The Silvretta group nestle on the Austrian – Swiss border, famous for its huge, gently sloping glaciers which surprisingly hold vast quantities of powder snow. With an almost infinite number of routes and variations our Guides will take you on a journey that will criss-cross the mountain chain with ever changing views of the dramatic peaks. This tour has shorter days and is less committing than the other tours that we offer and would be ideally suited to those relatively new to ski touring. An added bonus to the tour is the quality of the huts and the comfort they provide.
Our primary goal will be to complete an enjoyable ski tour in one of the best ski touring regions in Europe. Due to the friendly nature of the terrain we will also be able to teach and involve the group the decision making process throughout the journey. Each night we will discuss and decided on the following day’s route and challenges, tailoring it to achieve the right balance between learning and enjoyment. The Silvretta region makes a superb classroom with lots of terrain choices to suit every skier’s ability and ambitions.
This is a sample programme, which is intended to give an outline of the type of skiing and touring we will undertake. It is based on the weather and conditions encountered over several years operating in this area and will give you a flavour of what to expect and is therefore ONLY for guidance.
Saturday: We will start our tour in the village of Galtur. Meet at the hotel at 18:00hrs, we will sort equipment and discuss the plans for the following week.
Sunday: Over the last few years the small ski area of Galtur has had significant levels of investment in its lift infrastructure. Despite this investment the area is still very quiet and perfect for us to spend an enjoyable day ‘regaining our ski legs’. We will mix piste and off piste runs practicing our technique before undertaking some avalanche refresher training. We will finish the day by attaching skins to our skis and skinning away from the lifts to check that everyone’s equipment is working and remind ourselves of the infamous ‘kick turns’. After a final run down we will return to our hotel and pack our touring kit for the week ahead.
Monday: After breakfast we will use the local bus service to drop down to the ski town of Ischgl. Ischgl is a large ski area and we will make use of the extensive lift system to find our ski legs before taking the impressive new cable car to the summit of Piz das Val Gronda 2812m. From here we begin our tour proper, skiing off the South side of the summit and into the wilderness of the Silveretta group. Pleasant slopes lead to the large and comfortable Heidleberger Hut at 2305m.
Tuesday: We will leave the Heidleberger hut after breakfast and begin climbing straight away. This gentle and winding ascent is a pleasant way to start the day, at each turn in the ascent a new vista comes into view. Our target is the Kronejoch at 2958m. From the joch we will ski directly to the amazing Jamtal hut for a bowl of soup and a hot shower. There are several different routes from the Heidleberger to the Jamtal and we will choose the one that is best suited to the group and the conditions. There are also some satellite peaks that can be climbed along the way and we may add these to the day, but we need to keep some power in our legs because the descent from the Joch to the hut is almost 800m.
Wednesday: Leaving the Jamtal hut involves a very ‘short’ ski down, we will most likely do this with skins already on our skis. Once in the valley bottom we have a very enjoyable skin up to the snout of the Jamtal glacier, once on the glacier properly we have stunning views on all sides. This wide glacier gently winds its way down from some very impressive peaks, which guard the entrance to our objective, the Ober Ochsencharte at 2977m. From here we have a choice of descents to the Wiesbadener hutte. If the snow is good then we will probably do at least one ‘Yo-Yo’, this involves leaving our packs and skinning back up for a second go!
Thursday: This is our options day. We will be staying for a second night in the Wiesbadener hut so we can leave our huts items behind and with slightly lighter sacks make the most of the terrain available. We may choose to do a tour around Piz Buin, seeing it from all sides or climb one of the satellite peaks before enjoying a superb descent on a wide north facing glacier and maybe another Yo-yo or two!
Friday: We finish with a bit of a bang! Skinning up behind the hut we climb up the Rauhkopf glacier before dropping in to a hidden valley and making one of the longest descent of the tour. There is a chance for a quick lunch on the terrace of the impressive Piz Buin hotel above the frozen Silvrettasee, before skating down the snow covered road back to Galtur and a well earned drink in the infamous Pyramid bar
What Will I Need?
Glenmore Lodge is in a unique position of being to offer clients equipment at no extra charge. We do however, strongly encourage clients to have their own equipment especially suitable ski mountaineering boots. Please ensure that your boots have been fitted to your feet by a competent professional. If you have any questions about kit or you are about to buy your own then please contact Glenmore Lodge and we will try and answer all your questions and offer advice where possible.
If you are intending to borrow kit from Glenmore Lodge, then we recommend that you visit us beforehand and try on our boots and skis, that way we can guarantee to have the best items for you when you arrive in country.
Personal Equipment (* Starred Items are available to borrow from GL Stores – see equipment request form)
Skis with touring bindings, skins and ski crampons (please note that if bring your own ski, ensure that you also have suitable ski crampons)*
Ski Poles – ideally fixed length.*
Ski Mountaineering Boots – for example Scarpa Maestrale or Maestrale RS*
Helmet – Optional*
Harness with adjustable leg loops – for example Petzl Adjama or other similar*
2 x prusik loops and 1 x snapgate karabiner – 5-6mm cord tied with a double fishermans to produce a 30cm loop*
2 x HMS karabiners – for example Petzl Attache karabiner*
1 x 120cm sewn Dynema sling*
1 x Ice Screw 17cm plus karabiner*
Ice Axe 45cm– for example Petzl Snowracer*
Light weight Crampons – for example Petzl Vasak (leverlock)*
Avalanche Transceiver – for example Peips DSP Sport or Pro*
3m Probe and Shovel*
Hut Slippers – required for Austrian huts!
Waterproof Jacket – breathable, Gore Paclite is ideal.
Waterproof Ski Trousers
Thermal Bottoms x1
Thermal Tops x 2 – long sleeves
Mid Layers – Fleece or synthetic
Soft Shell or fleece Jacket
Lightweight Belay Jacket
Sun hut and Warm Hat
Sunglasses – CE Cat 4 rating for high altitudes.
Warm Gloves: Thick and Thin
Compass and whistle – your Guide will have all the necessary maps and guidebooks.
Head Torch and spare batteries – for example Petzl Tikka or Tikka +
Rucksack – 35 – 45 litres*
Waterbottle – 1ltr Nalgene, camelbaks tend to freeze and don’t handle boiling water very well.
Suncream and Lip Salve – SPF 30 minimum
Personal first aid – some tape, Compeed, plaster for blisters and your own pain relief (aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol)
‘Very Small’ wash kit for hut – wet wipes or facecloth including toothbrush/toothpaste
Sheet Sleeping bag –compulsory in mountain huts which supply blankets/duvet.
Ear Plugs – optional
Camera, Money, Passport.
Personal Clothing – for wearing in the valley.
Guidance on use of Ski Helmets for Backcountry Snowsports
Glenmore Lodge recognises that the use of ski helmets by its staff and students is fundamentally a personal choice and it does not wish to influence or prejudice an individual’s right to choose whether or not to wear a helmet.
We are committed to educating and informing our students on both the benefits and challenges of using helmets whilst skiing and touring in the backcountry. Through holistic and unbiased education we will empower both our staff and students to make a personal decision based on knowledge and preferences.
We also recognise that at specific times we will be undertaking activities, coaching drills or mountaineering practices were the use of a helmet could be considered to be vital. In these situations the mandatory use of helmets will be at the discretion of the delivering guide, instructor or coach.
This course would be ideal for a skier with some touring experience or an experienced ski tourer looking to develop their skills and knowledge.. You should be a competent skier, skiing in control on steep and bumpy red and black runs in ANY condition and have experience of skiing off-piste with a rucksack. You should have some basic experience of using crampons and an ice axe. A good level of hill fitness is required due to the altitude and some long ascents and descents.
Ski Level: 2
You have been skiing for several weeks/years and are now confident on blue and red runs, controlling your speed by changing the size of your turns. Black runs are challenging but you are capable of skiing them under control by using skiddy turns perhaps with the occasional step or jump. Skiing off-piste is a normal part of a days skiing but you are very much learning how to cope, but mostly remaining upright. Your turns shape and size off-piste are very much dependent on the type of snow and terrain.
Mountain Grade: 2
Experience of using touring bindings and skins is necessary. Some experience of ice axe and crampons may be necessary. For skiers, coping techniques such as side slipping and stem turns are essential and should be well practiced and reliable. Uphill and down hill kick turns may be familiar but require further practice.
All day skiing, with few stops or breaks. Off-piste skiing, top to bottom without the need for intermediate stops. Hiking and skinning for several hours at a time with a height gain of 800 – 1000m and be active for 6 – 8 hours per day. This uphill effort will have no significant detrimental effect on your downhill performance and you will be comfortable carrying a moderately heavy rucksack of 8kgs.
All guiding costs and expenses
Half board accommodation, including hotels and mountain huts
Equipment hire – by prior arrangement
In course transport
Guiding ratio 1:6 maximum
What’s NOT Included
Travel to and from the start of the course
Lunches – these can be bought at the huts or in local supermarkets.
Up lift – use of cable cars and telephriques.
Drinks in hotel and huts
Alpine rescue insurance – Obligatory
We recommend taking out an insurance policy that covers both rescue and medical, check out http://www.snowcard.co.uk/ or https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Policies.aspx for further information.
Membership of Alpine Club – Optional
Travelling to Galtur
The village of Galtur can be easily reached by public transport from Innsbruck or Munich airports, both offer several flights from the UK daily. From these airports your travel options are either a hire car or train and bus. The German/Austrian public transport system is excellent and there are frequent train services services to the town of Landek. F rom Landek a regular bus service is available to the town of Galtur and Ischgl and departs directly from the train station.
All of Glenmore Lodge’s alpine ski touring courses will be staffed by certified IFMGA Mountain Guides. As qualified members of the International federation of Mountain Guides they hold the World’s highest possible qualification for leading in the mountains and the only UK qualification valid abroad for climbing and skiing off–piste on glacial terrain. For more information on British Guides please check out: www.bmg.org.uk
Occasionally we will use Aspirant Mountain Guides, who will work alongside qualified Guides in order to gain further experience. This is an essential part of their training and will not be used to alter the advertised Guide/Student ratio.
Bookings made through our website require payment in full. However bookings made by telephone with our Booking office can be made in full or secured with a 25% non-refundable deposit. The full balance will be due 6 weeks prior to the intended arrival date.
All bookings are subject to our full booking conditions, which are available on our website.
British citizens require a British passport to travel to the international destinations we visit. Passports can take approximately 3-6 weeks to obtain and potentially longer if this is your first passport application. There are currently no visa requirements for our Alpine courses.
In the event of any flight delay or cancellation at your UK or overseas point of departure, the airline is responsible for providing appropriate assistance as legally required by the Denied Boarding Regulations, where applicable.
Delays and cancellations to all travel to and from the course may affect your ability to join the course and in this instance, course participants would not be entitled to a refund or to re-arrange their course and will also be responsible for organising their own alternative travel arrangements.
Our courses may be subject to a minimum number of bookings to operate. This will be identified in the course description. The deadline for deciding if a sufficient number of clients have booked to travel is usually no later than the date by which full payment of the course must be made. In the event that minimum numbers have not been met, we reserve the right to cancel your holiday and refund all monies paid.
Cancellation by Client
Any changes or cancellations will need to be given to us in writing or by email. For courses based in the UK, these will be subject to an administration fee of £35. For cancellations made to overseas courses, the participant is liable for the non-refundable 25% deposit.
For any cancellations made within 6 weeks of the start of the course, participants are liable for the full course fee.
Can't find exactly what you are looking for?
Design your own course
We are happy to create it for you. You can hire one of our instructors or guides from as little as £280 a day, including any equipment. If you’re a group, all of our courses are available on a date that suits you or if you would prefer we can tailor a course to your requirements. Simply give us a call to discuss your requirements.