Snowshoes : the Aosta Valley secrets
Calm and peace, facing the hugeness of the Mont Blanc’s Italian side
Day 1 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
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
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
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
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
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
- Technical organisation of the stay
- Half-board accommodation
- Transfers as described in the program
- Graduate medium mountain guide
- Collective equipment needed for the trip
- Avalanche transceiver rental + shovel, probe
- Individual technical equipment (shoes, snowshoes, sticks)
- Drinks and personal expenses
- Transfer in the valley with your personal vehicles
- Insurance/ Assistance : cancellation, search and help fees by helicopter, hospitalisation, repatriation
- Booking fees (18€ per person)
Terms and conditions
- 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
- 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
Changes to travel contract
- Lunch : home made picnics
- Diners in refuges
- Bring some snacks that you like for quick bites during the day (cereal bars, chocolate, dried fruits...)
- 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.
- 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.
Budget & exchange
- Trekking shoes suitable to snowshoes
- Life blanket
- Clasp knife
- Thermos or bottle
- Windproof bonnet
- Hat or cap
- Solar cream (high protection), face and lips
- Glacier sunglasses
- 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
- 1 pair of comfortable mountain pants
- 1 windproof and waterproof pair of pants (Goretex type)
- 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
- 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.
- Personal medicine
- Anti-pain medications (paracetamol)
- Elastic adhesive tapes
- Local disinfectant
- Anti-diarrheal pills
- Light tranquilizers and sleeping pills (if needed)
- 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.
Health information & recommendations
- 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.