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What to do in the mountains without ski lifts ?

You want to enjoy fresh air and the mountains ? All the reasons are good for you to go in the mountains even if the ski lifts aren’t working anymore ! Follow us in a quick tour of the activities offered by the ski resort to palliate the closure of the ski lifts !

Activities for the whole family

Ski resorts have bent over backwards to allow you to enjoy the mountains safely. Fun and pleasure are awaiting you on the ski area now named “mountain area”. The mountain gets its wild looking again and allow you to discover one of its side. Kids and adults will be thrilled by the amount of activities the ski resorts are offering. Whether you’re a ski enthusiast or not, you will be able to discover a whole new side of the mountains you probably didn’t even knew.


For the skiing lover, two possibilities : Cross country skiing and ski touring ! But… What’s this ?

Ski touring

You love skiing and are going to the mountains only for that ? Well, fear no more, you will have the chance to get on your skis no matter what ! Skiing existed long before the ski lifts and this peculiar stay is maybe the occasion for you to discover a new kind of ski. An ancient type of skiing that our grandparents did when they were kids.

Two types of ski are awaiting for you in the resorts : Ski touring, similar in many points to alpine skiing, the only difference is in the fact that your heels aren’t thight to the ski. You can make a back and forth movement to move forward to climb the hills.Two ties allow you to put sealskin under the ski to avoid sliding back while you climb the hill. Once at the top, put the ski into sliding mode and ski normaly, with the heel attached to the ski

Cross-country skiing

Similar to ski touring, cross country skiing have the same functions than ski touring, meaning the ability for you to climb the hill. The difference between ski touring is in the fact that cross-country skiing skis are way thiner and don’t allow you to attach the heels on the ski. On the same side, you cannot attach seaskin to the skis. The more used to this practice will choose the “skatting” skis, which don’t have small fangs underneath the skis. You just have to skate to climb the hills ! (Be careful, this is a thigh burner one !). On the other side, the “alternative” cross-country ski have small hooks on the ski sole, helping you not to slide down the hill. The alternative cross country skiing is done in the tracks drawn by the snow grooming machine on the slopes by a back and forth movement


So yes, now, you know the difference between cross-country skiing and ski touring. But where to go to try these ?

We are now about to dive deeper in the subject and to introduce you a bit more with the activities offered by the resorts to palliate the ski area closure ! Ready ? GO !

Val Thorens

Val Thorens is a well known resort, especialy for its ski area. But when the ski area isn’t open, Val Thorens is bending over backward to allow you to enjoy its mountains. On the program, a lot of activities to try with your friends or your family :

Two possibilities for you : Practice alone your activities or under the supervision of a mountain professional. Here is the list of the activities you can try in Val Thorens :

Autonomous activities :

  • Ski touring : A 4,8km slope of 820m drop is groomed and start at the Rond-Point des Pistes at 2280m height and finish at 3100m height at the top of the ski lift of the Col. The ascent is made by the green slope Verte Combe de Thorens, by the blue slope Génépi then by the red slope Col. The descent is made by two groomed and secured slopes : Col (red slope) then Moraine (blue slope). Open every day depending on the weather conditions.
  • Cross country skiing : A groomed cross-country ski slope of 3km is at your disposal from Fahrenheit Seven (see the itinerary )
  • Sleigh : 3 Sleigh slopes are at your disposal
    The star sleigh, starting at Caron square (algonside the Castor and Pollux magic carpet (be careful, the carpet is closed, the ascent should be done by foot)
    La grenouillère at the Rond-Point des Pistes
    The snow space of the cable railway (Caron Square)
    Snowshoes and pedestrian tracks : The pedestrian slopes are at your disposal and can be used with snowshoes ( )
  • All of the activities offered by Val Thorens : 

La Rosière

Even with its closed international ski area, La Rosière is offering many activities for you to palliate this closing ! The program will be full of ski touring, cross-country skiing, sleigh and snowshoes !

The ski area is open from 9am to 5pm freely but is not secured. We ask you to be the most careful you can when going in the mountains alone !

In La Rosière, two sleigh slopes are at your disposal and the entire mountains are accessible with snowshoes, cross-country ski or ski touring ! If you’re a beginner, three of the main ski school of the resort are helping you in your discovery of the wild mountains :

ESF program :

OriginAlps for a safe discovery of all the mountain activities :
Program activities of Evolution 2 ski school :

You got it, La Rosière is offering many activities for you to enjoy the mountains !
The usual sleigh moments, paret slides and dog sleigh stroll are of course available ! Don’t hesitate to visit the linked website to try to do the best holidays program ever !

Val Cenis

Val Cenis, welcoming and family friendly ski resort is now the cross-country skiier paradise ! With its 29km of cross-country skiing slopes at your disposal, you can become in no time a skatting professional during your holidays in Val Cenis ! (Cross-country skiing area map : )

Numerous snowshoes paths are at your disposal if you prefer the quiet gazing of a stroll between the pines !

For ski touring, two ascent slopes and two descent slopes, all groomed and secured, are at your disposal.
Val Cenis activities map

To enjoy snowshoeing, there is a lot of choice too ! Between the petit bonheur path, the ski touring slopes or the Val d’Ambin, you won’t know where to look anymore for these mountains holidays !

You got it, in Val Cenis this winter, no time to be bored ! With its 5 sleigh tracks and its 2 ice skating rink, you won’t get tired of having fun this winter. And if you’re looking for new adventures, why not trying something new ? Dog sleigh stroll, horse sleigh stroll, paragliding, everything is possible in Val Cenis ! So… Let’s go ? (Outdoor activities in Val Cenis )

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