We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.
Day 1 Arrival
We meet at 7pm at our accommodation when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead. Please note that for those arriving into Turin airport a transfer is included, departing at approx. 1630 hrs to allow us to arrive in Aiguilles in time for dinner.
Day 2 La Croix de Curlet
We ease into the week by heading for an excellent view point which gives a good introduction to the area. This is one of the best belvederes of Saint Veran and the cirque of Clausis. There is the possibility of doing a loop on our descent to vary the terrain and views. We will aim to also do some training looking at the snowpack and considering mountain safety in winter. We will stop at the gorgeous village of St Veran for a well earned ‘refreshment’ before heading back to our hotel. Ascent 670m. 7.5km. 5.5 hrs.
Day 3 The Alpages du Sommet Bucher
We begin by heading up a narrow valley towards the highest village in Europe at St Veran. It claims this title as the only village inhabited all year round at this altitude of 2050m. We wander through the pine forests zig zagging our way up the mountain side till we reach our destination at Sommet Bucher. It is a good place to view the Col Agnel, the frontier with the Piemont are of Italy. A visit to St Veran for a coffee after climb is an excellent end to the day. Ascent 554m. 6km. 5hrs.
Day 4 Col de la Creche
A view of the picturesque village of Chateau Queyras is on offer this morning as we head for the Col de la Creche which rises above the village. We drive up a steep mountainroad to the community of Les Meyries which is our starting point. A gorgeous climb follows through the pine forests until we rise above the tree line and the impressive ridge leading to the Pic de Agrenier, comes into view. We swing round to the Col de la Creche which gives an excellent view point over the region, we then claim the summit ridge! Ascent 640m. 9km. 6hrs.
Day 5 Alpage de Fontantie
We start at the trailhead at Montbardon with the high alpages of Fontantie as our goal. This is a superb mountain pasture, and we should get a great view over the Ecrins National Park from the top at 2,500m. The pastures are home to the cow herds during the summer months, but in winter they are a silent snowcovered landscape with all the cattle safely ‘tucked up’ in the barns in the valley. Ascent 743. 5km. 5 hrs.
Day 6 Crete de Gardiole
This is one of the classic winter peaks of the area and will be our highest summit, sitting as it does at 2656m. We drive to the lovely old village of Abries, before taking a stunning side valley to the hamlet of Le Roux. Here we begin our hike up a mountain that offers incredible views of the range. Definitely, one of our favourite snowshoe trips! A fine summit awaits, and if the weather is kind you will without doubt be impressed be the photo opportunitites. Ascent 910m. 8km. 6hrs.
Day 7 Col de Longet
The Col sits at 2,701m and is an excellent goal for a great day out. We have some choices here as to whether we do a circuit from St Veran, and over the Col and down to Fontgillarde, the last inhabited village before we reach the Italian frontiere, or whether we do a smaller loop from Fontgillarde, and then back to the village. Either way it will be a good end to the week. Facing north we can be guaranteed some powder, or we hope so! Ascent 800m. 10km. 7hrs.
Day 8 Departure
Departure Day and morning transfer to Turin airport, Italy. Please ensure that any departure flight is after 1300 hrs. The journey to Turin will take approx 2.45 hrs.