Northern Mountain Sport / Mountain Guiding / Skiing / Chamonix to the Grand St Bernard Monastery Ski Tour

Chamonix to the Grand St Bernard Monastery Ski Tour

Grand St Bernard Pass vista. Pain de Sucre in the background.

This 10th Century Monastery originally gave shelter to weary travelers crossing the pass of the same name.

Today the monks are as welcoming as ever and the area is well suited to ski tourers of all abilities. Either accessed from Chamonix as a full week or directly for a weekends touring the monastery experience should not be missed. Feb – April

Sample itinerary

Day 1. We start as one would for a 'classic' Haute Route by descending to the Argentiere Glacier and the Argentiere Hut. From there we can ascend the Col du Tour Noir and return on spring snow. We can revisit ski touring skills (we'll need then tomorrow!) and carry out a transceiver exercise.

Day 2. We ascend the Col du Chardonnet and abseil the steep descent. We then ski down to either the Bivouac Envers Dorees or perhaps the Saleina Refuge. The Dorees Refuge can be booked and a key gained which gives access to the kitchen (and wine cellar!).

Day 3. We have a choice - both big days. We can traverse the Grand Lui or the '3 cols' of Col de Planereuse, Col de Crete Seche and Col des Essettes to La Fouly. Here we can restock, get a shower and rest.

Day 4.From La Fouly we ascend the Plan de la Chaux and cross a col near the Fenetre de Ferret to reach the Monastery.

Day 5. We can choose to witness the monks taking part in their prayers or turn over until woken by Gregorian music. We ascend the Pain de Sucre or Mont Fourchon and return for another night.

Day 6. We ski out via 3 cols and the long descent of the Combe de l'A all the way to Liddes. A great finale!

For a previous trip report click here GRAND ST BERNARD MONASTERY SKI TOUR 2010 or Grand St Bernard Ski Touring 2013

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