I finally made it to the mountains!!
Beautiful isn’t it?!
I’m actually quite close to several ski stations, I think the drive was about 1.5 hours, but I know there is one just 20 min outside of Pau. Most of the length of the drive to this station was due to the windy roads at the end.
My dad looked up the height of the peak I was on and I guess it is about as high up as the top of Whistler (So guess my estimation was way off on IM yesterday David…)
As you can see, there aren’t any trees on the slopes =( But just off to the side is a little forest at the same elevation as the ski lodge.
The view was absolutely breathtaking! I can’t believe I skied in the Pyrenees!
And, making my Saturday even better, I discovered half my class wanted to go on the same day!
Here I am with Sara (the Australian). I skied with her for most of the afternoon, but I spent the morning solo, because everyone else was taking a lesson.
I felt a bit apprehensive going up this chair alone….
Curiosity overcame that though, because I really wanted to see if the mountain had a backside. Most of the runs on the front were pretty easy and I was hoping to find some challenging slopes like the runs at the top of Alpental.
And luckily it did!
The back was awesome! The fresh powder was hiding here, but unfortunately a cloud settled right in the bowl in the afternoon – the air became thick, cold fog and my lovely powder got scrapped down to ice.
The front was very icy too! I hate going over moguls when I can feel a ski slipping, it is so unnerving!
Face of the mountain:
And the backside:
Plus I haven’t skied much since high school – so my form is horrible! I tried to keep your voice in the back of my head dad = ) Thanks for all the years of patiently re-teaching me how to keep in form.
Here is the very top:
And a couple of my favorite pictures are from my very first run, which I later figured out was out-of bounds, but many people went down it anyway. They don’t mark the “out-of-bounds” areas as well here in France, but after skiing Alpental I’ve learned to be wary when I don’t know the slope.
Oh and last, but not least, I saw “une source de l’eau chaude” for the first time! The chair went over the crest of a hill and it just popped out of nowhere!
Heard the skiing back home in the Cascades was good too! The Pyrenees were beautiful and so different than what I’m used to! I noticed the French have some amusing ski habits. One being if you fall under a chair, every French person who sees you from the lift will yell, “Woah!!!” as they pass over you. And if you are standing in line for a lift while another lift goes over you, the skiers will tap their skis as they pass overhead to give you a nice snow shower.
I skied all day and returned home completely exhausted last night. Had a nice bowl of soup for dinner with my host mom and I could barely speak French. I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up hurting, especially my neck, caused by a rather painful, but amusing fall. Felt great to get some exercise other than walking. Spent all day skiing in the sun =) Oh yeah, I’m sunburned too – judging from the facebook news feed, my classmates feel the same. This has been an excellent weekend!