SkiBike Tour 2013-14 - Back On The Dole Part II

Posted: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

I have had such long days recently and with so much commuting from the North side of Geneva to the Alpine resorts 40 miles away, adding up to 3 hours a day spent in the car. I needed a break and wanted to stay this side of Geneva, so chose to have another go at skibiking at La Dole.

I had an extra hour in bed and relished the 40 minute drive up the Col de la Faucille and along the ridge to the ski station. The morning was a little misty, but looked like it would soon clear and best of all, the chairlift was running today, I bought my ticket and headed over to it.

The chairlift was running today

As promised there were absolutely no issues, I was straight on and off the whole day long, over and over again, without so much as a raised eyebrow. This is the way French skibiking should be, but of course, I am not in France now. La Dole is an anomaly, the ticket booths by the road are in France, but most of the pistes are in Switzerland. As far as I could tell, the clientèle are exclusively French and Swiss, they all seemed genial and chatty, one old boy gave me some useful local knowledge about Les Diablerets which is on the hit list for next week.
The bad news I gleaned, is that from tomorrow, the weather is set to become turbulent again with (gasp) rain and the freezing level rising to 2100 metres. This is depressing, all the lovely fluffy snow will slump and if it re-freezes will be hard and crusty, exactly the sort of snow no-one likes, good bye joyous off piste excursions, you will be missed. Today was a day to cherish every available second.

Today was a day to cherish every available second

I have to ride with Macedonian based Avalanche SkiBikes in two weeks time so I focussed on improving my off piste riding at higher speeds and turning on steeper gradients. The two aspects are inter-linked, if I mucked up the turns I found myself going blisteringly fast. It is worth all the effort; inevitable involuntary dismounts and fresh bruises. There is something so special and free about blatting across the hills, suspension going ten to the dozen, without constraint or limit, laying down first tracks in the snow.

Laying down first tracks in the snow

I also took advantage of the emptier pistes to let the skibike go, safe in the knowledge that for a change there was no-one out there to run into, I even bagged another black run in the process. I began to wonder whether my long awaited Jedi skibike skills had been delivered, but the truth is that the snow, even on piste, was deep, soft and yielding. If you can't put in a good turn in these conditions, take up a different hobby.

I even bagged another black run

In conclusion with its 4-seat chair lift, La Dole offers one of the most diversified ski areas of the Jura mountains.
It is situated between 1230 and 1678 metres of altitude and has around 20 km of slopes, from the easy green one to the black one and is therefore suitable for both beginners and the experienced. What an awesome day, if it rains tomorrow I can lie in and do some domestic chores.

La Dole - suitable for both beginners and the experienced