Special occasion or just looking for a slightly different activity for your day off?
We wanted to tell you about a selection of our favourite non-skier activities in the hope of raising your awareness and adrenaline levels to even higher levels on your season or your next ski holiday. We guarantee that you won’t know about all of them and some of them will definitely make you sit up and take notice.
1. Speed-Riding – Most Resorts (including Les Arcs, Chamonix, La Clusaz…) Speed-riding is undoubtedly as exciting as it sounds and wouldn’t be out of place in Point Break. It combines paragliding with skiing, alternating between them as the speed-rider chooses. Whilst you need to be a decent skier, you don’t need any paragliding experience although our guys in resort said you do need to be very fit. It’s an amazing experience and one that can challenge your sporting abilities. Paragliding equipment is provided alongside tuition gliding techniques, fundamental movements and flight mechanisms. Price: $95 for half a day $125 full day (based on Les Arcs) Available in: Les Arcs | Chamonix | La Clusaz
2. Ice Diving – Tignes and Val ThorensEver wanted to be on the other side of the camera in one of David Attenborough’s documentaries? Well now you can – ice diving allows you to explore the frozen world under the surface of the lake in Tignes. Dive into the eerie tranquillity, devoid of noise and movement, to appreciate the natural beauty of the ice formations and mercury-esque air bubbles. Full equipment is provided as well as professional advice and safety. Price:Day dive – $95 Night dive – $130 Available in: Tignes | Val Thorens
3. Ski-Joering – Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux AlpesSki what?!? Ski-joering, it was brought to our attention by our overseas team and needs further explanation… Think harness racing but instead of the horse pulling a two-wheeled cart, it’s pulling you… on skis. You control the horse through a special rig with reigns. Aside from it being great fun; it is a great way to see the surrounding scenery. It’s suitable for non-riders and beginner skiers as training and instructions are provided on the day. Price: $25 for 30 minutes Available in: Alpe d’Huez | Les Deux Alpes
4. Ice Climbing – La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Chamonix, Alpe d’Huez and ZermattWhether you fancy yourself as a bit of an explorer or whether you’re just a keen climber, ice climbing is a fantastic experience. Climb a frozen waterfall in full winter climbing gear adorned with harnesses, crampons and ice axes! This is available for various levels of climbers, from beginner to expert. All equipment provided. Price: $40 for 2 hours (based on La Plagne) Available in: La Plagne | Les Arcs |Tignes | Val d’Isere | Chamonix | Alpe d’Huez | Zermatt
5. Paramotor – Most Resorts (including Courchevel and Val Thorens)A paramotor is a motorised paraglide; the motorised element gives you far more freedom in terms of movement as you’re not restricted by thermals. You can also stay airborne for as long as you wish. There are two types of flight you can take, a leisurely scenic tour or a more exhilarating flight which would include some mid-air, stomach twisting acrobatics. Both options are tandem flights. Price: Scenic tour – $120 for 30 minutes Acrobatic flight – $150 for 30 minutes (based on Val Thorens) Available in: Courchevel | Val Thorens
6. Sky diving – Courchevel and Interlaken Sky diving is an incredible experience and there are some incredible places to do it, but as skiers we are slightly biased to a sky dive over the mountains. After several thousand feet of free fall, and a heavy dose of adrenaline, get the best view of the mountains as you cruise back down to terra firma. All jumps are in tandem and come with training as well as equipment. Price: CHF 430 Available in: Courchevel | Interlaken
7. Helicopter Ride – Tignes and Val d’IsereHave a taste of luxury on your ski holiday and see what the lifestyles of the rich and famous are like, even if only for a few minutes. Soar above the peaks to where the air is rarefied and see the best views around, mixing scenery with a little touch of adventure. It’s also more affordable than you would think. Prices: Espace Killy Tour – $85 (10 minutes) Mont Blanc Tour – $250 (40 minutes) Available in: Tignes | Val d’Isere
8. Ski Kiting – TignesThink kite-surfing but substituting snow for water and you’re along the right lines. Ski kiting (also known as snow kiting) gives you the freedom to ski up and down the mountain as well as off the beaten track, exploring the surrounding terrain. You only have to be a confident beginner skier for this one and tuition is part of the activity. Price: $170 for 3 hour lesson Available in: Tignes
9. Airboarding – La PlagneHave you ever fancied sliding head-first down a mountain? Well then airboarding is/isn’t for you [delete as appropriate]. Airboarding is essentially body boarding for ski resorts; the airboard itself is an inflatable bodyboard. You slide down the mountain using your bodyweight to steer… which is made easier thanks to a grooved underside to the board. It is great for groups and families alike as you can all get involved at the same time. Price: Children – $27 for 1 hour 30 minutes Available in: La Plagne
10. Snow Yoga – Val d’Isere and Val Thorens Yoga with a view, these sessions take place on the side of the mountain and have an amazing alpine vista as your backdrop. It’s an enhanced experience for an activity that is, under usual circumstances, already great for the mind and body. For those who like their ying and yang aligned… avoiding high octane activities after a full day’s skiing may be the way forward. For survival purposes the activity is carried out in your ski gear and there are classes to suit all abilities. Price: $15 for a 1 hour 30 minutes class Available in: Val d’Isere | Val Thorens
If there are any activities that you’ve think we’ve missed or are a little under the radar – let us know, we’d love to hear about them!