A superb trekking adventure in the Italian Alps. The highlight of the week is the ascent of Gran Paradiso, the highest mountain entirely within Italy. The trip is 6 days of high-level trekking and easy climbing in one of the most beautiful national parks in the alps, which is free of tourist development and home to wildlife such as ibex, chamois and marmots. Each night we stay in a different alpine mountain refuge and enjoy good food and Italian hospitality. If you are looking for an accessible alpine adventure, then this trip will definitely not disappoint!
The price includes all guiding fees & expenses, 2 nights B&B (twin-share) in a hotel in Chamonix on the first and last nights, 5 nights in mountain huts during the tour with breakfast and evening meals, transfer from Chamonix to the trail head in Italy and back.
The price does not include flights, airport transfers,2 evening meals lunches and drinks.
Single room occupancy in the hotel in Chamonix may incur an additional charge.
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Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
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This list contains our recommended clothing and equipment for our Gran Paradiso Summits trek.
In the summer months, the days generally start very cold and warm up during the morning to become hot in the afternoon. It is therefore essential that you have 2-3 thin layers that you are able to put on/take off as the conditions change. Thin layers also allow better movement as opposed to one layer of bulky clothing.
If you are uncertain or need further information, please contact us.
Base Layer Top and Bottoms – a few base layer tops, usually long sleeved is best, wool base layers form Smartwool or Icebreaker are good as they offer good wicking properties and dry quickly. A short sleeved top is worth brining too for hot days. For your legs a couple of pairs of long or ¾ length bottoms are best.
Mid-layer fleece tops – a couple of fleece type jacket or tops that can be worn between your base layer and outer layers. The “Layering” approach offers the best heat retention and flexibility in warm and cold weather.
Insulation Layer - a down or primalotf jacket is a good item to have ready to wear in the event of cold weather, it can live in your rucksack as a spare layer and can come in very handy for sudden changes in the weather.
Lightweight softshell type trousers - you want to wear a lightweight softshell or similar material on your legs, these types of trouser offer good protection from snow/ice as well as abrasion on rock and are comfortable to move in.
Walking shorts or pair of trousers with zip-off legs. Useful for walk-ins to huts on hot days.
Gore-Tex Jacket - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable jacket. Best to have a lightweight jacket that can be worn in the event of wet or windy weather but is packable enough to fit in your rucksack. Your insulated ski jacket will be overkill and too hot and bulky.
Gore-Tex Pants - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable trousers. Lightweight is important plus side zips for putting on over your boots and crampons. Used in cold, wet and windy weather.
Sun hat and warm hat – bring a wide-brimmed sun hat or baseball cap plus a warm beanie style hat.
Light, thin gloves – a thin pair of fleece or softshell gloves for warm weather are a must.
Insulated gloves - You need to have a pair of waterproof warm gloves to wear on cold days
Gaiters – these are useful to wear to keep snow out of your boots.
Socks - 3-4 pairs of medium weight socks usually mid-calf length is good.
The Haute Route is a glacier trek and significant time is spent walking on snow and ice. You therefore require a boot which is ‘B2’ rated. This is a semi-rigid boot available in either leather or plastic/composite options. Leather boots tend to be more comfortable and breathable whereas plastic/composite boots are warmer and more waterproof. B2 boots are compatible with C1 and C2 crampons.
Boots can be hired in resort but to avoid discomfort we do strongly recommend that you have your own pair which need to be well worn-in prior to your trip.
Alpine huts supply hut slippers, croc type shoes, that you can use. We do recommend you pack a pair of flip-flops for the night you spend in Arolla on our Haute Route Trek as the hotel does not supply any shoes and its more comfortable to walk around in these than your boots or socks!
Rucksack - A simple and lightweight pack with a capacity of between 35-45 liters is recommended. You need to have one loop for carrying an ice axe on your rucksack.
Lightweight sleeping bag liner – a silk or cotton sleeping bag liner is now compulsory in all mountain huts.
Water bottle or Thermos – a water bottle or hydration system is needed.
Head torch with spare batteries
Personal first Aid Kit - Should contain:
Plasters – of various sizes and possibly some adhesive wound dressings.
Pain Killers – aspirin or Paracetamol/Nurofen
Antiseptic cream or wipes
Blister kit – compeed and elastic tape to hold it in place (essential)!
(Note: Guides will have comprehensive first aid kits and are qualified in mountain first aid)
Sun Glasses - minimum category 3.
Ski Goggles – these can be very useful if you encounter strong winds and poor weather.
Sunscreen and Lip Protection
Ear Plugs - For noisy huts!!
Hold-all bag - for gear not required on trek. Will be left at first hotel and collected on return.
Money - You will need some cash for food and drinks. There are some ATMs and most hotels, shops and restaurants will accept credit cards, but most huts still accept cash only. You should allow about 30-40 Swiss Francs or 25-35 Euros per day for lunch and drinks (amount approximate and depends on consumption).
Toiletries – Should contain:
Toothbrush and paste - a mini one is ideal
Anti-bacterial hand cleaner
Wet wipes – essential to try to maintain hygiene
Tissues and toilet roll
Small light quick dry towel e.g. a Lifeventure Soft fiber towel
(Any other essentials you need but remember there are no shower facilities and generally no running water in the huts and you have to carry everything with you!)
Alpine club card - If you're a member.
Book, pack of cards and or Ipod/MP3 player – It’s nice to have something to read or listen to when you are in the huts or to challenge your fellow travelers to a game of card. These items are not essential but if you have space you might appreciate them.
These items are essential for all our alpine trekking trips.
All items can be hired from Mountain Tracks or from sport shops in the Alps.
It is possible to hire boots and the technical items needed for our alpine trekking trips in resort. Prices do change by resort/country, but here’s an approximate guide to hire costs (for the 8 day trip):
Mountaineering boots €70-80
Ice Axe €50
Boot crampons €50-60
Our guides are also able to hire these technical items to you for your trip (excluding boots).
If you wish to hire from Mountain Tracks then please contact us in advance to book this up.
The Gran Paradiso at 4061m is the highest mountain entirely within Italy and sits in one of the most idyllic National Parks in the Alps. It is located in the Graian Alps (45°32′N, 7°16′E) in the Aosta Valley.
Despite the peak's popularity with walkers, skiers and mountaineers, it has a feeling of remoteness that belies its accessibility and at 4061m, it's the perfect peak to start your ‘4000er' career and very achievable for hill-walkers looking for a new challenge.
The most convenient airport is Turin Caselle. Geneva Airport is also a good option and the journey time from there to the edge of the park is about 90 minutes (through the Mont Blanc tunnel).
Our top reasons for visiting the Gran Paradiso National Park
We often use Chamonix as the start and end point of tours and treks within the Gran Paradiso area as acessability is quick by road (less than 2hrs).
We run our Gran Paradiso Ski Tour in the region plus in the summer the peak is used as a training peak for our Mont Blanc Climber weeks and a goal in itself on other weeks. The region is as beautiful in the summer as it is in the winter months.
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 should arrange to arrive in Chamonix by late afternoon on the first day.
The most convenient airport is Geneva and from here the transfer time up to Chamonix by road is just 1 hr 15mins. To travel between the airport and Chamonix we recommend you reserve a seat on one of the many commercial shuttle buses. Mountain Tracks can book this for you and the usual prices are from £40 per person one-way. Please supply your full flight details to us so we can make the reservation.
Want to take the train to the resort? No problem – it’s possible to get to Chamonix by train from the UK using the Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Paris, then the TGV to Bellegarde and a regional train to Chamonix. The journey can be done in 1 day. For more information and other useful train travel details look at www.snowcarbon.co.uk
At the end of the week the course finishes after breakfast on the last day and we recommend that you arrange your return/onward flight from lunchtime onwards to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport without having to rush!
All our trekking trips are run by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides. The team is led by Olly Allen, Matt Dickinson and Nick Parks.
We stay in a combination of comfortable alpine hotels and traditional high mountain huts.
In the huts a typical breakfast will consist of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice, muesli, yoghurt, bread, butter, jam. During the day you carry 'hill food' e.g. snacks such as nuts & raisins, chocolate or muesli bars. Sometimes you will arrive at huts for a late lunch of omelettes, rosti (swiss fried mash) or pasta.
The evening meals are usually a set menu of 3 courses. Typical menu will be soup to start, a main dish of meat or pasta with mash or rice and vegetables. Dessert will be fruit or mousse.
The Alps generally have a very pleasant climate throughout the spring, summer and autumn with warm days and cool nights, with daytime temperatures in the valley around 25 - 30°C. At high altitude the temperature often goes down below -10 and can feel even colder with wind chill.
I have little or no alpine experience but I enjoy hill walking and trekking. I am competent trekking on rough, rocky footpaths. I would like to use crampons, understand basic rope work and glacial travel. Any snow patches encountered are crossed without too much fuss. Carrying a 30 litre rucksack with my daily equipment is no problem.
I am an experienced trekker, used to walking between 6-8 hours per day, carrying a reasonably heavy rucksack (8-10 kg) with all I need in it for the trip. I am confident in my foot placement on all terrain, particularly on rocky exposed paths. I enjoy the challenge of more technical treks and don't mind some sections of scrambling on steeper ground.
On our Wild Blue Trek in Sardinia, we require participants to be at at least this level with a good head for heights, sure-footedness and happy to "climb" and abseil in exposed situations.
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.