In the surroundings of the hospice, many easy peaks can be climbed and skied, offering beautiful viewpoints 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. Free round trip shuttle from Geneva airport.
Day 1: Transfer to Bourg Saint Bernard, ascent up to the hospice of Great St. Bernard pass. Meeting place at Geneva airport at 07:30 a.m. Transfer in your guide's car to Bourg Saint Bernard (6322 feet), a very small ski resort on the Swiss side of the pass. Ascent up to hospice, passing by "Death valley" (la combe des morts), where many travelers died in the 18th and the 19th century, while attempting to pass from Switzerland to Italy during the winter storms.
We have a picnic stop before the last ascent leading to the hospice. Arrival at the hospice (8071 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 is 2 hours. Difference of level is 1749 feet up, 0 feet down.
Day 2: With light backpack, ascent of Mont Fourchon (9521 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 combs till Mont Fourchon peak, placed exactly on the Italy - Switzerland border, a fantastic viewpoint 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 picnic. 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 is 2 hours and a half. Difference of level is 2270 feet up, 2270 feet down.
Day 3: With light backpack, ascent of Tête Crévacol (8563 feet). A nice descent on the Italian side of the pass leads us to the footbridge of Farcox stream (6417 feet). There begins the pleasant ascent, through forests of larch trees, combs and mountain pastures, leading to Tête Crévacol (9521 feet). Picnic on the summit, facing Gran Paradiso group. Superb descent back to Farcox stream, and way up back to the pass and the hospice. Duration of the ascents is 4 hours. Difference of level is 3799 feet up, 3799 feet down.
Day 4: Ascent of Tête de Fonteinte (9104 feet) and Drone peak pass (9386 feet). Way down back to Bourg Saint Bernard. Transfer to Geneva airport. 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 (8937 feet). From la Fenêtre, a quick ascent of 5 minutes leads us to a viewpoint peak named Tête de Fonteinte (9104 feet) with views on Mont-Blanc, Grandes Jorasses, Val Ferret, Val of Aosta. Ascent, partly with skis "at the slope", to Drone peak pass (9386 feet).
There begins a long coomb, wide, easy to ski, going right down till Bourg Saint Bernard, a long moment of pleasure for skiers. End of the program at Bourg Saint Bernard, and transfer in the guide's car till Geneva airport, where we will be by 4:30 p.m. Duration of the ascents is 1 hour an a half. Difference of level is 1680 feet up, 3428 feet down.
- 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 program of this tour for your safety.
* 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 practiced several ascents in ski touring. This program is also opened to fit skiers experienced in off-piste skiing, but with no experience in ski touring.
* Fitness level: you practice 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 practice 4 hours of ski touring each week-end. In the same time, you will practice exercises in a gymnasium to get strong muscles in your legs (quadriceps and calf 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 1000 to 1150 feet of rise per hour.
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