Skate Ski Breaks
Skate style cross country skiing in Italy, an extended weekend dedicated to learning or improving the art of 'skate skiing'.
Developed in the 1980's 'skating' or 'freestyle' as it's known is a form of Nordic 'cross country skiing' where we ski on groomed trails using a motion similar to ice skating.
Enjoy mastering this technique enjoy stunning surroundings whilst gaining strength and fitness along the way.
These weekends suit either Nordic or Alpine skiers wishing to learn the basics or take their skating to the next level. Once mastered, a 'skate' is both fun and improves fitness. Enjoy the freedom to explore the quieter corners of your local resort, mountains & valleys.
- Learn or improve skate skiing with first class instruction
- Enjoy skiing in a quiet alpine valleys
- True Italian hospitality and cuisine
- Meet in Chamonix, France for easy access from Geneva airport
- Reduced price option for 'locals' joining on Day 2
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Please note with regard to the dates above we are offering two 'Introductory' weekends, and two 'Intermediate' weekends. Be sure to book on the one which suits your skill level.
We base these long weekend breaks in the small Italian town of Cogne, a true gem with cobbled streets, and excellent cafes and bars. This picturesque location in the Aosta Valley has traditional stone built houses, and a community which dates back many hundreds of years. Enjoy exploring up to 80km of trails, both in Cogne, and also in Val Ferret, near Courmayeur which we will spend our first day. We have plenty of options for varying lengths of excursions and terrain to practice our skills while enjoying the mountain and woodland scenery.
Skating takes place on a wide, evenly prepared track that has been well groomed and pressed. The skis are shorter, stiffer and lighter than classic skis, and are narrower at the tip and tail than in the centre.
The Ski Day
You will be on skis for most of the day, but with stops for rests, photos, with a very leisurely Italian lunch each day. We usually are on the ski tracks from around 0945 hrs, we do not start too early to allow the sun to come up and warm up the day. There may be a morning coffee stop & lunch is usually taken any time between 1230hrs and 1400hrs. We then ski for up to two hours in the afternoon depending on how everyone is feeling and of course taking into account the weather. It is a holiday and we want you to enjoy the experience!
Day 1 Arrival Chamonix, France
We meet in Chamonix, France due to its easy access from Geneva airport. Regular flights to Geneva from around Europe, and multiple transfer options to Chamonix make this the best meeting point for your skate weekend. Italy is in fact just 30 minutes from Chamonix via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. We meet you at your hotel the evening you arrive to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions.
If you live locally there is the option of a reduced price without the two nights accommodation in Chamonix. Please ask for details.
Day 2 Val Ferret, Courmayeur
This morning we drive through the famous Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur and Val Ferret. Our morning will be spent fitting our skis and taking time to find our 'ski-legs'. We will introduce you to the skating technique learning step-by-step the most efficient way to master this graceful sport. Due to our gradual approach, it makes skating very achievable to pick up. Ideal for those also wishing to refresh their skating skills and knowledge.
We aim to have a leisurely lunch, Italian style, which means excellent home made food and the compulsory hot chocolate and cake! We finish the day with either a journey or more skills practice, exploring the beautiful groomed tracks in Val Ferret. The ski tracks wind along the entire valley, up to the hamlet of Lavachey. The pistes, which are always tracked and groomed, have many detours where we can lengthen or shorten our journey which gives us fantastic views of the Mont Blanc range.
At the end of the afternoon we will drive to our base in Cogne, in the gorgeous Valnontey which is world famous for it's ice climbing, and winter sports. Our ski tracks start at the hotel door!
Day 3 Cogne & the Gran Paradiso National Park
We spend the morning in the stadium area which is perfect for practising skills and drills. This excellent venue is where many regional and national competitions take place and where we can explore up to 80km of trails. It is also the start and finish point for the famous Marciagranparadiso race which attracts cross country skiers from all over the Alps.
This picturesque location is famous for the Gran Paradiso, Italy's highest peak. Like Val Ferret, we have plenty of options for varying lengths of excursions and terrain to practice our skills while enjoying the mountain and woodland scenery. We again return to our accommodation in time for a spa session then dinner.
Day 4 Going through the Gears
Skate skiing enables the skier to transfer weight from ski to ski to travel over a variety of terrain. Learning to skate also helps with other sports that you may already do making it an excellent form of 'cross-training'. It will enhance your balance, co-ordination, aerobic and muscular strength and tone all whilst enjoying gliding along amongst beautiful views. Today we have some great terrain in Cogne to increase the pace a little and look at the different 'gears' of skate skiing to ensure you get the most return out of your effort.
At the end of the day we travel back to Chamonix, in France which gives you the chance to experience the 'apres ski' in this vibrant alpine town. It also means easy access back to the UK.
Day 5 Departure Day, Chamonix, France
Today is departure day. If you wish to stay for additional days then we can help arrange accommodation in Chamonix. You may even feel you want to continue skiing? We aim to use the only hotel in Chamonix which sits right on the cross country tracks.
For these weekends we spend the first and last night in Chamonix Valley, France which gives easy access to Geneva airport. In Italy we stay in a characterful family run hotel in Valnontey, a really stunning location and right on the ski tracks. Our hotel offers a true Italian experience, as we always aim to use family hotels offering excellent hospitality. Single rooms are available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details.
Included: The price includes half-board accommodation for 4 nights, based on two people sharing in a 2* hotel, transport between ski venues and 3 full days of instruction by a fully qualified BASI Nordic Instructor.
Not included: Insurance, flights and transfers, lunch and drinks, ski hire (approximately 35 Euros for the 3 days) and ski passes (approximately 18 Euros in total), any ski lift tickets which may be used as an alternative in bad snow conditions.
Please be aware that 'skating' does require a reasonable fitness as you will be skiing for between 4 - 5 hours per day. You do not need to be a super athlete, but you do need enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to put a good degree of effort into this activity. We would expect you to be someone who does exercise several times a week.
This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We will take a maximum of 8 clients.
Please ensure that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this requirement please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.
Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. Please note that this itinerary is dependent on the weather and snow conditions at the time. Therefore changes to the itinerary may occur. Previous cross country or alpine ski experience is an advantage but is not essential. Please contact us is you are unsure about your suitability to join this trip.
Your instructor will offer structured 'on snow' time for about 4-5 hours per day. We roughly break the days down to a morning skills session, then a rest, further developing travelling skills to lunch and then an afternoon session all of which is easily accompanied with a cappuccino or hot chocolate break!
This trip has two nights in France and two nights in Italy. The ski tuition takes place in the Italian Aosta Valley where we stay in the ski resort of Courmayeur and is situated only 30 mins away from Chamonix.
We meet in Chamonix, France which is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. The nearest airport to Chamonix is Geneva, in Switzerland, which is approx 1 hr and 15 mins from Chamonix by road. The two middle nights are spent in Italy. The departure day is also from Chamonix.
The cross country skiing equipment includes lightweight track skating skis (not fishscale or waxing skis), Salomon (or similar) boots, bindings and poles. Your instructor will help with organising the ski rental on the morning of your first ski day in Italy. The total ski hire for the weekend is expected to be 35 Euros per person. Please make your payment directly to rental shop (credit cards are accepted).
To ensure we get the correct sizes equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire).
Please contact us so that we can help you arrange your specific travel requirements.
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