Ski touring

El Dorado

The Queyras is THE ski touring paradise! Imagine a land high enough to keep the snow fresh from November to the end of May. Vast enough to offer hundreds of possibilities, from quiet glades to steep slopes, from half-day outings to ten-day raids.

Welcome to the ski touring paradise

Some people say the ski touring paradise is here, in a small corner of the European Alps. Everything is combined for entertainment and leisure : the number of cabins and mountain huts, the large range of rental equipment shops,  the accessibility of high-altitude departures and not to mention the number of sunny days…it’s the perfect territory to skin your skis. It’s no coincidence that these village-resorts attract a strong community of ski enthusiasts all winter…

Self-guided or accompanied

The Aiguilles, Abriès, Molines St-Véran and Arvieux ski resorts have marked out dedicated itineraries for ski touring. Who are they for?
Are you a good skier but new to ski touring with no knowledge of mountain risk management? Or an endurance athlete (trail runner, mountain biker)? 
All of you are welcome on these trails, it’s your new playground

You are an experienced and independent ski tourer who wants to get back into the swing of things after a long break? You are dubious about the stability of the snowpack following heavy precipitation? 
You can also rely on a qualified mountain guide or ski instructor. They’ll take you through your first steps in complete safety and, above all, teach you the best practices for being self-sufficient in the mountains during winter without disturbing the wildlife.

A day just for skiing

There’s an outing for you!

Off-piste or on marked trails There’s an outing for every level On skis or a splitboard

Looking for a full-on ski touring vacation?

We’ve got you covered!

Star or itinerant tours For beginners or advanced skiers From 2 days to a week

All our tips

Make a checklist

Preparation and anticipation

Did you know that half of all avalanche accidents are caused by poor preparation? Terrain studying, its steepness and its slope’s orientation (via topographic maps, slope maps and topoguides), constantly looking at the weather forecast (BRA) as well as the different winds, are all important factors to prepare for an avalanche risk.

Weather forecasts and avalanche risk bulletins are posted at Tourist Offices and on their website.

Maps and guide-books are on sale in local bookshops.

If when reading this doesn’t sound familiar, we highly recommand you hire a mountain guide or a ski instructor. 

The right equipment for a better ski day

Ski touring requires very specific equipment and special ski technics.

  • On the way up: Your boots and bindings need to be compatible so you will need backcountry ski boots and bindings that release the heel on the way up and fix it on the way down. Don’t forget the removable sealskins… Although this equipment can be rented in specialized stores in the Queyras, it requires a little practice, especially for turns on slopes of over 30°: you’ll have to know how to execute a kick-turn.
  • On the way down, if you are already a good skier, you can master going down on fresh, light, shallow snow. However, in many difficult types of ungroomed snow (deep, heavy, crusty, trampled, etc.), technical advice on “all-snow” off-piste skiing will come in handy. In fact, they are highly recommended if you want to combine pleasure and safety.

Avalanche rescue training

In addition to the fitness issues inherent in all snow sports, the risk of avalanches imposes heightened awareness when ski touring. Not only is training in the tools and techniques in the detection of avalanche victims (ATV) essential, but heightened snow and mountain awareness will ensure that we’ll have the pleasure of seeing you for a long time to come.

The wisdom of giving up

Many accidents are the result of misplaced individual and/or collective egos, or the pursuit of pleasure at any price. Your ski touring mantra? “I don’t feel any pressure to give up and will do it if I feel like it.”

Essential maps
  • IGN Top 25: – 3536 ET Guillestre – 3637 OT Mont Viso.
  • IGC beyond the border: 106 Monviso.
Reference guidebooks
  • Queyras. Louis Volle, Lionel Tassan.Édition Volopress, coll. Toponeige, Grenoble, 2012.


  • 52 ski tours in Queyras and Haute Ubaye. Arnaud Guillaume. Glénat, 2006
Ski touring...

I respect flora and fauna

To protect the Lyre Grouse and the rock ptarmigan, refuge areas have been set up and are off-limits:

  • Ségure in Ristolas
  • l’Eypiol in Abriès
  • La Gardiole in Abriès
  • the Asti – Rocher mouloun – Clos Sablé area in the Ristolas-Mont Viso reserve.

Map of black grouse refuge areas

  • In the event of heavy snowfall, it’s important to take care of the forest. If possible, it’s best to stay with your group on the trails or itineraries.
  • Off-route, everyone should follow the same trail, especially in the forest.
  • Avoid crossing snow-cleared areas (where the grass is exposed) or near protruding rocks.
  • In the event of an encounter, stop and give the animals time to move off quietly.
  • Don’t take dogs with you on hiking trips: they are considered predators, and their very smell scares off all wildlife. If you have no choice, keep your dog on a leash, especially in forests and forest edges.
  • Travel in small groups to avoid disturbance.
  • Be as quiet as possible.
  • In transition zones between forest and open spaces, group your tracks in a narrow corridor; don’t stay long at the edge of the forest; don’t make tracks parallel to this boundary; keep a sufficient distance from isolated trees and groups of trees.
  • Ski or hike in open, snow-covered areas; avoid snow-covered, rocky areas.