Hut to hut ski touring

Hut-to-hut ski touring gives access to wild, isolated mountain terrain...

Hut-to-hut Ski Touring

Hut-to-hut Ski Touring

Hut-to-hut ski touring gives access to wild, isolated mountain terrain.

Hut-to-hut ski touring involves travelling through mountain landscape in winter on skis under human power rather than through the use of ski lifts, giving access to wild, isolated mountain terrain and a remote and pristine landscape that is rarely experienced by resort-based skiers. Ski touring with an IFMGA Mountain Guide maximises your enjoyment of the trip by ensuring you are accompanied by an expert in mountaincraft who understands the hazards associated with remote mountain travel. Travelling with a group on the tour provides a sense of cameraderie and the opportunity to meet fellow ski tourers.

The principal mountain ranges in Europe – including the Alps, Dolomites, Pyrenees and Apennine Alps - are fantastic arenas for ski touring with very varied terrain. A network of manned huts provide food, heat and shelter therefore eliminating the need to carry large heavy packs.

The main ski touring season in the Alps generally runs from March until May. Depending on weather and ground conditions, ski tourers can enjoy fantastic skiing on powder or corn (spring) snow as well as more challenging skiing on windblown hardpack, crust and ice! Your guide will be an expert in travelling under these conditions and will be able to pass on skills and techniques that will add to the enjoyment of the trip.

Our ski touring programme is probably the most extensive offered by any UK company and stretches from the High Tatras in Poland across the Alps to the Pyrenees on the Spanish - French border.

Gran Paradiso Short Ski Tour (3-day)
Gran Paradiso Short Ski Tour (3-day), Italy (Intermediate)

The Gran Paradiso area in Italy is a renowned ski touring area with a huge range of ski touring options and excellent huts. The Benevolo hut, situated in the Gran Paradiso, gives access to a number of good ski peaks with great north facing ski terrain with the best chances for good snow to ski. This 3-day trip of relaxed ski touring close to... view

Dolomites Circuit Ski Touring
Dolomites Circuit Ski Tour (Intermediate)

One of the most interesting and memorable ski tours through the dramatic Dolomite mountains. Ski touring amidst truly spectacular limestone!

Renowned as one of the most stunningly beautiful mountain ranges, and the location of the line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces during the First World War, the Dolomites also offer... view

Imperial Crown Haute Route Ski Tour
Imperial Crown Haute Route Ski Tour (Intermediate)

The Imperial Crown Haute Route derives its grand name from the range of 4,000m peaks that encircle the Val d’Anniviers, including the Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn and Dent Blanche. This is stunning ski touring terrain which is more remote than other better known Haute Routes but is every bit as spectacular. Travelling with a guide will give you the... view

Ski Touring in the Bernese Oberland
Bernese Oberland Traverse Ski Tour (Intermediate)

The Bernese Oberland in Switzerland is a 'must visit' for keen ski tourers as it offers some fantastic ski touring amid truly breathtaking scenery. This is one of our most popular ski tours and rightly so!

Our starting point is Interlaken, the capital of the Jungfrau region. Our itinerary takes in some of the best ski touring ascents and... view

Silvretta Alps Ski Touring
Silvretta Alps Traverse Ski Tour (Intermediate)

Ski touring in the Silvretta Alps is perfect for the intermediate ski tourer. The Silvretta Alps consist of seventy 3,000m peaks along the Austrian/Swiss border, including the highest peak in the region, the famous Piz Buin. On this ski tour you will have the chance to bag a number of peaks including the Piz Buin if conditions are right. The... view

Western Oberland Ski Touring
Western Oberland Ski Tour (Intermediate)

This high level ski tour of the Western Oberland starts in Canton Vaud and crosses through Berne and the Valais. Ski touring in this quieter corner of Western Switzerland often has excellent conditions when higher areas have bad weather and wind-affected snow. This area is ideal for touring with gentler gradients than the Bernese Oberland and... view

Tour de Soleil Ski Tour
Tour de Soleil Ski Tour, Switzerland (Intermediate)

The Tour de Soleil is a classic hut-to-hut ski tour that follows an old smugglers trail in a remote but charming corner of the Swiss Alps.
Until a tunnel was built in 1965, no road accessed into the Binntal (Binn Valley), a small valley near the remains of the Rhône Glacier. This area still remains hidden from the rest of Switzerland,... view

Ski Touring in the Vanoise National Park
Vanoise Haute Route Ski Tour, France (Intermediate)

NEW ITINERARY FOR 2015!
The Vanoise is a great destination for ski touring. The Vanoise national park is a national park in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps. It is the largest national park in the Alps and is bordered by several large ski resorts - Les Trois Vallées, Tignes, Val-d'Isère, Les Arcs, La Plagne - and... view

Stubai Alps Ski Tour
Stubai Alps Ski Tour, Austria (Intermediate)

A trip that we introduced into our programme in 2013, the Stubai Alps are a very accessible range (just a 1 hour transfer) close to Innsbruck in Austria . The area has an excellent snow record and offers wonderful ski touring - similar to the Silvretta Alps, with fine day tours in impressive glaciated surroundings. The terrain is ideal for... view

Queyras Ski Tour
Queyras Traverse Ski Tour (Intermediate)

NEW FOR 2015!

The Queyras is one of the most beautiful of the French National Parks. Despite this, it remains almost untouched by modern life and the unspoilt villages and hamlets have retained a traditional and authentic charm.
Our tour is a traverse of the park taking in a number of summits with breathtaking views. The skiing... view

Haute Route Ski Tour
Haute Route Ski Tour (Advanced)

The Haute Route Ski Tour is the most famous ski tour in the Alps. Ski touring the Haute Route is a must for any committed ski tourer and features a legendary high Alpine 120km traverse with 6,000m of ascent and descent linking two historic Alpine centres, Chamonix and Zermatt.

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Ski Touring in the Valpelline, Italy
Valpelline Ski Tour, Italy (Advanced)

We start our Valpelline adventure from the quaint farming hamlet of Bionaz at the Northern end of the Aosta region in Italy. This ski touring area on the Italian side of the Col du Grand St. Bernard is famous for its remote rocky peaks and hanging valleys but still remains something of a well-kept secret. If you like peace tranquility and... view

Ski Touring on the Oberland 4000ers
Ski Tour of the Bernese Oberland 4000ers (Advanced)

This ski tour is a variation on our very popular hut-to-hut ski tour in the Bernese Oberland and is aimed at advanced ski tourers who want to tackle some of the more accessible peaks. The Bernese Oberland in Switzerland offers some fantastic ski touring amid truly breathtaking scenery. This is the highest massif in the Alps and it includes a... view

Gran Paradiso Ski Tour
Gran Paradiso Ski Tour (Advanced)

The Gran Paradiso at 4,061m is the highest mountain entirely within Italy and sits in one of the most idyllic national parks in the Alps. On this tour we undertake a circumnavigation of the massif, culminating with an ascent of the Gran Paradiso.

The Italian trails are generally quieter than in France and Switzerland; combined with the... view

Ski Mont Blanc Chamonix
Mont Blanc Ski Tour (Advanced)

A brilliant week's ski touring topped off with the ski ascent (and descent!) of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Western Europe. This 7-day trip, including the 2-day summit attempt, will prepare you mentally and physically for summit day and we also ski and tour some of the best descents in Chamonix during the first few days. There is also an... view

Ski Touring on Mt Elbrus
Elbrus Ski Touring (Advanced)

This is a 10-day ski expedition into the heart of the mighty Caucasus Range. Nestled between the Caspian and the Black Sea, it's a seriously wild place!

The trip combines some excellent ski-touring with the possibility of an ascent of the highest summit in Europe - Elbrus (5642m).

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Austrian Haute Route Grossglockner Ski Tour
Austrian Haute Route Ski Tour (Advanced)

The Austrian Haute Route is one of the best hut-to-hut tours in the Tyrolean Alps. It traverses mountain landscapes that are both beautiful and unspoilt. The highlight of the week is the ascent of the 'King' of the Eastern Alps, the Grossglockner (3798m). The area is steeped in history and has a fascinating blend of Austrian and Italian... view

Ortler Alps Ski Tour
Ortler Traverse Ski Tour, Italy (Advanced)

The Ortler offers premium ski touring in one of the largest national parks in Europe. The area is quiet and picture-postcard perfect. This a quintessentially Italian experience, with warm hospitality and great food. The Ortler is a connoisseur's choice, perfect for ski tourers who have completed the classic tours of the Western Alps and are... view

Atlas Mountains Ski Touring in Morocco
Couscous and Couloirs in Morocco (Advanced)

A beautiful journey of discovery through the heart of the High Atlas mountains in winter ascending high peaks, enjoying some steep ski descents and experiencing remote Berber villages with their renowned hospitality.

This is an opportunity to combine excellent early season ski touring with the unique culture and customs of this... view

Ski touring in the High Tatras in Poland Mountain Tracks
High Tatras of Poland and Slovakia (Advanced)

The Tatra Mountains form the border between Poland and Slovakia and are part of the Carpathian range. They offer similar scenery and landscape to the European Alps, although smaller in height. The mountains offer snow-sure conditions between January and March, while the terrain provides some excellent ski touring and backcountry skiing with... view

Ski touring in the Pyrenees
Pyrenean Haute Route Ski Tour (Advanced)

New to our programme in 2013, this trip sold out straight away - recognition that the route offers great ski touring terrain. The Pyrenees forms a natural border between France and Spain where the mountains separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extend for 300 miles from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean.... view

Ski Antarctica
Ski Antarctica (Advanced)

Antarctica is a wilderness of extraordinary beauty where nature rules fiercely and unconditionally. This frozen paradise will be the playground for a Mountain Tracks ski mountaineering adventure in November and December 2014.

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Piz Bernia Ski Tour
Piz Bernina Ski Mountaineering Tour, Switzerland (Expert)

Piz Bernina is the crown jewel overlooking the Engardine Valley and, after Mont Blanc, has the greatest independent elevation in the Alps (from valley to summit). Despite the proximity to St. Moritz the area is one of the more isolated and quieter areas of the Eastern Alps. This tour takes in some spectacular glaciated scenery and has some big... view

Monte Rosa Summits Ski Tour
Monte Rosa Summits Ski Tour (Expert)

The Monte Rosa range lies above Zermatt in Switzerland and constitutes the end of the Western Alps. The list of high peaks - there are more 4,000m peaks here than anywhere else in the Alps - is impressive, but it is the seemingly endless vertical descent of each ski-run which makes this area popular with ski tourers. It also has some of the... view

Skill Level Overview

Introductory

These trips and tours are appropriate for people looking for their first touring experience. The pace is relaxed and typically we skin for 2-4hrs per day so ascents are about 500 - 800m vertical. You need to be a reasonable off-piste skier (at our Off-Piste Performance Intermediate level), able to link controlled parallel turns in powder snow and ski through trees in control. You need to be prepared to hike short sections on foot carrying your skis on your rucksack (though you won’t need any specific mountaineering knowledge, so crampons and an ice axe are usually not required).

Intermediate

These tours will involve around 3-5hrs of skinning per day, achieving around 800 – 1000m of vertical ascent. We would expect you to be able skin to a pace of 300m of vertical ascent per hour. You need to be able to execute good uphill kick turns on steeper slopes and have some familiarity with use of crampons and ice axe. You need to be a reasonably strong off-piste skier able to deal with a variety of snow conditions (powder, crust, slush) and able to ski on steeper and narrower slopes with the requisite ability and confidence for exposed sections.

Advanced

Advanced-level tours are for experienced ski tourers who’ve previously completed another hut-to-hut trip or multiple day tours. You will be expected to ascend on skis at around 400m/hr and be able to skin for at least 5hrs with up to 1000m to 1300m of ascent per day. A large proportion of the terrain may be steep and exposed; thus confidence in your uphill kick turns on 35+ degree slopes is a must, as is your ability to ski slopes of 40 degrees. You will be a strong, fluid off-piste skier able to handle all conditions. You will be confident of using crampons and an ice axe and happy climbing on snow and rock on short climbs to summits, and in gullies to gain a col.

Expert

Expert level ski tours are pure ski mountaineering journeys in the high mountains. You must be confident skiing steep exposed terrain and ski touring for at least 5 hours per day with long ascents. You will be expected to climb on your feet carrying your skis on your pack to summit mountains above 4000m in altitude. You must be completely confident with your crampon placement and use of an ice axe and you will have some basic rope skills and be happy walking along exposed ridges on mixed terrain to gain the summits of peaks.

Stamina Level Overview

Level 3

You can ski all day comfortably off-piste and ski tour at an ascent rate of 300m per hour for 3 to 5 hours per day (a total of around 800m – 1000m vertical ascent per day). Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.

Level 4

You’re able to happily ski all day off-piste on challenging terrain and snow, and you can ski tour at a rate of ascent of 400m/hour - thus around 1000 – 1300m vertical (5 hours approximately) each day for consecutive days. You’re doing lots of sport each week (4-5 sessions) and you train regularly to achieve a high level of fitness, stamina and endurance. Completing an 80-100 mile cycle ride, a full day’s mountain biking or running a half or full marathon is not out of your reach with this stamina level.

Contact

250 York Road, London
SW11 3SJ, United Kingdom
info@mountaintracks.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 2978
Fax: +44 (0)20 7905 0921

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