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A brilliant end of season day

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
April 2010, week 15...day 3 (Wednesday)
Don't know, Made is going to close down the season on the week end...I am tempted to go, on thursday, but the week, as it has turned out, has been tiring (Mon and thursday evening, it's ski gym training time, Tues theater to see a musical, friday at noon it's swimming, plus...work ah, work...) so far, besides the weather forecast is not so good for the weekdays, so I decide to forgo and try on Saturday...
Friday evening...bedtime, car is loaded, everything is ready, all it depends how well I will sleep...
Gosh, what an awful night...spent some of it reading, some watching telly, only part of it sleeping. So when the alarm sets off, it's with relief that I decide to go nevertheless. It's 06.45 as I start the engine, clear sky bodes for a nice day, if not warm...
It's 08.30 as I buy the liftticket and reason with the cashier "I'd known that this season I'd have come here so many times, I'd have bought a season pass" The girl, of course replies "Tooo late now, matey"...grrr
Anyway, at 0900 I'm in for my usual brackfast on the mountain at the lodge and the now traditional text message to mr Prickly "I'm here breakfasting..." and wait for his reply "I'll meet you in xx minutes..." or somethingsuch
While skiing to the lodge I observe that there's quite a large number of instructors (and almost nobody else) around...I then realize that there are instructor uniforms and badges form all over the region..so it must "stage" week end forthem. since some don't wear uniform at all I am tempted to blend in one any group (mmmh the one where the "Istruttore" - Instructor, here is reserved for instructors' instructor, while Instructor translates into "Maestro"- is explainig how to use a beacon, sure sign they're going offpiste soemwhere long and steep, or at least "rocky" is tempting me, but I decide that I'd be immediately spotted as a common skier and fingered with ignominy)  Besides, Mr. Prickly is almost there, only time to do one run to warm up, then it'll be the time.
So I take the chair and climb from the lodge to the base of the tram, only to ski down whiling away the time waiting for my companion..
One turn, mmmmh the snow is really icy this morn, two turns, yeah right, three turns, wham!
Down with one ski out, nothing is hurt but my pride (I fell right in front of  group of instructor, what an ass I am). Ouch the toepiece seems broken! and a boot buckle torn! Aaarrgh not after only three turns! whew, no I've overreacted, the toepiece has frozen in its opened position and the buckle has as well...
Ok, after putting all pieces together and feigning some dignity, I "limp" down to the base station...
Mr. Prickly calls me right then and informs that he's already at the tram base station, "hurry hup boy!" (I tell myself), it's rude to let a friend to wait...
So, as always, I liek to ski with Mr. PRikly, doesn't matter where, given the day we decide to stay in the Canalone/Camosci area for a while.
Sking down the Camosci we find verry nice pouches of soft pow (it must have snowed a bit during the night), almost knee deep...Elation, what I feel is Elation...
The second or third "lap"  whhile waiting to board, I see, on the descending tram, a dark clad guy I think I know (form pictures seen in an Italian ski related forum). The guy looks at Mr. Prickly, says 2Hi" and goes away while I still try to decide it's him or not...Oh well, it's time for another run adn some more fresh...
And now we're walking the maze to access the boarding area, they dark clad guy is behind us and chats some with Mr. Prickly...so as we cross I tell something to him..He looks funnily at me, a total stranger (I said something really stupid, babbling about a ski video he posted on that forum)...OKay I decide is my acquaintance from the other forum, so if he'll make for our
tram, I'll formally introduce myself in real flesh. And so I do "Hello Canalone (his nom de plume), I'm "Nemo" (latin for Nobody), nice to meet you in flesh". The three of us chat while waiting to board again the tram, then decide to ski together...
As you see, Mr. Prickly (picture viewer left) smile is contagious (and not a "picture" smile, he always has that on while skiing!)
Mr Canalone, my new ski compainon is on the viewer's right here, picture taken after reaching the top station, notice the snow which almost covers the whole structure (on Mr. P. right is the tunnel one has usually to walk through when there's not enough snow to immediately exit and "launch" down the Canalone- the run that is, not the man)
Turning myself the other way around, this is the view I have :

And this (with the safety netting in evidence...)
Did I mentioned, in passing,  that this year it has snowed till late in the season and too much?
The consequences are that, not only avalanches have fallen inside the Canalone, but the "normal" ones besides it have reached unusual dimensions...
I took the above picture during my "lunch break", after oh I don't remember how many laps, I had to stop and catch my breath, while Mr. P and Mr. C continued to ski on (climbingthe steps inside the tram station I realized that I "couldn't take more" and sheeplishy told Mr. P that I would pass that lap, get some rest and much someting (He proceed to lunch while in the tram...)
While eating I was reasoning about those avalanches, one must have triggered the other, by "sympathy"...
Anyhow, eaten my apple, drunk my water and my orange juice, munched some crackers and some chocolate...time to go and catch the guys...
At he tram I discover they're chatting with a local instructor and a fourht guy..the idea is to ski the "Cavallina" ("Filly", it's a chute on the right of the mountain, not pictured here) in its "eastern" variant...
Having rested, I promplty agree....So we ski around the safety nets (see pic above) and take the "long" traverse to reach the area (said local instructor and fourth member of the group here)...

This is a part of the traverse we had to cross; while traversing I kept thinking about the "traverse 101" thread

The traverse has many exits, "serving" most of the "christened" routes at the moutain...
"Cavallina", "Fiammifero" (the "Matchstick", a really tight and steep chute), i "Cavi" (the "Cables"  a route passing underneath the cables bringing electric power to the top tram station) and many not christened places...

In the middle of the "Cavallina est" rocks :
Since Mr. P and Mr. C were always too quick to let me fumblewith my zip and take out the camera to take pics, I had to ski down the "chute" (in truth wide enough no tto realize it's a chute) with my camera at hand and the poles in the other (Canalone took the picture of me doing that, while Mr. P. was laughing like mad at the sight)
Immagine 061.jpg

Okay, we reach the bottom and what shall we do but to take another tram and go for another "lap"?
So , next is the "Cavi"...Traverse again, then down we go...

In the "Cavi" :
Immagine 062.jpg

This is it...we're almost there...after oh, must have been 12 "laps" (felt one hundred to me...), skiing almost non stop from 08.30 to 15.30..season's over....

It has taken till Wednesday to recover, on Sunday morning every single piece of my body was aching, from footsoles to hair, shoulders & legs (for the huge bumps we skied inside the Canalone) lowr back...
But it was well worth it.
The taste of this brilliant last day of the season will keep me going for a long time...
Edited by Nobody - 4/24/10 at 8:29am
post #2 of 8
Great trip report Matteo.  Looks like winter has been very generous in Madesimo, IT.  It seems you are skiing much more.
post #3 of 8

Thanks for a superb report and pictures, wish I was there!

da Flav
post #4 of 8
Stunning place, and  a great way to end a season.  Thank you.
post #5 of 8
Looks great!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Glad you enjoyed the readying!
This day, with all the off-piste skiing will be placed in my personal best of all times fond memories along with that day with my friends & family, a long time ago (it was jan 1994) when, hired a guide, "roamed" the Sella mountain and its classic off-piste route, the Val Mesdì...
Indeed these past seasons have been ripe with satisfactions, first skiing again, then meeting and skiing with Mr. P., then deciding to elect  Madesimo as my main skiing destinaton (it still involves a day trip or when stay overnight, rent an hotel room or sleep at a friend's place) but to go in a place - mind you Madesimo is not big by any standard - day after day, even stay there for weekends or more, will in the end allow you to get known by, and get to know most of the accustomed (ski instructors, locals, season pass holders and so on) people there, if not in deep at least by sight, get to know a Mountain and its gems, its peculiarities, beauties and its dangers.
This season, the best insofar in the last 10 years, has a particular meaning to me, because Pixie (even if she's not registered here, and I guess she won't ever, too shy, I'll use her at home nick, I'm tired to use acronyms I struggle to come to terms with) "finally" took the bait and started to ski.
And once the girl sets to a task she's serious. from 2 on snow days in 10 years, to 10 days in a season. From zero lessons, to a total of 10 hours of private lessons (in 2 hours chunks)...but this is another story I began to tell when I wrote that  "OMG I've created a monster" thread...maybe it's time to take that one and write some more..
And how could have I forgotten that i met and skied with our Fox and his family?
Or the near miss with Flaviaman?
Truly, this season is amongst the high water mark of seasons...
On the negative side (there must be one after all, no?), my sons and my mother have skied only one day...school grades and other "small" issues constantly meddled with my plan to ski with them too
Edited by Nobody - 4/25/10 at 10:14am
post #7 of 8
Thanks for sharing!
post #8 of 8

I'm so glad you posted this. It was a great season, and a really fun closing day. That day was day no. 50 for me, and I'll end it there. I did ski a couple runs in a wet snow storm the next day, but I won't count that. 50 it is, for the season.

Some great runs, great memories, and tons of snow this year. Madesimo easily could have stayed open another month, but what can you do. I've moved on, did the first weekend at the beach these last two days, and tried not to get too weepy. My back was killing me on my first bike ride of the season Saturday, BTW. Still feeling the bumps from the Canalone, perhaps. 


Mr. N's enthusiasm that Saturday was contagious, we just had a great time, and I'm so glad we got to do a couple of the fun variations on the mountain, the Cavalla'Est, the Cavi. Those are cool runs, great way to end a season. We even got some powder, so who could ask for more? 

Cheers, buddy, until the next time. P. Or maybe a little summer skiing...

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