- an ideal trip for first timers
- this mountain range gets heaps the sun, even in winter
- expert mountain guide advice, perfect to progress rapidly
- accomodation in a genuine mountain village
- traditional food is on offer as well as a warm welcome
- easy access with the Paris-Milano TGV and get off the Oulx train station, where we pick you up with our minibus
We’ve thought about it for quite a while, and tried to keep the secret but we just had to share it with you. That’s right, THE place where we love to ski when we have time to kill in spring, when a lunchbreak on the slopes turns out into half a day skiing, we just couldn’t keep it for ourselves, or could we?
So, come with us and discover the breathtaking valleys and mountains of Cervières & the Izoard mountain pass near Briançon, where cyclist congregate in the summer, this is where we have fun in wintertime. This one of the most beautiful valleys, it's steeped in tradition and culture where architecture harks back to old days and fortresses tell of conflicts long settled.
Amidst this stunning nature and culture, our hotel is located in a haven of peace and is almost as charming as the surrounding wilderness, not to forget to mention the incredibly warm welcome of our hosts.
This long weekend is ideal for those wishing to discover ski touring in an idyllic and unspoilt surrounding.
Get together at the Oulx train station. Then we head off to Montgenèvre ski resort on the France-Italy border. The day will be spent getting the lay of the land; the guide will teach or go over the necessary safety techniques. If weather permits we take an off piste itinerary to reach our gite in Cervières. We picnic at lunchtime and have dinner at the gîte.
Ascent/descent: + 400/- 400 m
Meals included: picnic and dinner
Accomodation included: gîte
We have breakfast and then jump into the practice! A nice day of ski touring in Serre-Chevalier Valley, facing the National Park of Les Ecrins and its glacier. You will love it!
Ascent/descent: +/- 800 m
Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner
Accomodation included: gîte
After breakfast we go touring in the Piemont valleys on the France-Italy border. There we climb up the Cîme Saurel (2449 m) where we have spectacular views over the Fonts valley and its' traditional hamlets and the entire Sestrières valley. Then there's one last descent to wrap up the trip in a truly memorable way. We head back to the gîte to pick up our luggage and take those who have a train to catch back to the station in Briançon or Oulx.
Altitude variation: +/- 800m
Meals included: breakfast and picnic
Please note this itinerary is an example of a skitouring discovery weekend with Azimut and should only be used as a guide. The weather conditions on the mountain or participants skills and stamina may require the guide changes the itinerary or inverse the itinerary. We kindly as you to request such decision. We may also have to change accomodation, with the same standard, due logistics and/or availability.
We always do our best, but we can't guarantee the exact time of arrival at the train station (due to traffic or weather conditions). Therefore we strongly advise you to buy train tickets that can easily be modified. If you're travelling by car, we'll meet you at the arrival point, or at one of the drop of points where you'll be able to leave your car for the entire trip.
The last day, we try to make it back to Oulx by 5 pm, but we cannot guarantee this.
Train & TGV access: www.voyages-sncf.com
Car access: www.mappy.fr
Car sharing: www.blablacar.fr
Free public parking can be found in Briançon and Oulx (both unattended) or just in front of our accommodation.
Skill level *
For skiers who have never done ski touring. You will need to be able to ski down red or black alpine slopes. You will get technical ski touring training from the guide. Does not fit to ski beginners as it is not ski lessons.
Stamina level *
Approx 3/4 hours skiing per day. Expect to climb between 700 & 1000 m per day.
Good to know: if you don't have the level required, the guide will be able to ask you to leave for the well-being of the rest of the group if necessary. If any doubt, please do not hesitate to ask us !
5 to 8 participants
Azimut qualified mountain guide.
All our mountain guides are certified. We choose them for their sympathy, their teaching and organisational skills. We stay tuned in, work hands in hands, and make sure their working conditions are the best.
Meet our guides just around the corner.
Bring a small day pack large enough to carry your personal belongings for the day such as (extra) layers, a few snacks, your picnic and security equipment.
Considering the itinerary may be modified due to mountain and snow conditions, ski lift fares are not included in the price. The definite day to day itinerary will depend on local conditions. For this trip you should budget approx €30 for ski lift fares.
The price includes
- Trip logistics & organisation upon arrival
- All minibus transfers upon arrival from one of the indicated meeting points
- 2 nights accommodation on half-board basis and picnics for 3 days
- Safety & rescue equipment training/reviewing
- Certified and expert mountain guide services (including all his expenses: meals, accommodation, transportation, ski lift fares)
- Safety & rescue equipment sets are provided (tracking device, shovel and probe), if you don't have your own gear
- AZIMUT welcome pack
The price does not include
- Transportation to/from the meeting point
- Ski lift fares
- Gear rental if required
- Personal insurance
- Drinks (including those with meals at the hotel), personal extras, and any other expenses not mentioned under the above section “the price includes”
A 30% deposit, as well as the insurance cost if you choose to subscribe the latter, is required to secure your booking. You will receive a reminder email 35 days prior to departure for the outstanding balance due latest 30 days prior to departure.
We strongly recommend you to be properly insured for the chosen activity. You should be covered for medical expenses, personal accident & liabilité, third party risks and rescue (helicopter), as well as trip cancellation or curtailment.
Repatriation and research insurance are mandatory when booking a trip with Azimut. We have a full range of insurances on offer to suit the trip you select and the risks that it may incur.
Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.
Azimut's minibus is used throughout the whole trip. Not only does this make the trip easier, but it also makes it more pleasant and open: we can chat, sleep and listen to our own music !
During the trip
Depending on the size of group, you may share a room with someone of the opposite sex.
- Half board in a gite, shared showers and toilets. Bed sheets, linen and towels supplied.
- Hotel room option with private bathroom and toilets: subject to availability. Single supplement: € 75 per person, double room supplement: € 35 per person
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner: we have breakfasts and dinners at the gite, and provide picnics for lunch. Picnics consist of good quality products including ham, cheese, bread, a chocolate bar and a piece of fruit or a compote
- Snacks: to boost your energy we've chosen to provide Mulebars, tasty and top quality organic energy bars, no additives, coloring nor conservatives.
Before & after ski touring trips
Once we've received your booking, we'll provide you with a list of accommodation in case you need to book a night before or after the trip. All accommodation listed is close to the meeting points. You may often benefit from preferential rates.
Make sure to wear bright colours, it's good for the soul and gives photos a funky edge !
Ski gear (all in excellent condition)
- Ski touring skis with appropriate bindings. We recommend freeride type skis so you can enjoy skiing powdery descents and skiing on all types of snow
- Ski skins
- Ski crampons (i.e. "couteaux")
- Ski poles
- Ski touring boots
- Avalanche kit: transceiver, shovel and probe (please let us know if you have your own, if not we lend them for free)
- 35 litre backpack
Security advice: avalanche airbag backpacks are highly recommended.
They help to stay on the surface in case of avalanche and minimize the risk of burial. Our guides use them and we highly recommend you to opt for high quality and reliable gear. If you don't have an avalanche airbag we rent them out at a very competitive price.
If you don't have the adequate equipment for the trip, don’t worry and travel light: we rent out the required gear and hand it over at the start of the trip ! Our equipment is relatively new (less than 3 year old) if not brand new, of good quality, adapted to your choice of activity and from the best brands (Black Crows, Fritschi, Arva, Haglöfs, Anena, Glisshop, Scott).
Prices of rental equipment during the entire trip (these competitive prices only take into account the number of days of the trip):
This list of clothes is designed to give you an idea of clothes it may be a good to have with you. By no means do you need to have the latest brands or the latest gear, but if you need to renew your wardrobe, this guide would be a good start.
- Warm hat or buff/scarf
- Ski goggles (2 pairs) and sunglasses: UV factory 4 protective lenses. Photochromic glasses adapt to light intensity and are very useful
- Helmet (highly recommended)
- Under layer: breathable long sleeved tops to maintain heat. A tip: merino wool is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties and is therefore less likely to smell as opposed to synthetic fabrics. Take this into consideration if you need to update your wardrobe.
- Middle layer: a light polar or synthetic jacket for an extra layer of heat during breaks
- Outer layer: a Gore-tex or similar type of jacket with a breathable waterproof membrane. Make sure it's lightweight and compact so it doesn't take up too much space in your backpack
- Bottom layer: trousers with a breathable waterproof membrane (Gore Tex or similar) with long side zips allowing air to flow, recommended on climbs
- Hands: light fleece or soft shell gloves, a pair of silk glove liners to go underneath, warm gloves with a breathable and waterproof membrane. Mittens are always a good idea for really cold days of for those of you who feel the cold !
- Swimming gear: it takes up such little space, it would be a shame not to bring it just in case. Avoid swimming shorts or bermudas, they are not usually allowed.
- Ski socks: merino wool socks are breathable and have anti-bacterial properties and are less likely to smell as opposed to those made of synthetic fabrics. Think about them if you need to stock up.
- Slippers recommended for evening wear. Try charentaises they’re really comfortable !
Odds & ends
Toiletries and first aid kit
- Personal toilet bag
- To make your a first aid kit, please find all information on Ifremont's website.
If you book a trip with Azimut, you'll get a 15% discount code on your confirmation page that you can use at our friends Glisshop.
Just go straight to glisshop.com ! Established in 1996, our partner stands as a leader for online winter sports equipment. Based in the centre of the volcanoes of Auvergne (France), they help every passionate skier and powder addict to find the gear they need by offering a huge and unique choice of clothing and gear available throughout Europe.
With close to 250 brands and 10 000 items for sale, Glisshop simply is the ideal partner to equip you from head to toe whathever activity may be your preference.
Don't forget to:
See you on the slopes !
Have great runs with AZIMUT !