SkiBike Tour 2013-14 - Avoriaz with Mutt & Jeff

Posted: Friday, 21 March 2014 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,
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If I had been playing slow driver bingo I would have won the prize this morning. No sooner had I overtaken the nervous learner biting her bottom lip, than I found myself behind the petrol tanker and having left that in my wake; some old codger wearing a straw hat pulled out in front of me in a decrepit Peugeot. For some inexplicable reason, as I went to overtake he began to veer towards the left side of the road.
Consequently, although I thought I had left plenty of time, I was late for my rendezvous with Kevin Dawson.

My destination was Avoriaz, about the most distant of the French resorts from Geneva that I would still consider to be local. My last visit was over a year ago, since then they have installed a high speed "bubble" gondola from the Les Prodains car park to the bottom of Avoriaz village. This has negated the bottle neck that used to occur and turned what had been a nightmare 45 minute uplift into a joyous 5 minute transfer.

Luckily skibikers are easy to spot and Kevin found me easily amongst the crowds, today was only day two of  skibiking for him and the conditions on the higher runs were very tough. On such hard snow you have to carve or fall on your derrière. He did very well for a novice and seems fearless, apparently 39 years of skiing helps.

Skibikers are easy to spot

I should add at this point that Kevin is profoundly deaf, when I ride I can hear the difference in the sound the skis make depending upon the type of snow, I can really appreciate how it must be a challenge if you would have to rely on just the feel through the handlebars and appearance of the snow to judge the surface.

We headed for the sunnier and lower slopes which made for less challenging and more enjoyable riding, I have never spent that much time on this side of Avoriaz and I would like to investigate this area further as I prefer glade runs to moonscapes any day of the week.

The low level side of Avoriaz - worth further investigation

Soon it was time for lunch and we went to one of the self catering apartments where Kevin is staying with his family. I have often wondered what they are like inside, I certainly know they're not a cheap option. As is to be expected they are compact, bijou would be the term the brochure would use. This is the norm for French slope side accommodation, but it wasn't claustrophobic feeling and the view from the balcony is to die for.  The interior décor mixed natural finished wood, concrete and stone to create a pleasing balance between cosy and chalet chic.

Avoriaz apartments - the view from the balcony is to die for

During our ride Kevin and I had communicated mostly with hand gestures, during lunch we scribbled notes on paper and passed them back and forth across the dinner table like naughty schoolboys. After lunch we returned to some of the higher runs, which had softened up greatly, but still had the odd icy patch lurking in the shadows to test your balance.

I particularly enjoyed the last run down to the car park at Les Prodains, it is narrow and steep in places and is quite a challenge in itself. The vertical drop alone is equal to the total elevation of some other resorts. It was great to meet Kevin and great to be back in Avoriaz, one of the best skibike friendly resorts in the French Alps.

1 comments:

  1. je suis d'accord avec toi Mark,Avoriaz est une belle station avec un prix de forfait très abordable,des pistes d'enneigement naturelle et un beau domaine hors piste.