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Poster: A snowHead
Wed 18-01-17 16:56
Replies: 4
@Scarpa, my new redeemers (new but 2014 model) carry the advice to detune the tips - first time I've seen that. I wondered if it was usual on skis with pronounced tip rise but you'll know more about that than me.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 18-01-17 16:51
Replies: 108
There are plenty of transport requirements for which something like a LandRover Discovery is the optimum solution. I agree there are some - it's just few buyers actually have those requirements in my experience :D @mooney058, I absolutely understand why an SUV is a much better bet than a RWD 5series in rugged or snowy conditions. Our 535D M sport was pretty scary in snow (LOADS of torque through the rear wheels on wide tyres), too firm to be comfortable on bumpy roads (and given the woeful standards of our local potholes that is pretty much all of them round us) and the clearance below the skirts meant you had to be careful with kerbs let alone bumpy tracks. Great to drive under good conditions though. That said I reckon our replacement skoda octavia scout is a superior harsh conditions road car to a SUV - lighter and lower centre of gravity, raised just enough to give ground clearance for rutted snow etc. But I do see why SUVs are nice if you are 6'3.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 18-01-17 16:34
Replies: 74
Grevettaz in Les Contamines. Steep as hell. It is quite steep. And it has a pretty punch bouncy start at times but not upto Valais's entertaining standards. I actually think the Veleray drag is worse - more sustained steepness and rather exposed. It goes up a little ridge which can get wind blown and polished and it seems to be a bit steep to get a basher up. Or because it's an expertish area they don't bother. And then the view at the top is pretty airy and not ideal if you feel at all agrophobic. My youngest is not a big fan of drags at the best of times (allthough she is highly competent) she was in tears the first time I took her up and is now on Veleray strike. ALthough annoyingly she'll do it with an instructor to avoid losing face. But back to Grevettaz my mate had a frustrating / hilarious incident on it. After the punchy start and a little rise it crosses a piste. The lift is one of the few in Les C where queues can be a problem at busy times as it is the only lift serving quite a big bowl. After a 10 minute wait we started up it, my mate in front. When he started crossing the piste I could see a skier standing right in the drag line on the other other side about 40m away looking in our general direction. As we got closer I could see she was in mountaineering type gear, touring bindings etc. You expect a certain level of competence. Surely she'll move soon. But no. When he got quite close he gave her a shout. She looked up startled-rabbit style, made some pathetic attempt to shuffle out the way just as he was steering in the same direction and they end up in a heap. I steer round them with my full "more disappointed than annoyed" headshake. I may have even tutted. When we met up at the top he still looked confused "she said she didn't see me. I did point out that my red jacket and the drag cable and pylons were pretty good signals. She just went quiet after that"
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Wed 18-01-17 12:51
Replies: 6
I haven't skied either ski but I would expect them to be reasonably stiff but even given that 170cm sounds very reasonable at 75kg. 16m radius is also pretty easy to manage - your not going to be needing to really work the ski to keep it between the piste markers! :D
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Wed 18-01-17 12:42
Replies: 510
Well it is (if you smack into something) but as we know from tracking apps, some people are regularly hitting 70/80/90 kmh. At those speeds all bets are off. Kind of pointless wearing a helmet designed to save you at 15mph. I utterly disagree. Just because I am initially travelling at say 40mph doesn't mean that my head will hit a hard object directly at that speed. Friction may well slow me down, I may hit something softer than a tree, I may strike with a glancing blow that makes the effective impact speed a fraction of my velocity. There are many ways that a 15mph protection could make a real difference to the outcome even if you fell at 40mph.
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Wed 18-01-17 11:20
Replies: 510
@jedster, smacking a tree chest on can kill you at 30mph, and all the more likely if no immediate medical assistance is on hand. Agreed - the point I was making is that 30mph (which isn't very fast) can be easily enough to kill you if you balls things up seriously.
Well, it's only polite to Register
Wed 18-01-17 11:18
Replies: 510
@Richard_Sideways, 30mph?! I think half that would probably be enough to either kill or have you being fed via a tube. Maybe but I think you'd be unlucky. This is about cycle helmets but I think the standards are similar: "Cycle helmets are specified by their manufacturers as meeting one or more of the international standards for this equipment. All of the standards test the helmet's protection of only a decapitated headform, (i.e. one with no body attached); and all tests involve only low speed impacts. Impact speeds are less than 6.6 m/s (24 km/h or 15 mph), and in some cases, barely 5 m/s (18 km/h or 11 mph)". So they are tested at 11-15mph depending on the exact standard. Given an engineering tolerance I think you'd have a good chance of avoiding serious brain damage at 15mph.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 18-01-17 11:12
Replies: 35
Rescue kit such as transceiver, shovel & probe, and protection kit such as spine strap, helmet or airbag only mitigate against mountain un-safety. Fair point but worth pointing out that any trip out in the mountains is a calculated risk which can be managed but not eliminated so you are never completely safe. To some extent it's a question of risk and reward and where you personally draw a line. Athough you definitely want to avoid accidentally drawing the line in the wrong place because you assessed the risk as being significantly lower than it was!
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Wed 18-01-17 11:08
Replies: 35
If there was an app which taught people basic mountain safety that would perhaps be the best you could do. The hapless consumer could buy that, and read the text the day before, then they'd be good to go? Or not. I've got a mammut app on my iphone which I was promted to when I bought a mammut transceiver some years ago. It has an inclinometer (line up an image on your screen), compass, some aide memoirs on assessing avalanche risk. search patterns etc. The only thing I really use is the inclinometer and compass (and obviously an iphone already has a compass) but the other stuff is quite educational to go through if you are a beginner. echo 122 sounds worthwhile if only for the time when you arrive in a new area and forget to put the number of the ski patrol in your phone :oops:
And post your own questions...
Wed 18-01-17 10:49
Replies: 510
@Pruman, That characterisation rings true to me - particularly as US resorts are avalanche controlled so that mode of death is precluded. Afterall, unless you are very unlucky you need a certain amount of kinetic energy to kill yourself. Beginners tend to be pretty slow. And I would guess a lot of people reach peak speed on "intermediate runs" - more challenging runs and unpisted snow often drives a bit more speed control. Of course ski helmets are not remotely designed to save you if you hit your head squarely against a hard object at 30mph!
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Wed 18-01-17 8:35
Replies: 32
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 18-01-17 8:30
Replies: 14
It's an easy way 10 min down drive from St G. Personally I wouldn't stay in megeve if I wanted to ski Les c. There is a frequent ski bus that loops around Les c and takes you to either telecabine but if we have a car then we normally drive - there are big car parks at each tele. For the weekend there are two hotels (basic but fine) Gaie Solais and Christiania. I'd bet you could get a room at either. Let me know if you decide on Les C - perhaps a little ski / beer?
You know it makes sense.
Tue 17-01-17 17:56
Replies: 122
My aim this weekend is door-to-door in 5 hours, Derbyshire to Salzburgland. Can't see any car achieving that... That's pretty good going. Office to our flat in les Contamines might be quicker than that on Thursday but not much.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tue 17-01-17 15:32
Replies: 4
To be honest, you'll just be able to see a huge amount between the pistes around VT. Classic more adventurous stuff includes dropping off the back of the Cime de Carron into the 4th valley. If you want longer runs without difficult route finding then the itinerary off La Masse is a good option. Elsewhere in 3V I really like the stuff off Mont Vallon (between the pistes and off the back), the slopes above St Nicholas are really friendly, the Creux Noir bowl above Courchevel.... too many to mention Do consider a guide though
Poster: A snowHead
Tue 17-01-17 15:12
Replies: 25
:D never dropped them off a chair but have dropped them in the powder when fiddling with cameras etc - why is it that you always seem to get snow in the tips of the finger whenever that happens? Grr
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tue 17-01-17 14:58
Replies: 510
What's the concensus on bells on a bicycle ? Same concept innit ? I don't use a bell either. When I'm on a shared use path (which is seldom) I might resort to a polite "excuse me" if a group of pedestrians don't seem aware that I'm there and are blocking the route but I'll slow down and hover a bit behind them first. Otherwise the only other time I see the point is when a pedestrian suddenly makes a sharp turn and steps off the pavement onto the road without looking but then I resort to a shout, generally "watch it!" which is quicker and louder than reaching for a bell. In general though I tend to ride on the basis that pedestrians WILL do these foolish things from time to time and give anyone standing near the edge of the pavement a wide berth.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Tue 17-01-17 10:37
Replies: 53
Think @valais2, wrote the definitive post above but I'd second what @TangoBravo, said about taking action quickly if someone is getting cold - its much harder to rewarm when you get very chilled. In those conditions I'd always want a dry pair of gloves in the group - if you've used all your spare pairs and someone takes a fall in powder and gets snow in their gloves then they might need to go in. Personally I've found buffs to be adequate without the need for balaclavas when wearing helmet and goggles. I have a method of wearing one that covers all the bare skin but makes it easier to pull it of my face when I warm up. What someone said about -20 being fine when it is still and sunny is true but remember afternoon shade and skiing-generated wind chill. The coldest I have ever been skiing was on a bluebird day in January in Courchevel when it was about -20. I was working, we skied to last lift and needed to get back to 1850 ASAP - basically went straight down creux and then onto the blue above the altiport which involves a lot of shussing - little activity and lots of wind chill. The sun was over the hill and we were in the shade. By the time I got back to my room I was so cold I got under the duvet with all my gear on including ski boots to warm up
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Tue 17-01-17 10:22
Replies: 76
Only other collision was waiting at the top of Christine in VT when our mate decided to skid to a stop and shower us in snow, lacked the skill to do this unfortunately so his skis went from under him and we went down like dominoes. God I'm going to sound like an awful grump but having watched some serious knee injuries caused by low speed falls my sense of humour for this stuff is really limited. For example, when I worked a ski season the Company MD was out right at the start of the season and for a laugh skied slowly between the legs of one of the staff from behind (sort of nested snow plough) causing a low speed twisting fall and a ruptured cruciate. I love skiing and if someone wrecked the sport for me by fookin' around I'd be utterly gutted.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tue 17-01-17 10:16
Replies: 76
Now a lot of you lot seem to be missing the point of "fess up" - it's the ones where you are at fault! :D
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Tue 17-01-17 10:05
Replies: 2910
@recz, can I suggest you look at these webcams? I'd describe the piste conditions as immaculate, wouldn't you? https://www.lescontamines.net/webcam.html
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Tue 17-01-17 10:03
Replies: 8
But in your shoes, I'd leave booking late and see where has the best conditions
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Tue 17-01-17 10:02
Replies: 8
We're planning to be out there for 10 days over Easter. Obviously it's an easy decision to us but I've not known Les C shut early since I've been going (6 years). The (sunnier) Hauteluce side can turn green but Les C is sufficiently shady and the surface sufficiently meadowy that is easy for them to retain enough snow to keep the pistes skiable.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Tue 17-01-17 9:54
Replies: 3
I'd still go back to the shop though - could be that remoulding the liner with a pad in place could help
And post your own questions...
Tue 17-01-17 9:53
Replies: 3
Haven't had it before but my quick fix would involve covering the area of stitching that is causing the rub with duct tape
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Tue 17-01-17 9:43
Replies: 25
thanks for the tip - just bought some. I'd say only about half of ski gloves come with lanyards. I've got some good gloves that don't so these are ideal
And they're a friendly bunch.
Tue 17-01-17 7:52
Replies: 14
I'm in Les Contamines from Thursday and they've had >120cm :)
You know it makes sense.
Mon 16-01-17 20:37
Replies: 510
Thing is - anyone can have a fall but the point is you are supposed to ski at a pace and distance that means your fall doesn't result in a collision. If your prerelease means you hit someone then the two skiers started off too close together for their speeds.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mon 16-01-17 18:46
Replies: 108
I'd rather run RWD and winters than 4wd and summers. +1. Our car has 4wd and I'd still not be happy in Jan / Feb without winter tyres. OP is talking about late March... OK odds are in your favour by then. On the other hand - Flaine. That's a long drive at altitude with LOTS of hairpins. Honestly, I'd want winters for that even in March. And SUVs are not clever on summer tyres - weight and height are not your friends when you are trying to get round a downhill hairpin. BTW - you don't need somewhere to keep four wheels (although that is what we do). Tyre dealers will generally hold your tyres over winter/summer and swap them onto your one set of wheels for a reasonable fee.
Poster: A snowHead
Mon 16-01-17 16:49
Replies: 119
And I suspect many of them wouldn't do it. But again I suspect the guide knows that also! I think you are right. From what I can see, guides pretty much assume clients are only a liability and if they are better than that it is a bonus! To be fair, guides do climb some hard stuff with clients which requires clients to take some responsibility but I imagine, for example, a guide would regard a client having to hold them on a fall as a complete faux pas.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mon 16-01-17 15:32
Replies: 510
1. Ban all sales of alcohol in mountain restaurants BTW - has anyone seen any stats showing that accidents are more common after lunch? Have to say that I've never noticed that the pistes felt more hazardous in the early afternoon. I'm much more wary about the general chaos last run down in busy weeks.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Mon 16-01-17 15:30
Replies: 510
By the same token, when I'm on a narrow piste and am about to change my recent skiing behaviour (e.g. start to put in some turns having been running straight, or pull over and stop) then I will usually stick out my arm almsot like a cyclist indicating I do something like that sometimes if I'm conscious another skier is close behind. I generally do an exaggerated shoulder check (look over my shoulder like you would before manouvering on a bike) and try to get eye contact and give the skier behind a grin while pointing in the direction I'm planning on going in.
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Mon 16-01-17 15:25
Replies: 76
Since I fessed up to a couple in my skiing career, this is my last one: 4 years ago St Gervais/Megeve Heading down an almost empty flattering blue run about 10 am on a perfect sunny morning, piste firm but grippy. I see one skier a long way ahead traversing across slowly from the far skiers left. I decide to take full advantage of the flattering conditions and wide piste to link fast short carved turns down skiers right side of the piste. The other skier is miles away and would surely get nowhere near me. I set off and am quickly at a brisk pace. I'm largely facing down the fall line (short turns) and the other skier disappears from my vision, especially when I am on a right turn. On about my 10th turn I turn left and find the other skier RIGHT THERE having continued his traverse all the way across the wide piste. His ski tips strike just ahead of my bindings. We clip shoulders. It is a total double yard sale. I slide about 20m down the piste, sit up, collect my equipment and walk back up to check on him. He's fine, so am I. I apologise. He grunts. And we are on our way. Technically, I think the fact that his tips struck my skis amid ships means that he was in the wrong. In the real world, I was the better skier, started from above and behind him and should have done more to make sure I knew where he was. Frankly I just didn't imagine he'd keep his unusual line right into my corridor.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 16-01-17 14:13
Replies: 8
@ster, Glad you had fun and good review - generally agree although your experience was obviously influenced by the unusual snow conditions Just a couple of follow ups: drive listed as 1 ¼ hours. Mostly easy except that the Sat Nav took us over a hill with narrow nearly single track roads after turning off the A40, not a fun thing at midnight when you don’t know the roads, but winter tyres saw us through. Oh bad luck. Some satnavs have a bias to sending you an unusual scenic route which is dark, narrow and always a bad thing (except possibly at February HT peak times). Been there, done that! The best route takes you via Le Fayet and then up the main road to St G and on to Les C from there and is very easy. 1 1/4 hours is about right normally. A couple of kids drags in the valley but these weren’t open. Looked free but not sure. Yes, they are free. Les Loyers is normally open for quite a chunk of the season as it is pretty shady. It is also open for night skiing most Thursdays. It's opposite our flat as it happens so we use it for avalanche transceiver Easter egg hunts :D Only ate at L’etape as this was where the beginners lift was located Etape is fine and you had few options what with the snow cover, lessons etc but there are a few really good options elsewhere under normal conditions. If anyone wants details a search will find my earlier post. We would happily go back given how impressed we were with the place and people who were the epitome of hospitable I do think Les Contamines is unusually friendly - think the people there know its not an obvious choice, isn't high profile and isn't glitzy so they need to work a bit to keep hold of the custom they do get.
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Mon 16-01-17 13:54
Replies: 510
Works with skiers. Less good with trees. :D
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Mon 16-01-17 12:14
Replies: 13
Doesn't mean it's not viable to re-use the 'included' liners in another boot, but it does mean that said boot would have had to have been a snug shell fit, as you can only compress these during fitting, never 'expand' them. +1 You can by aftermarket intuitions that are the same thin thickness (IYSWIM) but they are meant for using in plug boots, < single finger fit, etc which is what I was getting at above
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 16-01-17 11:52
Replies: 22
So... finally, after a few years of dreaming, have booked a guide for early April with the tentative plan of skiing the Armancette. Whether we do will of course depend on conditions but we will spend a couple of night around the Tres la Tete in any case. So far it is just two of us and that means that we have one space (max ratio is 3 to 1). Anyone interested? Outline plan is arrive Les C 6 April, sort out gear, meet guide (can stay at my place that night FOC) 7 April - first lift to Col du Joly, skin for an hour or so to Col de Fenetre or Col de Cicle then ski down to the valley (about 900m descent off piste). Skin to Tres la Tete hut for the night 8 April - longish skin to up glacier Tre la Tete to Col de Chasseurs then ski down and short skin to Refuge des Conscrits 9 April - skin up Domes de Miage (3670m) ski down glacier d'Armancette to Les Contamines - 2500m offpiste, first 500m is 40-45 degrees at high altitude and doubtless feels pretty airy so you'd want to be competent/confident off piste skier. Celebratory beers in Les C. Don't think I can provide a bed that night because friends and family will have arrived to meet us. Pretty sure I can sort out a room in the hotel over the road though. Cost is about euro 550 for the guide plus hut fees etc.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Mon 16-01-17 11:27
Replies: 510
Shouting "on your left" / "on your right" when coming up behind somebody a bit fast Just to add to the discussion, this is not something I do. I don't think it helps. When I see other people doing it my observation is that the skier ahead responds very unpredictably and can result in them doing exactly the opposite of what the shouter wanted! Of course if I had cocked things up badly, was going to fast and couldn't control myself then I would shout a warning ahead of a collision but short of that I'd just slow down and wait.
And post your own questions...
Mon 16-01-17 11:22
Replies: 510
Quote: Look - I have been in collisions which have been my fault. 'collisions' plural. You have an IQ lower than your DIN setting. Like I say not proud of them. But I don't think that 2 collisions in 400 days on snow is disgraceful. Particularly as neither was completely my fault, neither were serious - just situations where if I had been a bit more conservative I could have avoided them.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Mon 16-01-17 11:15
Replies: 32
We're leaving Monday morning so won't see you on the slopes (suspect it will be quiet enough that we would bump into each other). I'd never discourage anyone from making a trip to Les Contamines but you are going to have some excellent skiing in St G and Megeve this weekend. The forecast seems to be very cold so the snow should be excellent all the way to the valley and the trees and meadows on Mont Arbois will be superb.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Mon 16-01-17 9:45
Replies: 32
@RobMcQ, It's actually a nice run although for the bottom quarter it gets a bit fiddly - some narrowing sections and a few places where you have to cross roads (be careful! Can always take your skis off). I think it tends to be a bit pisted - at least a strip. Overall I'd describe it as a somewhat tricky red but mainly because of the last bit. My advice would be to give it a go during the day when its quiet - not make your first time the last run down when it may be busy. It's not open all that often but the low temperatures at the moment mean it should be in condition for the next week at least. I'm arriving in Les C on Thursday for a long weekend and I'm pretty excited too. Missed xmas due to the poor snow so these will be my first turns of the season - couldn't be much better. Les C has had >120cm at 2000m in the last week - it continues to over deliver on the snow capture in line with its reputation.
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