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Can I find out any more detailed information on a trek that I'm interested in?
Yes - you can. You can request detailed factfiles by emailing me from the form below. I will then email you the factfile(s) in pdf format right away. You can also ask any number of questions by email or even phone me. How do I know if I’m fit enough for a trek?
All my treks and holidays take place in the mountains and so you can expect to walk up and down every day. We don’t walk fast, but in the Alps we try to do what could be described as the Alpine Plod - a slow steady pace which can be maintained without getting breathless and having to stop every few minutes. You’ll often find you’re able to keep up a conversation going uphill. This is a very pleasant and efficient way to travel in the mountains. This doesn’t mean we don’t stop - of course we do, to eat, rest, and of course just to take in those fabulous views. The best training for walking is - walking. But if you regularly do an aerobic activity and are healthy you should have no problem on these treks. However, you will certainly be tired at the end of some days, this is quite normal, and therein lies some of the wonderful achievement you’ll feel as you proudly arrive at the end of a mountain holiday.
Do I need previous experience for treks that include a glaciated peak or for the glacier trek?
We now offer several treks that include the ascent of a glaciated peak. The Chamonix Zermatt Glacier trek involves trekking on glaciers. For these treks you do not need previous experience of walking in crampons and using an ice-axe. The Glacier trek includes a training day at the start. The other treks only require that you wear crampons for the ascent. You just need to be a reasonably fit hill-walker.
What will I have to carry?
The key words for trekking in the Alps "Think light". For all treks and holidays you’ll be carrying just personal kit for the duration of the trek - spare clothes, minimum wash-kit, lunch food for the day, water, raingear... The huts are equipped with bedding and they provide hearty meals, so you won’t be carrying cooking or sleeping gear. Almost all huts and hotels now offer a picnic for the next day so you should only carry one day’s lunch. First Aid and emergency gear is not needed as I carry that. Your sac should not weigh more than about 6kgs, if you pack carefully. A full equipment list will be supplied on booking or by contacting me.
Do I need specialist equipment to snowshoe?
Snowshoeing is winter walking. You do not need any special gear, just regular hill-walking clothes and good leather boots. Gaiters should be worn. The other equipment - snowshoes, and avalanche gear - will be supplied by Trekking in the Alps.
What are the Creaky Knees Specials?
These trips are designed for those people whose knees (hips, ankles…) no longer like mountain descents. Often people who have done a lot of running or skiing start to feel their knees at a fairly early age. They are still very fit and have a burning desire to get into the hills but may feel their mountain days are over, especially if they get negative advice from doctors. Creaky Knees Special are offered at different levels and anyone who wants to hike in the mountains can sign up regardless of whether their knees are creaky or not. But we will minimize descents by taking lifts or transport, and when we do have to descend then if your gait is a little weird no-one will be asking why!
What are mountain huts like?
Staying in the huts affords a superb insight into the local way of life in the area you’re trekking through. Huts can vary immensely, but the ones I use on my treks all have reasonable facilities, and some are quite luxurious. They all have a minimum of running cold water, and often hot, many huts now providing showers. They all have proper flush toilets, usually of the sit down variety! We sleep either in dormitories or small rooms. Blankets (or often duvets nowadays) are provided and pillows. I usually recommend you bring a sheet sleeping and in sompe huts this is a requirement. A set menu is provided, and people with special diets can be catered for, but I need to know beforehand. The food is always filling and plentiful. Beverages are available, including soft drinks, beer, wine, and local liqueurs. Often local specialities are on the menu. The cost of accommodation is included in the holiday price. You just pay for drinks and any extras you have.
Do you get many single people on your treks?
Lots of people come alone and many friendships have begun on Trekking in the Alps treks. My groups are small (maximum 10, usually 4-8) and the atmosphere is informal and supportive. Do not be afraid to book alone - in fact that's the best way to integrate into a group.
What age are most people on a trek?
I get the full age range from teenagers to retired people. There doesn’t seem to be an optimum age, but your age is immaterial really - some of my fittest trekkers have been well into their 60s - proof that age is just in the head.
What nationalities come on your treks?
The majority of Trekking in the Alps walkers are English speaking, from Britain, America, Canada, Australia, Holland... I also have some French speakers, but they generally come to improve their English.
Do I need to speak the local language to come on a European trek?
No, you’ll always be fine in English. Many of my treks take place in French speaking regions and I’ll be happy to translate for you. However, if you are keen to improve your French I’ll also be happy to help you to do this.
Do I need trekking poles?
This is a personal decision, but if you value your knees I strongly recommend you try walking with poles. If you want to try some you can rent from me. On certain treks where we’re likely to encounter snow, I will insist that you take one pole, which I will supply, and which can be telescoped down to carry on your sac if you don’t want to use it.
What if I have a medical condition?
Let me know of any condition that may be relevant to the holiday, and please tell me of any medication you’re taking for this condition. In a few cases I will ask for a note from your doctor saying that a mountain walking holiday is okay with your condition.
If you feel you can do a trek / trip then I will almost certainly be keen for you to come along, without any judgement from me. Just be sure to keep me informed of any condition which may be relevant.
Can children come on your treks?
Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Children from 10 upwards can usually manage the easier treks, and often enjoy them immensely - younger for some family snowshoeing holidays. The mpain thing is that the child is keen come.
What about Insurance?
You must be insured for rescue, medical costs and repatriation. I also strongly recommend holiday insurance covering cancellation. I can advise on rescue insurance. The following companies are recommended:
BMC Insurance Services
Austrian Alpine Club
For information on how to book, payment,visas, insurance, transport etc, just go to the How to Book page on this site.
|Hilary Sharp, Trekking in the Alps, le Village, 26510 VILLEPERDRIX, France [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] [ Tel: +33 6 8265 4214 ]|