Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tignes – First Day of a New Season

First of all I almost left home without my ski boots and helmet. This is typical of the first day up the mountain before getting back into the routine. Despite being two weeks before the official ski season opening I unbelievably managed to get stuck behind a ski bus the moment I set out on the journey up the mountain. (Also happened on the way back down!)

The snow levels are good already – very early compared to most years. Chairlifts were operating and even the “Bollin” nursery slope was open. All I had to do when arriving in Tignes was collect my season pass from the ticket office. The administration is always friendly and helpful in Tignes – the total opposite from Val ‘d’Isère. 

All the photos are natural – no effects.











First run I stayed on the piste just to get tuned into moving properly again. Second run I was looking for deep challenging windpack snow to play in.  Weirdly, from the first turn I could see new and different ways to use the skis and body. This sort of perception shifting often happens after a long break – not specifically in skiing but for any skill (musical instrument etc.) Any brainless numpty can bomb downhill “freeriding” on fat skis – just disengage the brain. (Racers normally don’t have brains to disengage so it’s even easier for them). Skilful skiing is something else. The trick with windpack (non freeride) is to make sure that you don’t get on the inside edges (of the turn ) of the skis at all during the first half of the turn. It’s very similar to the old George Joubert’s Surf Technique – but taking it much further than Joubert ever described it. Joubert was a professor at Grenoble University – and he got nearly everything wrong. I’ve read his main book – “Skiing: An Art -  A Technique” and all the technical appendices – and he is clueless. I don’t know any other person who has even tried to read this rubbish in detail – people normally just give up.  He’s the guy who led the French national team into utter oblivion. He’s one of the idiots who says that “banking” is always a fault – and totally fails to understand disequilibrium.     …my first rant of the season as well as first day on skis!

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