À propos

White Marmotte was started by Ian Huyton, Stine Keyes and a love of mountains. We started in Les Deux Alpes in 2017, running the occasional mountain skills day or ski tour alongside Ian’s ski teaching. Next we added NNAS navigation courses. Guided day hikes followed, along with educational nature walks. Finally, we took the step of becoming a licenced tour operator in France to offer multi-day guided trekking packages.

In 2021, we made the move to Chamonix, following the call of the bigger mountains. Although Deux Alpes and the Écrins will always have a place in our hearts, living in Chamonix allows us to fully develop our summer offering. From our base below Mont-Blanc, we now run courses and trips across the Alps. These include guided treks and ski touring, as well as mountain & navigation skills courses for walkers and skiers.

Ian Huyton

Ian started climbing at the age of 5, and got his first pair of skis when he was 7. After studying physics at Sheffield, he decided that he really belonged in the mountains and set about becoming a ski instructor.

Sa carrière d'enseignant a commencé à Nevis Range dans les Highlands écossais en 2004. Depuis, il a enseigné le ski sur trois continents avant de s'installer en France.

Il a obtenu sa qualification de International Mountain Leader en 2017 et a guidé des groupes autour de nombreux treks longue distance européens. Il s'agit notamment de la Tour du Mont Blanc et de la Haute Route. Lorsqu'il ne travaille pas ou ne joue pas dans les montagnes, il écrit pour 2alpesnet.com et d'autres sites Web.

Qualifications d'Ian:
Diplôme international de professeur de ski BASI niveau 4 (équivalent français et européen complet)
International Mountain Leader Award
European Mountain Safety Award (Eurosecurité)
ANENA Formateur (French Snow and Avalanche Research Association Instructor)
Entraîneur de développement Freeski niveau 2
Rock Climbing Instructor (formerly Single Pitch Award)
Speaks French, Spanish and English

Il a également un diplôme en physique, mais c'était il y a longtemps.

Stine KeyesPerson standing by stone pillar in front of mountains

Stine is the brains behind White Marmotte, having a PhD in nuclear physics and a successful career as a quant analyst. She moved to the Alps full time in 2019, having spent more and more time there over the previous years. At White Marmotte she runs the website and is basically in charge, whilst still quant analysing at the same time. When not working, she likes to run, cycle or ski tour – the further and more strenuous the better.

White Marmotte

The White Marmotte name is a combination of the features that make up our strengths. This fictional creature combines the white of our snowy winter playground with a playful emblem of the Alps in summer. We also mix English and French spellings to emphasise that whilst we come from English speaking countries, we live and work in the French Alps. You can read more about real life des marmottes in this blog post.

Some important legal stuff
White Marmotte / Ian Huyton is a registered Tour Operator with the French Tourism Development agency, Atout France. This allows us to offer multi-day packages with accommodation while complying with the European package travel regulations which are incorporated into the French Code du Tourisme.You can view our Atout Immatriculation Certificate here.

The name and logo are registered marques with INPI France. Ian Huyton is a registered Entreprise Individuelle (individual enterprise). Our SIRET number is 81746607100039 (all French businesses must have a SIRET number).

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Our Playgrounds – the Chamonix Valley

Person running on a footpath wihh the Mer de Glace glacier below and to the left
Running above the Mer de Glace

The Chamonix Valley needs no introduction to mountaineers as the birthplace of alpinism at the foot of the highest mountain in the Alps (Mont-Blanc, for those not in the know). Skiers will know it as the site of the famous Valley Blanche – the biggest lift served vertical drop in the world. This is indeed a must-do run for competent off-piste skiers, but there is so much more to skiing in and around Chamonix, especially once you put on touring skins and start hiking.

In summer, Chamonix is the starting point for two of the most famous long distance hikes in Europe – the Tour de Mont Blanc and the Haute Route. One bonus here is the close proximity to both Switzerland and Italy. This lets us hike easily across national borders giving the trekking here a uniquely international flavour. Another bonus is the network of accommodation both in the surrounding valleys and on the mountains themselves.

We offer ski lessons in Chamonix and neighbouring resorts in conjunction with Freedom Snowsports. In summer we run guided trekking and navigation courses from the Chamonix Valley.

Read about the best time to come to Chamonix for different activities.

The Mont-Blanc Massif

Hiker on path cut into steep cliff
Hiking above the Trient Valley in Switzerland

Along with the highest mountains in France and the Alps, the Mont-Blanc area covers seven valleys in three countries. Beyond the Chamonix valley, the most popular destination in the region, the rest of the massif is also full of beautiful places to ski, hike or climb. There is a huge variety in these valleys too, from the chic Italian ski town of Courmayeur to the unspoilt slice of pastoral Switzerland that is the Val Ferret. Whether you’re looking for remote hiking or major ski resorts you’ll find both here.

We love to hike, trail run, ski and ski tour in all parts of the range, as well as visiting some of the picturesque alpine villages and high refuges.

Skiing around Mont-Blanc

Crossing Lac Blanc with the Col du Belvedere behind
Ski touring from Flégère

Like the massif itself, the skiing near Mont-Blanc goes far beyond Chamonix, although Chamonix is of course famous for its ski slopes. There are many more ski areas in and around the range, and most are included on the Mont-Blanc-Unlimited ski pass.

The three biggest concentrations of skiing are the Chamonix valley with five ski areas, Evasion Mont-Blanc, which includes St. Gervais, Megeve and Les Contamines, and Courmayeur in Italy. There are also two small ski areas in the Swiss Val Ferret and some even smaller areas in the Trient Valley just over the border from France. Read on for the full list…

Chamonix Valley

  • Brevent/Flégère
  • Grands Montets
  • Les Houches
  • Le Tour/Balme/Vallorcine
  • La Poya/Vormaine/Chosalets/Planards/Savoy/Les Houches low level beginner areas

Evasion Mont-Blanc

  • St. Gervais
  • Megeve
  • Les Contamines


  • Courmayeur
  • Aosta/Pila and La Thuile are not far away


  • Champex
  • La Fouly
  • Trient Valley – Trient beginner area and Les Marécottes ski area
  • Verbier is not far away by car

Our Playgrounds – the Ecrins National Park

Lac and Col de la MuzelleIn the Southern French Alps lies a mountain paradise to rival the most popular areas of the Alps. The Ecrins region hosts wild and beautiful hiking, sun-kissed rock climbing, classic Alpine mountaineering and world-class ski resorts. Villages like La Berarde, La Grave and Ailefroide are woven into the fabric of mountaineering history. Alongside these renowned names, there are many more picturesque and unspoilt villages to discover.

The range holds the only 4000m peaks in France outside the Mont-Blanc massif. Back in the golden age of Alpinism, many famous climbers of the day journeyed here to scale them. But the biggest prize, La Meije, held out until 1877. This was one of the last great Alpine peaks to be conquered. At the foot of these high peaks lies the Brianconnais region, celebrated for rock climbing on warm limestone. There is actually good rock climbing all around the range, but the Brianconnais crags provide the highest concentration of easily accessible sport climbs.

For our summer courses and trekking, perhaps the best thing about this area is the lack of crowds. Aside from certain tourist hotspots, the trails here tend to be empty. There are hundreds of kilometres where you will rarely see another hiker. As a result, there are multiple opportunities to spot the local wildlife.

Skier dans les Ecrins

Pour des informations plus détaillées, visitez:

Profil de la station: Les Deux Alpes
Profil de la station: Chazelet
D'autres profils de stations seront bientôt disponibles…

Les Deux Alpes

2 AlpesLes Deux Alpes lies in a beautiful corner of the world with a lot to offer anybody who loves the mountains. The town is perched on a high plateau on the edge of the Ecrins National Park. On the pistes, a vertical drop of over two kilometres can be skied from 3520m on La Lauze down to 1294m in Mont de Lans. The resort is often described as being ‘upside down’ due to having some of the easiest terrain at the top. Steep lower slopes hold challenging black runs (plus the brand new Jandri 1 blue). In contrast, above 3200m the glacier hosts cruising blues with a spectacular view.

En été, le glacier attire des athlètes internationaux du monde entier pour s'entraîner sur de la neige garantie tandis que les pentes inférieures se transforment en un paradis du VTT de descente. Au-delà de la zone desservie par l'ascenseur, il y a un accès facile (peut-être trop facile) aux hautes montagnes sauvages et aux glaciers que la région a à offrir.

Géographiquement, le domaine skiable fait partie d’une longue et large crête qui monte de Bourg d’Oisans aux sommets du Rateau et de la Meije, séparant les vallées de la Haute-Romanche et du Vénéon. Ce terrain offre une large sélection d'itinéraires hors piste longs et complexes et de randonnées à ski qui vous emmèneront des hauteurs du domaine skiable aux vallées tributaires éloignées et aux villages pittoresques du Vénéon ou aux pentes raides exposées au nord de la Romanche.

Stations environnantes

La GraveEn dehors des Deux Alpes, il existe plusieurs autres domaines skiables à proximité, allant de l'énorme à une paire de remontées mécaniques dans un domaine. C'est une région où de petites stations de ski préservées comme Chazelet Col D'Ornon ainsi que les stations de classe mondiale de l'Alpe D'Huez et Serre Chevalier.

Pour certains, le plus gros tirage de la région est la Mecque du freeski de La Grave La Meije. La Telepherique va du village à 1450m au glacier à 3200m donnant accès à un immense terrain de jeu de hors-piste non damé et non contrôlé. Au-dessus de cela, un téléski unique sur le glacier de la Girose emmène les skieurs à 3600m et la liaison ténue aux Deux Alpes. L'équipement de sécurité en cas d'avalanche est essentiel et un moniteur de hors-piste ou un guide de haute montagne est fortement recommandé. Il y a beaucoup d'impasses ici. Par conséquent, suivre les pistes peut facilement vous causer des ennuis dans une zone avec une grande population de skieurs extrêmes. Cela dit, c'est un endroit vraiment incroyable pour skier et une descente des Vallons de la Meije devrait figurer sur la liste des incontournables de tous les skieurs.

Partenaires et amis

Ride Camps

Ride Camps logoRide Camps est le nom de marque que l'instructeur britannique Craig Nelder utilise pour ses expériences de snowboard / VTT et ses produits de coaching. Tous les produits sont proposés dans et autour de la magnifique station française des Deux Alpes.

Le but de Craig est de vous aider à tirer le maximum de plaisir et de satisfaction de vos sports de montagne et de vous aider à atteindre votre plein potentiel! Il peut travailler avec des adultes ou des enfants de tous niveaux, du débutant complet jusqu'à la formation et la qualification de nouveaux instructeurs.