leisure and winter sports resume in Alsace

The eagerly awaited snow in the Vosges mountains finally fell on Christmas day. Traditional animations and snow sports were able to resume. Despite the ski lifts and closed restaurants, professionals and holidaymakers alike rejoice.

Phew, it’s snowing! A relief for the professions which offer winter activities in the mountains. Despite the constraints imposed by Covid19, certain leisure activities and winter sports are maintained in the Vosges mountains. Ski touring, snowshoeing, fatbiking (very wide tire bike), reindeer rides… A whole range of activities liven up this holiday period.

David Rigault, professional from the Munster valley has several strings to his bow … for real, and fortunately. Because its archery activities are suspended due to drastic measures: “We would need complete equipment for each client and physical distancing side, too complicated too. ” But David is also a graduate in mountain hiking support at Natural oxygen and on that side, things are a little better. ” We make groups of five tourists, plus a guide. For health reasons we do not exceed this threshold, but it is a big shortfall. Usually we go with a dozen, a dozen hikers. Since the Covid, we can accommodate half as many people in groups, it’s financially complicated, but we want to maintain the offer for vacationers and tourists. »

The weather changed just in time for Christmas

Until Christmas, the weather was mild. Fortunately, the weather has changed, right on Christmas. ” On Christmas Eve, I had clients who came from Brittany ” says the guide, “they came on vacation to the Valley of Munster. At the start of the hike, there was not enough snow to put on the snowshoes, but the first flakes started to fall during the hike. And since then it has been snowing. »

Le Tanet, December 25, 2020

© David Rigault

The mountain guides had to adapt the pace of their nature outings to the climatic conditions, combined with health precautions. ” We rather offer half-days instead of full days. Because there are no restaurants or inns open. Eventually we can have a picnic, if the customers are ready to bring their meal out of the bag, but with this cold, it is not easy. At Tanet, this Friday, December 25, it was -5 degrees at 4.30 p.m. Apart from alpine skiing, for which the ski lifts are closed, many other snow-related activities are still possible for these Christmas holidays in Alsace. Ski touring in particular is making a comeback, or inevitably some would say. “I had been downhill skiing for about thirty years ” explains Jean-Charles Baquet, skier at Schnepfenried “there we had to find an alternative and ski touring is actually the best! It’s definitely more physical, but to avoid cancer or heart attacks, I think it’s good. ”

Installed by valleys, the tourist offices give you the good tips to entertain you and discover their region: Munster Valley, White lake, Guebwiller, Thann, Gérardmer, La Bresse, la gorge… To find a guide or mountain guide, you can also consult the national hiking site and stations like Schnepfenried often have their own social media pages.

Snowshoeing in the Vosges mountains

Snowshoeing in the Vosges mountains

© David Rigault-Mountain guide

Toboggan descent with the track for yourself

Toboggan descent with the track for yourself

© Emmanuel Daeschler / France televisions

While waiting for the walks in reindeer sleighs and the fatbike rides, the toboggan runs are very popular, with not many people to disturb you. Even building snowmen and battles in the snow are always good times during the Christmas holidays.

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