SkiBike Tour 2014-15 - Praz de Lys and Sommand

Posted: Tuesday, 24 March 2015 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

Today was my second ride with Jonathan and only his second day on a freestyle skibike. He was keen to ride at the ski station of Praz de Lys / Sommand; this is not my first time here, it is a neat little, low key place, as well known for hiking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing as the more popular Alpine pursuits.

Praz de Lys / Sommand - known for hiking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing

I bought my ticket from the kiosk down in the valley at Mieussy and to my relief, right there in the window on a sheet of A4 paper is a list clearly stating that skibikes and SnowScoots are allowed on all the chairlifts.
Due to a misunderstanding, I then headed for the Haute Fleurry chairlift at Praz de Lys, whilst poor Jonathan had headed for Sommand, right on the other side of the mountain. Rather than have either of us make a lengthy car trip, it occurred to me that I could stick some skiboards on my feet and make the traverse in skibob mode.
It was such a cunning plan that I completely forgot the layout of the pistes and took the highest lift; from which point the only interconnecting run was a grim, steep and icy black. I haven't done any skibob style riding for years, fortunately my muscle memory worked it out for me on the first change of edges. One thing I have to say about having four skis and lots of extra edges to engage, is it makes for a lot more grip, had I been in freestyle mode I doubt my descent would have been quite so uneventful.

I was then able to ski alongside Jonathan for some runs and get some hand held video footage, hopefully I didn't have my thumb over the lens, but it's so hard to tell with a GoPro.
Even thought it was just 11am, the snow was turning into monster piles of mashed potato in many places, exhausting stuff to skiboard on, so we made a pit stop, so I could get my skibike out for some easy riding.

Second day on a freestyle skibike

I recalled that there was a great blue run called Le Lac, apart from one short steep section, the rest is the type of run you can really let rip on and I'm pleased to report that Jonathan did.
There is also a very intimidating red run heading in the opposite direction, but by heading off piste you can avoid the worst, whilst enjoying some big mountain bowl type terrain. As a downhill lad, I was expecting Jonathan to enjoy the experience, but he was positively euphoric by the time we made it down to the base station.

Jonathan - positively euphoric by the time we made it down

We skipped lunch and just kept going till around 3 pm when Jonathan wisely called it quits; next time we'll do lunch and see if he can keep going till the lifts close.