Ski Touring & Ski Mountaineering
Gran Paradiso Ski Summit, Italy
3 day trip | March - May
Time & Dates
This 3 day trip is best done in the spring between March and May
1-2 people: $1885
3-4 people: $2050
Private groups only
Participants should have basic ski touring skills, good downhill skiing skills, and a high level of fitness.
Contact us to sign up and plan your trip!
The Gran Paradiso is the tallest mountain entirely in Italy at 4060m. It is an ideal introduction to ski mountaineering and a perfect first ski summit. It is located in the Gran Paradiso National Park, which was the first national park created in Italy. It was created by Victor Emmanuel II to save the endangered Ibex which we will hopefully be able to see on our tour.
Day 1: Start in Pont, Valsavaranche, Italy
• We will meet in Chamonix and drive to Italy. From the tiny village of Pont, we will skin up to either the Rifugio Chabod or Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II depending on route conditions.
Day 2: Summit of the Gran Paradiso
• We will tour from the refuge to the summit of the Gran Paradiso. Shortly below the summit, we will stash our skis and climb the rocky ridge with crampons and rope to the Madonna at the peak. We will climb back down to our skis and start the long descent back to the hut.
Day 3: Tour from the Rifugio back down to the Valley
• The third day will be an additional ski tour from the hut back down to the valley floor.
In case of unfavorable weather conditions, we may spend the first day touring in Chamonix and then ski from the summit of the Gran Paradiso all the way to the valley on the third day.
*This is a tentative itinerary, and plans may change along the way due to changes in weather, mountain conditions and any other unforeseen circumstances.
1-2 people: $1885 for the group (private groups only)
3-4 people: $2050 for the group (private groups only)
3 days of skiing with a UIAGM/IFMGA certified guide
Ground transportation during program
Use of avalanche transceiver, climbing harness, shovel, and probe
Travel to and from Chamonix, France
possible purchase of lift tickets
This tour requires basic ski touring skills, good downhill skiing skills, and a high level of fitness. We will be touring for 3-5 hours each day with a 20-30 lb pack.
We will be touring through various snow conditions (possibly including everything from deep powder to ice). You should be comfortable touring on slopes up to 40 degrees, using ski crampons, and making kick turns. If you have not had much experience ski touring, we recommend going out with a guide in your local area for a day or two before the trip. Alternatively, if you are a good athlete and a quick learner, you can hire one of our guides for a day or two before the trip to help nail down some of these important touring skills.
The downhill skiing component of this trip is also very important. You should be comfortable skiing black diamond runs in the ski area in any condition (crud, powder, ice, etc). It is very helpful to practice skiing on your touring skis to get used to their performance as it may differ from your typical downhill skis. If you feel comfortable on them on black and double black runs as well as crud and powder, you should do well.
Spring weather in the Alps can vary from hot and sunny to cold and stormy very suddenly. The temperatures can fluctuate between highs in the 70’s and 80’s (Farenheit) during the day to lows below freezing at night. If we are touring on the glacier in the mid-day sun, it can feel extremely hot, but a strong wind or cloud cover can cause the temperature to drop drastically. We could also encounter stormy conditions that could be bad enough to make us abandon the route and search for skiing at lower elevations or in marked ski areas.
The mountain huts in the Alps are essentially high alpine hotels. The huts on this tour are busy, but very nice. Dinners and breakfasts are included in the hut fee, and there is usually a good selection of drinks and snacks to buy if you wish. Most of these huts will not have running water, so you will need to purchase any water you need.
We do not put together groups of skiers who do not sign up together. We have found that trips are much more enjoyable when you do them with friends. All you need is a group of 3 or more and we will run the Haute Route for you. We can run the Haute Route with 1 or 2 people, but the price changes so email us for more information about that.
There are 2 different types of insurance: Travel or Trip Cancellation insurance and Rescue insurance. Typical travel insurance will cover the cost of the trip if you have to cancel before or during for any reason. There are many companies that offer this type of insurance such as Travelguard and Travelex. For rescue insurance, we recommend getting the Swiss heli rescue insurance (http://www.air-glaciers.ch/sion/carte-de-sauvetage/charte-du-sauvetage/english). If you have rescue insurance through an Alpine Club or your own provider, that should work also.