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Mont Blanc Snowshoe Adventures
Chamonix based, backcountry snowshoeing 2017
Jumping off a cornice for some air-time on snowshoes!
Course overview

If 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.
Our 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
We loan the equipment free of charge for the week, so there are no hidden equipment hire charges or necessary extras to budget for.
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.
Icicle snowshoeing guide Kingsley
Course client testimonials
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, Snowshoeing

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.

Nathalie, Snowshoeing
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 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.
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 (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.
Monday
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.
Tuesday
Now 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.
The views from these routes are spectacular, looking across the whole of the Mont Blanc massif. Night in Chamonix.
Wednesday
A 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.
Thursday
If 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 d'Aoste.
Friday
Either 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 week! Evening social drinks, then a celebratory meal, with the final night spent in Chamonix.
Saturday
Breakfast, 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.

Course Prices
Standard course
5 full days UIMLA guiding, 1:8 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
£699
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) 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 & 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, 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.
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 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 accommodation.
Your luxury chalet in Chamonix for a night at each end of the trek 2016 course upgrades

Chamonix centre chalet
- half board stay including wine,
f
rom £500pp in addition to course price, 2 people sharing.

Single upgrade
- stay in a private self-catering studio in
central Chamonix, from
£200 pw in addition to course price.

Avalanche training day
- 1 day course extension, for a
day of
Av weekend training.
£50pp (based on 3 people).
Snowshoeing in the Aoste region, with Mont Blanc in the background
Current course availability

Course Dates
Mt Blanc snowshoeing
  • No Dates Available
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Price: £699 Book online

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

Client feedback


A brilliant week exploring hidden the gems of the region. I will definately be back next year for more of the same. A huge thanks to you all so much

Jill Wheldon , Snowshoeing


Meticulously planned, and extraordinarily knowledgable. A brilliant holiday led by a guide who so obviously loved every minute of his job, and looked after us very well

Brian Atkinson , Snowshoeing

So so so much more than a walking holiday. Small groups, a really professional leader, and perfect weather to boot

Suzanne Whear , Snowshoeing
Testimonials
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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)
See all the Icicle podcasts
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).
Latest news from Icicle
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.
BAIML member discount
An 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 Course.
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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