Nordic Lights: The Best in Cross-Country Skiing
Looking for a real adventure on skies? How about a multi-summit ski-mountaineering expedition in eastern Turkey's Taurus Mountains? This little-traveled region sees few tourists, even in summer. In winter you and your group (just six or seven skiers plus a guide) are guaranteed to have the mountains to yourself.
Designed for skilled adventurers with a taste for unusual destinations, this is a novel ski program. It's also the perfect escape for those who have had their fill of crowded ski resorts.
Each day your destination is the next village. Skiers travel by horse or by truck as far up the mountain as possible; from there you continue the climb to the summit on skis. The daily regimen includes an 11,500-foot (3,500 meter) ascent to a summit using randonée equipmentalpine gear modified for touringfollowed by a full-tilt, alpine-styel descent.
This program, intended for onlyt he strongest and most capable wilderness skiers, is offered by the French outfitter Atalante (C.P. 701, 36037, Quai Arloing, 69256 Lyon Cedex 09, France. 01133.472.5324.80. www.atalante.fr). Participants tend to be primarily French or Italian, but the guides speak at least some English.
This challenging program runs eight days in March and costs about $2,000 per person.
Atalante also runs an established ski-mountaineering program in Morocco's High Atals Mountains every year, but the snow is generally more reliable in Turkeyand the scenery more varied.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication