Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!
Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!
Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!
Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!
Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!
Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!

Swiss Alps Ski: Gorgeous Goms!


Cross country skiing in Switzerland

Join us in the heart of the Swiss Valais for a week of cross country skiing. The tracks in the Obergoms Valley are perfect for 'beginners' with excellent terrain that is mostly flat or gently undulating. Reliable conditions and up to 85 kms (54 miles) of ski trails offer something for everyone in this 'Swiss chocolate box' winter wonderland.

Highlights

  • Five days of first class ski instruction
  • Fully qualified BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
  • Ski from village to village on easy trails
  • Free train travel in the Obergoms Valley
  • Reliable snow conditions, and great skiing
  • Hotel with sauna for easing muscles
  • Train journey through the famous Furka Pass
  • Single rooms available on request

The Obergoms valley is renowed for it's top class cross country skiing. The area is a mecca for cross country skiers from throughout the world who want to enjoy the Swiss Alps and explore 'La vallee de Conches' the valley of the church bells. With the help of the local train we can explore new trails every day.

Cross country skiing offers more than just the enjoyment of fresh mountain air and stunning views. Once mastered this 'low impact' exercise is a great way to improve your fitness while enjoying ever changing scenery!


Very scenic valley that I wasn’t previously aware of. Beautifully prepared uncrowded trails in scenic valley which has advantage of a local train running alongside. So very flexible to vary start/finish points and to cover as much or as little distance as you feel like each day. Rental skis were of better quality than in some other resorts and the shop is only yards from the hotel. Friendly hotel with good breakfast selection and useful spa for evening relaxation. Lovely view from front facing rooms along the valley with great sunsets. Great instructor who was determined that we should make good progress and with his helpful encouragement we did!

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • The Obergoms is a beautiful open valley situated at the source of the Rhône river, where the language is Swiss German. This evening we meet you at your hotel in the ancient village of Oberwald to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions.

  • After collecting our skis we spend time warming up our 'ski-legs' and looking at the basic techniques of cross country skiing. Throughout the first morning we will do various exercises and drills that will promote confidence and enjoyment on your skis. The aim of your Instructor is always to make sure you get the most out of your week whether that be small improvements, or major changes in your skiing over the five days. Our aim is to help you achieve any goals you have chosen to set yourself. On the other hand you can just enjoy the skiing, eat cake, drink coffee and visit the sauna - it's not a boot camp! Today we will aim to ski the peaceful and scenic river trails which offer an excellent and easy introduction to the valley. Each village has it's own picturesque landscape and maintains it's mountain traditions. The continually tracked and groomed ski pistes have many detours where we can lengthen or shorten our day.

  • As part of this week your Instructor will film your ski technique and offer advice and suggestions for any improvements. This is, of course, optional but film is one of the best ways to provide feedback and for you to understand how you ski. Often viewing your ski technique is the best way to 'get it', and understand your challenges and how to achieve your goals. After doing some exercises to consolidate yesterday's lesson we will make our way along the valley to the wonderful old village of Münster. Usually we stop for coffee along the way, and take time to enjoy the views and the photo opportunities. Once we reach Münster you can choose to either catch the train or ski back. If you choose the train you might like to know your train ticket is included in your ski pass, and you can just jump on whenever you feel you have had enough and head back for a sauna!

  • The ski tracks wind along the entire Obergoms valley, and today we start by taking the local train to the village of Münster where we finished yesterday. From here we begin our ski journey down the valley towards Neiderwald. The villages in this valley are truly wonderful, made up of old traditional houses of dark brown or black weathered wood with a topping of snow, and red window shutters. The route takes us through woodland, over rivers, and past old settlements, and provides plenty of options for loops and variations on the route. A morning stop at Reckingen where the farmer and his wife serve excellent coffee and cake is a must. We then continue to Neiderwald where lunch is often in the wonderful old cafe of "Drei Tannen", again a feeling of having stepped back in time. Then it's back to letting the train take the strain as we return to Ulrichen where we hop off and ski the last 4.6 km (2.9 miles) back to our hotel. You can, of course, choose to stay on the train and travel all the way back to Oberwald. The choice is yours!

  • Today we will take a trip to the other side. In the winter months the road ends at Oberwald as the heavy snows make the famous Furka Pass impassable. However, the train keeps running and takes a route forged straight through the mountain under the Furka Pass via a tunnel which was opened in 1982. This morning we will take the train, and after about 25 minutes we will emerge in the next Swiss canton of Uri at the tiny community of Realp. We continue to the famous alpine town of Andermatt where we can enjoy skiing the local trails, and take lunch in the town which has a more Germanic influence that the 'other wise' in the Obergoms Valley. After lunch we will decide how far we would like to ski back up the valley, with the aim of hoping on the train when we feel we have done enough. 

  • Our final days skiing is back in the Obergoms valley where it's time to set your own challenge! The route known as the "Loipe Goms" runs a total of 26 km (16.3 miles) between Niederwald, at 1251m (4103ft), and Oberwald at 1368m (4487ft). En route we pass all the lovely old villages which line the valley with their ancient farms and barns where the farming traditions of the area are actively preserved. These wonderful old buildings are made of wood which has been weathered to a dark brown colour or in some cases black, with the passage of time. There is certainly plenty to look at as we make our way along by the river, and indeed plenty of cafes and restaurants to pause for a rest and a 'refuel'. If at any point you feel you want to have a more relaxded approach to this day you can simply hop on the train at one of the many stops.

  • Today is departure day, most likely on the local train?

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. 

Sport Hotel, Oberwald

Hotel

Our hotel is in the tiny and characterful village of Oberwald which is nestled at the far end of the Obergoms Valley. The rooms are cosy, with en suite facilities. Breakfast is plentiful and with a varied selection of food. Dinner will usually be eaten at a nearby restaurant. There is a fitness room and spa, with saunas.

The hotel is owned and run by Dirk, who is originally from Holland, and in our experience is very helpful. He will even collect you from the train station if you feel you need it. 


  • Oberwald is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. Within Switzerland the trains are by the far the easiest and most efficient way to travel. Visitors can obtain a holiday/ visitors card from SBB which enables you reduced rate rail from/to airports to your holiday destination and throughout your stay in Switzerland. Times and prices vary depending on the length of your stay. For further details please refer to the Swiss Railway website.

    The closest airports are Sion & Bern (2.5hrs), then Zurich (3.5/4hrs), or Geneva is a little bit further away (4hrs) - all times are by train. By road the Obergoms is 2.5hrs from Chamonix, 1.5hrs from Martigny.

    To find out more about the region then please visit: Obergoms and Andermatt Gotthard Tourismus.

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is 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 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 (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). 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.

  • Winter mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    In winter the weather can deliver everything from clear blue skies, and glorious sunshine, to heavy snowfall and strong winds. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality.

    Temperatures vary depending on the month, generally December, January, and February are colder, but by March and April the temperatures are warming up and spring is on the way. 

    In December and January they can range from -10°Celsius (14°F) to 3°Celsius (37.4F), in February from -5°Celsius (23°F) to 7°Celsius (44.6°F), and in March from 0°Celsius (32°F) to 13°Celsius (55.4°F). 

    The above figures are a general indication only as the weather can vary considerably year on year for any given month.

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. This is normally 4, and on some occasions 5. 

    In the 'Dates and Prices' section you can hover over the 'Status' button to see how many more bookings are required for your trip to be confirmed. 

    The maximum number of guests that we take on any given trip is indicated in the 'At a Glance' box on the right hand side of the trip page. 

    We will, on occasion, run trips that have not reached the minimum number because our guests have agreed to pay a supplement to allow the trip to go ahead, enabling them to book their travel. If the trip then reaches its minimum number we refund the difference. Do contact us if you wish to discuss this option. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £220. 

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and simply a case of sharing out a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. On a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    On many of our cross country ski trips to remote areas there will also be a few additional items to share such as the grip waxes/klisters, spare pole, and snow shovel. These items are shared in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, and insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors. 

  • These trips are for newcomers to cross country skiing, those who have had some time away from cross country skiing, or cross country skiers wanting a refresher before moving on to more challenging trips. Previous alpine ski experience could be helpful, but is not essential. Full instruction is given on the ski techniques and equipment. All skiing will take place on prepared tracks on relatively flat terrain. Instruction will also be given on how to control speed and direction. You will be taught how to initiate a basic 'snowplough' to enable you to control your speeds on gentle slopes. We will expect you to have a reasonable level of fitness so that you can be active and on skis over the course of the day for approximately 4 hours. 

    One of the wonderful things about the Obergoms Valley is the train line which runs along the valley with services throughout the day. Your ski pass includes free train travel making it very easy for you to opt out of any part of the day. If you are tired you just hop on the train!

  • This is a general statement with regard to luggage and is not specific to your trip. Please read on.

    Point to Point

    The majority of our point-to-point trips have luggage support which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to wear a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. 

    On some trips which feature a night in a refuge/rifugio/hut your main luggage may not be available that evening due to lack of vehicle access. Your rucksack should be of sufficient capacity to carry a few extra items required for this overnight. Your trip itinerary will indicate on which nights you do not have access to your main luggage. If in any doubt please contact us

    Centre Based

    For our centre based trips, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, do refer to the note below with regard to 'size' and the lack of elevators in some hotels. 

    Size of Luggage

    Please note that many hotels do not have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom. 

    On our point-to-point trips where your luggage is moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number because they have to unload and reload the vehicle each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. 

    Luggage on wheels is a good idea, and as stated you need to be able to carry your luggage to your bedroom which may involve climbing several flights of stairs.  

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening and not in the morning when there may be a queue. 

    Norway and Sweden

    Norway and Sweden are the exception to this rule and these trips include a packed lunch in your trip fee. You can also bring a thermos flask and have it filled with a hot drink. The reason for this is the remoteness of the accommodation and the scarcity of shops. It is the tradition is to create your packed lunch from the breakfast buffet and the choice is usually substantial with something for all tastes. Please note that in every other country making your lunch from the breakfast is NOT considered acceptable.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash. 

    On our walking and running trips which take in the route of the 'Tour du Mont Blanc' you will find that Euros will also be accepted in Switzerland as we are never far from the frontier, but the exchange rate will be poor.

    Below is a list of the currency and the currency symbol for each of the countries where we run trips:

    Italy = Euro/€

    Germany = Euro/€

    Sweden = Krona/SEK

    Norway = Kroner/NOK

    Bulgaria = Lev/BGN

    Switzerland = Swiss Franc/CHF

    Finland, including Lapland = Euro/€

    Spain, including Mallorca = Euro/€

    France, including Corsica = Euro/€ 

    Poland = Zloty/PLN = Euros will be accepted, but some local currency is advisable

    Czech Republic = Koruna/CZK - Euros will be accepted, but some local currency is advisable

  • Food

    On all our trips we prefer if you can experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country we are visiting and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. This trip is not suitable for those who follow a vegan diet or those with other more specific dietary requirements. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but you would need to bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness. 

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • 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. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer 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 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 one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that any partners with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. 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

Sun 20 Jan - Sat 26 Jan
Code: SXC1 19
Price: £1395 Book
Sun 03 Feb - Sat 09 Feb
Code: SXC2 19
Price: £1395 Book
Sun 03 Mar - Sat 09 Mar
Code: SXC3 19
Price: £1395 Book

What's Included

  • Dinner, bed and breakfast in a 2* hotel or similar, based on two people sharing
  • Five days of ski instruction with a fully qualified BASI Nordic Instructor
  • Optional video analysis of your technique
  • Free train travel in the Goms Valley 
  • Use of the hotel sauna to ease muscles
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Ski hire (approximately 100CHF for 5 days)
  • Ski passes (approximately 14 CHF per day)
  • Train to Realp and Andermatt (from 30 CHF return)

Very scenic valley that I wasn’t previously aware of. Beautifully prepared uncrowded trails in scenic valley which has advantage of a local train running alongside. So very flexible to vary start/finish points and to cover as much or as little distance as you feel like each day. Rental skis were of better quality than in some other resorts and the shop is only yards from the hotel. Friendly hotel with good breakfast selection and useful spa for evening relaxation. Lovely view from front facing rooms along the valley with great sunsets. Great instructor who was determined that we should make good progress and with his helpful encouragement we did!

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At a Glance

From Price £1395
Holiday Type Classic Cross Country Skiing
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 1368m (4487ft)
Countries Visited Switzerland
Meet In Oberwald, Switzerland
View all Classic Cross Country Skiing Holidays

Cross Country Skiing in the Obergoms Valley

Andermatt