SkiBike Tour 2010-11 - Samoens To Flaine

Posted: Thursday, 13 January 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

Taking the gondola out of Samoens early the following morning we were disappointed to find ourselves entering quite thick cloud base at Samoens 1600m. As this has happened on each occasion I have been to this area I assured Wilf it would be better in Flaine. Arriving at the Tete de Saix sure enough the clouds rolled back to reveal the mountains.

Arriving in Flaine we took the Les Grandes Platiers gondola, going through the turnstile, I though I was about to get pulled on a technicality. The lift operator was saying something in French about helmets and I thought he was telling me it was obligatory to wear a helmet to ride the skibike. My face must have said it all; he repeated in English, "sorry pal, I was just teasing by saying "Did you know they sell helmets around the corner" those things are bloody dangerous, we're really only here to look after your name's Alastair".

So we headed up to Les Grandes Platiers on the aptly named Grandes Platiers gondola and flew down the Lucifer run. On arrival at the Col de Plate chairlift, I was surprised to find that only SnowScoots are allowed on the chairlifts at Flaine. So following our new protocol I left the skibike there with the lift operators for collection later.

We zoomed around the myriad runs exploring every nook and cranny. I was having a ball on my 60cm footskis, getting as low to the ground as possible on the turns and letting my mittens scrape the uphill slope before the next turn. Returning to the Les Grandes Platiers gondola base station, Alastair spotted me without my skibike and quizzed me. I explained to him about the problem using chairlifts and how I was making it round on footskis alone, "You're getting worse, those things are really lethal" he commented with a grin.

With time fast running out, I collected my skibike, oh bliss.

Somewhere along the way back to the Grand Vans chairlift Wilf took a wrong turning and had to do another grand tour of the Flaine bowl just to meet me at there. This gave me 15 minutes to kill, so I played on the brilliant Tourmaline run, now emptying of skiers and with soft slushy snow. I attacked it quite aggressively, enjoying every minute and acting like a complete hooligan. At one point I spotted a SnowScoot rider and played a game of pursuit trying to see if I could get past, he wasn't hanging about and for once I had to be economical with the turns and head straight for the fall line.

Eventually Wilf and I met up and with minutes to spare made the links over to Carroz and back down to misty Samoens.