Tracks and Trails / Cross Country Ski / Alpine Dates / Chamonix Cross Country: Snowshoe and Ski

Chamonix Cross Country: Snowshoe and Ski

Winter Multi Activity - Chamonix

Superb views from Chalets du Truc

This trip is especially suited to those who are regularly active and would like to experience a winter wonderland on both skis and snowshoes. It is aimed at those who have little or no cross country skiing or snowshoe experience. Both activities are very easy to pick up and enjoy in a week.

The world famous Chamonix valley in the French Alps is a good base from which to explore the alpine valleys and plateaus of the Mont Blanc massif. With Switzerland and Italy each just a 30 minute drive away it allows us to experience three different cultures in just as many days.

  • Learn to cross country ski 'classic technique'
  • Snowshoeing around Mont Blanc
  • Enjoy traditional cuisine in both Italy and France
  • Overnight in the high mountains in a remote refuge

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status


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Day 1 Arrival in the Chamonix Valley

We meet you at your hotel the evening you arrive to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions.

Day 2 Classic cross country skiing and afternoon in Chamonix

Today is all about learning how to slide and glide! After readying our ski equipment we take our time to learn and practice the 'classic technique' of cross country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing). You'll learn how best to slide efficiently along freshly groomed trails and enjoy fabulous mountain vistas. After a picnic lunch we re-visit those newly learned skills and finish the day with a journey along easy angled trails at your own pace. Enjoy gliding gracefully along a deep sided valley, glaciers all around and through thick Norwegian spruces. This ancient form of skiing is not only an excellent form of exercise but is easily tailored to your experience, fitness and enthusiasm! No ski experience is necessary to have fun on cross country skis!

After your ski you will have time to enjoy a little après ski whilst exploring Chamonix's town centre.

Day 3 Introduction to Snowshoeing

Today we head towards the Swiss border to the hamlet of Vallorcine which means the ‘valley of the bears'. Unfortunately because the locals used to pay their taxes in bear meat there are none left today! Here we put on our snowshoes and leave the village to head along the remote Berard valley and explore a true winter wonderland. We then gently climb through woodland to visit chalets and to summer pastures cut off by the depths of winter. We come out to a wonderful view point at 'Les Granges'. Our high point is an excellent vantage point of both Swiss and French peaks. We then enjoy a walk back down to the valley base and along the ancient stage coach road known as Chemin des Diligences.

Day 4 Snowshoe Peak - Mont Truc 1811m

We get higher today. We start with a drive through the spa town of Saint Gervais heading for the Contamines valley, famous also for a night on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Our destination is Mont Truc which offers a 360 degree panoramic view taking in the high summits of the Dômes de Miage and the Aiguille de Bionnassay. We have a steady climb through the forests before emerging into the alpage of the Chalets du Truc and eventually to the peak itself. From this wonderful vantage point you can now view the Chaîne des Aravis, the Rocher des Fiz, Mont Joly and surrounding valleys and ski villages. Don't forget to watch out for the chamois goats! Ascent: 700m.

Day 5 Ski Journey

Today we return to our skis and visit a different ski area. The focus today is practicing our new skiing skills and getting to grips with different travelling techniques. That way we will feel confident and ready for slightly longer and more challenging journeys. Because our groups sizes are not large, the sessions are always aimed to teach you at your individual level. You can now see how far you have progressed since your first day on cross country skis!

Tonight we will pack for a night away in the Bonatti Refuge, Italy!

Day 6 Val Ferret, Italy – Bonatti Refuge – Ski and Snowshoe day

Today we travel through the famous Mont Blanc Tunnel into Italy. We ski along the beautiful Val Ferret with our journey taking us through the trees to the snowy meadows at La Vachey. Here we stop for lunch in a rustic mountain restaurant which has great atmosphere and superb cuisine! The views of jagged ridges, spires, and glaciers are stunning.

In the afternoon we swap our skis for snowshoes and head deeper into the mountains for a night at the famous Bonatti Refuge. The Refuge enjoys stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif from the Italian side, giving another perspective on this famous Alpine range. This refuge is a relatively new mountain hut and pays homage to the world-renowned Italian mountaineer and photographer Walter Bonatti. It makes a fantastic overnight trip, with excellent accommodation (more like a hotel), Italian coffee and fresh pasta to match!

Day 7 Snowshoe and ski - Courmayeur

After a relaxing breakfast in the high mountains we make our way back down to the Val Ferret valley floor and remove our snowshoes. We then switch back on to our skis to ski out and down the valley back to our transport that awaits us! As this is our last day, and depending on how we feel, we can do as much or as little skiing as we wish. Val Ferret has 20km of groomed tracks to keep us busy. We complete our trip with a little ‘après ski’ celebration in the delightful Italian town of Courmayeur before returning to our Chamonix valley accommodation.

If for reasons of weather the Bonatti Refuge is not open, then we have the possibility of spending a night instead at the world famous Grand St Bernard Monastery in Switzerland.

Day 8 Departure

Today is departure day. The trip ends after we have breakfast.

Price

Included: The price includes half-board accommodation, dinner, bed and breakfast in an alpine chalet or 2* hotel, this is based on twin rooms with en suite facilities. It includes half-board in the mountain hut based in non-segregated dormitory accommodation and transport between venues. Twin rooms can be arranged in advance in the mountain hut, subject to an additional fee (30 Euros). Guiding and instruction by a Nordic Ski Instructor/International Mountain Leader and their expenses for 6 days are also included. It includes all snowshoe equipment - each client is required to have snowshoes and poles, a snow shovel, avalanche probe and avalanche transceiver (a radio beacon allowing search and rescue). The carrying of this equipment is compulsory.

Not included: Insurance, flights and transfers (but we can advise on the best options), drinks and lunches. Ski hire, and ski passes are not included. Ski pass per day between 7 - 9 Euros, and ski hire 12 - 15 Euros per day. Those with downhill ski experience will find this remarkably cheap!

Minimum numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We take a maximum of 8 clients.

Insurance

Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Further Information

We prefer not to specify exactly where we will ski each day, but have given a possible itinerary (this is depends mainly on weather/snow conditions at the time). Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided.

Argentière is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

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