Ski Touring

Winter 2019 Program – Pyrenees & Alps

Header 2019 ski tourig

Richard_photo_2018Our unbeatable initiation week & initiation weekends runs with only two participants (so no excuses – just choose the week that suits and book yourselves in). This gives you all the skills you need to join a hut to hut tour in the future.

Access to Luz St Sauveur, our base in the Pyrenees, is fast and easy from Lourdes airport or train station. The direct shuttle, meeting the RyanAir flight from Stansted, takes only 1 hour to Luz.

Lionel2aWith only a few exceptions all our trips outside Luz include collection at the nearest convenient airport or railway station and transfer to the tour departure point (or we organise the rail tickets), so there are no local transport hassles. There are trips for all abilities, and if you are not sure, we are happy to advise on what suits your level. We can tailor make a trip for your group of four or more people – just decide a date and let us know.

Our main guides, Richard and Lionel, have over 20 years experience and a huge amount to offer both experienced and novice ski tourers. A number of younger guides are making their name here in the Pyrenees and we also enjoy working with them. The range of trips available is significant, both here in the Pyrenees, and in other European mountain ranges (French Alps, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, Norway, Poland). Book your ski touring holiday for this winter now…

 

News and Information

We provide an update on the program once or twice a season via our Ski Touring Newsletter. Enter your email address below to receive it.


 

Winter Program 2019

Trips highlighted in GREEN are confirmed
Trips highlighted in ORANGE have received early interest. Let us know if you are also interested
Trips highlighted in RED are full.

W_Ski Tour Remi Robert webIf you are not yet confident skiing off the piste then a week of Off-Piste Improvement is the prefect way to begin your ski touring adventures. Spend each morning with an instructor, then every afternoon practicing what you have learned. Based in Luz St Sauveur we use the three ski areas of the valley (Grand Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, Gavarnie) for a varied and interesting week  **Runs from only two participants** 

Our Introduction to Ski Touring / Winter Skills week is aimed at good on-piste skiers (very comfortable on red slopes, can ski black slopes) who have headed off the groomed slopes into the powder from time to time. If you’d love to get away from the lifts and see what it’s really all about then this week is for you. Learn about snow and avalanche safety, learn how to use touring skis, skins, ski crampons and avalanche transceivers.  And the all important kick-turn! A night out in a refuge from February onwards. **Runs from only two participants** 

If you enjoy ski touring and off-piste skiing and would simply like a guide to show you what is on offer in the Central Pyrenees, then our Private Ski Tour is for you. Based in Luz St Sauveur you head out with a guide each day on an itinerary to suit your level, often using the ski areas of Grand Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden and Gavarnie as the starting point. Option of a night out in a refuge from February onwards. Practice your snow and avalanche safety to keep your skills current. **Runs from only two participants**

W_ski_bond 010Weekend Trips: both introductory and private 3-day weekend trips are possible, and also run with only two participants.  Intro Ski Touring Weekend, Private Ski Tour Weekend Includes two days with a ski touring guide, two days equipment hire, three nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers. **Runs from only two participants**

December 2018

22 – 29 Dec 2018: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees, Price: 1275€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Breche winterLourdes, Email: Sian.

29 Dec – 5 Jan 2019: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees, Price: 1275€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

January 2019

Tours from Luz St Sauveur

Intro Ski Tour5 – 12 Jan, 12 – 19 Jan CONFIRMED, 19 – 26 Jan, 26 Jan – 2 Feb 2019: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees, Price: 1225€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes six days with a ski touring guide and seven nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers. Equipment hire 190€/week for ski pack, 80€/week for avalanche pack.

5-8 Jan, 12-15 Jan, 19-22 Jan, 26-29 Jan 2019: Intro Ski Touring Weekend, Private Ski Tour Weekend, Price: 575€ (inc. equip), Grade: D1:A1:F1, grade to suit, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes two days with a ski touring guide, two

Gaudissard-Molines-En-Queyras-Hautes-Alpes

days equipment hire, three nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers.

Tours Pyrenees – Alps – Switzerland – Austria

26 Jan – 2 Feb: Queyras (gite/hotel based in Molines-en-Queyras), Price: 1425€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Turin/Grenoble/Gap, Email: Sian. CONFIRMED.

February 2019

Tours from Luz St Sauveur

Intro Ski 20142 – 9 Feb, 9 – 16 Feb, 16 – 23 Feb, 23 – 30 Feb 2019: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees, Price: 1225€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes six days with a ski touring guide and seven nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers. Equipment hire 190€/week for ski pack, 80€/week for avalanche pack.

2 – 5 Feb, 9 – 12 Feb, 16 – 19 Feb, 23 – 26 Feb 2019: Intro Ski Touring Weekend, Private Ski Tour Weekend, Price: 575€ (inc. equip), Grade: D1:A1:F1, grade to suit, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes two days with a ski touring guide, two days equipment hire, three nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers.

Bergons_ski-tour-Feb-18h2 – 9 Feb 2019: Pyrenean Ski Safari (hotel based in Luz), Price: 1275€, Grade: D2:A2:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

23 Feb – 3 Mar 2019: Advanced Day Tours from Luz (Pyrenees), Price: 1250€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

Tours Pyrenees – Alps – Switzerland – Austria

9 – 16 Feb 2019: Néouvielle Nature Reserve – Lakes and Peaks, Price: 1125€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, W_Landscape_Lac de l'Oule NéouvielleEmail: Sian.

16  – 23 Feb 2019: Encantats – the Pyrenean Lake District, Price: 1225€,Grade: D1:A1:F2, Meet: Lourdes/Toulouse, Email: Sian.

March 2019

Tours from Luz St Sauveur

Encantats peak2 – 9 Mar, 9 – 16 Mar, 16 – 23 Mar, 23 – 30 Mar 2019: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees, Price: 1225€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes six days with a ski touring guide and seven nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers. Equipment hire 190€/week for ski pack, 80€/week for avalanche pack.

2 – 5 Mar, 9 – 12 Mar, 16 – 19 Mar, 23 – 26 Mar 2019: Intro Ski Touring Weekend, Private Ski Tour Weekend, Price: 575€ (inc. equip), Grade: D1:A1:F1, grade to suit, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian. Includes two days with a ski touring W_People_Ski de rando_ Queyrasguide, two days equipment hire, three nights B&B twin share accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers.

2 – 9 Mar, 9 – 16 Mar, 16 – 23, 23 – 30 Mar 2019: Off-Piste Improvement, Price: 1425€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes/Luz St Sauveur, Email: Sian. Includes six mornings with a qualified ski instructor each morning, seven nights B&B accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers, transfers to and from ski areas.

Grand Casse16 – 23 Mar 2019: Pyrenees National Park Ski Tour, Price: 1395€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

Tours Pyrenees – Alps – Switzerland – Austria

2 – 9 Mar 2019: Pic Carlit (Catalan Pyrenees), Price: 1395€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Toulouse/Carcassonne, Email: Sian.

9 – 16 Mar 2019: Spanish Haute Route (Pyrenees’ two highest summits, Aneto and Possets), Price: 1395€, Grade: W_Sign_Pian Sass MorD2:A3:F2, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

16 – 23 Mar 2019: Mercantour National ParkPrice: 1395€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Nice, Email: Sian

16 – 23 Mar 2019: Larche – Briançon Traverse, Price: 1395€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Turin, Email: Sian.

23 – 30 Mar 2019: Advanced Day Tours from Luz (Pyrenees), Price: 1150€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

April 2019

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Tours based in Hotel Les Templiers, Luz St Sauveur

30 Mar – 2 Apr 2019: Intro Ski Touring Weekend, Private Ski Tour Weekend, Price: 645€ (inc. equip), Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

30 Mar – 6 Apr, 6 – 13 Apr 2019: Intro Ski Touring/Winter Skills, Private Ski Tour Pyrenees,  Price: 1395€, Grade: D1:A1:F1, Meet: Lourdes, Email: Sian.

Tours Pyrenees – Alps – Switzerland – Austria

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30 Mar – 6 Apr 2019: Lepontine Alps (Tour du Soleil), Price: 1550€, Grade: D2:A2:F2, Meet: Geneva, Email: Sian.

30 Mar – 6 Apr 2019: Western Oberland (Wildstrubel), Price: 1550€, Grade: D2:A3:F3, Meet: Geneva, Email: Sian. CONFIRMED.

6 – 13 Apr 2019: Grossvenediger – Grossglockner (Austria), Price: 1450€, Grade: D2:A3:F3, Meet: Salzberg, Email: Sian.

13 – 20 Apr 2019: Imperial Haute Route (Dent Blanche), Price: 1525€, Grade: D3:A3:F3, Meet: Geneva, Email: Sian.

13 – 20 Apr 2019: Zermatt – SaasFee 4000 (Mt Rosa), Price: 1525€, Grade: D3:A3:F3, Meet: Zermatt, Email: Sian.

 

Grade Coding

D = Descent.

D1 – simple skiing on wide slopes with little danger of exposure due to cliff faces, seracs or glaciers. Expect slopes similar to a red piste in gradient terms.
D2 – expect some slopes with object dangers like cliff faces, narrow passages between crevasses or ice falls and the occasional gully or couloir. Slopes may be slightly steeper than in our D1 grade but generally do not exceed 30 degrees.
D3 – expect steeper slopes, narrower gulleys, and skiing in more confined spaces. You must be able to ski completely in control in all snow conditions on slopes up to 35 degrees.

A = Ascent (vertical climb)

A1 – climbs on these ski tours average between 800 and 1000 metres a day at a moderate pace on gentle terrain. Expect to spend fours hours climbing. A1 tours do not generally require the use of an ice axe but you may need boot crampons on one or two passes.
A2 – longer climbs up to 1200 metres a day but with optional peak ascents requiring some mountaineering skills. You will use crampons and may need an ice axe (see individual tour requirements). Expect to cover the 1200 metres in 3.5 hours – so these tours do move at a faster pace than our A1 groups.
A3 – these tours are tougher and require climbs of 1400 metres and occasional longer days up to 1800 metres a day. You need to be completely competent with uphill kick turns (able to perform them in steep tricky situations) and you need an ice axe and crampons. A3 tours are only suitable for people who have completed at least three ski tours before.

F = Fitness

F1 – these tours require basic hill and ski fitness as they are only at moderate altitude and you are climbing and skiing at a moderate rate. We expect you to be able to climb and ski at a steady pace with two or three breaks during the climb.
F2 – as these groups move at a faster pace, and many of these tours are at a higher altitude, you need to be fitter. You should be a regular hill walker or cycle a fair amount and you should be ski fit too – so ideally you will have been skiing on piste (or on an off -piste week) before joining these groups.
F3 – these groups cover ground at a fast pace without stopping very often. You need to be able to climb with a good rhythm at this pace for up to five hours. These tours are only suitable for people who have many years ski touring experience and are well prepared physically.

A note: please bear in mind that although we have given each tour a D.A.F grade the actual grade of a route may well feel different if the conditions are hard – i.e if there is a lot of breakable crust, or stormy weather for example.