If solace and quiet are high on your wish list, the Queyras National Traverse should be one ski tour that is firmly on your radar
Nestled in the Southern Alps this beautifully picturesque area is often overlooked on account of its elevation not comparing to the likes of the Bernese Oberland and Monterosa. But, when most skiers flock to these high altitude areas like moths to a flame, the Queyras National Park remains quiet, you can't even hear the lifts turning, well, because there isn't any! The Queyras is one of the most beautiful of the French National Parks and remains almost untouched by modern life. The unspoilt villages and hamlets have retained a traditional and authentic charm.
Heading to the area in late January when the snow is at its best, we will hop from village to village and experience the regions unique and welcoming charm and hospitality, not to mention the extensive wildlife. While we are classifying this as a hut-to-hut tour, a more accurate phrase may be a village-to-village tour, on account of most of the rustic accommodation lying in small farming hamlets and equipped with hot showers.
Our tour is a traverse of the park taking in a number of summits with breathtaking views. The skiing is varied with wide- open slopes mixed with tree skiing between larch and fir. This is ski touring off the beaten track - where you are likely to see more chamois than fellow ski tourers!
The price includes all guide fees and expenses, all accommodation in a mix of small hotels, gites and mountain huts.
The price does not include travel out to the Queyras and back, uplift costs, transfers, lunches, drinks and equipment hire.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
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£2.50 per person of the cost of any air package is paid to the Civil Aviation Authority to provide ATOL Protection to you. This means the money paid for these arrangements is fully protected. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2911. For more information see our booking terms and conditions.
ABTOT provides protection for your booking as set out in Holiday Information.
Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
Registered in England No. 2099115. VAT No. GB 461 5692 34
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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.
The Queyras Regional Natural Park is south of Grenoble and Briançon and to the far east of France bordering on Italy. It 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.
It is much less frequented and somewhat lower than the better known areas further north in Savoie and Haut-Savoie but it is extremely beautiful with some excellent ski touring in winter and alpine walking & hiking in summer.
It also benefits from a very pleasant micro-climate and has 300 days of sunshine each year.
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.
All our ski tours are led by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides. The team is led by Olly Allen, Matt Dickinson and Nick Parks.
IGN 3537 ET Guillestre - Vars - Risoul - PNR du Queyras - Ceillac (1:25.000)
IGN 3637 OT Mont Viso - St. Véran - Aiguilles - PNR du Queyras - Abriès (1:25.000)
IGN 3536 OT Briançon - Serre Chevalier - Montgenèvre (1:25.000)
Note: our guide will bring maps so it's not essential you have your own maps.
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.