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Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure

Grand St Bernard Monastery

Chalet de Chailloux, French Alps

This trip is aimed at those who are regular summer hill walkers and used to spending a full day in the mountains. You do not need previous snowshoe experience, but you do need a good level of fitness and be prepared to snowshoe off-piste!

The world famous Chamonix valley in the French Alps is a good base from which to explore the valleys and peaks in the Mont Blanc massif.

With Switzerland and Italy just 30 minutes by car we can experience three different cultures in as many days! Rather than specify in advance a prescribed schedule, each day your guide will decide on the best route based on an assessment of weather and snow conditions (an example itinerary is given further down, below).

  • Enjoy stunning views of the Mont Blanc range
  • Experience a night in the world famous Grand St Bernard Monastery
  • All equipment hire included in price
  • Make fresh tracks in virgin snow

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
MBS1 18 Sat 27 January 18 Sat 3 February 18 £1195 Places available | Make a Booking
MBS2 18 Sat 3 February 18 Sat 10 February 18 £1195 Places available | Make a Booking
MBS3 18 Sat 24 February 18 Sat 3 March 18 £1195 Places available | Make a Booking

Itinerary

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.

Day 1 Arrival in the Chamonix Valley

We meet you at your hotel/chalet the evening you arrive to brief you on the week and answer any questions. Unless otherwise stated please be at the chalet for 6pm.

Day 2 Introduction - Chalets de Chailloux

Today we fit our snowshoes and take time to look at technique. We also introduce you to using avalanche transceivers and other essential safety equipment when walking in the mountains in winter. We aim to spend the day enjoying a walk with views of the Mont Blanc massif from the Chalets de Chailloux, a fabulous vantage point that gives superb views of the Chamonix valley and glaciers. If we have time we plan to spend a little time in Chamonix itself before heading back to our accommodation. Ascent 570m.

Day 3 Mont de l'Arpille, Switzerland

Today we have a trip to Switzerland, and an ascent of one of the best viewpoints of the area. We head up initially through pine woods, watch out for squirrels and roe deer, and then into more open ground as we arrive at the alpage. We then head for the summit which offers incredible panoramas of Mont Blanc, the Dents du Midi, and the Rhône Valley. Ascent 770m.

Day 4 Loriaz, Vallorcine

Chalet Loriaz is above the hamlet of Vallorcine. The Vallorcine valley, which means ‘valley of the bears', used to easily be cut off during the winter months due to it's access being two mountain passes. Unfortunately because the locals used to pay their taxes in bear meat there are none left today! We leave the village to climb steadily until we reach the open mountainside of the alpage at Loriaz. If the conditions permit we can also ascend the higher point of the Charmoz. Ascent 700m.

Day 5 La Crête des Bénés

A truly beautiful ridge line which offers excellent views in all directions. Today we head down the valley towards the market town of Sallanches where we take a small mountain road climbing to the parking at Le Perret. From here we pick up the forest trail which zig zags up the hillside to the ancient farms below the Tete Noire at 1691m, a fine summit in itself. We then leave the trees to discover what have to be some of the finest views of the Mont Blanc range. On one side the valley which leads to Chamonix, with Mont Blanc in the distance, on the other the Aravis mountains, and ahead the shapely mountain of the Croisse Baulet at 2236m. Not to forget the jagged rocky spires and huge cliffs of the Rocher des Fiz! Ascent 680m.

Day 6 Grand St Bernard Monastery

Tonight we will stay at the world famous Grand St Bernard Monastery. For centuries pilgrims, travellers, traders and armies have climbed to this mountain pass which sits at 2469m. The monastery is very isolated in winter, and can only be accessed by snowshoes or on skis making it a very special experience. This area is rich in history and we follow in the footsteps of Hannibal, and Napoleon as we climb its snowy slopes. In more recent times the monastery has been famous for its iconic mountain rescue dogs. This is a relaxing day with a visit in the morning to the Grand St Bernard Museum in Martigny which is an ideal introduction to the Monastery and its history. The world famous St Bernard dogs are also to be seen as the kennels are in the grounds of the Musuem. We then hike to the Monastery itself, climbing to the high pass by mid-afternoon. Ascent 544m.

Day 7 Grand St Bernard Monastery

Today we make our way back down from our high pass and take time to swing right into the valley leading to the Italian frontier and the Col Ouest de Barasson at 2635m to enjoy views down into Italy. This is a popular snowshoe destination with a leisurely walk up the valley, before a final short section taking us to the pass. There are excellent views of the Mont Blanc range, and the nearby Pain de Sucre. A wonderful place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Afterwards we descend to our base in Argentiere. Ascent 700m.

Day 8 Departure

Today is departure day.

Accommodation

Our accommodation for this week is in The Yeti Lodge in the lovely alpine village of Argentière. The chalet has a sauna, hot tub and wonderful views of Mont Blanc. The bedrooms are twins, and occasionally single travellers may be asked to share a triple room. 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 a real fireplace, satellite TV & DVD and free WIFI. There is a secure underground car park, ski lockers and overnight ski boot warmers in the basement. All meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and three-course dinner) are included. One of the evenings you will eat out in the village of Argentière - this is included in the price. We will spend one night at the wonderful Grand St Bernard Monastery. The rooms are dormitory which is traditional in this type of mountain refuge.

Weather

In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. In winter temperatures can range from +10 degrees celsius, to -15 degrees celsius. Even in winter it is often sunny with lovely blue sky days, but it can snow heavily and you would be prepared for any eventuality.

Price

Included: Full-board accommodation, breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner, in a 2* hotel or chalet, based on twin or triple rooms, plus one night in dormitory accommodation at the world famous Grand St Bernard Monastery. One night eating out in Argentière. It includes the services of a qualified International Mountain Leader. The price also includes all your equipment hire; you require snowshoes, poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver.

Not included: Insurance, drinks, flights and transfers.

Minimum numbers

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

Insurance

Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Further Information

We can supply all specific snowshoe equipment required. Upon booking a full kit list will be provided. Warm and waterproof walking boots are essential. They must be boots with ankle support and not low cut walking shoes or trainers.

Travel

Chamonix is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1 hour 15 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us


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