Snowshoeing beneath Les Dents du Midi, Swiss Alps
Our snowshoe hikes bring us into the most beautiful valleys between France’s Savoy region and Switzerland’s Valais region, with accommodations in delightful mountain lodges.
Photo by Nicos Caravellas
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||7 nights in lodges and chalets|
|Meals:||All meals included except 2 dinners|
|Activity:||Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures|
Moderate snowshoe hikes; no previous experience necessary—if you can hike, you can snowshoe!
- Snowshoe-hiking beneath the peaks of the Alps
- Winter mountain views from Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva
- Cozy mountain lodges, cuisine and culture of France
- Charming winter resorts of Chatel and Megeve
All I can say is 'wow.' It was the best travel experience I have ever had in my life—better than my wildest hopes! The leaders were first rate and the other group members a delight. You guys really know what you are doing!Christine A.—West Jefferson, NC
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years. It will be several years before this journey is offered again. Now is the time to go!
Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to savor the winter glory of the French Alps. Modern, lightweight snowshoes make snowshoeing fun and they give us access to spectacular off-trail terrain from deep, silent forests to winter-white meadows beneath glistening snow peaks. Herds of chamois and ibex are often seen here in winter, and the architectural heritage is stunning, with centuries-old farmhouses tucked into the alpine landscape. Our lodge-based adventure takes place in a unique valley nestled in France’s Savoy region, where we savor the delightful cuisine and alpine culture surrounded by spectacular winter scenery. No prior experience is needed; snowshoeing is just like hiking—sometimes even more exciting and off the beaten path!
Itinerary at a Glance
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
Châtel, France / Vallee d’Abondance
We gather in Châtel, a well-kept secret in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski circuit in the French Alps. Nestled at the top of the Vallee d’Abondance with spectacular mountain views in all directions, this picturesque village retains its old Savoyarde atmosphere. We begin our snowshoe adventure on the slopes of Mont Grange (7,976') and in the nature reserve that surrounds it, home to some 500 chamois and the highest point in the Vallee d’Abondance. In summer, the pastures above this village echo the music of hundreds of cowbells; in winter, they give shelter to ptarmigans and mountain hares. Our snowshoe hike on Day 3 brings us through forest and pastures to the summit of Autigny (5,930'), with a 360-degree view stretching from the Alps to Lake Geneva and to the Jura Mountains in the north
Megève / Col de Bassachaux / Chamonix Valley
We move our snowshoe adventure south to Megève, one of France’s first winter resorts, with its wonderful proximity to Mont Blanc. Snowshoeing through a beautiful spruce forest, we ascend through snowy meadows to the Col de Bassachaux (6,000'), then descend to Linderets, a village of goat herders and one of the most picturesque hamlets in Savoy. We also explore Le Petit Croise Bollet (6,586'), a nature reserve created for the rare black grouse that survives in the upper limits of the spruce forest. The peaks around Megève are the perfect playground in full view of the Mont Blanc range. We venture by snowshoe across Le Mont de Vorès (6,770'), where three different valleys open out between Mont Blanc and the mountains of the Beaufortain. Our adventure ends with a walk to the Aiguillette des Houches (7,495') for breathtaking views of the granite peaks and hanging glaciers of the Mont Blanc range. Depart on Day 8.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
What the Trip is Like
This trip is Level 4, Moderate to Strenuous, according to our trip grading system. All trip members should have mountain hiking experience, but there is no technical climbing experience necessary. Our snowshoe routes are not on trails. Instead, we head out cross-country, climbing about 2,000 feet on any given day and covering around 4-5 miles on a typical 6-hour snowshoe hiking day. In general, we are on easy to moderate slopes of up to 30 degrees, but there will be steeper sections of switchbacks, although they won’t be too long. No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary but good physical condition and reasonable stamina are essential. Trip members are welcome to bring their own snowshoes if they wish but Wilderness Travel will provide snowshoes and walking poles.
Departures & Leaders
This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered only every two to five years. This journey will not be offered again for several years. Now is the Time to Go!
Mar 8-15, 2014 Mike Browder
Prices are for 2014
Per person, based on double occupancy
$4395 (12-14 members)
$4595 (9-11 members)
$4895 (4-8 members)
Single supplement: $570
Forced single supplement: $285
more on pricing
Trip Cost Includes:
- Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
- All meals included except 2 dinners
- Snowshoes and hiking poles
- Land transportation during the trip, transfers between overnight stops
Trip Cost Does Not Include:International airfare, departure transfers, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, alcohol at meals, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Trip Payment Schedule
At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance
Mike Browder has worked in outdoor settings all his life, from directing parks and recreation programs in Bend, Oregon, to mountain climbing in Asia and North America to coaching school ski programs. He spent much of the 1990s in Central Asia, guiding, teaching English, and learning about the culture. He now lives in Chamonix with his British wife, Gill, and is a great addition to our European guiding team. "I particularly love the day on the Tour du Mont Blanc when we traverse the balcony above the Val Veni and look across the valley to the southern exposure of Mont Blanc all morning, our views impeded only by the lush wildflowers. I adore this view because it is Himalayan in scale and there is little like it in the US outside of Alaska. I want our trip members to appreciate the special nature of these alpine areas, not only the mountains, but also the people and their way of life, which is in some ways changing and disappearing."
Snowshoeing in the Alps, March 8-15, 2014
Corsica and Sardinia, April 8-18, 2014
Corsica and Sardinia, May 27-June 6, 2014
Glacier Express, June 27-July 4, 2014
Hiking the Tyrolean Alps, July 5-12, 2014
Glacier Express, July 20-27, 2014
Switzerland: The Via Alpina, July 29-August 8, 2014
Hiking Norway's Fjord Country, August 28-September 6, 2014
Hiking the Tyrolean Alps, September 15-22, 2014
Mike's attitude, professionalism, knowledge and never-ending patience make him possibly my favorite guide from WT (and you have great ones!).Susan D, Indianapolis IN
Mike was a lot of fun, multiculturally enthusiastic, as well as a fine leader.Michael S., Fairfax CA
Mike was a fabulous leader who took great care to ensure that all participants had an extraordinary adventure. His knowledge of the Alps’ culture, food, wine, and geography added to the group’s experience.C. Collins, Sonoma CA
Mike was an excellent leader, with wide technical skills, knowledge of the area and interpersonal skills.Don A., Sonoma, CA
Hiking the Haute Route
Mike Browder is a first-rate guide. This was our first serious hiking trip and he made us feel very comfortable while not holding us back in any way. We also found him to be a lot o fun, highly professional, and tremendously experienced.Patrice and Bob M., Pound Ridge NY, Classic Swiss Alps
Mike was very entertaining and fun to be with on top of his outstanding experience in this area.Martha and James A., New Haven, CT
Hiking the Haute Route
Mike is an excellent trip leader—very personable, interesting. He took great care to make sure the trip was first rate.Jackie W., Bainbridge Island WA, Tour du Mont Blanc
Mike was a pleasure. Everyone enjoyed him. I recommend him very highly.Susan S., St. John, Virgin Islands
Mike's enthusiasm and humor were a great addition to the trip.Peter C., San Francisco, CA
Corsica and Sardinia
Mike was on top of everything. He was hospitable, knowledgeable, always courteous and helpful. It was great having the opportunity to get to know him.Susanne R., Long Island Cty, NY
Hiking the Tyrolean Alps