Thursday, 28 January 2016

Les Contamines

Today was unrelenting winning.  I was winning so much it almost hurt, cause at times I wanted to cry I was winning so much.  

I had a solid uninterrupted sleep for the first time last night and just woke up naturally without an alarm clock. Breakfast surprised me with another anglophone - Tanner Visnick came over for this race.  Great to catch up.

I debated lounging today to give the legs a race.  Turns out Andrea and Stephane the FIS people needed a lift to the hill, so I offered to drive them.  Might as well ski then too.  They're great people - everyone in telemark is, and fun getting to know them. 

It's less than a 5 min drive from where we are.  Checked out the course setup, looks nice.  The loom is huge and thick, they must have made a mountain of snow.  

I looked up the hill and saw someone carving unprecedentedly beautiful telemark turns.  He comes down and says hi Erik.  So of course they were beautiful, it was Toby the German guy, who's number one or two in the world for last few years depending on when you check.  We rode the lift up then I went off to tourist ski.  

Top of mountain video! (in HD no less)

It only took a few minutes to climb up from lift. Very mild weather, I could have sat up here for hours. 

Oh yeah!  Mont Blanc sort of by my left hand. 

I was up there. Don't go too close to edge. 

Poma lift queues up pomas. You release them with the foot wand. Leaves them all in one place for maintenance and inspection and helps deal with packs of riders more efficiently. 

So I tried to get my camera out quick enough for the first sign but couldn't, it's hard when it's that steep.  I got it out for this one, but the yellow triangle is scraped free of numbers.  The last one said 60% grade which feels crazy steep. I know it looks flat from the angle but I'm not making it up. It is marked on the map as teleski difficle. 

Here's the top of the poma (HD too).

Another piece of mountain technology.  They have solar panels and batteries on them.  They are avalanche control devices remote operated.  I don't know if they are bass canons or air pressure explosions.  But very clever and low op cost once installed. 

So I wasn't hungry for lunch until I saw this.  You don't pass up opportunities like this. 

This big dog showed me to my table. 

Winning so hard, man sometimes life just hands you a gem.  No wind, fabulous view, warm day, choice table. Thank you France. 

I had a chef salad with great tasting ingredients.  Then instead of a dressing pack the lady at the checkout has a big jar of fresh made dressing and a ladle and puts it on for you.  No choices, just today's flavour.  It was a dijon based dressing that was simply amazing. I had a cappuccino and this beer made locally with genepi flavour. Genepi is a wormwood liqueur but this beer just has some in for flavour. 

So turns out the big dog has a little buddy. The dog goes around and inspects people.  Very nice personality and just massive paws.  Here's his helper. 

Little chat.  It'd lie behind the chairs and try to stalk birds. I think it was better at stalking errant French fries. They have quite the life up there!

So this isn't the best picture, but the lift in the valley (not the one I'm on) goes both ways - you can load either side at the bottom.  It connects to the gondola at the top.  

The grooming fleet. 

Town from the ski out. 

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