SkiBike Tour 2012-13 - Flaine With Two

Posted: Thursday, 27 December 2012 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

When I first discovered a passion for skiing, I surprised myself months later by having my first ski dream...
I had put my skis on at a Scottish, possibly English or even Welsh ski station (something I had never experienced at the time) and it was raining heavily from grey leaden skies. There was a Poma drag lift, with a narrow snake of Dendix dry slope material leading up a gloomy, heather covered and totally snow free hillside. "Don't worry mate" the cheerful liftie told me "It's snowing up on the mountain"...
Perhaps it was a metaphor for the afterlife, some old scab from a childhood filled with Catholic dogma, or perhaps it was prescient of what was to come many years later?

I had made made arrangements to meet with my number 1 skibiking buddy, Mr Carl Day. He was to be taking a short vacation in the attractive resort of Les Carroz, just over the hill from not so attractive Flaine. I drove out from Geneva to the linked resort of Morillon and arrived at base station in the pouring rain.
I have never been at a ski base station in rain before, not even in Scotland, wet snow perhaps, but rain never. The weather might have been damp, but my spirits were high, in fact the nervous anticipation had reduced my intestinal fortitude somewhat and I had to make an urgent toilet stop.

As it turned out Carl was equally excited and hadn't slept at all and with good reason too. He was about to make his very first runs on a Lenz Brawler, possibly one of the best freestyle skibikes money can buy, although my French buddy Serge Mermillod would disagree.

Our plan was to meet up and use the interconnecting links of the "Grand Massif" to visit Flaine and its wonderful high altitude monster descents. But unusually all the interconnecting links were shut by high winds, so we had to move to a sudden plan B.
I was still able to make my way over to Les Carroz from the Morillon sector and together we spent a happy, but very taxing few hours sliding about and crashing out on the sheltered tree lined runs above Les Carroz.
In spite of the conditions we soldiered on, Carl smashing part of his helmet during a spectacular high speed crash and both of us getting thoroughly soaked through in the grossly damp conditions. There wasn't even the opportunity to take photographs, it was too wet at the bottom of the hill and (wet) blizzard conditions at the top.

Skibiker Carl Day - bruised and battered

With sagely wisdom Carl called time around 3:30 in the afternoon, which was just as well. My return trip to Morillon was somewhat obtuse and took me the best part of an hour, in quite horrible conditions of; high winds, low visibility and poor light.

Uncharacteristically I returned to my car before the last lift had stopped running, it had been somewhat brutal for a first day of the season and the start of The SkiBiker SkiBike Blog Tour 2013.