Thursday, 10 February 2011

Vaujany Ski Trip

Another fabulous trip, this time to Vaujany, which is a small village that has a big lift linked to the Alpe d'Huez ski area.

What was noteworthy... hmm.

Well first, I managed to fit my snowboard in my car, which is awesome. I had the genius idea of putting the snowboard on the back seat and folding the snowboard bag in half, and putting it in the boot. This was brilliant because it meant I could drive to the airport to catch the 7am flight instead of waking up several hours earlier and getting public transport.

Some things about the trip annoyed me, and others were quite pleasing.
I'll start with the annoying stuff.

1. I found I was largely unable to ski well when I put skis on. This inability continued for a number of days. I tried changing skis but secretly knew the problem was the connection between my brain and my legs, causing me to lean back and not have good control. I switched to my snowboard for a couple of days just to feel more comfortable. Had it serviced after a day, then went down a black run that was closed, and now it needs a service again. Had a stint on snowblades which reminded me that brute force is not the way to ski well, so went to change them for some skis again. This time the skis felt a bit better, but that afternoon I had a massive crash after crossing my skis and broke my binding. After skiing down on one ski for a hundred metres or so and my friends helping me to fix the binding, I went back to the shop and the next day finally got some decent skis. A variation of my favourite skis in fact; Dynastar Legend 4800 (my favourites are the 8000 model). I also booked a lesson. More on this shortly.

2. The people I was skiing/boarding with never waited at junctions. They'd just go off, and you had to guess which way they went. This was frustrating and I often felt like I might be better off on my own.

3. My mobile phone wouldn't connect to the village wifi. This wasn't a problem in that I wanted to stay connected to the outside world, but it irritated me on principle. Playing around with the phone did help me understand the problem, however there was no permanent solution and it paved the way for a future post about mobile phones.

4. It didn't snow and was very warm, so got quite icy. Then it didn't snow and got very cold, so it was almost unbearable.

What was good?

1. The weather. It was pretty sunny the whole time. Lovely.
2. Eddie's cooking. As always.
3. The people were a good bunch; mostly skaters.
4. My ski lesson. It was fabulous. I didn't learn a massive amount as most of it was just a reminder, but Phillippe the ski instructor was great, explaining technical concepts and theory very well, and then following it up with practice. He also took us to the snow park so I was jumping ramps, which was brilliant.
5. The private bus transfer.
6. Having sandwiches every day instead of an expensive lunch. This saved me quite a lot of money, and I'll be repeating this option next time I ski.

I want to buy some Dynastar Legend 8000 skis now. Unfortunately they are discontinued so I'll have to look pretty hard for them. D'oh!

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