Cross-country skiing Hautes-Alpes
Two techniques are used in cross-country skiing:
- The first (and more traditional) is the ‘classic’ technique where the idea is to alternate the movement of the skis by transferring the skier’s weight from one ski to the other, but always with skis parallel as they follow trails that are groomed to this effect. It is the easiest style to learn for a beginner.
- The second is the ‘skating’ technique which resembles the movement of ice- or roller skating. This technique requires good balance and is more suitable for athletes looking to gather speed.
PUY SAINT VINCENT
The Puy Saint Vincent resort culminates at an altitude of 2,730 m. The setting and snow cover are exceptional. 28 km of slopes are groomed on a daily basis and are open for both beginners and experienced skiers to try out without restraint
Novices will appreciate learning for free on the Villaret circuit, whereas seasoned skiers will prefer to descend the steep, higher altitude and more technical La Combe Noire and Tour des Têtes trails. Once these are completed, the icing on the cake is the unique, breathtaking view of the Durance Valley.
The resort is open from the first snow falls and until as late as possible into the season. An active team are there to greet you and provide information to anyone using the exceptional site, that is calm and in harmony with nature just a short distance from the particularly lively resort.
To easily access the Nordic section from Puy Saint Vincent 1800, you can take the Prés chairlift for free by presenting a valid cross-country ski pass at the pass office.
To begin, the Vallouise plain, which is particularly well exposed, is just perfect as a beginner’s circuit.
La Vallouise offers 35 km of marked trails, for both classic and skating techniques, that are groomed daily and suitable for all levels. Whether you are a novice, experienced or even a competitor, you will be enchanted by this incredible site.
Furthermore, the Vallouise plain is particularly well suited for beginners and children. You will also have access to a free initiation circuit, located in the very sunny Ribes plain, as well as a boardercross for a fun way to discover cross-country skiing. To top it all, the trails in the Onde Valley have exceptional snow cover throughout the winter season.
If it is cold enough, a 1-km circuit is in place from mid-December thanks to an artificial snow canon.
In Pelvoux, you will no doubt appreciate the range of trails that are available to you (green, blue and red) as well as the initiation site with its free access. Finally, thanks to the beautiful trail alongside the river, you can link the three villages (Pelvoux, Vallouise and Les Vigneaux) of the Vallouise Valley via the cross-country tracks.
For those who prefer walking or snowshoeing, there is a path adapted to these activities that leads you to the Hydroelectric Centre in Les Claux, Pelvoux. It will take a good 20 minutes to reach the hydroelectric plant.
A phenomenal place where suspended footbridges emerge to cross the Biaysse: a surprising decor, overlooked in the distance by the no-less-famous Freissinières cliff. Experts will appreciate the characteristic trails that are not without effect.
The site has 20.5 km of tracks for all levels. The Freissinières tracks are organised around the hamlets of the municipality. In this way, they cross wide, sunny plains and head into the wonderful forests of the steep north faces. Steep slope enthusiasts and beginners will be fulfilled.
Freissinières has a number of advantages: an enjoyable plain for fun with the family, a sledge run, a free initiation circuit, and the proximity of the village contribute to raising the area to the rank of ideal spot.
Access to Ailefroide is possible by Nordic skiing, under your own responsibility, depending on the snow conditions and the risk of avalanche.
The Fournel Valley
A Nordic itinerary links the Col de la Pousterle with the Fournel Valley, under your own responsibility, depending on the snow conditions and the risk of avalanche! High mountain setting guaranteed along a valley with ice falls that are renowned the world over.
You can choose to do this activity by yourself or call upon a ski instructor who will teach you the essential techniques and communicate their pleasure, in safety and at your own pace.
You can get the cross-country skiing map from the Tourist Office and Information Desks in the Pays des Écrins as well as in the cross-country skiing reception chalets in Puy Saint Vincent and Vallouise.
A pass is necessary to access the different sites.
The biathlon is a sport, of military origin, combining two disciplines: cross-country skiing (requiring stamina) and rifle shooting (requiring calm). Initiation sessions, using laser rifles to safely learn the activity, are possible in Puy Saint Vincent 1600 m during the school holidays.