Winter Wilderness Workouts

Everyone has a different method of relaxing during their holiday. Some people love nothing more than to sit by a pool in a tropical clime doing not very much at all. Others may prefer a tour with early starts, late finishes and plenty of sightseeing in between. Then there are those who like a lot of activity, a bit of danger, and don’t mind discomfort at all.

They are the adrenalin junkies, and a growing number of tour companies are starting to cater for their unique needs.

Activity holiday specialist UTracks is expanding its programme this winter with a selection of new trips – highlights include a new weekend getaway to Mont Blanc, snowshoeing in Austria and UTracks’ very first trip outside Europe, at Morocco’s High Atlas mountain range.

One of these new tours is the 2-day Mont Blanc Winter Weekend.

Aimed at time-starved travellers who are itching for a unique adventure UTracks has devised a weekend getaway in the Alps. Absorb the stunning scenery of the Alps in winter as you walk through forests, ascend mountain slopes and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Snowshoes offer a unique way to walk efficiently through the snow, allowing keen hikers the ability to still enjoy the mountains in winter.

If you’re looking for a slightly longer trip try the new 7-day Snowshoeing in Austria experience.

With its soaring mountains surrounded by more than 70 lakes, the Salzkammergut region of Austria is well known for its stunning scenery and accessible walking trails. In winter the landscape transforms to a wonderland of frozen waterfalls, ice covered lakes and pretty villages with church spires visible above the snow-clad roofs. Snowshoeing through this varied landscape offers keen walkers an opportunity to experience the area in winter, in the company of a local guide.

Prefer the Pyrenees? Here’s a new 8-day Pyrenees Snowshoe Week.

Deep in the Pyrenees where wild valleys, frozen lakes and rolling ridge tops are in abundance, winter opens up a realm of opportunities for active adventurers. Away from its world-class ski runs is a perfect wilderness ripe for exploration accessed by high mountain roads developed for the ski industry. From a comfortable base in the delightful town of Barèges at the base of the Tourmalet pass, the trip includes five days of guided snowshoeing, exploring the high passes, valleys and remote regions on foot with stunning views and the exhilaration that naturally comes with an alpine holiday in winter.

If you like to climb, as well as walk, consider exploring Morocco on the 7-day Mt Toubkal Winter Ascent.

Morocco’s High Atlas range stretches 600kms from the Atlantic Ocean to the Algerian border in the east, rising to its highest point at Mt Toubkal (4,167m), the focus of this exciting trip. The challenge of ascending Toubkal in winter cannot be underestimated but for experienced winter walkers, it is a truly worthwhile objective. The rocky mountain landscape is transformed with seasonal snow falling above 2,300m, requiring the use of crampons and ice axes for a good proportion of the ascent. In the company of highly trained mountain guides, there are two days set aside to push for the summit of North Africa, before returning to the colourful city of Marrakech.

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