Snowshoe Adventures

Take a walk through spectacular alpine landscapes

Snowshoeing in Samoens

Samoëns Snowshoe Adventures

ZigZag offers tailor made snowshoe adventures led by our vibrant French, English and Dutch speaking guides.  Groups run with a minimum of just 2 people and we also offer custom-made private experiences.  Simply contact us with an idea of the snowshoe outing you have in mind and we’ll help you create a superb winter experience adapted to suit your goals and level of fitness.

Snowshoeing is a real escape. Far from the pistes, you’ll discover utterly magical, Narnia-like landscapes.  Snowshoe walks make snowy winter terrain accessible to anyone and everyone.  Whether you take a half or full day to conquer a summit, stroll through the woods, or build an igloo as a family, there’s an excursion to suit your needs.

The Haut-Giffre  valley offers a range of extraordinary walking itineraries.  Take a guided walk in the company of a professional in order to find the most beautiful paths and enjoy the most spectacular views over the Mont Blanc range.  Your guide will show you tracks left by mountain animals such as chamois and bouquetins in the glorious Sixt Fer-à-Cheval national reserve. Whatever your level of fitness, there’s a route to suit you.

Guided snowshoeing walks in and around Samoëns

A half day walk takes about 3 hours in total and is a perfect introduction to snowshoeing.

  • A morning outing begins at 09h15 at the ZigZag office (or another agreed location) and participants can expect to be back in Samoëns village at around 12h15.
  • An afternoon outing begins at 13h15 at the ZigZag office (or another agreed location) and participants can expect to be back in Samoëns village at around 16h15.

To whet your appetite for snowshoeing, we’ve prepared a few sample itineraries :

 

Les Rutines   Fitness : 2/5

A lovely walk through the forest and along alpine pastures at an altitude of about 1300m.  This walk has a lovely sunny exposition gives you great views on the Giffre Valley.  If the weather is clear, you’ll see majestic Mont Blanc in all her glory!

 

La Bourgeoise   Fitness : 2/5

A great South-facing walk with stunning views over the Mont Blanc range and the Giffre Valley.  We will walk on an altitude of about 1700m in spectacular open terrain near the famous Joux Plane nordic ski area.  When the weather is clear you’ll see loads of parapenters taking off and soaring overhead.

 

Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval   Fitness : 1/5

This tourist-magnet in the summer is a also a magnificent snowshoe spot in the winter.  Encircled by awe-inspiring, 3000m high cliffs, we find our way through pristine alpine forests, spotting wildlife tracks and enjoying the breathtakingly wild landscape.

This walk takes place at around 900m altitude and is largely over flat terrain.  If conditions are right, you might even witness impressive avalanches falling from high cliff faces in the distance!

Full day guided snowshoeing outings

A full day walk takes about 8 hours in total (although don’t worry you won’t be walking the whole time!).

A full day of snowshoeing meets at 09h15 at the ZigZag office (or another agreed location) and participants can expect to be back in Samoëns village at around 17h00.

Loads of options are available with a full day of guidance, here are some of our favourites :

 

La Vallée du Foron  Fitness : 3/5

A short 30 minute drive from Samoëns you’ll unveil the unspoilt Foron Valley.  Filled with wildlife and surrounded by impressive peaks, you guide will lead you through untouched landscapes to enjoy lunch at a mountain restaurant or to picnic on a mountain peak.

 

Le Mont Caly ‘The Tasty Walk’  Fitness : 2/5

Your guide will drive you to a hidden carpark just half  an hour from Samoëns, from where you’ll climb up the hill until you reach a rustic alpine refuge with an  amazing restaurant and stunning views on Mont Blanc.  Here you’ll enjoy a proper Savoyard lunch “à la française” (which means that we take our time to enjoy our meal and a glass of wine!).  On the way back down you’ll walk, run and slide down through the forest, making your own tracks amongst those left by all sorts of other local wildlife!

 

Bostan   Fitness : 4/5

The hike to Bostan is a slightly more demanding walk covering about 600m of vertical altitude, crossing forests and open fields as you enter higher alpine terrain.  When you reach the top you can enjoy a picnic lunch or a hot meal at the Refuge de Bostan (when it is open).  If you’re moderately fit and like a bit of a challenge, this snowshoeing experience will really hit the spot!

Special Snowshoeing Experiences

For groups of 4 or more participants, we can offer some exciting snowshoe experiences :

 

Igloo Building

Our guide will help you construct your very own genuine igloo (or quinzee).  An excellent team building activity ideal for families, friends or corporate groups, igloo building is hard work, but offers great pleasure and reward.  When your igloo is finished you’ll enjoy a well-earned hot drink under your snowy roof.

Our guide can come to the garden of your property, or take you to his secret spots to built your snowy shelter.

Ideally this is a full day activity, but a small igloo can be achieved in a minimum 4 hours.

 

Snow Safety Course

Our guide will take you to an area with fresh snow to explain some basic principles of snow composition, the way snowfalls and temperature affect snow stability, and some of the dangers to be aware of when exploring back-country terrain.  The main content of a snow safety course entails instruction in regard to the proper use of an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.

Consider this course a basic introduction to snow safety – it will not prepare you to explore the off-piste on your own, but is a great way to better understand conditions when you go off piste with one of our guides.

The snow safety course is a half day activity, with a minimum of 4pers required.

 

24 Hours in the Mountains

Departing from the ZigZag office at 12h30, your guide will drive you to the end of the road at 1200m.  Here we clip on our snowshoes and start our 24 hour adventure!

Throughout the afternoon you’ll gently climb 650m upwards through the forests to reach a remote alpine hut.  After enjoying the sunset with a drink in hand, we’ll prepare a hearty dinner together.  You’ll spent the night in a dormitory but alas, there will be no shower.  After a continental breakfast, we’ll descend back to Samoëns for a late lunchtime arrival.

What to bring on your snowshoeing adventure

If you’ve booked any snowshoeing activity, we recommend you bring :

  • water and wind proofed ski clothes (suggestion: 3 layer construction)
  • thermal underwear
  • gloves
  • waterproof hiking boots (no après ski boots or sneakers!)
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • at least half a litre of water
  • a snack for extra energy
  • sun cream
  • ski poles if you have them

 

If you’ve booked a snow safety course, you’ll also need to bring:

  • snow safety kit: transceiver, probe, shovel (if you have them)

 

If you’ve booked a “24 Hours in The Mountains experience”, you’ll also need to bring:

  • at least 1,5 litres of water
  • extra energy snacks
  • cash for your drinks in the refuge
  • a backpack
  • an extra shirt & trousers to wear at the refuge in the evening
  • a warm layer (woolen/fleece pullover, down jacket)
  • clothes to sleep in (thermals are ideal)
  • minimal toiletries
  • sleeping bag liner (available for rent in the refuge if you don’t have one)

Join a group outing

ActivityTimeMinimum participantsPricing
Half day group walk3hrs3pers30€ /pers
Full day group walk8hrs3pers60€ /pers
Igloo building4hrs4pers30€ /adult
20€ /child (12yrs or younger)
Snow safety course3hrs4pers20€ /pers
Evening walk + dinner in a yurt3hrs+6pers35€ /pers
24 Hours in The Mountains24hrs4pers125€ /pers

 

Book a private guide

 2 to 3pers4persAdditional participants
Half day booking100€125€+10€ per extra person
Full day booking200€225€+20€ per extra person

“Had the most wonderful four days in March, learning to snowshoe with an amazing guide – Arno.  It was spectacular scenery, amazing weather and a real challenge.  Added to that, Arno taught us a lot about nature and was a fantastic host.  I strongly recommend booking Arno for a host of alpine adventures.  He is kind and encouraging and someone who is very easy to be around.  Certainly will be enjoying more snowshoeing next year.” – Julia T

 

“I took part in one of Arno’s snow safety courses and am so glad I did.  Arno was a great teacher and it really opened up my eyes to a lot of things.  I feel much more prepared going up on the mountain now.  Hopefully I will not end up in a situation where I will need to use anything we were taught but we had a lot of fun learning and the information is now there if needed.  I would recommend taking part to anyone that enjoys being up in the mountains.  Thanks Arno.”  – Emily A

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