Ski-touring enhancement in Chamonix

You already have a goo ski-touring level and you would like to discover the Valley of Chamonix and its classics ? Then this trip is made for you ! 


The Aiguilles Rouges massif for a panoramic view, the Argentière glacier for a total immersion in the heart of high mountain, the famous Valley blanche for an off-piste fun time, and finally a little raid on the Swiss side to admire the breathtaking view : here is a dream program to sign up for without further ado. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Dards pass

    Dards pass We meet with our guide and the rest of the group in the city center of Chamonix. We check our technical equipment (renting is possible), the guide will brief us on the following days program and will give us our picnic of the day. We then leave by car towards the hamlet of Les Praz, just outside Chamonix, in order to take the Flégère cable car.
    Once at the top, we head towards the Lac Blanc ("White lake"), then towards the west to join the Dards pass at 2790m.
    This first day is the perfect opportunity to put ourselves into conditions and verify our personal technical knowledge : the guide will teach us a few skill during the day such as searching with an avalanche transceiver (DVA).

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 1000m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 1000m | Accommodation : Lodge in the valley of Chamonix

  • Day 2 Grands Montets summit (3295m) - Argentière refuge (2771m)

    Grands Montets summit (3295m) - Argentière refuge (2771m) We start our day from the village of Argentière by a cable car ride of Plan Joran and Bochard. Then, we join the ski-touring itinerary to reach the Grands Montets peak by crossing the Rachasses pass. The panorama is impressive ! We will then have some fun on a descent to join the Argentière refuge (2771m) where we will spend the night.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 600m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 500m | Accommodation : Argentière refuge

  • Day 3 Argentière pass (3535m)

    Argentière pass (3535m) From the Argentière refuge, we climb up a steep glacier named Tour Noir before reaching the Argentière pass at 3535m. We descend on the Argentière glacier until Logan and finally Argentière where we will find our cars.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 850m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 2400m | Accommodation : Lodge in the valley of Chamonix

  • Day 4 Tacul pass (3337m)

    Tacul pass (3337m) Today is an altitude day : very early in the morning, we take the Aiguille du Midi cable car to reach 3842m. The view is unbelievable and Mont Blanc seems within easy reach.
    We leave for the longest off-piste of the massif : the Valley Blanche ! We will go to the 'Salle à Manger' at around 2400m to have some lunch before climbing up the Périades glacier. We will make a left towards a nice carved valley leading us to the tacul pass (steep slope on 200m). We descend on the same itinerary until the Tacul glacier and we'll finish in the Valley Blanche before getting back down into Chamonix (or in Montenvers is the path isn't usable).

    Positive difference in altitude : around 920m | Negative difference in altitude : around 2800m | Altitude Max : 3337m | Accommodation : Lodge in the valley of Chamonix

  • Day 5 Bel Oiseau summit (2643m)

    Bel Oiseau summit (2643m) Starting from the Swiss village of Finhaut (45min drive from Chamonix), we start climbing the Fenestral valley until the Bel Oiseau pass (2553m). From there, we follow the North ridge towards the main peak : superb belvedere on the Mont Blanc massif as weel as the Aiguilles Rouges. We descend following our tracks, often in powdery snow.

    Positive difference in altitude : around 1400m | Negative difference in altitude : around 1400m | Altitude Max : 2643m

ITINERARY CHANGE

Please note that although the itinerary presented here is the one we intend to follow, there is a high chance that changes may be necessary. Many factors can affect climbing in high mountains. Mountain adventures depend on weather conditions, individual member's abilities vary, as does their ability to assimilate the skills needed. The guide's main aim will be to ensure your safety and the success of the trip. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of roads / activities that you will attempt. For security reasons and to ensure a consistent level corresponding to the one announced, the organization board gets the right to discontinue your participation if your technical and / or physical conditions do not match those required. In no case the interruption shall give right to a refund or compensation payments.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: SRCHAM-PERF

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)
  • Safety equipment
  • Half-board accommodation in refuges, cottages and lodges
  • Lunch picnics

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 Montagne Expedition. 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

Access : 
  • By train : SNCF Saint Gervais les Bains le Fayet train station then the touristic Mont Blanc Express TER to Chamonix. Timetable and prices on : www.voyages-sncf.com
  • By road : A40 "Autoroute Blanche" to Chamonix 

Dispersion :
  • In the end of the afternoon in Chamonix (74)

Lodge before or after the trip :

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 Chamonix, if you decide to stay a night before or after your trip. 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
4 to 6 people
Code
SRCHAM-PERF
Price
From €1,095
Level
4/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • An astonishing environment 
  • An immersion in the heart of the glaciers with a night in the Argentière refuge
  • A choice of optimized courses and combined with freeride in the Vallée Blanche ! 

Guide's advice

« Superb discoveries and skiing possibilities around Chamonix, with an accessible level, but on a glacier ! »

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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