Saturday 6.45 pm - The course meets at the Grand Chalet hotel where you will meet your Guide for a course briefing followed by an evening meal.
Sunday - We drive from Leysin to the Val di Rhemes in Val d’Aosta. From here we skin to the Benevalo hut (2280m, 3 hours). This is most a civilised hut and famous for the quality (and quantity) of the food and wine, and is an excellent base for us to warm up and acclimatise.
Monday - There are many exciting ski peaks to climb from the Benevalo hut. The Pointe de Galise is an excellent ski peak and it’s north facing glacier often provides excellent powder. We have amazing views of the Gran Paradiso chain across the valley. We ski the glacier back to the Benevalo hut. Other possibilities are the Pointe de Calabre 3445m, the Grande Traversiere 3496m and the Pic de Golette 3291m.
Tuesday - We make an ascent of the Grand Vaudala (3272m, 4hrs), great views of the Paradiso and descend the Val di Vaudala to St Pantaleon. This is a fantastic ski run with lots of character finishing in a narrow ravine, 1000m of descent. We spend the night in the comfortable hotel at Pont, Val Savrenche.
Wednesday - Today we start the classic traverse of the Gran Paradiso. We climb to the Refuge Fredrico Chabod (2750m, 3 ½ hrs). The first stage of the approach takes us through an alpine pine forest, until the mountain opens out to give superb views of the Gran Paradiso and its north face. This hut is very modern and comfortable. This valley is home to many Chamois and Ibex, sighting are usually frequent and at close distance.
Thursday - The traverse of the Gran Paradiso (4060m, 5hrs). Our route takes us through a complicated glacier under the north face of Gran Paradiso, we then join the more normal route from the Vittorio Emmanuelle hut. For the last 100m to the summit we have to cache our skis and rope up as the summit ridge is rocky and exposed. We now have a well deserved 1300m descent to the Vittorio Emmanuelle Hut.
Friday - After climbing the col de Tresenta we ski under the north face of the Ciarforon (3640m) heading towards the top of the Val Savrenche until we bypass a band of cliffs and ski to Pont (1960m, 6hrs) 1700m of descent. Return to Leysin for dinner and the final night at the Grand Chalet.
Saturday - The course departs after breakfast.
Maps: Valgrisnenche Val di Rhemes Hiking Map 3 and Valsavaranche Gran Paradiso Hiking Map 9 1:25 000 (there is no specific ski map for this area)