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Chamonix Hiking Adventure for Zephyr Alumni

August 9 - 14, 2022

“Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains; They crown’d him long ago. On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds. With a diadem of snow.”

LORD BYRON

Chamonix in France is one of the most famous mountain towns in the world. It is nestled below the Alps with 15,777 foot Mont Blanc – highest peak in Europe – towering above. It was the host of the first-ever Winter Olympics, back in 1924. It hosts serious mountaineers in both winter and summer who attempt to scale the mountain and pleasure seekers for skiing in winter and hiking in summer.

Chamonix is also a fantastic town to hang out and soak up Alpine culture. It boasts dozens of restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops. There is a strong undercurrent of French culture but the clientele are international. In fact, the Italian border is only a short drive away via a tunnel under the Alps. After a day hiking in the mountains, Chamonix is the perfect place to unwind and soak up a European vibe.

In 2022 we will spend six days in Chamonix for the 25th anniversary of Zephyr Adventures. The tour is for alumni only and we expect a larger group than typical, in the range of 30 participants. Kris, Beth, and Allan from the office will all be guiding the tour. (Allan has not been to Chamonix since 1995 – two years before starting Zephyr – when he attempted to climb Mont Blanc on skis in winter but was turned around by a snow storm. This time he is looking forward to a hotel bed and a hot dinner after hiking.)

We will hike each day of the tour and provide multiple route options. Some routes will cater to those of you who prefer a cable car assist and a moderate hike past glaciers and alpine lakes with views of the valley below. Other hikes will take us up to high peaks and test our legs and lungs as we relish – at least for a few days – in being mountaineers ourselves. In addition to the hiking, there are nearby towns to visit such as Courmayeur in Italy or Saint-Gervais-les-Bains; a very wild animal park situated on the mountainside; an ice cave sculpted out of the glacier; and of course a shopping trip in town or a pre-dinner aperitif.

You, our alumni, are why we do what we do. You have kept us in business for 25 years and are the reason we keep planning tours for the future. We value your patronage that keeps us employed – especially during hard times – but even more cherish the friendships we make on every tour we guide. Come join us in Chamonix, France in 2022 to celebrate the joy we together have brought to so many people via Zephyr Adventures.

Details

Other Info: This trip is for Zephyr alumni only.

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Trip Highlights

  • Experience the stunning scenery of the Alps and Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc
  • Take cable cars and gondolas up into the mountain as the start of breathtaking hikes past glaciers and alpine lakes
  • Hike from Chamonix up to a wild animal park situated on the mountainside above the city
  • Enjoy the pleasures of Chamonix from our centrally-located hotel

The daily itinerary for this tour is still being set. Hikes will depend on weather conditions and the interests of those registering for the tour. Each full tour day we will offer two hiking options, easier and more difficult. Some days we might shuttle to a nearby town for a change of scenery. A sample of activities:

    • Auguille du Midi: A 750 meter walk from the hotel takes us to the cable car up Auguille du Midi. This is the closest you can get to the summit of Mont-Blanc without hiking or climbing. The panorama from the cable car and the top is amazing: with lakes, glaciers, knife-edge arretes, and snow fields to no end.
    • Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a popular ski town and holiday destination 40 minutes from Chamonix, well worth a day trip.
    • Brevent Cable Car is a 650 meter walk from the hotel. With southern exposure, this area above Chamonix tends to be a good location for hiking and we will spend a day in the area.
    • Park Merlet is a wild animal park perched on a mountainside. We can take a winding 14-kilometer road there but even better is the 5.2 kilometer hike directly from our hotel.
    • Lac Blanc is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes you will ever see. A short drive up the highway takes us to the trailhead.
    • Glacier Des Bossons: Nine kilometer drive from the hotel to a cable car up to the glacier. If you have never had a chance to walk on a glacier, now is your opportunity.
    • Courmayeur is one of Italy's most famous ski towns. We can drive there via a tunnel under the Alps.
    • Grotte de Glace: This cave sculpted out of the glacier is re-carved each year.

You, our alumni, have always trusted us with your business and you can rely on us to pick the best aspects of Chamonix for this six-day alumni reunion tour.

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Trip Accommodations

NIGHT 1-5 >> LA CROIX-BLANCHE / CHAMONIX  Located in the heart of the town, this three-star hotel is unpretentious, comfortable, and perfect for a five-night stay in one of the world's most famous mountain towns. Founded in 1793 (!), the hotel is only steps from area restaurants, cafes, and shops. With only 34 rooms, we'll be the majority of the hotels' occupants.

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Arrival & Departure

Chamonix is a 1:15 drive or a three-hour train ride from the International Airport in Geneva. We will provide you with information on local shuttles prior to the tour. We'll meet in the afternoon of the first day, allowing you to arrive that morning on an overnight flight or extend your trip a day by arriving early to adjust to the time zone. On the final day, many of you will depart for the airport early to catch a flight home, so we'll say our goodbyes the evening before when we officially celebrate Zephyr's 25th anniversary.

What's Included
  • This trip will have at least two and likely three guides, tentatively planned to be Kris, Beth, and Allan from the Zephyr office. In addition, our current and retired guides will be invited to attend. (Mike and Andrea are each a tentative yes.)
  • Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. You have the option to pay the single supplement to get your own room if you don’t want a roommate. If you are coming on a trip solo, we will find you a roommate of the same gender.
  • Breakfasts and dinners plus some trail lunches are included.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
  • All costs for extra activities listed in itinerary are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED: Beverages, desserts, some lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Changes to Your Itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.

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