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In 1861, the painter Odoardo Borrani, a humble singer of Florentine terraces and studios, painted a picture called the date - April 26, 1859. A young woman is sewing, sitting…

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Obstacle-free running

Who would have told me a week ago that I can easily run cross-country skiing 10 km, I would not believe it. But the mountains, it seems, really awaken the hidden resources and start a second wind – they somehow imperceptibly make you stronger, share their silent energy.

But it was like that. Suddenly spring sprang into Courmayeur. The sun was hung on the sky two weeks ago, but it is not removed – during the day it warms up the air right up to 22 degrees! This, of course, unspeakably pleases all those below, but upsets those who came to the resort for the sake of skiing. Upstairs there is snow, of course, but far from the first freshness. Since the officially rolling season in Courmayeur lasts until the end of April, we do not lose hope for a fresh cyclone that can replace the wind from Africa. In general, I don’t feel like riding all day long, so we decided to explore some other sports opportunities of Courmayeur in addition to ski slopes.

For cross-country skiing, we went to the neighboring valley – Val Fere, which, together with the Val Veny valley, lies on the Mont Blanc massif. It is not difficult to get there, on weekdays you can get directly to the ski track, and on weekends and holidays you will have to leave the car at the entrance to La Palud. From here, a bus goes to the ski center, to the village of Planpansier, located at an altitude of 1580 meters (travel on both sides will cost 3 euros).

From Planpansier, the tracks diverge into the villages of Lavash and Arp Nuwaz, where, however, only the most trained athletes get to. In Planpansier there are several equipment rentals, a ski school, locker rooms and showers, as well as several different exits to the tracks with a total length of 20 km. We took the skis and boots (10 euros for the whole set for the whole day) and went to the start (the entrance ticket to the track costs another 6 euros). The weather was beautiful, a day off, so there were quite a lot of skiers on the track. In addition to the fantastic views of the mountains on both sides and the river, running as if racing with you, in parallel with the ski track, the track had several more advantages.

Firstly, there are two tracks, which allows you to ride together and conveniently overtake those who are ahead.

Secondly, the ski track itself was ideally molded by a special machine and, thanks to the height at which Planpanier is located, the snow quality was excellent for cross-country skiing – simply put, the solid ski track glided perfectly.

In addition, each kilometer was marked with a special sign, and the track itself was circular with a mass of forks where it was possible to go to red and black sections, thereby lengthening or cutting the route depending on mood and well-being. One more pleasant moment – the first five kilometers with long sections uphill turned out to be the most difficult. The second five was a continuous holiday – with long downhill skiing, on which the main task was not to fly out of the knurled track at a speed that would take off hats and glasses from some. That is, the terrain is very competent – while you are still awake and full of strength, if you please, work hard. And when the forces are already starting to leave you, the “walking” descent mode is activated. All along the route there are restaurants with terraces covered with sun loungers. Here you can relax at any time, enjoying the scenery. There are hotels on the way that, however, work only in the summer, so cross-country skiing fans will have to look for accommodation in Planpansier, and not off the beaten path in the middle of the valley.
In parallel with the ski track in Val Ferret, a walking route has been laid along which it is very convenient to walk with a stroller or a dog if you came not to ride, but simply to walk or support a running skier. For children there is a small toboggan run – renting a sled will cost 5 euros for the whole day.

We beat the “ten” quietly, in just an hour or so, so now we plan to do it regularly – and the training is good, and the look is great. The track, surrounded on all sides by mountains, is a rare beauty place for meditation and relaxation. No matter how strange it may sound, after 10 km of active skiing, we felt just like that – relaxed and peaceful….

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