Jan, Feb, Mar
Travel to Courmayeur, to arrive in time for the Evening Briefing. We will go through safety routines and kit checks. I will also give you the rental equipment. Then we will talk about everyone’s ambitions for the week. Combined with the weather and mountain conditions, we will make a plan. You can also have a look at the maps and guidebooks and clear all your doubts. PM Overnight in the valley.
Introduction and equipment check. We quickly revise your ski mountaineering skills and do some ‘micro-ski-tours’ out of one of the Courmayeur resorts. Opportunities to refresh skinning technique, avalanche emergency procedures and some basic mountaineering elements. Overnight in the valley.
A full day tour with the aim of skiiing a substantial peak Combe Varin (2613 m) in La Thuile Area. Overnight in the valley.
Today we make a 5 hour ascent using skins, rope, crampons and ice-axe through the ‘Combe de Citrin’ which leads us to the Flassin Summit (2750 m, Gran San Bernardo Valley), the classic ski-mountaineering peak of the area. From here we enjoy breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and the Grand Combin. Overnight in the valley.
Col Passon (3028 m, Argentière – Grand Montet Area – France). This amazing ski traverse to the Le Tour glacier and down to the village of Le Tour is very popular and rightly so. The climb is about 500 m to the Col and you’ll often need crampons and an axe to get up the final 80 m boot-pack safely. Overnight in the valley.
The itinerary may vary depending on the fitness condition of the group, also on the weather and snow conditions. There are many alternative routes which can be taken if a lighter (or indeed more demanding) day is required! Overnight in the valley. End of program.
Technical level: confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40° slopes can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!). You are likely to say ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’.
Fitness level: you run/cycle (or equivalent ) 2- 3 sessions per week. You climb/bike/walk or run regularly at the weekends, plus once or twice during the week. At this level you should be happy doing either a 4-5 hours hill walk, cycling 30 miles or mountain biking 2-3 hours without being exhausted.
I was born in 1966. I was an aspirant Mountain Guide from 1986 and a Mountain Guide (IFMGA) as from 1989. In 1988, I joined the Mountain Guides company of Courmayeur, which was the 1st Italian guiding company and the 2nd in the world in 1850. From 1995 to 2001, I had the role of leading guide with as main function the coordination of the work and the promotion of the guiding programs we were organising.
From 1986, I worked in the Mountain Rescue Team of the Aosta Valley. I became a Mountain Rescue Instructor in 2000. As a mountain guide, I practice a lot mountaineering, rock climbing, off-piste skiing, ski touring, snowshoeing, etc.
The past 22 years, I have climbed with my clients many classic routes in the Alps, of mixed, ice and rock; I have climbed the mountains of South America (Aconcagua in Argentina, Cordillera Blanca in Peru, trekking in Torres del Paine in Chile and Fitz Roy in Argentina, the slopes of Alpamayo Pequeno, Sajama, Huayna Potosi, in Illimani Bolivia, Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo in Ecuador). Each year, I keep on travelling the Andes with clients and friends to discover new mountains to satisfy the desire of mountaineering.
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