Ski touring

As the best form of travel in the Alps in winter, ski touring opens doors to great journeys in breath-taking places.

Apart from getting away from it all and pursuing fresh tracks under your own steam, ski touring is a fantastic way to explore the alpine nations. From great hot chocolates and warm winter sun in Italy to the Swiss fondue and excellent public transport service which allows for precision connections and efficient multi-day tours between valleys, to the Austrian 5-star hotel-style mountain huts. Whatever your ski adventure, Ibex Mountain Guides can provide you with an experience of a lifetime.

The Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route is the classic multi-day hut trip. Over 7 days we cover incredible terrain moving from France into Switzerland, in a journey that was established around 100 years ago. Ask us about a Winter Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route to avoid the crowds. Switzerland is the ski touring nation par excellence. From multi-day tours in the Oberland to fun day tours around Andermatt or Skiing the 4000ers in the Valais, there are many great adventures to be had.  Why not go further east into the Silvretta in Austria?  This is a great introduction to multi-day ski touring.  Other great venues include the Vanoise, the Ecrins, the Queyras…If you’ve got something in particular in mind, contact us here. 

Day tours around Chamonix:  With great lift access and many aspects to choose from, Chamonix lends itself to some quality day tours.  The Col du tour Noire is a great introduction to ski touring, with some inspiring views in the Argentière basin.  On the opposite side of Chamonix, and in the spectacular setting of the Aiguilles Rouges a magnificent day on the Tour of Lac Blanc offers views across the valley towards the Mont Blanc massif. From Chamonix we can also travel into Switzerland for the day, with days tours possible around Verbier, or if conditions dictate, into Italy hunting for better snow down the Aosta valley.

When can I ski tour?

On non-glaciated terrain, ski touring is possible as soon as the snow cover is deep enough. On glaciated terrain, early in the season, from late January to late February, best ski tours are day tours based from a valley base. From early March onwards, the classic hut-to-hut tours are possible when the huts open, allowing us to embark on multi-day skiing, which are more demanding and require being more self-sufficient.

How difficult is it to ski tour?

From complete beginner to seasoned ski tourer, Ibex Mountain Guides can help you get to places you’ve been dreaming of. Our beginner courses introduce you to the use of touring skis with touring bindings, skins, ski crampons, and avalanche safety equipment. If you’re already an experienced ski tourer, then a recap day at the start of the week will see you in good stead.

How good a skier do I need to be?

ntermediate or above skiers who are solid on red runs or above and have had some off-piste tuition will benefit most from joining us on a ski touring holiday. You need to be able to ski in control through heavily crevassed terrain and stop on demand. As guides, we always offer top tips to improve your skiing performance in tricky situations, but your fitness has to be good in order to be able to cope with the demands of carrying a rucksack that can weigh over 5kg. Over the course of the day, your ascent rate should be around 300m/hour.

What equipment do I need?

Ski touring skis and bindings with brakes, skins and ski crampons. Ski touring boots, poles; a helmet is optional. Goggles, hats and several sets of gloves. Windproof/waterproof top and trousers. Thermal top and bottoms. Spare socks. Warm jacket. Headtorch. Transceiver. A rucksack that will fit shovel & probe and spare clothes, a ski strap to carry your skis, food drink and some communal equipment. Usually, a 35litre rucksack does the job. For hut-to-hut tours, a small bag with toiletries (including earplugs, sunblock, lip protection and blister kit), money, passport, EHIC card, insurance documents and liner. Bring along a pocket knife for small repairs. Depending on the tour, we will also carry harness (with a screwgate karabiner), boot crampons and ice axe. Don’t forget your camera/smartphone! Ibex Mountain Guides can provide the equipment in italics.

How much?

For a guided trip with Ibex Mountain Guides, our daily rate is £340 on a 1:1 basis plus £20 per extra person. On a trip with maximum ratio of 1:6, the daily rate is £440. This fee is for guiding services and safety equipment. Ibex Mountain Guides can provide transceiver-shovel-probe for up to 6 people free of charge. All guide’s and trip expenses, including travel, nights in huts and food, need to be covered by the guests.