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
CSS1 Sat 13 December 14 Sat 20 December 14 £995 Places available | Make a Booking
CSS2 Sat 7 February 15 Sat 14 February 15 £995 Places available | Make a Booking
CSS3 Sat 14 March 15 Sat 21 March 15 £995 Places available | Make a Booking


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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 Introduction to snowshoeing

A leisurely start today we take the famous Mont Blanc Express train to 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 3 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. 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! We suggest you then enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants in Chamonix, and spend the afternoon exploring this famous alpine town.

Day 4 Snowshoe to Chalets de Chailloux

Today we enjoy one of the very best views of the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. We begin our walk from the tiny hamlet of Le Bettey, before climbing steadily through the snow covered forests to the high summer meadow at Chalets de Chailloux. The views of Mont Blanc and its adjacent peaks and glaciers is stunning, very much 'in your face'! We can take time here to enjoy our picnic lunch, before wandering back down to our starting point at Le Bettey. A short drive back to Chamonix afterwards, of around 20 minutes. Ascent 570m.

Day 5 Les Contamines - fresh air!

Today we head down the valley to the town of Les Contamines which offers a range of activities. We will be offering a Nordic Walk round the tracks of this lovely valley with the aim of a coffee and cake stop near the ancient baroque Chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge. Nordic Walking is simply walking with poles, but using a technique that encourages us to use more muscles than normal. Don't worry, it's easy and it will ensure you get a good lungful of fresh mountain air. Other optional extras include the chance to try the Biathlon shooting range. Please let us know if this interestes you and we can arrange this for an additional fee. Or you might choose to go husky dog sledding, again this is additional to the intinerary. 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! Any 'extra' activities such as Biathlon, or Husky Dog Sledding are not included.

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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