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2004 12 18 Randonnee Ski

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What a better way to start backcountry skiing, and by start I mean the first time, and first time trying out skiis, (etc), than with a little couloir, if you must know "Petit Davin : Couloir N de la brèche du Casset".

The first major snow of the season arrived the day before. We headed out at 5h30 in the morning. Due to the snow conditions, it took is 3 hours to get there (1.5 hrs with the chains!!) but we made it. At the start I had trouble with the bindings (until I learned by myself that you had to pull a button, dah!). Then the going up was fairly straight forward, until we got closer, and then it started looking steeper and steeper. I won't bore you with the details of the snow conditions, plates, and gobolets...Alex broke most of the trail, he is in shape. I drag behind with Luc, who kept commenting on the plates...

Finally we reached the high point, 860 meters of elevation gain (not completely the top of the couloir). Then I switched to downhill configuration! (we won't talk about how I almost forgot to change the boots, or how I had the front binding locked in flat configuration), off-we went. The slope was shortly for 35 degrees and then it eased a bit. I will have to say that I am an ok skier, so it was ok the first part until I hit a little patch of powder, eeeerrrhh! stop, flat on my face. Falling is not bad, is the freaking freezing snow on your face that hurts. no worries, nobody saw :)... get up and continue down. The skiing is a little difficult with the competition skis that I have, but I tell them that if they get me down, I will give them ice cream!... it works.

Over all it was a very enjoyable day, well within my style of trying out things. Look forward to a great season. Oh the last pictures, shows what you can do with a shovel like an improvised helmet or little stand for your igloo needs.


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