Accustomed to skiing downhill, although I regularly practice cross-country skating in the Beaufortain where I live, I decided to combine the two and set off to Les Contamines to discover the Nordic ski area. To the amazement of many, I started off on downhill skis from Belleville in Hauteluce with my cross-country skis in one hand, my poles in the other and my shoes in my backpack.
Once over the mountain pass I skied downwards towards the “télécabine de la Roche” where I changed gear and left my downhill ski equipment in a safe corner. At 11.00am when I arrived at the Nordic ski area it was already in the sun, a pleasant surprise! Here I discovered a calmer and more peaceful part of the resort.
I started to ski in the direction of Notre Dame de la Gorge and began by performing a complete tour of the relatively easy Belvedere track. I was enjoying myself so much that I decided to do a second round! The pace was good, the weather fantastic, the snow relatively fast and the track beautifully prepared.
I was amazed and extremely pleased to discover such a fantastic area! There are some good short climbs followed by wide, unobstructed straight stretches. After more than two hours of skiing, I enjoyed a bite to eat in the club house next to the “Ilolaine”, a land art creation, but I couldn’t idle aware I had to regain the summit before 4.00pm. Switching back to alpine skiing wasn’t too difficult despite tired legs after 20 kilometres of cross-country!
This was the first time that I had combined the two disciplines and I must admit that I found it to be a pleasurable duo. For those who want to try cross-country skating after skiing, a 1.5 km trail is open every Thursday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm and from 7 pm to 9 pm from February 21st onwards.