chamonix Snowshoe Adventure
Chamonix Snow Shoe Adventure
Chamonix Snow Shoe Adventure
Chamonix Snow Shoe Adventure
Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure
Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure

Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure


Trip Overview

The world famous Chamonix valley in the French Alps is a good base from which to explore the valleys and peaks in the Mont Blanc massif. Chamonix is well know as a centre for winter sports and this bustling alpine valley offers stunning mountain scenery, as well as excellent snowshoeing routes. Snowshoeing is a wonderful way for 'walkers' to explore the mountains in winter - no previous experience required!

Highlights

  • Enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc 
  • Explore the winter forests and pastures
  • Snowshoe in France and Switzerland
  • All equipment provided free of charge
  • Spend a night at the Grand St Bernard Monastery
  • Saunas included 

This trip is aimed at regular summer hill walkers, and people used to spending a full day in the mountains. You do not need particular skills to snowshoe, but you do need a good level of fitness and be prepared to venture off-piste!


The week was fantastic; wonderful organisation, chalet, weather, transport arrangements, and brilliant guide in Gary who could not have done more to look after us in every way. Definitely 10/10 for the rating and would always wish to book with you in the future. 

Itinerary

  • point
  • trek
  • This evening your guide will meet you at your accommodation to brief you on the week ahead and answer any questions. Your guide will be a fully qualified International Mountain Leader.

  • We aim to spend the day enjoying a walk with potentially stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif. We park at the quaint hamlet of Le Bettey and then begin our climb through the snow covered larch trees. The trail winds very steadily uphill, passing ancient wooden chalets and offering up the aroma of wood smoke. We are in no rush, and we will take time to check out the views, and take photos. Eventually we arrive above the treeline and cross the summer pasturelands to the old Chalets de Chailloux, a fabulous vantage point that gives superb views of the Chamonix valley and glaciers. If we have time we plan to spend a little time in Chamonix itself before heading back to our accommodation. During the course of the day your guide will give any advice necessary with regard to technique on snowshoes, there is not much to say to be honest, just walk and enjoy yourself! We can assure you that after about 30 minutes you will be used to the sensation of having a snowshoe on your boots. 

    Ascent: 609m (1997ft) Descent: 1964ft) Distance: 8.5km (5.3 miles)

     

     

  • Today we head to Switzerland, for an ascent to one of the best viewpoints of the area. One of the joys of being based in Chamonix Valley is the ability to visit another country for the day. The valley sits right on the frontiers with Switzerland and Italy, making it ideally positioned for venturing 'abroad' for the day. This morning we have Mont de l'Arpille in our sights and a fine little mountain it is, offering 360 degree views of the Alps, and the Rhone Valley. We walk up initially through pine woods, watching out for squirrels and roe deer, and then into the more open ground as we arrive at the alpage. An alpage is the name given to the mountain summer grazings grounds. . We then head for the summit which offers incredible panoramas of Mont Blanc, the Dents du Midi, and the mountains on either side of the Rhône Valley.

    Ascent: 608m (1994ft) Descent: 2414ft) Distance: (4.2 miles) 

  • Chalet Loriaz, our goal for today, lies high on the mountain above the hamlet of Vallorcine. The Vallorcine valley, which means ‘valley of the bears', used to be cut off during the winter months due to being located between two mountain passes. Unfortunately, because the locals used to pay their taxes in bear meat there are none left today! The Valley is just a short distance over the Col des Montets, but it feels very different to the main Chamonix Valley. Hearsay has it that the locals preferred to be know as 'Vallorcians', and are an independent type of people, perhaps due to being isolated for up to four months of the year. We leave the village to climb steadily through the larch forest until we reach the open mountainside of the alpage at Loriaz. The Refuge de Loriaz is normally open in the winter and is a welcome break for hot chocolate and cake! From the terrace of the Refuge the views to the Mont Blanc Massif are truly stunning, and it does feel as though we are really 'high' in the mountains with the 'blue' ice of the waterfalls on the cliffs nearby glinting in the sunlight. 

    Ascent: 704m (2309ft) Descent: 716m (2348ft) Distance: 10km (6.6 miles)

  • This is a truly beautiful ridge line which offers excellent views in all directions. We being our day by heading down the valley towards the market town of Sallanches, where we take a small mountain road climbing to the parking at Le Perret. From here we pick up the forest trail zigzaging up the hillside to the ancient farms below the Tete Noire at 1691m (5546ft), a fine summit in itself. We then leave the trees to discover what have to be some of the finest views of the Mont Blanc range. On one side of the ridge the valley which leads to Chamonix, with Mont Blanc in the distance, on the other side the Aravis mountains, and ahead the shapely mountain of the Croise Baulet at 2236m (7334ft). And if that is not enough, we then spy the jagged rocky spires and huge cliffs of the Rocher des Fiz! A wonderful route!

    Ascent: 451m (1479ft) Descent: 657m (2154ft) Distance: 7.6km (4.7 miles)

  • Tonight we aim to stay at the Grand St Bernard Monastery in Switzerland enjoying the hospitality of Brother Frederick and his colleagues. For centuries pilgrims, travellers, traders and armies have climbed to this mountain pass which sits at 2469m (8098ft). The monastery is very isolated in winter, and can only be accessed by snowshoes or on skis making it a very special experience. This area is rich in history and we follow in the footsteps of Napoleon and Hannibal as we climb its snowy slopes. In more recent times the monastery has been made famous for its iconic St Bernard mountain rescue dogs.

    We begin the day with a drive across the French border into Switzerland to visit the Grand St Bernard Museum in Martigny. The museum is very interesting and is the perfect introduction to the Monastery and its history. We then travel a little further to begin our hike. The route begins very steadily with a gentle climb, and makes its way above the tree line to reach the Grand St Bernard Monastery, founded in 1049, where we spend the night. 

    We always aim to complete our suggested itinerary, but if the weather conditions mean it's not possible to reach the Grand St Bernard pass then your guide will offer a suitable alternative itinerary. The aim will still be to stay in a remote mountain location, but alternative snowshoe walks might be to the Swiss Cabane Brunet or to the Refuge du Tornieux, in France, both of which offer fabulous views of the Alps and are in spectacular locations.

    Ascent: 511m (1676ft) Descent: 13m (43ft) Distance: 6km (3.7 miles)

  • After breakfast we leave the Grand St Bernard Monastery to explore further into this vast valley and network of peaks. Our route takes us initially down from the Monastery and then climbs to the Italian frontier and the Col Ouest de Barasson at 2635m (8642ft). We are rewarded with excellent views into Italy, of the Mont Blanc range, and the shapely nearby summit of the Pain de Sucre. The Col, provided the weather is kind, is the perfect location to enjoy a picnic lunch and the stillness of the mountains before returning to our base in the Chamonix Valley. The descent along the valley often offers the chance to run through the sparkling powder snow. It's great to see 'grown adults' finding their inner child and bounding through the snow! Once we return to base its time to relax before enjoying a final dinner in the mountains. 

    Ascent: 365m (1197ft) Descent: 901m (2955ft) Distance: 7km (4.4 miles)

    NB: If it has been necessary to stay at one of our alternative overnights at either the Cabane de Brunet, or the Refuge de Tornieux then the second day following our night in the mountains, will be appropriate to the location.

     

  • Today is departure day, the end of a week of exploring some truly beautiful mountain terrain.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details. 

Our accommodation for this week is in The Yeti Lodge in Chamonix Valley, France. Yeti Lodge is situated in the lovely alpine village of Argentière at the head of Chamonix Valley.  

We will spend one night at the historic Grand St Bernard Monastery. The rooms are dormitory style which is traditional in this type of mountain refuge. If for reasons of weather we cannot access the Grand St Bernard Monastery we have other options for spending the night in the mountains such as the lovely Cabane de Brunet, or the Refuge de Tornieux. 

 

 

Yeti Lodge, Winter

Chalet

The chalet is very comfortable, newly renovated and featuring a sauna, hot tub and views of Mont Blanc. The bedrooms are twins, and occasionally single travellers may be asked to share a triple room with two other single travellers. These will be either en suite or shared bathrooms depending on availability. The group also has the use of the comfortable lounge area which has satellite TV & DVD and free WIFI.

 

All meals (breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and three-course dinner) are included. On one of the evenings you will eat out in the village of Argentière - this is included in the price. Chalets are limited in terms of the number of bedrooms and for this reason single rooms are not available. 

The chalet is approximately 8km (5 miles) from the centre of Chamonix town. There is free bus and train travel up and down the valley. To take advantage of the free travel you should request a Guest Card from the chalet staff.

 

Grand St Bernard Monastery, Winter

Refuge

Offering shelter and respite to travellers for over one thousand years, the Grand St Bernard Monastery is a truly special place to stay. Situated on the Grand St Bernard pass at 2469m (8098ft), it's only accessible on skis or snowshoes in winter. The rooms are dormitories and usually have between 6 - 8 bunk beds in each. There are several hot showers and toilets on each floor. Brother Frederick and his colleagues serve a tasty dinner and you will have plenty to eat! 

If you wish you can attend evening service in the chapel. Whatever your religious persuasion this is a special experience and all denominations are welcome. There is also a museum which recounts the history of this amazing place and it is well worth visiting. 

Cabane de Brunet

Refuge

The Cabane de Brunet is a truly lovely overnight destination. There is something quite special about spending a night at a high remote location in the snowy mountains and this is no exception. Accommodation will be in dormitories or dortoirs as they are known in France and Switzerland. This is quite normal for the mountains where the emphasis is on providing a warm, dry place to sleep and good food. 

Refuge de Tornieux

Refuge

The wonderful old Refuge de Tornieux is a glorious place to spend the night. It sits high above the town of Sallanches, France in what is in summer a meadow filled with flowers. However, we will be visiting at a time when the snow provides an insulating blanket on the roof! The Refuge can cater for up to fifty people, providing a great dinner of local Savoyarde food. The accommodation is dormitory style, and there are hot showers on offer!


  • Chamonix Valley in France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.

    Geneva, in Switzerland is the closest international airport, only 1 hour 15 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. There are many airport transfer companies which operate regular shuttle services between Geneva and Chamonix Valley. 

    Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you to take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip for whatever reason. NB: The insurance referred to below should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed that your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    For ease of reference the clause relating to Insurance as set out in our Terms and Conditions is given below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency event shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres, except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m. You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • This trip will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked. We will take a maximum of 8 clients.

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of many of our holidays, we co-sell a number of our trips with 'partner' companies. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. By encouraging our partners to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped to book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of our partners. 

    We guarantee that any partners with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails. The price will be the same, though occasionally our partners may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 

     


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 26 Jan - Sat 02 Feb
Code: MBS1 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 02 Feb - Sat 09 Feb
Code: MBS2 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 16 Feb - Sat 23 Feb
Code: MBS3 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 09 Mar - Sat 16 Mar
Code: MBS4 19
Price: £1295 Book

What's Included

  • 6 nights full-board accommodation in a 2* hotel or chalet, based on twin or triple rooms
  • 1 night full-board dormitory-style accommodation in the Grand St Bernard Monastery or similar
  • All meals; breakfast, picnic lunch, three-course evening meal
  • One evening meal in a restaurant in Argentière
  • The services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • All equipment hire; snowshoes, poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver
  • Transport as part of the itinerary
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Flights
  • Transfers

The week was fantastic; wonderful organisation, chalet, weather, transport arrangements, and brilliant guide in Gary who could not have done more to look after us in every way. Definitely 10/10 for the rating and would always wish to book with you in the future. 

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At a Glance

From Price £1295
Holiday Type Snowshoeing
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 2640m (8659ft)
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix Valley, France
View all Snowshoeing Holidays

Snowshoeing in the Alps

Chamonix in winter