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Activities

  • Walking, Hiking and Rambling in the Ecrins Alps

    Simply put we are in a walking paradise, where the majority of outdoor activists are mountain hikers. In our valley there are over 740km of marked paths, and in the Hautes Alpes a total of 6,800km. The trails vary from a family circuit taking less than an hour through to major multi-day routes. The season runs from April until November and with 300 days of sunshine good weather is almost guaranteed! On our doorstep is the Ecrins National Park (30 times larger than the Chamonix Valley) with a huge range of wildlife including Chamois, Ibex and Golden Eagles, and 1,800 varieties of plant life and flowers including Edelweiss and alpine orchids.click here for walks in Gerendoine, Ailefroide and Ecrins National Park

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  • Via Ferrata Haute Alpes

    If you have never done a via ferrata, click on the notes tap for a description. They are great fun - somewhere between scrambling anf climbing. However you do not need any experience apart from a basic introduction. Anyone from the age of about 5 can participate, and its a great family activity. teenagers love them!

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  • Snowshoeing Vallouise

    Snowshoeing in Winter is the perfect way to experience the mountains. Whether it's a gentle walk on a snow covered path to areas that are simply unreachable by car, or an easy stroll along the marked trails by the side of X-C ski pistes, snowshoeing will guarantee you amazing beauty, a real sense of alpine Winter and a huge appetite!All you need are a pair of snowshoes and ski poles, available for hire at any of our local outdoor gear shops. If you stay in one of our chalets or apartments you can literally walk from your doorstep.Snowshoeing is for anyone, no matter what your age. It is great for couples, groups and families. If you have children take some sledges and have a walk to find the best slopes or someplace special for that giant snowman. It's a hoot and a grand day out!Check the tab NOTES below for ESSENTIAL INFO!

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  • Rock Climbing Ecrins, Ailefroide

    In the words of the European crag climber’s bible - The Jingo Wobbly “Europe” guide book: “The (Durance) Valley makes power climbing here a soft summer recreation, with beer intervals! 300 days of sunshine a year = a wobbly paradise”. These words inspired me to relocate our family to the Southern French Alps in 2003. And I am happy to say this area has just got better and better each year as new crags, sectors, routes and multi-pitch playgrounds continue to be developed. Currently there are 80+ actual climbing sites (crags). Most of which have at least 3 different sectors and each sector has between 10 and 20 actual routes. Plus there are 6 different rock types – Limestone, Granite, Conglomerate, Gabbro, Quartzite, and Gneiss and the grade range runs from Fr.3 routes just for children to Fr.8c+. Route length is anything from 2m. high boulders to 650m. Big Wall routes!

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  • Road Cycling Southern Alps

    AlpBase is surrounded by mountain cols and beautiful cycling tours, the most famous of which is the Col de Lautaret (2,057m) regularly used in the alpine section of the Tour de France, as well as local events such as the Giro d'Italia, and the Luc Alphand Sportive. Other killer cols around us include the Col du Galibier (2,642m), one of the highest in France, and the very long Col d'Izoard (2,360m) – enough to satisfy the leanest and meanest! I have ridden every month except December and January here in the Hautes Alpes. It's a huge area and the centre of Alpine road cycling. That's why the Tour de France comes through this region every year. Enjoy!

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  • Paragliding Vallouise

    You can take a tandem discovery flight, do a course or just watch other people. The take of point locally is directly above Vallouise, and the landing site is in the field next to Alpbase. You can fly in Summer, or fly from the top of Puy Saint Vincent on skis in the Winter.

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  • Mountain Biking Haute Alpes

    Here in the Hautes Alpes Mountain Biking is now very developed. From early April until mid November you can access thousands of kilometers of specialist lift-assisted downhill courses, all day All Mountain trails, multi-day X-Country itineraries and gentle family routes that take as little as 30 minutes!The variety of terrain is huge including high altitude trails, forest roads, and big gutsy descents, and other than July or August you won't see a soul! We mountain bike regularly as a family, and so we have explored most of the area's gems. We are always on hand to offer advice and trail topos, and from most of our chalets and apartments you can ride straight out onto a waymarked trail.

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  • Kayak & Rafting Onde / Gyr / Durance

    The South Alps is a superb area for white water activities. The water is bigger volume than the UK with a mixture of wider larger volume rivers and smaller creek type rivers. The water, being snow melt is cold, but the higher air temperatures and sun shine make for a very pleasant experience with wonderful scenery. The white water activities offered comprise kayaking ; open canoeing ; rafting in large paddle rafts on the bigger rivers or special mini-rafts on the smaller rivers, hot dogs – one or two person inflatable boats – and hydro-speeds – a French invention which is basically swimming in the water protected by a full wet suit with a toboggan- like float to protect and support the body and propelled by flippers.

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  • Downhill Ski and Board Puy Saint Vincent and Pelvoux

    From AlpBase you can access a total of over 1000 km’s of downhill pistes, and almost unlimited off-piste action; we are in the middle of the Hautes Alpes, one of Europe's top ski and board destinations. The skiing is VERY snowsure, the pistes are normally quiet, the locals very friendly, and its much cheaper than the Northern Alps!Pelvoux - 5 minutes drive away - 25Km of downhill pistesPuy-St-Vincent - 10 minutes drive - 75Km of downhill pistesSerre Chevalier - 20 minutes drive - 250Km of downhill pistesVars/Risoul - 30 minutes drive - 180Km of downhill pistesMontgenèvre/Milky Way - 40 minutes drive - 400Km of downhill pistesLa Grave - 1 hour away - Off-piste capital of Europe!

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  • Cross-Country Skiing Vallouise

    Cross-country skiing Ski from the door of your chalet! The ski area of Vallouise and Les Vigneaux has over 30 km of groomed, marked pistes and is an ideal site for both beginners and experienced cross-country skiers to enjoy skiing in the forest. You can also cross-country ski in the Puy-Saint-Vincent ski area, at the site of Ailefroide, and in the ski area in the valley of Freissinières.

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  • Climbing for Kids

    Ailefroide for kids Sous la fissure: Nice dark granite slab. Well protected from rockfall. Majority of routes are in grade 3 and 4. Bolting adapted to the size of the small giants :-) . Perfect for families with little kids. Some very easy lines for the children, some 2-3 pitch climbs for the more experienced to get used to friction climbing and multipitch climbs. Mosquitoes and the afternoon sun (hits the bottom of the surface around 1pm) are the biggest danger out here. Les Etoiles: Nice and clean slab at the foot of Mont Pelvoux (3946 m, the first 500m can be climbed in a very nice multipitch line/ Riviere Kwaï. A must do!). About 15 lines perfectly bolted. The top belays are easily accessible, which is very useful for teaching purposes. Depending on the snowfall in winter and temperatures in summer, there can be a small snowfield at the bottom of the slab. Big fun! But sometimes difficult on climbing shoes. Ecole Buisonière: A 4-year toddler can learn to lead here starting at grade 3. If he/she is growing in technique and confidence, bolting is adapted with climbs up to 6a. The bigger brothers can try 5a-6a around the corner (Greenpeace), and there is 7b and 8b a little bit lower (Rainbow Warrior). Draye: 80 routes from 4c up to 7c, most in grade 5 and 6. Wall facing west = can become hot in the afternoon. Remember you are in alpine environment! Kids can play here, but should not wander to far off. Wearing a helmet can be useful here. Petittes Dalles: Very good training in slab climbing! Perfect playground under the trees at the bottom of this slab. Very easy to access. Grandma can come here pushing the pram with the youngest. Had enough exercise on maximal friction on your feet? Fingers and arms can be trained on the thousands of boulders scattered around here.

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  • Art / Painting Courses at Alpbase

    We have the great pleasure to have teamed up with a fantastic painter; Dawn Pretty to be able to offer a special weeks painting holiday this Autumn in Vallouise to capture the fantastic Autumn colours here. This course is open to all abilities but limited to 6 people maximum.We have the great pleasure to have teamed up with a fantastic painter; Dawn Pretty to be able to offer a special weeks painting holiday this Autumn in Vallouise to capture the fantastic Autumn colours from many different viepoints. Alpine meadows, with backdrops of stunning mountain scenery, beautiful lake vistas, and local market scenes. With enjoyment as a priority, all abilities are welcome and you will be nurtured in your own style with levels of tuition to your taste. Terrified beginners will be introduced to the life enhancing skill of playing with paint and awakening the senses to see the beauty of everyday life. This course is open to all abilities but limited to 6 people maximum. You will be staying in our best chalet " Chalet Chabrand" which is situated in the centre of Vallouise in a fully inclusive package which will include transport, full catering, and tuition. Dawn is a very talented artist in all disciplines, and a lovely person to boot! Programme proposed; studies of light on ancient architecture; sharp angular perspectives; soft distant mountains and cloud; splashing intuitively using watery ways with tumbling rivers and silvan scenery; deep focussed botanical depictions. A variety of techniques, to carry home in your repertoire, to continue painting any subject confidently. Sat - Fly to Turin, transfer to Vallouise France to settle in, relax and converse over dinner. Sun – Friday we will alternate subject matter and locations, watch inspiring and informative demonstrations and make your own holiday masterpiece memories on paper. Sat - Transfer to Turin, fly to UK (option to stay in Turin if desired) Tutor – Dawn Pretty has ten years experience of bringing the best ou

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Chalet accommodation in the Southern French Alps