Skiing - Alpine and Nordic
Carve fresh tracks or glide along wide pistes
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
- Feel the carves or glide for the first time
- An exhilarating activity for a great price
20km and 15-20 minutes drive or train ride up the valley from Chez Arran is the ski town of Ax les Thermes, with fast gondola access to over 75km of pistes from 1,400m to 2,400m. The season is usually December to March. There’s something for everyone, from gentle open slopes to off-piste tree-runs, and the extensive network of snow cannon will ensure there’s always plenty of snow. A one-day lift pass costs only 32.50€. A skiRail train is possible from Foix to Ax les Thermes and works out cheaper overall. There is a 90€ four day deal outside French holidays and weekends. The days do not need to be taken consecutively.
You buy tickets from the machine outside the train station or from Tourist information. There is often a hoppa bus to take you from the Station to the lift station where you exchange your ticket for a pass - or sometimes in the train station. At those prices the cool après-ski beer tastes so much better! For the webcam check www.ax-ski.com
We recommend Ascou or Les Puymorens for families, and Andorra resorts if you like to combine skiing and
shopping. Ski hire shops are easy to find in Ax and on the way. Lessons are available at most resorts and best booked in advance.
To book ski lessons check out this site
Hiring Ski equipment
There are a few places between Tarascon sur Ariege and Ax where you can hire ski equipment. Main options include: Ax les Thermes Sport 2000 http://ski-hire-sport2000.co.uk immediately to the right of the main ski lift in Ax. Telemark Pyrenees http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/en/ is closer to the entrance of the town.
Nordic & Ski touring
- The perfect winter cross-training for runners, cyclists & triathletes
- A fun way to glide around the mountain in tracks or off the beaten track
The Plateau de Beille http://www.beille.fr is the Pyrenees’ premier cross country ski venue. At over 1,800m, just 20 minutes drive from home, no less than 70km of beautifully maintained circuits will delight and challenge Nordic skiers of all abilities. You’ll also find many marked snowshoe trails. It’s a great panorama from the top of Beille and you can also try dog sledging with some fabulous huskies and Pyrenean mountain dogs. This needs booking in advance. There is a ski bus departing from Les Cabannes up to Beille regularly at the weekends.
Chioula is also well worth a visit and skis are available at Telemark Pyrenees. The Pyrenees is a fantastic place for ski-touring. There are routes to suit all levels of experience and fitness.
New Guide book for 2013 - Ski et Snowboard en Montagne - Patrice Descuns
The first guidebook for 35 years, this is an attractive offering from Patrice Descuns featuring 73 routes from Haute Ariege, Puymorens, Capcir and Andorra. Includes half days out to "grande courses". Plenty of fun to be had in this book! Amust for the adventurous. Here is a review in French from SKI rando mag
This book is available in Decathon near Foix and no doubt Telemark Pyrenees on the way up to Ax les Thermes. You can also find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.fr/SKI-ET-SNOWBOARD-MONTAGNE-COURSES/dp/2913385192