Coming up in April 2021 – a 5 day guided ski tour of the Vanoise National Park.
Under the guise of our super Marmalade guide for the week – Andy Townsend – our intended ski tour travels the quiet and remote backcountry of the 3 Valleys ski area and deep into the Vanoise National Park.
Starts on Sunday 11th April 2021.
6 day guided ski tour with UIAGM guide.
Max 6 in the group plus one Marmalade instructor for extra guidance and company.
First day warm up and preparation day.
5 days ski touring, 4 nights in catered mountain refuges.
Remote mountain cols.
Snow capped peaks.
Making the most of the terrain to weave a route linking the best descents, whilst staying in traditional mountain huts.
Please Note: This sample itinerary is subject to changes as determined by weather, conditions and the group’s ability.
Meet in the evening for a drink and then to look at the maps and discuss the week ahead. We will of course help you rent touring equipment or check the gear that you have brought with you.
Meribel is blessed with some of the best lift accessed off piste skiing and it would be rude not to spend the first day of our course blowing away the cobwebs and explore the mountains around Meribel and Val Thorens. This is also a great opportunity for us to get to grips with skinning, the dreaded kick turn and to test all of our equipment and make our last minute preparations prior to setting off. It is always a good idea to work through our packing faff before starting a tour.
Day one will start with us heading through Meribel and Val Thorens on our way to the Col de Thorens where the tour will truly start. Skins strapped to the skis we leave behind the ski lifts and head for the Col de Gebroulaz. After this its downhill all the way, a descent of 1500m to the Refuge du Roc de la Pêche, one of the nicest huts in the Alps with its very own hot tub!
An early start today and a brief retrace of our tracks from yesterday before heading gently up slopes towards the Col d’Aussios. From the summit we now ski down nice slopes past the Refuge du Fond d’Aussois before putting skins back on and making a short climb to the Dent Parrachee Refuge. This is a rustic and traditional French hut run by the inimitable ‘Franc’,who is famous for his excellent food and wine cellar. The hut is perched above the valley floor and watching the sunset from the small terrace with a glass of something is a great way to finish the day.
We leave behind the Dent Parrachee and head north towards the Col de Labby 3328m, from here we will get our first proper views of the massive Dôme de Chasseforêt. Depending on snow conditions we will either be able to ski right onto the Col or have to finish on foot. A short, steep descent leads to the Glacier de la Mahure which gives a fantastic descent before a short skin leads us around a shoulder and a fun ski down to the newly refurbished Refuge l’Arpont.
We leave the l’Arpont and skin steeply up towards the glacier that will lead us onto the Dome de Chassefort. This impressive broad plateau gives us our first views of the Grande Casse 3855m, under which lies our hut for the night. The ski down from the summit of the Dome is one of the best of the whole tour, finding our way through the complex glacial terrain on wide slopes is guaranteed to leave long lasting memories and a sense of euphoria that will help tired legs climb to the Col du Dard and our final ski down to the modern Refuge du Col de la Vanoise.
We will leave the hut early in the morning and ski down to the shores of Lac Long before skinning up onto the Glacier de la Grande Casse towards a narrow col. At the Col we are rewarded by impressive views of the North face of the Grande Casse and marvel at Patrick Vallencant’s audacious ski descent in 1971. We make a quick traverse directly under the face and then begin a 1000m descent to just above the closed Refuge de la Gliere. From here we continue to descend the valley down to the high mountain village of Champangny en Haut, where we will will be met by a taxi to whisk us back to to Meribel for a hero’s welcome!
There is a lot of ski touring equipment in the shops these days, a bewildering combination of different set-ups. We can help steer you to find the right kit to meet your aspirations and long-term goals. You can choose to hire or buy, but one thing that will make or break your enjoyment of touring will be your boots.
It is our recommendation that you get a pair of ski touring boots fitted by a professional and ski with them lots before you set off on the tour. You will be asking a lot of your feet during the week; chilly starts, roasting afternoons, ups and downs and the last thing you want are blister or sores that take away the enjoyment of travelling through the quiet side of the mountains. It doesn’t matter how knobbly or weird your feet are, with a bit of time and effort, a good boot fitter and an understanding mountain guide can find a solution that will work.
Marmalade’s 5 day Vanoise Ski Tour
Course starts – Sunday 11th April 2021
6 day trip.
1 day warm up and a get to know your guide session in resort.
5 days ski touring through the National Park.
4 nights staying in catered mountain refuges.
Price – €1100
Lift pass for day 1 and 2.
All mountain refuges on half board basis.
Price includes 6 days with UIAGM guide Andy Townsend plus one of our team as an extra helper.
Price does not include:
Flights or transfers to resort.
Accommodation on Saturday, Sunday or Friday night
Please make sure you have the correct level of insurance to undertake such a trip.
We can help point you in the right direction and advise on any of the above to help you make right choices.
For any more information please get in touch – email@example.com