Ski Season: Downtime Activities for When You’re Not Working
Even though the term “ski season” seems like you’ll be skiing every single day, there are opportunities for other activities to take part in and below I’ll cover some of my favourites.
Skiing and Snowboarding
The obvious thing to do when you have time off is get yourself out on the mountain and explore the whole resort. You usually get a ski pass included in your work package and there’s nothing better than using the chair lifts to get to the top of the resort to get epic mountain views then spend the rest of the day shredding the pistes. Skiing with a group of mates made some of the best days I’ve had doing a season. Some of best gossip you get is sat on a chairlift! If it’s your day off then you can go to aprés ski where the party really starts.
Aprés and Partying!
Aprés ski (aka aprés) is usually some form of live music and happy hour drinks in a resort bar where people meet after skiing for some dancing, drinking and catching up. Pub le Ski Lodge in La Tania has some notorious aprés with people getting naked to the tune of Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’! If you can make it through aprés, there’s also usually live music in the evenings after everyone has finished work and chalet guests have had dinner. Live bands usually do classic covers and if you’ve got a Folie Douce nearby, go there for the cabaret show!
Snowshoeing and Hiking
Taking a break from skiing or snowboarding is something I like doing and going for a hike instead. You get to find hidden parts of the resort and discover some really nice trails. If you’re feeling confident or have some experience then you can go off the trails and head into the real back country using snowshoes. The Alps has some fantastic walks and it’s a good way to keep fit whilst on a season.
Swimming and Spa Days
A lot of French ski resorts have public swimming pools that are great for relaxing and doing some other form of exercise. I used to love going to Aquamotion in Courchevel which is an epic swimming centre with heated outdoor pools and saunas and hammams. You can also access boujee spas that are usually in hotels. You pay a fee to enter but can often get seasonaire discounts. I love spa days as I feel like it helps to reset and relax your body, especially with those tired ski legs.
Most resorts have an ice skating rink too which is such a fun activity to do with friends. You can rent the equipment and strut your stuff on the ice. In Meribel and Courchevel you can also go and watch ice hockey matches which are so crazy to watch especially when a fight breaks out right in front of you. Ask at your local tourist office for information on ice rinks.
Luging and Sledging
If the resort you are working in has luge track then definitely go do it with a bunch of mates. It’s like an intense, hilarious race on sledges. In Courchevel, you can rent a sledge in 1550 then get the gondola to 1850 then race down the track back to 1550. I haven’t laughed so much in my life. If you have a couple of plastic sledges knocking about, you can also go sledging when the pistes don’t have skiers on them or sometimes there are designated spots for sledging. For example, the Col de Pierre area in Flaine has a hill dedicated to sledging.
Going Out for Lunch
If you’re a bit of a foodie and enjoy eating out then exploring the restaurants in ski resorts is a nice way to experience some local and traditional food. I love treating myself to a hearty lunch especially if I got good tips. If you’re a big cheese lover then you can’t finish your ski season without trying fondue or raclette. They are Alpine favourites and most restaurants around the French Alps will offer these classics.
Exploring Outside of Resort
When you’re living in a ski resort, it’s like living in a bubble and often it doesn’t feel like “real life”. So if someone has their own vehicle and they’re going down the mountain to a nearby town, hop in because it’s a good opportunity to see new parts of the area and also just to escape the bubble. Often it’s nice to go shopping in a big supermarket as shops in resort can be expensive if you want some luxuries or even going further afield to touristy places like Annecy. It’s a lovely town to explore and it gives you the chance to feel like you’ve really left resort.
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