Chamonix valley has lots of paths and trails that are very popular with walkers and hikers in the summer.
But when the snow is here, these are completely inaccessible as you normally sink in, up to your waist!!
However, with the benefit of snowshoes, and a guide, you can experience the joys of the French Alps in Winter without having to go near a ski piste. Perfect for those a bit apprehensive about going on a ski holiday, or those fancying a little break from skiing and trying something new.
We joined Chamonix snowshoeing guide, Phil Jarratt, for a day’s snow-shoeing to experience exactly what snowshoeing is like firsthand…
Phil picked us up from the chalet, and drove us to nearby Coupeau to try snowshoeing for a first time. Quickly leaving the road and entering the pine forest, we ascended through the snow-covered pines, and entered a world of tranquility.
As the path zig-zagged up through the forest, Phil was pointing out aspects of the history of one of the little hamlets we passed, identifying various animal tracks in the fresh powder snow. Apparently fox tracks are easily identifiable from dogs because of the pattern of the claws!! Allegedly, he is an expert on animal poo too!
Though the mist was hanging around, we saw some wonderful views of the Massif du Mont-Blanc – could easily see the Tête Rousse hut on the other side of the valley… Finally we emerged from the tree line on the Aiguillette des Houches and made our way across to the Chalets des Chailloux – two tiny mazots used in summer time for minding the cows.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day – fantastic views, excellent guide, good exercise and great fun!
Definitely recommend it!!