Ski Bus Adventure Week 2018

Chamonix, Zermatt and Saas-Fee are world class resorts in the Alps with an amazing lift infrastructure and we intend to use it. During the Short Bus Week we will expose a group of Adventure skiers to some of the best known and some of the not so well known ski tours and ski descents of the Savoy and Valaisan Alps. We know the Alps and especially the Swiss Alps. We know them more intimately than many guides from the states who guide there.

March 26, 2018 - March 31, 2018

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Moderately strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 3:1,6:2
Chamonix, Zermatt and Saas-Fee are world class resorts in the Alps with an amazing lift infrastructure and we intend to use it. During the Short Bus Week we will expose a group of adventure skiers to some of the best known and some of the not so well known ski tours and ski descents of the Savoy and Valaisan Alps. We know the Alps and especially the Swiss Alps. We know them more intimately than many guides from the US who guide there. This is our home turf and we know all the smaller spots as well as the big spots. Martin Volken, the owner of Pro Guiding Service was born and raised in the Zermatt valley. We know the customs, we speak the language and we provide transportation. World famous ski areas like Chamonix, Zermatt, Courmayeur and Saas-Fee are amazingly close together. The lift-access and ski mountaineering from these resorts is world class. 
We believe that we can offer a week that will show incredible scenery, long descents and a free backstage pass to this incredible region between Chamonix and the Simplon Pass. Depending on weather and conditions, you might find yourself touring and skiing in Chamonix, or Argentiere, in Courmayeur or Verbier, in Nendaz or Leukerbad, In the Zinal Valley or the Loetschental, in Saas Grund, Saas Fee or the Simplon Pass. 
The itinerary below describes a sample itinerary, but as indicated, we could end up in a number of places. You can rest assured that we will make the most of our local knowledge. On average you will tour about 2000 to 3000 feet and ski between 8000 and 15000 feet. The terrain is predominantly alpine and very often glaciated. 
Sample itineray: 
Day one:            From Chamonix we will take the Aiguille de Midi tram (3842 meters) and tour across the Plateau du Geant to the Col de Toule. From there we will ski down the spectacular Glacier de Toule to the midstation “Le Pavillon at 2174 meters. After a quick Italian Lunch we take the gondola back up to Punta Heilbronner (3462 meters) and ski back to Chamonix via the famed Vallee Blanche .
Day two:            We will ride the first cable car to the top of the Argentiere ski area (Aiguille des Grans Montets at 3295 meters), ski 3000’ to the Glacier d’Argentiere, then tour to the Col du Passon ((3028 meters) for an 8,000’ descent to the town of le Tour. A taxi transfer will get us to Zermatt later that evening.
Day three:             Pro Guiding Service wants to show you the “Tour de Zermatt”. This day is fully lift accessed. No harness, ice axe, skins… just skiing. Lots of it… The ski areas of Zermatt and Cervinia have invested half a billion Dollars into their lift infrastructure in the last 10 years, so lets take advantage of it. It will take all day and will involve a lunch in Italy.
Day four:            From Zermatt we will take the Gondola to the Klein Matterhorn (3883 meters) and tour up to the summit of the Breithorn (4164 meters). From there we will tour the short distance around the south side of the Breithorn to the Schwarztor. The 8000 foot ski descent from there back to Zermatt is a super classic.                      
Day five:            It is Helicoper time. Air Zermatt will show us a good time. You could find yourself on the summit slopes of the Monte Rosa or the Aeschihorn, the Alphubeljoch or we might do the whole thing from Cervinia. It certainly should be a lasting memory.                              
Day six:             A quick transfer to the Saas Valley in the morning will let us access the famous Metro Alpin in Saas Fee. From the mid station of the subway at around 10,000 feet (yes, you read correctly!) we will climb out the vent shaft and access our 8000 foot descent to Saas Almagell via the Fluchthorn (3795 meters).  

The best way is to fly into Geneva and take the bus that leaves right from the airport.  To get there you leave the baggage claim area, look across the hall, and will see a counter.  The bus is called CHAMONIX BUS.  It departs right outside baggage claim.
It is better to wait until you get ot Chamonix.  That way you pay the exchange rate only once (opposed to from dollars to francs to Euros.)  You can get some Swiss Francs at the airport or wait until we get to Switzerland for the second half of the trip.
Pro Guiding Service will be providing a van, hence the name of the week.  Please keep your extra luggage to a minimum, as luugage for 8 people adds up to a staggering pile of gear.
That is the benefit of the van.  We will be super mobile, if there are good conditions to be had, we will be able to get there. 
This is the trip were the stronger ski and boot are appropriate.
Yes, we speak French, Italian and German.
We recommend bringing some cash for use in the resort and for the road. Credit Cards are accepted in most of the places, but have a bit of cash on hand. Getting cash is not a problem in most places.    Most Pro Guiding Service customers have found that $250 to $300 of dinner and spending money will suffice. 

Pro Ski LogoSign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental.

Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.

If you are in need of any of these items, please follow the red links to see the equipment we have tested, recommend, and sell through our online retail shop, Pro Ski and Mountain Service.
        BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Ski Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o            Schoeller™ type pants - soft shell
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants - may be omitted w/ Schoeller™ type pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves
o            Ski Gloves
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
o            Day Pack - 25 to 40 Liter
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o            Goggles
o            Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
o            Waterless hand cleaner- there is no running water in the huts.
o            Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o            Street clothes (please keep it tight)
o            Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark (fat and heavy is ok here)
o            Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark (heavy and stiff is ok but no downhill boots)
o            Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o            Climbing Skins
o            Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o            Ski Brakes or Removable Ski Leashes
o            Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only, new batteries at start of trip
o            Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o            Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
o            Ice Axe - 50 - 55cm length, lightweight.
o            Boot Crampons - check fit prior to departure
o            Anti-Balling Plates - fit to crampons
o            Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)
o            2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o            3 Non-locking Biners - any style, we recommend wire gates
o            2 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o            Skin Wax
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Compass - adjustable declination a must
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Foot Powder
o            Ropes
o            Technical Gear
o            Group 1st Aid Kit