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Published 2016, december, 13 â€“ Author : Coline Mionnet
Race for novelties is launched in french ski resorts
France has about 311 mountain resorts. For the winter season 2016-2017 very different fittings have been set up, some are more sustainable than others
Ski lift, ski slopes and night clubs
Along the cool seasons, 55 ski lifts were installed or replaced within french mountains. For the 2016/2017 ski season, there will be 6 new ones in the Southern Alps, 7 in the Pyrenees, 1 in the Vosges and 41 in the Northern Alps (Le Collet d’Allevard, Chamrousse, Les Saisies, Val d’IsÃ¨re, Le Corbier, Les Carroz D’araches, …)
“La Folie Douce” set 6500 feets high in Saint-Gervais. This concept brings together quality restaurants and nightclubs. The only nightclub where you can dance with your ski boots without looking odd!
Accommodation for beginners
It has been a few years now that the fashion of slow skiing or quiet skiing has invaded the resorts which no longer hesitate to set up special zones for calmly skiing, so more adapted to beginners.
So, Grand Bornand resort has invested this year to facilitate the beginners’ slide on the part of the Rosay plateau.
The big resorts do not forget them as Tignes Resort which makes free all the green slopes for all this winter! In Val d’Isere one of the summits becomes a safe space dedicated to the beginners, and Les Menuires Resort has set up a blue slope on one of the summits so that they can also accede to an exceptional viewpoint.
A lot of original innovations to test!
Bridges over the void
After the “Step in the Void” in Chamonix Mont-Blanc and the “Vertige des Cimes” in Lans-en-Vercors, Les 2 Alpes have recently inaugurated their “Skywalk”, a suspended bridge in the void that allows skiers and hikers to admire the view 11,000 feets high.
In the Southern Alps, Isola 2000 also installed a new footbridge in the void with an amazing viewpoint over Sisteron.
The Snowscoot BMX, also called snow scooter, would have become the third mode of sliding in France. It is very accessible to beginners. In the Massif du Sancy in Auvergne, Massif Central, you can learn and practice snowscoot by taking a ski lift in most of resorts.
Yoga in mountain
One of the other great trends of the moment in the mountains is yoga. The steep landscape has a soothing effect that makes the practice and effects of yoga more effective.
In Areches Beaufort, Les Gets and Val Thorens among others, you can book your stay & yoga, ski & yoga or yoga & rackets.
Last year, Morzine inaugurated the first ski yoga track on which postures are realizable with your skis.
Some stations also offer survival courses such as the Academy of Survival Techniques labeled by Bear Grylls in La Clusaz. You can learn to build a shelter to coach yourself for managing stress and cold. In Gerardmer, Vosges, courses offer you to learn how to get drinking water in the wild.
Culture & Sciences
At the top of the Pic du Midi, in the Pyrenees, opens a planetarium as well as a 45 places cinema room with a 26 feets diameter hemispheric screen. Light pollution is one of the weakest in France at Pic du Midi in Bigorre, that’s why this site was chosen to build what remains today the largest astronomical observatory with the largest optical telescope in France.
Think about booking your tickets in advance to have your chance to visit the Observatory.
The fashion of selfie
Maybe you tend to take risks to capture the best views of your skiing holiday? Or are you just fan of selfies? In Chatel, Portes du Soleil Resort, Haute-Savoie, you will be able to borrow tracked tracks to realize your best selfies in the 10 most beautiful spots of the resort with stunning views of the Dent du Midi, Les Dents Blanches in Switzerland or Mont Blanc
Tubing spaces and diversification
A tubing space is composed of one or more sliding track(s) on inflatable buoy. Tubing may be practiced with or without snow, on synthetic tracks.
Montagne de Lure Resort, in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, the Champ du Feu in the Bas-Rhin, the Col de Marcieu in Isere, Les Arcs in Savoie and La Bresse in the Vosges, all these areas offers 4-season tubing trails opened all year long or almost according to the stations.
In the depament of Ain, the village of Giron, located 330 feets high in the massif of the Jura is the highest of the department and offers among other activiies snow tubing in winter.
No need to be a great mountain resort to diversify. As a proof, the area of Mauselaine in the Vosges which has 20 ski runs on 40 km in the middle of the forest. To attract younger clientele, the resort has invested and now offers ice karting, ice diving, sled dog rides and an ice waterfall.
The 4 Seasons Sledding Boom
On December, 17 the village of Autrans will inaugurate the first 4-season sled in Isere on the emblematic site of Claret the “Speed Sledge Vercors” with a 135 m drop.
La Sambuy and Les Saisies also have theirs. In Saint-Francois Longchamp, Savoie, the 4 Seasons luge is accessible to people with disabilities.
In the Hautes-Alpes, Montgenevre has build the “Monty Express”, the longest toboggan run in France with 4600 feets long and 985 feets drop.
Out of mountains, the Pas-de-Calais also has its sledding 4 Saisons with 230 feets drop. It is located in the park of Olhain near Lens, one hour from London via shuutle. It is open almost all the year: from April to September and from October to March.
An example from Canada to test in France!
At Piedmont in Quebec 30 min from Montreal and only 600 feets above sea level, the playground “Les Glissades des Pays d’en Haut” was created in 1964. Today it offers more than 50 runs exposed to the sun.
From 1995 the “Snow Rafting” was inaugurated. It now has its own ski lift that draws a rafting canoe to the top of the mountain where up to 12 passengers are seated to enjoy 6 tracks of different levels. Also here is the Tornado, a canoe that turns on itself all along the drop.
In addition 36 tracks of tubing are accessible to all levels of sliders with turns, 260 feets drop, 1 ropeway, 2 treadmills and a snow bobsleigh which accommodates up to 4 people on 3 tracks.
When will come snow bobsleigh in France ?!