The My Tracks data (when I managed to turn GPS on on the phone!) can be found here.
Pictures here are licensed under a Creative Commons non-commercial attribution license.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Day 11: Tuesday 18 January La Rosiere, La Thuile

After a great breakfast of eggs-benedict (with smoked salmon instead of ham), I set off to catch the bus up to town. Got to the bottom of the steps from the chalet, looked at some ice and thought "that looks risky" and then fell backwards. Luckily I had the good sense not to put my right arm back (or, at least to let the elbow bend), so I just ended up with a sore arse! Also unlike Dr Taylor in Tignes, I didn't have a hip-flask in my back pocket, so didn't need "a portable mirror" to inspect my bruises.

A friendly French snow-boarder at the bus stop asked if I was OK, since I was taking a minute to get my thoughts together before getting up. We waited a few minutes for the bus, chatting about breaking wrists with roller-skates, getting over to Italy and so on before he asked if I was English. When I owned up he complimented me on my French. A definite triumph! Since the bus was a Les Eucherts one I started from there, which seems to require that you take at least two lifts to get to the bottom the Fort lift. Not a big deal, the snow is good, and some big blue carving is a good wake up first thing in the morning. Up on the two drag lifts (the RHS one at the bottom is still faster by about three or four people!), and then down directly with no more lifts to La Thuile for caffe latte as usual, though taking slightly longer since my eye was watering, partly due to suncream, and also, I realised, because my goggles don't work well over a helmet. So you buy one new piece of equipment, and then have to buy another to go with it! Luckily it is possible (if not perfect) to put the goggles on, then the helmet.

Checked out whether the supermarket still has Opinel knives, but it doesn't (but don't get too disappointed...)

Up on the bubble, then down to Arnouvaz and that area. A nice black run, with a red exactly identical 50m further over. When I tried the red there were a bunch of people side-slipping it, which is unsurprising since it is in all respects identical to the black run! Up and ate lunch looking at the glacier du Ruitor again. The high clouds were beginning to clear and the sun come out. Back down to the village for an espresso, but found a bunch of lost Irish by the chair lifts at the centre of La Thuile debating how to find "the restaurant". Doing my good deed for the day, I took them the righthand, short, chair and back down the blue run to the place you leave the piste for Le Rascard, which they recognised. Back into town for espresso (Lavazza; 1Euro!), then back up the short lift which I had previously thought was pointless (apart from getting to Le Rascard), but which actually lets you come down the excellent (shortish but steep all the way) black that is in the centre of the pistes in the village, which I'd never managed to find the top of before. It cried out for See Those Eyes (though this isn't quite the same version, I have the 12" in the iPod), so I tried the iPod inside the helmet, which seemed to work fine, though the run only took about a quarter of the song, which lasted until I was on the bubble. "Persian Love" to the top of the lift, then back to Scotland for some Runrig. A few runs down the front and in the pass, before back over to La Ros to finish about quarter to four.

Called in at Intersport to try on goggles which work with glasses and a helmet. Finally found some, and came to pay, trying to use up Carte Cadeau, only to find they don't take it, and I need to go back to the big one in Bourg to use it, so that can wait until Saturday. Then to the 8 a 8 to get some PPCs, and to discover that they have a range of Opinel knives in stock.

Canape time !


  1. I seem to remember when I bought my helmet that it was the same day as I got new goggles, I don't remember having to pair them up but I defiantly tried them on together before I bought them. My reason for getting one was the same as you - I saw the GPS traces, I'm far from convinced on the maximum speed but if you look at a graph it's obvious that you do get quite fast at times.

  2. Right, it's definitely fond of 76.5km/h as a maximum speed that doesn't seem to show up in the speed/distance graph, but speeds of 50+km/h seem really to be in there. (Today's tack also has a funny gap in it that makes no sense since I don't have a transporter beam to hand!)

  3. You are scaring me with all this talk of helmets. It's all about risk perception and now you're making skiing sound dangerous...