Tracks and Trails was set up in 2006 by two people who wanted to earn a living as qualified International Mountain Leaders. For Lindsay Cannon and Julia Tregaskis-Allen, Directors and Founders of the company, it was also about sharing their love of the mountains with others. Today we take pride in the fact that we offer an extremely professional service delivered by people who live and breath mountain adventure. More than a decade later Tracks and Trails has evolved into a company working with a first class team of guides and instructors who all share our belief in providing the best adventure holidays.
The majority of our clients are repeat customers, and every year they help to spread the word about our company. As each year passes these repeat guests return with another friend, or more family members and hence our reputation has spread. We know many of our guests personally having guided the same people year after year. Arranging their holiday is easy as we know their skill level, the type of holiday they enjoy, and they know what they will get from Tracks and Trails. We even have clients who ask for a private trip to a certain area and book their flights and pay their deposit before we have even created the trip! Now, that speaks volumes about the trust that has grown up between our team and our guests. Join us on a trip and we are sure you will become part of our huge extended 'family'.
We differ from many of the larger, more commercial, travel companies in that Tracks and Trails is run by 'mountain people'. Lindsay and Julia can no longer guide all of the trips, much as they would like to, so we work with a skilled team of carefully chosen guides and instructors who love to work with us. If our administration team are not familiar with the exact route you are enquiring about you can be assured that one of us will be able to help and we will be happy to call you to talk over your questions. Everyone involved with the company spends almost every free moment of their lives in the mountains. We are all hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, trail runners, paragliders, road cyclists, alpinists, ski mountaineers; the list goes on. If it's an adventure sport based in the mountains then we do it! This immense knowledge means that we can offer truly expert advice on the trips we run.
At Tracks and Trails it is not about getting as many people as possible on our trips while keeping costs as low as possible. Our trips are not the cheapest, but you can be assured that we will deliver value for money. It is our philosophy to provide an excellent product for our customers. We have no interest in providing a service that is 'second-best', and constantly strive to improve the trips we offer. If you do have any feedback that suggests we can make improvements to the service we offer then we assure you, your comments are taken seriously and if we agree with you then we take action. In terms of accommodation we aim work with family run hotels who take pride in their work and who share our belief that providing a 'quality service' is how we achieve job satisfaction and continue to feel passionate about our work. On some occasions we actually prefer to make a 'loss' on a trip rather than have you going away dissatisfied with your experience. Our guests often joke "you'll never be millionaires with that attitude!" But surely there is more to quality of life than money.
We only work with guides who are well known to us, and you can read more about them here. Whereas many larger commercial companies pay guides the minimum wage we ensure that professional guides, who have spent many years qualifying and spend many long months in the mountains away from family and friends, are fairly rewarded for their knowledge and skills. By ensuring our guides are treated well this is passed on to you, the customer, by way of their continued enthusiasm for the job. We all deserve to be respected and valued and that is what we aim to do. The result is that our guests have an excellent experience and we retain happy, loyal and enthusiastic guides and instructors. When booking future trips many of our guests request our guides by name as they have had such a good time with the guide in question. If possible we maintain this relationship by checking if your preferred guide is available for your next trip.
To truly experience the peace and solitude of the moutains our guests love to get 'off the beaten track'. So even on the most popular of trails such as the Tour du Mont Blanc our aim is to do just that. Our guides use their local knowledge and experience to access quieter trails and refreshment stops or an extra summit and view point. In fact they are never happier than when asked to guide or research a new area. Not all of the trips, regions and countries we know are on our website. Please do get in touch if you would like to suggest a new destination. Our team of guides at Tracks and Trails has a wealth of experience leading trips across the globe, including the greater ranges of the Himalayas.
Tracks and Trails has a reputation for providing adventure travel holidays to lesser known areas. As guides who know and love the mountains we always create trips that we would like to do ourselves. Quite often we are the only company, or the first UK-based travel operator, to promote certain areas and routes. This is certainly the case with our cross country ski trips and in the world of trail running. It's with this sense of adventure, desire to explore, and mountain professionalism that we have built our business.
We believe that 'small' is beautiful, and our aim is to promote small group travel. This is for a number of reasons, not least of which is the environmental impact on fragile mountain landscapes. It also means that our guides can do the best job possible in terms of looking after your needs as an individual, ensuring your safety in the mountains. Small groups mean we can easily share our knowledge and information about the local culture, and flora and fauna. When we arrive at our hotel our small group means we do not 'dominate' the hotel and it also means that we have a greater chance of securing the best accommodation. In summer we believe that a maximum of 10 guests per guide is correct, and in winter we work with a maximum of 8 guests on snowshoes, and 9 on cross country skis. We find these groups sizes are sufficient to promote lively interaction, but not too large to be detrimental to your experience.
We do not charge extra if you are a single traveller booking on a scheduled departure. When booking a holiday with us as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. We find that many of our guests have made good friends with their 'room mate' and have even booked on future trips together! Many companies add a supplementary charge to anyone booking 'solo', but we believe this penalises anyone who has the sense of adventure and spirit to book a holiday on their own. However, if you specifically request a single room, this can be arranged upon receipt of a single room supplement.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Above everything else your safety and enjoyment is our highest priority. As you will see from consulting our 'About Us' page we work with highly experienced guides and instructors. It is their job to keep you safe in the mountains, though as you will note from our Terms and Conditions we do ask you to acknowledge that we cannot eliminate risk in its entirety. That is the nature of adventure, we head to the mountains to experience the wild open spaces and the thrill that provides. For each trip we complete Evacuation Plans and Risk Assessments. If there is no mobile phone coverage for large parts of your trip then we provide our guides with a satellite phone. Where possible we employ guides with a thorough knowledge of the route they are guiding so they are familiar with what is ahead. This will not always be the case because quite simply not all guides can be familiar with every single trail and route, but what we can promise is that as qualified mountain professionals, who have been carefully selected and thoroughly trained and assessed over a number of years, they all have the ability to be dropped into any area and do their job to a high standard. In fact we have guests who regularly join either Julia or Lindsay on 'scouting trips' to new areas as they relish the chance to be Tracks and Trails pioneers!
So many companies have jumped on the 'green' bandwagon, which is great news, but it is hard to distinguish the genuine article. We have no excuse for not caring for the mountains; they are our love, our passion and our source of income. We would be very short sighted not to think carefully about how we run trips and the environmental message that we share with our guests. We want to pass down our legacy of the outdoors to future generations and for many 'guiding' families where mountain work is handed down to the next generation this is of utmost importance. We are often asked "Do you ever get tired of these views?" The answer is "No", and we can vouch for ever member of our guiding team, that their response would be the same. Once a mountain lover, always a mountain lover. You can read our Caring for the Environment Policy here.
We believe in teamwork, and over the years we have established strong working relationships with several other companies who hold our own professional standards and beliefs. So do not be surprised to discover that some guests on your chosen trip may have booked through other operators. We see this as a positive solution to 'guaranteeing' your trip as early as possible. Combining our bookings means we reach the minimum number required to confirm the trip sooner allowing you to book your travel as soon as possible. There is no difference in the quality of the service, and all the details of your trip are identical, in other words no one pays more or less than the other. The only difference is that choosing to book through Tracks and Trails you are supporting a dedicated team of mountain professionals, and you are assured of our personal service every step of the way. To us every booking is of the utmost importance. That's what happens when you book with a small company, you are more than a number! If you wish to discuss this further please do contact us.