Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis

Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis

  • Stunning French Alpine landscapes

  • Get into the wilds beneath the peaks of the Aravis range and the Mont Blanc massif 

  • High-mountain feel on pristine snowshoe trails

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Fully qualified and expert guide

  • A linear traverse (Annecy to Chamonix)

  • All snowshoe and safety equipment provided

Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis: Dates and Prices

Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis: Overview

This snowshoe adventure links the beautiful mountain town of Annecy with Europe's Alpine mountaineering capital, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Cloud 9's snowshoe traverse of the Aravis is a little-known route that will take you off the beaten track and into the heart of Reblochon land (the fabled cheese enjoyed in 'tartiflette'). We'll explore the high Plateau des Glières, now a mountain playground but once a Resistance stronghold, before continuing over linked summits and beautiful balcony trails via the town of Thones and the ski resort of Giettraz.

 

This fascinating traverse combines mountaineering history with wild and unspoilt landscapes. Views are dominated by the impressive Aravis chain, the dramatic Tougnette and of course, Mont Blanc and her beautiful needles - the 'aiguilles'. 

What to expect

Accommodation on this traverse is in hand-picked hotels and lodgings throughout with all breakfasts and dinners included. The trip is graded at Moderate and is open to anyone with a good base level of fitness. Previous experience of snowshoeing is not required as the techniques are relatively simple and easy to learn. If you have any questions at all about whether this trip is right for you, just ask. 

AT A GLANCE

 

7 nights

6 days' snowshoeing

Luggage delivery

Group size 4-8

 

Price: £1595

 

Join: Annecy

End: Chamonix

Nearest airport: Geneva

ACCOMMODATION

7 nights in hotels

 

 

DIFFICULTY GRADING

6

Moderate

Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis: Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrive in Annecy

We begin our week's snowshoe traverse of the Aravis in the beautiful French Alps town of Annecy. Known as the 'Venice of the Alps', its lake, network of canals and old cobbled streets are simply breathtaking at any time of year. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, we will be able to spot parts of our route as we explore the old town on foot to mark the start of our journey. Your guide will meet you at your hotel to run through the week's itinerary, weather check and answer any questions before dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Dinner Luggage Access: Yes

 

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Day 2 - Snowshoe from Annecy to Plateau de Glières

We start the day by taking a short transfer up to the Plateau des Glières (1460m), where we'll spend the day exploring and getting used to wearing snowshoes. Today, the plateau is now mainly used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing but it has an important history as a centre for the French Resistance movement during the second world war. British RAF pilots were involved in collaborative weapon drops to help the French resistance prepare for the German invasion. the air. We start by hiking to Les Mouilles (1544 m), a steady climb to get us properly warmed up and used to our kit. If conditions are favourable, we'll stop here for a picnic lunch. Next on the agenda is a mini summit called the Montagne des Auges (1800 m), where we'll enjoy fantastic views of the plateau and surrounding peaks. Our descent takes us through the most important Resistance area and we'll have time to reflect on the historic stories that this beautiful spot has witnessed. 

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 3.5 hours

Distance: 8km / 5 miles

Ascent: 390m (1279 ft)

Descent: 390m (1297 ft)

 

Day 3 - Snowshoe from Plateau de Glières to Thones

The Plateau de Glières is an enormous fun park for snowshoers and cross country skiers, with a vast network of interlinking trails. We'll spend a second day here, exploring different areas from the day before. With its diverse, rolling terrain, we'll enjoy everything from open meadows to ancient forests, whose trees have been guarding the plateau for hundreds of years. Our main objective today is the Crêt St Germain (1590 m), where we'll enjoy a picnic lunch before beginning our long descent to the town of Thones. Our route will pass the Chapel Notre Dame des Neiges and we may see teams of working huskies pulling sledges through the snow. Our descent takes us through La Balme de Thuy, before we follow a valley trail that leads us to Thones; tonight's resting point and the capital of Reblochon, the soft cheese that this area is famous for. 

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 6 hours

Distance: 14km / 8.7 miles

Ascent: 480m (1575 ft) 

Descent: 1000m (3281 ft)

 

Day 4 - Snowshoe from Thones to Le Bouchet

This morning begins with a short transfer after breakfast to the trail head for today's snowshoeing adventure. We'll pass through wild terrain as we ascend the Montagne de Sulens, with the impressive cliffs of the Tougnette, towering above us and dominating the view. Today's remote location takes us away from modern life and deep into the heart of reblochon country. Well away from the tourist trail, we'll experience true French mountain life at its most simple and authentic. Our descent takes us down into the village of Le Bouchet, where we'll spend the night.

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 5.5 hours

Distance: 10km / 6.2 miles

Ascent: 650m (2132 ft)

Descent: 550m (1804 ft)

Day 5 - Snowshoe from Le Bouchet to Manigod

Today's route is a slightly longer one with more climbing that previous days. The effort is well worth it, as we make our way along a high balcony traverse with spectacular views of the Chaine des Aravis. If we're lucky, we'll spot families of chamois on the sunny south facing slopes. Our snowshoe route will take us over or alongside several key Aravis landmarks, including Mont Charvin (2409 m), the Sommet d’Orsières, la Mandallaz (2277 m) and finally l’Etale (2483 m). To end the day, our trail descends a north-facing slope down to the pretty and traditional village of Manigod. From here, we'll take a short transfer to Col de la Croix Fry (1467 m), where we'll spend the night.

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 6.5 hours

Distance: 15km / 9.3 miles

Ascent: 880m (2887 ft)

Descent: 920m (3018 ft)

Day 6 - Snowshoe from Manigod to La Giettaz

Leaving Col de la Croix Fry after breakfast, we follow a valley trail which leads us away from the bustle of ski resorts and into the remote Etale massif and the famous Col des Aravis (1468m). From here, we make a peaceful descent through the unspoilt Val d'Arly. En route, we'll climb a mini peak (1730m), which marks the start of the impressive Etale range. If the conditions are good, we can carry on from here to the Chalet du Curé (1652m), which is a remote and tranquil spot, with one of the best views of the Aravis mountains. Our day ends with a relaxed descent to La Giettaz. 

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 5.5 hours

Distance: 12km / 7.4 miles

Ascent: 520m (1706 ft)

Descent: 940m (3084 ft)

 

Day 7 - Snowshoe from La Giettaz to Sallanches

Our morning begins with a short transfer to the main ski area of La Giettaz. The snowshoe trail follows the valley gently uphill, before we begin today's major ascent to the Eperon (1778m). From here, the beautiful peaks of the Mont Blanc range come into full, uninterrupted view, with no more mountain ranges between us and Europe's highest peak. The Col du Jaillet (1723m) marks our final effort, before we begin the long descent to the town of Sallanches. From here, we'll take a transfer up to the famous mountain capital of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Nestled below the peaks of Mont Blanc (4808m) and her surrounding aiguilles (needle-like peaks), Chamonix is world famous for its mountaineering history and modern day extreme sports. We'll be sure to make time to explore the town centre before enjoying a final team dinner and celebration of the end of a journey across the Aravis.

Accommodation: hotel, dinner included

Luggage access: yes

Snowshoeing: approx 6.5 hours

Distance: 13km / 8.1 miles

Ascent: 700m (2296 ft)

Descent: 1360m (4462 ft)

Day 8 - Departure day

Our trip finishes today after breakfast. 

Included

  • All snowshoe & safety equipment

  • 7 nights' accommodation on twin-share basis

  • All breakfasts & evening meals

  • All transport in the itinerary

  • Fully qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

  • Lunches

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

Snowshoe Traverse of the Aravis: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

© 2018 Cloud 9 Adventure

info@cloud9adventure.com

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