Chamonix Ski Touring Course – 5 days
Intermediate Level | Group Course

✦ International Certified UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guides
✦ Introduction to ski touring
✦ Varied and interesting ski touring
✦ Learn the basics of ski touring

  • location | Chamonix
  • Season | January - March
  • dURATION | 5 days
  • Guide Ratio | 1-6
  • Technical Level | S2 & T2
  • Fitness Level | B
  • Minimum Age | 18

Check our Grading Page

Into the mountains

With touring equipment, we distance ourselves from the busy pistes and experience the mountains in a much more pure and natural way. The effort of touring is rewarded by fantastic scenery and great skiing.

Course objective

Whether you have only done a bit of touring or are a seasoned ski tourer, you will learn a lot during these five days. We hope to improve your skills, gear handling, and much more.

Safe and sound

We strive to ski some fantastic ski descends. The emphasis is always on doing great ski tours presenting the right challenge for the group, and not compromising on safety. It’s all about having fun.

Chamonix ski-touring course – 5 days
Attaching skins under your skis and heading into the mountains is a beautiful way to combine an outstanding mountain experience, use your body, and, not least, find the best snow.
Ski-touring is a popular and growing winter sport for the mountain lover and the discerning off-piste skier who wants to tackle the best slopes away from the groomed areas.
Our 5-day trip takes place in the Mont Blanc massif, where we find some of the best touring skiing in the Alps. The days are filled with instruction in touring techniques, information, and training in safety on the mountain, and not least every day, another excellent touring objective.
This course is a great way to, within a short time, get more accustomed to ski touring and possibly advance towards more engaging tours, such as the “The Haute Route.”

Going with Us
We are locally based and have over 20 years of experience with skiing and guided activities in the Mont Blanc massif.
Our in-depth local knowledge and extensive network with the mountain guide community give us the best conditions to be up to date with the current conditions and offer unrivalled skiing in the world’s best off-piste/touring area without compromising safety.
Asmus Nørreslet and other local guides who help us on the mountain are all certified IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guides. This is a definite stamp of quality that the guide has the highest certification within off-piste and ski touring and is trained to handle the risks that the mountains present.

Course Objectives
This course is a group tour, and the goal is to do five single-day ski tours around Chamonix. Along the way, the participants will be introduced to and able to improve their touring techniques and receive information about safe movement on the mountain. We will use touring equipment every day and use the crampons and ice axes on steeper slopes.

1. Skitouring skills and techniques
2. Training with avalanche beepers
3. Navigation in the terrain (danger of avalanches, correct behaviour, route selection)
4. Glacier skiing and behaviour (route selection, use of ropes)
5. Using the crampon and ice axe

Who is joining?
Many of our course participants come with a wealth of ski touring experience under their belts, and some are even returning for a second round of this exciting course. We also welcome highly energetic, motivated and good off-piste skiers, even if they are new to ski touring.
What sets our program apart is our commitment to fresh experiences year after year. With new routes, changing mountain conditions, and unique weather patterns each season, the learning never stops. Every adventure adds valuable entries to the ‘ski tourer experience bank,’ which ensures that each year brings new perspectives and opportunities for growth.

Flexible program
We stick to a flexible program where we always get around the many tour options around Chamonix. This ensures that the week will never be similar to a course any year before. Plenty of people and groups have done this course several times.
We may spend the night in a mountain hut during the week, should it be advantageous for the program. This would typically only be for courses in March and if there is a wish for this between team members.

Valley Transport
We use our available cars or the local bus/train system. Smaller groups (2-3 person) will mostly be able to drive with the guide, while larger groups must have their car or use the bus/train system.

The guide can propose to go a bit further away if this makes sense and we have enough transport.
If you use the guide’s car to get around, compensate the guide for fuel/parking and tunnel fees going through the Mont Blanc tunnel.
With larger groups (5-6 clients), we either stick with itineraries that can be reached by local train or bus (free in winter) or use the available cars we have to get around (guide’s car + clients’ cars). 

Security Gear
You can borrow an avalanche transceiver/shovel/probe from the guide.
You can also borrow a harness for the days we do glacier skiing.
If you have your gear, you should use this.

The guide will not provide avalanche backpacks. You can rent these if you desire in shops in Chamonix town. For ski touring, the use of avalanche backpacks is less common than when off-piste skiing/heliskiing. The extra weight and bulk can be a problem on more extended tours.

Check-list

To get the most out of the day and maximize our possibilities of skiing the best snow at the right time, this is a list that is logical but can be a help for you:

1. Be fresh and well-rested in the morning
2. Rent equipment or retrieve your skis from service the day before.
3. If possible, sort your lift passes out the day before.
4. Get your backpack ready the evening before
5. Be on time for the rendezvous. Check the itinerary and the time it will take you to get to the meeting point.
6. Remember your passport if we are off to Courmayeur (Italy).
7. Bring money and a credit card for expenses.

Travel, accommodation, Insurance.
Please consult our FAQ page for information about travel, accommodationinsurancebooking process, and other general information. Click here.

This course can run with the specified prices when a minimum of 3 participants are joining.

Tour IdWeek No. – YearStart DateFinish DatePrice Per PersonSpacesBook Tour
ST1Week 5Monday 29th JanuaryFriday 2nd February895€/personNo
ST2Week 6Monday 5th FebruaryFriday 9th February895€/personNo
ST3Week 8Monday 19th FebruaryFriday 23rd February895€/personYes

It is advisable to book well in advance. Not only will you have the chance to choose the dates that fit you the best, but we can also earlier secure the trip and find the best guide for the week.

We run the course when at least 4 participants have signed up; we can take 6 participants per group.

If we do not reach the minimum required number of participants for the course, we can proceed with the course at an increased fee if participants agree, or alternatively, we will cancel the course and provide a full refund of their payments.

If you book for three or more people as a group, your group will get a 10% discount.

Included

Planning & logistics
Assignment of guides, planning, information before the course, reservation of lifts.

UIAGM/IFMGA guides
The guides working with us hold the highest recognized mountaineering certificate. They are equally a friendly and nice group of guides used to handling groups and climbs in the Alps.

5 days of mountain guiding and instruction
The guiding days are Monday – Friday.

Avalanche Gear
We can provide avalanche transceivers for the group, shovels, and probes.
If you have your kit, we recommend you use this.

Group equipment (ropes & safety gear)
The guides provide the group security gear (rope, glacier travel equipment).
You only need to make sure you have your equipment.

Excluded

Any cost not mentioned in the  “Included” section. The most important ones are:

Transport to Chamonix
Read more in the “more information” section.

Transport in Chamonix Valley
Meeting points can be reached with the valley bus/train system or private cars.

Accommodation in the valley
Read more in the “more information” section

Lift-passes
We advise you to wait until the guide has done the briefing before buying a lift pass. As we move between different ski areas, we might need tickets for different resorts.

Personal ski gear
Check the “Equipment” section.

Lunches & drinks
We will mostly not be close to restaurants, etc., so you should bring a sandwich and snacks for the tour.

Insurance
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.

Other possible costs
Any extra transport, lunch, etc.

Winter 2024

This course can run with the specified prices when a minimum of 3 participants are joining.

It is advisable to book well in advance. Not only will you have the chance to choose the dates that fit you the best, but we can also earlier secure the trip and find the best guide for the week.

We run the course when at least 4 participants have signed up; we can take 6 participants per group.

If we do not reach the minimum required number of participants for the course, we can proceed with the course at an increased fee if participants agree, or alternatively, we will cancel the course and provide a full refund of their payments.

If you book for three or more people as a group, your group will get a 10% discount.

Included

Planning & logistics
Assignment of guides, planning, information before the course, reservation of lifts.

UIAGM/IFMGA guides
The guides working with us hold the highest recognized mountaineering certificate. They are equally a friendly and nice group of guides used to handling groups and climbs in the Alps.

5 days of mountain guiding and instruction
The guiding days are Monday – Friday.

Avalanche Gear
We can provide avalanche transceivers for the group, shovels, and probes.
If you have your kit, we recommend you use this.

Group equipment (ropes & safety gear)
The guides provide the group security gear (rope, glacier travel equipment).
You only need to make sure you have your equipment.

Excluded

Any cost not mentioned in the  “Included” section. The most important ones are:

Transport to Chamonix
Read more in the “more information” section.

Transport in Chamonix Valley
Meeting points can be reached with the valley bus/train system or private cars.

Accommodation in the valley
Read more in the “more information” section

Lift-passes
We advise you to wait until the guide has done the briefing before buying a lift pass. As we move between different ski areas, we might need tickets for different resorts.

Personal ski gear
Check the “Equipment” section.

Lunches & drinks
We will mostly not be close to restaurants, etc., so you should bring a sandwich and snacks for the tour.

Insurance
You should make sure you are adequately insured. Check our page on insurance.

Other possible costs
Any extra transport, lunch, etc.

World-class ski touring
With five days at our disposal, we have enough days to weather the storm, pick the best snow of the moment, and progress in touring techniques.

We usually will not need a week-long ski pass but will likely only need to buy single-day tickets for the lifts we will use. Sometimes, we start touring from the road. Chamonix borders Switzerland and Italy, so we often traverse the border to search for the best weather or snow conditions.

Itinerary:
The lead guide will make last-minute program adjustments, considering the group size, ski, and touring level, and adjust itineraries for safe but sound skiing.

Day 0 – Sunday – Arrival day. Team meeting.
We meet in the afternoon when everyone has arrived.
The guide will introduce and explain the plan for the next few days.
After the meeting, you should have time to go to the shops for any last-minute gear adjustments.

Day 1 – Monday – Introductory ski tour
Introductory tour near the ski area. We mix off-piste skiing and a short ski tour. We have time to review ski-touring techniques, and we have time to test our ski-touring gear. We will also review avalanche safety.

Day 2-5 – Tuesday – Friday – Open program
2-5. Day (Tuesday – Friday) – We do ski tours every day. See the list of routes below, examples of trips we have made over the years on this trip.

We aim to do single-day tours and will return to the valley after each day of skiing and ski touring.

We do tours at around 800-1200 altitude meters per day, but this can vary depending on whether we start from a lift or go all the way up.

We usually start the day at 8:30 and finish after the tour. Return time depends entirely on our chosen route, but rarely after 3:30 p.m.

We do ski tours in the Mont Blanc mountain range, the Aiguilles Rouges, the Aravis range, Les Contamines & the Italian and Swiss sides of the range. We have an extensive choice of routes. The guide will brief the group about the following day’s plan and make a rendezvous.

Over the years we have done many different ski touring routes on this trip. Here is a list of some of them:

Chrochues – Berard (Aig. Rouges)
Breche de Berard (Aig. Rouges)
Col de Salenton (Aig. Rouges)
Col d’Encrenaz (Aig. Rouges)
Col de Dard (Aig. Rouges)
Col de Beugeant (Aig. Rouges)
Combe de Pouce (Aig. Rouges)
Aig. Noire de Pormenaz (Aig. Rouges)
Aiguillette des Houches (Les Houches)
Tre-les-Eaux (Vallorcine)
Gorges des Veudale (Vallorcine)
Bel Oiseux (Finhaut)
Col de Fenestral – Comba Rossa (Finhaut)
Vallon du Van (Marecottes)
Pointe Ronde (Col de la Forclaz)
Les Arpilles (Ravoire)
Col des Autannes (Le Tour)
Col de Passon (Argentiere)
Col d’Argentiere (Argentiere)
Col du Chardonnet (Argentiere)
Col de Tour Noir (Argentiere)
Col d’Entreves (Vallee Blanche)
Pt. Helbronner – Glacier du Toule (Vallee Blanche)
Col du Tacul (Vallee Blanche – Periades)
Col de Cicle (Contamine)

Always check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. It is not unusual that the weather changes during the day; wind can pick up, and clouds roll in. You need to be prepared for what the day might bring.

The guide will brief you the day before on what gear to bring and what you can leave out. This is also true about the technical gear you should bring.

Make sure also to take a look at our more comprehensive list for ski touring – Click here

Clothes

Shell jacket
Shell pants
Base layers
Mid-layer
Extra warm layer
Warm hat/beanie
Neck gaiter
2 Pairs of gloves
Socks

Technical equipment

Backpack
Touring skis*
Skins*
Ski crampons*
Ski touring boots*
Ski poles*
Harness*
Crampons*
Ice-axe*
Ski helmet
Ski strap
Avalanche beacon*
Avalanche shovel*

* You can rent these items in most shops in town. When you rent skis, they should always come with skins & ski crampons. The rental equipment is never very light, as they are built to last.

Various items

Water bottle
Snacks
Suncream & sun-stick
Snow goggles
Sunglasses
Money, passport, social security card, insurance card, etc.
Phone w. the emergency number dialled in.

Tour Grade: S2 & T2/B

Please read through the requirements for participating in this tour and follow the link to the “grading page.”

Technical Level

You need to be a good off-piste skier and handle most types of snow without falling over excessively. You should be able to make short controlled turns on steep terrain (35 degrees) and side-slip controlled down 40-45 degrees.

Knowing how to deal with the touring equipment already having some basic skinning techniques dialled in is undoubtedly a benefit. This gives room for more improvement while having more time to enjoy the surroundings, as much energy is saved not having to start fresh out with everything.

Participants looking to start ski touring can join if they are fit and motivated.

If you think joining a 5-day group course as your first experience might be too challenging, we recommend you look at our 3-day Chamonix ski touring skills course or book some private guided ski touring days.

Fitness

Ski touring takes good fitness and stamina. We will most often do between 500-1000 height meters of uphill touring per day. A hard day would normally be followed by an easier day. We expect you to arrive fit and without injuries. This is the only way we have the energy and motivation to do good ski tours in five consecutive days.

Course Specific Information

Any Course Specific Information 1

Any Course Specific Information 2


General Information

Getting to Chamonix or the course venue
For most of our clients, the easiest way to get to Chamonix or the Alps, in general, is by plane. The nearest airport is Geneva.
Read more about getting to Chamonix here – Click here.

Valley accommodation
Not everyone wants the same accommodation type, so we rarely include Valley accommodation. Check our suggested hotels, B&B, and campsites on this page – Click here.

If you want us to include hotel nights in the price, please let us know what standard you are looking for.

Insurance
You must take out search & rescue, repatriation, and cancellation insurance. Read more about insurance here – Click here.

Safety
We believe our finest task is to give every client a unique mountain experience without taking unnecessary risks. The experience of the mountain guide, access to the most recent weather forecasts, and information sharing between guides are some of the important elements for making good and sound judgment calls. Suppose conditions or other situations render an attempt at a peak dangerous, avalanche conditions of a ski tour no longer possible, etc.. In that case, the guide will do his/her best to devise a good alternate plan. This might be a 100% change of the program. Emphasis is put on staying safe and having a great time!

Mountain huts
In some of our courses, we stay in mountain huts. On hut-to-hut trips, they are part of the itinerary; at other times, we use them as the starting point for a climb or ski tour.
The mountain huts offer basic accommodation in bunk-style rooms. Blankets and duvets are in the huts, so you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. It is obligatory to bring a sleeping bag liner.
We are served a simple breakfast and a 3-course dinner (soup, main meal, dessert).
We will let the guardian of the hut know if you are on a special diet (vegetarians, allergies, etc.). Vegans will need to bring supplementary food.
There are hut slippers available for use inside the hut.
It’s helpful to bring cash for personal expenses (water, soft drinks, beer, lunches, etc.)
There is mostly no tap water in the huts, and you must buy bottled water.
You will be able to charge your phone.
Some mountain huts have showers. You must mostly pay for this; only a few huts can provide towels.

Make a booking
Please read through all the course information. Please make sure that you have the required level to join the course.
Contact us if you have any questions.

Read more about the booking process here – Click here.

We will need all to join a course to complete our “Participation Form.”