Tour des Combins Trek

Tour des Combins Trek

  • Trek around a famed 4000m Alpine peak

  • Stunning views of the Swiss Pennine Alps

  • Trek alongside the Glacier de Corbassière

  • A quieter alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Visit the Lacs de Fenêtre

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • Stay at the famous Grand St Bernard Monastery

  • Experience authentic mountain refuges

Tour des Combins Trek: Dates and Prices

AT A GLANCE

 

7 nights

6 full days' trekking

 

Partial luggage delivery

Group size 4-10

 

Price: £1145

 

Join: Bourg-St-Pierre

 

Nearest Airport: Geneva

ACCOMMODATION

2 nights in hotels

5 nights in refuges

 

 

DIFFICULTY GRADING

8

Challenging

Tour des Combins Trek: Overview

The Tour des Combins Trek is a circuit route around one of the most famous 4000-metre peaks in the Alps - the Grand Combin (4314m). On our week-long trek we will discover high Alpine meadows, spot edelweiss growing wild, and climb alongside the Glacier de Corbassière; one of the largest glaciers in Europe. We climb to the Col du Grand St Bernard and its monastery, famous for the huge St Bernard dogs that would be sent out to find lost mountaineers. 

This is an area less frequented by walkers, and something of a hidden gem - for now anyway! It is a great alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc, as we enjoy stunning scenery away from the crowds. We think it is set to become a classic Alpine trek. 

What to expect

This circuit trek doesn't include glacial travel, so no specialist equipment is needed, but there is a fair amount of ascent and descent as we travel through this relative wilderness. The mountain refuges we stay in for the bulk of the trek are inaccessible by road, so there is no vehicle support for the majority of the trip. We will therefore need to carry our own equipment each day, but we don't need to pack sleeping bags or camping mattresses, so we should be able to keep our packs light. We will walk for around 6-7 hours per day, with a couple of longer days, so a good level fitness and hill walking experience is needed. 

Tour des Combins Trek: Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrive in Bourg-St-Pierre

Our trip starts in the village of Bourg St Pierre, in the Swiss canton of Valais. We hold a trip briefing in the hotel, followed by our evening meal.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

 

Day 2 - Trek from Bourg-St-Pierre to the Cabane du Col de Mille

We leave our hotel in Bourg-St-Pierre (1632m), and make a gradual ascent through the wild flower meadows, to La Coeur (2233m). After crossing the col at 2550 metres we cross the green slopes to the Cabane du Col de Mille (2472m), where we spend the night, and enjoy fabulous views towards Mont Rogneux (3084m). If the weather is good we have the option to continue past the cabane and climb up to Mt Brule at 2572 metres. This is an interesting peak, as it has a military barracks built inside it, and from the summit it offers great views of the whole valley.

 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 4-5 hrs

Distance: 12km

Altitude gain / loss: +1030m / -190m

 

Day 3 - Trek from the Cabane du Col de Mille to the Cabane de Panossière

The day starts with a descent, as we traverse around Mont Rogneux, before reaching the charming Brunet Hut. We can stop here for lunch, before following the gorge to the bottom of the Glacier de Corbassière. This is one of the largest and most impressive glaciers in Europe, carving a route between the Grand Combin and the Combin de Corbassière. In 2014 a 240-metre long suspension bridge was built, allowing visitors exceptional views up and down the glacier. A short but steady climb takes us up to the Cabane de Panossière, which is our base for the night. It is in a beautiful location overlooking the glacier, with beautiful views of the Grand Combin, and the chance to spot ibex on the hillsides. There is also an outdoor shower at the refuge - an experience not to be missed!

 

Accommodation : Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 16km

Altitude gain / loss: +950m / -880m

 

Day 4 - Trek from the Cabane de Panossière to the Cabane de Chanrion

We start the day with a long steady climb from the hut to the Col des Otanes, which is the highest point on the trek at 2806 metres. We then descend from the rocky mountainside to the man-made Lac de Mauvoisin (1976m), with its dramatic waterfalls created by the 250-metre high dam, built in the upper Val de Bagnes in the 1950s. We can take a coffee break at the historic Hotel Mauvoisin, before tackling the climb up through the tunnel walls of the dam. We follow the bank of the lake as far as a group of ancient farm buildings, which is a perfect spot for a lunch break. After lunch we climb steadily up to the Col de Tsofeiret (2630m), then down to the Cabane de Chanrion (2462m). 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 7-9 hours

Distance: 16km

Altitude gain / loss: +1550 / -1670m

 

Day 5 - Trek from the Cabane de Chanrion to the Cabane de Champillon

Today starts with a descent, followed by a climb alongside the Glacier de Fenêtre up to the Fenêtre de Durand (2797m), on the border of Switzerland and Italy. From here we have views back towards the Chanrion hut, and the white peaks of Mont Blanc de Cheilon. We then cross into Italy and drop down to green pastures, where we can sometimes spot marmots. We follow an ancient irrigation channel around the valley, before finishing with a climb to the Cabane de Champillon, which is also known as the Refuge Letey (2375m).

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 9-11 hrs

Distance: 27km

Altitude gain / loss: +1170m / -1190m

 

Day 6 - Trek from the Cabane de Champillon to the Grand St Bernard Monastery

We leave the refuge, making our way through alpine meadows, then start our climb to the Col de Champillon (2709m). From this vantage point we can see the Grand Combin and, on a good day, as far as Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc. We then drop down into the Aosta valley, and the Italian village of Etroubles, which was once home to a Roman garrison. Our day ends with a descent through the riverside villages of St Oyen, Cerisey, St Leonard and St Rhemy. At St Rhemy we take a short transfer up to the Col de St Bernard (2469m), and the border with Switzerland. A hospice was built here in the 10th century by St Bernard de Monthon, and it is from here that the iconic St Bernard dogs would rescue lost travellers. As well as the hospice, where we will spend the night, there is also, in the summer months, a museum and a St Bernard dog breeding centre. 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 17km

Altitude gain / loss: +830m / -1600m

 

Day 7 - Trek from the Grand St Bernard Monastery to Bourg-St-Pierre

Weather permitting we will take a variant route today that will take us off the beaten track. First we climb to the Fenêtre de Ferret at 2698 metres, and enjoy spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif. We then have a short descent to the beautiful Lacs de Fenêtre, before another short but steep ascent via an ancient mule track, to Col de Bastillon (2753m). The views from here are stunning, and continue as we descend down the Combe de Drône past pretty lakes, before rejoining the traditional Tour des Combins route. We follow in the footsteps of Napoleon, as we take the Roman road back to our starting point of Bourg-St-Pierre. 

If the weather isn't good enough to take the variant we will take the normal Tour des Combins route down from the col, following the same route taken by Napoleon's armies. The path crosses meadows, the Bourg dam, and the old customs house, before reaching Bourg-St-Pierre. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 15km

Altitude gain / loss: +600m / -1350m

Day 8 - Depart Bourg-St-Pierre

Our trip finishes after breakfast.

Included

  • All accommodation 

  • All meals

  • All transport detailed in the itinerary

  • Fully qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Airport transfers

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

Tour des Combins Trek: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

info@cloud9adventure.com

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