Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols
Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols
Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols
Névache Snowshoe
Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols
Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols

Névache Snowshoe: Valleys & Cols


Trip Overview

One of the very best areas in France to snowshoe in the mountains. The tiny ancient hamlet of Névache is situated in the Vallée de la Clarée, a truly beautiful base for a week of exploring the surrounding snowy summits and Cols.

The very name 'Névache' means 'snow covered' and the area is known for having the best snow cover in the Southern Alps. We also aim to spend one night in a mountain refuge which, in itself, is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the mountains 'up close' in all their glory.

Highlights

  • Stunning mountain views of the Haute Alps
  • Unique, ancient and beautiful valley base
  • Night in a 'eco' mountain refuge
  • Return airport transfers included
  • Vallée de la Clarée has reputation for great snow 
  • Taste the delights of the highest microbrewery in France!

 This is without doubt one of our favourite snowshoe destinations. It is one of those hidden gems that you stumble across and then wonder why on earth you haven't visited before. The community here is quintessentially French in terms of culture, food, and tradition. It is a quaint and ancient community that really does feel like a haven of tranquility. 


Nevache is a lovely quite small village with some wonderful opportunities for snowshoeing.  In particular, the ascents of the Col des Thures, the Col du Raisin and the Col du Chardonnet stand out, all offering wide open vistas and plenty of energetic expeditions on our snow shoes.  As always, the back-up administration and guiding worked flawlessly, leaving all participants free to enjoy the snow during the day and a glass of wine in the evening.

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • We meet this evening at our accommodation when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead. Please get in touch for advice about getting to Névache. The village is really charming and is home to the highest brewery in France which has been in the same family for generations.

  • We leave today from Fontcouverte and climb steadily through the forest until the clear ground below the Refuge du Chardonnet, at 2227m (7304ft). After a coffee stop, we can head beyond the Refuge to explore the area towards the Col. It is also possible for you to choose to rest at the refuge and relax in the sunshine! The terrain is impressive with mountains towering on either side, and there is a small snow covered lake just beyond the Refuge the Lac du Chardonnet. Hidden behind the ridge line are the Ecrins mountains to the west, and the peak of the Grand Galibier. This peak sits above the Col Galibier of Tour de France fame. After enjoying the ambiance we will return to the Refuge, perhaps for more cake, and to collect any of our group who have chosen to relax at the Refuge. You are on holiday after all! 

    Ascent to Refuge: 650m (2132ft) Distance: 8km (5 miles) Duration: 5h30 

  • We begin with a day getting to know the area by heading for the Col des Thures. The first impression of the Vallee de la Claree is of a mediteranean landscape covered in snow! Our route follows a side valley from above Névache village where we climb steadily through the snow covered pine trees. The trail takes us along a gorge featuring stunning spires of rock rising above the pines. We then head up through the treeline allowing us access to the Col at 2194m (7196ft), which sits just above the snow and ice covered Lac Chavillon.

    Ascent: 600m (1968ft) Distance: 10.8km (6.7 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • A change of scene and venue today as we enjoy a snowshoe walk in the lovely Vallon du Creuzet. We begin a little way down the Vallée de la Clarée at the ancient hamlet of Plampinet where we gain the trail heading upwards into the snowy pine forests. We take a traversing path along the side of the valley until the terrain eventually opens out on the Vallon du Creuzet. This is a lovely hike with high rocky peaks surrounding us as high above is the summit of the Croix Carail sitting at an altitude of  2584m (8475ft). We will explore the valley before returning back to Plampinet and our hotel.

    Ascent: 720m (2361ft) Distance: 9.5 km (5.9 miles) Duration: 4h50

  • There are many local routes in the Vallee de la Claree to choose from, such as the Chalets des Acles. This is a gorgeous valley which is less frequented than others. We begin at Plampinet where we take a steep but steady trail through the pines. On our way we pass the Oratoire Saint-Roch, and then reaching some clearings we arrive at the old farm buildings of Chalet des Acles which are grouped around an ancient chapel. After enjoying our picnic lunch and taking in those final high mountain views of this beautiful part of the world we will descend for our final night and cosy dinner in our ancient hamlet of Nevache.

    Ascent: 400m (1312ft) Distance: 9.8km (6 miles) Duration: 4h30

  • Today we begin our two day adventure in the mountains. We have a later start from our hotel this morning, time to enjoy breakfast, and a relatively easy day as our goal is the easily accessed Refuge de Buffère. The trail to this lovely rustic Refuge is normally very good as they use a snow-mobile to re-stock the Refuge and the path will be pressed down. A steady climb through the pines takes us to the refuge where we will be spending the night. The Refuge prides itself on its excellent meals made with local or organic food. It also likes to offer its guests locally brewed beers, perhaps some home made Génépi, or their delicate liqueur made from Edelweiss! Now, that's an interesting proposition Edelweiss liqueur? This is a day to savour and relax. Of course, if you want to do more you can spend the afternoon exploring the area around the Refuge. Your guide will make sure you are occupied! You will also be pleased to hear that the Refuge can provide private bedrooms rather than the normal large dormitories!

    Ascent: 400m (1312ft) Distance: 4.5km (2.8 miles) Duration: 3h00

     

  • This morning we will leave our cosy Refuge and explore the ground beyond as we make our way to the Col de la Buffère. This is an excellent goal for our day in the mountains and one which offers excellent views to the massif of the Ecrins mountains. We begin by wandering through the larch trees that are scattered just above the Refuge, however, the terrain soon opens out and we have a wonderful large valley to enjoy. The trail is very steady as it makes its way to the Col de la Buffère which sits at 2427m (7960ft) and where, weather dependent, we will aim to eat our picnic lunch. After savouring the views we will descend back to the Refuge for a hot drink before descending back to the village. 

    Ascent: 350m (1148ft) Distance: 11.5km (7.2 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • Departure day is your departure from this beautiful hidden gem of the Haute Alps. We hope you enjoyed it!

We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary, however it may be necessary for our guides to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In most cases we have known the management for many years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured hotel/hotels 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 in Névache is in a characterful 2** Auberge or similar. Accommodation is based on twin/double rooms with private facilities. Rooms are in limited supply in this tiny hamlet therefore if you are considering this holiday we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible so that we can secure the best options possible. If you would like to know more about the accommodation please contact us

Le Creux des Souches

Auberge

We love this old Auberge which is right in the heart of the village of Névache. It dates back to 1780 and is built in traditional chalet style respecting the architecture of the region. It has a wonderful character and cosy ambiance. The restaurant with its vaulted roof is a wonderful setting for meals, and there is a fire for those chilly winter days. This really is a truly 'rustic' old world experience!

The auberge has a limited number of bedrooms and for this reason we urge early booking. The bedrooms have ensuite facilities of toilet, sink and showers. If the auberge is already booked then we will most likely stay at the Gite La Découverte.

La Découverte

Gîte

Claudine, Olivier and their daughters have been welcoming travellers and walkers to their gite for more than 15 years. This family run gite is a cosy venue for our stay in the village. At La Découverte Claudine cooks tasteful and hearty dishes with fresh and seasonal products. Olivier is always available to provide information about walking or snowshoeing itineraries, weather forecasts, or local life.

The bedrooms are either twins or doubles with private facilities.  The double rooms have a sink, shower and toilet, and the twin rooms have a sink, and shower.

Refuge de Buffere

Refuge

This really is a gorgeous Refuge and very comfortable. The Refuge prides itself on its excellent meals made with local or organic food. It also likes to offer its guests locally brewed beers, perhaps some home made Génépi, or their delicate liqueur made from Edelweiss! Now, that's an interesting proposition Edelweiss liqueur? Some bedrooms are available rather than the normal dormitory refuge style. This requires early booking on your behalf. 


  • There are various options for getting to the area. Briançon is the nearest large town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and itself worth visiting. It is about 30 mins drive from Névache.

    If you fly to Turin, Italy, we will collect you at the airport, and take you to your accommodation. This will be at a time to suit the majority of the group, but no later than 16h30 on the arrival day. The transfer time is approximately 2h45. Your flight back from Turin should ideally be from 13h00 onwards on the departure day.

    Please get in touch if you would like to discuss flight and transfer times. The journey time between Turin and Névache is approximately 2h15.

    You can also take the TGV train from the UK and from various major cities in Europe, to Briancon. From Briançon you can take a local bus or a taxi to your accommodation. You can also take the TGV to the major station at Oulx which on train timetables is often called Oulx-Cesana-Clavière-Sestrières, in Italy. 

    See Rail Europe and the Tourist Office, at Briançon, which gives various ways of getting to Briançon. From Briancon or Oulx you can take a local bus or a taxi to your accommodation.

  • 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. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

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

  • This is for you if you would like to walk in the mountains in winter, but your experience of snowshoeing is limited or zero! On these trips full instruction is given on snowshoe technique and equipment. In reality you just need to be able to walk, it is that easy. However, we will be walking in the mountains and we expect that you take regular exercise and have a reasonable level of fitness. We will walk on a variety of terrain from flat to undulating, most of the time we will be walking on a trail, but if there is fresh snow we will enjoy making our own track. We will reach an altitude of up to 2000m (6560ft), but we will sometimes take a cable car to get there. We may complete ascents/descents of between 300–500m (984-1640ft) with one longer day of up to 700m (2296ft). Expect to be out on the mountain for between 4 – 6 hours per day.

    NB: We have graded this trip 'Moderate', but it will also suit those walkers who like slightly longer days. For those looking for a more relaxed approach the itinerary features several days when we go Refuges when you can opt to do a half day and rest at the mountain refuge for a few hours, while the rest of the group goes on. Our base in Névache is so lovely that you may also choose to take a day off and explore the valley.

  • 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 our trips, we work with a select number of partners to help ensure your trip reaches its minimum group size to be guaranteed to run. The companies we work with reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 12 Jan - Sat 19 Jan
Code: VEV1 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 26 Jan - Sat 02 Feb
Code: NEV2 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 16 Feb - Sat 23 Feb
Code: NEV3 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 02 Mar - Sat 09 Mar
Code: NEV4 19
Price: £1295 Book

What's Included

  • Shared twin room accommodation with half board in a 2** Hotel or similar
  • One night in a mountain refuge. A single room may be available in the refuge for a supplement
  • Professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Transfer from Turin airport no later than 16h30 on the arrival day
  • Transfer back to Turin airport on your departure day, aiming to arrive at the airport by 11h00
  • Snowshoe equipment - each guest 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
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Lunches
  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Drinks and snacks

Nevache is a lovely quite small village with some wonderful opportunities for snowshoeing.  In particular, the ascents of the Col des Thures, the Col du Raisin and the Col du Chardonnet stand out, all offering wide open vistas and plenty of energetic expeditions on our snow shoes.  As always, the back-up administration and guiding worked flawlessly, leaving all participants free to enjoy the snow during the day and a glass of wine in the evening.

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Grade: Moderate

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1295
Holiday Type Snowshoeing
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 2427m (7960ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Turin Airport, Italy
View all Snowshoeing Holidays

The seasons at Refuge du Chardonnet