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Home » Adventure Travel » Adventure Travel Trips » European Haute Route Ski Tour 2017

Camino de Santiago

European Haute Route Ski Tour 2017

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Date:
April 1 - 9, 2017

Price:
CMC Members: $3,199
Non-Members: $3,555

Trip Information

Trip Itinerary

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Trip Overview

Participants will depart on or before 31 March 2017, to arrive at Geneva airport by the morning of 1 April and taking a shuttle or train to Chamonix.  That evening, the trip will officially commence as we meet our Alpine Guides guide at our Chamonix hotel and receive a briefing on the trip, reviewing our gear, and getting an update on current conditions.  We will then spend a day touring around the Chamonix region to check out our equipment and practice use of avalanche transceivers.  Our tour starts from the Grand Montets ski lift on the third day, and we will ski down to the Argentiere Glacier before ascending to the Col du Chardonnet, crossing into Switzerland, and descending to the Trient Hut.  We will continue climbing, descending, and traversing across the high Alps of southern Switzerland for days 4-7, arriving on the 7th day in Zermatt, after an ultimate day of epic ski descents.  A shuttle back to Chamonix puts us back in a hotel to take a well-deserved rest.  One final free day in Chamonix gives us a chance to explore this Cradle of Mountaineering, shop, dine, or just relax after a strenuous week of touring, before we shuttle back to Geneva to depart for home ... or for onward destinations in the Alps or other points in Europe!

Participants will depart on or before 31 March 2017, to arrive at
Geneva airport by the morning of 1 April and
taking a shuttle or train to Chamonix. That evening
,
the trip will officially commence as we meet our Alpine Guides
guide at our Chamonix hotel and receive a briefing on the trip, reviewing
our gear, and getting an update on
current conditions. W
e
will then spend a day touring around the Chamonix region to check out
our equipment and
practice use of avalanche transceivers. Our tour starts from the Grand
Montets ski lift on the third day, and we will
ski down to the Argentiere Glacier before ascending to the Col du Chardonnet,
crossing into Switzerland, and
descending to the Trient Hut. We will continue climbing, descending, and tr
aversing across the high Alps of
southern Switzerland for days 4-7, arriving on the 7
th
day in Zermatt, after an ultimate day of epic ski descents. A
shuttle back to Chamonix puts us back in a hotel to take a well-deserved rest.
One final
free
day in Chamonix
gives us a chance to explore this
Cradle of Mountaineering
, shop, dine, or just relax after a strenuous week of
touring, before we shuttle back to Geneva to depart for home
...
or for onward destinations in the Alps or other
points in Europe!
Participants will depart on or before 31 March 2017, to arrive at
Geneva airport by the morning of 1 April and
taking a shuttle or train to Chamonix. That evening
,
the trip will officially commence as we meet our Alpine Guides
guide at our Chamonix hotel and receive a briefing on the trip, reviewing
our gear, and getting an update on
current conditions. W
e
will then spend a day touring around the Chamonix region to check out
our equipment and
practice use of avalanche transceivers. Our tour starts from the Grand
Montets ski lift on the third day, and we will
ski down to the Argentiere Glacier before ascending to the Col du Chardonnet,
crossing into Switzerland, and
descending to the Trient Hut. We will continue climbing, descending, and tr
aversing across the high Alps of
southern Switzerland for days 4-7, arriving on the 7
th
day in Zermatt, after an ultimate day of epic ski descents. A
shuttle back to Chamonix puts us back in a hotel to take a well-deserved rest.
One final
free
day in Chamonix
gives us a chance to explore this
Cradle of Mountaineering
, shop, dine, or just relax after a strenuous week of
touring, before we shuttle back to Geneva to depart for home
...
or for onward destinations in the Alps or other
points in Europe!

Type of Activity / Level of Activity

Alpine ski touring, moderate to strenuous.  Some climbing skills required, as tour will may include some sections of roped glacier travel and/or short rappels of technical descent sections

Maximum number of Participants

6, including leader

Accommodations

Hotel or pension in Chamonix, mountain huts during the tour

Skills and Training Requirements

Participants must be strong and experienced off-piste skiers.  Must be able to ski steep slopes in varying snow conditions, with a pack.  Basic knowledge of roped climbing and glacier travel required.  Must be very fit, including the ability to make multiple climbs and descents of 1000 meters daily over multiple days

Pre-trip Activities

Leader will plan a pre-trip meet-and-greet for team members, and a day ski touring outing in Colorado on (a date to be determined – January 2017; possibly with option to overnight at a 10th Mountain Division hut or similar)

 

Trip Leader: Gary Hellenga

Gary Hellenga became hooked on mountains after reading a Reader’s Digest condensed version of “The Conquest of Everest as a 12-year-old living in South Carolina.  When a family move took him to Germany the following year, he began what has now been 40+ years of pursuing outdoor recreation.  Throughout his high school, college, and early professional years, Gary continued to get out climbing, running, hiking, and skiing in the mountains of Europe, Montana, and Colorado.  

Gary joined the Pikes Peak Group (PPG) of the CMC when he moved to Colorado Springs in 1996, and soon took on the positions of director of the PPG Basic Mountaineering and Winter Mountaineering Schools.  He has led a number of CMC trips in Colorado, as well as HAMS climbs in New Zealand and the Alps of France and Switzerland.  In 2003, he and his wife Lynn got the opportunity to move back to Bozeman, but they have remained CMC members to the present time, occasionally joining CMC AT or HAMS trips, including journeys to Bolivia, Rainier, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Iceland, and Mexico.  In 2013, Gary led an AT trip in Australia, while he and his family were on sabbatical and living “Down Under”.

Gary retired in June 2015, and he and his family have just completed another 7-month relocation abroad, exploring New Zealand and exchanging houses with a family in France.  He hopes to lead future ski touring, climbing, and/or cycling trips in Europe, Canada, and New Zealand for the CMC.