Discovering ski touring in Chamonix

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


The outings are progressive and the level is accessible, our guides teach you the secrets of the powder in safety while making you discover their secret little hikes. Every day a different landscape: valleys, ridges and slopes always affordable, always far from the crush of ski resorts (except for the first day-test) so that this week is under the sign of pleasure and the mountain preserved. Every day we will move to hike on a different summit around Mont Blanc: Aravis, Switzerland, Italy ... we will vary the pleasures and the panoramas. The program will be organized according to individual wishes, group level, progress in effort and weather and snow conditions. The guide will adapt the outings and will always seek to optimize your stay.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Warm-up and leveling race at La Tête de Balme

    Warm-up and leveling race at La Tête de Balme Reception of the trainees and verification of the material.
    Departure for a warm-up race and for a verification or discovery of techniques specific to ski touring, as well as research exercises of DVA (Avalanche Victim Detector).
    From Chamonix, we drive to the village of Tour at the end of the valley. After taking the gondola to Charamillon, we go up steep slopes that will allow us to climb our first summit: the Tête de Balme at 2321m. During the descent, we will test our behavior off-piste, while being not far from the ski area and its welcoming slopes if necessary.

    Positive difference in altitude : 365m | Negative difference in altitude : 1240m | Altitude Max : 2371m | Accommodation : lodge / hotel

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

    Aiguilles Rouges - Aiguilles Crochues (2837m) Today, we will discover a summit and beautiful slopes generally powdery in the massif of Aiguilles Rouges, facing the great peaks and glaciers of Mont Blanc. We take the Flégère cable car and then the index chairlift, to start relatively high climbing Aiguilles Crochues (2837m).

    Positive difference in altitude : 600m | Negative difference in altitude : 1000m | Altitude Max : 2837m | Accommodation : lodge / hotel

  • Day 3 Grands Montets summit

    Grands Montets summit Today, we will evolve on the Grand Montets domain. Located in the Mont Blanc massif, is it freeriders' favorite sport. Carved valleys are huge !
    We start ski-touring to the top of the Grands Montets by the Rachasses pass. The landscape is impressive on the bottom of there large rocky sides. between the Grands Montets summit and the village of Argentière, there is more then 2000m of descent waiting for us at the end of the day.

    Altitude Max : 3275m | Accommodation : lodge / hotel

  • Day 4 Descent in the Valley Blanche & night in the Torino refuge

    Descent in the Valley Blanche & night in the Torino refuge A great combination between the classic start of the beautiful Valley Blanche followed by a night in a refuge.
    We start our day by descending the Aiguille du Midi ridge. Departure from the classic Valley Blanche until we reach the Tacul glacier. We then but our skins on to join the Torino refuge where we will spend the night.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 600m | Altitude Max : 3842m | Accommodation : Torino refuge

  • Day 5 Vallée Noire & return to Chamonix

    Vallée Noire & return to Chamonix It is the Northside, the right bank of the Valley Blanche. Less crowded than the classical itinerary from the Aiguille du Midi, but more technical and wilder : this route is magnificent. It borders the right bank of the Géant glacier with its impressive crevices and seracs, and joins the Mer de Glacer and the arrival of the Montenvers train, which we will take to get back down to Chamonix by the end of the day.

    Altitude Max : 2951m

PROGRAM MODIFICATION 
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.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: SRCHAM

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
  • Planned transfers : Cogne-Valnontey and Lillaz-Cogne

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 (18€ per person)
  • 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 priceLess than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, 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 plan 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 have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions 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 Montagne Expeditions 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, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. 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 contract transfer 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
  • Diners : meals prepared by shelter keepers
  • Take some race food according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…).

Drinks
  • Water is not for free in refuges (from 5 to 8 euros one bottle). We advise you to bring some water purification tablets (Aquatabs or Micropur) in order to drink tap water. 
  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip's price
  • Bring cash for coffees, fruit juices, coke or beers during breaks… Shelters usually don’t accept bank card payments and Euros.

Accommodation

  • Every refuges of this itinerary are comfortable and warm. Dormitories are equipped with blankets for the night (plan to bring your personal bed sheet for hygiene reasons). 
  • Slippers are at your disposal : no need to bring trainers. 
  • We advise you to bring protection against noise (ear plugs).
  • A few electrical plugs are available in refuges, but plan to bring an external battery to charge your camera and switch off your phone during the day. 

Transportation

We will carry our bags every day except on Day 2 as we will sleep in the same refuge for two nights. 

Budget & exchange

France is 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!). 
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 equipment (ropes)
  • Slippers and blankets while in refuges
  • Individual safety equipment (beacon, probe and shovel) : thank you for letting us know if you have your own

Vital equipment

Skis
  • 1 pair of ski touring skis, light and with adapted fixations as well as a break or safety strips, and sharpened
  • 1 pair of ski touring shoes with VIBRAM soles
  • 1 pair of adhesive seals skin adapted to your skis
  • Knifes adapted to fixations
  • Poles with large disks

Other
  • Safety equipment : beacon, probe and shovel
  • crampons with "Antibott" system
  • Ice axe
  • Harness and carabineers
  • Survival blanket
  • 1 headlamp with extra batteries and bulb
  • Pocket knife
  • Thermos

Material

Upper body : 
  • Windstopper bonnet
  • Hat or cap
  • Neck scarf
  • Sunscreen (high protection) for skin and lips
  • Sunglasses for glacier category 4 + ski goggles 
  • 2 technical breathable long sleeve underwear type "Carline" (no coton which dries too slowly)
  • 1 technical and breathable shirt to put under your jumper
  • 1 thick fleece jacket
  • 1 fuzz jacket
  • 1 wind stopper and waterproof jacket type Goretex
  • 1 pair of wind stopper mittens (fleece or wool) 
  • 1 pair of undergloves

Lower body : 
  • 1 technical and breathable pair of tights type "Carline"
  • 1 pair of comfortable mountain trousers
  • 1 pair of wind stopper and waterproof trousers type Goretex
  • 2 pairs of socks : 1 thin and 1 thick

Other : 
  • 1 bed sheet for refuges
  • 1 small toiletry bag with 1 fast drying towel
  • Cream for sunburns (Biafine)
  • Biodegradable toilet paper
  • 1 or 2 100L plastic bags and an overbag to protect your belongings and your bag
  • 1 waterproof pouch in which you will put your identity paper, your phone, your money and your insurance/assistance contract with all of your emergency numbers

Luggage

  • A comfortable 40L backpack with straps for your skis
  • A second bag which will stay at the hotel with your changing clothes

Medicine

Your guide has a pharmacy of first urgency.
Plan with your doctor your personal pharmacy:
  • Personal medicine
  • Pain reliever (preferably paracetamol)
  • Double skin
  • Elastoplast
  • Local disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-vomiting
  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Eyewash
  • Light sleeping pills
  • Earplugs
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Vitamins C 
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

There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to France. 

If your have any questions concerning a trip to France or if you’re wandering what vaccines you might need for your trip, take an appointment with your local clinic and travel doctor. You can call Passport Health at 1-888-499-7277.

Health information & recommendations

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. 

Training advices to check with your general practionner : six months before departure, try to do at least 1 to 2 endurance sport sessions a week (each one must last at least one hour) and do a 6 hours trekking during the week-end with an elevation of 400m/hour during three hours. Three months before departure, try 2 to 3 endurance sport sessions a week and increase your trekking time during the week end from 7 to 8 hours.

Please inform us of any health issues : allergy, diabetes, asthma, or old strokes...

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.  

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

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical adviser on all trips.
  • Passionate about mountains and particularly with backcountry skiing.
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Region
France
Activity
Ski Ski-Touring
Duration
5 days
Group
5 to 6 people
Code
SRCHAM
Price
From €1,150
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • The ascent of 4000m on skis
  • A major glacial itinerary in the heart of the Alps
  • Very welcoming refuges

Required level

Technique
This trip is addressed to people who have already have a good experience in ski touring. You have to know how to skin in every type of snow and be used to conversions while ascending. 
You have to have done one or two ski-touring raids (level 2 and 3)

Physical
You need an excellent physical condition to do this trip with 6 hour of ski-touring a day with a difference in altitude of 1000m on average. 

Commitment 
Medium commitment : very few steep slopes but a few crevices to cross according to the weather conditions in the mountains. 
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