getting ready for our first descent.
So, now you know who you are dealing with it is time to tell you about my first day on the slopes. I will not drag on about uninteresting events slope after slope. Instead, I will try to give you only one or two highlights of the day. Today that would be losing my ski. Little did I know, this was going to be a bit of a theme the rest of the week. For now, I just sat in a chairlift when all of a sudden I felt a stinging pain in my left lower leg. The pain only lasted a few seconds, after which I looked down to see that I was missing a ski. Now where did the damn thing go? Looking back over my shoulder I could see it laying in the snow a few meters passed the take off point of the chairlift.
Alpe d’ Huez is one of France’ first developed ski areas and today it shows.
Here there are still many draglifts and older chairlifts. This means the chairlifts are low and cramped. When entering this lift, I had already bumped my head on the arch of the separation gates. To sit down when the chair came up behind us, I had to assume a hanging position, which reminded me of taking a crap in the jungle above a self-dug hole. When the safety bar came down, I hit my head again, this time from the back. The height between the footrest and the safety bar was too small to fit my legs in, so I had to let them dangle in the air. Normally, this poses no threat to others or me, but need I remind you this chairlift was awfully low to the ground? With the tip of one of my skis, I caught the safety wire, spanned across the take-off area. It bended my leg backwards and in hindsight, I can tell you that is what was causing the pain.
Way down there at the beginning of the lift is where my ski is :(
Fortunately, my bindings are trimmed to my precise specifications so, before any serious harm was done, my boot popped right out of the binding, hence me loosing my ski.
Steven was kind enough to wait with me
You'll understand I had a bit of a challenge, getting off the chairlift (once up the mountain). Normally one glides with both skis on, to a safe place out of the reach of the turning lift chair. On one ski and one boot, this wasn't the easiest thing to do, yet praise the lord, I made it without breaking any bones or falling flat on my face. Steven proposed he would wait with me, while the others went down the slope to retrieve the ski I had unwillingly left behind. Unfortunately, this was the longest chairlift ever, so it took my friends quite a while to get back up again. Once we were complete (people and gear alike) we all had a blast the rest of the day. The snow was good, the weather perfect, and lunch was such an improvement on my Swiss Mountain Restaurant experience. However, you can read all about that in my upcoming review.