Adventures / Sub Zero

Husky Sled and Snowshoe in the Dolomites

Mush your husky pack and snowshoe through the wintery wilds of the Italian Alps

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10417

Adventures / Sub Zero

Husky Sled and Snowshoe in the Dolomites

Mush your husky pack and snowshoe through the wintery wilds of the Italian Alps

DURATION

4 nights

LOCATION

Italy

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

Dec-Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Venice Marco Polo Airport, Venice

ACCOMMODATION

Tipi · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll just need to be reasonably fit for snowshoeing and your host will teach you everything you need to drive your pack

Drive a pack of Siberian huskies through snow-laden forests under the mighty peaks of the Dolomites

Snowshoe deep into the wilderness of UNESCO-listed Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park

Sleep in a cosy Arctic tent with a wood-burning stove and Alpine refuges deep in the mountains

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, English speaking, mountain guides

Accommodation

2 nights in an Arctic tent and 2 nights in mountain refuges

Meals

4 breakfasts and 4 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in-between

Equipment

All snowshoeing and dog sledding gear

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Venice Marco Polo Airport

11:00 on Day 1

Ends

Venice Marco Polo Airport

15:00 on Day 5

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) and transfer you to Val Badia - your starting point for your winter Dolomites adventure. On the final day, your host will transfer you from Cortina d'Ampezzo back to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) arriving at around 15:00, in time for any evening flights after 18:00.

Travel options

Venice Marco Polo Airport is accessible via various direct flights from the UK and mainland Europe. Flights from the US generally connect through Madrid, London or Frankfurt.

For those who wish to avoid flying, Venezia Santa Lucia is well connected with high-speed trains from London via Paris. The journey will take an average of 21 hours and usually involve 2 changes.

Day 1

Tipi · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Tipi · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Some of the region's highlights include cheese, milk and butter, once the main source of protein for the inhabitants of the Dolomite valleys. You may also enjoy Casunziei (ravioli stuffed with pumpkin or spinach), potato gnocchi with smoked cottage cheese or pumpkin, Canederli (balls of bread with speck), and barley soup. For main courses, you’ll often find game and polenta featuring on the menu.

In the mountain huts, you'll keep fuelled up with pasta, lentils, chickpeas, soups and meat-based dishes. Lunches are not included, you can buy your own each morning before the day's snowshoeing, you should budget around €10-15 per day for your lunches and any snacks.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Braies Dolomites

You'll spend 2 nights in a twin-share Arctic tent with a wood-burning stove and bivouac bag to keep you warm. You'll have your meals in a nearby hut and toilet facilities are available as well.

Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park

You'll spend 1 night at the Sennes mountain refuge (2126 m) and stay in mixed dorm-style bunk rooms. The refuge does not provide bedding or pillows, so you'll need to bring a 4 season sleeping bag and travel pillow. You'll be served an evening meal and breakfast, and you'll also be able to buy your lunch each day before setting off. There are shared toilet facilities and showers available to use.

Dolomiti d'Ampezzo Nature Park

You'll spend 1 night at the family-run mountain refuge, Malga Ra Stua (1695m) and stay in mixed dorm-style bunk rooms. The refuge does not provide bedding or pillows, so you'll need to bring a 4 season sleeping bag and travel pillow. You'll be served an evening meal and breakfast, and you'll also be able to buy your lunch each day before setting off. There are shared toilet facilities and showers available to use.

Upgrades

Due to the limited number of rooms and tents, it is not possible to request a private room upgrade for this trip.

Day 1

Become a Musher

Dog Sledding

2-3hrs

Your host will meet you on arrival at Venice Airport and transfer you to Val Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites. Here you'll meet your new furry friends for the first time. Then it's time to learn how to handle a dog sled before you pack up and head deep into the Dolomites. After cruising the backcountry with your pack you'll arrive at camp, where you'll help stable the huskies, prepare their food and attend to them before they rest for the night. Sit down for a delicious dinner before settling into your cosy Arctic tent.

Day 2

Ride into the wilderness

Dog Sledding

5-6hrs

After a hearty breakfast, it's time to prepare the huskies and drive your pack into the wilderness of the Italian Alps. Enjoy the magnificent winter scenery and keep an eye out for red and roe deer. Stop for lunch along the trail and then ride back to camp. Once back at camp, you’ll tend to your pack, eat some dinner and then relax around the fire and 'howl' at the moon with the huskies.

Day 3

Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park

Snowshoeing

4-5hrs · 6km · 1100m up · 740m down

Rise early and say your heartfelt goodbyes to these hard-working doggies, then jump in the van and transfer to the UNESCO-listed Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park. Don your snowshoes and head deep into the Dolomites towards Refuge Ra Stua. Your journey will be filled with some of the most breathtaking views you’ve ever laid eyes on. Rest your tired muscles in the comfort of your warm mountain refuge before donning your snowshoes again to experience the silent, starlit beauty of the Dolomites at night.

Day 4

Heart of the mountains

Snowshoeing

6-7hrs · 14km · 450m up · 700m down

Clip your snowshoes back on to tackle the Sennes plateau then onwards to the rugged Seekofel mountain (2810m). Your final descent takes you to the door of Refuge Sennes (2126m). Once there, drink in the views of Croda Rossa, Cristallo, Sorapis and Tofana right from your mountain hut.

Day 5

Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo

Snowshoeing

4-5hrs · 200m up · 850m down

Rise and shine for your final day of snowshoeing, which will begin with a rewarding journey to view Forcella Lerosa and Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo (3146m), the wildest peak in the Dolomites. Then you'll descend through the woods to the Pederù refuge (1548m) and continue your way down. This is where your snowshoeing adventure sadly comes to an end. Your host will transfer you to the airport by 15:00.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

Snowshoes and poles Dog sledding gear

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (20 litres)
Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack / drybags

CLOTHES
Down jacket
Waterproof jacket
Waterproof trousers
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Thermals (merino best)
Warm hat
Gloves
Buff or neckscarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts / skirts
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Sunglasses
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)

SLEEPING
Sleeping bag (4 season)

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Ear plugs
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Quick-dry towel
Alcohol hand-gel
Headtorch or torch
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
Energy bars and snacks

No optional extras are available for this trip.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 74kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is designed for those with no previous husky sledding or snowshoeing experience - you should, however, have a good level of fitness and enjoy being in vast winter landscapes and conditions. Your host will ensure that you learn all the skills you need throughout the trip and your experience will be all the more enjoyable if you come mentally prepared for a proper winter adventure.

Once your guide has given you sufficient instruction, you'll drive for around 4-5 hours per day, with two people per sled. You will also learn to take care of your pack by putting on their harnesses, feeding them and most importantly, keeping them motivated.

Absolutely, the dog's welfare is and always will be Greta and Italo’s top priority. 

They live on a small farm in Rimini and have a pack of around 25 Siberian Huskies, many of which have been rescued and returned to health. The dogs spend the summer resting and socialising with each other, shaded by the trees. They are walked at dawn and dusk, spending time in the forests and on the beach, re-establishing their pack nature, ready to work together during the winter.

As the Siberian Husky is bred to run, they need lots of activity to stay happy and healthy. Greta and Italo ensure that every dog has ample time to move every day, with younger, older or disabled dogs receiving their own individual programme of care.   The dogs have a dedicated team that tends to their needs 365 days of the year, training them in body conditioning and kinesthesia - the awareness of how to move and navigate space - and providing medical care. 

 A pet husky can run up to 40-50km per day, but a trained Siberian Husky can run up to 200km per day, depending on conditions. These dogs will usually run 5-20km four to five days a week, with two or three rest days, so have plenty of down time to play. 

Snowshoeing is a type of hiking that uses a special type of footwear - a snowshoe - that spreads your weight over a larger area to move easily across powder snow-covered terrain.

Snowshoeing is incredibly easy, comfortable and safe. You simply clip your snowshoe to the outside of your hiking boot and off you go. You'll be in the hands of local, experienced, and trained guides who know the area intimately and will guide you safely throughout the hike.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and are non-compulsory on this trip. Of course, if you feel that your guides provided an exceptional experience then you are welcome to tip as much as you feel is appropriate. You should factor in tipping 10% on top of the bill in any bars and restaurants during the trip.

On any winter hike in a high mountain environment, you will potentially encounter high winds, rain, snow, ice and steep slopes. The Dolomites are no different and you should be prepared to face these conditions. Temperatures can get as low as -20°C so multiple warm layers are definitely recommended.

You can leave luggage you don't need in Venice, your host will store it safely.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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