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The Ortler! Hut to hut ski touring in the Alps. March 19th - 26th 2016

Ortler map

The Ortler!
Hut to hut ski touring in the Alps with Rich Meyer & Dave Miller (IFMGA).
March 19th - 26th 2016

The last two trips in 2014 and 2015 were amazing! I'm going back for more! Join us! (International Alpine Guides) on a classic European hut trip!

The Ortler ski tour boasts a vast amount of amazing ski terrain with an emphasis on getting in as many great ski descents as possible. The Ortler ski tour, also known as the Ortler ski circuit, hops from high mountain hut to hut in an enormous arc. Because the focus is on the skiing (rather than simply traveling from point A to point B like some other Alps ski tours), we have created an adjustable itinerary that allows us to climb and ski what looks inviting along our route. Flexibility is built in; we will happily layover at a hut to take advantage of good skiing, head out for a “2nd lap” after arriving at our hut, or alter our schedule to hit an enticing nearby peak.

We access the Ortler ski tour from Sulden, a ski resort & town located in the Italian region of the South Tirol. The small, quaint town has some very big ski terrain, including some incredible backcountry ski options. Sulden is well suited for beginning (and ending) our ski adventure. The charming hotels, restaurants, shops, and relaxed atmosphere help us ease into the tour and decompress from travel. And we always include a day of lift served backcountry skiing to review skills and prepare for the tour.

Each hut we stay at provides an immense amount of ski options with notable ski mountaineering objectives including the Cevedale, Tressero and The Gran Zebru. The region, and our route, is diverse including "something for everyone", from rolling glaciers, picture perfect peaks, to steep couloirs. Every backcountry skier will be excited and entertained because of the options, the terrain, and the flexible itinerary.

The Ortler ski circuit is an attractive alternative to the more famous Haute Route, especially if you are looking for a less crowded tour with more downhill skiing options. And, unlike the Haute Route, we often summit peaks each day with the use of skins. After a day skiing the peaks and glaciers of the Ortler, we spend our nights in comfortable Italian alpine huts. The huts are among the finest in Europe, often with the option of private rooms and maybe even a shower! Operated more like fine restaurants, the huts provide fine Italian food, Cappuccinos, wine, and a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy with skiers from around the world.

"A Typical Day"
While touring from hut to hut we will adjust our schedule and route to meet the conditions of each day (with the first priority being safety). Once we have established what is the safest and best skiing option, we will get out and get after it! Some days of ski touring may include 3000 vertical feet of climbing and 3-4 miles of travel, and others may be a bit more or a bit less, depending on conditions.

Day 1
Travel day to the small resort town of Sulden, Italy. We meet at our hotel for dinner, planning, and prep. Not to be confused with Soldon, Austria, just to the north.
Day 2
A lift served backcountry ski day to stretch out the muscles and work through any jet lag. We will ski some great off-piste runs using the lifts at Sulden and doing some avalanche rescue and glacier skiing skills along the way. We overnight back at our hotel in the town.
Day 3
We begin the Ortler ski circuit by taking the lifts to the top of the Sulden ski resort and then skiing out of bounds and descend the backside valley towards the Marteller Hut, with a stop at another hut for Cappuccino along the way, before skinning up to the Marteller hut for the night.
Day 4
Our first big ski mountaineering objective... The Cevedale. After a long climb up, we have a fantastic ski down big glaciers towards the south, and eventually end up at the Branca Hut for the night. At the hut, a hot shower and a great meal await us.
Day 5
This is a ski day in the area of the Branca hut. We have many options for descents depending on conditions... Tressero and San Meteo to name just a few. Overnight at the Branca hut again.
Day 6
We leave the Branca hut and head for the Pizzini Hut. We will likely ski over the Cevedale Col and enjoy another great decent down a flank of Cevedale to arrive at the Pizzini Hut. A private group room with a private shower and toilet await us.
Day 7
Layover ski day at the Pizzini Hut area. Many different aspects and possible ski descents await us with the famed Gran Zebru (Konigsptize) being at the top of the list depending on group strengths and conditions. Overnight back at the Pizzini Hut for the night.
Day 8
Today we will ski up and boot up over a col that takes us to the top of Suldensptize and fantastic glaciated slopes all the way back to Sulden. Then we enjoy a final celebratory dinner in Sulden. (Typically at Reinhold Messner's restaurant)
Day after the tour ends
Depart Sulden.

Cost: $2495
Rates advertised by other guides services are very similar. Except for the guide services that start their trip at at a remote mountain hut along the circut. (By skipping the town of Sulden, with hotels, ski lifts, restaurants, etc, etc... a guide service can cut costs significantly).

Deposit: $500
A $500 deposit per person is required to reserve space (or half of trip cost, whichever is lower). Full payment is
required 90 days prior to the trip start date.

Skill & Experience Level:
For the Ortler ski tour we recommend advanced to expert skiers with some previous backcountry ski touring experience. You should be comfortable skiing black diamond to double black diamond runs at a resort in most any conditions. Very good to excellent physical condition required.

Ground Transportation, Food & Lodging:
There is no ground transportation needed on this tour. We will provide you with logistical support for travel to Sulden from your airport. We run a mostly all-inclusive package trip for your convienence that includes all lodging, lift tickets and huts as well as most meals.

Included in the trip cost:
Lift tickets in Sulden
3-star double occupancy accommodations while in the town of Sulden with breakfast included.
Dormitory-style with possible private rooms for the group lodging at the mountain huts with breakfast, pack lunch, and dinner included.


In partnership with International Alpine Guides: