Great news for pre-season beginners, there’s no more snowplough lessons at 3500m altitude! The Tignes Le Lac lift Rosset has been operational since the weekend, as has the Tichot lift in Val Claret and Leisse on the Glacier.
Warmer weather has transformed the previously firm pistes to spring-like conditions, a little bit slow and sticky for my liking, though the higher altitude slopes were unaffected.
Venturing out on the cross-country skis again, I found myself breaking-trail in Val d’Isere’s Manchet. The heavy spring-snow was a real test for my novice technique, frequently tripping myself up as the toothpick skis dissapeared into the aged powder (In mid winter, this area is dedicated to Nordic skiers and the tracks are well maintained).
I finished the day with several descents, a dozen good falls, and the conclusion that there’s not much I can hurt while on these skis, other than my pride.
There’s no doubt winter’s arrived in Tignes. 100 km/h winds closed the glacier for the day, so I made the most of the weather and tried my hand at cross country skiing.
I’ve been interested in trying out Nordic skiing for a couple of years now, but only recently made the decision to buy the kit. I easily justified the e-bay purchase to myself, since the 230€ cost wasn’t a lot more than a season’s pass for the gym and swimming pool, it included skis, boots, bindings, poles, plus postage from Germany, and it could be enjoyed even when the ski lifts are closed.
I’d done some research on basic classic skiing technique, and figured the diagonal ‘kick and glide’ couldn’t be that different to walking. How wrong I was!
The flimsy nordic ski boot offers but a fraction of the support of a modern alpine boot, so even a bit of uneven terrain was enough to knock me off balance. Despite a few tumbles, I started to get the hang of snowplowing the descents, though I’m a mile of telemark turning.
Excited by the snow and my first chance to use my skis, I ignored the fact that the snow at village level was only a few centimeters deep. I picked up a few scratches, but hey, I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more along the way.
I plan to write a few more detailed reports on my newfound passion, but in the mean time, here’s a youtube clip of me in Tignes at 12pm today.