Other Winter Activities
Snow Shoeing / Racquettes
If you fancy getting away from the slopes for a day or if skiing just isn’t your thing, then why not explore the pristine beauty of the Giffre Valley on foot.
Long gone are the days of strapping tennis rackets to your feet – the modern light-weight snowshoes make mountain hiking accessible to all levels of ability and fitness.
Whilst marked trails allow those with their own equipment to explore by themselves, there is nothing more relaxing and rewarding than joining a local mountain guide on a walk, discovering areas only frequented by mountain wildlife and sitting in the sun with a mug of warming tea just gazing in wonder at the peaks of the Grand Massif and Mont Blanc ranges.
A real hit with family groups is to combine snow shoeing with igloo building – a great way for all the family to enjoy the snow together!
Half Day guided sessions, including all your equipment and transport can be organised from as little as €40 per person.
Cross Country Skiing / Ski de Fond
Cross-country skiing, or Ski de Fond, offers the opportunity for experiencing the dramatic beauty of the Alps in a more gentle and peaceful manner, away from the alpine pistes of the Grand Massif . With skiers using their ski and pole technique (as opposed to gravity) to propel themselves they are always in control of their own speed.
There are 2 forms of Ski de Fond each with their own unique technique and involving quite different levels of effort;
- Classic – The more gentle form of Ski de Fond is a technique called “Classic” which is easier to learn and is more akin to walking than traditional alpine skiing. Specific tracks are carved in the dedicated Ski de Fond pistes and participants push themselves along through a combination of their ski poles and their skis.
- Skating – A more energetic form of the sport uses a technique called “Skating” with participants propelling themselves along using a motion similar to that of ice-skating.
For those who enjoy a physical challenge, cross country skiing can certainly provide a full body workout and it is great for getting your heart pumping whilst enjoying the stunning mountain scenery at a slightly more leisurely pace!
Cross-country skiing within in the Giffre Valley: Morillion to Sixt Fer à Cheval
Following the route of the river Giffre runs 46km of Ski de Fond piste that can be used for both Classic and Skating with different sections of the piste being suited to different levels of ability. Piste maps with details of all the routes and grading are available.
At 1700m at the famous Col de Joux Plane
At times in the season when snow conditions no longer support the maintenance of the pistes in the valley the Nordic Skiing centre at the Joux Plane is opened. Set at 1700m, with magnificent views over the Giffre valley to Mont Blanc, the pistes offer more challenging intermediate and advanced tracks with access to the site being provided by the Nordic centre for a minimal fee.
With a ski-pass for the entire Ski de Fond area costing less than €10 a day – why not experience the Grand Massif in a completely new way!