Ski Touring Adventure in the Remote Valpelline Valley

Valpelline Valley | Italy
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in the Valpelline Valley

  • Trip Highlight

    Valpelline’s peaks and valleys are locals’ well-kept secret

  • Trip Highlight

    Skiing late in the season provides perfect weather conditions

  • Trip Highlight

    Experience the Alpine après-ski culture in the mountain huts

Valpelline is a top-notch touring playground for advanced ski enthusiasts. Despite its location in the heart of the Italian Alps and its proximity to Chamonix, the valley will provide you with remoteness and solitude during your adventure on steep ascents, exhilarating couloirs, and everything in between. Some of the terrain here was only discovered in 2020, making the Valpelline spine-tinglingly steep slopes some of the least discovered in the Alps. High-mountain glaciers (3,650 m/12,000 ft) offer an abundance of powder even in April, while spring skiing also means great weather conditions devoid of snowstorms—and a perfect opportunity to improve your glacier skiing techniques together with your IFMGA-certified mountain guide.

Season

April

Nearest city

Geneva, Switzerland is 1 hour from Chamonix, your starting point

Duration

8 days

Skill level

Advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Hut-to-Hut Ski Touring Adventure in the Valpelline Valley

8 days

Experience the Alps like never before and join your guide for 6 fuss-free days of ski touring in the remote Valpelline Valley—perfect for keen backcountry enthusiasts who wish to discover more the area has to offer. Over the course of your adventure, you will discover the pristine slopes close to Chamonix, but skied by few. After days filled with challenging technical ascents and rewarding rip-roaring descents, head to cozy mountain huts and enjoy the Alpine après-ski culture.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Chamonix

Your adventure begins in Chamonix, where you will stay for the night. Meet your guide in town and discuss the itinerary and do the final gear check. Apart from being an Alpine adventure capital, Chamonix is also effortlessly charming and sophisticated. You can take the opportunity to explore its picturesque streets before getting some rest for the adventure ahead of you.

A street in Chamonix with a stream during evening with the view of Mont Blanc.

Days 2 and 3: Prarayer Hut

On Day 1 you will leave Chamonix, cross the border with Italy and reach the Aosta Valley, your last stop being the village of Bionaz. Prepare your skis as this marks the beginning of your off-piste ski adventure. You will first go to Prarayer hut whose mountainous surroundings will provide you with a place for ski touring and the skill assessment in the afternoon. The following day, you will do a longer ski touring session above the hut, most often on the slopes of Château des Dames (3,490 m/11,450 ft). Afterwards, you get to enjoy another evening in the cozy Prarayer Hut

A backcountry skier on a gradual slope during spring in the Valpelline Valley.

Days 4 and 5: Aosta Hut

Today’s objective is ski touring from Prarayer hut to the Aosta hut. Once you arrive there, take a chance to relax before hitting the slopes above the hut later in the afternoon. What awaits you on Day 4 is traversing the Grandes Murailles glacier to reach the highest point of the tour on your skis—Dent d’Hérens (4,175 m/13,700 ft). Just a few miles west from Matterhorn, Dent d’Hérens will provide you with arguably the best descent of the entire trip. After returning back to the hut, reward yourself with après-ski and get some rest for the next day.

A group of backcountry skiers walking up the slope while carrying their skis heading toward an Alpine mountain hut in the Valpelline Valley.

Day 6: Nacamuli Hut

Skiing continues on Day 5 in the areas above the Aosta hut, this time it’s climbing up to Col de la Division (3,335 m/10,940 ft), ski touring to Tête de Valpelline (3,800 m/12,470 ft), and doing a section of the Haute Route  in reverse direction reaching Col Collon (3,075 m/10,090 ft) and the rifugio Nacamuli—the last mountain hut of your adventure. Your adventure finishes the next day, so take this chance to enjoy the last after-ski in your rifugio with other members of the group.

A landscape with two skis in the front showing a small valley between two mountain ridges in the Valpelline Valley.

Day 7: Becca Vanetta and return to Chamonix

The last day of the trip showcases the terrain above the Nacamuli hut. What follows after reaching Becca Vanetta (3,360 m/11,025 ft) is descent all the way to Place de Moulin in Bionaz, where your guided off-piste adventure began on Day 1. After almost one week of ski touring, it’s time to return to civilization.

Three backcountry skiers skinning a rather flat slope in the Valpelline Valley with mighty Alpine peaks in the distance.

Day 8: Say farewell til next season!

Upon returning to Chamonix, you will get the final chance to celebrate your achievements with fellow skiers and your guide. Say goodbye to the Alps the next day or continue touring on your own.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Valpelline Valley, Italy

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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Valpelline Valley in Italy, Chamonix in France, and Geneva, Switzerland please refer to the Official Italian Tourism Website and the Swiss Information Website

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 ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Six days of backcountry ski touring

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Transportation to and from Chamonix
    • Food and snacks
    • Accommodations in mountain huts (reserved by the guide)
    • Ski passes

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 6 full days, covering miles of glaciated terrain every day. You will need to manage controlled ascents and 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. You also need to be adept at using glacier gear, such as crampons and an ice axe. 

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?

To participate in this tour, you need to have ski touring experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on challenging terrain for 6 full days. Your guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe.

If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining a guide for a day of beginner-friendly ski touring or a 5-day avalanche education and ski touring course in Chamonix.

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)
    • Harness, ski touring ice axe, and crampons for glacier travel
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe

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

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent: 

    • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe from Sanglard Sports
    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Sanglard Sports.
    • Splitboards can be rented from Sanglard Sports.
    • Glacier gear and helmet can be rented from Snell Sports.

Gear 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.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows. 

Ski touring in the Valpelline Valley 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 aren’t permitted to join this tour.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide. 

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Chamonix in France, where your trip starts, most people fly into Geneva International Airport in Switzerland, 1 hour away. From there, you can rent a car, take a bus, or travel by train to Chamonix. 

If you are traveling from the EU, be sure to have a valid passport if you are flying into Geneva.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be at a hotel in Chamonix on Day 1 of the tour, so make sure to arrive in Chamonix before 6 pm. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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