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Price
€799.- per person
Duration
4 days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
4-8
2 Reviews
5 out of 5

SPEND FOUR ADVENTUROUS DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS Learn some real Winter Skills

Crunch through the snow to remote mountain huts and learn some real winter skills. On this 4-day snowshoeing winter adventure you'll hike through the French (Chamonix-Valley) and Swiss (Vallée du Trient) Alps and learn useful winter skills such as avalanche safety, survival strategies and have a good physical exercise during the snowshoe hikes. For those who think now, that sounds a bit too much like bear Grylls, don't worry of course we'll enjoy as well fantastic Swiss specialties under the stars and a few glasses of homemade mulled wine or homemade winter tea won't be missing. This hassle free and unique winter adventure only requires two days off work and is the perfect escape from the busy work life for a long weekend in the snow!
  • Information
  • Itinerary
  • Location
  • Additional Info
  • FAQ
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  • Reviews

What's included

Destination
Chamonix Valley , Vallée du Trient Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Montreux Jazz Café, Arrivals Hall, Geneva Airport, Switzerland
Return Location
Montreux Jazz Café, Arrivals Hall, Geneva Airport, Switzerland
Tour Start Date & Time
04/02/2021 11:30 View other Times
  • 18/02/2021 11:30
  • 18/03/2021 11:30
  • 16/12/2021 00:00
  • 20/01/2022 11:30
  • 10/02/2022 11:30
  • 17/02/2022 11:30
  • 10/03/2022 11:30
Price includes
  • A rich and healthy lunch pack on each stage
  • Accommodation (shared bedroom / dormitory)
  • All planned transportation according to the itinerary
  • Equipment rental
  • Full qualified international mountain leader (IML)
  • Half-Board (breakfast, 3 course dinner)
Price does not include
  • Pre- / post-trek accommodation
  • Private expenses (souvenirs, drinks, etc.)
Complementaries
Luggage Storage: 1 bag per person (max. 15kg)
Hikers in the winter mountains

Learn useful winter skills with amazing people

You’re an outdoor enthusiast and want to try something new? To explore the Alps in the winter is on your bucket list? You want to learn some interesting and fun winter skills? Then look no further we have the perfect long weekend escape in the Alps for you!

Join us on and a group of like-minded adventurers on a weekend in the French & Swiss Alps and enjoy a unique experience like never before. Make fresh tracks in the snow, learn some really interesting winter skills, stay overnight in a real mountain hut, enjoy a fantastic winter scenery, get thrilled on a speedy sledding descent and enjoy a typical Swiss cheese fondue and some mulled wine around an open fire in the middle of the forest.

Portrait of young man preparing to walk on snowshoes over winter background.
https://i0.wp.com/happytracks.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Lonely-Snowshoeing-Descent-scaled.jpg?resize=640%2C640&ssl=1

The Tour

The mountain village of Trient is perhaps best known for its huge glacier, the unspoiled nature and the pink church in the middle of the village. Far away from the busy and crowded ski slopes from Chamonix, this hidden gem is the perfect location for a weekend in the snow with many magical moments.

On the first day you’ll enjoy an introduction into snowshoeing and explore the nice snowy mountains. You’ll hike up to a remote mountain hut where you’ll spend your first cozy night in the wilderness. The second day is dedicated to skills training. Learn how to use avalanche safety gear and study the snow. After a interesting day out you’ll have some time to warm up before you get ready for the second part of the day the sledding and the following outdoor dinner. The forest dinner is a romantic, cozy environment; hidden away in the forest beneath the beauty of one of the area’s glaciers.

On the next day you’ll pack your stuff and start off to another overnight adventure in the mountains. The winter mountain hut that provides your accommodation on your second night of trip is set in what feels like a winter-wonderland, beneath clear skies and the most amazing stars in the middle of nature. The hut is unattended so you and the team will have to make fire, melt snow and get everything ready for a cosy evening and a relaxing night.

Old wooden house in the winter mountain village

What to expect

The Snowshoeing and Winter Skills tour is a short weekend escape packed with highlights:

  • Four days of snowshoeing in the Swiss Alps
  • Learn winter skills such as avalanche safety, winter survival and much more
  • A thrilling descent on a 2km sledding track
  • A winter forest dinner with mulled wine, a real Swiss cheese fondue and much more
  • Stay in a remote self-sufficient winter hut
  • Meet other interesting and like-minded people
  • Challenge yourself and enjoy some good workout in the snow
  • YOUR ITINERARY
YOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1

A proper start in the snow

Meet & Greet Geneva Airport, Snowshoeing to the Loriaz hut

You will be picked up from Geneva International Airport (arrivals no later than 09:30h, departure from the airport at 11:00h) and driven to the Trient Valley near Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. In the small village of Vallorcine (just next to Chamonix) you’ll start your snowshoeing adventure. Before you start, you’ll have time to get prepared and your guide will introduce you to the equipment (snowshoes + poles).

The first tour brings you up to the Loriaz hut, a high alpine farm in the summer with a cozy and authentic mountain hut in the winter. The magnificent views over the entire Mont Blanc Chain won’t be missing. The ascent is steep and leads through a nice forest before you reach wide open and more mellow powder fields. The huts are well covered by the snow, so you’ll only see them a couple of meters before you arrive.


At the hut you’ll be welcomed by a friendly guardian and introduced to the hut life. Showers and electricity are not available, but a warm dormitory and a cozy dining room are there for a perfect first night in the wilderness. The hearty food and a well-deserved drink after the first day out wont’ be missing.

DAY 2

Learn some winter skills

Skills day, hike on the Loriaz hills and learn some winter skills

After the breakfast, you’ll get ready for another great day on snowshoes. You’ll leave the hut and tackle a nice loop over to the Tête de la Chevrette, a nice viewpoint with great views over the entire Mont Blanc chain and especially the mighty Aiguille Vert and the Dru.

The second half of the day is dedicated to skill training. Your guide will introduce you to the technical gear you need on a snowshoeing / winter adventure such as avalanche shovel, probe and of course the transceiver. After a short theoretical introduction about the snow and the avalanches you’ll learn in a practical way how to use the safety gear. Once you are confident with the usage of the new tools, you’ll end the session with a fun challenge where the best team can win a small treat. A second very important part of the safety on a winter adventure is the emergency management and first aid. Your guide will give you a brief summary about the most important first aid techniques and then show you some specific rescue methods in the snow such as an improvised rescue sledge, snow hole and much more. Once you get back to the car you take a short transfer to your accommodation for the night where you’ll have time to warm up and to take a shower.

In the evening the skills training continues with an outdoor dinner in the forest where you will chop wood and make a fire in wintry terrain. For the rest of the evening it is time to relax and you’ll enjoy another traditional swiss meal in a unique way. Depending on weather conditions you’ll enjoy a traditional swiss cheese fondue, mulled wine and sausages around an open fire and in an igloo dome. Dining under the stars in the middle of the forest, what a great end of an adventurous day.

 

DAY 3

Into the wild

Snowshoe hike, overnight stay in winter hut

In the morning you’ll get picked up and transferred to Gryon, the start point of the hut to hut hike. At the trail head the guide will split up the provisions amongst the group so that the load can be equally shared between the team members. The hike starts easy and is gradually ascending up to Solalex, a nice mountain hut where you can stop for a drink to warm up. After passing Solalex you’ll enter into the remote and lonely Anzeinde valley. At the same time, you’ll be walking through a nature reserve so the chances to spot Chamois and other wild animals are good! Your final location is the Cabane du Barraud, a remote non-guarded hut where you’ll spend the night.

After reaching the hut there are many tasks to do so that you can enjoy a nice and cosy evening. The guide will assign tasks such as chopping wood, making fire, melt snow, help to prepare dinner and much more. Of course, there will be enough time to chill out and to have a drink together and go through the day. If someone is not tired yet, a small extra loop behind the hut can always built in to get some nice pictures of the evening light.

DAY 4

Magic morning in the snow

Final descent through powder fields, transfer to Geneva

After a cozy night in the hut you’ll get ready for the last day of snowshoeing. A nice hike will bring you to the Pas de Cheville a nice mountain pass with magnificent views on the Les Diablerets range and if the weather conditions are good, you’ll even see the famous Matterhorn far in the distance. On a different path you’ll get back to Solalex and from there over the same path as before back to the car park, where your snowshoeing adventure takes an end.

After packing up you’ll get transferred to the airport by 15:00h so that you are ready in time for any flight departing after 16:30h or later for your journey back home.

More about Chamonix Valley

The Haute Savoie is a department in the Rhône Alps, which is located in the south east of France. The Haute Savoie is border to both countries - Italy and Switzerland. The capitol of the department is Annecy, a town with a beautiful lake and a historical old-town. It is also nicknamed “The Venice of the Alps”. The breathtaking mountains in the entire region and especially in the Mont Blanc range, attract thousands of tourists every year. Many ambitious alpinists challenge their selves by climbing the roof of Europe - the famous Mont Blanc with an altitude of 4810 meters above sea level. The Mont Blanc Valley Chamonix is known as Europes outdoor capitol. Each year, it attracts thousands of extreme mountaineers and skiers from all over the world. Via the Aiguille Midi cable car, one can access the world’s most famous off-piste run, the Vallée Blanche. The run starts at 3842 meters above sea level and ends down in the center of Chamonix. The Mer de Glace is the biggest glacier in France and one of the biggest in Europe. You can visit a real ice cave which is underneath the glacier.Chamonix is also the town of the first winter Olympics ever held in 1924. In 1741, the two young English aristocrats, William Windham and Richard Pocock, visited the Mer de Glace above Chamonix. They had no idea that the recital of their visit to this small mountain village and its glaciers had such an impact on the whole of Europe. The first hotel opened in 1770 and marked the early development of the hotel trade and the first mountaineering exploits. The Mont Blanc was first climbed in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and the doctor Michel Paccard. The ascent had a great impact on Chamonix to become a popular mountaineering destination. In 1821, the Compagnie des Guides was created and tourism increased immensely. Only six years later there were already 39 hotels in Chamonix. Chamonix is surrounded by impressive peaks. The Aiguille Rouges on the north-west side and the MontBlanc massif with the famous Aiguille du Midi on the southeast side. Check our article about Chamonix for more information!

More about Vallée du Trient

The canton of Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. It is the canton of the giant mountains. There are 41 peaks above 4000 meter located in the Valais whilst there are only 82 in the entire Alps. The canton of Valais is widely known for the Matterhorn and resort towns such as Crans-Montana, Saas Fee, Verbier and Zermatt. It is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag). The canton is simultaneously one of the driest regions of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley and among the wettest, having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in Switzerland. The Rhône valley is famous for its numerous vineyards and apricot trees. Many of the towns, down in the valley, such as Martigny, Visp or Leuk, where once settled by the Romans.

Trient

Trient is located on the foot of an impressive glacier. In the 19th century huge ice blocks where transported by train and soled expensive in the big cities such as Paris. One of the steepest cog rail trains (87%) leads up to the Emosson dam. The water is used to produce electricity for the Swiss railway. Trient has a bright pink church and is also home for Raphael and Anja from Happy Tracks.

Vallée du Trient

The Trient Valley, a source of well-being in the heart of the Espace Mont-Blanc welcomes you for an authentic and unforgettable experience with family or friends. Unspoilt nature, unique attractions, exceptional panoramic views, villages steeped in history and a warm-hearted population are the major assets of a region ideally located close to Martigny (Switzerland), Chamonix (France) and Aosta (Italy). Composed of the villages of Vernayaz, Salvan-Les Marécottes, Finhaut-Emosson, Trient-Col de la Forclaz and Vallorcine, it is entirely connected by the spectacular Mont Blanc Express railway.

More about this tour

Luggage Transfer
On the Snowshoeing and Winter Skills tour in the French & Swiss Alps tour we do not offer luggage transportation, for the simple reason that you'll be staying remotely in places which cannot be reached by car. Of course we offer a free luggage storage for excess luggage which you don't need during the trek. You'll need to pack your excess luggage in a duffle bag, to prevent any damage or loss to your belongings. We do not have a size restriction of the bags but the weight is limited to 15kg per bag. Please note that loose single items or open bags (e.g. shopper bags) cannot be transported. Furthermore short-life food products (e.g. cheese, fresh meat etc.) are not allowed in your excess luggage. Please also keep in mind that no temperature sensitive items should be stored in the luggage.

A general note about the accommodation
On a winter adventure, you will experience the mountain lifestyle and sleep in authentic places. You will be staying in one B&B / hikers accommodation (dormitory / shared bedroom) and one night in a winter mountain hut (dormitory / shared bedroom). The accommodation offers a charming and friendly atmosphere in a mountainous atmosphere. The B&B / hikers accommodation offers many services such as a hot shower and running water. You’ll stay in bunk beds or similar with a pillow and blankets (a thin and light sleeping bag liner is advisable for hygienic reasons). In the winter mountain hut there are no showers available but a sink with water to do a quick body wash.

Private Accommodation
Due to the nature of this trip, private accommodation is not available.

Food
During the trekking, you will have the chance to taste the great variety of local specialities. The accommodations offer always half-board with your stay which includes a breakfast and a three-course dinner. The breakfast contains always coffee / tea, bread, butter and jam. Depending on the location of the accommodation there is also orange-juice, cereals, yoghurt, fruits, cheese and meat available for breakfast.  The three-course dinner in the evening is hearty and the plates are quite big. A typical menu could be a soup for the starter, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta) and a dessert which can be for example vanilla pudding, crème brulée or fruit salad. For the dinner only tap water is included, soft drinks such as wine or beer are on your own charge.

During the day we provide a rich, healthy and daily fresh prepared lunch-pack for you. Our lunch packs consist usually one big unit such as a sandwich, a wrap, a salad and of course a selection of fresh fruits, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, juice, crackers, cakes etc. If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) please let us know as soon as possible. It is no problem to arrange the meals and lunch packs according to your preference when we know this in advance.

Water
To do a snowshoeing tour is a great challenge and a good physical workout. During the winter it can be quite cold in the Alps, but you'll still need to drink a good amount of water, so it is important to carry enough water. We strongly recommend to take between two and three liters of water on such an adventure. We recommend taking at least two one-liter bottles (plastic or aluminium) or a thermos flask if you would like to bring some warm tea. The tap water is usually drinkable, but there are limited resources on the trails to fill up your bottle. Your guide will give you an advice for each day.

Weather
During the winter in the Alps (November – April) we experience usually fair but quite cold weather. It is often sunny and the temperatures can reach up to 5° Celsius during the day, although it is a dry cold. The weather in the mountains can be sometimes quite unpredictable and meteorological situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to be always prepared for such a change. Another fact is that you will be hiking in different altitude levels, so there will be a significant change between the valley ground and the high mountain passes. On a snowy / windy day temperatures can drop quite low and it is necessary to have a good wind- and rainproof jacket and a beanie and a pair of gloves. If you stick to our equipment list, you will be ready for any weather situation. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about this topic.

Trail / Conditions
From the moment you start the trekking we highly recommend you to have a valid travel, medical & mountain evacuation insurance, which is a very important factor in case of an accident. You will need full travel & holiday insurance suitable for a trekking holiday. This will need to be organized by you before the trek starts. It is essential that you have the correct insurance in case of a medical emergency on the mountain, as rescue can be costly. In Switzerland you will always be asked to pay and this could be several thousand Swiss francs, especially if a helicopter rescue is necessary. The cost of hospitalization and subsequent care is normally the most expensive part of any accident if you do not have the correct cover and are hospitalized without insurance. The cost could easily reach an immense level. It is your responsibility to take out the correct level of insurance and we accept no responsibility for any costs that occur as a result of inadequate insurance. If you have any questions about this topic please do not hesitate to contact us.

Currency
Along the Snowshoeing & Winter Skills tour you will travel through France and Switzerland. It is always worth to have some Swiss Francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR) in cash with you, if you would like to buy some drinks and souvenirs along the way. At the airport in Geneva there are also ATM cash machines. None of the places accept credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express).

Trip Data

Day Distance Ascent Descent
Day 1 3.96 km 720 m 47 m
Day 2 7.20 km 120 m 851 m
Day 3 9.75 km 915 m 250 m
Day 4 12.46 km 255 m 938 m

 

Fitness

Do I need previous experience?

This weekend adventure is suitable for fit and motivated hikers who exercise on a regular basis. Previous snowshoeing experience is not required. You should be able to hike up to 1000m of ascent and 10km distance per day in deep snow with snowshoes in mountainous terrain. Count in that you will hike with your backpack (incl. full kit for the tour).

Fitness

How fit do I need to be for this tour?

You must be physically fit and in good shape. Regular exercise is not foreign to you and you have been training regularly. You should be able to hike at least 10km and climb up to 1000m per day.

Fitness

How can I get prepared?

To get prepared for a hiking adventure like the Hut to Hut Snowshoeing tour any endurance training is suitable. Exercises like running, walking, cycling etc. are good. It is also important to get used to your hiking boots and to your backpack (with weight!). Try to break them in and to get a comfortable feeling. Even a round in the park every now and then helps to find out if your boots or pack are comfortable.

Gear

What do I need to bring?

You can download our packing list here. If you strictly follow the packing list, you’ll be prepared for every situation and your backpack won’t get too heavy. You should aim for no more than 10kg on your back, otherwise it will get tough! We have also created a blog post, to explain a few tips & tricks.

Gear

Do I really need hiking boots?

Yes, you will need to bring pair of hiking boots (GoreTex, Leather or similar) which cover your ankles and are waterproof. The Hut to Hut Snowshoeing tour is an winter tour and you’ll be hiking in deep and cold snow. Combined with a good pair of thick socks (e.g. ski socks) you are perfectly prepared to walk sure footed, warm and injury free. Sneakers, approaching or trail running shoes are not suitable!

Food

Whats the food like?

The food on the Hut to Hut Snowshoeing offers a great variety. Meals are hearty and usually consist big portions. You’ll be able to taste the different specialties from Switzerland. Mountain food contains often dairy and wheat products as well as meat.

Food

Can my dietary requirements be catered for?

Yes! If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) or if you follow a special diet please let us know as soon as possible. It is no problem to arrange the meals and lunch packs according to your requirements when we know this in advance, however we do not have any influence on what options will be served by the accommodations as it is usually a set menu.

Food

What beverages are included?

Tap water is always available and free of charge. The tap water is usually drinkable if not elsewhere mentioned or announced by your guide. Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are not included and on your own charge.

Tech

Can I use my mobile phone?

The mobile phone coverage is very weak on the Hut to Hut Snowshoeing tour. Most of the days you won’t have mobile phone signal during the day, however in a few locations close to villages you’ll have fairly good signal. In the villages where you’ll stay overnight the network coverage is good. As you will be traveling mostly through Switzerland it might be worth to check with your provider what costs for roaming will apply, as it could be quite costly to use mobile data outside your country.

Tech

Is WiFi available?

Free WiFi is available in all the villages but not in the mountain huts. It might not be the fastest or most stable connection but enough to send some photos to your people back home, to send some emails and check the news.

Tech

Can I charge my electronical devices?

Only on the first night there are electricity (in a very few places only USB outlets) outlets available to charge your electric devices. Please bear in mind to bring a suitable adapter for your plugs. You a CH plug for Switzerland. The standard bi-pol plugs which are often used for smartphone chargers often work in Switzerland.

Misc

What happens if I can’t complete a stage / the tour?

If you are feeling unwell / unable to complete a stage of your tour, you will have to rely on public or private transportation to get to the next stage. On some stages it is quite easy to “skip the day”, on others it can be quite a mission. Your guide and the Happy Tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution. Please bear in mind that any extra cost which will occur are on your own charge.

In the case you cannot finish the trek, your guide and the Happy tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution, to get you back to the start respectively end point of the hike. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a pro-rata refund for not used services such as guiding, accommodation etc. of the remaining days.

Misc

I have more questions!

If you have any other questions or require more specific information on a certain topic, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or simply give us a call!

User Reviews & Comments

  • Mark
    5 out of 5

    Amazing Weekend. The instructors were really knowledgable and were able to transmit the information in a fun and interesting way. It was never boring as it was much more built in to the daily walking itinerary so that it never felt boring. Learnt a lot, will definitely come back!

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     5 out of 5

    25/11/2020

    Reply

  • Jenny
    5 out of 5

    Great guide, great program, amazing food. The overnight locations were super cosy and much nicer than I've expected. The avalanche training was great and I know now so much more about the snow!

    Guide
     5 out of 5
    Facilities
     5 out of 5
    Price / Performance
     5 out of 5

    11/02/2020

    Reply

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Snowshoeing and Winter Skills in the Alps

Price
€799.- per person
Duration
4 days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
4-8

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