Since the end of the 1990s, with the rise of snowboarding in North America and then in Europe, the monoski has become obsolete. Playful and challenging, fast on well groomed slopes, formidable in powder, the monoski was wrongfully abandoned!
Last winter, a friend gave me his old monoski, bought a few years before in a car boot sale. In mid-December, the majority of resorts in the area were closed due to lack of snow. However, Les Contamines-Montjoie was partially open so I decided to enjoy an opportunity to test the monoski on the sunny slopes. After a few falls I started to make wide curves. The sensation was truly refreshing. After years of effortless turns on parabolic skis my monoski required a little more attention and physical effort. Suddenly I discovered a new side to a resort I thought I knew by heart. By the end of the afternoon I deserved a glass mulled wine overlooking Mont Blanc!
If the quiet sunny slopes are ideal to get back into monoskiing, it is in the expanses of powder snow that it makes the most sense. Whether heading down to Hauteluce from the top of the Buche Croisée chairlift or practicing on the gentle slopes of Les Tierces, the sensation of floating peacefully on soft snow is extremely pleasant. Different from snowboarding and skiing, the monoski offers a unique sensation!
It is quite difficult to rent a monoski. Unfortunately no shops in les Contamines-Montjoie stock monoskis for rent. However, it is still possible to pick up a second-hand one in a ski sale or car boot sale. For true fans of the discipline, several manufacturers remain in activity, including Duret, one of the more iconic monoski brands. Finally, for those that enjoy ski touring, a special kit is available to make your own split-monoski!