Are your guides qualified?
All the guides working on our courses hold the International Mountain Leader(IML) which is equivalent to the French ”Accompagnateur de Montagne”. We are all also registered to work in France which is a legal requirement in France.
Food and Water
Where do we get drinking water from?
You will fill your bottles before we leave Lesparrou. There is drinking water at the refuge.
What is the food like in the refuges?
The food in the refuges is plentiful and of very good quality, often using locally sourced ingredients. Breakfasts consist of pastries, fresh bread and jams and you can expect a three course meal in the evenings.
Can allergies be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerance’s and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
What if I run out of snacks? Are there places to buy them?
It's best to bring enough snacks for the 2 day snowshoeing expedition with you.
What are the gîtes and refuges like?
The sleeping arrangements are large shared rooms with up to 6 mattresses on large platforms. You will have your own pillow and blankets but it is very cosy and all part of the “mountain hut” experience.
Can I have a hot shower there?
Yes, hot showers are available. There may be a small supplement for hot water.
Health and Safety
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
Your guides are suitably qualified for such situations and have access to rescue services.
Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this trip?
Not on this one.
Is there a minimum age for this trip?
Yes, all our trips are for people of 18 years of age and older.
Can I bring my own snow shoes and/or poles?
If you have your own snow shoes which you like, this is fine. We strongly recommend that you have heel raisers and please also bring some spare items such as straps which are specific to the snow shoe in case you need to repair them. We carry a generic snow shoe repair kit for breakages but the specific ones are much better.
What do I do if I arrive early on the pickup day?
Toulouse centre is easily accessible from the airport by buses which run every 15 minutes. There is left luggage facilities at Toulouse train station, where the bus drops you. Toulouse is a beautiful city to explore.
What’s the weather like up there?
The climate of the Pyrenees is generally better than the UK, lovely and sunny, and reasonably warm (pretty hot lower down). But there is still the risk of inclement weather, so we advise in the kit list to pack accordingly. And just like any other holiday, having a quick last minute look at the forecast before you come out can be a useful pointer of what’s in store.
What flights would you suggest?
For this expedition, you will need to book flights to Toulouse Blagnac Airport. You can fly with any of the following airlines from several major airports in the UK: Easyjet, RyanAir and British Airways.
We will meet you at a fixed pick up point at Toulouse airport with a meeting time that coincides with British Airways (BA), RyanAir (FR) and Easyjet (EZY) flights arriving from London. Please contact the office for flights arriving from non-London airports so we can arrange a suitable meeting time.
Do I need insurance?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, including medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. We will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Do I need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for this expedition?
As the trip is based in France it is also worth having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this “gives card holders the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays in other European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would be to a resident of that country and is provided either at reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.
The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until the card holder returns home. This includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.” If you don’t already have one, you can apply for one here and it is free.
Many travel insurers won’t cover your medical costs in the unlikely event that you need medical treatment whilst you are away which could have been covered by an EHIC.
Brexit may affect this though so you'll need to check.
What training do we need for this if any?
For this snowshoeing weekend we advice you to spend time on general fitness training for walking. With some hill training.
What additional spending money will we need?
You can buy beverages at the refuge a beer will be around 3 euros. They will not except cards so please bring cash.
There is also an honesty bar in the accommodation at Lesparrou, beer and wine are 2 euros each. Winning!
Can we charge our phones and cameras at the refuges?
Yes it will be possible but the number of sockets will be limited.
Do we need a travel adapter for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as the UK?
The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used. It is possible to recharge your electronic items and batteries for a small cost at all the lodges.