Two hotels, three countries, and six days of skiing some of the best kept secrets in the Alps. This trip will meld together ski touring, freeride skiing and ski mountaineering to give you the best of all worlds. Utilizing the world class lift infrastructure in Chamonix, Zermatt and Saas-Fee, we will share our favorite ski tours and descents and you’ll feel like a local traveling with our guides.
Chamonix, Zermatt and Saas-Fee are world class resorts in the Alps with an amazing lift infrastructure and we intend to use it. During the Ski Bus Adventure Week we will expose a group of adventurous skiers to some of the best known and some of the not so well known ski tours and ski descents of the Savoy and Valaisan Alps. We know the Alps and especially the Swiss Alps. This is our home turf and we know all the smaller spots as well as the big spots. Martin Volken, the owner of Pro Guiding Service was born and raised in the Zermatt valley. We know the customs, we speak the language, and we provide transportation.
World famous ski areas like Chamonix, Zermatt, Courmayeur and Saas-Fee are amazingly close together. The lift-access and ski mountaineering from these resorts is world class. We believe that we can offer a week that will show incredible scenery, long descents, and a free backstage pass to this incredible region between Chamonix and the Simplon Pass. Depending on weather and conditions, you might find yourself touring and skiing in Chamonix, or Argentiere, in Courmayeur or Verbier, in Nendaz or Leukerbad, in the Zinal Valley or the Loetschental, in Saas Grund, Saas Fee or the Simplon Pass.
The itinerary below describes a sample itinerary, but as indicated, we could end up in a number of places. You can rest assured that we will make the most of our local knowledge. On average you will tour about 2000 to 3000 feet and ski between 8000 and 15000 feet. The terrain is predominantly alpine and very often glaciated.
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Moderately strenuous
This trip is hotel based and a lot of the touring is lift accessed, but touring at high elevation still adds up.
Day 1: From Chamonix we will take the Aiguille de Midi tram (3842 meters) and tour across the Plateau du Geant to the Col de Toule. From there we will ski down the spectacular Glacier de Toule to the midstation “Le Pavillon" at 2174 meters. After a quick Italian lunch we take the gondola back up to Punta Heilbronner (3462 meters) and ski back to Chamonix via the famed Vallee Blanche .
Day 2: We will ride the first cable car to the top of the Argentiere ski area (Aiguille des Grans Montets at 3295 meters), ski 3000’ to the Glacier d’Argentiere, then tour to the Col du Passon ((3028 meters) for an 8,000’ descent to the town of le Tour. A taxi transfer will get us to Zermatt later that evening.
Day 3: Pro Guiding Service wants to show you the “Tour de Zermatt”. This day is fully lift accessed. No harness, ice axe, skins… just skiing. Lots of it… The ski areas of Zermatt and Cervinia have invested half a billion dollars into their lift infrastructure in the last 10 years, so let's take advantage of it. It will take all day and will involve a lunch in Italy.
Day 4: From Zermatt we will take the Gondola to the Klein Matterhorn (3883 meters) and tour up to the summit of the Breithorn (4164 meters). From there we will tour the short distance around the south side of the Breithorn to the Schwarztor. The 8000 foot ski descent from there back to Zermatt is a super classic.
Day 5: It is helicopter time! Air Zermatt will show us a good time. You could find yourself on the summit slopes of the Monte Rosa or the Aeschihorn, the Alphubeljoch or we might do the whole thing from Cervinia. It certainly should be a lasting memory.
Day 6: A quick transfer to the Saas Valley in the morning will let us access the famous Metro Alpin in Saas Fee. From the mid station of the subway at around 10,000 feet (yes, you read correctly!) we will climb out the vent shaft and access our 8000 foot descent to Saas Almagell via the Fluchthorn (3795 meters).
Snow Travel Gear
The best way is to fly into Geneva and take the bus that leaves right from the airport. To get there you leave the baggage claim area, look across the hall, and will see a counter. The bus is called CHAMONIX BUS. It departs right outside baggage claim.
It is better to wait until you get to Chamonix. That way you pay the exchange rate only once (as opposed to dollars to francs to Euros.) You can get some Swiss Francs at the airport or wait until we get to Switzerland for the second half of the trip
Pro Guiding Service will be providing a van, hence the name of the week. Please keep your extra luggage to a minimum, as luggage for 8 people adds up to a staggering pile of gear.
That is the benefit of the van. We will be super mobile, if there are good conditions to be had, we will be able to get there.
This is the trip where the stronger ski and boot are appropriate.
Yes, we speak French, Italian and German.
We recommend bringing some cash for use in the resort and for the road. Credit Cards are accepted in most of the places, but have a bit of cash on hand. Getting cash is not a problem in most places. Most Pro Guiding Service customers have found that $250 to $300 of dinner and spending money will suffice.
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.