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Pro Guiding Service
Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Certified Mountain Guides
Trip

Ortler Ski Traverse

Overview

A fantastic week of ski touring in the high Italian Alps. We keep returning to the Valfurva Region because of the great combination of ski touring terrain, comfortable huts and Italian hospitality. The Branca and Pizzini huts are famous and the ski touring in this area just south of the Austrian Border is some of the best we have ever experienced.

$2,200 Per Person
6 Days
Difficulty
Ratio:
2:1

Trip Information

$2,200
Price based on 3-4 skiers. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com

The guides of Pro Guiding Service have been guiding the Ortler ski tour (which is actually more like a circuit) since 1994 for a total of well over 20 guided weeks. We keep returning to this corner of the Italian Alps because of the great combination of ski touring terrain, comfortable huts and Italian hospitality. The Italian huts are famous and the ski touring in this area just south of the Austrian Border is some of the best we have ever experienced. Even though the peaks are on average 1,000 feet lower in elevation than in the Swiss or French Alps, the character of the tour is equally high alpine, since the area is heavily glaciated. Most of the touring happens between 10,000 and 13,000 feet. The descents are long and carrying your skis is virtually non-existent. Our destination, called the Cevedale Ortles Group, was the site of a territorial struggle in the First World War, and the signs of the conflict remain in the high alpine areas to this day. We go in an out of the Santa Catarina region, because it makes the travel logistics a lot easier from the Milan Airport. All these factors add interesting twists to your main reason for visiting the Ortler Range: to experience some of the best ski touring in the Alps.

Duration: 6
Ratio: 2:1
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience 

Fitness Level: Strenuous


Private Trips Available

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest.
Learn MoreView Dates & Availability

Itinerary

Day one: We leave the Forni hut (2178m ) and stroll up to the Branca Hut ( 2487m ). In the afternoon, we will go on a 3 hour tour up towards Monte Pasquale. This is a leisurely day, but in light of potential jet lag, usually quite welcome.
Day two: From the Branca hut we climb up the Forni glacier to the Punta San Matteo (3678m). From here we have ample possibilities for more touring (Punta Tresero, Punta Cadini) we can ski back to the Branca hut from San Matteo.
Day three: We will summit the Palon de la Mare at 3685 meters and return to the Branca hut for another night.
Day four:  From the Branca hut we tour up the Rosole glacier to Monte Pasquale (3553m). If conditions are favorable, we should be able to summit Monte Cevedale (3769 m) as well, before descending down to the Pizzini hut (2700 m). 
Day five: From the Pizzini hut we tour up to the Koenigsjoch. From here we climb on foot up the 35 to 40 degree east slope to the Gran Zebru (3851m ). Upon return to the Koenigsjoch we will ski down to the already familiar Pizzini hut (2700m ).
Day six: This is a great day that can offer fantastic corn snow skiing for about 4000 feet of vertical. From the Pizzini hut we summit the Monte Confinale (3370m ) via the passo del Zebru or we can also do a shorter tour to the top of one of the Cime del Forno. From Monte Confinale we ski down the mentioned south facing slope to the Forni hut (2178m ) and have lunch before we part ways.

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
View Private Trips

Pricing

$2,200
per person
Price based on 3-4 skiers. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
View Dates & Availability
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 30 days away or an international trip that is over 60 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 30 or more days before domestic trips or 60 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 30 days of the start of domestic trips or 60 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Clothing
Base Layer
Mid Layer
Outerwear
Personal Gear
Technical Gear
Optional Items
Equipment Sales & Rental

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FAQs

I do not speak Italian. Will it be difficult to communicate?

Several of our guides speak fluent Italian, German and/or French - as do the hut keepers.

Which airport should I use?

You can fly into the big airport of Milano Malpensa or Milano Linate. The connections from the US to Malpensa might be more direct, but Linate is located on the eastern edge of Milano. This makes the transfer towards the Ortler region a bit less complicated, especially if you are renting a car.

I am taking public transportation, do I have to go to downtown Milan first?

If you are using public transportation, go to Milano Centrale first (the main train station in downtown Milan). Please refer to THIS website. The indicated bus connections are very easy to use and run on a regular basis.

And then?

Then you take the train to LECCO – TIRANO. Travel time is about 2.5 hours from Milano Centrale. No reservations are necessary. From Tirano you can take the bus that leaves regularly towards Bormio and on to Santa Catarina from right across the square of the train station. You might have to change buses again in Bormio. The bus driver will let you know. Travel time is about 2 hours from Tirano. From Santa Catarina you can take a Taxi to the Forni hut. You can call a taxi in one of the many restaurants in the little center of Santa Catarina.

We are thinking of getting there a couple of days early. Can we make reservations at the hut?

Yes, you can do this by contacting the hut owners directly.  Check out the website HERE.

"Albergo Ghiacciaio dei Forni"
Località Forni
23030 Santa Caterina Valfurva
Tel. and fax: (country code 0039)0342/93.53.65
(home number: 0342/90.19.16)
info@forni2000.com

What do the other huts look like?

Here you go:  Pizzini and  Branca.

 

Is it really true that they have real espresso in these huts?

Yup.

How does this trip differ from let's say The Haute Route?

Well, the huts are very luxurious and you are not moving point to point so to speak. You will spend three days in the Branca Hut and ski tour with a superlight pack, then you transfer to the Pizzini Hut and stay there for a couple of days. So if you did not feel that great, you could actually sit out for a day. In contrast to the Haute Route you summit a peak just about every day. Most of the peaks are “skinnable”. We climb an average of about 4000 feet of vertical a day.

Should I tip my guide?

Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
Read Our story
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