Exploring Beyond the Slopes at Mont Blanc
While Covid has closed slopes, the swank resorts around this iconic mountain area still offer plenty of off-slope fun
March 24, 2021
While skiing Mont Blanc may not be a thing in this pandemic year, the charmed European ski mountain area is still the place to go to see and be seen, and with plenty of adventure to spare. Courmayeur Mont Blanc, situated on the Italian side of the mountain that is conveniently shared with skiers from France and Switzerland, is an ideal spot for families, friends, skiers, and non-skiers looking to spend time outside in the fresh mountain air.
Covid-19 continues to cast plenty of uncertainty around the ski slope activity, however Courmayeur Mont Blanc still brings a cool winter break for those looking to reconnect and explore an abundance of non-ski related activities.
Courmayeur Mont Blanc offers a breadth of peaceful snowshoe walks, tailored to suit any ability and perfect for those looking to reconnect with nature – without the need for skis. Gentle scenic walks in Val Veny and Val Ferret provide beautiful snow-clad summit views. High altitude snowshoeing to the Toula glacier, or up the Mont Blanc, is also available with the help of an expert alpine guide pointing out the local wildlife on the way. Those looking for a bit more of an adventure can enjoy walking tours of the local picturesque villages or even try out a nocturnal snowshoeing experience.
Non-skiers hankering for an alpine adrenaline high can head cross country and enjoy the latest snow trend: fat biking. Described as ‘waterskiing on a mountain bike’, these brave cyclists will pedal through the flat alpine valley of Val Ferret and take in spectacular views of the Mont Blanc or Grandes Jorasses with a pair of XXL wheels. Snow biking is also on offer so those missing the ski slopes can trade in their tyres and both guided experiences are available at night.
The winter version of rock climbing: Courmayeur Mont Blanc boasts incredible ice waterfalls designed to frighten even the true adventure seeker. With majestic, sky-high, and vertical ice barriers available, guides will train their clients into an ice-climbing pro – comfortable with ice axes and traction cleats alike – and ready to safely enjoy this natural adult playground in all its beauty.
A veritable playground for families, Courmayeur Mont Blanc provides plenty of child-friendly activities for those who didn’t want to hit the slopes in the first place. Families can check out the two Kids Winter Parks on offer both situated a few minutes from the center of the resort – perfect for little ones taking their first steps on the snow, kids can try out bob sledging or snow tubing. Alternatively, children can burn off some steam and test out ice climbing, ice skating, or visit the local fun parks which include train rides and educational farms.
Skyway Monte Bianco Experience
A state-of-the-art cableway connecting the Italian Alps to the French, the Skyway Monte Bianco experience transports visitors more than 11,300 feet above sea level in four spherical cabins. The crystal-clear air pods dangle in the sky gently rotating to offer 360° panoramic views of the peaks and the summits of Valle d’Aosta, Cervino, Gran Paradiso, Monte Ros and Combin. Bringing man and mountain closer than ever before – without any skis required – the newest Punta Helbronner station, set at 11,154 feet, where temperatures can drop -40° degrees. Skyway offers a wide variety of experiences beyond the views: a historical museum, a sun terrace, mountain delicacies, wine tasting in the Cave Mont Blanc and a traditional bookshop. Skyway hosts exceptional events, including ‘New Moon’ parties (Covid-permitting) and cinema screenings at the auditorium with 150 seats.
For those who want to raise the luxury quotient on a visit to Mont Blanc with a stay on the French shadow of the mountain, a host of luxury villas and super charged amenities are available through Distinguished Residences and its collection of bespoke stays in France within easy reach of Mont Blanc.