2018 Mountain activities
Ski touring is a great way to enjoy a different kind of experience in the snow and taste the freedom of wide-open spaces. A number of ski resorts are keen to offer people the chance to try it out in a safe and managed setting this winter.
Breath-taking descents, access to wild and untouched places, powder snow up to your knees – ski touring offers purists unique freedom, far from the busy ski areas and in the heart of unspoilt nature. But this sport of dreams – and even fantasy – needs to be approached with care and respect. For a safe introduction to this activity, you need to put yourself in the hands of mountain specialists who will teach you the correct approach to ski touring.
Top ski touring destinations/Where to go
Chamrousse created a safe, sign-posted trail two years ago, and now offers another option starting from the Casserousse bend, with access to off-piste areas leading to the Lac des Pourettes and the Lacs Robert.
Ski touring is central to the identity d’Arêches-Beaufort. Pioneering in the field, the resort has teamed up with leading ski touring specialist – Dynafit – to offer an unforgettable freerando experience. Les Arêches Dynafit Expériences offers night-time ski touring taster sessions, “La Trace” trails (blue, red and black), daily guided sessions with local providers and courses for beginners and improvers. Plenty of options to suit all levels and requirements.
+ Aillons-Margeriaz: ski touring sesssion with an ESF instructor followed by a meal in an Alpine chalet.
Pralognan la Vanoise (73)
2 sign-posted trails close to the slopes for a totally safe ski touring adventure:
- The Rosset trail is ideal for beginners/detoxing!
Starts from the Ancolie chairlift departure station.
Overall height gain: 335m.
- The Moriond trail takes you to the edge of Les Barmettes ski area.
Starts from the Pont de Cavin, 600m overall height gain, or from Les Fontanettes,
overall height gain 400m.
overall height gain 400m.
Plus early-evening taster sessions every week led by guides and ESF instructors.
“La Trace” is a safe, sign-posted trail covering 5km with 660m overall height gain, providing beginners with a relaxed introduction to ski touring.
The blue section of “La Trace” runs for 2km with 300m overall height gain. Access is from the top of Les Bonnets Rouges chairlift in the Grand Mont sector.
The red section of “LaTrace” is more technical and suited to skiers with previous experience of ski touring. It runs from Le Plateau du Cuvy to the top of the Grand-Mont chairlift.
The “Trace Pro” is signposted from the start of the Planay sector and runs for 2.2 km to the top of the Piapolay chairlift with 700m overall height gain. Ideal for “a bit of a climb” in a safe environment close to the ski area. There is a car park at the start of the trail plus ski touring information.
La Plagne (73)
Ski touring in La Plagne – the biggest sign-posted ski area in France!
The resort has invested a massive amount in developing its ski touring trails in the last 2 years: 7 sign-posted trails suited to all levels and accessible free of charge – perfect for beginners or honing your skills. The route back down via the regular ski slopes is safe and easy.
Excursions with ski instructors and guides are the ideal way for beginners to enjoy a relaxed introduction to the sport.
The resort of Les Portes du Soleil organises night-time ski touring taster sessions every Thursday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. A different kind of introduction to the activity that’s all about new experiences off the beaten track but not too far from the regular runs, taking you through the fir trees via groomed slopes. A 500m beginners’ trail guided by ESF instructors takes you from the snow front to the top of the Pleney cable car. Great for friends of family. Equipment not provided. Take a well-earned break at the top!
This winter, Avoriaz opens its first trail 100% dedicated to ski touring – and it takes you to the epic Crête d’Arare!! Starts from the junction of the “Vaineuve” and “Crôt” runs at the top of Les Prodains cable car.
La Clusaz (74)
La Clusaz is one of the biggest ski touring locations in France and the resort is adapting to demand from experienced ski tourers and inquisitive beginners alike. That said, the main objective is still to provide the right kind of support for skiers drawn to the wilder parts of the mountain landscape.
Last winter, the resort started work on two uphill ski touring trails for both beginners and more experienced skiers. One climbs from the Hameau des Alpes to the top of the Plateau de Beauregard and the other one located in the Etale sector starts at Les Joux and takes you to the Belvédère viewpoint. A choice of two trails for a bit of variety and a safe session with total peace of mind!