This ski season means electric mountain bikes, adaptive snowsports and sleeping beneath the stars. Here’s what’s new in three French ski areas popular with British skiers
The French ski area of La Plagne, which forms the Paradiski area with Les Arcs, is already famed for its array of activities on offer – from tobogganing and electric mountain buggies to bobsleigh, husky sledding and pony luge (riding a sled that’s being pulled by a pony). This season, it’s throwing moonbiking into the mix: an all-electric snow bike experience that whips you around the slopes after the ski lifts have closed.
New to the UK market this winter is to the Chéry Dôme, a bubble accommodation in the picturesque hamlet of La Sarre near Les Gets, in the Portes du Soleil ski area. Like a modern-day, see-through igloo, it’s got all the design trappings of a boutique hotel inside – with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain landscape, including the majestic Mont Blanc. A wood burner keeps you toasty and wi-fi and electricity connects you to the outside world – handy for sending envy-inducing snaps of the experience to friends and family back home.
Disabled skiing and snowboarding (known as adaptive snowsports) is becoming more widespread, as ski companies and facilities evolve to make enjoying the slopes accessible to all. Adaptive skiing involves specialist equipment that facilitates traditional skiing styles, and volunteers at Monts Jura Handiski and the ESF Mijoux-La Faucille ski school are trained to help skiers with disabilities discover the mountains at top speed. Direct access to the car park and the slopes, a lift and a wide choice of equipment makes the day a breeze, while adaptive skiers can choose from kartski, dualski and tandemski. There’s also specific assistance for the visually impaired.