National Geographic Traveller UK ‘Lakes & Mountains’ Issue 2022

1. Alpine running in Canada

Keen runners seeking more inspirational landscapes can join a new tour by CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures to discover the wild beauty of the Bugaboos in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Soar over verdant forest trails, rugged mountain tops and granite spires in a helicopter before being dropped on a summit. Runners will revel in the sunny skies, breathtaking panoramas and plenty of breaks, often in crystal-clear glaciated lakes. The day ends back at base camp, a spacious fly-in backcountry luxury lodge where guests can relax with a massage, sauna or a soak in a hot tub.

Where to stay: CMH Bugaboos log-hewn lodge at the base of Bugaboo Glacier offers gourmet dining, swimming and a rooftop hot tub. From $3,025 (£1,926) for three nights/four days including meals, helicopter flights, guide, equipment and local transfers. 

2. Heli-biking in New Zealand

Cycle far from the crowds in the Wanaka region past glaciers and lakes on gentle high-country trails and tricky single tracks that combine easy free-wheeling with adrenaline pumping fun. For seasoned cyclists, the four-hour Mount Burke trail is the holy grail of mountain bike trips with riders ferried to the top by chopper to avoid the uphill grind. Soak up the scenery at 4,593ft before braving the epic downhill descent through scenic valleys and farmland to the glassy waters of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea for a gourmet picnic. 

Where to stay: Minaret Station, an off-grid lavish four-chalet lodge accessible by only helicopter or boat, located at 7,000ft with a valley to one side and Lake Wanaka to the other. Five nights from £5,250pp, including four nights’ full-board at Minaret Station with return helicopter transfers, excluding international flights, with Black Tomato

Preparing to go heli-biking in New Zealand.

Preparing to go heli-biking in New Zealand.

PHOTOGRAPH BY FREDRIK LARSSON

3. Glacier hiking in France

Head to Saint Martin de Belleville to traverse the Glacier de Chavière and conquer not one, but three cols, or mountain paths, at altitudes of around 10,000ft. Set off at dawn, after learning how to use an ice axe and crampons, to begin an energetic climb attached by a rope to an expert guide. Enjoy incredible views of snow-covered ridges, steep couloirs and rock towers, but take care where you place your feet as some narrow paths come dangerously close to crevices with sheer drops. After reaching the three cols — Col de Thorens, Col Pierre Lory and Col du Bouchet — return to Val Thorens in the early afternoon for a leisurely lunch. 

Where to stay: The renovated four-star Hotel Lodji at the base of Saint Martin with cosy bar, restaurant, sunny terrace and spa. Rooms from €150 (£129) a night.

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