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Discover the art of ski touring - La Grave & Serre Chevalier

6 days from 795 € per participant

Guaranteed departure from 5 people

Comfort
France Montagne Maximum altitude 3600 m Skill level : 1 Montagne Stamina level : 2 Montagne Direct train from Paris

In a nutshell

Keen to try ski touring ? Come and discover our favourite playground in the Ecrins, get a pleasant dose of physical effort and adrenaline, get lost in contemplation whilst enjoying the pleasure of downhill skiing in virgin snowfields.

This trip takes place between the French-Italian border and the mythical Meije. We alternate from days ski touring near the borderline facing the Ecrins glaciers to days with time to train skills in all kinds of snow so you can enjoy uphills as well as descents.

The unspoilt and unique environment surrouding you, will convince you that ski touring is THE way to get around and about the mountains in wintertime. In a relaxed atmosphere, our comfortable and welcoming accommodation make this trip a unique chance to learn the basics and discover the thrills of ski touring, whilst progressing.

We take care of everything from your accomodation to your gear, without omitting the best places for ski touring in the backcountry... Just enjoy, no more no less !

Pros

- A trip designed to help you discover the art of ski touring

- Expert advice from our mountain guide to help your progress quickly

- A mountain range that gets heaps of sun even in wintertime

- Single or double room accommodation on request, according to your choice

- Easy TGV access via the Paris-Milano line, to Oulx train station (Cesana), minibus pick up and return transfer 

- No booking fees

Friends, family or just colleagues at work ?

You wish to customize one of our trips, among friends and at your own convenience ? No problem, contact us so we can adapt a trip to suit you, right down to the last detail ! Our trips are tailor-made so giving you what you want is as easy as 123.

  • Price (VAT inc)
  • 975€ per participant
  • 795€ per participant
  • 795€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
    Guaranteed departure
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
    Guaranteed departure
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 945€ per participant
  • 795€ per participant

Day to day

Day 1 - Warm up

Pick up at Briançon train station or Oulx (for those taking the TGV), from where we head off in the minibus. 

Please be wearing your ski outfit upon arrival.

We meet up with our guide and off to Clavière (Italy) or Montgenèvre ski area, on the France-Italy border. On our first day together, we take it easy. Handing out gear may take some time, but don't worry, we'll make up for it, today and the coming days. On and off-piste sessions enable us to warm up and get back into skiing.

This will also enable the guide to assess everyone's level, to review or learn safety techniques, to do some climbing with skins for a brief introduction. No worries, today we're just getting to know each other. At the end of the day we transfer to Villar d'Arêne and La Grave two small villages nestled beneath the glaciers of the Haute Romanche valley.

Ascent/descent: + 50 m / - 1500 m

Meals included: picnic and dinner

Accommodation included: gîte 

 

Day 2 - Face to face with La Meije

From Ventelon we head off for the Signal de La Grave (2446 m). The panorama of the North face of the Meije, the glaciers and La Grave's freeride ski area are simply breathtaking. 

Ascent/descent: +/- 850 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

Accommodation included: gîte 

 

Day 3Aiguillette du Lauzet

We have a short transfer to get the Pont de L’Alpe on the other side of the Lautaret pass. This is one of the local classics and favorites, with different options and room for everyone. We set off for the Aiguillette du Lauzet mountain pass (2537 m) at the foot of the impressive Tour de l'Aiguillette du Lauzet. The descent is like a sweet stand on the market: there something for everyone's taste: all difficulties, easy slopes, plenty of powder or nicely transformed springtime snow, we can criss cross the mountain slopes wherever we feel like ! After a great day's skiing, let's head over to the hot springs at Les Bains de Monêtier (swimming baths, hot springs and spa), just a stone’s throw away to chill out after a hard day’s skiing. 

Ascent/descent: +/- 800 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

Accommodation included: gîte 

 

Day 4 - Off piste special - La Grave

We take off for the famous cable cars at La Grave. Today is off piste skiing special in all different kinds of snow and possibly glacier skiing, weather permitting. La Grave is a world famous off-piste mecca where you'll be able to experience some of the "must be done" itineraries. If the cable cars are closed, as they often are before Christmas, then we go skiing at some neighbouring ski area. 

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

Accommodation included: gîte  

 

Day 5 -  Col d'Arsine

We head off to the quaint village called Le Casset, nestled at the foot of the Casset Glacier. We hit up a steady slope through the woods that leads up to the Casset Glacier and the legendary Davin gully. Once we quit the forest, a stunning landscape surrounded by peaks and glaciers emerges. As we reach the Col d'Arsine (2340 m), you'll feel like you're standing in the middle of a mountain range that may remind you of the Himalayas. We have an easy going descent, just to have fun and enjoy. 

Ascent/descent: +/- 800 m

Meals included: breakfast, picnic and dinner

Accommodation included: gîte   

 

Day 6Col de Laurichard

A short transfer brings us up to the Lautaret pass from where we have a nice outing that takes us up to the Laurichard mountain pass from where we can admire the fantastic panorama over the Grand Galibier and more.

End of trip in the afternoon, transfer and delivery either in Oulx or Briançon. 

Ascent/descent: + 700 m / - 900 m

Meals included: breakfast and picnic

 

Please note this itinerary is an example of a ski touring course in the Ecrins and La Grave. The guide may adjust certain itineraries and ski areas according to weather and snow conditions as well as participants' abilities. We kindly ask you to respect such decision. Ski touring may take place in France and Italy. We may also change accommodation, maintaining the same standards, according to logistics and availabilities.

Meeting and leaving

Meeting points

  • Briançon in front of the Train Station

    See on the map

    Meeting time: 8.30 am
    Leaving time: in the afternoon
  • Oulx-Cesana (IT) - TGV train station

    See on the map

    Meeting time: 9.15 am
    Leaving time: in the afternoon

Get together - practical information

Please be wearing your ski outfit upon arrival.

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.

 

Getting there

Train & TGV access: www.voyages-sncf.com 

Car access: www.mappy.fr 

Car sharing: www.blablacar.fr

 

Parking

Free public parking can be found in Briançon and Oulx (both unattended) or just in front of our accommodation.

 

 

How technical does it get ? How fit should I be ?

Skill level 

For ski touring beginners, you should be at ease with skiing down red and black slopes (level III ESF). The guide will train you for touring techniques, security techniques and gear (avalanche detector, shovel and probe). Not suitable for beginners, these are not ski lessons.

 

Stamina level

Decent physical condition is required, approx. 3 to 4 hrs skiing per day. Ascents and descents vary from 300 to 1000 metres per day. Easy pace.

 

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 !

Group size

5 to 8 participants

Guiding

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.

Daypack

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.

Ski lifts

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 € 80 for ski lift fares.

Pricing

The price includes

- Trip logistics & organisation upon arrival

- All minibus transfers upon arrival from one of the indicated meeting points

- 5 nights accommodation on half-board basis and picnics for 6 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

- Harness for glacier use

- Extra fees for Xmas & New-Year

- 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”

Payment

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. 

Insurance

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

Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.

Getting around

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 !

Accommodation & meals

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.

* non contractual accomodation pictures

- Hotel room option with private bathroom and toilets: subject to availability. Single supplement: € 140 per person, double room supplement: € 120 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.

Phone & WiFi

In case of emergency or delay, you can either contact your guide (a phone number will be provided before departure) or contact Azimut on: (+ 33) 04 92 23 07 24.

Please inform your friends and family with these details before departure.

Wifi is free of charge in our accommodation.

Good mobile & 4G coverage.

 

 

Equipment - clothing & gear

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):

Full Pack (ski, boots, skins, ski-crampons, poles) 183 €
Skis (skis, skins, poles, ski-crampons)  175 €
Ski Boots 68 €
Airbag Backpack 120 €
Helmet 30 €

 

You can choose to rent equipment when booking your trip, or lateron by clicking on “my account”. If any of the equipment that you’ve chosen is out of stock you’ll be notified and reimbursed.

 

Clothes

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. 

 

Headwear

- 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 (strongly recommended)

 

Bodywear

- 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.

 

Footwear

- 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

  • a 1 litre flask (Thermos or Camelback)
  • a pocket knife
  • duck tape
  • factor 50 sun cream
  • a duffle bag holding up to 90 litres to leave at the hotel or in a vehicle. No suitcases. 

 

Toiletries and first aid kit

- Personal toilet bag

- To make up a first aid kit, please find all relevant information on the Ifremmont website. 

Need new gear ?

If you book a trip with Azimut, you'll get a 10% 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.

 

In partnership with

Our guides use the following brands for their gear and you'll have the opportunity to test them during the trip:

Black Crows

Arva 

Fritschi Swiss bindings

Haglöfs

Glisshop

Anena

SCOTT

Official partner and service provider for Terres d'Aventure

 

And last but not least...

Don't forget to:

- Leave contact details with your friends and family

- Bring your papers and I.D. (passport and visa if necessary)

- Bring your contract number and documents related to your insurance (if you've chosen not to have insure coverage through Azimut)

- Bring your “carte vitale” and your European health card (EU member states) - if you don't have one you can order one free of charge online  www.ameli.fr

- Check that you have the right equipment

- Take spare batteries and a charger for your electronic devices (camera, video recorder, tracking devices etc)

- Bring some cash and your credit card

- Bring a delicacy from your home country or area to share with the group

- Leave in a good frame of mind: we're going to have a great time even if we happen to not make it to the summit !

- Before leaving: water the plants, empty the rubbish bin, turn off water and gas, and tell your partner that you're going to have a good time (please not by text message), that you've well deserved... If you don't follow the latter recommendation, you'll most probably kick yourself when you get back !


 

                                   See you on the slopes !

                             Have great runs with AZIMUT !

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