Edit Blog Post
Published: April 27th 2008
Silliness in the snow
That's Mt Blanc in the backgound
It is March, it's been cold and the snow is falling in Europe again - seems like a good excuse to organise another ski trip.
Being reluctant to head away from the convenience of 'an hour from Geneva', but wanting to try somewhere new, we headed to Flaine (well actually we stayed in Les Carroz, but we skied Flaine).
Apparently Flaine is known as the 'white desert' for its excellent ski cover long into the season (it is very high), but it is a dangerous desert. The mountains in the Grand Massif (the name for the ski area around Flaine - how cool is that? Sounds much better in French than 'big solid mass' which is what Babel-Fish says the translation is), are very holy. No, no: no religious connotations, they are literally covered in holes. If you go off piste, you can easily fall in one, resulting in injury, or worse!! On piste, they cover them with netting before the first snowfall so there is no need to worry (hmmm).
Flaine itself is not a pretty ski town - the buildings are more like big concrete blocks than lovely chalets - but the skiing made up for
Anyway - I have started to feel pretty confident about my boarding, with all the practice I have been getting (even managed to get a compliment from my flatmate in that regard!!), and talked myself up a bit pre trip. (For the unobservant, therein lies the 'pride').
Had a great first couple of days (on piste - scared of become lost forever in a hole!), on the black runs, attempting to board moguls (which quickly showed me I am not as good as I think) and, of course, having chocolate chaud breaks (one of my fave parts of skiing).
For day 3, we had organised a mountain guide to tale us off-piste (and guide us around the holes). She was awesome - acting as an instructor as well - pretty impressive when there is one boarder and one skier. The terrain was pretty challenging, there were a fair few longish traverses, which I find pretty tiring, and concentrating on doing things 'properly' is always harder. However, she found us some great snow and it was all good. Found us some hard challenges too - steep (one slope we went on was 60 degrees!) - check; bumpy -
check; narrow - check.
Close to the end of the day, she took us over to Gers, where we had a fab run on some fresh snow to the bottom of the longest pomma I have ever seen. Now, as a snowboarder, pommas and t-bars are my least favourite kind of lift.
Undaunted (OK - a little bit daunted but trying not to show it) on we hop. It is long and quite steep in parts. I start to feel tired. About 2/3 of the way up the snow is a bit bumpy. I veer off the path. It is more bumpy. I become a bit unbalanced. I fall off the pomma. The other two therefore get off as well (not because I was in the way - I am not that crap - just for support). It's all good, we'll just ski down and try again.
Back at the bottom, I am full of confidence (brought on by a bit of a rest and some chocolate) and hop on the pomma again. I start the ride up. It's funny how I had already forgotten how long it was.... and how it is quite steep in parts.
I start to feel tired. About 2/3 of the way up the snow is a bit bumpy. I veer off the path. It is more bumpy. (Sounding familiar?) I become a bit unbalanced. I fall off the pomma. Yep - it is exactly the same spot. The other two therefore get off as well. Do I feel silly or what? I start to think I might never make it up (the tireder I get, the harder it will be). There is no other way out.
Anyway - we ski down again. The instructor and I work out we have the same size feet. We decide that skis might be easier for me and she offers to swap. Now, keep in mind that I nave not skied for over 8 years....
Still I am feeling good. I put on the skis and hop on the pomma. It's harder to manage the skis than I remember and I wonder if I have the boots tight enough. About 2/3 of the way up the snow is a bit bumpy. But I am on skis and I make it past the bumps. Hurrah!! Unfortunately I then relax. My skis cross. I become
unbalanced. I fall again.
This time I tell the others to stay on the lift - there is a ski path that joins up with the main track that I will take. So I walk. It's a long way. Actually, it's a really long way. And I am no longer wearing my comfy snowboarding boots. It is very tiring. I think about how ridiculous it is that I have talked myself up so much and cannot even manage a pomma. Oh well. It's a funny story (at least now it is!).
Luckily, I soon managed to get over my embarrassment, the long weekend at Flaine was awesome and I am improving, really I am - just not as quickly as I would like!
Tot: 2.475s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 18; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0367s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb