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.
Victor Emmanuel (King of Italy) created the national park in 1856 as his personal hunting reserve. In 1920 his grandson (Victor Emanuel III) donated it to the nation creating Italy's first national park. The National park is rich in wildlife and it is common to see Ibex, Chamois and Lammergeier (Bearded Vultures).
On this tour we undertake a traverse of the massif, culminating with an ascent of the Gran Paradiso. This ski tour is generally quieter than ones in France or Switzerland. Dramatic scenery, wildlife, and friendly relaxing huts with Italian ambiance all add up to a great week's ski touring!
We transfer by road through the Mont Blanc tunnel to the trailhead in the Valgrisenche valley. An hours skin / walk leads us up above the West bank of the reservoir Lago di Beauregard. Some years it is possible to drive this section. With our skins on we set off following the river up the steep sided valley to the Refugio Bezzi (2284m) where we spend the first night (3 hours).
The Refugio Bezzi has a great reputation for excellent food, wine and a friendly atmosphere. There is running water and showers are available.
For 2019 the Chivasso hut is closed, we will spend two nights in the Benevolo
From the Benevolo hut we skin up the wide valley overlooking the Glacier du Lavassey to the Col Basei (3176m). From here we nip up the Punta Basei (3338m) affording our first views of the Grand Paradiso. The descent down the Ghiacciao Basey is steep and navigation critical with spectacular cliffs towering above the route on both sides. The Refuge Chivasso (2604m) is nestled next to the Col de Nivolet and feels quite remote. The hut is very traditional and has no running water and limited facilities but the food is outstanding!
We can offer an optional 2-day Mont Blanc ski ascent add-on to this trip, based on 2 participants or more.
This day would be a day at leisure in Chamonix.
From the cable-car station at Plan d'Aiguille we climb up to the Grand Mulet hut (3051m).
A big day. We leave the hut early for the climb to the summit of Mont Blanc (4810m). The descent is on the Bossons Glacier to Plan d'Aiguille. Catch the cable car down to Chamonix and celebrate a successful climb.
Depart after breakfast.
We have the last spaces available on enquiry only and are subject to change. Please call us to discuss if you wish to book the holiday.
The price includes: all guiding fees and expenses, 3 nights hotel accommodation (1 HB and 2 B&B), 4 nights half-board accommodation in mountain huts and travel between Chamonix and the trailhead.
The price does not include: equipment hire, personal insurance, travel to/from Chamonix and lunches and beverages.
This ski tour is run on a maximum ratio of 1:5, so 1 IFMGA Mountain Guide to 5 clients.
This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming to one of our Ski Tours.
During the tour you will be staying most nights in catered high mountain huts and will need to carry all the equipment and clothing you require for the duration of the tour. The huts are comfortable but basic with limited facilities.
Any clothing or other items not required on the tour can be left in a travel bag at your first hotel ready for your return on the final night.
We recommend keeping the weight of your pack as light as possible. If you are new to alpine multi-day ski touring, try taking your pack out on the slopes before the tour to see how it feels. You quickly realise the benefit of ‘skiing light’.
If you are uncertain or need further information, don't hesitate to contact us.
For all touring trips it is essential you ski with an all-mountain/freeride type skis, ski touring boots and ski touring bindings. If you have your own skis but they do not have ski touring bindings then you will need to rent skis. The same applies if you have downhill ski boots, you will need to rent ski touring boots.
For alpine ski touring we recommend an all-mountain/freeride touring ski that isn’t too heavy, a really lightweight ski comes at a cost to performance on the descents so are only recommended for really good off-piste skiers with a strong interest in ski touring.
There are plenty of great skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from the following manufactures:
Dynastar Skis: www.dynastar.com
Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com
Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com
Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us
Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com
Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com
If you are planning on buying skis for ski touring and general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us to discuss the options available to you.
It is essential that you have ski touring boots for all touring trips as walking up hill is much more comfortable in these types of boots with a walk mode and great flex. A dedicated touring boot or a hybrid freeride boot is best.
Avalanche airbag rucksacks can be used for touring but they are heavy, adding somewhere between 5-8kg just for an empty pack plus canister. So unless you are sure you can carry it and fit all you need in, we do not recommend you use one.
Over a long multiday tour every gram of weight is important as you have to carry and move it yourself. Carrying a heavy pack will hinder and tire all but the most experienced and fit ski tourer.
The “Safety Trilogy” - required on all our ski tours and off-piste courses.
Food and Water
We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favorite hill snacks. When you’re staying overnight in huts its best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food with you that you can supplement your dinners with. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs.
You have to buy bottled water in the huts as usually any running water is non-potable. Bottled water is expensive in French and Swiss huts; you can be paying upto 12-16CHF per 1.5L bottle of water. So please ensure you budget for this cost.
France a Western European country with Paris as its capital city. The country is diverse with countryside, mountainous areas and many beautiful beaches. The country is renowned for its food and wine as well as well know places like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.
Its population is around 66 million people (2013). The highest mountain is Mont Blanc at 4,810m which is visited by many every year to climb.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
You spend 3 nights in hotel accommodation and the other 4 nights are spent in traditional alpine mountain huts. The huts are amongst the friendliest on the circuit – very welcoming and friendly; ideal places to relax after long days on the hill. Food is generally excellent and plentiful. It is possible to leave some luggage in Chamonix whilst you are in the mountain huts as you will return there for the final night.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.