From Hiking To Alpinism!


From Hiking To Alpinism!

Hike & Alpinism Around The Vanoise Glaciers

The hike around the Vanoise glaciers is a classic week long hiking trail that can be started in the Haute-Maurienne. Following a scenic route far above the valley, this hike offers great views and a direct proximity to the high mountains and their glaciers. So close that you might want to go beyond the trail and try out alpinism!

From a hike in autonomy including one or two days with a guide, to a fully guided week, check our options and see how to give a twist to that classic and beautiful hike!

Trip Essentials

June to October

Hiking around the Vanoise Glaciers

Usually done in 7 days, this itinerary will take you to some beautiful scenic trails, all between 1645m and 2785m, over 5 passes, on 84km and 5200 vertical meters.

During the hike, you'll never come down to any village, and you will stay at the following mountain huts:

  • Refuge de la Dent Parrachée
  • Refuge de l'Orgère
  • Refuge de Peclet-Polset
  • Refuge de la Valette
  • Refuge du Col de la Vanoise
  • Refuge de l'Arpont

Note that there are shortcuts and ways to reduce to 5 or 4 days hiking.

Our concept...Leave the trail behind!

During a hike around the Vanoise, the temptation to get closer to the glaciers and the peaks is growing each and every day, as you're always surrounded by the high mountains. 

Our proposition is to discover the world of the glaciers guided by us, according to what kind of adventure you are looking for:

  • round trip from one of the mountain hut. 
  • between two huts of your itinerary.
  • on the whole week, mixing classic hiking days and glacier crossings.

See the details below !

Option #1

Round trip from one of the huts.

The idea here is that you'll do the hiking on your own, and the guide will join you at one of the huts. The next morning, he'll take you on an introduction to alpinism trip, with a glacier hike and a beautiful peak. This can be done from the following huts:

  • From the Refuge de la Parrachée, the Col de Labby offers an icredible scenery over the whole Glaciers de la Vanoise. Starting early from the hut, and reaching the Genepy Lake at dusk, you'll put on the crampons to continue towards the Col de Labby at 3324m! (approx. 800 verticals)
  • From the Refuge du Col de la Vanoise, the Roche Ferran glacier is accessible after 500 vertical meters. Huge altitude plateau, this glacier is looking like an icy desert.. 


Note that this option will make your hike around the Vanoise one day longer.


A glacier hike between two huts.

The guide will join you one evening. After a nice dinner and hopefully a good night, he'll take you to the next hut, far from the regular trail, in an environnement of glaciers and high mountains!

This off-trail itinerary is ideally done from the Refuge de la Dent Parrachée (photo on the left) to the Refuge de l'Arpont (both directions are possible) and will bring you really close to the impressive north face of the Parrachée. You will need to walk 900 vertical meters to reach a pass at more than 3300m, that will require some extra focus when walking, even if not really steep.

Arriving early in the afternoon at the next hut, you will have time to enjoy the surroundings, and think about that awesome day you just had! Few people are including this on their hike around the Vanoise, what a pity!


With this option, your days hiking are remaining the same.

Option #3

A Guided Week Around The Vanoise Glaciers.

Hire a guide for 6 days, and make every day an opportunity to learn new skills and reach new heights! This week will combine alpinism days where you will discover glacier hiking, and rock climbing, and hiking days. You will have time to learn a lot about orientation, map reading and all the small routines that can make the difference between a good and a bad day in the mountains!

  • Day 1: a short hike to the Refuge de la Dent Parrachée followed by an introduction to rock climbing.
  • Day 2: Glacier day! Over the Col de Labby, to the Refuge de l'Arpont.
  • Day 3: Hiking day, to the Refuge du Col De la Vanoise.
  • Day 4; Alpinism day, round trip from the hut. Starting from the Col de la Vanoise, we will have the choice between rock climbing at the Aiguille de la Vanoise, easy glacier hiking, or more advanced mountaineering at the Grande Casse (if the conditions and your level allows).
  • Day 5: Hiking day to the Refuge de la Valette.
  • Day 6: Back to our starting point via the Col d'Aussois. 

Group size & Pricing

On this trip, the maximum size of the group is 6 persons for one guide.

The prices are given per person, in a group of 4, and they include:

  • the guiding (one day in option #1 and #2, 6 days in option #3
  • lodging and full board (breakfasts, dinners and picnics)
  • transport from our office to the start and back
  • booking of the huts and logistic help
  • loan of maps, as well as briefing prio to the hike

For any other group size, or if you wish to have a custom program, please contact info@upguides.com  or +33 785 62 21 53 for more informations.

Option #1
Option #2
Option #3

The Upguides "plus"

We will take care for you of all the logistics, huts reservations and transport, from our office in Sollières and back.

For the options 1 & 2, you will get a half day briefing at our office, that will include:

  • What to take with you, and how to pack your backpack ?
  • Loan of paper maps, and we'll walk you through the whole itinerary.
  • Map apps, which ones to choose and how to use them ?
  • What to do in case of trouble ? List of usefull numbers, and safety procedures.

KIt List

Note that most of the items in the list are available for rental. We also have GPS and Satellite Phone for rental. Please get in touch !