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Italy Val d'Aosta snowshoeing 2017
Explore the best Italian snowshoe summits and mountain huts
Course overview

If you want to spend a full week snowshoeing in the northern part of the Italian Val d'Aosta area of the Alps, then this is the course for you. The week is spent on snowshoe day treks, with five days guiding and four nights on a half board basis in comfortable lodges.
Snowshoeing 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.
The week shows you the classic snowshoe hikes in the Val d'Aosta, and some of the hidden gems. A key feature is that during the week you spend four nights in lodges in Italy. On this week there is the opportunity to take in quite a few summits on snowshoes.
As 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.
This course really appeals to those who want to explore different regions of northern Italy, and to stay on a half board basis in the regions after each day of snowshoeing. It enables you to really immerse yourself in the area, and to get five days of the best snowshoeing routes that Italy has to offer!
Don't 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.
Dates: these 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 and invoice.
Approaching the snowshoe summit of Punta della Crocce
Technical 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 Weather & climatic influences, and Alpine weather prediction & patterns
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

Brief 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 within a short drive, 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.
Sunday
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. 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. Extra nights accommodation are often possible from £30pp. Night in Chamonix.
Monday
After meeting your guide in the morning, you are driven to one of the snowshoe regions, such as to Planpincieux, just through the Mont Blanc tunnel on the south side of Mont Blanc. A day would typically be to snowshoe up the Italian Val Ferret to La Vachey, and from there to ascend to the luxurious Bonatti mountain hut. The day is spent snowshoeing through pretty forests, before emerging above the treeline
. Half board and night in a mountain hut or lodge.
Tuesday
Today the objective is either the Pas Entre Deux Sauts, or the Col Malatra. These are accessed from the Bonatti hut, and take several hours to reach, in stunning scenery. Either of these high passes will really improve your acclimatisation. You descend the upper Malatra valley to return to the Bonatti hut for the night. During the first couple of days, you will have been trained in how to use avalanche safety beacons. Half board and night in a mountain hut or lodge.
Wednesday
Today you snowshoe down through the powder snow into the Val Ferret, and then onwards to Planpincieux. From there you make the short transfer to the Val Grisanche / Rhemes / Cogne, before snowshoeing to either the Bezzi / Benevolo / Sella mountain huts. These are situated in beautiful valleys, and offer a wide range of snowshoe routes on the hut approach, as well as for the next day. Half board and night in a Italian mountain hut or lodge.
Thursday
Above the mountain huts there great options to snowshoe, such as to the frozen green lake, or one of the high cols. These areas are also popular with people ski touring, but the delight is that there are no cable cars around at all, so everyone has accessed these remote regions on foot / ski. After the snowshoe trek, you return to the hut for a second night, and there's never a shortage of food in Italian huts! Half board and night in a mountain hut or lodge.
Friday
Today is the final snowshoe trek, where most groups opt to take in a summit such as the Punta della Crocce, which offers unforgettable views across to the enormous south face of Mont Blanc, and which has a ruined fortress on its summit. If it's a sunny day, there's no better place for lunch in the world. Once you have completed your trek for the day, you then return to Chamonix after the snowshoeing for a celebratory meal, with the final night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday
Breakfast, then course debrief, with feedback and questions and answers session. Depart for home. If you have an early Saturday flight, you can have the debrief on Friday after guiding.

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.

Course Prices
Standard course
5 full days UIMLA guiding, 1:6 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
£999
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Inclusions: 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) Two nights B&B accommodation in Chamonix (inc. bedding & towels) and four nights half board accommodation in Italy, 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Road transport in Chamonix valley, 8) Logistics support and briefings, 9) Equipment hire of snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, probe & shovel.
Exclusions: 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, though not normally required, 4) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.

Notes: The loan of all technical equipment for each client is included in the course price as required: snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and shovel.

Money saving pricing
This course includes all the key costs, so you can budget accurately. Hire kit is included as detailed above, which if not included would cost over £100 extra for the week! We offer full board upgrade, to give clients a choice of eating with the group or doing their own thing. What you see is what you get. There are NO extra hidden costs.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Italy Snowshoe Week
  • No Dates Available
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but if there are 4 people
all booking together, it can be
operated on any date you wish
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Price: £999 Book online

Alternative courses
Best of Mt Blanc Snowshoe
Winter Mount Toubkal trek
Kilimanjaro trek (& Mt Meru)
Italian Snowshoe Weekend

As featured in the Snowshoe Mag...
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Client feedback


I've snowshoed in many other areas of the Alps, but this was by far the best in terms of escaping the crowds

Ciara F , Italian Snowshoe

Stunning landscapes and vistas at every corner, pass and summit. The choice of huts was perfect, and we enjoyed our week with you a lot

Siobhan R , Italian Snowshoe

You don't make enough of how good the food (and wine) is in the huts each evening! A top week, which I really loved

Russell G , Italian Snowshoe

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Location data for this trip
The trips all start in Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Free resources


FREE Podcast
Starting snowshoeing
This podcast lifts the lid on the fastest growing winter sport of snowshoeing, what equipment is required, what to wear, and what avalanche safety kit to use...
Download podcast (2.75 MB)
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UIMLA snowshoe guides
Snowshoeing is a fun and exciting sport, but we never neglect your safety for a second, and you are led by highly qualified mountain professionals.
All our snowshoeing holidays are guided by UIMLA International Mountain Leaders, and you can read more about them by clicking on the logo to the left. We never cut any corners with your safety, and include the loan of safety equipment such as avalanche transceivers in the course price. You are taught good practice for travelling in the Alpine winter environment, and are briefed on the avalanche and weather forecasts each day. We want you to rest assured you are in the best hands.
Equipment advice
Our 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).
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
So why choose us?
We are true specialists in snowshoeing. See our blog, by clicking on the logo (on the right).
Icicle Blog
Itinerary 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 day.
Our prices are fixed in £ pounds sterling, to protect you from euro currency fluctuations, so that you can budget accurately.
We 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 here.
Any further questions?
A 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.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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