Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ski in France and Switzerland

Geoffroy had invited me to a friend gathering in La Grave, a mythical ski resort in France, where the whole mountain is purely backcountry, unsecured and ungroomed trails. 1800m of elevation difference from top of the lifts to the village!
I didn't know exactly what to expect in terms of difficulty. As Geoffroy was injured, he couln't ski but instead Julien joined me, and we spent a great day of skiing in challenging, but mostly manageable terrain. I only had to bail once, when we mistakenly got to the top of a steep couloir (couloir du lac).

The next day we drove to Serre Chevalier and had a more mellow skiing day, as my sore muscles reminded me that I hadn't practised any cardio sport since May (damn broken ankle). Both days featured beautiful views, -Ah, I love the Alps-, but it was pretty cold and I wasn't too keen on taking pictures as a consequence.

On January 3rd, Benoit took me skiing to a tiny Swiss resort in Switzerland (Evolene), where I practised ski touring for the second time of my life. It was rather exausting (Again!), as I had regular ski boots and freestyle backcountry skis (heavier than touring skis). Air at 3000m was definitely thinner. Again the views were spectacular, and the skiing actually much better than in La Grave, as we could hit slopes of powder snow, where no one had skied since the last snowfall. 1600m of elevation difference from the top to the village, quite a big number too.

Ski @ La Grave, Serre Chevalier, Evolene

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