After over 40 years zipping down ski slopes all over Europe without incident I’d always fancied cross-country skiing – graceful, quiet, relaxing, no snowboarders to avoid and best of all, comfortable boots. So this was how I came to book a three day beginners’ course in Cogne, Italy.
In case you read no further I have to say – it was fantastic. I am already looking forward to booking on an ‘improvers’ holiday next year, no more ‘zombie walking’ for me.....! But was it what I expected? Yes and no.
A glorious morning on the Trans Jura Swiss when conditions really could not have been better. It is wonderful to cruise along on cross country skis and just take in the blue skies, crisp air, and the amazing views. This six day journey on skis is 154 km along the length of the Jura mountain range between Switzerland and France. On this trip we ski on the Swiss side of the frontier and it complements very nicely our Grand Traverse of the Jura which completes a point-to-point journey of 142 km on the French side. We often find that our guests choose to complete both versions of the trip as it is a great excuse to return to the Jura.
It's exciting and exhilarating to learn a new winter activity, or at least that is what we find when we introduce our guests to cross country skiing. This type of skiing is also referred to as nordic, langlauf, and ski de fond, depending on which country you are visiting. Julia Tregaskis-Allen has taught all ages; from youngsters of 8 years old, to mature guests of up to 75 years of age. The main thing is a reasonable level of fitness and a good attitude to acquiring new skills. An ability to drink lots of delicious Italian coffee, and wine, and eat a lot of fabulous pasta, and cakes is also a pre-requisite! This is not a boot camp, but an excellent three days of discovering the joys of cross country skiing.
After heavy snowfall these past two days the run up to Christmas is providing excellent skiing conditions - and what's best is the pistes are quiet! 15/20 km's of tracks are open in Val Ferret and the coffee and cake reccommended!
Merry Christmas and happy skiing & snowshoeing. Julia & Lindsay