• Thanks to abundant snowfall, almost all the resorts in the Pyrenees are opening this weekend.

  • The resorts took advantage of their white season to develop alternative activities to downhill skiing.

  • Snowshoes carve out good pieces of track but more playful practices appear such as Snooc, Snow-tubbing or Airboard.

The cold wave which has just crossed the South-West certainly had the disadvantage of paralyzing the Toulouse tram, but it also allowed the Pyrenees to put on their white coat. So thick that even ski resorts that had planned to open a little later - like Gourette and La Pierre Saint Martin - start their ski lifts. From Friday, Cauterets will open the ball. With the exception of the small resort of Bourg d'Oueil, all the others will follow on Saturday and will play extra time until Wednesday, to take advantage of the Inmaculada and its arrival of Spanish skiers.

So, the real ones, those fond of gliding, have already waxed their boards and perfumed their ski boots which smelled of musty.

As long as they have a mask on their mouth and an up-to-date health pass, they are ready and will be able to discover heated ski lockers as they go.

But the others, more unstable on a black slope, will also notice that the resorts have taken advantage of their white season to strengthen activities other than endless alpine skiing, allowing you to have fun even when you are a little next to your ski area. skis.

"This stop enabled us to verify that the urbanites were fond of large spaces and new activities", underlines Christine Massoure, general manager of N'PY who manages eight estates.

Rando and Snooc

And with snowshoes being the real revelation of a 2020-21 season without chair lifts, ski touring trails have sprouted like mushrooms.

There are three new ones in Luchon-Superbagnères, original circuits in breathtaking scenery are also offered in Luz-Ardiden and Cauterets.

For those who like to both toil and wind the wind, make way for the Snooc, this equipment that allows you to go hiking, then store your poles and take out your small removable seat to descend fully in sled mode.

Peyragudes is doing it, with even night descents, Granvalira in Andorra too.

Inflatable toboggans and ice climbing

Even more fun and validated by children in the summer version, snow-tubbing, this funny descent in large buoys, makes its arrival in Piau. More daring, the Airboard, this inflatable and hypermaniable sledge unloads in Mourtis or, indeed, in Peyragudes. Finally, the practice of fatbiking, mountain biking on snow (with electric assistance for braking anyway), tumbles for example at La Pierre Saint Martin. The Vallnord resort prefers its revisited version, the Snowtrike, a bike equipped with three skis.

The resorts are also developing more zen activities, you can do yoga in Cauterets, build igloos in Peyragudes or live cut off from the world in cocoons heated in a wood stove, at an altitude of 1,800 meters near Gourette (for 185 euros the night for two).

You can also ski without skiing in the Vallnord ski simulator, just to resume smoothly.

Finally, in the very strong sensations and adventures department that will make you shine around a fondue, the Pic du Midi draws its dizzying icefall, "30 meters vertically" which can only be overcome with an ice ax and framed. by a monitor.

Big adrenaline rush too with the very, very fast zip line that takes you over, in hang-gliding position, the slopes of Grandvalira.

Have a nice week end.

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