Ski Touring Week in the Queyras


Holiday Overview

Explore the beautiful and wild Queyras Regional Nature Park on skis! It's a ski tourer's paradise with a variety of 3000m summits that are easily accessible from a number of mountain refuges.

Ski off into the wilderness of the Queyras Regional Nature Park! Immerse yourself in this stunning high mountain environment: dramatic snowy peaks and cliffs, gullies of freshly fallen powder, wild animals watching you from their rocky outcrop and just a few high mountain refuges to remind you of civilisation.

The Queyras has an excellent reputation for ski touring, with a huge range of ski tours for all levels and abilities which are easily accessible from a number of mountain refuges. This ski tourer's paradise is made all the more welcoming by the high quality of these refuges - some with hot showers and running water no less!

The Queyras gained its Regional Nature Park (Parc Naturel Régional or PNR) status in 1977 which means that it is an inhabited rural area of outstanding natural beauty. The Park sets goals and guidelines which aim to protect the countryside and heritage as well as encouaging sustainable economic development. It also carries out ecological research and public education programmes.

There are numerous mountain peaks and ridges over 3000m, deep gorges, copper mines and pretty alpine villages all with their own character. The area is home to Saint Véran, the highest village in Europe which is perched at 2042m. The Park is a haven for wildlife. You will find chamois, marmots and golden eagles in the area.

There is also a rich cultural heritage with the magnificent fortified town of Mont-Dauphin. The fort was constructed in the 17th century and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It really is a must see while you are in the area and is testament to the historical importance of this region.

Your guide for the trip will be an experienced UIAGM high mountain guide and ski instructor. He has lots of local knowledge and will make your safety his top priority.

Have a look at our ski touring kit list for ideas on what to pack for this adventure! Read all about ski touring on our blog!

If you are looking for holiday staying in once place with day tours have a look at our Ski Touring Week in the Ecrins trip.

Itinerary

Itinerary Overview

This is a progressive week of ski touring in the Queyras Regional Nature Park. The trip starts with an intensive off piste skiing and avalanche safety day - to refine your skills and technique and get your ski legs ready for the tour!!

You will then set off on a 5 day ski touring trip into the heart of the Regional Nature Park using two different mountain refuges as your base. The area is perfect for ski touring, with lots of possibilities to extend or shorten tours making it easily adaptable for all levels and conditions.

As the conditions can be very changeable please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change.

Day 1 - Arrival

After a spectacular train journey you will arrive in Mont Dauphin, a magnificent fortified town with a huge 17th century fort. It's a UNESCO world heritage site and was built on a plateau so there are superb views across the valley.

You are just on the edge of the beautiful Queyras Natural Park and where you will be going ski touring tomorrow!

The guesthouse is just a short taxi ride away. Once there you can settle in, have a wander around Guillestre or even visit the fort in Mont Dauphin.

Day 2 - Off Piste Skiing Technique and High Mountain Safety

Full day guided off piste skiing in Moline practising technique and high mountain safety.

With your guide you will go and get fitted out with your equipment for the week.  You'll then go to the charming little ski village of Moline en Queyras where you will make the most of the lifts to practise your off piste skiing. Your guide will be with you to give you tips on technique.

During the day you will also revise your high mountain safety knowledge and refresh some of the essential skills for ski touring such as avalanche search and rescue.

Day 3 - Walk in to Refuge de la Blanche (2499m)

Guided ski tour to the Refuge de la Blanche...your journey has begun!

You will take the Grand Serre ski lift which will take you up to the top of the resort Moline en Queyras. Then you'll head down the valley to the Clausis Chapel, built in 1847, it was an important place of worship for Italian pilgrims. Once you move away from the resort the valley becomes wilder and more alpine. Your journey has started....!

There is a gradual ascent of 100m from here to the Refuge, the perfect distance to get used to skinning up and to get into the ski-touring swing! Once at the Refuge you have a choice. It is possible to order a hot lunch or snack at the refuge.

You can either chill out and enjoy the ambiance in and around the modern hut or off load your bags and do one of the numerous summits or cols within easy reach of the refuge.

Day 4 - Tour de la Tête des Toillies

Guided ski tour around a spectacular and unmistakable pointy rock face. 

This is a beautiful round trip that goes around the unmistakable Tête de Toillies, a huge pointy rock face. You’ll even do some skiing in Italy as the tour traverses the border!! You can leave some of your kit in the refuge for this tour as you'll be coming back in the afternoon.

With your light backpack you’ll skin up to the Col Blachet (2897m). From here you have fantastic views of Mont Viso and across the Italian and French Alps. You’ll then descend into Italian territory and traverse to the Col de Longet (2660m). Then after another short descent you will do one last little climb to Col de la Noire (2955m) where you can take in the beautiful views before a long ski down back to the refuge.

Day 5 - Col de Chamoussère (2884m) and Refuge d'Agnel (2580m)

Guided ski tour taking in the wild Col de Chamoussière.

You’ll leave the Vallée de la Blanche, with a steady skin up to the Col de Chamoussière. From here there is the possibility to take in the peak Caramantran at 3025m which has a short but interesting ridge climb!

After that you have a nice, gradual descent down to the Vallée and refuge d’Agnel. Once there, you can order a snack or lunch and then have the option of chilling out or maybe doing another col or summit from the refuge.

Day 6 - Tour du Pain de Sucre

Guided ski tour with beautiful views of the Mont Viso throughout.

This is a really aesthetic route that goes round the Pain de Sucre, including 4 climbs and 4 descents and is a classic tour in the Queyras. There will be plenty of practise skinning up! You will do an easy climb up to col Vieux (2806m) and then you will do your fisrt descent of the day and traverse until the start of the next climb - Brèche de Ruine (2908m).

Once at the Brèche you will have time to take in the views before your next descent in the couloir de la Ruine. You'll then put your skins on again and climb up a really nice couloir that takes you to the col d'Asti (3145m). From here there is a beautiful descent that takes you into Italy where you have one last skin up to the col Agnel (the famous Tour de France col in the summer!). Then you can enjoy the descent all the way back to the refuge. 

Day 7 - Le Grand Queyras (3114m)

Guided ski tour to the magnificent Grand Queyras - the grand finale!

For the last day you have several options before heading down. Pic de Foreant or le Grand Queyras are both beautiful tours. By now you will have a good sense of the local conditions and your own ability and you can discuss which option is going to be the best for the 'grand finale' with your guide.

After your peak, you will ski down the valley to a small village, where you can have a drink in a bar and relax after a pretty full on but incredible week! Your guide will then go and pick up the minibus and take you back to your starting point in Guillestre for a well-deserved shower!

Day 8 - Return Home

After a week in the wild it’s back to reality, and time to go home! But one thing is for sure, you will leave with some great memories.

Reviews

Mike Clark - Ski Touring Holidays

April 2015

A great trip despite some mixed weather. The Queyras is a beautiful area and great for ski touring. The Refuge de la Bla...

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Euan Taylor - Ski Touring Holidays

April 2013

What a week! Firstly, the organisation from Sally and the team was brilliant. Right from the start, the team were promp...

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John and Sarah Whitby - Ski Touring Holiday

April 2013

The introduction to ski touring course was excellent and fully met our expectations. As new comers to ski touring it g...

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Fay Beasley - Ski Touring Holidays

February 2008

Having done a fair amount of ski mountaineering in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps it was refreshing to come across U...

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Directions

This trip starts in Guillestre and the nearest train station is Mont Dauphin-Guillestre which is on the Gap-Briançon line. There are SNCF train services from Paris, Valence, Grenoble or Marseille. If you are coming by the overnight sleeper from Paris the nearest stop is Gap.

You can also fly to Grenoble or Marseille and then catch the train to Mont Dauphin-Guillestre.

The guesthouse is a short taxi ride from the train station (10 - 15 euros).

Please ask us about transport options when you enquire as we have become pros on getting people to this beautiful region!

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