Neige et Aventures in Valais

Bruno Compagnet and Layla Jean Kerley began their van tour circuit with a stop in Nendaz co-organised with the shop Neige & Aventures. From great skiing to excellent company and wonderful winter light without a fondue in sight…We’ll have to put the church back to the centre of the village*.

We didnt get off the the best start. Firstly the van broke down because of a little electrical fault, then a landslide on the road to Forclaz blocked access to Martigny and finally the gloomy, grey weather didn’t bode well for the first stop of the black crows van tour in the resort of Nendaz.

We hadn’t counted on the fact that life can sometimes seem like it’s intentionally scuppering your mental projections. After three hours on the road, we parked the car in front of the Neige et Aventure shop where we were greeted by Max and Romain, two of the staff. I let them know I wanted to go and get some air, to feel the snow and get an idea of what tomorrow might bring. It was a bit late but the clouds had given way to blue sky and in the end-of-day light we found a superb forest, blanketed in deep, light snow.

Layla Jean Kerley

Within the space of a few turns our mood had totally changed. We used this newfound energy to follow our guides who were solidly skiing in front of us. We felt a natural connection through our common interest and I was happy that Romain liked our skis…this guy has all the legitimacy of a passionate, authentic skier to give advice and sell our skis. We consolidated our new friendship over a beer in the Cactus then Romain kindly invited us over for a raclette with wine and apricot schnapps before falling into a well-deserved sleep.

Layla Jean Kerley

We met up with Nijel, Mathe and Nathan: the three skiers that the shop selected to ski with us for the day. After a quick introduction, we decided not to waste too much time and headed for the Tracouet gondola with our skis on our shoulders. It was quickly apparent that Nijel, who lives in Nendaz, was going to be our guide for the day. I don’t want to give you a boring run down of everything we skied that day but between the quality of the snow, the diversity of the terrain, the changes of light and the wide open powder fields, we had a day that will stand out forever.

Layla Jean Kerley

The evening was spent in a friendly atmosphere of real après ski where riders come to share the day’s delights over a beer and to discuss future projects. To my great joy I realised that the little video we made for La Sentinelle had gleaned a lot of interest amongst our little community…

We heartily thanked Fred and all his shop’s team who, with the help of the snow, had supplied us with a superb day’s skiing. Thanks a lot to all who were involved in that wonderful Saturday.

Bruno and Layla

*an expression from Valais meaning: We’re going to restart on the right note.

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