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Ski Touring In Chamonix’s Historic Peaks

Chamonix | France
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to ski tour in Chamonix and Mont Blanc

  • Trip Highlight

    Discover vast glaciers, wide powder slopes, steep couloirs and tree skiing

  • Trip Highlight

    Lots of well-connected terrain means endless route options

  • Trip Highlight

    Plenty of activities beyond skiing and exceptional French cuisine

Birthplace of ski mountaineering, Chamonix is a vibrant mountain town at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. Otherwise known as the French Alps, bordering both Switzerland and Italy, the incredible, jagged mountain chain towers over the town, offering spectacular scenery and snow-capped peaks reaching blue-bird skies. Famous for its world-class ski resort and ski touring, it draws visitors year-round for its alpine sports. The area boasts high glaciers, couloirs and famous peaks providing plenty of leisure activities in this quaint mountain setting with some of the world’s best après-ski spots to boot. Although there are options for all skill levels, the most famous route and a classic mountain journey is the Haute Route Ski Tour, connecting two alpine centres of Chamonix and Zermatt. Explore glacial terrain, amazing scenery, tough climbs and big ski descents every day with the help of experienced Chamonix ski guides. Find out more about the best backcountry skiing locations in Chamonix or see why your next family trip should be backcountry skiing in Chamonix from amateur backcountry skier and mountaineer Nika Marohnic.

Season

Ski touring is best from December to mid-April

Nearest city

Geneva International Airport (GGV) is 1 hour from Chamonix

Duration

1-8 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your days

Private Day of Guided Off-Piste Chamonix Skiing

1 Day

Enjoy a customized day to suit your goals and skiing ability with an experienced Chamonix ski guide. Go alone or with one to three of your friends and explore the best stashes the legendary area has to offer. Whether you’re enjoying classic descents or secret powder spots, the Mont Blanc massif provides vertical drops you’ll be dreaming about for years to come. 

Ski the 15,000’ Mont-Blanc

1-6 Days

Dare to conquer the highest mountain in Western Europe? Not for the faint of heart, Mont Blanc will put even the most experienced skiers to the test. To conquer this well-known mountain, ski mountaineers must be in good physical shape, well-acclimated to the altitude and have strong technical knowledge. With the help of an experienced Mont Blanc climbing guide, the chances of completing your goals are getting substantially higher! After an expected eight-hour climb, be prepared for a challenging and demanding descent in the breathtaking beauty of the Alps. 

The World-Famous Haute Route

4-8 Days

The most famous ski tour in the world, the Haute Route is a must-try for backcountry skiers with previous skinning experience. On this multi-day traverse through stunning high-alpine environment, discover wild, untouched routes with long descents that you’ll remember for a lifetime. After full days of climbing and skiing, rest in beautiful Swiss huts at night as you make your way to the capstone of your journey: the long glacial ski descent right down to the streets of Zermatt. 

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Chamonix and Mont Blanc, France

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Chamonix and Mont Blanc, France, please refer to the official advice for foreign nationals in France and sanitary rules in Chamonix and Mont Blanc.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • An experienced, certified Chamonix skiing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • One to six full days of backcountry ski touring, depending on your chosen itinerary

What’s not included:

  • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
  • Transportation
  • Food and snacks
  • Accommodations

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to be in excellent physical shape. You will be on your feet for 5-7 hours a day for 6 full days, covering 6-10 miles (10-15km) of terrain every day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

For the enjoyment and safety of everyone involved, participants must be approved to participate in advanced backcountry skiing tours either through a previous trip with the guiding service or through recommendations.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with solid blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a Chamonix skiing guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

If you’ve never been on a set of skis or it’s been multiple years, consider taking some in-bounds lessons before heading out in the backcountry in order to get the most enjoyment out of a guiding adventure.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

  • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
  • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
  • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
    • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
    • Lightweight snow shovel
    • Avalanche probe
    • Harness for glacier travel (for advanced touring)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses or ski goggles
  • Gloves and hat
  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Down jacket or vest
  • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
  • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
  • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
  • Water bottle and 1L of water
  • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
  • Food you can eat on-the-go
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
  • Camera — optional

In most cases, a guiding service can set you up with the equipment and technical gear you need to adventure safely. Prior to your trip, your guide will let you know what gear and equipment you’ll need to bring and what can be provided.

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented from one of the manifold rental shops in Chamonix. if you don’t have your own. You can rent: 

  • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe 
  • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles 
  • Splitboards 

Ski rental locations are in Chamonix and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

  • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
  • All prices are per person per day.
  • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family. 

Ski touring in Chamonix can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Whistler, most people fly into Geneva International Airport (GGV) just over an hour from Chamonix when driving by car.  To avoid driving on mountain roads, consider hiring a driver to the site or taking a Shared Transfer in a minibus. Take note, the Geneva airport is also split between Switzerland and France allowing for confusion for first-time fliers to Chamonix. Passengers on flights to or from France don’t need to go through Swiss customs, as long as they remain in the French sector of the airport.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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