you want to spend a full week of adventurous
snowshoeing in often remote areas of the Chamonix
region, then this is the course for you. During
the week you will explore many different regions,
often visiting Switzerland or Italy for a
day, as well as France.
trips differentiate from others, in that we
aim to introduce you to the real backcountry,
to escape the crowds. We teach you key safety
skills on the week, and to involve you in
all aspects of the route planning and choices
of where to explore each day.
aim is to show you some of the hidden secrets
of the Mont Blanc massif, and there is the
option of staying in a mountain hut for a
night if you wish. On this week there is the
opportunity to take in a few summits and reach
several mountain huts on snowshoes.
is now officially the fastest growing winter
sport, and our team of guides cannot wait
to show you why. Many clients get the bug
and come back year after year on this holiday,
but we ensure they don't repeat any routes
they have done before.
well as enjoying a great week of snowshoeing,
we aim to teach you the key safety skills
for route planning and winter Alpine journeys,
with a lot of weight put on avalanche prediction
and reaction, as well as the selection of
appropriate Alpine equipment.
worry if you have never snowshoed before,
as you will pick up the skills quickly. All
you need is to be fit for hill walking, to
have a sense of humour if you fall into a
soft snowdrift, and to love the outdoors.
We can teach you the rest, and you are guaranteed
a great holiday that you won't forget for
a very long time.
loan the equipment free of charge for the
week, so there are no hidden equipment hire
charges or necessary extras to budget for.
are listed in the column on the right, and
they show the live availability from our secure
online booking system. When you book online,
you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine
Information Booklet, course specific kit list
I have just arrived back in Dublin,
I would like to thank you for a fantastic week,
it definitely exceeded my expectations , and my
limitations , I did not realise I could walk so
much and so high in such remote areas (mainly due
to Kingsley's skill and style of motivation in such
a positive way). And to trek in three countries
in one week was amazing (France, Switzerland , Italy).
I was interested to see what it would be like to
go alone on trip, and met with a great and interesting
group of people the week passed very quickly. It
was excellent to learn about avalanches and such
a vast amount about general mountaineering Kingsley's
knowledge is endless. The organisation and communication
was excellent, even down to simple things and where
to find things, restaurants etc. Once again thank
you for a fantastic week. Niall,
Thanks you both once again for the superb snowshoeing
adventure! It was great and I thoroughly enjoyed
every minute of it. Kingsley's outstanding knowledge
and course material was very useful and every snowshoeing
day was different, with a varied trek and scenery.
content of the course and safety training
Snowshoeing is a very easy sport to pick up, and even
if you have never used snowshoes before, after a few minutes
training and practice you will keep up with experts. That
aspect is easy, but what many clients keep thanking us
for is our sharing of local information, and the highly
complex science of avalanche awareness and route planning.
For sure this snowshoeing week is a holiday, but many
people find the insights into the technical aspects fascinating,
and your highly experienced UIMLA qualified snowshoeing
guide will increase your knowledge in all of the aspects
outlined below. These gems of local knowledge really add
to the experience you have in the Alps.
Use of snowshoes and skills
for moving over different types of terrain
Use of avalanche transceivers,
search methods and management
Choice of route and the planning
and selection of appropriate terrain
Appreciation of the snowpack,
crystal metamorphasis and risk
Geomorphology / geography
/ ecology (flora, fauna and tracks)
Slab formation and layering,
and isolation block stability tests
Winter cold injuries / first
aid, and avalanche victim recovery methods
Selection of appropriate equipment
and emergency snowshoe repairs
Decision making processes
and travel techniques on snowpacks
Avalanche form / release patterns,
and islands of safety & route plans
Winter navigation skills,
and the use of different Alpine map types
Course Itinerary One
of the delights of snowshoeing is that, unlike skiing
or climbing, you can go out in all levels of visibility
and snowfall, and have a great day. Chamonix is blessed
with hundreds of snowshoeing areas close by, and so the
itinerary can be flexed on any day to take account of
better weather or snow conditions, to ensure that you
sample the best on offer. The itinerary below is to provide
you with a taster of what you could achieve, and isn't
fixed in stone. We get many clients who come back year
after year to repeat this course, but they need never
repeat a route they have done before. Your guide will
have a massive local knowledge and experience.
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in
followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings.
There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment
(see inclusions below for what you are provided
as part of the course price). Briefings are over
by 18:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany the group
to pre-dinner drinks. Some clients opt to travel
out a day or two early to get their hill legs back
and to explore the town. Night in Chamonix.
After meeting your guide in the morning, you are
transported to one of the snowshoe regions, such
as Vallorcine or Les Houches. The
snowshoeing is usually above the hamlets of Le Buet
or Le Prarion on fairly easy gradient terrain. A
popular route is to reach the hidden valley of Tre-les-Eaux,
or the summit of Le Prarion at 1969m, overlooking
the valley. The
focus of the day is to teach you to be confident
on snowshoes on a variety of terrains.
Night in Chamonix.
that you are happy on snowshoes, you undertake a
spectacular trek such as the Col du Berard or Refuges
de Loriaz, above the village of Vallorcine. This
follows the torrent gorge up through the woods,
before emerging above the treeline, before heading
up past the hut to the col or a peak, which is a
great place for a lunch stop.
views from these routes are spectacular, looking
across the whole of the Mont Blanc massif.
Night in Chamonix.
popular trek for the middle of the week is in the
Contamines valley to the west of Mont Blanc. Here
the goal of the day would be to ascend to the summit
of Mont Truc 1811m, and the spectacularly situated
Chalets du Truc.
If you still have energy, it is great to continue
to the Tête Armancette and to descend through
the forests. Another
option is to spend a day on the Plan d'Aiguille
learning more about avalanche awareness for snowshoeing.
Night in Chamonix.
you would like to spend a night in a mountain hut,
then the next two days are usually the best for
this two day mini-expedition. The alternative is
another day trek, with the night in Chamonix. You
can decide at the start of the week which itinerary
it would like to follow. Note the price of the hut
is not included in the course price. Either option
would involve a great day snowshoeing, in France,
or perhaps across the border above the Italian Val
a trek and descent from a mountain hut (such as
the Victor Emmanuel or Bonatti refuge), or a day
snowshoe trek from Chamonix. An ideal final trek
from Chamonix could be the Mont de l'Arpille 2085m
above Martigny and the Rhone valley.
It is not unusual for a snowshoe course to summit
peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland during the
then a celebratory meal, with the final night spent
then accommodation check out at 10:00, after which
you are free to depart for home.
If you feel you require any feedback, please ask
your guide on the Friday or the resort team.
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries.
Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant,
so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans.
If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered.
Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to
the types of route / activity that you will attempt.
full days UIMLA guiding, 1:8 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
1) UIMLA guide for five days, 2) Chamonix course hosts
for logistics & briefings, 3) Pre course information
booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 5)
Six nights B&B accommodation in Chamonix (inc. bedding
& towels), 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction
Booklet, 7) Road / rail transport in Chamonix valley,
8) Support and logistics back up while in resort, 9) Equipment
hire of snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, probe &
1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Personal laundry, telephone
calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in
mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 3) Cable cars and
mountain uplift, 4) Optional transport costs to travel
outside the Chamonix valley, 5) Any optional stays in
a mountain hut on a half board basis for you and the guide,
6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
The loan of all technical equipment for each client is
included* in the course price as required: snowshoes,
avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and shovel.
course includes all the key costs, so you can budget
accurately. Hire kit is included as detailed above,
which otherwise would cost over £100 to hire
for the week! Cable cars are not usually required
(though budget on 25€ in total), and we provide
the road or rail transport in the Chamonix valley.
What you see is what you get. There are NO extra
hidden costs. Breakfast is provided each morning
in Chamonix, and you are based in self-catering
half board stay including wine,
in addition to course price, 2
people sharing. Single
stay in a private self-catering studio in
central Chamonix, from £200
pw in addition to course price. Avalanche
1 day course extension, for a
day of Av
(based on 3 people).
snowshoeing advice page (click
here) outlines the key equipment you should
bring. Snowshoes are loaned FREE of charge anyway, as
are avalanche safety beacons, so all you need to arrive
with are walking clothes, waterproofs, a small rucksack
and well worn in walking boots (not trekking shoes).
full course equipment list,
with examples of kit, click
why choose us?
are true specialists in snowshoeing. See our blog,
by clicking on the logo (on the right).
flexibility to allow you to take full advantage
of the weather and conditions each day, so that
you maximise the amount of time spent skiiing each
prices are fixed in £ pounds sterling, to
protect you from euro currency fluctuations, so
that you can budget accurately.
have a team of over 30 IFMGA guides, and a resort
support team, who all want you to have the best
snowshoeing possible! For more details on the guiding
team and qualifications, please click
increasing number of mountain professionals are seeking
winter skills and snowshoeing Continual Professional Development
(CPD) courses, learning alongside real clients. Full and
aspirant BAIML members are entitled to a 10% discount
on the full course price. The training officer of BAIML
has previously agreed that those who attended these courses
were awarded 2 CPD points, the same as the official BAIML
key part of choosing a company is being able to come and
talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor
face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know
our clients value speaking to real people, getting open
and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are
British, and our office and outdoor store is based in
Windermere in the English Lake District.
in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee
to discuss your course in person with a trip
sellers from our Windermere Lake District mountain store -
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