Gran Paradiso Circuit

Starting in Cogne we ski up Val Nontey before turning up a side valley to the Rifugio Vittorio Sella (2588m). This is an easy day, and allows time for the drive over from Chamonix in the morning.

The following morning we begin heading upwards on our skins, towards the summit of the Gran Serra (3551m). The final slopes will be climbed using crampons with our skis on our backs. We will then walk down for a while before putting our skis back on and gliding across towards the Col Grand Neyron (3414m), and a ski down to the Rifugio Chabod (2750m).

The summit day on Gran Paradiso is quite demanding, with a long steady ascent up the glacier towards a snowy shoulder. Usually we will leave our skis at the bergschrund before roping up and making the final climb to the summit on foot. The summit is small and in a very dramatic position. Once back at the skis we will enjoy a long descent to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuelle (2732m).

From the Vittorio Emanuelle Hut it's a steady climb up the glacier to the Col del Gran Paradiso (3345m). After the col we ski down a gentle glacier to start with before steeper terrain past the Bivaouac Ivrea. We then make a short ascent on skins to another col before heading down to the Rifugio Pontese (2200m).

The final day of this tour is quite tough, with a long ascent to the Col Money (3445m). However, the reward at the top is a breath-taking view and then a huge descent over 8km distance, all the way back to Cogne.

This is a fabulous ski tour, however bad weather could have a very serious impact, resulting in having to ski out to a remote valley and then get a very expensive taxi home. Hence it is essential to have a spare day in case of bad weather. Unless I ski with you regularly I will also insist on a warm-up day prior to starting the tour to check equipment, ability and fitness.

NB: Dates listed for 2024 are for INVITATION ONLY. This is not an Open Course for anyone to join, however if you already have a group, then feel free to ask for Private Guiding on the same route

Dates, Prices & Availability

Dates and Prices on application.

Please contact me at info@stuartmacdonald.org for more details.

  • Duration:
    5 mountain days + 1 spare
  • Venue:
  • Ratios:
    1:4 max
  • Experience Required:

    Although there is some climbing on this trip it isn't very technical. However, venturing up to 4000m on skis means you need to be slick with your drills so that nobody is stood still in potentially cold conditions.