Frequently asked Questions and Grades of hikes

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Grades of difficulty

  Accessible to anyone who likes walking!

A little more demanding, either in terms of distance covered or the type of terrain.  

  Strenuous, more technical terrain, more distance. 

These grades give an indication of difficulty but each day of a hiking holiday is different and conditions vary. You should not be deterred from a trip by its grade - be it high or low. Walking in the mountains should be a great pleasure, but often presents a challenge too. The trick is to be sure this challenge is attainable with the amount of effort you wish to put in. 

All my hikes will appeal to anyone who enjoys walking and who appreciates the pleasures of the hills. You will inevitably be tired at times, but that’s the mountains for you - you can expect to walk up and down every day, with the great views that such walking provides. 

How do I know if I’m fit enough for a trip? 

The best thing, if in doubt, is to contact me and we can discuss the trip in detail, to help you decide if it is the right one for you.
A perfect viewpoint in the Alps ©trekkinginthealpsandprovence.comAll my trips take place in the mountains and so you can expect to walk up and down every day. My trips are graded so clearly the lower grade trips feature shorter easier hikes than the top end....and bear in mind I am not getting any younger either!! We don’t walk fast, but in the hills 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 you get many single people on your trips? 

Lots of people come alone and many friendships have begun on Trekking in the Alps and Provence trips. My groups are small (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.

How much will I have to carry each day? 

The key words for Trekking in the Alps and Provence are "Think light" - I do not like to carry a heavy backpack and nor should you!  All my trips are hotel based so you only need to carry for one day. However, even on hotel trips it is best to bring less rather than more...when we transfer from one hotel to another the vehicle we use is not enormous....if everyone has a huge suitcase there'll be no room for us to sit down! Each day you need to carry what you need for all conditions - spare clothes, lunch food for the day, water, raingear. First Aid and emergency gear is not needed as I carry that. Your sac should not weigh more than about 5 kgs. A full list will be supplied on booking or by contacting me.  

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 guests have been well into their 60s and beyond- proof that age is just in the head. 

What nationalities come on your treks? 

The majority of Trekking in the Alps and Provence guests 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 trip? 

No, you’ll always be fine in English. My trips 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. I love hiking with poles, and I find they keep me upright, they keep me balanced, I can easily cross muddy or snowy ground, I can more easily get over streams, I can use them to push aside vegetation, I can lean on the....they are just an all round good thing! If you want to try some you can rent from me. On certain hikes where we’re likely to encounter challenging terrain, I will insist that you take at least one pole, 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 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 trips? 

Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Children from 8 upwards can usually manage the easier trips, and often enjoy them immensely. The main thing is that the child is keen to hike! 

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 
SnowCard UK
Access America
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.