Ski Bus Adventure Week 2019

2 hotels, 3 countries, and 6 days of skiing some of the best kept secrets in the Alps. This trip will melt together ski touring, freeride skiing and ski mountaineering to give you the best of all worlds. Utilizing the world class lift infrastructure in Chamonix, Zermatt and Saas-Fee we will share our favorite ski tours and descents and you’ll feel like a local traveling with our guides. 

March 25, 2019 - March 30, 2019

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Moderately strenuous

*This trip is hotel based and a lot of the touring is lift accessed, but touring at high elevation still adds up

  • 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 Ski 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).  

Sign 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 visit our online retail shop, Pro Ski and Mountain Service
BASE LAYER: Men's, Women's
• 1 Bottom - Midweight or Lightweight
• Non-Cotton Underwear
• 1-2 Tops - Midweight or Lightweight
• 2-3 Pair Sock Liners
• 2 Pair Ski Socks
• Soft Shell, Windshirt, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
• Soft Shell  Pants
OUTERWEAR: Men's, Women's
• Lightweight, Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
• Waterproof/Breathable Ski Pants
• Warm Hat
• Sun Hat (baseball or visor)
• Ski Gloves
• Lightweight Gloves
• Down or Synthetic Jacket
• Day Pack (25-40L)
• Headlamp (Lightweight LED recommended)
• Water Bottles (1-2 L, wide mouth)
• Sunglasses (adequate for snow travel)
• Goggles
• Sunscreen (SPF>25, Waterproof)
• Lip Balm (SPF 15+)
• Personal Toiletries
• Small Personal 1st Aid Kit: Blister Repair (Compeed™), Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc.)
• Waterless hand cleaner- there is no running water in the huts
• Earplugs - essential for sleeping
• Skis with touring binding: Alpine Touring or Telemark 
• Ski Boots (Alpine Touring or Telemark - No Downhill Boots)
• Ski Poles (recommend telescopic poles, but not required)
• Climbing Skins
• Ski Crampons - REQUIRED
• Ski Brakes
• Transceiver (single frequency,  457 kHz only, new batteries at start of trip)
• Shovel (compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred) 
• Probe (dedivated probe only, ski poles do not suffice)
• Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
• Boot Crampons - STEEL ONLY; NO ALUMINUM!, check fit prior to departure
• Anti-Balling Plates - fit to crampons
• Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style.
• 2 Locking Carabiners- (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
• 2 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
• 1 Single Length Runner
• 1 Double Length Runner
• 1 Cordelette - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter length
 OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them*
• Camera
• Skin Wax
• Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
• Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
• Sleep Sack - lightweight silk or cotton
• Warm Socks - to sleep in
• Thermos - vacuum type
• Compass
• Altimeter (Suunto watch works well)
• Foot Powder
• Cash - see note below
• Groups 1st Aid Kit
• Ropes
• Technical Group Gear and VHF radio

  ➢We recommend bringing cash for use in the huts to purchase snacks, lunches, and drinks.  Water must be purchased and costs approximately $7 per liter.   Most Pro Guiding Service customers have found bringing $200 to $250 in the local currency allows for a good hot meal in the afternoon and plenty of drinks (including beer) for a six-day hut trip. 


HOW DO I GET TO CHAMONIX? 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.

SHOULD I CHANGE DOLLARS INTO EUROS IN GENEVA? 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.

HOW WILL OUR LUGGAGE GET FROM POINT TO POINT? 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.

WHAT IF THE CONDITIONS ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE? 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. 

WHAT KIND OF SKIS AND BOOTS SHOULD I BRING? This is the trip were the stronger ski and boot are appropriate.

DO YOU SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE? Yes, we speak French, Italian and German.

HOW MUCH CASH SHOULD I BRING? 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.          

SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THEM? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.