Overview:

The Ortler tour might be the perfect blend of incredible skiing and comfortable first class Italian hut service.

Unlike a lot of European Hut tours the Ortler is a circuit tour starting  and finishing at the Forni hut just above Santa Caterina Valfurva. We will spend 6 days travelling through stunning glaciated terrain, skiing peaks and glaciers and eating delicious food. During the 6 days we will be staying at only 3 huts. This gives us the opportunity to enjoy day tours to ski peaks with nice light day packs or if you are feeling a little tired have a rest day.

The Italian huts have a well deserved reputation for good food, tasty desserts and fine Italian coffee. The huts have smaller sized rooms, comforters and hot showers also. Included in the cost of this trip is dinner bed and breakfast at these huts.

Another huge advantage of this tour is the lack of traversing, that’s right split boarder’s, this is a great tour for you. On this tour we are either going up or going down with very little time going across.

During World War 1 this area of the mountains was a hotbed of conflict between the Italians and the Austrians. Many of the huts we stay at were built during this conflict and there are many relics still on the mountainside to remind us of the fighting that took place here.

Come join us for Cappucino and Powder this spring.

Prerequisites:

Participants on the Ortler  tour should be advanced intermediate (minimum a SOLID blue run skier in varied conditions) or stronger skiers or riders, have a high level of cardio vascular fitness. Participants should have toured in the backcountry with a minimum of 10 days in varied conditions.

The days are not super long, potentially as short as 4-6 hours, making this a good tour for a first European hut trip. These days can be longer for those looking for more skiing.

An Introduction to Ski-Mountaineering (or Introduction to Mountaineering) with CMS (or other climbing school) will ease the learning curve of ski-mountaineering. Completing an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course is also strongly encouraged.

If you are unsure if you meet the prerequisites you can book a trip with a CMS guide to help work on your skiing for the trip.

Preparation:

Trip Participants should have a solid background of being an advanced blue or above resort skier, with at least a minimum of 10-days of backcountry ski touring experience. The Haute Route has some days that are more committing then others, and the unforgiving high mountain glaciated terrain, does not make retreat or ‘bail out options’ easy on all the days, so therefore participants need to come properly prepared in regards to physical fitness, mental stamina, and technical skiing and touring ability.

*** For those that are interested and enthusiastic, and or are wondering if they meet the requirements to join, CMS can offer guided backcountry ski days here in Colorado (or elsewhere) to help assess current skill levels and to also help people develop the skills they need to enjoy a successful experience on this tour. ***  

Duration:

7 Days, 6 Nights

Maximum Ratio:

4:1 / 8 people max

Minimum Age:

18

Meeting location:

This tour will start at the Forni Hut above Santa Caterina di Valfurva

The two most convenient airports to fly into are Milan or Innsbruck. From the airports to Santa Caterina there are a couple of options.

  1. Rent a car and drive to Santa Caterina. This is definitely the easiest option and fairly economical if there are a few people renting together.
  2. There are a few public transport options both train and shuttle bus and we can direct you to some resources to help plan that leg of the trip. This is cheaper but is less direct timewise.

 

Notes:

Payment Schedule:
· 50% deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 90 days before Day 1 of trip

Expedition Cancellation Policy:
· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.

Santa Caterina Valfurva Start Itinerary

Day 0: Meet at hotel in Santa Caterina Valfurva/Forni hut for evening meal, meeting and kit check. If clients
intend to share a rental car then we will stay this night in the Forni hut which you can drive to and be in the
perfect position to head out the following morning.
Overnight will be in the hotel/Forni hut included.

Day 1: We will travel up to the Forni Hut (or just depart) where we will start our tour and head up to the Pizzini
hut. We will spend the day working on avalanche and rescue skills and doing a short tour.
Overnight will be in the Pizzini hut.

Day 2: We will ski one of the many options from the Pizzini hut. These could include an ascent of the South
Facing Gran Zebru or harvesting some cold North Facing turns over the pass on the Vedretta Castelli Glacier
or over the Col Pale Rosse. Overnight in the Pizzini hut.

Day 3: Today we will leave the Pizzini hut and head to the Marteller hut (maybe the nicest hut on the tour).
Options for this day include an ascent of Monte Cevedale and long 1100m descent to the hut. If weather is
poor we have the option of leaving the hut and heading up to the Casati hut with optional expresso stop before
skiing past the Tre Cannoni down to the hut, a tour steeped in world war 1 history. If feeling good there is the
option of afternoon tours from the hut. Overnight in the Marteller hut.

Day 4: With only one night in the Marteller we will leave and make our way to our final hut the Branca. Again
there are various routes that could be taken and we will pick the most appropriate. Most likely we would finish
with a long south facing run down the Val Di Rosole to the hut. Overnight at Branca Hut.

Day 5: We will spend the day skiing one of the many amazing peaks around the Branca hut with nice light day
packs. Some options include Palon De La Mare, Pizzo Tresero, San Matteo. Overnight at Branca Hut.

Day 6: Our final day of touring will start with skiing one of the other peaks around the valley that we eyed up
from the previous day. Then we will head the short way back out to the Forni hut and a nice lunch before
heading back down in the taxi to pick up our belongings and say our farewells. No accommodation included this night.

Price Includes:

  • All IFMGA/UIAGM Licensed Mountain Guides from CMS
  • Lodging in Mountain Huts for 6 nights w/ meals
  • All transfers and lift tickets associated with the ski tour
  • Logistical support from the CMS Operations Team as needed

Price Excludes:

  • All airfare to and from Milan OR Innsbruck (or elsewhere)
  • Global Rescue Insurance
  • Equipment rentals (if needed)

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Avalanche Beacon

Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.

1

BCA Tracker 2 or 3

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Avalanche Rescue Shovel

Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.

1

BCA B1 Ext

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

1

CAMP M3 30L

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Compass

Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

1

Silva Ranger CLQ

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Goggles

Protect your eyes and face from wind and sun burn.

1

Julbo Atlas

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Hardshell Pants

These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski/ride boots.

1

Men: Rab Latok Alpine Pants
Women: Rab Firewall Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

RAB Alliance

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men: Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women: Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men: Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women: Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

RAB Guide

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Axe

Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

1

CAMP Alpina

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Mountaineering Crampons

Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

1

CAMP XLC 390

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

BCA Neck Tube

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses/contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Ski Crampons

Each binding style has ski crampons that fit them specifically.

1

Dynafit Ski Crampons

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski Helmet

This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.

1

Dynafit ST

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski Straps

18" Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.

2

BCA Ski Strap

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Ski/Snowboard Boots

Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.

1

Scarpa Maestrali RS

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Skis/Snowboard

Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.

1

Dynafit Chugach; Dynafit Radical ST 2.0

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell Pants

Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic/Merino Wool Socks

Wool/Synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Thermos

Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Toiletries

Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Trash Bag

Lining the inside of your pack with a heavy duty trash bag will keep the contents of your pack dry on rainy days.

1 Optional
Watch w/ Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses and/or GPS tracking functions.

1

Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing

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