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A selection of mountain activities to leave your comfort zone

And what if you dared… ? Several times, you almost did it! You nearly booked a slot for a paragliding flight; you nearly left your faithful snowshoes behind to try a fat bike. And then reason took over. So for those of you who want to rise to the challenge and test your limits, here are a few ideas to help you take the plunge and play safe!

Outings on the Ratéry Nordic area

Are you more snowshoeing or Nordic skiing team?

For you, does a skiing holiday mean a Nordic tour? That’s good news because it’s also the motto of the Ratéry Nordic ski area ! Perched at an altitude of 1700 metres at the entrance to a larch forest and in the middle of the Haut-Verdon, this is the perfect place to test your limits. As an adventurer on your own or with a mountain guide, discover the snow-clad landscapes of Val d’Allos on the 20 km of cross-country skiing trails and snowshoeing itineraries. You can hire all your gear on the spot, so you can choose what you want on your feet. A variety of pleasures and thrills, a free groomed toboggan run for all ages. And for a total immersion in mountain life, why not try an unusual night in a yurt? A comfortable bonus: the chalet nearby offers dishes made with local produce, sheer delight!

 

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Une publication partagée par Pays des Écrins (@paysdesecrins)

A the top of the Ecrins

Climbing goes with (ice)fall

You love risks, thrills and the adrenaline buzz? Head for the splendid icefalls of the Pays des Ecrins. Strong and fragile at the same time, the traditional waterfalls solidify in winter and produce these splendid icefalls. It isn’t just a case of being amazed by this beauty of nature, but actually climbing it! An unusual activity in the southern French Alps, it isn’t just for mountaineers because you can take the plunge with a specialised guide who will accompany you to the top. To get there, you need to be well-equipped: crampons and ice axes, a climbing harness, a bit of concentration to get your knots right and off you go! Head for the internationally famous Freissinières valley for a gentle start and test your skill on the initiation falls such as Fracastorus, Claphouse and even Beating the retreat.

On Isola 2000’s frozen track

Become a real snow pilot

For all experienced drivers: driving on a road holds no secrets for you? Why not rise to the challenge on a more… slippery terrain? Head for the very famous Isola 2000 ice circuit for an unforgettable ice driving course. Every year it hosts the most prestigious automobile competitions, and specifically the Trophée Andros. Follow in the tracks of the most renowned pilots: the track is open to rental from 60 euros. Lessons, courses and even training to perfect your technique with expert advice from professionals are all on the programme of this adrenaline boosting experience.

Ice circuit

Take to the heights in Pra Loup

Ready, steady, fly!

You dream of the big jump, of letting go and reaching for the sky? Go beyond you limits and try a winter parachute jump, above the magnificent white landscapes of the southern French Alps. It’s a short distance to the Saint-Pons airfield in Barcelonnette and the 1 minute and 45 seconds of great thrills that separate you from the ground, a step too between the plane and the vastness of the sky… for a longer flight, push your limits and choose a maiden paraglider flight; be guided and feel your senses in motion as you get a real feeling of freedom. You can also admire the lovely white landscapes of the mountains. Another unusual way of discovering the Ubaye valley is to take a maiden flight in a plane or a glider.

Aerial sports at Pra Loup

The Dévoluy, a wild and mineral range

Discover ski touring

Feel like taking a holiday in the mountains in the Alps? Why not make the most of it and try your hand at ski touring? This discipline blends the pleasure of hiking with the discovery of preserved nature in the snow-covered valleys of the southern French Alps. No more skilifts, it’s time to climb by the sheer force of your legs surrounded by the cliffs and the magnificent settings of the Dévoluy ! To be To be done preferably with a guide, this activity will delight all those who love wide-open spaces! There are marked itineraries on the massif to learn on. There’s something for everyone: easy tours for beginners and high altitude tours for the more experienced. And when you reach the top, you won’t be disappointed by the mountain panorama or the ski down on off-trail virgin slopes. A guaranteed feeling of freedom!

 

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Une publication partagée par ☀️ Le Dévoluy ⛷ (@ledevoluy)

Jump on in Valberg

A high speed ride on a Fatbike or a Skidoo

Want to go to the mountains without skiing down the runs? You can do it in Valberg where you are free to choose between the power of the skidoo or the adventurous aspect of the fatbike. Jump on your racer and leave on a discovery of the snowy valleys. The resort’s must is the skidoo tour at sunrise which is quite simply dazzling. And the little extra: free breakfast at the top! For winter sports lovers who don’t want to give up their snow sessions in the daytime, you can choose the late afternoon tour. Fatbike will charm the more seasoned athletes. Equipped with big crampons and XXL tyres, it’s ideal for riding in the snow and discovering the mountain athletically on a bike. A good plan for the less energetic: the fatbike even comes in an electric version.

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