Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted.
Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions, for example, we may not be able to stop and have lunch at a mountain farm as stated in the itinerary, because the farm has had to react to new rules with regard to serving food and drinks. We imagine that there will be many scenarios which might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.
When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.
The Obergoms valley 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.
When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:
Mountain Rescue Insurance
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.
Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance
You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.
As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.
Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.
All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions.
If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.
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.
The cross country skiing equipment we will use features lightweight track fishscale classic skis (not skate skis or waxables), NNN (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. The total ski hire for the 5 days is estimated to be around 88CHF per person for winter 2021. We ask that you pay this sum directly to the ski shop by cash or credit card.
Ski equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our Booking Form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire).
Ski passes can be purchased when you arrive and include the use of the train in the Obergoms valley. The latest prices are available here. If during your week we do a day trip to the Andermatt valley the price for this train and ski pass is approximately 33CHF for a return ticket in 2021.
Your safety while skiing is our top priority. All skiers are requested to adhere to the Code of Conduct published by the International Ski Federation, or FIS. The aim is to make you, the skier, aware of how to avoid risks, take responsibility and act thoughtfully while on the cross-country ski tracks.
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in.
We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip either ‘fishscales’ or ‘skintec’. You can choose to bring your own 'classic' track skis (non-metal edged), however, do check with us first to ensure they are suitable.
Skis, boots, and poles - can be hired at the start of the trip. The cost of hire is indicated in 'Trip Information'. If you are intending to hire you must inform us as soon as possible as equipment must be booked in advance. The type of ski supplied by the hire shop is provided in the 'Ski Rental' section of the Trip Information page. If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.
Personal First Aid
**Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**
Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit
For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
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.
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 £215.
We go to great lengths to work with first class ski instructors who are passionate about their work.
Your ski instructor will be a BASI qualified, or equivalent, Nordic Ski Instructor. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors and is one of Europe's leading examining boards for those choosing a career in snow sports. For some countries your ski instructor will hold the national qualification required for the country you are visiting. All are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.
In the majority of cases your instructor will also be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting.
Please note your 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.
You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.
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!
For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.
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 before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.
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.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country 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. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you 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 apologise, but 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.
The countries we visit all have tap water which 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:
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.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
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. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies 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 companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they 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.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|SXC1||Sat 22 Jan||Fri 28 Jan||
Sat 22 Jan - Fri 28 Jan
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|
|SXC2||Sat 12 Feb||Fri 18 Feb||
Sat 12 Feb - Fri 18 Feb
|Price: £1695||1 more to guarantee||Book|
|SXC3||Sat 05 Mar||Fri 11 Mar||
Sat 05 Mar - Fri 11 Mar
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|