Pyrenees France & Andorra Snowshoe Trek, 7 days
Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
This trip is aimed at those who are regular summer hill-walkers and used to spending a full day in the mountains. You do not need previous snowshoe experience, but you do need a good level of fitness and be prepared to snowshoe off-piste!
This challenge takes on some fabulous routes around our Pyrenees base and ventures over into Andorra to experience its diverse culture, shopping and historic base as a country renowned for its neutrality.
Rather than specify in advance a prescribed schedule, each day your guide will decide on the best route based on an assessment of weather and snow conditions (an example itinerary is given further down, below
Dates & Availability:
|SNOA 1/17||Sat 22-28 January 17||£795||Available|
|SNOA 2/17||Sat 18-24 February 17||£795||Available|
|SNOA 1/18||Sat 20-26 January 18||£795||Available|
Group Bookings & minimum numbers: If you have a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 10 we are happy to offer the trip on dates suitable to you. Guide ratio is maximum 1:10 so larger groups can be catered for if you would like to bring more people.
Fitness Level Needed: It's not necessary to have the fitness level of a mountaineer to snowshoe but you do need a good level of fitness that includes being able to walk comfortably for up to 4 to 5 hours at a steady pace. Ascents and descents are comparable to walking in any rolling mountainous terrain.
Equipment: Snowshoes, poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver rental are all included in the price of the trip.
For clothing bring a good layering system as it can get very warm, but equally quite cold. Essential to your normal walking clothing are: warm hat; gloves; waterproof jacket; waterproof trousers; fleece; sunglasses; sunscreen; water bottle (1 litre minimum); 3-season walking boots; 35-50 litre rucksack with the ability to attach snowshoes to the outside.
Optional, but recommended, are a hot water flask and gaiters.
What's included: Local transport; full-board accommodation - breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner, staying in a 2* or 3* hotels or chalets (based on twin rooms), plus one nights accommodation in a mountain refuge; services of a qualified International Mountain Leader; all the equipment hire you require on the trip - snowshoes, poles, snow shovel, probe and avalanche transceiver.
What's not included: Drinks; flights; insurance; and ski-lift passes.
Winter Family Holidays
Create your perfect alpine adventure! - Snowshoe to a mountain refuge for the night - Husky dog sledging - Animal tracking - Alpine ski and snowboard lessons - Nordic Ski - Igloo building - Create your mix of winter fun. Enquire for our tailor made trips.
- Porte de Puymorens
Pyrenees Snowshoe & Spa Week
For those who love to be out in the mountains and then enjoy a relaxing spa or massage. Snow shoeing makes it possible to pad through deep snow off the beaten track to visit snowed under villages, remote high forests or trek to an easy summit. If you are less into spa and more into history, culture, live music would like to meet a Pyrenean mountain dog, build a snow hole or are just relaxing instead, we have options in and around the thriving town of Ax-les-Thermes or Andorra.
Day 1 Arrive Saturday
Day 2 The Plateau de Beille (1800m) is considered to be in the top 3 cross-country ski resorts in France. It is also the ideal place for snowshoeing. The undulating paths offer the perfect opportunity to practice on different angles of slopes and travelling through beautiful pine forests you will see magnificent views of Andorra and Spain. There is an option to use the spa at Les Bains du Couloubret in Ax-les-Thermes in the late afternoon.
Day 3 Pic D'Estibat (1663m) or Pic de Tarbesou (2364m)
Estibat is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible mountains in the Pyrenees. Starting at the Col de Port (1249) and reaching the summit after one and a half hours, we will be treated with some of the most magnificent views in the whole of the Pyrenees. After, we will have a mulled wine in the rustic Auberege De la Sapiniere. We will then have a relaxing yoga session.
The alternative is Pic de Tarbesou (2364m) which is a 6hr day and takes us into higher terrain should snow conditions be more favourable.
Day 4 Andorra Col de Puymorens and Pic de la Mina (2684m)
Today we will visit the principality of Andorra. Andorra is the 6th smallest nation and has the highest capital city in Europe. Andorra de Vella rests at 1023m. We will view the high mountains on snow shoes around Pic de la Mina and the Col de Puymorens.
Day 5 Refuge de Chioula 1400m-1900m
This scenic route takes us through a beautiful forest of beach trees and on to a ridge where we will be rewarded with a panoramic view. We vist the Refuge de Chioula where we can treat ourselves to a well deserved vin chaud. We will relax and free our aches and pains in the thermal waters of Les Bains du Couloubret, Ax-les-Thermes.
Day 6 Le Mont Fourcat (2001m) or Soulcem to Port de Rat the French Andorra border or Port de Bouet on the Spanish border
We start our walk at a monument to the resistance at 1200m. The path winds through a pine forest and we emerge on to an open area where we follow the gentle gradient all the way to the summit at 2001m. The views are incredible on one side you can see the famous Cathar castles of Montsegur and Roquefixade. On the other side you can see the Spanish and French Pyrenees.The walk takes about 5 hrs.
The longer alternative is to walk towards the port de rat, an entrance to Andorra past the beautiful etang de Soulcem. Conditions dependant, this is a tough day.
Day 7 Departures to Toulouse Blagnac
For all our winter snowshoe programmes we reserve the right to change itinerary to enable us to get the best snow and also to reflect the prevailing road access conditions.