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Les Deux Alpes

  • Charlies Trip to Les Deux Alpes

    Charlies trip to Les Deux Alps

    Any of us lucky enough to get away this January know that finding snow, decent snow would be a rarity. I can imagine all you out there weren’t too dissimilar to me leading up to your trips, sitting in front of a screen checking webcams, forecasts and reports constantly to see if you will be on mud or the white stuff.

    Les Deux Alpes Les Deux Alpes

    To finally get away in January after seeing reports or a proper dumping in the French Alpes, I certainly wasn’t going to complain. It was now just a matter on packing up, getting on that plane and praying for snow at the other side.

    An early start, a less than fun rail replacement to Gatwick and quick nap on the plane and I had arrived in Grenoble, ready for Les Deux Alpes. The runways were white, the freezing level had dropped down to pretty much sea level and talks around the transfer that the regulars have not seen this much snow this low in years, things were sounding good.

    Les Deux Alpes Les Deux Alpes | Burton Process Flying V & Burton Mission EST Bindings

    By the time our slightly sore heads hit the slopes Sunday morning we were greeted by high winds, super low temperatures and fresh snow getting blown from piste to piste, maybe this was too good to be true. The plan was to get to the top glacier, get on the friendliest runs to get our eye in and check out the 10km Jandri run back into the main resort. Jumping in the gondola to 3200m, chalked on the board was the weather report: 70-90kmph winds and -19C, very inviting. Exiting the building at the top, one of the boys skiing got blown a good 20ft over hard snow by the gales and I walked out clinging to the board like I was walking out for a session at the Hot Pipe one windy morning in Shoreham. The decision was made, get a bit lower and out of the face-mask freezing blizzard and into the blue skies. A tiring day finished off with some icy runs back to resort but all in all, a fair first day to the week.

    I was on a Burton Process 152 Flying V for the short time I was out there, but found the board easy to float around on but not quite a hard edge to edge board. It had a mid flex feel to pop around the park on smaller kickers without getting bucked off onto your arse from loading it up to much.

    The Burton Missions EST ride with a mid soft feel and can really lock you boots in to get a better response. The ankle strap has a smart little kink in the plastic to fold the strap out of the way to get your boot in without the hassle. These bindings can be paired with a range of boards, it has a fairly stiff high back but it is alongside a softer feel underfoot.

    Now you might be hoping I don’t go through this blog with day to day updates on snow conditions, weather and what I had for lunch, I won’t put you through the boredom as time on the slopes was short lived for a second time in my visits to the Alpes.

    Les Deux Alpes | Charlie Les Deux Alpes | Charlie

    Sun was shining and a bluebird was on the cards for the second day, we found our way up through the gondolas to the glacier and made the most of the wide gentle runs at the top of the mountain. Stoked after exploring more of the mountain, we stopped off for lunch and a few beers by the park ready to head up there after. The snow park was showing signs of life as the boys were out setting up new rails and larger features (always worth scoping it out nice and early.) A few runs done on the Boardercross and hitting the kickers of the side track and we were content with what it had to offer.

    Long story short, I didn’t land the triple-cork McTwist 360 flip / frontside 180 and rolled over onto my toe edge and crushed my buckled knee and heard a lovely crunching pop sound. Before I knew it, the piste rescuer was down with me saying he will get me on the sledge and ski me down to the parks dropzone and I will be taking a site seeing tour via chopper back into resort….. time to use that insurance.

    Now the exciting part of trip was over, time to get prodded by an old French doctor and a quick diagnosis and impending order to rest and basically have no fun for the rest of the week. It was nice to slowly explore the town during the clearest blue sky weeks I’ve seen in the mountains was gutting, but I soldiered on through to one of the boys 24th birthday which consisted of stumbling, limping, hobbling around Smithy’s Tavern fitting in with other boozy Brits and a late one in Avalanche.

    Now time for the road to recovery after cartilage and ligament damage to get back out next year on some nice easy blue runs.


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