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The Pyrenees can offer a whole avalanche of activities

 
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The Pyrenees can offer a whole avalanche of activities!

Adrenalin on the rise!

Forget your grandparents’ traditional wooden sledge! The world of winter sports is always looking for new ideas that will attract young people addicted to speed, thrills and new emotions. The Pyrenees can offer a whole avalanche of activities...

 

Full speed at the park!
Big air, step-up, half-pipe, rails, boxes, boarder cross, etc. With a dozen snowparks in Cerdagne and Capcir, boarders are spoilt for choice for places to try their jumps, turns and sequences of tricks in total freedom and safety. And if you want to return to the wild spirit of freeriding, find yourself a woodpark, a space laid out through the trees by the plentiful natural snow, like in Formiguères, with its routes of varying difficulty levels through the forest.

Between snow and sky!

Snowkite en Pyrénées-Orientales

 

Feel like taking to the air? With snowkiting, the winter version of kitesurfing, you’re halfway there – glide at full speed across the snow, on a board or skis, pulled by a sail. Peak speeds can exceed 70 km/h! And if you want to go still further and leave your skis behind, seize the dream of Icarus and fly with the paragliding school in Targasonne. If youwant to add excitement to the contemplation and pleasure, you can try some aerobatics such as wingovers and spiral descents. Another option is an introduction to gliding at the La Llagonne centre, where you can master altitude, ridge lift, thermals and lee waves. And if all of that is still not thrilling enough, get your kicks from skydiving, freefalling in tandem up to 5000 metres in a breathtaking mountain setting, with souvenir photos and videos. 

 

Between fire and ice

An attraction that is unique in Europe! At Thuès, you can try your hand at canyoning in naturally warm water at over 40°C. Equipped with a neoprene wetsuit, a harness and a helmet, you can jump, swim through pools, slip down slides and abseil down drops of up to 40 metres. The atmosphere is decidedly colder at the Balcère lake, where you can dive beneath the ice… at 2°C. Here you will have to learn to breathe, control your body and exceed your limits to enjoy an unimagined underwater world. Equally spectacular, ice climbing will delight lovers of verticality and technical challenges, ice axe in hand and crampons on the feet. Mountaineering is also an option, with an introductory session in a 300-metre snow corridor offering a preview of the summits.

 

 

The quadbike four-wheeled cycle
What’s that?

This quadbike is a cross between a motorised quadbike and a mountain bike, a 100% French invention by a local man, Hugues Escarguel from Carcassonne. Fun and accessible, the QBX Quadbike is ridden like a buggy (but is much greener, as it has no engine!) and is perfect for downhills, obstacles and skids – all under control..

 

The snow UFO

Le Yooner en Pyrénées-Orientales

 

You could even call them USOs, unidentified snow objects. These strange creations, easier than skiing and much more fun than sledging, have been appearing on the pistes since the 2000s. The most spectacular is the snowscoot, a scooter inspired by BMX and mountain biking, and the most surprising is the yooner, a modern sledge inspired by the ‘paret’, an older form that was used by schoolchildren. This snowcart 15 cm from the ground is a guaranteed thrill! Even more fun can be had with the air board, a bobsleigh-style inflatable
that is ridden lying flat, head-first, with only your own weight to steer with. Quite simply hair-raising! A slightly less hardcore variant is the snowtube, a rubber ring with handles rather like a truck inner tube which can turn, skid and slide from curve to curve. Hardier visitors can opt for cross-country skiing, climbing using ski skins like the peoples of the north and returning via a well-deserved descent.

 

Smile, you’re on camera!

Soirée au pied des pistes - Pyrénées-Orientales

You no longer need to take your camera or your GoPro to bring back images of your exploits. With the DC Live Park system, all snow fanatics have to do is put a special sticker on their helmets. A microchip inside the sticker detects their movements and triggers the snowpark’s cameras. Five minutes later, using the sticker number, they can watch their runs on their smartphone and then edit them into videos to share with their friends on the Internet. All free of charge. Test the system exclusively at the Font-Romeu Pyrénées 2000 ski area.

Climb on board for €1

 

With the bus at €1, getting into the mountains has never been so affordable! Wherever you start from and however long your trip, the price remains the same. A successful initiative introduced by the Pyrénées-Orientales district council.
Routes and timetables at www.cg66.fr

CG66