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Introduction to Ski Touring

Summit & Blue’s  introduction to ski touring in the tranquil wilderness of the Spanish Pyrenees, near the Spanish ski resort of Baqueira Beret, was developed to offer individuals the opportunity to try ski touring for the first time without having to committed to a whole week.

Who does it suit?

The trip works best for a group of up to 7 people, preferably a group that knows each other. We have found that when there is a ‘common denominator’ the group dynamics work really well not only during the day but also in the evening. Participants should be able to ski black runs and be moderately fit. Your guide will gauge on day one the overall standard and choose the most suitable terrain for the ensuing days.

The Spanish Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is the perfect place to learn to ski tour – the terrain is accessible, there’s loads of it and most importantly, there’s nobody else around! This is a place where you’ll truly want to earn your turns. The advantage of the Spanish Pyrenees is its proximity to Toulouse airport which offers exceptionally priced flights at timings very convenient for long weekends. You will stay on both Vielha and Boi located on the edge of the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. We love Vielha, located down the valley from the ski resort of Baqueira Beret, and serves some of the best gin and tonics and tapas!

What can you expect?

Over the course of 4 days you will be introduced to the essentials of ski touring by your qualified mountain guide. From touring equipment to avalanche awareness and rescue skills, from route planning to off piste skiing techniques, the days will be spent getting to grips with the basics and the nights will be spent relaxing and recharging back at your hotel. In the evening there are a great range of authentic local restaurants serving traditional dishes many cooked over hot embers.

At a glance

  • Learn to ski tour in Hidden Europe, understand the specialist equipment
  • Fully qualified UIAGM mountain guides to show you the ropes
  • 2 days touring around the resort to help you find you feet and then an exciting 2 day trip to the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
  • Enjoy the novelty of excellent tapas and pinchos after skiing

 

  • Experience the impressive annual snow falls of the Val d’Aran
  • Short transfer from Toulouse airport making it an excellent long weekend adventure
  • Take a night time dog sled ride to the deserted village of Montagari for dinner in the refuge (extra)
  • Consider adding a day’s heli-sking at the end of the tour for the ultimate short break ski adventure

Gallery

Location

Sample itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive into Toulouse and take the 2 hr transfer to Vielha near Baqueira Beret

Arrive into Toulouse and take the 2 hr transfer to Vielha near Baqueira Beret

On arrival at Toulouse airport you will be met by your driver and driven south to the Spanish resort of Baqueira Beret. On arrival you will check in Vielha you will check into the 3* Hotel Riu Nere before meeting your mountain guide at their head office nearby.

Alternatively if you are looking to take none skiers it would be possible to book a hotel in Baqueira Beret so they could alpine ski. In which case the Hotel Himalaia would be a great base as it is central and near one of the main lifts.

After check in you will meet your guide will provide an overview of the proceeding days, help organise the fitting of the ski touring equipment and introduce you to the mountain safety gear.

Day 2 - Introduction to the equipment, safety on the mountain and personal well-being

Introduction to the equipment, safety on the mountain and personal well-being

Your guide will meet you early morning and you will be transported to the first ski tour location which will have been carefully picked depending on local weather conditions. On the mountain you will start using the equipment in a more practical environment alone with suggestions about clothing and layering.

Although a good level of fitness is required to make the most of the experience and to protect against possible injury on back country runs the guide will manage the day according to the groups’ abilities. The ascents will not be huge as this is about getting familiar with the equipment and enjoying the environment.

Day 2 - Ski tour Baqueira Beret

Ski tour Baqueira Beret

Having mastered your equipment and begun to appreciate the wonders of ski touring today you will head further afield with a full day and more remote areas. The day will be filled with new techniques and experiences helping you forge a longer term perspective of what might involved in a more adventurous ski tour.

Day 3 - Head off the the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Head off the the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

After a short drive you will be dropped off at the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park at a suitable location for a day’s tour. Depending on the weather conditions the guide will choose an itinerary that will see you finally descending to a small mountain spa hotel near Tredos or to the village of Boi.

Tonight you will be staying in a local hotel, rustic and simple, with dinner provided locally.

Day 4 - Another exciting day in the remote Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Another exciting day in the remote Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Again depending on the weather today’s aim will be to choose another itinerary in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. After a full day you will make your final descent to the transport back to Vielha for a quick debrief and equipment hand over.

Day 5 - optional heliskiing - Head home or stay on for some heli-sking, alpine skiing, dog sledding

Head home or stay on for some heli-sking, alpine skiing, dog sledding

If you have ever thought of heli-sking why not extend your trip with a day’s heli-sking with Pyrenees Heliski. Alternatively why not take the opportunity to try dog sledding with our friend Clori and his hounds!

As with all our itineraries they are individually tailored for each of our guests. If you have a particular request or desire to experience something not mentioned in this sample itinerary please let us know as we have an excellent network of contacts and experience that makes it possible for us to extend or amend all our itineraries.

Accommodation

What our guests have said...

We really enjoyed our trip and were really impressed with Kabi. Everyone we met was professional, friendly and really wanted to ensure that we had a good time. Isidro was a fantastic guide and was able to adapt the ski touring both to our ability and the weather conditions. An ultimate professional and good company too.

Julie H