Christian's Little Jaunt
Awesome day on the hill, but Christ, do we get spoiled in Tignes and Val D'Isere?! Made me laugh today, the differences. France - you live on the mountain, walk or get a free bus to the nearest sophisticated funicular / high-speed 8 man chair / gondola, and have the choice of over 300km of groomed pistes and virtually unlimited off-piste powder. New Zealand, Cardrona - you live 45 minutes away from the mountain, the last 25 of which consists of driving past numerous hitchers, up a 10km part-mud part-gravel access road (the car I was in today also has 4 bald tyres. A couple of drifts round hairpins always a winner.) to the carpark. From here, free bus or walk? Oh no. You stand in a rusty open-topped trailer and are towed by a tractor up to the 3 available chairlifts. I can only assume that once the snow disappears, the trailer-tractor combo is used to ferry unsuspecting future lamb chops around. But that's what makes this place so cool. It doesn't have the money of the European resorts, and doesn't appear to want it. Everything's mud and dust and rain and snow, hitching with a smile on your face, as long as I get there I don't care how. There's no attitude, none of the polish and image, no pillocks in Prada or von-Chav I mean Dutch - just boarding and skiing and loving it no matter what. The mountain itself is great - lots of rock drops, chutes, bit like Chamonix, hardly anyone about, and the rails in the park are superb, about 10 of them in a row. Kickers are being built this week, so airborne action coming up. Bring it on! By the way, can't upload any photos yet - will get on it soon. Speak soon y'all.