Our Val Germanasca Ski Touring week explores one of the least known valleys in the western Italian Alps. The area is surrounded by great ski touring terrain and the off piste skiing at Prali is also superb and remains untracked for days. This is a brilliant ‘off the beaten track’ touring destination for skiers wanting to escape the crowds.
Please visit our Covid-19 Ski Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.
This is an off the beaten track day touring region, just across the border from the Queyras in France. The area offers a wide variety of touring, with plenty of good north facing terrain and also has some excellent off piste skiing. The trip starts at Turin Airport with a pickup and transfer to resort with your guide and we will drop you off in time for flights the following Saturday. During the week we stay at a comfortable hotel at the entrance to the Germanasca Valley. There is little travel required during the week, as most days we ski from the village of Prali just a few kilometers up the road – the wide variety of terrain and the local ski station make skiing possible in pretty much all weather and snow conditions.
This is an intermediate level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 2-3 and Tech Level 3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). You need previous ski touring experience in order to join this tour – if you are a strong/fit skier, then just a few previous days worth of touring will be sufficient. The week includes 5-6 hour days with generally steady climbs and typically 800-1200m of ascent a day – so you can expect to be skinning for 3-4 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use 80% skinning – approx. 5000m of skinning up, 8000m of skiing down during the week, with day packs and at lower altitude.
One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.
Included in price
- 6 days of guiding
- All guides expenses
- 7 nights hotel accommodation including breakfast and evening meal.
- Transport during the course
- Airport transfer
Excluded from price (see factsheet for extra cost estimates)
- Lunches and drinks
- Flights to Turin
- Equipment hire
Our base for the week is at a comfortable hotel at the entrance to Val Germanasca. This is a friendly and comfortable place to relax, with a great restaurant serving local specialities each night. Hotel rooms are provided on a twin sharing basis, but if you wish to book a single room please let us know and we will confirm availability. Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.
You should arrange outward travel to Turin Airport on Saturday, to arrive in time for the pickup. 1.5 hour drive to our accommodation in Val Germanasca. PM Evening Briefing. Your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, as well as hand out any rental equipment, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans. We’ll have maps and guidebooks of the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up.
Sunday to Friday
Day Touring in Val Germanasca. Possible areas and tours include:
- Punta Gardetta – a classic, scenic tour above the hamlet of Indretti – lift or valley start depending on conditions.
- Rocca Blanca – a good, safe option in most conditions, with a brilliant descent.
- 13 Laghi – the thirteen lakes area offers numerous tours of different standards, starting either from the valley, or using the lift system for a head start!
- Monte Giulain and Punta Chiarlea – two classic neighbouring peaks, both offering great north facing descents.
- Lago Verde and Col D’Arbries – another great tour that visits the French border, offering great views across the Queyras.
- Prali Off Piste – the local ski station is an outstanding freeride venue…
AM, early start to drive back to Turin Airport and flights home.
Your course base for the week is Val Germanasca. The most convenient way to reach Val Germanasca is fly into Turin, from where we are offering an airport transfer with the guide. You should arrange outward travel on Saturday, arriving at Turin airport by late afternoon. Return travel should be arranged on Saturday morning, after your final nights accommodation.
- Fly to Turin. The best Uk flights are from Manchester with Jet2, Gatwick with EasyJet or BA, Stansted with Ryanair and Bristol with Easyjet or Ryanair. Please check Google Flights or Skyscanner for your best flight options.
- Airport transfer from Turin to Val Germanasca: pickup will be 3.00pm on Sat 30th Jan 2021 and drop off at 8 – 9am on Sat 6th Feb 2021. If you would like to make use of this, then please let us know as soon as possible and send us your flight details. Please do not book flights arriving later than this pickup time, as it will mean a delay for everyone else and the team won’t make it to the hotel in time for the evening meal.
- Alternatively fly to Milan and connect to Turin/Val Germanasca by train or hire car.
For flights and other travel options, including train, coach and driving, visit our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 2/3, and Ski Tech Level 3:
Fitness Level 2
You do 2-3 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you should be happy doing either a 3-4 hr hillwalk, cycling 30-40 miles or mountain biking 2-3 hours without being exhausted. On foot: you should be able to walk from Ogwen Cottage in North Wales up Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr – Y Garn – Ogwen in ~5hrs. Or in the Lake District Langdale – Bowfell – Esk Pike – Angle Tarn – Langdale in ~ 6hrs. On skis: you are capable of off piste skiing all day or doing a couple of hours skinning with out finishing up exhausted – ie you can do this for a number of days without taking a rest day.
Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day)
Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.
To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.
If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.
Day Touring/BC Ski Course Equipment List
Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!
- Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
- Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
- Fleece mid layer or equivalent
- Spare fleece or lightweight insulated duvet jacket
- Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
- Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
- Thermal leggings or ski pants
- Thin inner gloves
- Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
- Warm hat
- Water container – at least 1 litre
- Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
- Ski goggles
- Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Wallet, passport and insurance docs
- Rucsac 25/35l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
- Freeride boots or ski mountaineering boots – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred boots
- Skis with touring bindings – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred skis and bindings
- Velcro ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
- Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
- Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
- Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
- Avalanche probe
- Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
- Harness, with 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Crampons – bring them if you have them
- Ice Axe – bring if you have one
Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent ski boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list.
For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for off piste skiing and ski touring, as outlined in the trip itinerary. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury. Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Further details can be found on our insurance info page.