8 day snowshoeing holiday including 6 days walking in stunning mountain scenery in the Mt Blanc region, Western Alps, France, Europe.
Snowshoeing means walking / trekking in winter conditions, made easier by wearing snowshoes. Since all tours are led by an experienced British International Mountain Leader (IML), your safety is paramount. As a result, you can enjoy an active, wilderness mountain experience in a pristine environment with almost no one else around. You don’t need to have tried snowshoeing before. We provide all snowshoeing equipment and tuition. Therefore this is ideal for any non-skier or summer hill-walker who appreciates magnificent scenery, great views and fresh air, away from the crowds.
The week is based in and around Chamonix, the mountain capital of Europe, in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak. Catered accommodation is provided in a friendly chalet or small hotel.
Arrival – your snowshoeing holiday starts with a meeting at our accommodation in Chamonix on Sunday evening. After settling in, there will be an introductory briefing over an aperitif with your leader (normally British International Mountain Leader Phil Jarratt). This will include an introduction to the snowshoeing equipment, and talking through the plan for the week. Then we’ll enjoy a relaxed dinner, in order to get to know one another socially.
Snowshoeing in and around the Chamonix valley. This will take the form of a series of day walks, carefully chosen by the leader, in order to fit with the aspirations of the group, and make the best of the conditions.
The first walking day of the tour is likely to be fairly short in terms of walking, so we have plenty of time for instruction and familiarisation with the equipment and techniques for safe and comfortable off-piste snowshoe walking. As the group grows in confidence, you may progress through the week onto longer day walks. As a result, we may climb some seldom-visited peaks and cols for unparalleled views of Mont Blanc and its neighbours.
Over the course of the week’s holiday, we may well venture into neighbouring Switzerland and/or Italy in order to find the best snow and weather conditions, to experience ever-changing panoramic views of the mountains, and to enjoy the different cultural identities of the Mont Blanc region.
Grade C [what do grades mean?] tours include a 2 day snowshoe expedition, which includes an overnight stay high in the mountains in an Alpine hut. The preferred choice is the wonderful Grand St Bernard Monastery, which presides over the historic pass and pilgrimage route of the same name. For many, this is the highlight of the tour, because it is a unique Alpine adventure with great cultural interest. For this reason, BBC’s Ski Sunday programme visited back in 2012 (there is a short film of their adventure on YouTube). Accommodation at the refuge is included in the price of the Grade C tours. This excursion is subject to good conditions, so an alternative destination and refuge may be chosen.
Departure – the tour ends with breakfast on the Sunday morning.