3 ideas to guarantee some adventure on your annual ski holiday

We all love skiing but the Alps in winter have so much more to offer. Skiing is just the gateway to a paradise of great winter adventures. Adding a couple of extra winter activities to your ski holiday will turn an ordinary ski trip into an extraordinary adventure. Read on for three ideas to guarantee some adventure next time you visit the Alps.

Sleep in an igloo

How about ending your skiing day by taking the last lift up and sleeping high up on an alpine plateau in an igloo? Watch the sun set over the snow capped mountains and listen to the calm, majestic silence of snowy wilderness – a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the ski resort below you.

Sleeping in an igloo

After a hot fondue with other igloo adventurers and a final pee stop, snuggle up in a big, fluffy sleeping bag ready for a night in your cosy, snow house. There is a little tunnel to get in and the sleeping platform is raised so that the warm air circulates around you. Snow is full of air pockets and you will be surprised at its insulating qualities.

When you wake up the next morning, you can be on the pistes before the lifts have even opened and enjoy the privilege of being the first person to ski your favourite ski run. The ski resort of Orcieres in the Southern French Alps has an igloo village at 2300m and offer ‘a night in an igloo’ experiences twice a week throughout the season.

Mush a team of huskies

Husky sledding isn’t just in Scandinavia. There are teams of huskies and their mushers all over the Alps offering everything from 20 minute tasters to full day trapper expeditions. If you are driving your own sled you will have a team of four or five dogs that you will need to control. The musher will explain the commands and show you the way.

Husky sledding

Be prepared, driving a sled is much more physical than you expect – you need core stability. You have to brake when the dogs go too fast and push when they go too slow. The sleds are pretty stable but you still don’t want to take a corner too fast. At the end of your experience, you will have a renewed admiration for the canine species and the next day you’ll rediscover the muscles usually only reserved for your Pilates teacher!

Go ice climbing

Where there are mountains there are waterfalls and when there is snow, there is usually ice. If you like a challenge then ice climbing is for you. Climbing up a steep, slippery ice fall with little metal points as your grip is not for the faint hearted. It is a true technical, physical and mental challenge and is very addictive.

Ice climbing

Push yourself to the limits and revel in the satisfaction of a perfect ice axe placement. Top tip: the technique involves a flick of the wrist. Swap your skis for ice axes and crampons for half a day and pay a local guide to take you. It will be worth every penny.

Sally Guillaume is Director at Undiscovered Alps.

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Comments (5)

  1. Paul Caddy says:

    Always wanted to do a night in an igloo. Perhaps this year I’ll finally give it a go :-)

    As for ice-climbing, I did this once a few years ago. Great fun but be prepared to have your arms protest at all the effort. You need to be fit!

  2. Susie turnbull says:

    Ice climbing: incredibLe and exhilarating. not Only do you get to do the climbing bit which is awesome, but the walk there, the wilderness, the surroundings, the views, wildlife tracking and top class instruction. . All awe inspiring and definitely not something you can get at the snowdome, in fact you can only get this off the beaten track… Get out there and do it..

  3. Hi Paul

    Ice climbing is all in the technique – flick that wrist! But yes I agree it does help if you are physically fit!!

  4. Staying in an Igloo, is my idea of an adventure! Fresh mountain air, starry nights and a peacefulness that envelops you. There is nothing quite like spending snuggling up with a loved one in an Igloo.

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