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  Raquette Nature
        snowshoeing & wilderness
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What is the standard of the walks ?
Le Plan de l'Eau : easy and lovely walk          The walks are accessible to everyone without a particular problem. The aim is not to have a sporting exploit but to enjoy a good moment in the middle of the mountains. We like to emphasize the contemplative side and the feeling of wilderness. For us snow shoes are made for this. This doesn‘t stop the more sporty in finding something to get to grips on the «steeper bits » and the « longer full day treks ».

         The footsteps are slow and above all regular with pauses spread out throughout the circuit. We all walk together. No one runs up ahead and no one is left behind. Your guide makes the rhythm. Mountain leaders are used to adapting to the group’s capacities (and not the other way around). This is our job.

         There is always a good pause at the top of the circuit.
         The level is always specified on the program:
faciles /easy outings : leisurely pace, many breaks.
rando /"hiking" outings : faster pace but never very athletic, breaks evenly distributed.

         If you are worried about your capability, start off with an easy walk at the beginning of the week. The Sunday and Monday walks are gentle giving you time to adapt to the altitude. Having seen you walk we will be able to advice you on the rest of the programme. We often see people with little training progress throughout the week and end up with a day’s outing that they thought they were not capable to do. Everyone can discover the mountain.
VIDEO : Crossing the Granges stream

How many kilometres do we do ?
         This is a question which is often asked but which doesn’t really mean anything in the mountains. In fact on a steep slope the difficulty isn’t measured by the distance walked (which is not very much) but by the height difference from bottom to top.

         For example in the summer we reckon that a "normal" group of holiday makers can climb about 300 metres per hour (including pauses). This is checked every day on the ground. If you go quicker you need to stop more often to catch your breath, and you take the same time, if not more! Once more the mountain leaders know how to « manage » this.
Climbing the Dos de Crêt Voland

Arriving at the foot of Tête Ronde
         In the winter the speed of the climbs is very variable depending on the snow quality. On hard snow in the Spring we can count about 250 metres per hour, whereas if you need to make your marks (our job!) in 60 cm of powder snow (yum, yum!) the « speed » drops down to 100 metres of height difference per hour, or less.

         Thanks to a GPS, we know that the longest of our day‘s outings is over a distance of only 11,5 kilometres. This is very little vis à vis what we could do on the flat - therefore not relevant.
         But who cares : you don’t have to worry about how long you have walked, or look at your watch … that’s our job. All you need to know it that the walking times (excluding the pauses) of the half day outings are between 1 h 30 and 2 h 30 and that a day’s outing is between about 4 and 5 hours.

         Now forget all that, leave your watch behind and come on a walk …

What’s the ambiance like ?
Beautiful rest near Lachat in spring          People who bother to get off the beaten track and come on a snowshoe outing are all looking for the same thing : calm, relaxation, the beauty of the nature, taking one’s time, sharing a special moment with other lovers of the same simple pleasures. This results in a real climate of healthy fun which is not the least important advantages of our job.

         To respect the mountain and melt into the countryside, we walk in silence, everyone can listen out to the nature or be lost in his thoughts … whatever the walk inspires.

         Raquette Nature's timeline
         On the other hand, during the pauses, the conversation never stops. Everyone wants to share his experiences. As the walks often bring together people from different regions of Europe, exchanges are animated (we can always understand each other) and sometimes embellished by surprises coming out of a backpack ...
Picnic in the refuge of Planlebon

Souvenir of a great moment in Lachat

Rest in the forest of La Loy
         The snowshoe clientele are of all ages. More and more young take part in the outings. The image of snowshoes as a "sport for grannies " has disappeared. It‘s a false idea spread largely because certain skiers who imagine themselves very sporty, don‘t enjoy walking and talk about something they know nothing about. Everyone has his own thing : some like amusement parks, others nature …

         Quite often a group of snow shoe lovers join in the walks every day during the week and end up by getting to know each other well. The regulars from the previous years bring their local specialities to taste. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed. We have a great time.
         Briefly, there are some days when we say to ourself that it ought to be us who pays to come …
  Other questions / answers :
What outing at what price ?
How to book ?
Where is the meeting point ?
What equipment is needed ?
How is the programme made up ?
What happens when the weather is bad ?
retour / back
Brigitte Ruff
Delphine Longo
Gilles Roux-Mollard
Olivier Mainaz

accompagnateurs en montagne
diplômés d'état
    contact :
06 09 56 75 00
Le Gébroulaz n°37  73440  VAL THORENS
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