Winter Activities other than Skiing Friday, 29 September 2017
There is a misconception that ski resorts are only for skiers and snowboarders but over the year there are a number of activities that have become very popular with both skiers and non-skiers alike.
The authentic, charming village of Les Gets offers a host of non skiing activities starting with an ice rink situated in the heart of the village. Once the pistes close for the day this ice rink becomes a hive of activity. Boots can be hired or you can bring your own and the rink is lit up brightly and as the rink is outdoors the whole village gathers around the rink to watch the fun. The rink is also open in the afternoon.
Local restaurants have a steady supply of hot chocolate and hot wine on hand to keep you warm and perhaps supply a little Dutch courage.
The village itself boasts an array of charming boutiques and decor stores which remain open until late in the evening.
There are a number of operators that offer guided snowshoe hikes, both during the day as well as the evening. They provide the equipment, which is easy to strap onto a pair of outdoor shoes and away you go. The hike will be tailored your fitness level, you can stroll along taking in the breathtaking scenery or try to keep up on the more extreme trails.
Dog sledding has become a popular activity in recent years and has to be reserved well in advance in order to secure a reservation. The dogs are specially bred huskies that love to run in the snow pulling the sleds behind them. Their excited barking as they are harnessed to the sled bears witness to the fact that they are bred to work. It is an exciting, adrenalin filled sport but not for the faint hearted.
Cross Country and Nordic skiing has also become more and more popular in the resort. The equipment is easily rented at any of the many village outlets and many of the pistes reserved for the activity are free of charge to use. There are many routes specifically for nordic skiing around Les Gets. People of all ages enjoy this activity.
The local ice hickey team - The Penguins, usually take to the ice at 20:30 at the nearby Morzine Sports Centre and the matches are made up of three 20 minute periods with a break between each. Ice hockey is an exhilarating sport to watch and jam packed with action. There is a bar at the rink but make sure to wrap up warmly as it is freezing cold in the stands. It is a great evening out for the whole family.
Lake Montriond is beautiful to walk around, the picture opposite was taken in the winter. For the adventurous, it offers ice diving, not something I have ever ventured out and taken part in but I am sure there are some that would relish the challenge.
The local tourist board put on an amaizing program each week, typically this includes: visits to the local fromargerie, the local
artisan pottery, where you can usually try your hand at decorating or making pottery, there is a 'welcome' each week where you are offered a vin chaud and watch the local ESF ski instructors descend the slopes holding torches ( quite a specticle) and there is even a workshop where you can make chocolate under expert guidance.
Last but not least are the many walks in and around the village ( don't forget your snow shoes). Both the Mont Chery and Chavannes gondolas allow pedestrians and both mountains offer spectacular views and plenty of places to eat and drink. The scenery is fabulous and on a clear day the views from Mont Caly of Mont Blanc are breathtaking. A brisk 3 km walk takes you from the mid station of Mont Chery to Mont Caly with a designated hiking trail for walkers easy to follow.
Note:- Thanks go to the Les Gets and Montriond Tourist Bureaus for the photographs.