A colourful spot with an exciting backdrop

Bad weather, a ski tow and a friend, Géraud de Laval tells us about one of his days when the will to brave the bad weather was rewarded with by a session of apnea . This happened somewhere above Léman, in a mini resort about which only the Swiss know the secret.

“Don’t forget your bad weather mask.”

That was the last message that I received from Romain before that day in the storm. For some years now, when I ski at home, I am always a little anxious to know whether the snow level is sufficiently low. But, Romain is always optimistic : one, because he is an optimist; two because he can see the bottom from his kitchen window.

Just a few messages were enough to organise that Wednesday in March. Nothing superfluous, no unnecessary questions, I believe that one calls that confidence. We would have the time to talk in situ.

Romain Moracchini

[20:30, 3/12/2019] Romain: Forecast good for tomorrow. Ski?
[20:40, 3/12/2019] Géraud: Yes I have taken the day off
[20:48, 3/12/2019] Romain: Yes! First train?
[20:56, 3/12/2019] Géraud: Yeah for sure!

Each time, it is a surprise to know at which station I will find myself, but I don’t worry. I know that he will find the means of taking this first train, it is too important for him.As he predicted, the snow was low and one could see nothing. Perfect it would be peaceful. Those conditions come with no no price.

So started the day in black and white, without any light. The snow, wind and cold made themselves felt. And, the silence as well, not a sound. From time to time, when a sheet of ice hidden under the snow surprised us, we heard the screeching of the edges and an expletive against the effect of the wind.

Romain Moracchini

Several shared the solitude.

Finally, we spoke a little. We were 10 metres apart on the ski tow and the weather didn’t tempt us to stop. It encouraged introspection. What were we going to do there ? That powder was certainly unique but wasn’t it a small price to pay ? Let’s enjoy it while we have it, will our kids have that chance ? And before the questions got too dark, the end of the ski lift came into view.
With several words, we agreed the itinerary and dived in. To put an end to the isolation, we took several photos. This obliged us to stop and discuss the shots. And it provided a supplementary occupation of the ski tow. Romain is a perfectionist. I am patient. This produces good results.

Romain Moracchini

We sheltered in the forest. The visibility was better and the snow wasn’t damaged by the fucking wind. What the hell. A local rode the ski tow alone. He knows the area by heart and never stops. Looked as if he was breaking the record for accumulated ascents. Then a few local children got off the mid-day train. There were then 10 of us riding the tow. It was no longer snowing, but we could rarely see more than 15 metres. “Riders on the storm” in the head, the kids were having more and more fun. For us, it was time to go in to the warm to savour the “best fondu in the region”. This was served with 4 decilitres of white wine and the owners chouchen *.

Romain Moracchini

Several more rotations in the coomb. It wasn’t as good, there were too many tracks. We took two more photos but the heart wasn’t in it. So, still enveloped in the cold and opaque ambiance, we decided to go home via the combe des Devants.

Romain Moracchini

Skiing in technicolour

From the top of the ski tow , take a left and stop at the next station. Once arrived, profit from the area.
And as if to thank us for having come to fight against the elements, the clouds lifted to unveil the entire Léman. The lake flooding the surroundings with its characteristic blue glow. 50 Shades of blue.
The rest was nothing but pleasure, letting rip with long curving turns, without forgetting to enjoy the scenery. It was time to go home. The bad weather mask had served well.

*A type of mead, an alcohol made by fermenting honey in water

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