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Saturday June 24, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The inaugural Les2Alpes Outdoor Festival took place at the weekend as the glacier opened for summer skiing.

Saturday 24th June

The first thing to note is that although it is hot, the resort is at 1,600m and the breeze is cool.

Perhaps the best place to be in the current heatwave across Europe.

As I arrived on Friday it was 35ºC at Geneva airport as I described in in my preview piece with full details about the Outdoor Festival.

But it probably didn't feel like it to the people taking part in the first main event on Saturday - the Course de Ouef.

It translates as Course for Madmen.

And it was.

Around 200 people set off in three groups to run 10.5 km round the town and up into the mountains.

There are 27 obstacles to complete and all in temperatures of 28C.

It began with a warm up dance.

As you do.

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France

















And then the first wave of runners was off in the rapidly increasing temperature.

Some were in fancy dress others while took it more seriously.

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Now I have to admit I was entered to do it.

I had a number and a bib - 65:

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Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France
















However being the dedicated journalist that I am I wanted to report on the event rather than do it, so I sacrificed my spot so I could take pictures and video and report on the event rather than take part.

(This piece was posted by 13.00 on Saturday - about the time I would have finished if I had been running!?

Honestly, the sacrifices I make for PlanetSKI readers and services to news journalism. Wink

I even had to have a lie down in the sun as the competitors went by.

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The obstacles consisted of fun challenges but perhaps not so fun in the searing temperatures.

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My colleagues in the British media group put in a very creditable performance - completing the course in two hours.

They ran in with a spring in their step.

And then the obvious questions:

And why is his face blue - see the photo ahead of the two videos above.

Next up in this weekend celebration of all things mountain was the one I like the best (after skiing of course).... Paragliding.

You need a head for heights but the anticipation and trepidation as you click in is part of the thrill.

I was being flown tandem by Matthew - a local with years of experience.

"Just walk forward and the canopy will inflate and when it is over our heads we run as fast as possible and it will gently lift us off the ground. When I shout sit then you sit and off we go," he said.

That is exactly what happened.

Get ready...Get ready...



















Get set...Get set...


































All thoughts of "What happens if the clips aren't done up?"

And "Will the strings break?" vanished from my head as we soared skywards.


Flying like a birdFlying like a bird
















Within a matter of moments we had climbed to 1,850m and peered down on the roofs of Les2Alpes at 1,650m.

We banked left and beneath my feet way down on the valley floor was the village of Venosc - I had white water rafted there on my last summer visit to the area.

It is at 900m - that's quite a drop!

It was a blustery afternoon and we made four attempts to land in the crosswinds but such was my confidence in Matthew the landing proved the most fun.

Up, up and awayUp, up and away
















There was no way that could be beaten.

So I decided to go and chill out at the beach.


Yes, Les2Alpes has a beach.

And a very good one too with views to die for.

And to get there  it is a short walk through town - with all things alpine taking place as part of the festival.

Slalom rolling skiing on one of the main roads that had been closed off for the occasion.

Les2Alpes Outdoor FestivalLes2Alpes Outdoor Festival















Slack lining over the covered ice rink.

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And something more adventurous and slightly higher off the ground.

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And then there is the beach at Les2Alpes - perfect are after an active day in the mountains.

Life's a beachLife's a beach
















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We love summer in the mountains! Cool

And next up?

The real thing glacier skiing:

The glacier awaitsThe glacier awaits
















Oh, and a spot of this in the afternoon:

And the mountain bike trails...And the mountain bike trails...















Update, Monday morning:

And what a day it was on Sunday - skiing in June. 

Check back later for my full report.

I'm back in my natural habitat. Cool

Yours truly in heavenYours truly in heaven



Les 2 Alpes Outdoor Festival:

A pass costs €45 and gives access to the slackline, yoga and zumba classes, rock climbing and golf. People need to register for competitions such as the Course de Ouf.


From €75 for a tamdem flight (10 minutes)

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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