Ticking off another summit in the Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise
Heading down from a mountain pass in the Vanoise
River Doron, Pralognan-la-Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise
Making tracks, Vanoise National Park
Val Maurienne towards Aussois, Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise, Maurienne Valley
Stunning light in the Vanoise
Snowshoeing in the Vanoise

Vanoise Snowshoeing Week


Snowshoe week in the Vanoise

A unique two part snowshoeing holiday to the beautiful Vanoise National Park. Join us on this 7 day trip in the north and the south of the Park. This is a snowshoe 'reconnaissance' trip for Tracks and Trails so suits those with a true sense of adventure! You will have an extremely experienced guide who already knows the area to introduce you to the Vanoise.

Situated in the Savoie region of France discover hidden valleys, high mountain refuges, passes and summits which are all part of this wonderful week of snowshoeing.  In the heart of the French Alps, the Vanoise is a paradise for nature and adventure lovers - the perfect winter escape.

Our meeting point for this week is Pralognan-la-Vanoise a village, surrounded by the largest glacier ice cap in Europe, we then move to the south to Aussois in the Maurienne valley close to the Italian border.

Highlights

  • Explore the north and south Vanoise National Park
  • 7 Full days of snowshoeing
  • 2021 Snowshoe 'reconnaissance' trip
  • Guided by a qualified mountain professional
  • Snowshoe equipment included
  • Stay in two 3* mountain hotels with pool and/or spa facilities
  • Sample local Savoyard cuisine and wines
  • Easy access by public transport
  • Single rooms and room upgrades available on request

Situated in the Savoie, the Vanoise massif is France’s oldest National Park created in 1963. The striking and unspoiled landscapes of the massif are magical and awe-inspiring. Mountain walking fans will simply be in heaven! With 600km of footpaths and 107 peaks reaching an altitude of over 3,000m, the Vanoise National Park offers easy access to several different mountain road and hiking passes.

Initially created to protect ibexes, the Vanoise national park is today an important site for the protection of flora and fauna. During the winter the ibex come lower down the mountains and we will have the opportunity to see them on some of our snowshoeing days along with chamois and if we are lucky the rare beared vulture.

Stretching over 53,000 hectares, this park is divided into two parts: a central area in the heart of the massif for walkers and skiers only, and an outlying area grouping together the prestigious ski resorts of the Tarentaise area, as well as typical villages and it's from these villages that we being our snowshoe exploration.


Itinerary

  • airport
  • train
  • bus
  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • route
  • peaks
  • Today you will arrive in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, at 1418m, a traditional alpine village seen but labelled the 'capital city' for the first French national park. Situated at the foot of the almighty Grande Casse, Savoie's highest peak, Pralognan is seen as a hidden pearl and the 'gateway' to the Vanoise National Park. With its 'end-of-the-world feel' combines the vast mountain environment of the Vanoise massif with a friendly, cosy village feel. A true nature and sport lovers paradise all year around.

    Settle in at the Hotel Grand Bec. In the evening you will meet our guide who will be available to answer any questions you may have about the week ahead. For more information on Pralognan-la-Vanoise visit: http://en.pralognan.com/

  • Far from the crowds, Pralognan-la-Vanoise has approximately 700 inhabitants who preserve the simple and authentic nature of the mountains. With its traditional hamlets, wood or stone shingle roofs typical of the area, its narrow streets, and alpine pastures, the village displays with pride its rich agricultural and architectural heritage. Pralognan enjoys exceptional quantities of snow and we are able to start some of our snowshoe walks within metres of the hotel.

    Our first snowshoe walk starts at the hotel door. Offering fine views along the valley it makes the perfect walk to orientate your self to the area. We cross the valley plateau passing a network of cross country ski trails here we access dense pine forests where the trail starts to climb 100m to reach the chalets and hamlet of Cholliere. As the path narrows we enter the vallée de Chavière and continue to climb gradually, all on good trails, to pick up the River Doron. As we leave the tree line the valley begins to open up and mountains are growing ever bigger to the horizon and either side of our trail.

    From here we have a good chance of spotting either chamois or ibex. which leads us to next hamlet of Prioux then to the Pont de Gerlon where can stop for morning snacks. If time allows a further climb on a wide cart track brings us to the beautifully located (but well hidden) Refuge Roc de la Peche at 1911m (6269ft). This private mountain hut is looked after Carole and Tierry and offers the perfect setting for a savoyarde lunch on the veranda and opportunity to soak up the fresh mountain air.

    In the 1800's the salt road and road to Beaufort made Pralognan-la-Vanoise a major stopover between France and Italy. In 1916 Pralognan is officially recognized for the health benefits of its pure mountain air. It became the 'oxygenation centre' for patients undergoing heat treatments at the thermal baths in Brides-les-Bains.

    We return to Pralognan first by retracing our steps and then via the hamlet of Gerlon.

    Ascent: 550m (1804ft) Descent: 500m (1640ft) Distance: 18km (11 miles) 5.5-6 hours

  • From our hotel we walk a short walk way through the village of Pralognan to access the first of two chairlifts. The first ski lift takes us up to Les Fontanettes. We then take the second chairlift which takes us up to the Les Barmettes Refuge at 2010m (6594ft) and it's here that we will put on our snowshoes for today’s walk and officially enter the true Vanoise National Park.

    Today our aim, if conditions allow, is the the Col de la Vanoise at 2517m (8257ft) at the foot of the highest mountain in the Vanoise the Grande Casse 3855m (12647ft). On August 8th, William Mathews, Michel Croz, and Etienne Favre reached the summit of the Grande Casse. In 1933 the legendary north face of the Grande Casse, aka the "Italian Couloir," was first climbed by Aldo Bonacossa and L. Binaghi. It is considered one of the major ice routes in the Vanoise Range.

    Crossing over a snow-covered bridge an easy trail leads us past alpine chalets following the line of the 'Route du Sel', an ancient trading route which goes on through the mountains to reach Italy. Our trail steepens then eases off as we make our way towards the Lac des Vaches at 2318m (7604ft) a beauty spot hidden under snow in the winter which is the perfect location for stunning views of the Grande Casse and beneath the majestic Aiguille de la Vanoise (9173ft).

    If conditions allow we may carry on to reach a point overlooking Lac Long or even as far as the Col de la Vanoise and refuge of the same name. The refuge, opened in 1902, also goes by the name of 'Félix Faure' the deceased French president who in 1897 traversed the full Vanoise Range on a mule to observe military training exercises.

    Our descent retraces the same route but there are plenty of opportunities to go 'off piste' to access the good snow on offer at this higher altitude. We take the two chairlifts to return to Pralognan and our last night at the Hotel Grand Bec.

    Ascent: 860m (2821ft) Descent: 860m (2821ft) Distance: 10km (6.2 miles) 5-6 hours

  • In preperation to transfer to Aussois in the Maurienne Valley and the second area of our Vanoise week we first check out from the Hotel Grand Bec and pack our minibus.

    Today's snowshoe hike starts from the charming hamlet of Tincave just a 30 minute drive away from Pralognan north of Bozel and west of Champaney-en-Vanoise. Situated at 1300m (4265ft) Tincave is made up of a cluster of houses and just 50 residents. Built with local materials from the spruce forest, homes are characterized by a house divided in three parts, one used for permanent living, a stable and a barn. As with many Bozel villages Tincave has a 'bachal' a basin built with rocks for a watering place for the area. Tincave is a hamlet known for its important coal mining history which ran the beginning of 20th century until they closed in 1961. There is a 'footpath of the miner' following the route between Tincave and Lachenal some relics of mines are housed in the Tincave chapel 'Saint Bernard of Menthon'.

    We park just above the chapel at 1425m (4675ft) below a cluster of chalets. Our objective today is Mont de la Guerre at 2293m (7522ft) a summit on a ridge which offers a superb panoramic view of the full Vanoise massif. After the first short section of trail in the woods our route will come out of the forest around 1900m and we will see the summit of Mont de la Guerre. At 1730m (5675ft) we reach the hamlet of Duy then continue to climb steadily and gradually. We are rewarded with views across to the ski village of Champaney-en-Vanoise which connects with the popular La Plagne resort. Continuing on up we reach the Panneau Croix de la Porcière 'the Witches Crossing' at 2075m (6725ft). After the 'Passage to the Porcière' we arrive under Mont de la Guerre. We summit via the southwest ridge where a cairn marks our arrival. We are rewarded with views of the Dou de Moutiers, Mont Jovet, Bécoin, Roc des Verdons, Bellecôte, Grande Motte , Grande Casse, Grand Bec, Glaciers de la Vanoise, Péclet-Polset, Aiguille du Fruit - to name just a few! The full massif de Vanoise.
     
    After soaking up the scenery we then have the option to head northwest towards to visit the Bozelet Chapel at 2275m (7464ft) seen from the summit. The pretty Notre Dame des Alpes chapel is reached very quickly and has two orientation tables installed near the chapel. In addition to the panorama at Mont de la Guerre, we can also see Mont Pourri and onto the Aiguilles d'Arves. We return to our vehicle first by retracing our steps then looping back on a different trail finding some 'off piste' along the way.
     
    There will be time after our walk to stop in Bozel for refreshments before driving to Aussois, Val Maurienne (taking about 1hour 40 minutes) where we will check into the Hotel du Soleil and second part of our snowshoe week.
     

    Ascent: 900m (2952ft) Descent: 900m (2952ft) Distance: 10km (6.2 miles) 5.5-6 hours

  • This morning we wake in Aussois in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Until the 1860's Aussois was integrated into the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia which are now part of modern day Italy. This family ski village of just 700 people has been developed on a plateau in the Maurienne Valley at 1500m (4921ft). A vast amount of the local area rises to over 3000m (11811ft) and includes summits of the south of the Vanoise massif such as Pointe de l'Echelle (3422m) or Roche Chevrière (3281m).

    Before the boom of the ski industry in the 1970's Aussois relied heavily on livestock farming. In 1871 the tunneling of the Frejus tunnel, the international train station in Modane and construction of electric dams in the 1950s above the village helped to open up the area and ensure a certain prosperity.

    Aussois it the gateway to the Val Maurienne and makes for the perfect base from which to explore the valley from. For more information on Aussois visit Val Maurienne.

    We start todays snowshoe walk from Bramans a 20 minute drive away. We start on a section of the 'Chemin de Petit Bonheur' a 50km (31m mile) pine and larch trail stretching from Modane to Bonneval sur Arc at the head of the valley. First on a wide cart track we then commence our climb on narrower trails through the Jeu forest and onto the Jeu alpage, summer meadows, and chalets where we can stop for a rest. To reach the summit we head towards a ridgeline which is  called the 'Crêtes du Général Sarret' and scattered with old military fortifications. Named after a revolutionary battle in 1744 where out of 2200 men 1500 lost their lives along the border from Mont Cenis

    Steeper and a little more exposed in places the ridgeline leads us to the Le Croix du Jeu at 2271m (7450ft). Enjoy magnificent views of the Bramans Mountains (Ambin, Étache, Bramanette), in all the municipalities of Modane to Termignon, opposite the Pointe de l'Échelle (3422m), the Dent Parrachée (3697m) and the Pointe de la Grande Casse (3855m). The perfect walk to help orientate you to new surroundings. We return to our vehicle via the same route.

    Ascent: 1037m (3402ft) Descent: 1037m (3402ft) Distance: 10km (6.2 miles) 6.5-7 hours

  • Today we plan to venture further up into the Haute Maurienne valley beyond the next main village of Termignon. Our destination is the Refuge du Plan du Lac yet another location with an exceptional Vanoise panorama of the Grand Casses and Vanoise glaciers. Termignon is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region but in 2017, it was merged into the new commune Val-Cenis.

    The Plan du Lac hut is a traditional stone built refuge sitting at 2385m (7824ft) on the Bellecombe Plateau offering perfect snowshoe terrain. In the summer its an overnight stop on the long distance walking trails of the 'GR5', from Amsterdam to Menton, and the 'Via Alpina' from Trieste in Italy to Nice.

    We commence this snowshoe walk from a cluster of chalets at Suffet first on easy wide trails follow the Sallanches River which then joins the Chira Stream. Some steep slopes then climb towards the Sainte-Marguerite chapel which leads to the Bellecombe plateau. A good trail leads us north to the refuge which offers the perfect setting for lunch. The refuge is open all winter for shelter and over night stays but only has a guardian to prepare meals in April.

    Ascent: 550m (1804ft) Descent: 550m (1804ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) 5.5 hours

  • Today’s snowshoe walk will explore the upper Maurienne valley where the road in winter ends between Bessans 1705m (5593ft) and the village of Bonneval-sur-Arc 1850m (6069ft). The village of Bessans offers reliable snow conditions from November until early April and over 80km of cross country skiing trails making it one of the flagship sites of Nordic skiing in Europe. Our snowshoe today will discover the mountain village life of the Ribon, Arc and Avérole valleys.

    Leaving Bonneval-sur-Arc we first passes the the Rocher du Chateau, an archaeological site dating from Neolithic times. It is particularly remarkable because of its cave paintings, including a group of eight deer made in red ocher. However, they are difficult to perceive with the naked eye! At a height of almost 100m (328ft) above the trail the carvings are on polished green serpentinite rock which was formed during the iceage.

    Our trail then takes us to the picturesque hamlet of L'Ecot tucked into the mountain side at 2000m (6561ft). The chalets of the Ecot are made entirely of stone and slate, perched overlooking the bottom of the valley. With it's 'end of the world feel' this is the perfect location to take time soaking up the mountain ambience and by gone years and contemplate living all year around at this altitude. There’s also a good chance of seeing ibex on the slopes above the village. As we continue on further into the "grand blanc" we reach the the foot of the Evettes and Carro glaciers along the torrent of the Arc and the entrance to the Duis 2145m (7053ft) and Reculaz valleys. On our return we plan to have a hot drink at the refuge in the hamlet of Villaron. We complete our walk along-side the river Arc to Bonneval where we will pick up our vehicle and transfer back towards Bessans.

    Ascent: 450m (1476ft) Descent: 450m (1476ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles) 4.5 hours

    An alternative route today is to explore the charm of the neighbouring Avérole valley. A beautiful snowshoe hike which commences at the hamlet of Goulaz at 1737m (5698ft). All on a well marked trails the route gives access in winter to one of the most beautiful valleys of the Vanoise marked out by the hamlets of Vincendières 1880m (6167ft) and Avérole 1990m (6528ft). Then a slightly steeper slope gains access to reach the Refuge d'Avérole at 2229m (7312ft). The route is framed by magnificent Bessanèse mountains and Pointe de Charbonnel.

    Ascent: 500m (1640ft) Descent: 500m (1640ft) Distance: 14km (8.6 miles) 5 hours

    We return to Aussois for our last night in the Vanoise.

  • Our final walk in the Vanoise is to explore the area around the 'Col du Petit Mont Cenis' which is close to the Italian border. We arrive via the town of Lanslebourg-Mont Cenis.

    The Vanoise National Park stretches from the Isère and Tarentaise Valleys in the north down to the Arc and Maurienne Valleys to the south. On the other side of the border in Italy, the park is twinned with the Gran Paradiso National Park (since 1927), making their combined area of 1250 km² the largest protected area in western Europe.

    We commence with a drive up the famous cycling col of Mont Cenis to reach 1974m (6476ft). Col du Mont Cenis has been a major route linking Italy and France for thousands of years and was also made famous by Carthagian General Hannibal. Hannibal and his army of 40,000 men and a number of elephants are said to have crossed the Alps here in 218BC to attack Rome, beginning the Second Punic war. At the summit plateau area there is a large lake. Being on the border the lake has changed hands many times! Originally a part of the Kingdom of Savoie, then a part of Italy and then from the 1860s it was the border between Italy and France. However, after the Second World War, the lake and plateau was taken by the French and now the border with Italy is a few kilometres down the road on other side of the col.

    Due the geography of the mountains the Maurienne valley offers a mountain weather of it's own. From heavy snow and wind coming from Italy and heavy humid westly wind and precipitation from the Vanoise National Park.

    Close to the Lac du Mont Cenis we reach the Chapel of St Barthelemy where we begin todays snowshoe walk. We have three route options from here enabling us to vary the length and distance walked over the day to suit weather, snow conditions and how we feel on the day.

    Option 1: Circular route to access the Petit Col Cenis at 2183m (7160ft), Refuge du Petit Mont Cenis, returning via the remains of the Pattacreuse Fort.

    Ascent: 200m (656ft) Descent: 200m (656ft) Distance: 7.5km (4.6 miles) 3h 30 - 4 hours

    Option 2: Summit the Pointe de Bellecombe 2775m (9104ft), north of the Col du Petit Mont Cenis, via the Col de Bellecombe.

    Ascent: 760m (2559ft) Descent: 760m (2559ft) Distance: 10.5km (7 miles) 5-6 hours

    Option 3: Summit le Montfroid 2822m (9258ft) and site of a large Second World War battle, north of the Col du Petit Mont Cenis, via the Col de Sollières.

    Ascent: 850m (2788ft) Descent: 850m (2788ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) 6 hours

    Each route offers fabulous panoramic views north towards the Vanoise massif and south into Italy. We return to Aussois for our final night at the Hotel du Soleil.

     

  • Today is the departure day and trip services end after breakfast.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

On all of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family run accommodation. 

We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us on every trip. Detailed below are examples of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable at the time of booking we will use alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

The trip fees are based on 3 nights based in Pralognan-la-Vanoise and 5 nights in Aussois with two people sharing a room in either a double or a twin room.

Upon early booking it is possible to book a single room for the week for a supplementary fee of £500.

Upgrades:

At the Hotel le Grand Bec the accommodation is based on rooms with a private shower. It's possible to upgrade to a larger room / small suite with a bathroom for an additional total cost for the 3 nights of £60 per person for a twin or a double room and £60 for a single room.

At the Hotel du Soleil the accommodation is based on standard ensuite rooms. It is possible to upgrade to a larger room twin or a double room for an additional total cost for the 5 nights of £30 per person for the 5 nights, and £50 for a single room.

Hotel Le Grand Bec, Pralognon-la-Vanoise

Hotel

Ideally situated in the heart of the Vanoise National Park, the 3* Hotel Le Grand Bec welcomes you in a chalet-style building where everything was designed with your comfort in mind. In winter it features a heated indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna (free use for guests).

Hotel Le Granc Bec features comfortable rooms and small suites. Our trip price is based on a standard twin or double room with a shower room but an upgrade to have a bathroom or small suite is available upon request. Each room is uniquely decorated and has a balcony offering a view of the mountain. They feature wooden furniture which creates a cosy atmosphere. The hotel offers a restaurant serving home-made produce and local and traditional specialities. Free Wi-Fi access, a heated boot room and free private parking is provided. The hotel pool and spa is included in the trip price and massages are available to book at an additional cost of 30min : 45 € / 1h : 70 € (2019 prices).

Hotel du Soleil, Aussois

Hotel

The Hotel du Soleil offers 3* accommodation in the heart of the old town of Aussois village in the Val Maurienne. Guests can relax in the sauna and in a Nordic bath set on the terrace with a panoramic view of the valley, open in summer and winter. A buffet breakfast is served every day and the restaurant is open in the evening serving traditional gourmet cuisine using only products that are in season.

The Hotel du Soleil has 21 ensuite rooms decorated in a chalet style featuring a flat-screen TV and free WiFi. Some rooms have a balcony with a view of the mountains. As wells as the panoramic solarium with outside nordic bath the hotel also has a relaxation room with sauna - hammam - spa baths. Guests can relax in the lounge and bar area to sample the local Savioe wines by the traditional open fire.

The Modane main train station is 5.6 miles away offering easy travel on the the departure day. Free outdoor parking is available on site.


  • Arrival Day

    There are various options for getting to and from the Vanoise. On your arrival day you will need to arrive to the village of Pralognan-la-Vanoise reached by the Tarentaise valley via the town of Moutiers. You can take the TGV train from the UK to Paris and then head south to Moutiers, 27km from Pralognan. From Moutiers regular scheduled buses shuttle guests between the train station and Pralognan-la-Vanoise. For timetables visit www.altibus.com

    Information on trains goto www.raileurope.co.uk.

    If arriving by plane the closest airport is Chambery, which is 1 hour by road, Geneva and Lyon International airports are 2 hours away. Regular scheduled transfers are available from all 3 airports. For transfer information visit www.altibus.com

    Please follow this link to help you with planning your arrival to Pralognan-la-Vanoise.

    Departure day

    This trip ends in Aussois in the Maurienne Valley. The closest main train station to Aussois is Mondane 7km (4.5 miles) away. There is a fast direct TGV train from/to Paris to Modane taking less than 4 hours.

    Mondane can be reached either by taxi or by bus from Aussois.

    For bus times visit Altibus - 6.50€ per person one way (2019 prices).

    TAXI MARIUS to Aussois
    Telephone : 0033 (0) 6 15 19 13 55 ou 00 33 (0) 4 79 83 33 20 - taximarius@wanadoo.fr

    If departing by plane the closest airport is Chambery, 1 hour by road, and 2 hours by road from the International airports of Lyon, Geneva, Annecy, Grenoble or Turin.

    Please follow this link to help you with planning your departure from Aussois.

  • It is a condition of booking that you have appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including emergency helicopter rescue, repatriation, medical costs, as well as trip cancellation/curtailment insurance in the event of you being unable to join/complete the trip. 

    Please read the relevant clauses which are numbered 10, 11, 11a, 12, and 22 and are set out in our Terms and Conditions.

    We also recommend your insurance covers you for baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    If you are booking on behalf of other people it is important that you ensure that insurance has been arranged by all others included in your Booking Form.

    You should bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. If you fail to provide proof of insurance we reserve the right to ask you to leave the trip. 

    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.

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have the appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and the accommodation you will be staying in. 

    Generally clothing for snowshoeing should be equivalent to that used for walking in the mountains in winter. For this trip all the necessary snowshoe equipment is provided free of charge. This includes snowshoes, walking poles, snow probe, snow shovel, and avalanche transceiver. The carrying of this safety equipment is compulsory and demonstrates ‘best practice’. 

    Your guide will arrive at the ‘Welcome Meeting’ with only enough snowshoe equipment for those who have booked it via their Booking Form. 

    Equipment

    • Snowshoes - supplied free of charge 
    • Poles - supplied free of charge
    • Avalanche Transceiver - supplied free of charge
    • Shovel - supplied free of charge 
    • Snow Probe - supplied free of charge 
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres, with waist and chest strap. Ideally it should have a system that allows you to attach snowshoes if it is necessary to carry them. See image below
    • Rucksack – waterproof liner/cover
    • Walking Boots - warm and waterproof. They should not be ‘low cut’ and must cover your ankles
    • Bags to waterproof items, such as documentation
    • Gaiters - useful on days with deep fresh snow

    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 - 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 - very useful in snowfall
    • 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

    • Tupperware box - if you wish to order lunches from your accommodation. They usually provide a salad (couscous, lentils etc) so you need small box, as well as cake, bread, cheese etc. 
    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Hair dryer if required 
    • Travel Kettle if required 
    • Swimwear for sauna, if one available
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • 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

    The image below gives examples of how snowshoes can be attached to your rucksack

  • 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.

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The 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 £500.

  • 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 hiking trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader and on our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader who it also an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    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.

  • For this trip where you are centre-based in two hotels and we will transfer this for you between the two locations. As you and your luggage will be moved by minibus with your guide part way through the week we ask that you keep the weight of your bag to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person to ensure that we only need one vehicle. Packing light is also a good idea as 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.

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

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

2021

2 more to guarantee Book

What's Included

  • 3 Nights half board accommodation in a 3* hotel; based on twin rooms in Pralognan-La-Vanoise
  • 5 Nights half board accommodation in a 3* hotel; based on twin rooms in Aussois
  • Access to hotel spa facilities
  • Professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Expenses of the International Mountain Leader
  • Snowshoe equipment; poles, snow shovel, avalanche probe, transceiver
  • In resort transfers and between Pralognan-la-Vanoise and Aussois
  • Tracks and Trails memento -a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Lunches
  • Flights
  • Transfers to resort
  • Cable car tickets that might be used to access the routes
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Insurance
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Intermediate

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1895
Holiday Type Snowshoeing
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2518m (8261ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Pralognan-la-Vanoise
View all Snowshoeing Holidays

Col de la Vanoise

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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