For convenience we have included a transfer from Geneva airport, in Switzerland to the trip location. Whether your trip begins in Chamonix, in France or in Cogne, Italy will depend on the set of dates you have selected.
Our departure/pick up time from Geneva airport is scheduled for 16h30, however, once we have all the guest arrival times we may bring this forward if it suits all members of the group. If your flight arrives earlier in the day you can use the time to explore Geneva.
The towns of Chamonix, and Cogne, are linked by a transfer which is also included in your trip fee and will be organised for you. The drive is approximately 2h15 between the two resorts.
On your departure day your private minibus transfer will collect you after an early breakfast from your hotel to take you to Geneva airport. The return transfer will leave Cogne at approximately 07h30 in order to arrive at the airport between 10h30-11h00. Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 12-midday.
It is important that you inform us of your flight times as soon as possible after booking.
Early arrivals - time in Geneva
Geneva airport is just 4 km's (2.5 miles) away from Geneva city centre. You can find details of the airport and public transport here. It is easily reached by train or bus using the united network of public transport Unireso. You can pick up a free ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the airport arrivals. It gives free transport for a period of 80 minutes. Only one single ticket is required to travel by train, tram, bus or boat in the area France-Vaud-Geneva. It only takes 6 minutes from/to Geneva city centre by train (every 12 minutes at rush hours). All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station (city centre). The buses stop every 8-15 minutes at rush hours at the airport (bus stops at the Check-in level, in front of or beside the train station). Full details can be found here.
Left luggage lockers in Geneva
There are two left luggage facilities, both in the Railway Station which is attached to the airport building. The office beside the CFF/SBB counter takes luggage of all dimensions for a fee of approximately CHF10 per day per item. It is open 7 days a week from 07h30 to 20h15. The automatic lockers are in front of the CFF/SBB counter and just behind the Chicorée Shop and come in 3 sizes (245mm x 420mm x 765mm / 350mm x 600mm x 770mm / 445mm x 610mm x 895mm); they are accessible from 05h00 to 23h50.The cost is from 6-9 CHF per day depending on the size. You can find details here.
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.
Cogne, in Italy has an excellent reputation for good snow cover. There are over 55km (35 miles) of ski trails, and IF for any reason the weather has not delivered sufficient snow Cogne has excellent snow-making facilities. The Italians have become experts at the production of so-called 'artificial snow' and the quality of skiing on this snow is superb. Cogne also boasts a fabulous 'stadium' providing the perfect flat open training ground for beginners.
In Chamonix, in France the snow usually begins in December, runs through until April, and sometimes into May. As we are snowshoeing and not therefore tied to specific tracks, as with the cross country skiing, we will aim to provide the best options for a good day out.
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 weekend is approximately 40 Euros per person. We ask that you pay this sum directly to the ski shop. 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 once you arrive and are expected to cost approximately 20 Euros in total for the 3 days. Normally, we ask your hotel to organise your ski pass. The hotel will require payment for the ski pass in cash Euros.
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 and safety of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed 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.
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.
For cross country skiing your clothing should be similar to that required for a winter walking day, but it should allow you mobility, and your trousers should ideally have some degree of 'stretch' to them. You need freedom of movement without any restrictions. If you are a runner then winter running gear is suitable. We will send you a full clothing and kit list upon booking. You will be required to hire skis and pay for a ski pass; these are not included. Please read the section 'Ski Rental and Ski Pass' for details.
For snowshoeing we suggest that clothing for a day of winter walking is perfect. We do not advise 'downhill' ski clothes as these are generally too restrictive for these activities and too warm. All snowshoe equipment will be supplied by us and is included in your trip fee. This will include snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, snow shovel, and snow probe. You will need to wear warm and waterproof walking boots that reach above the ankle. 'Low cut' boots or trainers are not appropriate for snowshoeing.
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 £365.
We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, 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.
For the cross country ski element of your trip you will have a fully qualified professional cross country ski instructor. We only use first class instructors who are experienced, enthusiastic and supportive of beginners learning to ski. All our team are BASI qualified (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) or equivalent.
With regard to the snowshoeing we employ excellent guides who are all qualified International Mountain Leaders or equivalent. Please refer to the About Us page to confirm the standard of guides/instructors who are part of our team.
Please note that our Snowshoe and Ski Combo is designed to be an introduction to these activities and therefore you do not require previous experience, but you do require a reasonable level of fitness and be used to taking exercise. All our grades are available here but for ease of reference we have also provided the description below.
Cross Country Skiing - Grade: Beginners
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 flat and undulating 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 speed when travelling downhill. 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.
Snowshoeing - Grade: Moderate
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 that involves climbing up hills and have a reasonable level of fitness. We will walk on a variety of terrain from flat to steeply 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 may on rare occasions reach an altitude of up to 2500m (8200ft), but we will sometimes take a cable car to get there. We may complete ascents/descents of between 300–500m (984-1640ft) per day with one longer day of up to 750m (2460ft). Expect to be out on the mountain for between 4 – 6 hours per day.
For this trip you are centre-based, in other words you are staying in two hotels with one vehicle transfer between your hotels in Chamonix, France and Cogne, Italy. We would, however, ask that you keep your luggage to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. This is because your luggage will travel with you in the minibus between Chamonix and Cogne and there is only a certain amount of space for all the group luggage.
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.
While on your snowshoe trip in Chamonix, France we suggest that you order a sandwich or packed lunch from the hotel the evening before your day out. When in town it is a good idea to also stock up on a few snacks, and high energy food.
In Cogne, in Italy where you will be skiing there are many cafes and restaurants and we usually eat lunch in one of them. This is the best way to warm up, and hydrate and enjoy the best local dishes. The meals in Cogne are relatively cheap, and you can indulge in an Italian experience with fresh pasta, and polenta dishes. Great fuel for skiing, just don't eat too much before getting back on your skis or you will find the afternoon hard work.
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.
For both of these trips you will require Euros. The hotels will take a credit card for any payments necessary, but ski hire and your ski pass usually require a cash payment. Please refer to the Ski Rental and Ski Pass section for the cost. There are cash points in both Cogne, and in Chamonix if you require to withdraw cash Euros.
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.
This trip features two lovely family-run hotels with spa facilities. At both hotels massages are available upon request, and should ideally be booked as soon as you arrive.
On the day to day itinerary we have given details of our suggestions on how to spend any free time in the afternoons. Chamonix has a large range of activities on offer, and there is plenty to see and do. You will find many recommendations on the local Tourist Office website.
In Chamonix you also might enjoy visiting the newly opened QC Terme a luxury wellness and spa experience offering a large range of treatments. This can be booked by yourself on-line in advance of arriving in Chamonix. It is possible to cancel your booking without incurring cost. If making appointments for the late afternoon or early evening please give thought to the impact on your evening meal and if you have sufficient time. The last train back to our hotel in Chamonix is at 20h14 and is approximately a 10 minute ride.
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.
UK residents should obtain and bring with them the 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.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|SSC1||Sat 04 Jan||Sun 12 Jan||
Sat 04 Jan - Sun 12 Jan
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|
|SSC2||Sat 11 Jan||Sun 19 Jan||
Sat 11 Jan - Sun 19 Jan
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|
|SSC3||Sat 01 Feb||Sun 09 Feb||
Sat 01 Feb - Sun 09 Feb
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|
|SSC4||Sat 15 Feb||Sun 23 Feb||
Sat 15 Feb - Sun 23 Feb
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|
|SSC5||Sat 22 Feb||Sun 01 Mar||
Sat 22 Feb - Sun 01 Mar
|Price: £1695||Spaces available||Book|