Three days to get near to the herds of chamois and ibexes of the most beautiful National Park of the Alps. Accommodation by the comfortable Vittorio Sella hut (hot showers), in a splendid mountain pasture dominated by peaks and glaciers.
Three days programme. Departure each Friday of the Summer 2017 season, from June 9 to September 15.
Free shuttle from Geneva Airport for the 4 first registered participants : choose a flight landing in Geneva before 8.30 am on Friday, and taking off after 8.30 pm on Sunday.
Group : one IFMGA Mountain Guide with 8 to 15 participants.
Prix: 269 EUR.
Minimum age : 10 years old.
- Chamois : his latin name, rupicapra, comes from Rupis = cliff and Capra = goat. His height goes from 103 to 134 cms.
Living in mountain pastures and rocky areas of the Alps far above the tree line (up to 11,000 feet), chamois go down as low as 2,600 feet in the winter season, to find old grass or lichens to eat in the forests or open slopes cleaned of snow by the wind.
Chamois are durnial, but they feed at night if there is enough moonlight, resting in the middle of the day.
- Ibex : named capra ibex in latin, and bouquetin by mountaineers, this animal is an outstanding climber, even better than the chamois on steep rocky cliffs.
He mainly lives in the French and Italian Alps, between 6,500 and 11,500 feet, in alpine meadows, rock slides and rocky cliffs.
Once near extinction, the bouquetins were saved by King of Italy Vittorio-Emanuele II, who created the National Park of Gran Paradiso.
- Marmot : the alpine marmot is related to the American groundhog. Marmots live in colonies, usually in the boulders of large rock slides, where they can hide quickly in burrows if a eagle attack them.
In a colony, you will always see adults on the outlook: their piercing alarm whistle can be heard for miles in the clear mountain air.
Marmots mainly eat grasses and other plants, and the above-ground parts of roots and bulbs.
The marmots spend 5 months in hibernation in their burrows, their heartbeat droping from 130 per minute to 15 per minute. Their burrows, up to 3 meters deep and 10 meters long, include several attached rooms.
Route : meeting at 11.45 am in Valnontey small village (5,564 feet), in the Gran Paradiso group (transfer from Geneva airport and Chamonix for the 4 first registered participants), footpath up to Vittorio Sella hut (8,478 feet). Short walk around the hut to meet ibexes. Night by Vittorio Sella hut / Hiking around Lauson pass and Rousse pass where usually stand ibexes herds and marmots, night by Vittorio Sella hut / Herbetet balcony footpath, and descent of Val Nontey, meeting ibexes, chamois and marmots, separation in Val Nontey by 4 pm (transfer to Chamonix and Geneva airport for the 4 first registered participants)
Your level: you are in good condition (you practise sports twice a week).