Skiing downhill is wonderful but not the best for keeping in shape. The answer during the winter months is to do a bit of skate skiing - a fast, dynamic version of cross country skiing. Just an hour and a half from us in Zinal is a mecca for the sport - Goms in the upper Valais.
|Damian teaching some tricks to skate skiing.|
between Oberwald and Niederwald the shortest route is 22km, a journey taking you through ancient villages, across meadows and past chapels. There are lots of alternative trails, twisting and climbing above the valley floor into the forest. But don't forget that what goes up must come down, which is no joke on these skis... There are also plenty of restaurants and bars - some serving the unlikely sounding dish 'cholera' (a sort of Swiss Cornish pastie with onion and apple); and you're never far from a railway station, so when you've had enough (cholera or skate-skiing) you can jump onto a warm train and trundle home. We stayed in the lovely Hotel Tenne, where they serve award winning food and have very comfy beds - perfect after a day's skating.