We are almost there. In 10 days the lifts will close and the ski season will officially be over. Sad but true. I am actually sad only thinking about how much I will miss winter during the summer months but I am looking forward to seeing the entire mountain shut. Given that the only possible access will be on foot, the resort will be transformed into a backcountry resort. And the good news is that there is still quite a lot of snow up there which means that for people like me who have the time and the energy, like hiking and earning their turns, the ski season is not over yet. I am not sure how long I will be able to skin/hike for but I would say at least till the second week in May, possibly longer. We’ll see.
Being Easter week, this week has been pretty busy. So today I decided to spend the day going against the main stream. Going up instead of down, like everyone else on the mountain. I spent on snow a total of 6 hours out of which at least 4.5 skinning, without using a single lift. Yes, it was VERY hard work, one of the most tiring days of the whole season. Now I can barely lift a finger and probably will be asleep by 9 tonight, but I am happy. It was such a glorious day, not a cloud in the sky. I also wanted to see what will be like when the mountain becomes a ghost backcountry resort and, since the only aspect of today I didn’t like was the amount of people on the slopes, I feel confident in saying that I am looking forward for that to happen.
Only the feeling of getting to the top of the mountain using only your legs is a feeling that would justify the long hike. On top of that you can add the other nice feeling which is the one you have as you make your way down. You know that you have earned every turn you make. I always found that feeling extremely rewarding. So today it has been a mix of skinning up, ski down.. skinning up, ski down again.
The only downside is probably getting used to other people looking at you as you were an alien. Some people don’t even understand how you can possibly walk using your skis without sliding backwards. Some others, the very few who have a tiny bit of knowledge about ski touring equipment, would understand the function of your skins but still would not understand and wonder why on earth you would peacefully hike for 1 hour when the chairlift could take you to the top in 10 minutes. This category of people does not interest us, we therefore leave them wondering..
Today a british teen ager who was on the chair lift shouted at me: “why are you walking, on the chair is so much easier..”. I replied: “oh.. is it? thanks for the tip kid, I have never been on a chairlift before but I’ll definitely think about it..”
a backcountry resort, that is what I am going to dream about the next few nights
on the way up in the trees. this is the ultimate dream chalet. it has got even solar panels on the roof.. very eco friendly! the only thing is that even Oscar would not made it up here in the winter. I would have to buy a snowmobile, I always wanted one
ok, out of the trees. you can see the valley from here. where possible I tried to hile off-piste. nice spring snow, a bit heavy but nice to walk on.. the summit is not too far now
ok, this is the top: tete des saix 2,120 mt. the lifts on the close ridge take you to Flaine, another ski resort and if you look far back, you can see the mont blanc. its summit is in the clouds
I have been up here I don’t know how many times but I never get bored looking at these mountains.. see? I told you there was still a lot os snow up here
Some of my toys. Today I played with these ones
and this is how I look like when I use them. it was lucky I met a friend who took this picture. do you think I have a 70’s look? I love so much just being out here wairing these clothes and playing with my favourite toys. I guess the smile gives it away
Meet my Telemark skis, K2 World Piste. Here I am skinning, working my way up. I love my skis they are so cool and special. that’s why they are in the room with me, together with my board
I can finally see the lake. For weeks and weeks I have been wondering where it was. Here I am on my way back to Samoens