copyright 1994,1995 Wesley Alan Wright
|Base||1600m (5248')||Summit||2250m (7380')|
|Maximum Vertical||650m (1968')|
(850m to bottom of Men's Downhill, but there's no lift there.)
|Skied Vertical||650m (2132')|
place I've been to yet, despite being home to the 1968 Olympic Alpine events.
The 'route of the '68 Men's Downhill begins at the summit and continues down to
a spot below the base village, just off the access road and without lift
Yet despite it's size, it was still fun, thanks to great snow.
The weather started out pretty gray and snowy, but reasonably warm and with
little wind. I picked up a carload (2 French woman, 1 French guy, one German
woman, and a Swedish dude) of hitchhikers on the road to the station - how they
fit into my Renault, I'm not really sure. I think one hid in the trunk.
TREES! Chamrouse is a low elevation are, and thus had trees scattered
all over. Some places were fully wooded. This was a rarity during my stay in
the high alpes. And beyond the tress, POWDER!!! Untracked!! The lousy
weather I experienced the day before at Le Deux Alpes had dumped gobs of the blessed white stuff, and it was mine for the taking.
My first run was an adventure - I followed some tracks and some people off into
the woods on a leap of faith that proved to be a treasure trove of fresh lines
and steep drops through the woods. I followed my "guides" at a discreet
distance, until they stopped in the middle of the forest for lunch.
"Est-ce que vous connaissez ce chemin?" I asked.
This seemed to be the typical dialouge whenever I headed hors-piste. Seemed
like no one seemed to know where they were going. However, after some further
discussion, the consensus was that if one just kept heading down, one would
encounter the cross country trail network.
And sure enough, I did. A little bit of poling, and suddenly a lift appears. I
put this run away for later....
Elsewhere on the mountain, pockets of trees were everywhere, each still hiding
some untracked snow . The tree pockets were connected by stretches of loose,
choppy powder. Even a few soft squishy moguls here and there. Clouds moved in
and out, sun started to play peek-a-boo.
Near the end of the day I returned to the First Glade. Found a whole new set of
fresh lines way outside and down through incredible open and rolling glades.
Heaven for some 500m of vertical.
Fatigued, I took a couple more easy runs. Last trip was through a few more
powder/tree pockets along an otherwise gentle green piste. I shot through the
last strand, stopped and hung a left to avoid a cliff, and then swung back
right, - but too soon and too fast! I had found another cliff - actually, a
huge rock with a scouple of two meter plus drops, separated by a small shelf.
Tried to stop/slideslip down the first, bounced my feet off of the shelf, and
tumbled over the second drop flat onto my back - and a pile of soft powder.
Didn't feel a thing: the sled ride on Sunday hurt more.
Just call me Mr. Lucky.
Day 05 Les Deux Alpes or on to
Day 07 Tignes.
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Wesley Alan Wright
Last update November 15, 1995