SkiBike Tour 2010-11 - Combloux

Posted: Tuesday, 18 January 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

Something in the Geneva flat wakes me up at 3am every morning in a hot sweat. Apparently Wilf suffered from it during his visit; maybe the communal heating system is programmed to ramp things up, or it's the cheap booze, or even a poltergeist. The bottom line is that you spend and hour waiting to go back to sleep, then oversleep the alarm.

Suffice to say that I arrived in Combloux on the foothills of Mont Blanc just in time for a cheapo afternoon pass. Not to worry my objective was not to ski the place out but to get some nice vids and get some pictures of both analogue and digital flavours.

My first priority was to fulfil a promise to Wilf, I fitted myself with a pair of Salomon SnowBlades, last used by my cousin's wife over the New Year and sat forlorn on the back seat of the car ever since.

SnowBlades - how did they get there?
In theory they should be much the same as footskis, so I purchased my lift pass, clipped in and headed for the chairlift. I planned to follow the nice easy blue just the once to complete the obligation. The first run went swimmingly, the sensation was not that much different to footskis, just a little more stable and less prone to skidding out. I thought I would try a second go and ramp up the speed a little.
I passed the red run and stopped, it had appeared empty of skiers so far, but at that moment a pair went flying down. OK it wasn't killer ice then, so without further though I dropped over the edge.

To my great surprise I found a satisfying edge, the SnowBlades locked in and ran as if on rails. These things are much better than I expected and so light too, perhaps I should leave them with a pair of boots in the car at all times!

Tempted as I was to spend all afternoon on the SnowBlades, I returned to the car, assembled the skibike and headed for the chairlift.

I grabbed some photos for the website, both analogue and digital, mounted the headcam and made a few videos. Having ridden so fast the day before with Serge, I started to turn much less and get airborne more often. Although thin, the quality of snow at Combloux was very good and called out to me to try each run again...but just a bit faster this time.

The downside of riding so quickly is that you spend more time getting cold on the chairlifts and don't work so hard turning and get warmed up.
Still it was a lovely way to wind down after a month of fun and I wouldn't leave till the last lift had shut.