The last line of my previous entry paints the wrong picture of live here at Chalet Lou Rider. Now that the snow has improved, skiing has become a major part of most days that we have few guests. Usually getting any tasks done during the morning and having a very early lunch to be out on the hill by noon.
Joe and I have almost reached a routine on how we start our time on the snow. Choosing two chair lifts rather than the cabins gets us higher up the mountain at a much faster speed, delivering us nearly to the top of the resort. A slight downside to this is the time spent outside, in the shade, before we have had chance to get moving and warm, the short walk from the chalet is hardly enough for that and on cold days the windchill can be quite impressive. It is, however, always worthwhile and the views from the top are breathtaking, especially on clear sunny days.
Our start is probably all wrong, but the chosen route is a magnificently steep red run that drops off the side of the peak for several hundred feet before levelling off onto a beautifully undulating, almost sedate, blue run that takes us right into the hub of the resort. That first drop, fresh off the lift, is enough to get the heart pumping and a bit of warmth into the muscles, a reminder of the exhilaration yet to come and a great start to the excitement ahead, we then glide, with minimal effort, down the gentler slopes, gathering speed for the flatter stretches to save poling or lolloping along like a seal ( in the case of snowboarders) and fitting in some decent turns when the incline allows.
Straight to the main lift, a swift, modern, 6 man chair that takes us to the top of the first ever run we found. It has become an old favourite because we know it so well. Every day the conditions are slightly different, the light may change, the time of night that the slope was groomed and the texture of the snow. We come here to learn and practice new skills. There are good small jumps to be had down the sides of the piste, areas of powder to check out and when there are not many other folk about, plenty of space for attempting 360’s and backwards skiing, it is all good fun. We always have a run or two here for a bit of fun, before heading off elsewhere on the mountain as the mood takes us.
Sometimes I head off alone to experience more challenging runs, although Joes boarding skills are improving dramatically and he is keen to do more and more. I hope too, with the lessons they have recently had, that Liis and Marcos will catch up enough to join us on our expeditions. They do have one more skill to master before the mountain is truly theirs to explore and that the skill of riding “Button Lifts” on a snowboard!!!