The Wild Side of Courchevel
I always thought Courchevel was a glitzy ski scene with women in fur coats and ridiculous furry boots, streets lined with Bulgari and Louis Vuitton shops, and bank-breaking restaurants serving truffle-covered dishes paired with bottles of Krug. But there is a wild side to Courchevel that is often overlooked. Courchevel set within Vanoise National Park, which is often called France
’s Yosemite. If you get off the ski slopes you can experience the humbling beauty of the park. A snow shoe adventure with Raquette Evasion introduced me to this other side of Courchevel. Raquette Evasion founder Pascal Breyton, went from ski guide to snow shoe tour operator 20 years ago. I always associate snow shoes with the oversized tennis-raquet like things found hanging on the walls of bars in Maine
and the activity with something my mom would embrace. But snow shoeing in France, Pascal informed me, was something all together different. The shoes are lined with cleats and grips and are super maneuverable while the pace is enough to challenge even the fittest athletes. Pascal’s tour range from an easy half-day trek into the park to a full-day adventure up the mountains. We ventured to the gorgeous, turquoise blue lake and along the way spotted fox tracks and glided our way down hills of powder. I was sweating from the effort but the views of the surrounding mountains and forest were well worth the burn.