Vallée de la Clarée - Nevache - skitouring
In order for you to enjoy this trip (or any ski-touring trip), you need to be reasonably fit. However, it certainly isn't necessary to be a superhuman and this trip is tailored a bit more for beginners and intermediate level, although the varied terrain here allow us to adjust to many different levels. We will be moving for several hours every day and a large portion of this time will be spent skinning uphill. The type of fitness you need is more about being able to move at a modest pace for long periods of time, rather than being particularly fast.
A typical day involves 500-1000 meters of vertical gain.
This is a tour for those who are new to skitouring and those with limited expereince. You should be confident skiing any piste at a ski resort with good control. A little bit of experience offpiste skiing is very helpful, though not strictly necessary if you are very fit. We are likely to encounter many different kinds of snow, including challenging snow conditions such as crust. You don't need previous ski touring experience as we'll have time to cover the basics while on the tour. If you've never ski toured before and have new boots, make sure they fit well and test them by walking around (boots in walkmode, buckles loosened) and if possible, ski them in a skiresort. The Vallée de la Clarée is a bit off the beaten track and a long way from the nearest shop, should your boots not fit properly.
What's included in the price?
6 days of skitouring in a wonderful and little known area of the alps, guiding and instruction, fantastic views, your guides expenses for huts, food and lifts as well as the necessary group safety equipment such as emergency shelter, first aid kit, ropes where needed etc.
What's not included in the price?
Travel to our meeting point in the alps and return, accommodation and mountain huts (expect to pay around 50 euro per night in the huts, which includes dinner and breakfast), lift tickets, personal equipment such as skis, boots, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe etc.
Skitouring is quite demanding on the equipment. Clothes need to protect from the wind and insulate but also be adaptable to different levels of activity.
Bindings and boots need a walk mode, we need avalanche safety equipment, backpacks etc. Read more about the equipment here!
Booking and payment:
Weather and conditions:
Ski touring, like other types of alpinism, requires an open mind and acceptance of changes. We need to adapt the program according to the weather and the conditions in the mountains. This means that our choice of route often changes during the week as required to optimize safety and enjoyment. Keep this in mind when you read the day-by-day description below.
We'll meet in the evening the day before the trip starts, to check that everyone has proper equipment and talk about the week.
We travel to the small village of Nevache and start our ascent to the cosy mountain hut Chalet de Buffere, which we be our home for the next few days. Once there, we'll have a break and leave a bit of our stuff behind before going out to practice some skills such as searching for a buried avalanche victim and doing kickturns while skinning. If we have time we may go for a small ski tour as well.
Skitouring from the hut. There are many good options, including Créte de Baude, Tour of Créte de l´Echaillon and Lac Cristol, Col de Buffere, Shoulder of Pointe de Buffere and more. We'll let the conditions and our energy levels decide. If the sun is out, we can relax with a coffe on the patio of the hut in the afternoon.
More skitouring from the hut. We'll do one of the tours we didn't do yesterday - or two, if we're feeling energetic. Back at the hut, we can relax and take a nap before dinner or we can work on some skills such as map and compass, transceiver search or digging a snow profile.
Today we switch to a new hut, the Refuge du Chardonnet. There are several options for reaching the hut: Either we ski a nice forested run back down to the valley, before skinning further up the valley and then ascending to the hut. Another option for reaching the hut is to stay high and traverse a couple of mountain passes. Once at the hut, we'll do a short reconnaissance tour before returning for rest and dinner.
Skitouring from the hut. Again, there are several options to choose from. Some examples are Col du Raisin, Col du Chardonnet, Pic Ombiere, Créte de la Casse Blanche.
On our last day we'll do one of the tours that we didn't do yesterday, enjoying our last turns and mountain panoramas. After this last tour, we'll descend all the way to the valley and then slide along the road back to Nevache.