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Weirdest thing / situation you witnessed on the slopes?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't think we had this thread before. What's the most unusual / surprising / weird thing you've seen on the slopes?

Could be an outfit, a ski style, a collision, an unexpected interaction... a photo would be great if you reacted quickly enough.

In my case, I think it was in Lofoten a few years ago. We had climbed (first through the bushes, then skinning on the snow) about 700m vertical, we had taken off our skins in the rain and had eaten something, and we had started going down on a flattish wide slope. At that point irbis started heading away from us across the slope at a slow speed, going straight, AGAINST the strong wind, towards a cliff about 50 yards away. He made it about 40 yards before he finally managed to stop and put a turn in.

I still can't work out how that happened. It felt like a supernatural force was pulling him there and stopping him from doing anything about it. He did say that, had the wind been behind him, he may not have been there afterwards to have a conversation about it.

For reference, we were somewhere on the top of this slope:
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There's been a few over the years.

1. Snowboarding in Serre Chevalier, actually my first ever trip to the Alps, having learned in the Pyrenees. There was a bit of a drought on, conditions weren't great, but the pistes were nice enough and it was sunny. Last day of the trip, it got overcast and started to snow very lightly. We were just lapping our favourite piste, but got carried away and the lift closed, meaning we would have to take an interminable green run back to the valley. After a few hundred metres of intense boredom and increasing foot pain, my mate and I got fed up and decided to head down through the trees. Surprisingly, the snow in the trees was actually pretty fun and we got some good turns before, inevitably, losing sight of each other with the trees and the mist. I carried on down alone and after a while shot out of the trees into a clearing. In the clearing, coming out of the mist, there was a barn. There was no obvious road/track in/out although this would have been covered by snow. On the uphill-facing gable wall of the barn, right in front of me, was an enormous mural covering the full height of the barn. This was of 3 black figures, cloaked and horned with red eyes and tongues of flame coming from their outstretched hands and surrounded by all manner of spooky sigils. This was just about the time that The Blair Witch Project was in cinemas. I got the France out of there rapidly.

2. Snowboarding in Val d'Isere a year after the above incident. The weather was pretty bad, so one afternoon we decided to build a kicker near the bottom of Santons (which was actually closed due to lack of snow but, with the naievety of youth, rideable). We were happily hiking our kicker and trying some sketchy tricks when a group of 3 skiers appeared on the slope above us. Two of them were dressed in full Pokemon suits, including giant heads. The one dude who was visible appeared to be Japanese (as indeed all 3 turned out to be). With a combination of gesticulations, they asked if it would be OK for them to hit our kicker. We indicated back in the affirmative. First poke-dude drops in, from about 10x further up the slope than we were dropping from and goes into full tuck position. Sends the kicker, tries a 360, massively over-shoots the landing and annhialates himself in an epic yard-sale. He gets up though. Poke-dude number 2, having witnessed this, drops in from about 10x further up the slope than we were dropping from and goes into full tuck position. He goes for a backflip, but stalls the rotation half-way round and drops down on his head from a considerable height and lies motionless. Poke-dude number 1 goes to check him out, a situation which carries on for some time. Neither our Japanese nor their English were of any worth in communication, so one of our party (my then girlfriend, now wife!) is despatched down to see if he's OK by the international means of holding up both thumbs and giving an optimistic smile. The response from Poke-dude 1 is an immediate thumbs-up and smile, which rapidly becomes horizontal thumbs and an uncertain expression. Poke-dude 2 gets up, gives us a wave and skis off though. We actually saw them again the following day. Poke-dude 2 was not present.

3. Sainte Foy a few years ago. I was running an avalanche safety session up on the hill, practising transceiver searches, etc. For those who don't know Sainte Foy, at the top of the first lift there is a large, flattish area with a couple of restaurants. Easiest way to cross it on the way back to resort is to come down the steep red in the middle, shoot across the flats, and carry on down to the bottom. As I'm watching my group searching, I become aware that there's a kid of maybe 8 or so who has come to a stop in the middle of the flats. I can't remember his name, so let's go with Julian (for it was of that ilk). His Dad, meanwhile, is still high up on the red run and clearly has a moment of inspiration and concocts a cunning plan to help poor young Julian out of his predicament. The booming tones of Dad depict the rest of the story better than I ever could.

"Julian! Julian! I'm coming Julian!" (Drops in, setting off at a fair pace)
"Julian! Get ready Julian!" (Adopts tuck position)
"Brace Julian! Brace!" (aims directly for his small child as my jaw starts to drop and he approaches the speed of sound)
"Now Julian! Now!" (spreads legs and arms apart in preparation for the epic scoop-up maneouvre to come)
BOOM! (Julian goes 8 feet in the air, skis poles, goggles, gloves, etc. spray in all directions. Julian is unwell.)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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@horizon, that green hat you wore out touring a couple of years back
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at the risk of indiscretion, rearrange the words, "rabbit run", "road" and "shep"...wish I'd had a camera (He'd forgotten the road was there, encountered at a fair enough pace, dropped 1m or so onto the road, immediate ski halt, double release, 180 into the deep snow on the other side of the road, two ski boots waving around...

...could have been nippy.
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Arno wrote:
@horizon, that green hat you wore out touring a couple of years back


This one?



I'll leave the esteemed audience to decide whose hat is weirder...Happy

(Though I admit my sunglasses are worse. Even my son said I looked like a chav in them).
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@horizon,
Quote:

I'll leave the esteemed audience to decide whose hat is weirder.

Shocked Shocked Too close to call.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hurtle wrote:
@horizon,
Quote:

I'll leave the esteemed audience to decide whose hat is weirder.

Shocked Shocked Too close to call.
But it's pink! Pink! PINK!!
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Not really in the same league as above, but it was very weird having lunch in the restaurant by the lifts at La Faucille with the group at the next table feeding a ferret at their table! Only in France! Laughing
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@rob@rar, do you have a problem with pink????
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Italian ski instructor chasing down a teen and literally T boning him (almost into me) then ranting about bambinos. I'm sure the kid had done something like get close to his class but I'm not sure physical assault wass the right way of dealing with it.

A certain EOSB attendee maching it down the edge of a sub green run then inexplicably hooking 90 deg right (then a further 180 in the air) to go through a fence backwards.

Everyday weird:

Too many people taking their skis off to bumslide on slopes where you really wanted all the edge you could get stuck in, with predicatable consequences. Lots of "I bet those 2 are going to collide despite the emptiness of the slope" viewed from chairlifts.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Weathercam stopping for a coffee break.........
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
A certain EOSB attendee maching it down the edge of a sub green run then inexplicably hooking 90 deg right (then a further 180 in the air) to go through a fence backwards.

Dammit, they caught an edge. Possibly in a fence post. And there was definitely more sideways than backward.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Arno wrote:
@rob@rar, do you have a problem with pink????


I sincerely hope not...... Toofy Grin
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Scarlet wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
A certain EOSB attendee maching it down the edge of a sub green run then inexplicably hooking 90 deg right (then a further 180 in the air) to go through a fence backwards.

Dammit, they caught an edge. Possibly in a fence post. And there was definitely more sideways than backward.

You make one mistake Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@spyderjon, I believe you have some evidence of a certain other attendee getting acquainted with their furry friends...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nearly stacking it when trying to avoid a furry animal as it raced accross the piste. Turned out it was a Scouse "calm down " wig and it was windy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Scarlet wrote:
@spyderjon, I believe you have some evidence of a certain other attendee getting acquainted with their furry friends...

Ah yes.

All I can remember was this voice shouting "the ba$tards have got me again!"

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Whilst at a snowdome (does this count?) saw a "skier" struggling to get their boots into their bindings at the bottom of the slope. As I slid past they asked if I could help. I took a look and advised that they should turn their skis around so the more pointy end was in front of them not behind them then they would find that they would have an easier job clicking in.

God help them if they ever got to the top of the slope.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Arno wrote:
@rob@rar, do you have a problem with pink????
It was a heartfelt cry of admiration and envy. Just wondering, do you have a matching pink helmet?
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A load of buddhist monks learning to snowboard
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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I'm pretty sure I saw a bear when I was skiing off piste in Japan in the trees at Nozawa Onsen. I was on my own, stopped for a breather, looked up to my side and nearly had a heart attack when I saw this big hairy thing standing up looking at me only a few metres away. Something like 4-5 feet tall. I was right out of there and didn't look back!

Logically, i'm not sure if it could have been a bear because they're supposed to be hibernating in February, and I was within a few minutes ski from a piste.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@horizon, ...ah...Norway. Mysterious Force. That will be the Elves.

My Icelandic colleague Erling was asked by my 12 year old - ‘Erling, so what’s all this talk of you lot believing in Elves..’. Erling smiled and said ‘...oh it’s not that we believe in Elves....the reality is that we don’t NOT believe in them...’.

My weirdest moment in the hills. Hearing a distant choir singing. I mean really. At 2500m. In cloud. Where no choir could possibly be.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Fri 1-06-18 15:30; edited 1 time in total
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Pulled in for a coffee at a high mountain restaurant in Val d'Isere to be confronted by eight full-on Elvis Presleys complete with inflatable guitars. I've since learned that this is not at all weird / unusual / conversation-worthy
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hang11 wrote:
A load of buddhist monks learning to snowboard


Was the Dalai Lama with them? Madeye-Smiley https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/the-day-the-dalai-lama-hit-the-slopes-in-santa-fe-9169225.html
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Being on a chairlift in Morzine and seeing a middle aged lady emerge from the trees, laying on the back of her still connected skis, salopettes still around her knees.

Her exit from the trees had obviously been unplanned and before she had finished after having a wee. She was laughing so much she couldn't stop or pull herself up and continued right across the piste at approx 10mph.

We had tears on our faces from laughing. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@bar shaker, I've heard that story countless times, probably first time in 1988 when one of my chalet girls claimed it had happened to her. So either it's an oft repeated urban myth (disappointing) or it's a fairly frequent "accident"*

* See what I did there?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@under a new name, ...grief I have heard this a thousand times from newbies, but always ‘..I heard that...’ - urban myth I think.

Weird things climbing? Do they count? It’s stopped now, but when you did really demanding walk-ins during the eighties, all special approach shoes and hard core kit, in France you would go over a ridge at altitude and there would almost always be a French family with the wife in a bright floral dress and high heels having a picnic with her family, which would include a grandmother in a dark blue dress with small white flower motif. How the hell did they get there? So much for our hard core gear. And it all sounds sexist but it was true...we wound up taking bets on how high we would experience this...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Most embarrassing.... the moment we realised that the only way back to the apartment at 23:30 was through the very centre of resort after a little bit of naked skiing! Shocked Shocked
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
horizon wrote:
I don't think we had this thread before. What's the most unusual / surprising / weird thing you've seen on the slopes?

Could be an outfit, a ski style, a collision, an unexpected interaction... a photo would be great if you reacted quickly enough.

In my case, I think it was in Lofoten a few years ago. We had climbed (first through the bushes, then skinning on the snow) about 700m vertical, we had taken off our skins in the rain and had eaten something, and we had started going down on a flattish wide slope. At that point irbis started heading away from us across the slope at a slow speed, going straight, AGAINST the strong wind, towards a cliff about 50 yards away. He made it about 40 yards before he finally managed to stop and put a turn in.

I still can't work out how that happened. It felt like a supernatural force was pulling him there and stopping him from doing anything about it. He did say that, had the wind been behind him, he may not have been there afterwards to have a conversation about it.

For reference, we were somewhere on the top of this slope:



Hope you’ve got the movie rights secured for that story mate, got all the ingredients of a full on block buster!

Tom Cruise to play you, and Daniel Craig to play your mate who skied 40m slowly 😂😂
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A young lady wearing a giant Andy Cap hat skiing down pretty rapidly with a conga line of blokes following her.

Did I mention that the big cap was all she was wearing.

It was in Sauze D'Oulx and there is an Andy Cap bar there.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@valais2, the girl I was working with claimed it had happened to her. I suspect it has, many times...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
under a new name wrote:
@bar shaker, I've heard that story countless times, probably first time in 1988 when one of my chalet girls claimed it had happened to her. So either it's an oft repeated urban myth (disappointing) or it's a fairly frequent "accident"*

* See what I did there?
I've seen it happen, for real. University ski trip to Andorra in the late 80s. One of the girls in our group got caught short, headed off the side of a path we were skiing down for a call of nature while we waited at a respectful distance, and a few minutes later screamed and slithered out backwards on her skis with her pants around her ankles, dropping off the other side of the path in a bit of a heap. I swear it happened!
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@rob@rar, I believe you. Now, standard advice is not to take your skis off but...

I wonder why it doesn’t happen to blokes?

Maybe standard protocol forces an inverted snowplough and an uphill aim?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alastair Pink wrote:
hang11 wrote:
A load of buddhist monks learning to snowboard


Was the Dalai Lama with them? Madeye-Smiley https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/the-day-the-dalai-lama-hit-the-slopes-in-santa-fe-9169225.html


Hard to tell, same clothes and hairstyles
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Quote:

Not really in the same league as above, but it was very weird having lunch in the restaurant by the lifts at La Faucille with the group at the next table feeding a ferret at their table!

I'm not sure why this should be considered odd. I suppose times have changed. When I was a child in the Durham coalfields it was quite common to have a pet ferret, they were more common than than pet cats. I even recall one boy brininging his into school with him.

The restaurant at Pre st Espirit in Les Arcs has changed hands a number of times since, but one year they used to have a pet rabbit running around the place (sorry hopping) my niece was not impreseed when it wasn't there the next day and asked her to see if they had lappin on the menu.

But back to the point of the discussion. The weirdest thing I encountered was a chap on a unicycle cycling down the piste to La Grange in Les Arcs. When he got to the bottom he turned off and headed off down the road to Bourg.
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@johnE, Indeed neighbours of ours kept ferrets when I was a child, intriguing creatures in many ways. But non-the-less seeing one eating at a dining table in a restaurant at a ski resort seemed somewhat bizarre. I can`t imagine taking a pet ferret on a ski trip, but each to their own lol.

I hope the piste recovered from the unicycle tracks lol
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A year or two ago, I was saying my goodbyes in the Oxalys car park as everyone was starting to leave the EoSB. While I was standing there, a saw a family car heading out of the garage. It paused briefly near me to collect the final occupant, and as I looked on I realised I was being watched from the rear side window – by their cat!
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@Scarlet, I our apartment block in Les Arcs an old couple in the flat on the ground floor had a cat it wore a small harness and a lead outside their aparment window.
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@johnE, i have seen a few cats on leashes... not many but it happens Happy
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