Snowshoes : the Aosta Valley secrets

Calm and peace, facing the hugeness of the Mont Blanc’s Italian side


The Aosta Valley has great snowing conditions and is the perfect location for snowshoeing. Once there is snow in the Aosta valley, everything becomes quiet and heavenly. Far from the noise of ski lifts, grooming machines and crowd waiting in lines lies a perfect snowy environment for snowshoeing, giving us the chance to come across the mystery of a vulnerable and abundant wildlife. 

This 6-day trip will allow you to discover from below the most incredible giants of the Alps: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Gran Paradiso whilst walking in snowshoes on snow covered territories and in complete safety. This is an opportunity not to miss! 

We will walk through larch forests and large pastures, discovering the incredible fauna life that remains: chamois, wolf footprints and majestic vulture flights will make you feel in complete immersion with nature. After climbing up through snow shrouded terrain, we’ll emerge on the high sunny slopes with incredible views of the neighboring peaks. Our guide will take us to typical and unknown places of the mountain, allowing us to enjoy Valdotaine host and cuisine.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Transfer to the Aosta valley

    Transfer to the Aosta valley We meet with our guide at the Chamonix train station. After a warm welcome, we leave on a short transfer towards the Mont Blanc tunnel to move on the Italian side and join the Verdun castle, a medieval house which became host house of the Saint-Oyen village for 9 centuries. That’s where we will be nested for two days.

    Ascent : 100m / Descent : 100m / Walk : 2hours / Accomodation : hostel, meal included (diner)

  • Day 2 The snowy valleys

    The snowy valleys We leave the castle wearing our snowshoes from Saint-Oyen to discover our first Valdotaine snowy valley and explore the diversity of mountain nature. First walk in deep snow surrounded by winter beauty. Behind us rises a wall of mountains. We then come back to the Verdun castle to have some rest before our big day tomorrow.

    Ascent : 900m / Descent : 900m / Walk : 5hours 30min / Accomodation : hostel, meal included (breakfast, lunch, diner)

  • Day 3 Matterhorn view

    Matterhorn view Have a generous breakfast before we leave with our snowshoes on. We get started on a beautiful hike and through the great crossing under the point of Chaligne until Arpuilles. During our walk, we’ll have a breath-taking view of the Cervin (Matterhorn) and the Mont Rose. We’ll have to make a short stop to immortalize this magical moment! Don’t linger too long though, the views just get better and better. We will finally reach our comfortable cottage in Vétan.

    Ascent : 700 to 800m / Descent : 750 to 900m / Walk : 5hours 30min / Accomodation : hostel, meal included (breakfast, lunch, diner) / Transfer : 30min

  • Day 4 Fairy tale

    Fairy tale We leave this morning to cross the Aosta valley south balcony, paced by the wonderful fairy chimneys. Then, we will take the Letanaz-Desot way to walk through the Leysser pasture, rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Gran Paradiso and the Ruitor ahead. We will end the day in the charming hamlet of Vens where we will enjoy a good night sleep.

    Ascent : 600m / Descent : 750m / Walk : 5hours / Accomodation : hostel, meal included (breakfast, lunch, diner)

  • Day 5 The Italian Mont-Blanc

    The Italian Mont-Blanc Timing is key, hence our caffeine fueled early start. We leave our nest to discover the Vertosan valley walking by the Joux lake, before heading up to the Court de Bardpeak (2261m) where we can admire a beautiful panorama of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc and the Gran Paradiso. After that, we will go down again in the Challancin to join Planaval where we will spend the night.

    Ascent : 750m / Descent : 750m / Walk : 6hours / Accomodation : hostel, meal included (breakfast, lunch, diner)

  • Day 6 Last steps in the immaculate pastures

    Last steps in the immaculate pastures For our last day, we will go up to the pasture chalet of Tramail des Ors, surrounded by white slopes and winter landscapes, before going back down to Planaval. After returning to the valley, don’t forget to head into a café to sample the amazing Italian hot chocolate. It’s the best reward after a great day out snowshoeing. We then get back to Chamonix and say goodbye.

    Ascent : 750m / Descent : 750m / Walk : 5hours / Meal : breakfast and lunch / Transfer : 1 hour

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: RRVA

Included

A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed for the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure.

  • Technical organisation of the stay
  • Half-board accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Picnics
  • Transfers as described in the program
  • Graduate medium mountain guide
  • Collective equipment needed for the trip
  • Avalanche transceiver rental + shovel, probe

Not included

  • Individual technical equipment (shoes, snowshoes, sticks)
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Snacks
  • Transfer in the valley with your personal vehicles
  • Insurance/ Assistance : cancellation, search and help fees by helicopter, hospitalisation, repatriation
  • Booking fees (18€ per person)

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Subscription


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.

Invoice procedure


Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy


If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
  • Less than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the date of the cancellation or contract change, the following fees will be added to the charges above :
  • Airline fixed costs : plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plane changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs : you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees : Insurance fees will not be refunded if you subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation

If you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Altaï Alpes and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Altaï Alpes has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer


In case of transfer of the contract by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

This trip will be supervised by a mountain guide who will bring you the technical elements needed for the good progress of the trip. He may modify the program in order to ensure safety regarding weather conditions or participants physical conditions. 

Food

Meals

  • Lunch : home made picnics
  • Diners in refuges
  • Bring some snacks that you like for quick bites during the day (cereal bars, chocolate, dried fruits...)

Drinks

  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip’s price : water, tea, coffee, beer, coke...
  • Water is not free in the refuges, and it is quite expensive (around 5 to 8 euros for one bottle) so think about bringing water-purification tablets (Micropur-type) in case you don’t want to buy water there. Warning! Water is frozen sometimes during winter so you may have no choice but to buy some bottles.

Accommodation

  • In refuges or hostels, people will sleep in 8 to 10 persons dormitories and will be given some blankets (please bring your own sleeping bag). You can use the refuges’ slippers if you want to, no need to bring shoes for refuges.
  • Bring some earplugs to avoid being bothered by noises.
  • No shower possible except in Champex valley for the classic Chamonix-Zermatt : no tap water in the refuges, only water dripping from the glaciers.
  • Some electrical plugs are available in the refuges, but plan to bring a battery replacement for cameras and turn your phone off during the day.

Transportation

During the day, you will be carrying all your belongings : please do your best not to carry too much weight (in a 40L bag). Your guide will check your belongings before departure. Keep some space for water and picnic.

Budget & exchange

Italy is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in Italy. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

Safety material : avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe : please inform us if you already have your own equipment.

Material

Technical equipment


  • Snowshoes
  • Sticks
  • Trekking shoes suitable to snowshoes
  • Life blanket
  • Clasp knife
  • Thermos or bottle 

Personal equipment


Head

  • Windproof bonnet
  • Hat or cap
  • Scarf
  • Solar cream (high protection), face and lips
  • Glacier sunglasses 

Upper body

  • Technic breathable underclothing (Carline-type, no cotton, it takes too long to dry)
  • Thick polar coat
  • Windproof and waterproof coat (Goretex)
  • One pair of windproof under gloves (polar or wool)
  • 1 pair of under gloves  

Lower body

  • 1 pair of comfortable mountain pants
  • 1 windproof and waterproof pair of pants (Goretex type)
  • Socks
  • Gaiters 

Other

  • Biafine (sunburn cream)
  • Toilet paper (preferably biodegradable )
  • One plastic bag (100L) and one upper bag to protect your belongings and your backpack
  • 1 waterproof sleeve where you will put your ID, phone, money, insurance / assistance contract, and all your emergency numbers

Luggage

  • You will be carrying all your belongings and your equipments in a 35/40L mountain backpack during the day.
  • Your personal belongings will stay in the lodge and will be moved by a carrier.

Medicine

Your guide will be carrying a first-aid kit. However, plan to bring your own medicine :
  • Personal medicine 
  • Anti-pain medications (paracetamol)
  • Double-skin
  • Elastic adhesive tapes
  • Bandages 
  • Local  disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal pills
  • Eyewash
  • Light tranquilizers and sleeping pills (if needed)
  • Earplugs 
Non exhaustive list.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in Italy : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit Italy.
  • Over 90 days visit in Italy : non-EU citizens must have a visa to visit Italy over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to Italy. 

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

It is important to consult your doctor for medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements.
Please keep in mind that we are often in remote areas, away from medical facilities. Please carefully read the brochure and itinerary when selecting your trip, to make sure our style of travel suits you. 

Please note you will travel to high altitude. Most people can travel to 2 500m with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts differently to altitude and altitude sickness can occur.
For details on how to best prepare your trip please consult your physician.

Weather

The Alpine Chain, which stretches from west to east separating Italy from central Europe, has a mountain climate, cold and snowy in winter and mild in summer, when thunderstorms frequently break out.

Electricity

Electricity in Italy conforms to the European standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz.
Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two or three round pins (the latter grounded, the former not).

Local time

Italy is in the Central European Time Zone (CET). Central European Standard Time is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of Italy by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical advisor
  • Mountain and ski touring lover. She will advise you on Mont Blanc tours, trekking, hiking and multi-activities.
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Region
Italy
Activity
Snowshoes Winter
Duration
6 days
Group
4 to 8 people
Code
RRVA
Price
From €795
Level
2/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Trekking in the Aoste valley
  • Diversity of landscapes in the North-Alpes
  • Discovering the fauna and flora of mountain places
  • Snowshoes itineraries
  • Medium mountain guide

Required level

6 hours walk every day on and off-road. 700 to 1000m of ascent, from 15 to 18 km a day. It is possible to take some high paths.
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