The Mercantour is the furthest south moutain of the Alpine range of the Alpine Arc. The last rampart of the Alps before the Mediterranian Sea. Stunning scenaryis guaranteed! The relief of the mountains is more gradual than that of the Mont-Blanc range or Valais, Swtzerland-it is an ideal, fun terrain for ski touring!
Stradling France and Italy, the itinerary described here is reserved for strong ski tourers, who can climb up to 1500 meters per day! But all your efforts will be greatly rewarded! Firstly, we will experience an exceptionnal quality of snow found in the hidden valleys, and make our tracks in big open snow fields. Lots of space here and very few people.
Then, by the view. Impressive, looking over the mediterranian Sea and the Cote d'Azur, up to the north at the Mont-Blanc, the Viso, the Oisans, the Plains of Po and the Monte Rossa Massif...all this with out moving, only turning your head! And finally, by the quality and the beauty of the stages we ski :the north side of the Gelas (descending to the Lago Bianco, or White lake and the Piano del Praiet) and the Baisse Margot are, without hesitation, the two most beautiful descents of the aera!
Chamonix-St Dalmas de tende by Italy and the Col (moutain pass) de Tende (about 4 & 1/2 hours driving); then to the Casterino Valley where we will don our skis at Lake Mesches, to climb up the little valley of Miniere to the Merveilles Refuge (2130m).
Elevation gain: 611m
From the Merveilles refuge (2130m), we climb to the Grand Chapelet (2935m), then descend by the Baisse de Valmasque (2549m) into the little valley that is dominated by Basto Lake. By a new climb, we attain La Baisse du Basto (2693m). A beautiful descent to the Refuge de Nice (2232m) concludes this superb day.
Elevation gain: 1300m Descent: 1000m
From the Refuge de Nice, we clim up the Pas de Maledie (2927m) by taking a fairly steep couloir (guly) wehere we will pack our skis on our backs and climb up. The descent to Lago Bianco (2549m) is the most memorable moments of the whole tour; a short climb to Pas du glacier allow us a magnificient descent all the way to Piano del Praiet (about 2800m). After this good time, we put our climbing skins on again to climb to the Col de Fenestre (2474m) and finally, the Col des Ladres (2448m); with the only thing left to do the slide down towards our well prepared meal by the gardien of the Cougourde Refuge (2901m).
Elevation gain: +1500m Descent: 1600m.
From the Cougourde Refuge, we attain the Cime de l'Agnel (2927m) then descend toward the Soria Ellena Refuge (1817m) by the fantastic Baisse margot. From this point, we slide towards the little village of San Giacomo (1200m) where we wait for the taxi to bring us back to the start in Casterino valley.
Elevation gain: 836m Descent: 1727m
Preparing for the trip: One week before trip departure, the head-guide will contact by to answer your questions, and provide complementary information (i.e. touring gear, clothing, specific equipment etc.)
Guiding policy: The group is composed of 6 skiers maximum per guide.
The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding industry.
This program is a general guideline for the trip. The guide alone can decide and apply changes in the program during the trip, according to weather and terrain conditions, skiers physical condition and skills.
Accommodation: In catered mountain huts (nights in dormitories).
Meeting: 5 a.m. at the Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix or 11h in Grindenwald train station.
Winter 2017 tour price:
Nb of participant
Included in the package:
- Mountain guiding service,
- Half-board in mountain huts (dinner, breakfast and night),
- Take out lunches and daily snacks,
- Lift access and shuttles during the tour,
- Avalanche transceiver (DVA), shovel, probe and harness rental.
- Transportation by bus return trip to Chamonix
- Personal drinks
- Personal technical equipment
Documentation:ID or valid passport.
Having a repatriation insurance is mandatory. Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
We provide optional insurance contracts for repatriation and trip cancellation (see booking form).
Extras: Bring some extra cash for personal expenses (Swiss francs)
Equipment: Download "Equipment list"
Trip: Download the technical form of this trip.
Booking ahead of time is the best way to fill up trips! Please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Chamonix for any further and detailed information.
We can organize and privatize this ski touring trip for you.
Thank you to contact our office to know the price and the availbilty:
Phone number: 0033 4 50 53 00 88