Introduction to Ski Touring
Ski touring is the best and most enjoyable way to access backcountry terrain out and away from ski resorts.
During this course you will learn all of the essential basic ski touring skills and techniques. Along with expert guidance from our IFMGA ski guides, you will also learn about avalanche safety and general backcountry safety awareness and skills.
Each day you will use your ski touring equipment to explore a different area of the epic, never ending Chamonix backcountry with our fun, knowledgeable and skilled guides.
All guiding fees and accommodation is included in the course price.
Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability
- 5 days ski touring
- 6 nights accommodation (breakfast included)
- Guides expenses
- Guiding fees
- In resort transport
What's not included
- Transport to/from Chamonix
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Lunch and evening meals
- Uplifts according to itinerary
Who is this for?
This course is for competent skiers looking to dive into the epic world of ski touring for the first time. You must have some previous skiing experience in order to make the most of the week. proficient on red pistes and overall general good control is essential.
Accommodation and huts
You will be based in central Chamonix. The accommodation has a fun atmosphere, there are often other like minded people staying in the chalets who are on various other courses. Chamonix town centre is a short 10 minutes walk away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes and après ski hang outs.
Arrive in Chamonix and settle in to your accommodation. Meet with your Guide(s) to discuss the plan for the course ahead.
Intro to the kit – Learn how the ski touring bindings and skins work. Learn how to attach and detach skins, and learn about avalanche safety and rescue – learn how to use transceivers, probe and shovel. We’ll also have some fun off-piste riding in between lessons.
By the end of today you should feel well informed on the use of your ski touring equipment as well as your avalanche kit.
Into the backcountry – Loaded with your new found knowledge and skills it’s off into the backcountry for some technique lessons and skills. You will get to practice some more of the vital skills needed to tour including the technique of kick turns which are required for steeper ground. More fun backcountry skiing.
Day 3 – 5:
Progression and enjoyment – you will use your ski touring equipment to explore various areas of the amazing Chamonix backcountry. One of the highlights may be Col du Passon – a 2.5 hour uphill ascent, involving some mountaineering techniques towards the end followed by an epic 3000m descent.
We may have to change this itinerary according to the prevailing weather and conditions (and we like to take into account your ambitions too)
To maximise your chance of success and enjoyment during this trip it is important to get as fit as you possibly can. So we have partnered with Uphill Athlete, specialists in strength and conditioning for peak mountain performance.
Ski touring is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for many hours (typically 5 to 12 hours) and your training should reflect this. Balance is important too as you will spend many hours walking in crampons. For this a good chore strength is important.
Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.
We highly recommend this 8 Week Ski Touring Training Plan to get you in shape for the trip.
It is possible to rent most hardware items in Chamonix including a full ski touring set up.
1. Ski touring skis with ski touring bindings.
2. Adjustable ski poles
3. Skins and ski crampons
4. Ski touring boots and boot crampons – these must fit and be comfortable as we will spend time ascending throughout the week. A ‘walk mode’ is essential on the ski boots.
5. Ski Helmet
6. Backpack – 30-40l. with ski straps
7. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner
8. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
9. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
10. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
11. Insulating layers.
12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
14. Water bottle (minimum 1l)
Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent most of the above from our partners in Chamonix – Concept Pro Shop Chamonix.
To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +44 (0)845 527 58 12.
We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 10 weeks before the course start date.
We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.
Getting to Chamonix
British Airways, Swiss Air and Easyjet offer many flights to Geneva International from all over the UK and the rest of Europe.
Booking a place on a minibus airport transfer service is by far the best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix (1hour). We recommend CVT Transfers and you can book directly by clicking here: http://adventurebase.cvt.ski
How big will the group be?
Our ski courses will be no more than 6 people per guide. If the group is larger than 6, there will be a second guide and we will have the ability to split the group if necessary.
Is it possible to book individually rather than a group?
Yes. We run our courses normally with a minimum of 4 people. You can either book individually into a group or you can book as a group and fill the spaces yourself.
What equipment will I need?
Please read the kit list above.
When is the best time?
Good backcountry conditions are generally from January until early April in the Alps. In January and February we tend to have more frequent snow falls and March and April provide excellent spring skiing conditions.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need to take out a comprehensive backcountry ski touring package to cover yourself for your trip.
What’s the weather like?
The weather in the Alps is always changeable, but generally we are confident to say that January and February will be snow-filled and cold with temperatures hitting -15 on occasion. Fast forward to March and April and the weather is generally sunnier and we experience warmer temperatures around the 0 mark.
How do you match up people on the course?
It is very important for you to let us know your previous experience and skiing ability level before booking with us. Then we are able to match you up to suitable groups with similar abilities to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
Chamonix is perfectly situated on the border between France and Italy, with Switzerland within reaching distance too. This gives us ultimate flexibility to find the best conditions in the area. If needs be we will drive to Italy or Switzerland or other nearby French resorts like Les Contamines or St. Gervais in search of better conditions.
Why choose Adventure Base?
3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.
1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients in the backcountry for over 8 years with a very high safety rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in assessing the current snow conditions, and educating our clients on mountain safety.
2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Ski touring in the backcountry can be a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, knowledge, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.
3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.