Day 1: Meet up at the chalet in the late afternoon. Your guides will take you through the itinerary for the week and will discuss equipment, conditions and objectives.
Day 2: A leisurely first morning to sort out any equipment hire and prepare for the week ahead. In the afternoon we'll warm up on the Grands Montets: three or four classic runs from the top or middle. The glacier here is constantly changing and so crevasses could be interesting!
Day 3: In the morning we will have focus on Mountain Awareness especially avalanche rescue practice. This session will increase your awareness and confidence for skiing off-piste. In the afternoon, we'll ski the Pas de Chevre all the way down to Chamonix...one of the worlds biggest and best off piste descents. If the group is up to it we could take the Rectiline couloir entry which gives us access to the awesome powder fields directly beneath the Dru.
Day 4: Head up the Aiguille du Midi and ski one of the classic descents on the Envers Glacier or in the Vrai Vallee Blanche. If there's enough snow we can ski all the way back to Chamonix then ride back up the Midi to the half way station Plan d'Aiguille and ski the superb itineraries right or left directly back down to Chamonix. If conditions aren't good enough, we'll take the Montenvers train down and repeat another Midi itinerary or perhaps cross the valley for a 'best of Brevent' afternoon.
Day 5: A high mountain ski tour on glaciated terrain with climbing uphill on skis for 3 hours plus a mountain craft session on Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue. This is essential preparation for the Mont Blanc ascent. At the end of the day we will take the cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi 3800m and descend to the Cosmiques hut using crampons and ice axe. Stay overnight in the hut.
Day 6: We will embark on a ski tour in the Vallee Blanche area, lots of fabulous options exist depending on conditions.
Day 7: The show down... conditions allowing we breakfast early and drive to Italy. The helicopter take off site is just through the Mont Blanc tunnel; we would hope to take off at about 7.30am. Due to the high altitude the helicopter can only take 3 passengers, 2 guests plus their mountain guide... perfect, as this is your ‘team'. Again depending on conditions you will land between 3800m and 4100m near the Dome du Gouter. All being well you can reach the summit of Mont Blanc in 3-4 hours. If the conditions are ideal, we can ski right from the summit but It's usual to leave your skis at the Vallot hut for the final ascent to the summit. The descent will be via the Grands Mulets hut to the Plan du Glacier lift. It's a unique descent through wonderful glacial terrain. Lots of bars in Chamonix to celebrate in! Alternative Summit Ascent: Using the helicopter is very dependent on the weather. If it is looking likely that the weather is unsuitable then we have the option to climb the mountain without the help of the helicopter. This will mean setting off on Day 6 and depending on the chosen route staying overnight in the Grand Mulets or Cosmiques hut. On summit day you’ll be climbing for 8-10 hours and so the physical challenge is of course more demanding.
Day 8: Depart after breakfast.
Notes: Accommodation and meals:
- Chalet Eftikhia in Argentiere will be your valley base. This is a most luxurious chalet situated only a short walk from the Grands Montets ski area as well as the bars and restaurants of Argentiere village. The chalet has 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and an internal sauna to unwind after a day on the mountain.
- As part of the acclimatization & preparation for going up Mont Blanc you will stay one night in a high alpine hut. The night before the MB ascent will also be spent in a hut - this is usually the Cosmiques hut which is a comfortable modern refuge situated in a spectacular position at 3500m above the Vallee Blanche.
Skill & Stamina:
- This is an adventurous week and is only suitable for advanced off-piste skiers who can confidently ski most slopes in all snow conditions. Previous ski touring experience is highly desirable but not essential and you will receive the necessary technical training during the first 2-3 days. Previous winter mountaineering experience is also not essential as the route is non-technical.
- 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.
- A copy of our recommended kit list will be sent to you at the time of booking.
- You will need ski touring equipment for this week, if you need to hire this is very easy to arrange locally (please ask us to reserve for you). In addition everyone is expected to ski at all times with the three essential items of avalanche safety equipment; transceiver, shovel and probe.
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