If you're staying at La Petite Corneille our agents in Serre Chevalier can arrange equipment rental and ski passes for you at preferential rates.
There are plenty of other winter activities, too. Lying in a hot swimming pool out of doors surrounded by snow is a very special experience (see separate entry for the Grands Bains). Then there's ice skating (Monetier as well as Saint-Chaffrey, La Salle les Alpes and Briançon). You can learn to drive on ice at La Salle les Alpes or go karting on ice at Saint-Chaffrey. For those who prefer their transport to be closer to nature there's dog mushing. And for those who seek the strongest sensations there's an airbag in Saint Chaffrey most of the season for practising jumps, while the Col du Lauteret, just up the road, is one of the best places in the world to learn kiteskiing.
With a pair of snowshoes you can get right away from everything on marked trails and off. And the beauty of snowshoes is that you don't need any lessons or special skills (although you'll learn a few tricks as you go along). We would particularly recommend a tour of the Conchiers cliffs behind Monêtier, and a visit to l'Alpe du Lauzet, both with the near certainty of seeing ibex. Don't miss, either, a visit to the hamlet of Dormillouse, where only a few stubborn individuals hang on through the winter, or to les Combes, abandoned each year until the snow melts.
The area is a paradise for cross-country skiers, both classic and skating, and the trails begin just a short walk from the studio. If you're a beginner you'll enjoy gliding along to le Casset for a drink or lunch before returning. If you're more expert there are 35 km of trails in the valley of all grades. But you shouldn't miss the stunning Vallée de la Clarée (25 km of trails plus 13 km of nordic itineraries) nor the exquisite Cervieres (illustrated) with 42 km of trails - usually the first cross-country resort to open in December and the last to close at the end of April.
Monêtier has some of the finest lift-served off-piste skiing and snowboarding in the world. If you're just starting to experiment, the Eychauda and Cucumelle areas will help you improve your technique and develop your confidence. If you're more experienced there are wonderful off-piste descents such as the Grand Pré and Montagnolle. And when the visibility is bad it provides a wonderful excuse for getting off-piste into the famous larch forests. For the ultimate, the neighbouring cult resort of La Grave offers some 2,000 metres of descent, all of it unpisted. If you're serious about skiing or snowboarding you have to do it at least once in your life.
Sling your skis over your shoulder, or tuck your snowboard under your arm, stroll down the hill and in a few minutes you're at the Bachas and Aya chairlifts with access to 250 km of pistes, stretching all the way to Briancon, and served by 61 lifts. It's one of the largest, and best, ski/snowboard areas in the world. At the end of the day, if you're feeling tired, there's no need to trudge up the hill. Just hop on the navette which will drop you at the place de l'Eglise, only a few paces from the studio. Or you might like to head for the soothing waters of the Grands Bains (see below). If you have a car we recommend you to visit one or more of the nearby resorts. The nearest is Montgenevre, linking in to the 'Milky Way' circuit that includes Sestriere and Sauze d'Oulx. Other nearby resorts include Les Deux-Alpes, Alpe-d'Huez, Puy-St-Vincent and the off-piste mecca of La Grave.