15 April 2008

Are two planks better than one?

This winter was always going to be tough to repeat last years snowboarding efforts but I still managed a good couple of trips. 1st up was my yearly pilgrimage to catch up with Mr C and his entourage in Lech, Austria.

nice view

After a dry period we got lucky with some fresh snow during our stay. I'm sure it was only enough to prevent me from driving up the hill yet not substantial to host some epic deep turns. Never the less we had good fun and it was nice to also see Eva who I met in Whistler last year.

cut the corner

So with the lads warm up trip out the way it was time to get away with Emma and fellow Amsterdammers for a week on the edge of the Les Arcs resort in a place called Peisey Vallandry. We stayed in a very spacious chalet a little down the slopes and arrived to find no snow!

our chalet

One morning I was up early enough to catch the sun coming up over the mountains where I took the following photos.

Peisey panorama 1


branchy peaks

balcony love

In particular, the photo below is one of the best I think I have ever taken most of which is right time right place.

Beautiful Alpine Morning

But as the week progress we had 15cm one night that was enough to entertain me on the snowboard until the majority was tracked out. Can't complain at the rest of the weather though as it was glorious sunshine. Which leads me to the questions as the title of this post - are two planks better than one?

turning hard

Emma ski's, so I took it on myself to also give it a go. When the suns out and the pistes are fast hard packed, I'll have to say the ski's are much more fun. I've have no style or technique but it's not too difficult to get some serious speed whilst remaining on the edge of control.

keep those arms in

I was soon leading Emma on some off piste adventures and hitting some natural gullys and the odd jump here and there.

the run up


We made it to the top of the resort at over 3000m one day and the views were stunning.

last one down is a chicken


It wasn't till the end of the holiday that we went further afield and found the larger park. Shame really cos the red jumps looked perfect and really well maintained. Even the greens were sizable and I would've been comfortable trying rotations on them. I was on the ski's that day so thought I'd see how hard it could be? No daffys or helicopters from me but I nailed the green line of 4 kickers a total of 3 times with no stacks. We'll have to work on Emma's videography for future trips though ;-)

park chair

Now before my friends all rip me, I'll be the first to admit that I will never get the same feeling on ski's that I have experienced many a time on a snowboard. That freedom of expression through line choice would be I doubt I'll ever achieve on ski's. In the best snow conditions I am just not willing to put the time in on ski's - give me a board any day :-)


But it's just good fun to learn something new. Probably the same reasons why I bought that BMX a while ago that is still in someone's shed in Nottingham? So when I'm an old man and body parts don't work as well as they used to, I can see that I'll be skiing just like I can imagine I'll be golfing. Here's hoping I don't kill myself on a snowboard first!

All my photos can be viewed here or in slideshow format here

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