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TR Le Grand Bornand 2/18/09

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 


Sorry about the poor camera-work. I don't have a helmet cam, but I wanted to put a video from yesterday in because it doesn't seem like a real TR without one.


Hey guys, here is my long overdue first trip report for the season at Le Grand Bornand in France.


Background: Last year I skied for the first time on anything other than a midwestern hill. I skied two different weeks totaling about 10 days at Le Grand Bornand and Zermatt. Before this season I hadn't touched any black pistes, any bumps, or any off-piste terrain. This year I have a season pass for Le Grand Bornand in the massif des Aravis near La Clusaz. So far this season I have taken pretty full advantage of the huge amounts of snow in the alps and learned to ski in powder, bumps, and skied all of the pistes here except two: Le Noir de Lachat and the Espace Freeride. Yesterday morning I awoke to a few feet of fresh powder and headed for the slopes for around the 30th time this year.


I took the first lift straight up to the top of le Lachat (2100m). I checked out the Espace Freeride, an unpisted, unmarked and quite steep bowl.

Espace Freeride


It was covered in about half a meter of heavily chopped up powder. I figured today was as good a day as any and went for it. I figured I would probably fall a few times as I havn't skied anything quite as steep as this in this kind of condition but I didn't It was a blast. My heart was really pounding for the first time in my skiing career. I stopped about halfway down and took this picture of the section I had just covered.

The view up the Espace Freeride


I continued down the slope without stopping. For the second half of the descent I was able to go through mostly untouched powder, making things a bit easier. By the bottom my legs were absolutely gone but I had gone straight down with only one quick pause for the photo so I had a nice burst of adrenaline.


It was such a beautiful day and I had only one more piste on my list. I knew that I would check the final one off the list later on.


After a few more gentle pistes I hit another black run that I had already managed  in similar conditions, Le Couloir de la Sonnerie.Le Couloir de la Sonnerie


It is heavily moguled, as always, and lots of fun. I was ready to go for the final run on my list. La Noire de Lachat. It had been such a beatiful and perfect day, but as I took the lift up to the top the clouds rolled in in minutes. By the time I reached the entrance to the piste visibility was down to almost nothing. There are two entrances to this run and I had wanted to take the more difficult one (a chute with, for some reason, a large periscope-like pipe in the middle) but in this lighting I had to opt for the easy way which is similar but not quite as narrow and without the pipe.La


Getting ready to go for it:La Noire de Lachat


I had to take at a bit more slowly than I would have liked to obviously; lots of soft bumps Lots of quick turns. But I managed to go all the way to the bottom without stopping. To celebrate I skied straight down the mountain to the nearest creperie and ate a delicious crepe with two eggs. What a great way to finish the day. I can't wait to do that run with good lighting and take the more difficult entrance.


I'm working on a wiki for Le Grand Bornand complete with a detailed skiing guide with all of the common runs that are not on the piste map.

Edited by Ruke - 2/22/2009 at 09:14 pm

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post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

I did the freeride area again yesterday, this time covered in moguls yesterday. Not quite as fun, I must say, but I good challenge.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

More pictures. I figured i'd just keep it all in this thread rather than cluttering up the place with reduntant threads, is that okay?


Here is a red piste called La Gypaete. I'd say it's a pretty good place to learn moguls. Below is the vallee du borne, and in the background somewhere behind the mountains, Geneva.


 Gypaete moguls



Edited by Ruke - 2/25/2009 at 12:59 pm
post #4 of 6

RUKE,  sounds like you are having a great time.  Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm. Great to see someone having a really wonderful time.  AND, wow have you made some progress in one year, congratualtions.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank's for the encouragement. I have no more pictures, but I will add that, now that I am mostly through with the season I cannot overstate how much skiing a season, instead of a week, has helped my skiing. I know this probably won't be a popular opinion here, where there are so many instructors, but I don't think any amount of lessons can compare to spending hours and hours on the slopes and constantly challenging yourself.

post #6 of 6

That's pretty darn cool.  Thanks for sharing! 

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