Posts Tagged ‘Southern Hemisphere’

Originally posted on Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:29 am on firsttracksonline

This was my contribution of a 51 posts on a thread I started on the Skier’s Ultimate To Do List. The conversation was a spin-off of another conversation that got totally sidetracked.

The conversation in the previous thread was going into this direction. I just thought it would be interesting to see what is the Skier’s ultimate wish list.

Few people mentioned skiing Hawaii (that also been on my list).

I guess after talking about skiing in the Torngat Range or somewhere on Baffin Island would also be on the list.

Here are a few others (in no particular order):

Summer skiing in the Northern Hemisphere (excluding June).
Skiing every months of the year.
Jackson Hole and Alaska.
Delirium Dive at Sunshine (Alberta) – in-bounds, but you need AV equipment and partner.
Speed Skiing at LesArcs (France) – anyone can do it, you just sign on the waiver. A friend did it, he reached 130km/h (75mph).
Ski La Grave with a guide (France).
Ski Mt. Washington elsewhere than Tucks.
Southern Hemisphere (Chili and New Zealand).
Go back to Europe for whole year off!!!

Some important ones that I have already done:
Ski on my birthday: June 11 (twice, once at Blackcomb 88 and Killington 92).
Ski la Vallée-Blanche on Mt.Blanc (Chamonix, France) – March 29, 2003
Ski the Jungfrau area in Switzerland (Wengen, Muerren, Grindelwald) – March 11-14, 2003.
Ski in Western Canada (more to see of course)
Ski the major eastern ski areas (missing Wildcat from my wish list).

SKIING or SKI mag had a top 100 list a few years ago. What is your list?

Fri Jun 06, 2003 11:31 pm

WOW. I enjoy reading this stuff. This at least is positive stuff.

Snowmobiling in Iceland!!! Kevin, you seem to have a lot of great experiences… which ones are the ones that are next or would like to do?

Great message Tony,

In response to your message:

Delirium Dive might not be so extreme – but it’s there!!! I have skied the gullies behind Whitehorn at Lake Louise since they opened them a few years ago. They used to be permanently closed.

I have been to Sunshine at three different occasions with my wife. She just has vertigo just thinking about DD. I wanted to go down. In fact, just the entry (according to the line chosen) can be pretty hair-raising.

When you mentioned that the local environos would like everything shut down in the National Park (Marmot, Louise, Sunshine, Norquay) – it is in fact only the radical ones. Environmental groups (majority) wants to limit expansion and lift capacity. Although the approval system for change to the ski areas takes time, the capacity has been increasing in the last few years. I don’t really have a problem with their stand, it is an important National Park after all.

It is funny, I somewhat agree with the opening policy for Delirium Dive. In North America, a lot of ski lines are now added as trails, in Europe it is the opposite. While at les 3 Vallées, my friend from France that I skied with told me that some lines used to be trails, but the area has removed some of the most difficult ones over the years. The reason is that the tourist see a run on a map and automatically thinks that he can ski it. So now, the very good skiers know if it’s skiable for them or not, and the tourist don’t even try. This means less pain for the ski patrol…and tourists.

One of the reason why I didn’t mention the US West much in my list. The extra we pay (for Canadians at least) is not necessarily worth it for us. Although there are exceptions. I mentioned Jackson Hole, but I would also like to include Sun Valley, Taos, Alta on my list. However there is so many places in Canada that I haven’t skied. Red, Fernie, Kicking Horse are probably the next ones. I would visited these area before I consider trying Sun Peaks or Panorama. Plus I would like to go back to Whistler in 2006 for our 10th anniversary (we spent part of our honeymoon there, we haven’t been back since).

I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful wife, who happens to be from Lyon, France. Your list of priorities is in the right places. My number priority in Switzerland was Jungfrau (Grindelwald, Wengen, Muerren) – probably the most spectacular scenery, Chamonix/Courmayeur are not bad either. Number #2 was Zermatt. My visit to the Jungfrau in March was great. Probably not the best skiing terrain (in-bound), but the overall experience and atmosphere was so amazing. The history of the place is amazing, not like most French resort which were built-in the 60-70s. Of course, one that doesn’t fit in that category is Val d’Isère. I have skied there on two different occasion (1993, 2000) for a total of 5 days. Probably my favorite in France. I missed out on Summer skiing at Tignes in 1998. It was planned, unfortunately I aggravated a shoulder injury in France. It was 39celsius the weekend we spent in Albertville (43c in Lyon).

La Grave was also on my to-do list this year, but it didn’t work out. Guides were all booked last March. Next time.

Other places I have skied in Europe:
Flaine, Chamonix (2 areas + vallée-blanche), Val d’Isère-Tignes, Trois Vallées (includes Courchevel, Meribel, LesMenuires and Val Thornes), Les Arcs, Alpe d’Huez, Chamrousse and Courmayeur across the Mt.Blanc in Italy.

I have two friends that have skied New Zealand or Chili. One of them did both. One day it will be my tour.

BTW. If I would take a year sabbatical in Europe, it would be Val d’Isère or Chamonix. Real towns, real people (higher tourist for people rate in Val).


Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm

I forgot to mentioned at the beginning of this discussion: ski all five continents.

Europe is great… No comparison can be made with the West. It is not necessarily better – It is like comparing Apples and Oranges.

Frank, you would freak out. The vastness of it all is mind-boggling!!! I did. Imagine the 600km of trails and 200 lifts of les 3 vallées.

I read that: “the six largest ski area in the US could fit inside Les Trois Vallées. That means that Killington, Vail, Heavenly, Steamboat, Squaw valley and Park City could all fit inside the space covered by Les Trois Vallées … plus you can also throw in Jackson Hole, Taos, Sun Valley, Keystone, Crested Butte, Alta, Solitude, Cranmore and Stowe and still have room.” (Ski Europe book)

We did something like 25 and 28 runs the last two times we were at Sugarloaf. I was with a great skier friend, a weekday in January, cold, snowing, amazing condition and… this year. GS skis all date / we changed after lunch the previous year. I would just need to do the math to calculate total vertical.

I roughly skied 15-20 runs the three days I was at Tremblant. Days that I started skiing where I brought my daughter to school in Ottawa, then drive 2 hours, eat lunch and start skiing at 12:30!!!

However, the vertical and speed is generally less.

Thanks for the proper link Tony.


Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:12 pm

Tony, I agree with Marc’s comment about Stowe, MRG and Jay – they are better than anything in Quebec (see my list somewhere in Killington’s 140 messages I believe).

When I was in the Alps, I rarely skied on the trails. There are only two trails off the Val-Thorens’s tram, we are taking 900m vertical!!!

Sorry, about the continents. I was counting America as one, plus not counting Antarctica. Africa was included in my 5.

Love those Whitehorn Gullies.


Tue Jun 10, 2003 3:04 pm

A quick comment about the biggest is not necessarly better.

Although Les 3 Vallées is the definitely biggest place I skied and I enjoyed myself very much during that week, it is not my favorite. BUT, It has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Frank, you are in University now, but after that I hope you get a chance to travel. I was 23 when I went to Whistler in June. My good friend had moved there from Quebec. The next time I was out West to ski was in 1996 (31yrs old), 98, 99, 01.
Europe: first time in 90 (25yrs old with ski team). The next times I was skiing and visiting my girlfriend and eventually her family (93, 00, 03).

In-bound skiing in the East:
Although I haven’t been there in the last 7 years, Stowe remains in my top3. Trails like Goat, Chin Clip, Starr, Liftline, Hayride, etc. If there were more deals, I would be there more often. <

Late season skiing in Western Canada:
Frank, great deals are available with Skican. If you do the math, skiing one week in April at Banff (ski, hotel, airfare) is not much more expensive than somewhere like… Stowe or K (ski, hotel).


Tue Jun 10, 2003 3:12 pm

Are you talking beneath the Val Thorens or Courchevel tram? I think I preferred the couloirs in Courchevel (not the Grand Couloir which is the only one on the map). Although skiing down the 900m from the top of la Cime-de-Caron (Val Tho) was also very very good. Did you try la Pierre-Lory which is on the backside from Val Tho (not on all the maps)? That was one my favorite runs in that week.


Wed Jun 11, 2003 8:22 am

snif… Marc, you story has brought a tear to my eye. Just wonderful memories.

Any recommendations for someone who would like to take a one year (or more) sabbatical in the next 10 years from cubical life and spend it outside in Europe (ie. skiing).

I am too old to ski-bum, plus I have a family. My wife and daughters have dual citizenship (Canadian-French). Courchevel 1850 would not be the place, but Chamonix or Bourg St-Maurice could be interesting.

Marc, when were you there? What you are describing weather wise (55F & blue skies) sound a lot like what I had. I had this weather for 5.5 days out of 6 from March 16-21.
I know what you mean about traversing, we were in Val Thorens. I made it twice to Courchevel, but skied under that tram only one run. Too much to see and ski. I think that run (the old trail called Emile-Allais), plus the Pierre-Lory, skiing under the ValTho Tram, Mt.Vallon and itinéraire du Lac du Loup (Les Menuires) were my favorites. Not the most extreme, but definitely the must fun – nice, steep and long.


Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:15 am

Ottawa – 28c today.
People would want to shot me when I was happy with the late spring snowfall.

Someone I knew only had one sticker on his old car. This was a SWIX bumper sticker (this was in 1986) – Which said: SUMMER STINKS THINK SNOW!!!


Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:37 pm

Also WOW!!! Thanks for the NZ pic.
I can’t take this heat, 34c for the next 4 days. I want to go South…ern Hemisphere skiing NOW!!!

I would fun to have one of those sticker, just to see the reaction of people at work.

Originally posted on Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:29 am on firsttracksonline

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