My local agent
Sandra Carrier

  • 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
Activity
Ski Winter
Duration
5 days
Code
SRCHAMLIB
Price
From €795
Level
2/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Ski touring in an extraordinary site
  • Gradual hikes, accessible to everyone but still requires strength and a good level of endurance during the descent downhill in snow

Guide's advice

This is an ideal way of discovering ski touring on exceptional snow, away from the crowds. We will begin by learning the specific technics of skiing and hiking for your own safety and to help you become as independent as possible.

Required level

An ideal base for exploring ski-touring, accessible to skiers with a good level in alpine skiing (level 3 minimum) and off-piste skiing. Very good physical conditions needed (endurance required). We must be able to ski on any kind of ground and during any snow conditions.
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