SkiBike Tour 2011-12 - Lelex

Posted: Thursday, 16 February 2012 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

The crashes of the previous day had left my left leg in a very stiff and sore state, so I decided to give myself the morning off and catch up on my on-line world. SkiBiking could wait till the afternoon.
Ferney-Voltaire is just over the French border and adjacent to Geneva's Cointrin airport, so it would be a logical assumption that in quite a fair sized town there would be a selection of Internet cafes / Wifi hotspots.
As I popped in to various establishments asking whether they had wifi, I began to feel that there must be some kind of conspiracy taking place.
It was not unlike the first episode of cult 60s tv show "The Prisoner", where Paddy McGoohan tries in vain to get a map showing where "The Village" is, "map you say, no, we don't much need them here..."
On a hunch I followed the signs for McDonalds, located well out of town and sure enough there was free wifi, so for the cost of a coffee, I was in business. The place was full of smart young executive types busy on their laptops.
Lelex - The perfect carving practice run
In the afternoon I headed back to Le Crozet and timed the journey, just to confirm it really is 15 minutes. The Weather was still overcast, but the snow had abated and there were even the occasional bright spells. Oh the joy of being able to see where you are going.
Yesterday, I had shared a ride in the gondola with a man from Belgium and his impossibly cute daughter. They holiday here regularly because they enjoy "ski sauvage" or wild skiing. It was noticeable that the pistes had been groomed very little, yet the snow quality was outstandingly good and this was around 1000m or 3000 feet, well below the level of Alpine resorts. I could see their point, it would also explain the attraction for snowboarders and SnowScoot riders, plenty of rougher stuff to go ploughing through and over.

Bugger! Skibiker has missed the last lift
Once again I lost all track of time and completely missed the closure of the interlinking chair lift. I thought I was facing a long walk back up the mountain, but some words were uttered over the radio and I was told to wait a minute or two. To my surprise after a few minutes a snowmobile raced up to me, I was told to sit on the back, my skibike was thrust into my arms and we were off with the alacrity of the proverbial scalded cat.
I have never been down, let alone up a ski run, at the speed this fellow drove. The ride up on the chair would take about 7 minutes and I think we were at the top in under 2.
It was very unexpected to get such VIP treatment from the staff of Le Crozet / Lelex or maybe they were eager to get me off their mountain as quickly as possible.
Luckily for them, tomorrow, I leave at dawn for Sorenberg in Switzerland, home of Swiss SkiBike manufacturer BullSkate.