St Bernard's Snowshoe Pilgrimage

Switzerland

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Beginners snowshoe experience, completing the famous pilgrimage to St Bernard's Monastery. Along the way, you'll also visit Barryland - home of the Grand St Bernard dog!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Introductions

You'll be collected by your guide at Martigny train station at 16:00 - a direct train ride from Geneva airport. From here we'll do group introductions and you'll have a chance to settle into the accommodation before dinner. All food, accommodation and specialist equipment is included on this trip.

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On this day we'll head out from our base in the mountain valley, to a location that's fantastic for gaining snowshoe skills - learning how to move over the snow with ease. We'll also complete a small journey into the Swiss wilderness, with incredible mountain backdrops. There is then an optional sledge run for the more adventurous, the less adventurous can warm up with a Hot Chocolate or Hot Wine.

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An early start will see us on the trail to ascend the 5km, 500m up, the trail to the Grand Saint Bernard Monastery. Once there we will break for tea and food with the monks. Afterwards, we'll make a short journey across the Italian border, before returning back to Switzerland and descending back to the valley. Our final visit is Barryland, to see, and hopefully, pet the dogs. You are then dropped back at Martigny train station. Most people then return to Geneva by train (1h 30m hour) for an evening flight home.

Please note, this is a high mountain trail and in poor weather or avalanche conditions, another route may be chosen.

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December 2021
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14 Jan
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28 Jan
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4 Feb
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11 Feb
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13 Feb
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15 Feb
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Wed
16 Feb
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Fri
18 Feb
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Fri
18 Feb
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20 Feb
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Tue
22 Feb
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24 Feb
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Fri
25 Feb
4:00PM
Sun
27 Feb
4:00PM
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Book

10 spaces

Fri
4 Mar
4:00PM
Sun
6 Mar
4:00PM
€425

Fully booked

Fri
11 Mar
4:00PM
Sun
13 Mar
4:00PM
€425

(€56 deposit)

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11 spaces

Fri
25 Mar
4:00PM
Sun
27 Mar
4:00PM
€425

(€56 deposit)

Based on€425 EUR

Book

11 spaces

5.00 (1 review)

Elise
Verified - Travelled December 2020

Absolutely fantastic weekend on the St Bernard snowshoe pilgrimage. Tom was professional, friendly, and immensely patient, especially with complete beginners like us. I would 100% reccomend, definitel ...read more

  • 1(current)

FAQs

Included

  • Guide
  • In-country transfer
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and Dinner 
  • Specialist equipment. (Snow Shoes, Poles, Safety Equipment)
  • Entry to BarryLand

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches
  • Visa (if applicable)

This trip is very much aimed at beginner snowshoers for their first experience of walking in the snow. You'll need to be fit enough to walk in the mountains for up to 5 hours per day. If you have always wanted to visit the mountains in winter but don't want to ski this is an ideal trip for you. 

Start: You'll meet your guide at Martigny Train station, at around 4 pm on day 1 of your itinerary. It's easily accessible from Zurich Airport (3 hours)/ Geneva airport with regular direct trains (1h 30mins).  

End: Your guide will drop you back off at the train station, on final of your itinerary, leave plenty of time to return to Geneva for your flight home or to continue your experience in the Alps. We would recommend getting a flight after 7:30 pm.

Absolutely, please let us know your requirements. 

It is rustic, "dortoirs", dormitory-style. With shared rooms. 

The minimum age is 18, or 14 if accompanied by an adult. 

You'll hike from 1800m to 2500m. Altitude sickness is not normally an issue at this height. 

You'll be in the swiss mountains, so there are endless opportunities! You can visit Geneva, Montreux or Lausanne. If you want to ski or do more snowshoeing then this would be a perfect opportunity. There are also some of the worlds best train trips starting near here. Your host can advise. 

Your host will also happily extend your trip with ski instruction or further snow-shoeing trips if you would like a longer trip, ask them for details and prices. 

It varies. On ideal days it is cold and sunny but this is a mountain pass and we can have any of the 4 seasons. So do come prepared. 

Swiss Francs, CHF is available at cashpoints. 

Documents

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass for flights
  • Money (CHF)
  • Credit/Debit Card 

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Ear Plugs

 Footwear

  • Trekking boots: 4 season waterproof, warm, lightweight
  • Lightweight shoe's for the evening (or you can borrow hut slippers)

Clothing

Please make sure that you have non-cotton clothing for trekking.  

  • pair of synthetic under-top and bottom (long johns or similar)
  • comfortable shirt for the evening
  • hiking socks
  • spare underwear
  • fleece
  • light down or Primaloft jacket
  • waterproof jacket and trousers
  • hiking trousers.
  • comfortable trousers for the evening
  • sun hat, warm hat and waterproof gloves
  • buff or scarf

Other

  • day bag: 35 - 45 litres - all your kit should fit into this bag.
  • travel towel
  • dry bag or liner
  • water bottle: At least 2L
  • sun protection: Sunglasses, suncream and sun hat
  • personal medication
  • toiletries 
  • electronics - headtorch, travel adapter, phone and charger
  • hand sanitiser and mask

Specialist equipment is included in the price of the trip. (Snow-shoes, poles etc.)

You can leave what you do not want during the days in the accommodation. 

Normal Group size for this trip is 10-12 people. You'll make lots of friends of like-minded people. 

The Grand Saint Bernard is a very special place. There may be an opportunity to attend a Latin Mass or space for reflection. Effort and the location certainly give you something to reflect on. 

Watch this video of ski Sunday visiting the GSB. Although hopefully, we will have better weather for our ascent. 

Very easy with trains 2 or 3 times an hour. We will pick you up at the train station and this helps us keep our carbon footprint low. 

We live and work in the environment and care deeply about it. This provider is in the process of joining the 1% for the planet scheme and volunteers regularly in mountain clean up operations. You are likely to hear about this during your trip. If you travel your entire journey by train, or offset your carbon your host will reward you with merchandise. Be sure to mention it to them. 

Whilst we do everything we can to match this advertised itinerary your safety is our number one concern. We can always get out and about and go snowshoeing but we may not be able to go to the Monastery as it can be a potentially dangerous route in poor weather or avalanche conditions. In such a situation your guides will choose another suitable and safe route. 

You will get to meet the dogs at Barryland. It is up to you how close you get to them! 

Not at all. You can get to us by train from Europe and Britain. Search for trains to Geneva. Here is a nice explanation. The train to Milan actually stops at Martigny too. There is also the Swiss Snow train from London. Just be careful if you have to connect in Paris, its two different stations, leave an hour +. 

Alternatively, you can drive if you are in a group, or are local. There is plenty of parking. 

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