2016 Mountain activities
In need of a thrill or some me-time? This winter, ski resorts are offering many new experiences perfect for recharging your batteries or providing an adrenalin rush… We turn the spotlight on 7 brand new ski resort experiences.
Open up your chakras with Snowga and Taï Ski
Do you need to refocus on what really matters while keeping your feet on the (snowy) ground? This winter, try out Taï Ski and Snowga. In Grand Tourmalet, ski instructor and former Speed Skiing world champion Cathy Breyton has developed a set of specific exercises combining learning to ski with Taï Chi. Taï Ski is recommended for skiing beginners, but also helps you to shake off your fears, master the space around you and ski more fluidly.
In Valmorel, you can try out a combination of Nordic Walking (walking using ski poles) and yoga. Gazing out over a stunning landscape, it’s the perfect way to unwind and recharge your batteries!
Last winter, Morzine started offering the first ever on-skis Yoga in France. A series of 10 postures dotted along a dedicated run. The watchwords on this run are letting go and well-being. Easy to do with skis on, the postures are designed to prepare your body for wintersports.
Brand new snowsports: try the Snooc
Launching in Le Grand Bornand this winter, the Snooc lets you combine ski touring with tobogganing. In the space of a few minutes, the Snooc transforms from touring skis into a toboggan that’s slightly elevated from the ground, offering a new way to experience snowsports around the ski runs. Available to hire from Le Grand-Bornand’s sports shops. Lessons are provided by the French Ski School. Also available in Serre Chevalier, Valloire and Saint-François-Longchamp.
Try out Sled Dogs, Norwegian snow skates
Sled Dogging involves the use of skates known as Sled DOGS SNOWSKATES. These easy-to-control skates let beginners discover the joys of snowsports, while more experienced skiers can perfect their skiing technique. Try out this new discipline on the slopes of Les Gets. Free supervised introductory sessions will be available to the public and a World Championship event will take place from the 24th to the 26th of February 2016.
Surf on waves at an altitude of 1,500 metres
Since last winter, Courchevel has offered its visitors an XXL aqua centre combining sports, fun and well-being activities. In addition to the fun waterslide, lazy river, aqua-fun area and aqua-wellness area, the centre also offers an indoor surfing wave: without a doubt the highest-altitude wave in France! As well as surfing, it also lets you try out and improve your wakeboarding, bodyboarding and freestyle skills.
Feel like Father Christmas on a reindeer-pulled sleigh
If we said the words ‘reindeer-pulled sleigh’, would Father Christmas spring to mind? At Peisey Vallandry, 5 sturdy reindeer pull a sleigh through a forest and snowy expanses to the traditional hamlet of Les Lanches. Also available at Lac Blanc in the Vosges.
Ski bungee jumping with the Bunj’ride
Once again this winter, Tignes slopes will be home to the Bun J Ride, which combines trampolining, bungee jumping and zip lining techniques. The jumper is attached at the waist to a harness connected to two flexible elastic ropes on either side. Wearing skis, jumpers start at the top of a ski jump and carry out a 30-metre approach run that opens out into a 40-metre void. Guaranteed thrills! From 65€ www.bun-j-ride.com
Taste a beer brewed at high altitude
It’s been developed in the mountains over the last few years. Sometimes organic, sometimes brewed at altitude using water from the Mont Blanc or Vanoise glaciers, mountain beer has a unique quality that is extremely refreshing!
An honourable mention goes to Mont Blanc beer, brewed in Chambéry using water from Les Houches; beer from Val Cenis and La Lombarde, two beers brewed on site using water from the Arcelle glacier; Galibier Beer, brewed in Valloire; 3 Vallées beer, brewed in Moutiers and local organic beers from Autrans and Aussois.
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Bieuville / MORZINE Tourist Office