Jan, Feb, Dec
The starting point for this ski safari is at Bekker Mountain Chalet in Finhaut. The accommodation is modeled after similar ski lodges in Canada, and here you will find good food, comfortable accommodations, private transport, wellness facilities, and even heliskiing opportunities right on the doorstep. I’ll welcome you with a drink and snacks by the fireplace and we’ll discuss the week’s plans. We count on your flexibility so that we can find the best snow there is. The lodge has a wide range of equipment available to you: avalanche beacons, shovels, probes, ABS backpacks, and excellent freeride skis with skins and crampons.
We start our Tour de Mont Blanc in one of the most famous freeride areas of Chamonix. An example of an area we might go to is the amazing Grands Montets with long runs on the Glacier d’Argentiere. After we’re done skiing for the day, we’ll have a beer at one of the bars in Chamonix. Then we’ll get in our van for a short trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy’s Courmayeur. We’ll sleep that night at the simple but cozy Elena and Vittorio hotel.
In the morning we are a short lift trip away from our area for the day, the high Pointe Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. The beautiful long descent on the Toula Glacier is one of the highlights of the trip. If conditions allow, we can also take advantage of the over 20 km long Vallée Blanche descent to Chamonix and then take a bus back to Italy. We’ll sleep again at Elena and Vittorio.
For our second full day in Italy we’ll go to Courmayeur or Pilla above the town of Aosta. There are many wonderful ski opportunities here, including steep descents in couloirs. Then we’ll pack up and drive to Etroubles on the Grand Saint-Bernard pass. In Etroubles we’ll sleep at a hostel with a great kitchen.
Etroubles is a hidden gem where we’ll be able to do a nice ski tour or a combination of freeride and skitouring in a small ski area.
On our last day, we’ll drive through the Saint Bernard tunnel to Verbier. Verbier Bruson has so much to offer, including two world famous offpiste ski routes, “Backside Montfort” and “Stairway to Heaven.” It is a freeride paradise. At the end of the day, we’ll load our skis into the van for the last time and drive back to the Bekker Chalet. There we will finish our tour with the traditional Raclette. We’ll enjoy a bottle of Fendant and look back on our skiing adventure and dream of the next one.
Bekker Mountain Chalet in Finhaut
Bekker Mountain Chalet, Elena and Vittorio hotel, Etroubles hostel
This trip is for experienced (multiple weeks under professional supervision) off piste skiers. Ski touring experience is not required but is helpful.
In 1987 I became a certified mountain guide after an intense four-year training program at the Technical University of Munich, thus becoming the first guide from the Netherlands to be IFMGA-certified and probably worldwide one of the first guides not originating from an alpine country. As a guide, I do everything from beginner courses in the Alps to worldwide climbing expeditions to the Seven Summits.
Based in Switzerland, just a few kilometers from the French town of Chamonix, I offer customized programs, tailor-made for each of my clients. As an alpinist and mountain guide, I’ve participated in many succesful expeditions, including Mt. Everest (north and south sides), Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma (Tibet), Aconcagua (Argentina), Yerupaja South Face and Huascaran (Peru), Ojos del Salado (Chile), Mt Hunter and Denali (Alaska), Elbrus (Russia) Carstensz Pyramid (West Papoua) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). I’ve led two UIAA expeditions for talented young climbers: one in China and one in Pakistan. Both were very successful and led to the opening of some new (and sometimes difficult) routes. I’m always looking for new and challenging ski areas and, in recent years, have specialized in ski safaris and ski touring in the Alps, Morocco, Canada, Chile and Scandinavia. Adventure skiing is my passion since a long time and the challenge is to find the best snow and safe skiing and have fun with the group in a remote location. A father of 2, in my spare time, I like to go skiing, mountain biking and climbing with friends and family.
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