IWW
IWW
IWW
Italian Ski Breaks
IWW
IWW
IWW
Snowshoe long weekend
IWW
Snowshoe long weekend
Getting into the flow!
IWW
Snowshoe long Weekend

Snowshoe and Ski 'Combo' with Walx


SNOWSHOE AND SKI COMBO

Following the success of our Italian Winter Weekend in association with WALX we have designed this bespoke week long trip. A 'combination' of our 3 day Italian Ski Break in the stunning valley of Cogne, Italy, for beginners to cross country skiing, and our 3 day Snowshoe Long Weekend, in the world famous Chamonix Valley, with a rest day in the middle.

Both activities, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, are fabulous ways to explore a winter wonderland. A trip that gives you the chance to experience two very different locations. The Chamonix Valley in France is world famous as a mountaineering town and home to Western Europes' highest mountain, Mont Blanc, while Cogne, in Italy is a gorgeous remote village with cobbled streets which oozes character and tradition. Two contrasting locations, each to be savoured.

Highlights

  • Explore a fabulous winter wonderland 
  • Cross country ski in Italy for 'beginners' & 'improvers'
  • Enjoy snowshoeing in France
  • Option to book one or both activities
  • Rest day to explore Chamonix
  • Excellent family-run hotels with spas
  • Tasty local food from both cultures  
  • First class guiding and instruction
  • Airport transfers included

However, if you have already cross country skied and no longer consider yourself a complete 'beginner' then we suggest you book our Italian Cross Country Ski weekend for 'Improvers' which has the same trip logistics running over the same dates. By having two ski groups and two teachers will enable you to develop your skills at the correct level. 

Snowshoeing is simply 'walking' in winter. We put snowshoes on our feet to stop ourselves sinking into the snow, and to generally make walking easier. Anyone, who is a regular walker or nordic walker and enjoys the outdoors will soon love this activity. 

The WALX Team are passionate about promoting the physical, mental and social benefits of being active outdoors and believe that walking really is the way forward (excuse the pun!) when it comes to enjoyable but effective exercise.

 


Brilliant trip. We had a charming and very comfortable hotel with good food. Our guide was excellent, she took us on some great snowshoe walks with stunning views. The best parts were when above the tree line on days 2 and 3. Truly spectacular.

I loved cross country skiing in the forest and it's surroundings with the mountains and the feeling of being in a massive environment therefore feeling small. Breathtaking views!

We had a fantastic time! Lindsay's experience showed and she provided great instruction. The accommodation was fabulous, as was the food. The weather turned out good as well, so all in all, splendid.

The three day programme was excellent. Lindsay tailored her sessions to suit the needs of everyone in the group. A lovely hotel with real charm. I enjoyed every moment of learning to ski in such a beautiful environment.

Brilliant trip. We had a charming and very comfortable hotel with good food. Our guide was excellent, she took us on some great snowshoe walks with stunning views. The best parts were when above the tree line on days 2 and 3. Truly spectacular.

Itinerary

  • accommodation
  • airport
  • meet in
  • peaks
  • transfer
  • For your convenience we have included a transfer from Geneva airport, in Switzerland to Chamonix, France and the start of your snowshoe trip. The transfer from Geneva airport to your accommodation should take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Once you have confirmed your travel times we will provide exact details of your pick-up at the airport. Please aim to arrive into Geneva for about 1400hrs in time for a 1500hrs transfer.

    No matter what your age you can still master the joy of Nordic or 'cross country' skiing. This is after all the original form of 'skiing' and in many countries is just a way of life. The word “ski” is Norwegian and comes from the Old Norse word “skid”, which was a split length of wood. Cross country skis are slender, very lightweight and very easy to use. For centuries in the Nordic countries, skis were for travelling in winter to enable hunting, and to keep contact between communities. It's also where Nordic walking originated from.

    On this trip you will learn and develop the basic 'classic' technique of cross country skiing on flat or slightly undulating ground so that you can propel yourself across the snow efficiently. The perfect trip for complete beginners or those wishing to revisit the basics. The action is similar to Nordic walking but simply with an 'active' slide instead of a stride! Once mastered you can progress to longer journeys at a pace that is right for you. Cross country skiing can, if you want it to, be a very aerobic activity. Enjoy sliding and gliding whilst getting fit along the way!

  • This morning we travel a short distance to the alpine village of Les Houches where we take the ski lift into the mountains, a great way to save the legs! We are rewarded with excellent views of the entire mountain range, featuring the highest in Western Europe, the mighty Mont Blanc sitting at 4810m (15,776ft). Imagine being up high and surrounded by sparkling glaciated summits and jagged rocky ridges, and you have got the idea. If this is your first time in the mountains in winter we can promise you will find the experience breath-taking.  From the top of the lift we leave the skiers behind us and begin our walk to the summit of Le Prarion which sits at 1969m (6458ft). En route your guide will give any instructions necessary with regard to walking while wearing snowshoes. There is no skill required you simply walk! Snowshoes prevent you from sinking too deep into the snow, and if icy they have spikes on the under-side which gives excellent grip. The top of Le Prarion offers a wonderful vista and your guide will be able to point out the major peaks which have for centuries attracted alpine climbers from around the world. 

    Ascent: 300m (984ft) Distance: 5km (3 miles) Duration: 4h00

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    This afternoon you will have free time to visit the world famous alpine town of Chamonix where there are a multitude of options and activities.

    You might want to take a trip on the historic Montenvers rack and pinion railway train which takes you up to 1913m (6274ft) above the famous Mer de Glace glacier, the 'Sea of Ice'. The mountain views from this location are stunning, while looking down you will find yourself focusing on the Mer de Glace where you can usually see ski mountaineers descending from the high summits.

    Also at Montenvers you will find the 'Grotte de Glace', or Ice Cave which takes you into the very heart of the glacier. Re-sculpted every year, it describes the life of mountain people in the early 19th century. There is also the Glaciorium where there is a fascinating exhibition looking at the creation and evolution of the glaciers over the centuries. Well, worth a visit! Full details of ticket prices and opening times can be found here

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we take the historic Mont Blanc Express train towards the Swiss frontier for a snowshoe walk in a local valley. The train ride which takes 30 minutes is to be savoured, and you can reflect on a history which has seen climbers and mountaineers climbing aboard this train for more than 100 years. The locals regard the Mont Blanc Express with fond humour, it's called an ''Express' but travels at a very leisurely pace. To be honest it's pace is perfect as it gives you time to enjoy the beautiful views from its windows. 

    We then arrive at Vallorcine, this is the 'Valley of the Bears' due to the high numbers of bears in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, at that time the locals paid their taxes in bear meat, hence there are no bears today! However, if you take a careful look at some of the ancient chalets you will see many a 'bear' motif carved into the wood. We can choose from several excellent snowshoe options here, most of which take us past some characterful hidden chalets and hamlets. We may also explore the Berard Valley, walking beside the gorge and waterfalls where the ice is frozen into fantastic shapes.

    Ascent: 450m (1476ft) Distance: 5 km (3 miles) Duration: 4h30

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    This afternoon you have further free time to explore the valley. You may want to take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3800m (12,464ft) where you will feel the altitude and experience what it is like to see Mont Blanc up close, or at least as close as you can get without further effort. For more than 60 years, the Aiguille has been a world attraction. 

    There is also the alpine museum which chronicles the history of Chamonix, and the famous climbers who have made their mark on the mountaineering world. 

    Or if you would like some luxury you could visit the new QC Terme wellness and spa centre. The spa is indeed a wonderful place to spend an afternoon and you will feel brand new after the experience! Any aching muscles will soon disappear. You should consider booking on-line in advance of your visit if you want to be guaranteed a reservation. On-line reservations can easily be cancelled if necessary.

  • Today we ascend to an 'alpage' - a beautiful, high alpine meadow where sheep and cattle graze in the summer months, but in winter is a wonderful place to enjoy the snow. The ancient Chalets de Chailloux farm also offers a fabulous panorama of the glaciers and peaks dominating the Chamonix valley. To be honest we think it offers one of the best views of Mont Blanc and the other stunning alpine peaks of this wonderful part of the French Alps. We being with a steady climb through lovely larch forests before we reach the high ground, en route we pass ancient chalets which for generations have been the summer homes of local people. Often the tell tale aroma of wood-smoke means that someone has come up for the night to enjoy the solitude of this snow covered world. On our way back down we can do an excellent loop through the silent forest which sees few other people. We should arrive back to our accommodation with some time for some apres 'snow' and a sauna before a final Chamonix evening meal.

    Ascent: 570m (1869ft) Distance: 8km (5 miles) Duration: 5h00

    Optional afternoon activities at your own cost:

    Todays snowshoe hike will have been longer than the previous two days, but it may still allow time to further explore Chamonix, or simply to relax in the hotel sauna. 

     

  • For those that have only booked the snowshoeing part of the week then today is Departure Day. An airport transfer minibus is included in your trip to take you back to Geneva Airport where our services and the holiday package ends.

    If you have booked our full 'combined' week of snowshoeing and cross country skiing then today is your free day to explore or simply rest whilst soaking up the mountain environment. In afternoon you will transfer by private minibus to your new hotel in Cogne, Italy for the start of the second part of your trip. You will be able to leave your luggage at your hotel in Chamonix, and spend the day relaxing, shopping, visiting the museums, the luxury spa, or taking in the sights! There is plenty to do in this bustling cosmopolitan alpine town.

    Your transfer will first collect the incoming guests at Geneva airport, who are joining the Italian Ski Break, and will then collect you at your hotel in Chamonix. This transfer will be organised for you, full details will be confirmed after booking. 

    Via the famous Mont Blanc road tunnel it takes approximately 1h30 to reach Cogne in Italy from Chamonix, France. Once in Italy we join the mountain road at Aosta up into the Val di Cogne and the Gran Paradiso National park. Our accommodation is the gorgeous Hotel & Spa du Gran Paradis.

  • In Cogne, Italy our hotel is located a very short walk from the ski tracks. After ski fitting and finding our 'ski-legs,' your instructor will take you through various exercises to introduce you to the techniques for 'classic style' cross country skiing, and what we call a basic 'diagonal stride'. Cogne has an excellent 'stadium' offering beautifully groomed tracks in a large flat area. This perfect arena for learning to ski offers a range of trails suitable for every level of skier. Lunch will be at a local restaurant or cafe, and there will be opportunities for cappuccino. In the afternoon we return to our skis for further practice, consolidating what we have learnt with options to make some short journeys.

    It's not all about the skiing! After a day on the ski trails there will still be time to explore the shops, bars for a pre-dinner apéro or relax in the hotel wellness 'Spa La Baita'. Post ski massages can be booked directly with the hotel.

  • Be inspired to ski! With 55km (35 miles) of ski trails, many regional and national cross country ski competitions like the Marcia Gran Paradiso take place in the Cogne valley. The main trails are flat or gently undulating, and are the perfect training ground for beginners and racers alike.

    The free ski bus means we can explore the neighbouring villages such as Epinel or Lillaz. After a warm-up and review of our new found skills from yesterday, we can make a short tour to reach our lunch venue. Our afternoon will be spent adapting our basic diagonal stride for different types of terrain. There will be plenty of opportunities for learning new skills or practising along the way. Our instructors aim to ensure that you progress each day at 'your' level while maximising enjoyment of the activity.

  • Today we plan to put all our skills into practice and make a longer tour that can be adapted to suit everyone's level. Our aim is to ski to the delightful upper valley of Valnontey. This snow filled valley is famous for ice climbing, and it's possible to see ice climbers tackling the spectacular frozen waterfalls that line the valley on both sides. We will stop for lunch at the characterful family run Albergo of La Barme. Think heavy stone tiles on the roof, ancient woodwork, and a tiny hamlet of old wooden houses.

    After lunch we tour further on undulating trails by the rivers edge to the head of the valley. It's often possible to spot ibex and chamois on the valley slopes and in the woods close to the trails. Our return journey includes some enjoyable downhill sections which can again be adapted or avoided(!) to suit.

  • Today is departure day and 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 0900hrs in order to arrive at the airport 1200hrs. The drive time is approximately 2h45. 

    Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 1400hrs. We have chosen a Sunday departure to avoid Geneva week-day rush hour and to minimise any chance of traffic delays.

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

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for 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 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.

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.

Hotel Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix

Hotel

While in Chamonix we usually use the 3* Hotel Aiguille du Midi which is a lovely place to stay with excellent food and sauna/spa facilities. This trip will include Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and meals can be adapted to suit any dietary requirement. To ensure that we are able to book the Hotel Aiguille du Midi we advise you to book early. If this hotel is not available then we will stay somewhere similar in Chamonix and always where possible we use family run hotels, with plenty of comfort and character!

Hotel du Grand Paradis, Cogne

Hotel

You will be guests of Filippo Gérard, our host whose family owns and runs our gorgeous 3* hotel. Built in the19th century the Hotel du Gran Paradis, is Cogne's oldest hotel. It boasts traditional architecture, local Italian cuisine all in a relaxed alpine setting. Make yourself at home with access to their living room with fireplace, little bibliothèque, bar, heated ski room plus it has a small private wellness Spa La Baita.

Dinner is delicious, typical food from the Aosta valley region of Italy, eaten at our hotel's other restaurant at the Hotel Sant'Orso. The Hotel Sant Orso has a reputation with 'foodies' as being an excellent example of local tastes and dishes from this wonderful part of the Italian Alps. You may feel that on this trip you spend a lot of time contemplating the local tastes!  Breakfast is taken in our own hotel dining room and is buffet style. 

Massages and single room requests are possible, but do incur an additional fee. 


  • 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.

  • 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 pick up time from Geneva airport is scheduled for 1500hrs on either the 23rd January or 27th January depending on whether you are joining the full or week or ski weekend. 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 2 hours 15 minutes between the two resorts.  

    On your departure day your private minibus transfer will collect you after breakfast from your hotel to take you to Geneva airport.

    The return transfer will leave Chamonix on the 27th January 2020 at approximately 0900hrs in order to arrive at the airport 1030hrs. The drive time is approximately 1 hours 15 minutes. Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 1200hrs.

    The return transfer will leave Cogne at approximately 0900hrs in order to arrive at the airport 1200hrs. The drive time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes. Your flights from Geneva airport should be booked to depart no earlier than 1400hrs. We have chosen a Sunday departure to avoid Geneva week-day rush hour and to minimise any chance of traffic delays.

    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.

  • 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.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

    • Respect for others
      A cross-country skier must ski in such a manner that he/she does not endanger or
      prejudice others.
    • Respect for signs, direction and running style
      Trail marking signs must be respected on any trail marked with an indicated
      direction. A skier shall proceed only in that indicated direction and ski in the
      indicated running style.
    • Choice of trails and tracks
      On cross-country trails with more than one packed track, a skier should choose
      the right-hand track. Skiers in groups must keep in the right track behind each other. With free
      running style, skiers shall keep to their right-hand-side of the trail.
    • Overtaking
      A skier is permitted to overtake and pass another skier to the left or right. A skier ahead is not obliged to give way to an overtaking skier, but should allow a faster skier to pass whenever this is possible.
    • Encounter
      Cross-country skiers meeting while skiing opposite directions shall keep to their
      right. A descending skier has priority.
    • Poles
      A cross-country skier shall make the utmost effort to keep his poles close to his/her
      body when near another skier.
    • Control of speed
      A cross-country skier, and especially going downhill, shall always adapt his/her
      speed to personal ability and to the prevailing terrain and visibility and to the
      traffic on the course. Every skier should keep a safe distance from the skiers ahead. As a last resort, an intentional fall should be used to avoid collision.
    • Keeping trails and tracks clear
      A skier who stops must leave the trail. In the case of a fall, he/she shall clear the trail
      without delay.
    • Accident
      In case of an accident, everyone should render assistance.
    • Identification
      Everybody at an accident, whether witnesses, responsible parties or not, must
      establish their identity. 
  • 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. 

    Equipment

    Cross Country Skiing

    For cross country skiing 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 use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip either ‘fishscales’ or ‘skintec’. You can choose to bring your own 'classic' track skis, 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.

    Snowshoeing

    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. 

    We will provide snowshoes, walking poles, avalanche transceiver, snow shovel, and snow probe free of charge. These items are compulsory and demonstrate best practice in a winter environment. 

    General Equipment

    • Rucksack - 20 to 25 litres with waist and chest strap
    • Rucksack waterproof cover or liner to keep contents dry
    • Water container - 1 litre, drink tubes and bottles stowed on the outside of your rucksack usually freeze in winter
    • Waterproof and warm walking boots for snowshoeing - these must NOT be ‘low cut’ and should cover your ankles
    • Whistle

    Clothing 

    • Waterproof jacket - essential, this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you!
    • Waterproof trousers - in case of heavy snowfall
    • Trousers - lightweight, windproof and warm 
    • Thermal top - long sleeves
    • Thin fleece - long sleeves
    • Waistcoat - fleece/wind stopper 
    • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin)
    • Over-mittens for colder days can be useful
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Head/ear band 
    • Duvet jacket (or second warm layer)
    • Scarf or 'Buff' for neck
    • Socks - 2 or 3 pairs

    Comfort

    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen - essential
    • Sunglasses - essential
    • Goggles - or Nordic Ski Visor
    • Snack bars/chocolate
    • Tissues - we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray

    Documentation 

    • Mountain Rescue/Ski Insurance documents - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Euros

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Travel Kettle if required 
    • Swimwear for when sauna is available
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • Short gaiters for snowy days - not essential 
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries 

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit

  • 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.

  • 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. The full week long trip has a single supplement of £350. 

  • Samantha Armstrong of WALX and Tracks and Trails 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 for the countries that they work in.

    The WALX Team are passionate about promoting the physical, mental and social benefits of being active outdoors and believe that walking really is the way forward (excuse the pun!) when it comes to enjoyable but effective exercise.

    Please note your guide/instructors have 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 snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader and for cross country ski trips you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

     

     

  • 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

    Our beginner cross country ski trips are designed for newcomers, those who have had some time away, 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 for 'classic' style cross country skiing and the equipment. All skiing will take place on prepared tracks skiing in and out of parallel grooves, first on the flat progressing to more undulating terrain. Instruction will be given on how to control speed and direction including how to initiate a basic 'snowplough' enabling you to control 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. While very active, anyone with average fitness will be able to enjoy this holiday.

    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 occasion reach an altitude of up to 2500m (8200ft), and 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. 

  • Food

    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.

    Water

    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:

    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. 

  • 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.

    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. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2022

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What's Included

Snowshoe and Ski Combined Full Week  - £1920 (includes a £50 multi-trip saving)

Simply book both of the above trips PV SEB, and PV ISW to benefit from this discount.

Single room supplement £350 for 8 nights

  • The services of a qualified International Mountain Leader 
  • The services of a qualified Cross Country Ski Instructor
  • The services of a Nordic Walking leader and their expenses
  • 3 full days of cross country ski instruction
  • 3 excellent days of walking on snowshoes  
  • Half board accommodation: in 3 star hotels based on twin rooms for 8 nights
  • Transport between all venues as stated on the itinerary
  • Snowshoe equipment - snowshoes, walking poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver
  • Use of the hotel spas and wellness areas
  • Excellent evening meals featuring local dishes
  • In Chamonix, guest card for free local bus/train travel 
  • Free day in Chamonix to explore
  • In Cogne, a card for discounts in shops, ski rental and restaurants
  • Geneva airport transfers to/from your hotel
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

Snowshoe Long Weekend - PV SEB only - £975, single room supplement £200

  • The services of a qualified International Mountain Leader 
  • Four nights half board accommodation in a 2/3 star hotel/chalet based on twin rooms
  • Geneva airport transfers to/from your hotel
  • Transport between the snowshoe venues as stated in the itinerary
  • Return cable car ticket from Les Houches 
  • Snowshoe equipment - snowshoes, walking poles, a snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver
  • Hotel Guest Card giving free bus/train travel as well as reduced entry fees to some facilities
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

Italian Ski Weekend - PV ISW only - £995, single room supplement £150

  • Half-board accommodation for 4 nights, based on two people sharing in a 3* hotel
  • Geneva airport transfers to/from your hotel
  • Use of the hotel Spa la Baita (jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna, relax area etc) with bathrobe, towels and slippers 
  • Three full days of 'classic' style cross country instruction by a qualified BASI Nordic Instructor or equivalent
  • Four course evening meal with a selection of typical Italian dishes at the Hotel Sant’Orso
  • A card for discounts in shops, ski rental and restaurants
  • Transport between the ski venues
  • Geneva airport transfers to/from your hotel
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

Snowshoe and Ski Combined Full Week for Improvers - £1900 (includes a £70 multi-trip saving)

Single room supplement £350 for 8 nights

If you have already cross country skied before and are ready for the next steps and longer journeys we suggest you book our Italian Cross Country Ski weekend for 'Improvers' trip code: ISI1 running over the same dates. If you would also like to snowshoe with the Walx group then book the snowshoe element of the trip separately, as above, trip code: PV SEB.

If you are booking onto a combined Italian Ski Break and Snowshoe Long Weekend then both your transfer to and from the airport will be included in the trip price.

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Massages
  • Ski hire 
  • Ski passes
  • Any optional activities

Brilliant trip. We had a charming and very comfortable hotel with good food. Our guide was excellent, she took us on some great snowshoe walks with stunning views. The best parts were when above the tree line on days 2 and 3. Truly spectacular.

I loved cross country skiing in the forest and it's surroundings with the mountains and the feeling of being in a massive environment therefore feeling small. Breathtaking views!

We had a fantastic time! Lindsay's experience showed and she provided great instruction. The accommodation was fabulous, as was the food. The weather turned out good as well, so all in all, splendid.

The three day programme was excellent. Lindsay tailored her sessions to suit the needs of everyone in the group. A lovely hotel with real charm. I enjoyed every moment of learning to ski in such a beautiful environment.

Brilliant trip. We had a charming and very comfortable hotel with good food. Our guide was excellent, she took us on some great snowshoe walks with stunning views. The best parts were when above the tree line on days 2 and 3. Truly spectacular.

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Grade: Beginners

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £975
Holiday Type Snowshoeing
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 1969m (6458ft)
Countries Visited Italy, France
Meet In Geneva airport, Switzerland
View all Snowshoeing Holidays

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Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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