By Steph at Planet Subzero
| ||After a 10 day whistle stop 'research' tour last summer, covering more than 16 resorts in three countries, and putting over 1600km on the clock, I can now conclude that the Alps in summer rock! Far from being the sad, sleepy towns I'd imagined, ski resorts in the summertime are bustling hives of activity. |
|With hiking in Chamonix, mountain biking in Les Gets, white water rafting in Venosc, facing death (aka boy racers) on that Italian Job road, and playing tennis and golf there was always something to get the adrenaline going. Best of all was the day spent skiing in Les Deux Alpes. |
The glacier at 2 Alpes is Europe's largest summer ski area, and at 3200m you're on top of the world. Half of the area is for regular skiing/boarding and half is built into a massive park, with two huge pipes and loads of hits and rails.
|I had been warned that this year the park is sick (read scary), and conditions tough (read bullet proof), so I took it pretty easy for a first day back on skis. But with some talented riders around, it's easy to see how quickly you'd come on if you stayed for a while. |
The lifts start early - from 7.30am until about 2pm, but the snow (ice) doesn't soften up much until about 11. The majority of visitors are there for the park, which means it can get pretty busy at peak times, but there's a well established code of conduct for dropping in to the pipe or hitting each jump (stick your hand in the air, yell 'next!' and go), so you don't ever end up standing around for long.
| ||In the afternoons there's plenty more to keep adrenalin junkies amused - if the park's not enough, you've got rafting, climbing and parapenting for more thrills or golf, tennis and lying in the sun for the more laid back. And nightlife's busy too. If you thought Brits on tour were one thing, you should check out the Italians! |
… and if you're keen to get in some pre season skiing at Deux Alpes, watch out for the Mondial de Ski and Snowboard at the end of October.