SkiVt-L France 1996 Edition: Val Terces Day 2
What little promotional material I was able
to dig up on Val Terces before we left the states promised
"Three hundred sunshiny days a year." Our second day
paid lip service to that promise in the morning, but by noon the
clouds had enveloped the summits and the snow had begun to fall.
The ride to the summit of Pic Yret, the highest
point in the resort, was a long involved affair. You start on
a high capacity low speed quad from base to nowhere in particular,
transfer to another quad to mid mountain, and finally board a
long slow triple to the summit. Midday, the lowest quad was closed
for evacuation drills, which changed the route to high speed detachable
double (just the ticket for Smugglers Notch!), a short run down
to a long poma, and a shorter run down to a longer poma, just
to get to the summit triple at Bachas. Either way, it was easily
20 minutes up to Bachas, and another 10 to the summit.
We managed to catch but one long descent from
Pic Yret before the visibility dropped to zero. These summit snow
conditions were the best we had seen yet, but we ain't seen nothing
yet. As the day wore on, the snow pounded harder and harder. We
were "trapped" on the lower two thirds of the mountain
above Monêtier, with only about 2500 feet of working vertical.
Between noon and 5 P.M., we figure some 4-5" of snow fell,
with no signs of abatement. With each run, the skiing just got
better and better and better. We found it difficult to stop: lunch
was a snack of bread and cheese gobbled on the lift. We slowed
for about 15 minutes to catch a beer and hot cocoa at the mid
mountain restaurant at Bachas, and then scrambled out for more.
The day done, we retired again to the comfort
of the Hotel. I wore my US Ski team shirt to the bar - Picabo
Street was somewhere on the continent, winning another race, and
I was proud.