Great crossing of the Dolomites

A sportive discovery amongst the Dolomites by crossing from East to West.


No hard technical difficulties, differences in altitude aren't important and the use of cable cars allows to optimise descents in an astonishing ambiance. 
Result : great off-piste skiing for descent fans and discovery of a widely varied range of landscapes. Every night we will appreciate Italian warm and welcoming refuges.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Falcade – Forca Rossa pass – Malga Ciapela – Marmolada Summit – Rifugio Castiglioni (2044m)

    We meet with the guide at Passo San Pellegrino early in the morning : briefing, material check and picnic distribution.
    We then slowly start on a wooded valley in direction of Forca Rossa pass (2490m). We discover local habitat and wooden chalets. Once we reach the pass, we can admire the Tofane massif far away as well as the Martinetti massif. The Marmolada overlooks above us with its magnificent rocky side. Superb descent in a clear valley before entering the forest joining the cable car (Malga Ciapela : 1467m) and allow us to reach the top of Marmolada (3250m).
    From there, 1200m of descent on a splendid glacier are waiting for us, with a view of the Sella massif in the background.
    It is finally time for a beer or mulled wine at the castiglioni refuge, also called Marmolada refuge, because it is located at the glacier's feet.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 700m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 2250m | Altitude Max : 3250m | Accommodation : refuge

  • Day 2 Rifugio Castiglioni – Porta Vescovo (2478m) – Télésiège de Pont de Vauz ( 1839m) – Telepherique de Pordoi (2950m) – Rif Boe ( 28

    We will have 2000m of negative difference in altitude today for only 450m positive change in altitude, but in an incomparable environment.
    After rejoining the Porta Vescovo through a magnificent valley, we join the chairlift of Pont de Vauz, allowing us to pursue our ascent with the Pordoi cable car, opening us the doors to the Sella massif. Incredible rocky fortress, bordered by giant cliffs.
    On a beautiful crossing, we reach the top of Val de Mesdi, hot spot of the Sella massif, and we dive into an extraordinary mineral decor. This is where we realize we are really in the Dolomites !
    We arrive in Corvara and we then take a taxi to join the Falzarego pass. We climb to the Lagazuoi refuge. here we are, arrived in a magical place where different massifs of the Dolomites unfolds to us. Breathtaking view !

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 450m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 2000m | Altitude Max : 2950m | Accommodation : Refuge

  • Day 3 Rifugio Lagazuoi ( 2752m) – Forcla di Lech ( 2486m) – Le Gran Plan – Val de Fanes – Fiames – Transfer to Misurina – Chalet Lago

    Long but varied step today with 300m climb and 1800m descent !
    We take a very nice off-road path relatively technical. Depending on participants level, we will either go through the Lech pass (technical climb with crampons and skis on our back) or by the Locia pass (2069m) on a great itinerary via the high route of the Dolomites.
    From the Lech pass, superb descent in an extraordinary valley allowing us to join this immense plateau : Le Gran Plan. Here, we have the impression to be at the heart of the Greenland mountains : white hugeness and dizzying peaks...
    Long descent with difficulties to join the De Fiames lodge not far from Cortina d'Ampezzo, from where we take a taxi taking us to the Tre Cime massif (Misurina).

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 300m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 1800m | Altitude Max : 2752m | Accommodation : Lodge

  • Day 4 Chalet Lago Antorno – Cadin Di San Lucano summit (2800m) – Chalet Lago Antorno

    It's starting from the lodge that we can admire the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo. Tiday's hike allows us to admire them from far away. This postcard view is exceptional. This is why we are staying two days in this magical place, and, cherry on the cake, we will do the complete tour of the Tre Cime.
    It is our first day without any cable cars, and we leave for 1000m positive and negative change in altitude. from the chalet, we head up through woods before reaching the feet of the Rinbianco pass (2207m). We walk not far from the Fonda Savio refuge. The Cadin ascent finishes by a magnificent valley relatively steep.
    C’est la première journée sans remontées mécaniques et nous partons pour 1000 m de dénivelé positive à la montée ainsi qu’à la descente. Du chalet nous montons à travers bois sur 200m de dénivelé puis débouchons en lisière de forêt, au pied du col de Rinbianco (2207m). Nous passons non loin du refuge Fonda Savio. L’ascension de la Cadin se termine par un magnifique vallon relativement soutenu.

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 1000m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 1000m | Altitude Max : 2800m | Accommodation : Chalet

  • Day 5 Chalet Lago Antorno – Tre Cime towers – Return to Misurina

    We start our day on ski touring pistes to join the forest and its magical ambiance. We climb to the Auronzo refuge (2320m) followed by the Lavaredo pas (2454m). From there, we will do this beautiful complete tour of the Tre Cime. The terrain is fairly easy. Today is mostly about our sight pleasure and the view on the Tre Cime is breathtaking. This is why we will linger...
    We return by the Medo pass (2254m) and gently descend to the Lago Antorno chalet where the taxi is waiting for us : 2h transfer to Passo San Pellegrino where we left our cars. This is where we say goodbya fter this wonderful and unforgettable week !

    Positive difference in altitude : Around 600m | Negative difference in altitude : Around 600m | Altitude Max : 2454m

ITINERARY CHANGE
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: SRDOL

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 (batteries non provided), probe, shovel 
  • Minibus transfers

Not included

  • Individual equipment : harness, crampons, ice axe, helmet
  • Ski-touring equipment : shoes, skis, skins, knifes, poles
  • Batteries for the avalanche transceiver (4 batteries LR03 AAA)
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Snacks (cereal bars, dried fruits, chocolate bars, etc...) at your own convenience
  • Transfers to the meeting and dispersion points
  • Insurance / assistance : research fees and helicopter rescue, hospitalisation and repatriation mandatory
  • Registration fees

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

Two hotel accommodation are planned in the Aosta Valley : rooms are shared (2 to 4 people according to the group) with private sanitaries in each room. 
If the trip is confirmed late, the first hotel might be changed with the OStella di Arpy lodge : rooms and sanitaries are shared.

Budget & exchange

Italy and France 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

  • The group equipment (ropes, carabineers) is provided
  • Slippers and blankets are available at the lodges and refuges : plan to bring your own bed sheet
  • 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 ski straps

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

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

Mandatory vaccines

There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to Italy. 

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 best time of year to climb Gran Paradiso is from June through September. However, the weather here is still decent enough for ascents in the late spring and early autumn as well. Indeed, during the summer months, the average temperatures on the mountain fluctuate between 8ºC to 12ºC, but once you reach the glacier and above, it gets much colder. Temperatures at the base of the mountain are generally around 20°C. Thus, we recommend to dress in layers. 

While temperatures do not drop too much during the spring and autumn, it is definitely cooler and will require warmer clothing than the summer.
Late spring and early summer is when it precipitates the most in this area. While the weather is generally clear, squalls and afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon. 
July through October are generally drier than May and June.   

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.

For Italy there are three associated plug types : types C, F and L. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side and plug type L is the plug type which has three round pins. Italy operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Check that you can use your personal electrical appliances safely whilst abroad. If not, you will surely need the use of a travel adaptor.

Local time

France and Italy are in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (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 the Alps 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
Italy
Activity
Ski Ski-Touring
Duration
5 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
SRDOL
Price
From €1,215
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • The great crossing of the Dolomites from East to West
  • 2000m of daily descent during 4 days !
  • Discovery of the Marmolada-Sella-Tofanes massif and the famous Tre Cime !
  • The renowned comfort of the Italian refuges and huts

Guide's advice

« A relatively accessible itinerary in the unique ambiance of the Dolomites. Breathtaking landscapes and a very warm ambiance in the Italian refuges : everything is reunited for a dream week ! »

Required level

Technique
You need to have a good freeride skiing level in every type of snow, descents are long and can have a few passages requiring an excellent control of skis. A ski-touring experience is required, especially of conversion techniques. 

Physical
Positive difference in altitude aren't very important (less than 700m per day). However, you have to have a very good physical condition as we are staying five days in the mountains. 
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