Day 1: Arrive in St Gervais and meet up with your guide for an initial briefing and review of the itinerary. Stay overnight in hotel (Hotel Regina).
Day 2: Drive through the Mont Blanc Tunnel into Italy and to the hamlet of Pont, at the end of the road in Valsavarenche (about 75 minute drive). From here it is a 3 hour skin up 800 m to the Vittoria Emanuelle hut (2732m) where you stay overnight.
Day 3: Skin eastwards and climb for 600 m (2.5 hrs) to Col del Gran Paradiso 3346 m. If conditions are good an ascent can be made of La Tresenta (3609 m) before descending onto the Noaschetta glacier to the Col della Losa (3129 m) and down to the Rifugio Pontese (2200 m)
Day 4: You turn northwards and skin for 1100 m (4 hrs) to the Col di Teleccio (3304 m) and descend the Glacier and Val di Valeille to the road at Lillaz (1600 m). From here you take a taxi for the 10km journey to Valnontey above Cogne (famous ice climbing village) where you stay in a very pleasant local hotel (Hotel La Barme, Valnontey)
Day 5: This is an uphill-only day walking and skinning up 900 m (3.5 hrs) to the Vittorio Sella refuge (2584 m).
Day 6: Traverse of the Grand Serra (3552 m) to the Chabod refuge (2750 m)
Day 7: Saving the best until last, today you undertake the classic traverse of the Gran Paradiso (4061 m). There is a 1300 m glacial ascent with a rocky scramble to finish followed by huge descent of 2100 m back to our starting point in Ponte. Drive back through the tunnel to the hotel in St Gervais for your final night.
Day 8: Depart after breakfast
Notes: Accommodation and meals: You spend 3 nights in hotel accommodation and the other 4 nights are spent in traditional alpine mountain huts. The huts are amongst the friendliest on the circuit – very welcoming and friendly; ideal places to relax after long days on the hill. Food is generally nourishing and plentiful. It is possible to leave some luggage in St Gervais whilst you are in the mountain huts as you will return there for the final night.
- A copy of our recommended kit list will be sent to you at the time of booking.
- Ski touring gear is essential for this tour.
- All skiers will need to carry a pack (40-45 litres) with safety gear, a minimal change of clothes for the evenings and personal items.
- Everyone is expected to ski at all times with the three essential items of avalanche safety equipment: transceiver, shovel and probe. If you ski off-piste regularly we recommend you purchase your own set and we have a special offer on BCA’s excellent DTS Tracker.
Skill & Stamina:
- The Gran Paradiso Circuit is an intermediate level hut-to-hut ski tours which is suitable for participants who have completed some day tours and have basic ski touring experience – e.g. familiarity with using skins and skinning technique, conversions/kick-turns. You need to be confident walking uphill on steep and exposed slopes with boot crampons.
- You need to be a competent off-piste skier capable of skiing 10-12 continuous turns off-piste on most slopes and with the confidence to tackle steeper pitches in tricky conditions.
- You must be able to cope with continuous, long days out on the hill. On a ski touring week you need to fit enough to cope with up to 3-4 hours of mountain walking or ski-touring up-hill carrying a backpack with all you need for a week staying in mountain huts.
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