The Val d’Anniviers in the Valais area of the Swiss Alps is one of ski touring's best kept secrets and offers huge potential for the adventurous skier. The area is characterised by high alpine terrain, deep valleys and charming alpine villages. This area is a fantastic antidote to the more heavily developed areas of the western Alps. Powder descents of 1,500m abound and there are many vast bowls where fresh tracks can be found even weeks after the last snowfall! The area features a high and comprehensive lift system and multiple slope aspects which ensure good conditions throughout the season. No mass tourism, no high-rise buildings, and few skiers off piste; the area is attractive and traditional with only tentative signs of any new developments.
A single lift pass covers 4 areas: Zinal, Grimentz, St Luc and Vercoran - and the sheer volume of terrain on offer ensures that it’s unlikely we ski the same run twice!
Travel to Zinal and a welcome by Eric and Penny at the chalet. In the evening you will meet your guides who will give a briefing on the plans for the week.
The week starts with a warm-up day with no guiding. You can explore the local Zinal ski area and Penny and Eric will be happy to advise on the best places to ski.
Our first touring day - head up into the Zinal ski area and ski the north slope of Corne de Sorebois before turning left and skiing round to Grimentz. Take an early lunch and then go to the top of the Roc d'Orzival (2816m) to ski the north slope in to Orzival followed by a long easterly traverse back into the Grimentz lift area. Take the Bec du Bosson lifts and skin and ski to the Bec du Bosson hut (2983m) where we stay the night. Approx 150m of skinning.
From the hut skin up to the Pointes de Tsavolire (3026m) before skiing the north east face. Skin back to the hut (150m) and ski into the plateau of the Lac de Lona (2640m) followed by the skin to the Basset de Lona (2792m) and the excellent ski down to the Moiry dam and back to Grimentz. Return to Mottec on the bus. In total: aprox 400m (2 hours) of skinning.
We start with a road journey to St Luc where we take the lifts up to the top of the Bella Tolla (3025m) and traverse round the west side of the summit to ski the north north east facing bowl. This is followed by a 150m climb west to the Parilet. Ski down to above the dam and another short skin to get back in to the St Luc ski area where we stop for lunch. Back up to the Bella tolla and ski down the Bortertalli valley to Oberrems on north and east facing slopes. We descend with the cable car from Oberrems in to the Rhone valley before returning back to Mottec using public transport. This is a big day with rather complex travel arangments but it all fits together if you make an early start. A total of 250m (1.5hrs) of skinning.
Back to Grimentz via Zinal ski area and then up to the Roc d'Orzival. This time go south west and ski north west from the Col du Tsan and skin north east to near la Brinta for 250m (1.5hrs). This gives accsess back to the orxival and the Grimentz lift area. Return to Mottec.
Depart after breakfast
The price includes 6 nights chalet-board accommodation (twin-rooms), 1 night in a high mountain refuge and 5 days guide fees & expenses.
The price does not include travel to/from Zinal, airport transfers, local transport & uplift, personal insurance, equipment hire, lunches & drinks
Single room occupancy is limited and where available will incur additional charges. Ask us for details.
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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)
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This is an extensive list of the equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Day Ski Touring trips
During the trip you will be staying most nights in comfortable chalet or hotel accommodation on a half board or B&B basis. You will just need to carry a day pack with your avalanche safety equipment and a few personal items.
On some of our trips you will stay 1 night out in a mountain hut. Huts in the Alps are comfortable but very basic with limited facilities – running cold water, European-style toilets and dormitory-style accommodation. All the huts provide ‘hut slippers’ – these days they are usually Crocs - and so you will not need to carry additional footwear. You will need to have a sleeping bag liner for any hut nights; huts provide a duvet or blankets plus a pillow for sleeping so its not necessary to carry a sleeping bag.
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.
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 “Safety Trilogy” - required on all our ski tours and off-piste courses.
Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country consisting of 26 Cantons, with Bern as its main federal city.
It is boarded by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Its a landlocked country with the mountainous regions occupying a greater part of its territory.
Home to around 8 million people (2013) the country has many pretty villages, lakes and mountains. The highest mountain in Switzerland is the Monterosa (specifically the Dufourspitze) at 4,634m. The country has the highest concentration of 4000m peaks at 48.
Its 2 largest cities of Zurich and Geneva are global economic centres and gateways to the Alps from countries across the world.
Its main languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh.
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 want to arrange to arrive in Zinal by late afternoon on the first day.
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 for mid to late afternoon to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport without having to rush!
The most convenient airports are Geneva or Zurich airport from where you can take the train to Sierre (Geneva 2 hrs, Zurich 2.5 hrs). At Sierre catch the yellow Post Bus to Zinal, you may need to change in Vissoie. Ask the driver for Mottec (as it’s a request stop) and the bus stops right outside Chalet Edelweiss. This is the large balconied house fronting the road. Train and bus timetables can be found at www.sbb.ch/en.
The last bus leaves Sierre station at 1910 (and gets to Mottec at about 2005) and so if you are going to arrive later than this then you’ll need to take a taxi for this leg of the journey. The cost for the taxi is about 120 CHF for 1-4 people. www.taxianniviers.ch
If you are coming as a group you may also want to consider booking a taxi for the whole journey. This will cost from 600 CHF for 1-4 people.
Alternatively you can hire a car at the airport. Driving time to the chalet is approximately 2 hrs from Geneva and 2.5 hrs from Zurich.
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.
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.