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Ski touring at Great St. Bernard pass hospice

Valais - Swiss

Period :

Winter and Spring

Price :

From 596 €

Difficulty :


Physical Condition :

Technical level :

Group :

From 6 to 8 personnes

Duration :

4 jours

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Free roundtrip shuttle from Chamonix, contact us for further information. If the shuttle is full up, you have a train each hour from Geneva airport to Orsières, located at 15 kms of Bourg Saint Bernard. Get a train on Wednesday, sleep in hotel in Orsières, we will pick you in Orsières on Thursday morning, and drive you to Bourg Saint Bernard. On Sunday, we will drive you to Orsières ( 3 pm ), in order to catch your train to Geneva airport. Inaccessible by car as early as the first snow falls block the road of St. Bernard pass by the end of October, until the road is opened by snowploughs by the beginning of June, Great St Bernard hospice is a magic place, where the canons warmly welcome travellers, standing by St Bernard de Menthon's commitments : "The canons of our religious order must go to the travellers' assistance, when these travellers are in distress, either lost in the mountains, or freezing in the storm". In the surroundings of the hospice, many easy peaks can be climbed and skied, offering beautiful wiewpoints on Mont-Blanc group. As the hospice is far from the big ski resorts, just a few skiers will be met during the tour, a authentic ski tour token. The hospice provides excellent comfort, with 4 beds heated sleeping rooms, hot showers, lounges. After two nights at the hospice, we will spend one night in the welcoming mountain hut "Plan du Jeu" (dormitory, hot showers), before to climb Hannibal's pass.

Day 1) Transfer to Bourg Saint Bernard, ascent up to the hospice of Great St Bernard pass. Meeting place at Chamonix at 08.30 am.Transfer in your guide's car to Bourg Saint Bernard (6,322 feet), a very ex - small ski resort on the Swiss side of the pass. Ascent up to hospice, passing by "Death valley" (la combe des morts), where many travellers died in the 18th and the 19th century, while attempting to pass from Switzerland to Italy during the winter storms. We have a pic-nic stop before the last ascent leading to the hospice. Arrival at the hospice, 8,071 feet, in the beginning of the afternoon. By mid-afternoon, we train to Avalanche rescue close to the hospice. Night by the hospice. Duration of the ascent : 2 hours. Difference of level : 1,749 feet up, 0 feet down. Day 2) with light backpack, ascent of Mont Fourchon, 9,521 feet. Starting with a short descent on the Italian side of the pass, we reach "Tour des Fous", a nice rocky peak dividing the south slopes. We put on seal skins and ascend nice coombs till Mont Fourchon peak, placed exactly on the Italy - Switzerland border, a fantastic wiewpoint on the Swiss and Italian slopes of Mont-Blanc group. We ski down small valleys till "Pain de Sucre", close to Baou chalet, a good place for pic-nic. Early in the afternoon, a short ascent of half an hour leads us back to the hospice. Night by the hospice. Duration of the ascents : 2 hours and a half. Difference of level : 2,270 feet up, 2,270 feet down. Day 3 ) ascent of Tête de Fonteinte, 9,104 feet, and Drone peak pass, 9,386 feet. Way down back to Bourg Saint Bernard. Plan du Jeu mountain hut, 6,801 feet. The icing on the cake ... A very short descent on the Italian side of the pass, and there begins the ascent up to la Fenêtre d'En Haut, 8,937 feet. From la Fenêtre, a quick ascent of 5 minutes leads us to a wiewpoint peak named Tête de Fonteinte, 9,104 feet, with wiews on Mont-Blanc, Grandes Jorasses, Val Ferret, Val of Aosta. Ascent, partly with skis "at the slope", to Drone peak pass, 9,386 feet. There begins a long coomb, wide, easy to ski, going right down till Bourg Saint Bernard, a long moment of pleasure for skiers. Short ascent (25 minutes) up to Plan du Jeu mountain hut (6,801 feet). Night by the hut. Duration of the ascents : 2 hours. Difference of level : 2,158 feet up, 3,428 feet down. Day 4 ) ascent of Hannibal's pass, 9,816 feet. Way down back to Bourg Saint Bernard. Transfer to Geneva. The ascent of the steep slopes of "Trois Torrents", close to the impressive West face of Mont Vélan, leads us to Hannibal pass, a nice point of wiew on Italian valleys and peaks. You may have some doubts on the possibility, for Hannibal, to lead his army and his elephants through this pass ... Pic-nic, and descent back to the hut and to Bourg Saint Bernard. Duration of the ascents : 3 hours. Difference of level : 3,015 feet up, 3,494 feet down. End of the programme at Bourg Saint Bernard, and transfer in the guide's car till Chamonix, where we will be by 4.00 pm. Your mountain guide will do everything possible to make this tour being a success. But, in high altitude, exceptional risks may exist : storms, avalanches, .... Your guide, responsible for your life, may change the programme of this tour for your safety.

* The price includes : - guiding by a mountain Guide, and all his expenses (food, lodgings, transfers) - the following group equipment: radio linked to the relief organization, pharmacy, survival blanket, maps, compass, GPS, altimeter - the loan of a Avalanche Transceiver, a probe and a shovel - the reservation of the places by the hospice and the hut - lodging and half-board by the hospice (2 nights) and the hut (1 night) - free roundtrip shuttle from Geneva Airport (contact us for further information) * The price does not include : - optional insurances EUROP ASSISTANCE - your lunchs - your drinks by the hospice and the hut - hot showers by the hospice (2 EUR for a hot shower) - your personal expenses - the personal equipment and the technical equipment required for this tour - generally speaking, all the expenses not indicated in the paragraph " the price includes "

Your clothes: * for your head : - a scarf - a balaclava or a high quality woollen hat - a cap for the sun - a pair of high quality ski glasses - a ski mask or goggles (to be used in case of bad weather or fog) * for your upper body : - warm underclothing (wool, or light polar fur) - a warm long sleeve shirt - a thick and warm polar fur, or a high quality pullover sweater - to protect you from the wind or from bad weather : a Goretex mountaineering jacket, also protecting your head (you may use a high quality windproof and waterproof skiing jacket) * for your legs : - warm sports skin-tights - light cotton mountaineering trousers (to wear in the hospice) - windproof and waterproof Goretex trousers (you may use high quality windproof and waterproof skiing trousers) * for your feet : - two pairs of woollen socks, designed for skiers - a pair of gaiters if your trousers do not have gaiters included * for your hands : - a pair of leather gloves (to be used by cool weather) - and a pair of silk undergloves (or high quality polar fur undergloves) - and a pair of high quality mountaineering gloves (you may use high quality skiing gloves), waterproof and windproof, designed to endure a temperature of - 15 Fahrenheit degrees _____________ In your mountaineering backpack : - additional underwear, and an additional pair of socks - tooth paste, tooth brush, light razor, towel, soap, shampoo - large plastic bags to store your clothes in your backpack in case of rain (no backpack is perfectly hermetic) - a very light LED Head Lamp. Place a new alkaline battery in your head lamp. - a pair of very light slippers for the hospice (normally, the hospice provides slippers) - a water bottle ( 1.5 liter minimum ), light, isothermal (thermos) - a pocket knife - sun cream, lipstick - medicines : "Compeed" to prevent blisters, Aspirins, eye-drop lotion, earplugs (many people snore in the hospice !), personal drugs, elastic adhesive wrap (3-Cut tape) - a survival blanket (made of aluminium) - a hermetic bag containing : your passport, Euros or Swiss francs (for your drinks in the hospice; the hut does not accept Credit Cards) - camera and films _____________ Technical equipment : - a mountaineering backpack with a volume between 40 and 50 liters. For your comfort, your backpack must have broad and comfortable straps to carry it, and small straps on its back and on its sides to fix your skis. - skis designed for Ski Touring, with ski touring bindings, and soles cleaned up (no traces of adhesive or glue) - synthetic seal skins, perfectly adjusted to your skis - small crampons fitting to the bindings, to be placed on the skis when going up with the skis on icy snow - telescopic ski poles - ski boots for ski touring, with Vibram sole. Before the departure of this tour, protect the friction zones of your feet with "Compeed" - a pair of light mountaineering crampons with automatic fixations (category C2). Your crampons must be perfectly adjusted to your shoes (this is the job of your shop-assistant).. - some wax for your skis

The hospice provides excellent comfort, with 4 beds heated sleeping rooms, hot showers, lounges. After two nights at the hospice, we will spend one night in the welcoming mountain hut "Plan du Jeu" (dormitory, hot showers), before to climb Hannibal's pass.

Training - technical level : you have a very good control of your skis when going down, whatever the quality of snow may be (you can turn with skis parallel in deep powder snow), or when going up (half turns). You like to ski "off-piste", and you have already practised several ascents in Ski Touring. This programme is also opened to fit skiers experienced in off-piste skiing, but with no experience in Ski Touring. - fitness level : you practise twice a week either ski touring, running, biking or swimming. During the two months before this tour, you must either run 30 minutes 2 times a week, bike 2 hours 2 times a week, or practise 4 hours of ski touring each week-end. In the same time, you will practise exercices in a gymnasium to get strong muscles in your legs (quadriceps and calfs mainly). Like this, you will be perfectly prepared for both ascents and descents, and you will appreciate the pleasure of ski touring on altitude slopes. The average pace goes from 1,000 to 1,150 feet of rise per hour.