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The Vanoise Massif France

The Vanoise, the Easy Mountaineering Paradise - Mountaineering Stage 1

Technical lev. : 3.5 / 5

Technical lev. : 3.5 / 5

Physical lev. : 3.5 / 5

Physical lev. : 3.5 / 5

  • 3 days & 2 nights
  • Participants : 3 to 5 max
  • June to July
  • All Inclusive

The days are not too long, far away from the crowds of Chamonix cable cars and in company of Ibex and Chamois, during our approaches.
We discover the frontier peaks of Galise (3,343 m) and Grande Aiguille Rousse (3,482 m), above the Refuge de Prariond, which will be our Base Camp. We will also discover a beautiful Via Ferrata in Val d'Isère and we will finish with a Via Cordata and rock climbing at Le Crôt. Two days of rocks and two days of glaciers, a bit of everything to approach the mountaineering world…

From 660

Dates & Prices

The price includes:

  • the assistance of an experienced mountain guide of our Team;
  • the use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners);
  • half board to the huts for yourself and the guide;
  • lifts tickets.

Not included in the price

  • personal technical equipment: crampons, harness and ice axe rental in case of need (it can be organized upon booking);
  • lunches, snacks an drinks;
  • all what is not explicitly mentioned in the "price includes".

If you would like to privatise the group or other dates, do not hesitate to contact us.


Below are some dates we propose, but do not hesitate to contact us at if you wish to organise the Ascent on a different date.

The Ascent for the dates below is guaranteed with 4 participants.

If the number of participants is not reached 21 days before departure, Esprit des Guides SA will cancel the reservation and refund the payment received (3% will be kept for bank fees).
If you wish and if you agree, Esprit des Guides SA can still offer you to pay the remaining balance based on the number of participants reached (see prices above) and therefore guarantee the departure.


The Vanoise is the Easy Mountaineering Paradise for beginners who would like to try the thrill of walking on glaciers, with beautiful landscapes as background at the heart of the Vanoise National Park.
The days are not too long, far away from the crowds of Chamonix cable cars and in company of Ibex and Chamois, during our approaches.
We discover the frontier peaks of Galise (3,343 m) and Grande Aiguille Rousse (3,482 m), above the Refuge de Prariond, which will be our Base Camp. We will also discover a beautiful Via Ferrata in Val d'Isère and we will finish with a Via Cordata and rock climbing at Le Crôt. Two days of rocks and two days of glaciers, a bit of everything to approach the mountaineering world…
A week that mixes Via Ferrata at first to get you used to the equipment and rock walls before discovering the glacier summits on the Italian border, from where we will have a great view of Gran Paradiso and Mont-Blanc. Some beautiful glacier itineraries thought for beginners, to then end the week with rock climbing once that you are fitter and and learn new techniques.


Via Ferrata in Val d'Isère - Climb to the Prariond Hut

Elevation: + 650m and - 650m for via Ferrata then + 300m for the climb to the refuge
Length: About 7 h

Meeting in Bourg Saint Maurice at the Funicular car Parking at 9 a.m. You can park your car in the parking which is free in summer.
For those who have a long transport you can stay in Hotel in Bourg Saint Maurice before and after the activity.

If there are 5 of you, you can carpool to Val d'Isère and the Guide will take part of the group in his car.

For those with long journeys, you can stay in a hotel in Bourg Saint Maurice or Séez before and after the activities.

Auberge du Val Joli

Hôtel Base Camp

Hôtel L'Angival

Today we will head towards the Via Ferrata du Roc de Tovière which overlooks the Tignes Dam lake with the Glaciers of Dôme de la Sache (3,588 m) and Mont Pourri (3,779 m) on the background. The Via Ferrata is made up of several parts which gradually become more difficult. In the Roc de Tovière wall, if you are comfortable we can do the full route, otherwise we are not obliged to and we can quietly walk up to the Hut without arriving too late in the afternoon.

Refuge de Prariond - Grande Aiguille Rousse (3482m) - Refuge de Prariond

Elevation: +1200 m and - 1200m
Length: 7 to 8 hours approximately

We will leave early for our first Mountaineering day on the glacier that gives birth to the Isère river. The walk  to reach the glacier is quite fast, then the progression on the glacier to reach the Col between the Petite and the Grande Aiguille Rousse is quite easy. We will arrive at the top of the Grande Aiguille Rousse and enjoy a great view on the Italian Gran Paradiso (4,061 m) before descending to the glacier where we will do ropes handling and some learning sessions.

Refuge de Prariond - La Galise - Col de Fons - Refuge de Prariond

Elevation: +1,450 and - 1,450 m
Length: 7 to 8 hours approximately

We leave at night in the direction of the Galise and the Bassagne Glacier, we can climb by more or less steep passages depending on your shape before arriving at the Bassagne Glacier and at the top of Galise. If you are fit, we can descend to the Italian Glacier of Basei and bypass the Roc de Bassagne to the walk back up again by the Col de Fons and finally walk down on the French side to make a loop from the Thenn de Rhême to the Prariond Hut, where we will have a well deserved rest.

Refuge de Prariond - Via Cordata at Le Crôt then climbing initiation at Le Crôt or Plateau de la Sassière.

Elevation: - 300m then + 400m and - 400 m
Length: around 6 hours

We will descend from our Base Camp to discover another beautiful area. Depending on your wishes and on weather you can decide with your guide either to take the Via Cordata du Crôt with the possibility of some rock climbing nearby or climb higher for the day on the cliff of Sassière, in a beautiful place just aside the torrent with marmots to make you some company.
The guide will take you back to the Funicular where you met on Monday morning.

End of the day around 6 p.m. or stay a few days in the hotel of your choice.

See you soon for new adventures!



  • Hiking Goretex Boots (category C) suitable to crampons
  • crampons
  • walking poles
  • iceaxe
  • helmet.


First layer on the skin:

  • (merino wool) thermal/breathable long sleeve
  • (merino wool) long thermal/breathable underwear
  • woolen warm socks

Second layer:

  • warm technical sweater
  • waterproof & windproof hiking pants

Third layer:

  • thin but warm duvet (to wear just in case of cold temperatures)

Last layer:

  • waterproof & windproof Goretex jacket

Important Additionals:

  • sleeping sheet for the hut
  • warm winter hat
  • buff/head-neckband
  • warm winter gloves
  • headlamp
  • suncream (protection factor 50+)
  • sunglasses
  • camera

If you have any doubts or simply need clarification on what gear to take for your climb, you can take a look at our Blog page "What gear for mountaineering?"

N.B. Consider a change for when you are back to the hut (you can leave some stuff at the hut).

IMPORTANT: if a person is not properly equipped and dressed, the mountain guide may decide not to allow him/her to take part in the climb. We ask you to read carefully the equipment list provided in the programme PDF and to call us if you have any doubts.


Level needed

This is a program that perfectly suits people who want to approach the mountaineering world.
The ascent does not present special technical difficulties, but it is mandatory to use harness and crampons: it is necessary to have good physical training and good resistance to walk for long hours as the second day counts a total of 6 to 8 hours walk, depending on the training and speed of the group.

Useful infos

Useful information to plan your mountaineering course week


Cancellation and repatriation insurance is mandatory, as is mountain search and rescue insurance (minimum cover of 10,000 Euros).

Esprit Montagne offers the following insurance:


How to reach Bourg Saint Maurice, 73700

  • By train, access by TGV to Bourg Saint Maurice station;
  • By car from Albertville, access by expressway to Moutiers - Bourg Saint Maurice is 2.5 hours from Lyon.

Meeting on the first day

On the first day, the meeting will be at 9:00 am directly at the Funicular car parking next to Bourg Saint Maurice train station. Those arriving by train are 2 minutes walk from the car parking, those arriving by car can leave it in the free parking during the whole week.

Car sharing

When you register online, you can choose whether or not you wish to take part in the car-sharing scheme to get to the starting point of your course. Once you have made your booking, you can log back into your Esprit Montagne account to access a section dedicated to carpooling. Here you will find the contacts of the other participants who are interested in car-sharing, so that you can contact them directly.

Budget for the stage - The Vanoise, the Easy Mountaineering Paradise stage


. Guiding by one of our team's UIAGM mountain guide, plus his/her accommodation and meal expenses : one guide for every 4 people on Monte Rosa, and one guide for every two people on Mont Blanc;

. Collective equipment (ropes, karabiners, etc.);

. Half-board in refuges as described in the program.


. Technical personal equipment: crampons, ice axe and harness

. Lunch, drinks and any snacks you may need on the mountain during the route, so that you can eat as you wish: everyone reacts differently at altitude.

. Everything not mentioned in the "price includes" section.

Any question?

Contact us

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Discover the Vanoise Massif on an mountaineering initiation course:

This three day course allows you to discover mountaineering in a wild setting in the heart of the Vanoise Park on easy summits close to 3500 meters of altitude, you will be close to Italy and the Grand Paradis which may be your next objective. The Vanoise is easily accessible by car and you will benefit from a superb refuge which was completely renovated two years ago. The Prariond valley is superb with many marmots, chamois and ibex easily seen from the refuge, this course allows families to discover the high mountains easily, as we always sleep at the Prariond refuge the portage is reduced to a minimum.

The Vanoise is an alternative to Chamonix:

You want to be calm, the Vanoise is a wild area, the races are not overcrowded as in Chamonix here we go up quietly to the refuge without the cable cars which also allows to reduce the price of the course, you enjoy a beautiful corner of nature with beautiful village resorts like Val d'Isere to also have beautiful hotels.

Come and discover our guides who will accompany you throughout your stay!