Getting away from it all on skis
Moving across virgin snow and enjoying well-earned descents are just some of the pleasures of ski trekking. A real adventure you can tell your friends about afterwards, as you rest round a log fire.
Ski trekking is more technical than snow-shoeing, and it does require some skills and training. "You need to be physically fit, know a few basic safety rules, and be able to ski on any kind of snow", says a guide from the Bureau des Guides et Accompagnateurs de Contamines-Montjoie. Whether you're trekking for the first time or you're an expert, it's always wiser to set off with a guide. He will know the local topography inside out and will be able to decide the night before how far you can go, on the basis of current conditions and weather forecasts.
Equipped for adventure
Ski trekkers use skis equipped with articulated fittings. Sealskins – synthetic nowadays – are stuck under the tips to prevent you from slipping when climbing the slopes. With this equipment at your feet, you can travel through untouched mountain ranges, far from the crowds and the hustle and bustle of modern life.
The Pyrenees are perfect for ski trekking. Many routes, maps and guides are available to the public. But the greatest opportunities are definitely in the Alps. The Meije, the Mont Blanc massif, the Parc des Ecrins and the Parc de la Vanoise offer a variety of trails. "There is an enormous range of choices", says our guide, "it's down to what you fancy, how fit you are, your technical skills, and, first and foremost, the snow conditions''. You can go ski trekking for a day or a whole weekend. Hardened athletes will want to set off for a whole week, to take the fabulous Chamonix-Zermatt route, for example. Thrills guaranteed…