Tracks and Trails / Snowshoeing / Scheduled Departures / Traverse of the Chablais

Traverse of the Chablais

Snowshoeing in the Alps

Lake Geneva - we made it!

This is now a 'must do' winter journey over the mountains between the French village of Megevette in the valley of the Arve in the west, through to the shores of Lake Geneva in the east. The Chablais area is renowned for its marvellous snowshoeing country and many of the high points give views to the Mont Blanc range. Since we pioneered this route in 2009 it has become a 'classic' for snowshoe enthusiasts.

As we travel on our snowshoes from village to village we pass through remote valleys, under towering limestone cliffs and over high plateaus. Each day our luggage is taken by taxi to our next hotel - so no heavy loads to carry!

  • A true mountain journey
  • Explore hidden valleys
  • Visit ancient villages
  • Sample delightful local cuisine and culture
  • Airport transfer included
  • Only a lightweight day rucksack needed!


Trip Departure date End date Price Status
STC1 19 Sat 12 January 19 Sat 19 January 19 £1345 Places available | Make a Booking
STC2 19 Sat 26 January 19 Sat 2 February 19 £1345 Places available | Make a Booking
STC3 19 Sat 9 February 19 Sat 16 February 19 £1345 Places available | Make a Booking
STC4 19 Sat 23 February 19 Sat 2 March 19 £1345 Places available | Make a Booking


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 Megevette, near Saint Jeoire, in France

We meet in the hotel bar in the tiny village of Megevette, when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead. A group transfer from Geneva airport will be included in your trip cost, this will be at approx. 1730 hrs from Geneva airport to Megevette.

Day 2 Megevette to Hirmentaz

Today we begin our journey from west to east. We start by wandering through several hamlets where we can enjoy the local architecture of the old farm buildings. After a few km's we turn off into the forests and begin our climb to the Col de la Bray which sits at 1442m, just below the summit of the Pointe des Jottis. From here we enter the open plateau that is home to an 'alpage', the ancient summer homes of the cow herds. We then head north through the forest and work our way along a wooded ridgeline towards the Col de la Jambaz, and our overnight at Hirmentaz. Ascent approx. 1053m. Descent approx. 819m. Length: 12 km. Dur: 6.30 hrs.

Day 3 Bellevaux to Biot

This morning we have a short transfer to Malatraix where we begin our climb up the south face of the mountain to win the vast spaces of the Trè-le-Saix, 1486m. This is the only time on the trip that we have to rely on transport to get to our start point. The Malatraix area is popular with ski mountaineers and usually we have company as we climb. The views from the top are fabulous and if it is a clear day we can see all the way to Lake Geneva. We then traverse the plateau to head for the Col de la Balme 1445m, and finally to Col de Seytrouset 1564m. Today is truly a day of no less than three Cols, and it is a spectacular walk. Once we gain our third Col we then begin our descent to the Dranse de Morzine. There is a sting in the tail as we have a short steep climb to our overnight stop at the village of Biot! Ascent 870m. Descent 1000m. Length: 14 km. Dur: 7.5 hrs

Day 4 Biot to Abondance

We leave the ancient village of Biot and climb past the old chalets to gain a track through the forest. Working our way steadily upwards we gain the alpage of Thex where we often stop under the eaves of the farm buildings for a morning coffee and snack. After our coffee stop we make our way under the Pointe de Cercle until the Montagne de Drouzin 1620m. En route we often stop for lunch under the ramshackle timbers of an ancient shelter. A final short ascent and a short pass through the local ski area, and we are on our way through the forest and down to the famous village of Abondance. We gain the Abondance valley by the north face of the Montagne de Drouzin until we reach the Alpages de Druges. We spend the night in the lovely village of Abondance. Ascent 780m. Descent 700m. Length: 14 km. Dur: 7 hrs.

Day 5 Abondance to Vacheresse

This is one of our favourite days as we access the remote valley of Ubine. We begin by strolling past the famous 15th century cloister of Abondance with its ancient frescos. We then head follow the road for a short distance as we climb to the hamlet of Mont with its immense chalets in the Chablais style. Colourful bee hives line our route and are usually under a blanket of snow. After an interesting climb through the forest we reach the ridge of Mont Chauffe at Col de la Plagne 1546m. Then its off down into the stunning valley of Ubine which is uninhabited in winter. We then follow a cart track down to the village of Vacheresse where we spend the night. We are often accompanied on the descent by fellow snowshoers or ski mountaineers. It is always pleasant to compare notes with others in the mountains and chat about the highlights of the day. Ascent 780m. Descent 880m. Length: 16 km. Dur: 6.5 hrs.

Day 6 Vacheresse to Bernex

There are several ways to reach Mont Baron from Vacheresse. We will aim to choose the most unspoiled by heading up the Replain valley until we reach the foot of the summit slope. On our way we will pass many old farm buildings, and yet again we get to enjoy the architecture of the area, and witness the 'old life' of the mountain people. In the summer months these slopes are the home to large flocks of sheep, and also the local Abondance cows which produce the excellent cheese of the same name. Once we reach the foot of Mont Baron we will climb to the summit at 1556m and enjoy views of our route for the next day. Sometimes we can even see our hotel from the summit but it requires a keen eye. Finally we begin our descent to the village of Bernex for the night. Ascent 900m. Descent 800m. Length: 12 km. Dur: 6 hrs

Day 7 Bernex to Lake Geneva

Today we traverse Mont Benand 1284m with its summit offering great views of the Gavot plateau and Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). This is a beautiful traverse under the north face of the Memises where we make our way down to Thollon at 937m. At this altitude we may well have cast aside our snowshoes as we make our way down to Lac Leman itself for a spot of toe dipping in the waters! We then travel to the world famous spa town of Evian Les Bains where we spend our last night for easy transfer to Geneva airport the next morning. Ascent 350m. Descent 900m. Length: 10km. Dur: 6.5 hrs.

Distance each day courtesy of Philip Draper, our guest on the Traverse of the Chablais 2012, and his dedication to GPS :-)

Day 8

Today is departure day after completing a true traverse of the Chablais region. In Evian we normally stay within easy reach of the train station for departures to Geneva on the French railway. However, you can take the morning ferry across Lake Geneva, and then catch the Swiss train system direct to the airport. A wonderful way to end the journey!

The actual itinerary is at the discretion of your guide who will make daily decisions based on weather and snow pack conditions. Severe bad weather may force us to alter our route or to take public transport between villages.


Included: The price is based on shared twin room accommodation with half board in a 2** hotel or similar. It will include the professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader. It will include a daily transfer of your luggage to the next night’s accommodation. It includes the transfer to Evian at the end of your trip, and taxi between Lac du Vallon and Bellevaux. It includes all snowshoe equipment - each client is required to have snowshoes and poles, a snow shovel, avalanche probe and avalanche transceiver (a radio beacon allowing search and rescue). The carrying of this equipment is compulsory. It also includes a group transfer from Geneva airport to Megevette at approx 1730 hrs on your day of arrival. This time may change to suit the majority of the group.

Not included: Flights, return airport transfer, insurance, and your lunches are not included. A single room may be available, but would incur a supplement, details on request.

Minimum numbers

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


Accommodation is based on two people sharing a twin room. All rooms have ensuite facilities. The hotels are generally 2*star, characterful, cosy and family run. Two of our hotels have saunas which are a great way to ease any tired muscles. Single rooms are available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details.


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.


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 & Alternatives

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.

Getting there and back

For this trip we include a group transfer from Geneva airport to our start point at the small village of Megevette, which is north of the town of Saint Jeoire in France. The group transfer will be at approximately 1730 hrs, though may be earlier if the arrival times of the group members allow it. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements. Please make sure you allow enough time for your flight to make this departure time. If this is not possible we can give advice on how to get to Megevette.

The Alps are 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 for this trip, approx. 1 hour by road.

We finish in Evian and it is a fantastic end to the trip to catch the morning ferry across Lake Geneva and then the train to the Geneva airport. Timetables are available here. Please ensure that you have allowed enough time to travel to the airport for your return flight. Alternatively, the railway station is about 15 minutes walk from our hotel and you can take the train all the way.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Traverse of the Chablais 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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