Zermatt; the perfect playground for anyone who has an interest in the outdoors, food, photography, wildlife and so much more! Located at the southern end of Switzerland Zermatt is in the Visp Valley which forms part of the Valais Canton. The village itself is at an altitude of 1620 metres (5,314ft) and is surrounded by awe inspiring mountains.
At Tracks and Trails we run a variety of hiking holidays which take in the wonders of the Matterhorn whilst being able to walk on tracks steeped in history. Read on to find out more about the history, flora and fauna and, of course, the hiking around Zermatt.
This winter cross-country is the snow sport that everyone wants to try. We have had unprecedented demand for our beginner trips which introduce you to the world of 'skinny' skis. When questioned as to why our guests have various replies, including a desire to 'get away' from the bustle and busyness of alpine ski resorts, a wish to have less impact on the environment, and a desire to enjoy tranquillity in the mountains. Cross country is your answer, and to get fit without snow, we can suggest roller skiing.
In Chamonix, in the stunning French Alps, we are celebrating! The first Winter Olympics was held in the town in 1924, and 2024 marks the 100th anniversary. At that time competitors were chosen not just on their past results, but on whether they could take several weeks off work. You were required to take a boat to Europe, and pay your own costs.
It's that time of year when we all start scratching our heads for gift ideas. I find myself thinking that I do not want to buy anything that will simply lie at the back of a cupboard and just increase waste in an already over-loaded planet. So here we go with a list of outdoor kit that has at least one of the following elements; recyclable, repairable, or reusable. Look out for the offers from our friends at The Wipe Out Store given below.
We're heading to Austria this winter! Our new cross-country ski trip has just been launched, six days cruising the tracks and trails of Tirol's Hochplateau, and exploring Pertisau, a lakeside mountain village located in stunning mountain scenery. Two fabulous destinations for cross-country ski enthusiasts which we have brought together into one week long adventure.
Norwegian mountain huts are the best in the world! A bold statement, but the character of the huts, combined with the comfortable decor, excellent food, and the remote locations surely make them a strong contender for the title. Add in the incredible honesty system which operates in the self-service huts and you have a world class operation that is hard to beat. Have a look at these images from our Norwegian hut experiences to see what we mean.
The excitement level is high as I sit on the Norwegian train heading north to Otta, to join the new Tracks & Trails trip along the famous Jotunheim Ski Trail in the 'Land of the Giants'. The Jotunheim is a name which ranks high in terms of the legendary landscapes of Norway, and I cannot wait to explore it in winter.
Swiss glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, some losing six per cent of their remaining volume in one year and far exceeding previous records. As a heatwave hits the Alps we look at the water shortage that is now affecting mountain huts.
Water is not a never ending resource and in the mountains the effect of a changing climate is being felt. We know that the rising temperatures are showing their effects in many parts of the world, but first and foremost in the glaciated mountain regions of the world. The glaciers are melting, the winters are warmer and bringing less snow every year and, as a consequence, the water supplies run low. Mountain huts rely on snow for their water, so if there’s not enough snow in the winter then running the huts in the summer is difficult. How are they going to cope with this situation? Will they be able to survive?
In May 2023 Tracks and Trails were pleased to be a part of The Peak District WALX Festival. With over 20 walks and workshops daily over a period of three days with 170 participants from all over the UK. Local guides alongside the WALX own team of experienced leaders were needed so it seemed an obvious choice to be a part of this event. Sam Armstrong of WALX Derwent and Dales asked me to deliver the Mass Trespass walk over Kinder from Hayfield. As this is my back garden when in the UK I was delighted to help out. The bookings came in thick and fast for the this historic walk and the whole weekend was a huge success.