- Stunning mountain scenery
- World Heritage of Dolomites Range
- The Mountians and their Culture (the Bolzano province)
- Excellent hotel with Italian hospitality
- A week of truly beautiful snowshoeing
- Guided with highly professional and qualified International Mountain Leaders
Things to consider: We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.
Price: £ 1495
Included: The price is based on shared twin room accommodation with half board in a 3* hotel or similar. The price includes the professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader and all snowshoe equipment (including snowshoes, poles, snow shovel, transceiver and avalanche probe).
Not included: Lunches are not included. Flights and airport transfers to the resort are not included.
The Big Smile Adventures project was born in 2014, in a form that already had all the elements to be a great and winning company. It was created by Gary Daines, International Mountain Leader and member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML) and SNAM (Syndicat National Des Accompagnateurs en Montagne) the French Association. He has traveled, climbed and trekked all over the world for work and pleasure and in 2015 Gary and his team of guides started guiding the first trips as Big Smile Adventures – just and strictly fully qualified International Mountains Leaders, selected by Gary for their professionality and human skills.
We are a new and small company, things that make us strong: first of all, we are enthusiastic and passionate about our projects, we follow with excitement every aspect of Big Smile Adventures; and then, we personalise as much as possible every trip we propose to make you live an authentic all-round experience. We take it personally!
Now. Why to choose us.
Because we love our job and we know exactly what we do.
Because we work professionally and safely.
Because we know the territories where we are taking you.
Because we speak English, French, Italian and Spanish, that are the languages of the Countries you will cross.
Because your needs are our priority.
Because you will live a True and Emotional Experience.
Do you have a question? Contact Us.
Do you want to read more about us? Here you are our team.
We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.
We meet at 7pm at our accommodation when your guide will be available to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions about the week ahead. Please note that for those arriving into Turin airport a transfer is included, departing at approx. 1630 hrs to allow us to arrive in Aiguilles in time for dinner.
We ease into the week by heading for an excellent view point which gives a good introduction to the area. This is one of the best belvederes of Saint Veran and the cirque of Clausis. There is the possibility of doing a loop on our descent to vary the terrain and views. We will aim to also do some training looking at the snowpack and considering mountain safety in winter. We will stop at the gorgeous village of St Veran for a well earned ‘refreshment’ before heading back to our hotel. Ascent 670m. 7.5km. 5.5 hrs.
We begin by heading up a narrow valley towards the highest village in Europe at St Veran. It claims this title as the only village inhabited all year round at this altitude of 2050m. We wander through the pine forests zig zagging our way up the mountain side till we reach our destination at Sommet Bucher. It is a good place to view the Col Agnel, the frontier with the Piemont are of Italy. A visit to St Veran for a coffee after climb is an excellent end to the day. Ascent 554m. 6km. 5hrs.
A view of the picturesque village of Chateau Queyras is on offer this morning as we head for the Col de la Creche which rises above the village. We drive up a steep mountainroad to the community of Les Meyries which is our starting point. A gorgeous climb follows through the pine forests until we rise above the tree line and the impressive ridge leading to the Pic de Agrenier, comes into view. We swing round to the Col de la Creche which gives an excellent view point over the region, we then claim the summit ridge! Ascent 640m. 9km. 6hrs.
We start at the trailhead at Montbardon with the high alpages of Fontantie as our goal. This is a superb mountain pasture, and we should get a great view over the Ecrins National Park from the top at 2,500m. The pastures are home to the cow herds during the summer months, but in winter they are a silent snowcovered landscape with all the cattle safely ‘tucked up’ in the barns in the valley. Ascent 743. 5km. 5 hrs.
This is one of the classic winter peaks of the area and will be our highest summit, sitting as it does at 2656m. We drive to the lovely old village of Abries, before taking a stunning side valley to the hamlet of Le Roux. Here we begin our hike up a mountain that offers incredible views of the range. Definitely, one of our favourite snowshoe trips! A fine summit awaits, and if the weather is kind you will without doubt be impressed be the photo opportunitites. Ascent 910m. 8km. 6hrs.
The Col sits at 2,701m and is an excellent goal for a great day out. We have some choices here as to whether we do a circuit from St Veran, and over the Col and down to Fontgillarde, the last inhabited village before we reach the Italian frontiere, or whether we do a smaller loop from Fontgillarde, and then back to the village. Either way it will be a good end to the week. Facing north we can be guaranteed some powder, or we hope so! Ascent 800m. 10km. 7hrs.
Departure Day and morning transfer to Turin airport, Italy. Please ensure that any departure flight is after 1300 hrs. The journey to Turin will take approx 2.45 hrs.
- Remote wild valleys
- Spectacular mountain views
- Away from the crowds
- Gorgeous village base
- Return airport transfer included
- Excellent auberge accommodatio
- Guided with highly professional and qualified International Mountain Leaders
Things to consider: intermidiate fitness level. We have a set itinerary but we could change it considering the snow condition.
Price: 1295 £
Included: the price is based on shared twin room accommodation with half board in a 2** Hotel or similar. A single room supplement may be available in the hotel if you do not wish to share, £170. The price includes the professional guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader,all necessary snowshoe equipment, including poles, snow shovel, avalanche probe, and in resort transport. A transfer from Turin airport at a time to suit the majority of the group is included. This will be no later than 1630 hrs to allow time to reach our accommodation before dinner.
Not included: lunches are not included. Flights are not included, nor transport to our base in Aiguilles, apart from the above mentioned airport transfer from Turin.
Day 1 – Thursday evening –
Settle into your hotel and meet your snowshoe guide for a talk about your trip starting the next morning.
Day 2 – Friday
After breakfast you will be picked up by your guide and driven to the start of the first day of your snowshoeing trip. Here we will fit the snowshoes and equipment before setting off into the mountains. (Chalets des Loriaz)
Day 3 – Saturday
The same as Friday after breakfast, our guide will come to collect you again to take you for your second big day out snowshoeing. (Petit croisse Baulet)
Day 4 – Sunday
Our last snowshoeing day and today we will trek up to our highest point of the weekend, ending up traversing a great ridge line to its summit point. (Tete de Sallaz)
Day 5 – Monday morning
Breakfast at the hotel and your BigSmileAdventures Chamonix snowshoe weekend comes to an end.
Please note – The actual routes may have to be changed in the advent of bad weather and high avalanche risk, your guide will decide this at the time and will discuss it with you.
Day 1 – 15/08/17 – Meet, greet and overnight in Chamonix. (Twin room)
You will meet your guide for the trek at 5pm on this evening to talk about your trek and to look at your equipment for the trip. You over night in Chamonix tonight. and dinner is not supplied on this night. Remember you need to buy a packed lunch for the next day.
Day 2 – 16/08/17 – Chamonix to Cabane du Col de Mille (Dormitory)
Leave Chamonix and we take a private transfer to Bourg St Pierre where we ascend to the Col de Mille.
Starting at Bourg St Pierre, we make a gradual ascent through wild flower meadows to the alpage of La Coeur at 2,233m. We pass over a col and traverse the mountainside following a balcony trail offering superb views the length of the valley overlooking Orsières. We then reach the newly built Cabane du Col de Mille at 2472m where we spend the first night.
Distance Approx 11km Time approx 4.30 hrs Ascent: +1220m and Descent -375m
Day 3 – 17/08/17 – Cabane du Col de Mille to Cabane de Louvie (Dormitory)
In the morning we leave the Cabane du Col de Mille and head down to the lovely Swiss village of Fionnay . We then have an amazing steep climb up through the meadows to the Cabane de Louvie, and you get to spend another great night in a mountain refuge beside a beautiful lake. The Cabane de Louvie is an experience to be savored as it feels like a really remote location.
Distance Approx 20 km Ascent +722m. Descent -981m. Time 6-7 hrs.
Day 4 – 18/08/17 – Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri (Dormitory)
This is one of the most spectacular days of the trek, traversing two high cols, with dramatic views throughout. At the start, the path follows the lakeside. We then hike up on steep trails to then traverse on a high path that cuts beneath the towering cliffs. Shattered rocks and a dramatic path leads us up to the Col de Louvie at 2921 mts where we then drop down to the Grand desert. Skirting the edge of this glacier we traverse the moraine fields and head up to the last col of our day the Col de Prafleuri at 2987 mrs before dropping down to out hut for the night the Cababne de Prafleuri at 2624 mts.
Distance approx 18 km. Ascent + 820 mtrs. Descent – 550 mtrs. Time 7-9 hrs.
Day 5 – 19/08/17 – Prafleuri to Arolla/La Sage (Twin room)
After an early breakfast we cross the Col de Roux to reach the Lac de Dix. Wandering along the lake for a few kilometers we then start climbing up towards the Col de Riedmatten and the Pas du Chevre a ladder system that brings us to the same place as the col, if the weather is good we can take the ladders. Dropping down towards Arolla we gain fantastic views of Mont Blanc de Cheilon and the Glacier de Cheilon.
Distance approx 14 km Ascent: +735mtrs Descent- 1360mtrs. Time 6-7 hrs.
Private Transfer to La Sage from Arolla
Day 6 – 20/08/17 – La Sage to Zinal (Twin room)
We climb up to our first col of the day, the Col de Torrent that sits at 2912m and we then make our descent to the blue green waters of the Moiry Dam. A final climb up to the Col de Sorebois that gives spectacular views to mountains such as the Dent Blanche. From here we descend to our accommodation in the beautiful old town of Zinal.
Distance Approx 22 km Ascent: +1800 mtrs. Descent: –1820mtrs. Time 9 hrs.
Day 7 – 21/08/17 – Zinal to Gruben (Twin room)
Only one Col to cross today, and we begin with a pleasant ascent through the larch woods. This trail is very pleasant as it meanders up and down traversing the mountainside, until we reach the junction for the two Cols, the Col de la Forcletta that sits at 2874m, and the Meidpass which lies further along the route, and sits at 2790m. Depending on weather, and conditions your guide will decide which route offers the best experience for the group. Distance approx 17km Distance Ascent: +1315 mtrs. Descent: –1165 mtrs.
Day 8 – 22/08/17 – Gruben to Zermatt (Twin Room)
A superb trek today, as we start out through open woodland, then high pastures and rocky upland wilderness. The trek soon opens up to some of the most spectacular views in the Swiss Alps. Our final pass is the Augstbordpass at 2894m, beyond which we descend steeply to the pretty hamlet of Jungu and on again into the Mattertal and the town of St. Niklaus. Here we take the train/taxi to what has to be one of the most famous mountain towns in the world – Zermatt!
Distance approx 13km Ascent: +1070mtrs. Descent: +1765 mtrs.
Day 9 – 23/08/17 – Departure day.
The trip ends at 10 am on this day and we wish you the easiest and nicest journey back home after a great Haute route trek with Big Smile Adventures.
We do not have a set itinerary as we believe to have this set in stone does not allow us to maximise the snow conditions and to be safe. Every night our guide/s will look at the weather, avalanche risk and level, snow condition, the ability and feeling of the group and make a decision of where we are going the next day.
But some of our options are
Col d’ Urine loop (2525 MTRS) – 5.5hrs, 890 mtrs Ascent, 6km, Chalets de Clapeyto (2221 MTRS) – 5 hrs, 720 mtrs Ascent, 13km, Vallon du Tronchet (2661 MTRS) – 6.5hrs, 970mtrs Ascent, 12km, Le Alpages du Sommet Bucher (2254 MTRS) – 5hrs, 554 mtrs Ascent, 6km, Col du Longet (2701 Mtrs) – 4.5hrs, 677 mtrs Ascent, 7km, Croix du Curlet (2301 MTRS) – 4hrs, 520 mtrs Ascent, 3.8km, Col de la Creche (2284 MTRS) – 4.5hrs, 573 mtrs Ascent, 6km, Alpage de Fontantie – 4.5hrs, 743 mtrs Ascent, 5km,
Day 1 (Sat)
Arrive Kranska Gora and get settled in.
Day 2 (Sun)
Starting from Kranjska Gora we trek to the summit of Ciprnik that sits at an altitude of 1745 mtrs. It is a longish day taking about 8hrs with 935 mtrs of Ascent. It is on good paths and the views from the summit are amazing. We descend through beautiful pine forest back to the valley to finish the day.
Day 3 (Mon)
Today we head to the summit of Tromeja (Pec on some maps) this summit sits at 1510 mtrs and although not high in Altitude it is a very special place. It is the meeting point of the three frontiers, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. Again it is all on good paths but another long day 24 km with 700 mtrs of ascent and roughly 8hrs walking.
Day 4 (Tues)
Free day – today you are able to do, as you want. Maybe relax in Kranjska Gora and visit one of the spas, maybe head into the capital Llubijlana or maybe hire a Mountain bike and go cycling around one of the many cycle paths that go through the valley.
Day 5 (Wed)
We head up to the summit and Col of Vrsic a very important col during WW1. Passing through alpine pastures and pine forests we stop at the Russian Chapel (built for the Russian Prisoners of War who died in an Avalanche while building the road) before continuing up to see the huge natural rock sculpture of Ajdovska deklica (The Giant Girl). We take in the summit of Vrisic and then drop down to the col. There is an option here if you do not want to walk back down to the valley of waiting for a bus, otherwise we continue back down to the valley and Kranjska Gora.
Todays ascent is of 800 mtrs and is a 19 km round trip back to the valley and taking 6-7 hrs to complete.
Day 6 (Thurs)
We get picked up by minibus and taken over the border into Friuli the Italian side of the Julian Alps. From here we start to make our way up through the pine forests and into a huge rugged limestone cirque where we find the hut. Here it is possible to see Marmots and Ibex running around while raptors catch the warm thermals and float high above our heads.
Settling into the Refugio we will have time to relax before dinner.
Day 7 (Fri)
Getting up we have breakfast, pack our bags and then head up to the high col and WW1 tunnel and Gallery where we can take in even more spectacular mountain views especially of the Mangart one of the Julian Alps bigger and more famous peaks. Returning back to the Refugio we pick up our bags and head back down into the valley to catch our transfer to Kranjska Gora and our self-catering apartments. These will be booked for the whole week so anything that you do not want to take to the Refugio can be left at the apartments.
Day 8 (Sat)
Pack and leave Kranjska Gora.
Day 1 – Join trip in Chamonix.
Arriving in Chamonix the famous Mountain town of the French Alps based at the foot of Mont Blanc, we meet the group at 6pm for a trip briefing with your guide for the trek. Afterwards we have our evening meal.Accommodation: 3* hotel. Dinner included. Luggage availability
Day 2 – Transfer to Les Houches and trek to Les Contamines.
Arriving in Les Houches by private transfer we then take the cable car from the Bellevue lift. Crossing the hanging suspension bridge by the snout of the Bionnassay glacier we head up to the col du Tricot and down to the chalets du Miage for a coffee break before carrying on to Les Contamines. If it is very bad weather we can use a lower route option. Accommodation: 3*, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery. Walking: Approx 6 hrs, Ascent +837 mtrs Descent -1520 mrs
Day 3 – Les Contamines – Les Chapieux.
Trekking up the old Roman road to Notre Dame de la gorge, we then start up hill past the Chalet de Barme and on up to the Col de Bonhomme at 2328 mtrs where we stop to eat our lunch. After lunch we carry on traversing on a gentle climb path to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme at 2478 mtrs. From here it is a two hr descent to Les Chapieux where we stay for the night. Accommodation: Guest house, Breakfast & Dinner included.Lunch not included. Luggage delivery. Walking : Approx 7-8hrs, Ascent +1348 mtrs Descent -960mtrs
Day 4 – Les Chapieux – Courmayeur Italy.
After taking a mini bus transfer to miss walking on 5 km of tarmac road, we cross the river at Ville des Glaciers and start heading towards the refuge des Mottets from where we start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne at 2516 which marks the frontier of France and Italy. From the col you look down the awe inspiring Val Veni and into Italy. Descending past the Rifugio Elisabetta we head down to Les Visaille where we take a local bus into Courmayeur where we stay in a central good quality hotel for the night. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery. Walking: Approx 5-6 hrs, Ascent +867 mtrs Descent -1015 mtrs
Day 5 – Courmayeur – Rifugio Bonatti Val Ferret
Today we start steeply up on lovely forest trails to the Rifugio Bertone and the Mont de la Saxe ridgeline. If conditions are good we can take the lesser-trodden variant to the Mont de la Saxe ridge and up to the Tete de la Tronche and then descending steeply to the Col Sapin. A couple more descents and ascents finally bring us to the Col Entre Deux Sauts. Today is quite a long day but with really amazing jaw dropping scenery and not so many other trekkers. Overnighting in the wonderful Rifugio Bonatti with stunning views of the Mountains and glaciers as the sunsets. Tonight is the only night with out luggage availability. Accommodation: Mountain Refuge, Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch not included. No Luggage delivery. Walking: Approx 7hrs, Ascent +1584mtrs Descent -940mtrs
Day 6 – Bonatti Hut Italy – La Fouly Switzerland
Today see`s us cross the Grand col Ferret at 2537mtrs and one of the highest cols of the trek. We get great views of the Grand Jorasses, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the only mountain in the range to sit with a foot in France, Italy and Switzerland). At the col we cross over in to the Swiss Ferret and it is completely different to the Italian Val Ferret that we have left behind us. Dropping down we arrive at the small alpine village where we stay in a hotel for the night. Accommodation: Hotel, Breakfast & Dinner Included. Lunch not included. Luggage delivery. Walking: Approx 6-7 hrs, Ascent +1128 mtrs Descent -1580mtrs
Day 7 – La Fouly – Champex en Lac.
A shorter day today finds us traversing through classic Swiss alpine meadows and small villages. A final climb see us arrive at the alpine resort of Champex that sits beside a picture perfect lake. Staying in a tradition hotel with simple but very clean rooms and great food. Accommodation: Hotel 3*, Breakfast & Dinner included