The slopes in France have been mostly quiet over the past week and look set to be for the next as the country prepares for the February crowds when the famous school holiday period begins across the country.

It has been a quiet week for snow in France too, with most of the new accumulations down in the Pyrenees, in the Alps the falls have been smaller – a maximum of 10cm, with more in the south at resorts like Isola 2000 and Montgenevre than in the north where Avoriaz reports the most new snow, albeit only a miserly 5cm.

The events calendar is quiet too, but some new activities are running all winter anyway, including the new Chocolate Workshops staged at 2pm every Thursday afternoon in Les Gets which are proving popular with young and old alike.

Participants are professionally equipped with hats, aprons and gloves and these ‘chef Isabelle’s assistants’ cut up biscuits, chop nuts, raisins and pistachios, mixing the chocolate as it slowly heats in the bowl.

The reward is that once the chocolates are made and coated, you are free to take it back to your accommodation to enjoy at your leisure. Mountain-themed delicacies that may be created include praline snowflakes, chocolate salami to Florentines, all of which are made in house.

Anyone aged five and over can take part and the one hour sessions cost nine Euros to take part.

In Les Arcs the main new attraction is a high speed sledging slope – a rare attraction in the country, which as its for teens and older only at Les Arcs, is rarer still.

The new three kilometre (two mile) long course descends 400 vertical metres from the top of the “Transarc” to the “Arcabulle” departure point. A chalet at the top of “Arcabulle” offers free sledge and helmet rental and a place to deposit your skis and boards while you enjoy the run.

In Alpe d’Huez it’s all about the exciting still quite new sport of ‘ski cross’ which was the star attraction at the Vancouver Olympics last winter. Alpe d’Huez is still basking in the glow of their local seven times world champion in the sport, Ophelie David.

Checkout this video of a training run before the event began.

Having staged the World Cup Ski Cross Championships here last week, the resort has now opened a new skicross course to visitors to its slopes, and Ophelie has created her own” team” to teach technique to anyone interested, perhaps in representing Britain at Skicross in Sochi?

Well, you never know…

Posted by Patrick Thorne on Friday 24 Jan 2014

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