In the winter season, visitors to our mountains have a heavy impact on the local wildlife. Certain areas away from the cross-country ski and snowshoe trails are out of bounds in winter. Indeed, some species are protected here, especially in the Upper Jura mountain range.
Backcountry skiing is a great way to combine the joys of the snow with a discovery of the local fauna and flora. Tried and tested for you, this activity can be enjoyed in the company of Julien, our guide for the day from Evasions Nordiques. Go exploring the great outdoors in slow mode.
Did you say backcountry skiing?
Let's go back to the origins of skiing! Yes, backcountry skiing (ski touring) is the ancestor of today's different ski disciplines. It is a practical and efficient way of travelling across snow-covered countryside. Somewhere between Alpine and Nordic skiing and telemark, it allows you to soak up the atmosphere of the great outdoors while enjoying the pleasures of skiing. This activity is the perfect way to explore the Jura Mountains!
Ski touring sites
Backcountry skiing can be enjoyed at liberty in any natural space. If you're new to the discipline you can call upon a guide to accompany you and ensure you are mindful of your surroundings. For an introductory session, a half-day or full-day excursion, or even a whole weekend, you're free to decide your own programme, and the 3 resorts of the Jura Mountains are ready to welcome you.
The Grande Traversée du Jura ski touring itinerary takes you exploring the mountains in the safety of a 100km Nordic trail.Découvrir l'itinéraire de la GTJ
The width of backcountry skis is between that of cross-country and downhill skis. The boots and bindings leave the heel unattached and no adjustment has to be made between the "ascent" and "descent" positions.
You don't have to be an exceptional skier to go ski touring. All you need is your enthusiasm, a sense of balance, and a competent guide!
Protecting plants and wildlife
A morning to get to grips with backcountry skiing, for a real sense of freedom
8am: Departure for Métabief in glorious sunshine, the promise of a wonderful day! A few minutes to find your balance and very quickly you're moving at your own pace. Once you get the hang of it, all that's left to do is enjoy the scenery. We've discovered some beautiful snow-covered valleys for you. Shaped by erosion, these are typical features of the Jura Mountains.
Do you know what really strikes us? It's that sensation of freedom you get with backcountry skiing! Instead of following tracks and staying on the trails, you simply make your own tracks in the powder snow as you venture into the wilderness.
Lunch break at the Petite Echelle, time to replenish
A long morning's skiing works up an appetite. So stop for lunch at the Petite Echelle, a lovely mountain chalet serving food and drinks in the Jura Mountains just a short distance from the Swiss border.
The menu includes rosti, ham, sausages and salad.
A proper Jura Mountain meal!
The Petite Echelle also proposes quirky accommodation, in a yurt, a cabin or a hut, available in both summer and winter. But we're not planning on sleeping, we're off again to go and admire Mont-Blanc from the top of Mont d’Or.
An afternoon at the summit for the best view of the Alps
After a morning exploring followed by a hearty meal, we begin our gradual climb to the top of Mont d'Or. The afternoon, a little more physically challenging but just as pleasant, takes us to the Holy Grail: a magnificent view of the Mont-Blanc. The Jura Mountains are indeed the ideal place from which to admire our Alpine neighbour.
Rewarded for your efforts, as the saying goes! After a good hour's climbing, we're able to enjoy the panoramic view with a nice cup of tea and some Jura Mountain cheese.
5pm: time to go back down, this time via the woods, sliding between snow-covered fir trees and enjoying the pleasure of the descent!