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truth
01-25-2004, 11:21 AM
If you can get to La Grave you must go. End of story. Huge props and mad thanks to Bad Roo, Brownmonkey, Ripzalot and Mulletizer for taking care of this euro jong. Without you freaks I never would have gone. Amazing trip, amazing place and amazing people. La Grave is the real deal maggots, as big and burly as you can dream of and then some. If there was ever a place deserving of a maggot summit this is it.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87283B354F5711D8.jpg

Below you'll find a selection of my pics as well as links to the other Euro Mini threads. Stay tuned for Brownmonkey's pics as his Canon D1 9 mega pix beast has the goods on it, OMFG sick shots. Helmet cam and video will follow as soon as possible. I'm nursing a fuct left leg from one of the most violent wrecks I've ever had on Friday afternoon. The muscle that runs below the inside of my quad simply won't work, making lifting my leg more than a few inches at the hip impossible. Combined with the massive tweak of my ankle in the boot (felt like my foot was being torn off) and walking is less than fun and sleeping nearly impossible. I did get the whole wreck on the helmet cam though. ;) Enough bitchin. Enjoy.


Pics... (http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/PhotoAlbum17.html)

Roo's pics and stellar TR... (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=66958#post66958)

Ripzalot's TR & Pics... (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5712)

1/17/04 14:00 CST

Arriving at the International terminal I find a line that is looking to be an hour and a half long to check in at KLM. That would not be too big an issue except that my flight leaves in 2 hours. Dragging a dually and a split roller through the maze is entertaining but I’m starting to stress as the clock ticks away. Once checked in I cut the line for the baggage screening and shove the gear into the inspection area with negative time on the clock. KLM whisks me through the security checkpoint and in a blink I’m seated in 22d bound for Amsterdam.

8 hours spent sharing a row of four seats with a 20 year old marine heading back to Iraq offered up little insight into the war on terror as this jughead left little wonder why he was a grunt in the desert. Free 25cl Heineken’s were keeping him entertained and allowed me to get some needed rest. Arriving in the Netherlands I was hoping to fire up the cell phone 1 2 3 as T-mobile had told me days before it was not an issue. Wrong. Whatever, I seek out coffee and find just what I need at the gate for my connection to Lyon. I order up a double espresso and balk at the bill when some Dutch dude acting French tries to stick me for 2 doubles. I guess he’s not used to Americans that can count and after some heated debate regarding his mother he coughs up the right change.

1/18/04 10:30 CET

The flight to Lyon goes according to plan and with 6 hours to kill until my bus to Grenoble @ 16:30 all I have to do is collect my luggage and find a corner to catch some Z’s in.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8721DFF24F5711D8.jpg

Luggage streams onto the conveyer and passenger after passenger grabs bags and goes on with their lives. When no more bags are coming out I realize there’s a problem. I find the French chick in charge of KLM baggage services and we begin the dance. After a bit of linguistic sparring we find a common ground and she starts filling out the forms. Seeing as how the baggage tags have bar codes you’d think that KLM would be able to figure out what airport my baggage was last scanned at. Nope.

The next flight from Amsterdam arrives at 16:00 and so I wandered the airport seeking someplace to curl up and snooze away a few hours. One thing you quickly learn in Lyon is that French public restrooms are perhaps the nastiest places on the face of the earth. Couple this with an extraordinary number of third world middle eastern immigrants moving through Lyon (any disbelief as to what side of the war on terror the French are on is quickly put to rest here) and it would seem that the vast majority of toilet users are squatting near the can rather than on it. I chose to clench the sphincter rather than risk the maneuver and the unavoidable contact with biological agents unknown.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8721F24C4F5711D8.jpg

At 16:00 I return to the baggage claim area hoping my gear made it on the next flight. No dice. I ask the KLM chick what the deal is and she says KLM has no idea where my bags are and that they will call me as soon as they do. Great, except I don’t have a phone that is working and only sort of know what the place we are staying at is called. I give her Roo’s cel number and something close to the “Chalets de la Mieje” in La Grave (which she had never heard of) as an address and head for the bus to Grenoble.

Pulling into the Grenoble bus / train depot around 18:00 it’s dark, cold, raining and half of France is trying to catch a train back to wherever from their weekend skiing at Alp Duez. I wander toward the ticket window and try to find out when the bus to La Grave is leaving. “NO BUS TO LA GRAVE! Go find hotel.” Was all that was said before moving on to the next person in line. Some quick recco work reveals that the pass just beyond La Grave is closed so the French refuse to run the route at all, brilliant.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872291834F5711D8.jpg

I scramble to try and find a working pay phone (tougher than it sounds) and pray that the credit card calls go through. I ring Roo and Brownmonkey, and feeling pity on this euro jong they offer to drive the 90 minutes to come and fetch me. I also ring my folks back home and inspire my dad to call T-mobile and get my phone working, which he does (right on Dad!) and the first positive thing to happen in hours is celebrated with more espresso and a pack of Camel lights which were most delightful for this non-smoker to indulge in.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872314744F5711D8.jpg

Roo and Monkey arrive in a spiffy Opel and we are off to La Grave, but not before a stop at McD’s. Fuck the French and all the crap they spout about American cuisine, those bastards love that happy meal shit as much as anyone. A royale with cheese and some pomme frittes later we are rolling uphill on roads traversed by the gods of the Tour De France.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87235DFD4F5711D8.jpg

I am frazzled but glad to be outside of an airport or station for the first time in 36 hours. We roll into town and head toward the glow of the chalet to find Ripzalot and a curious looking fellow in turquoise camo and a funny hat sitting at the table hovering over a laptop…

To be continued

Schmear
01-25-2004, 11:32 AM
Favorite caption: "Roo getting some goat cock."

Nice photos.

The AD
01-25-2004, 02:01 PM
Excellent! I like your flair for the self-portrait, truth!

Some damn fine scenic shots.

edg
01-25-2004, 02:19 PM
Nice Pics :)

edg

truth
01-25-2004, 03:08 PM
Words added. Thanks, but the scenery makes taking pics easy.

xboat
01-25-2004, 09:11 PM
sweeet!

Ripzalot
01-26-2004, 02:37 AM
nice write-up, dude! :D

next mini we'll have you fly into a civilized country like switzerland and avoid the nastiness of the french. geneva has some pretty nice bathrooms. you can even get crazy and allow skin contact if you like. but if you think france is nasty, you need to book an italian trip sometime for a reality check! :eek:

damn, you had enough aches and pains for a whole season! heal up quick. you'll need it for the next mini. ;)

i'm stoked on la grave now. everything else looks short and dumb! :rolleyes:

great to meet and ski with you!

-jay, token snowboarder JONG :p

bad_roo
01-26-2004, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by truth
We roll into town and head toward the glow of the chalet to find Ripzalot and a curious looking fellow in turquoise camo and a funny hat sitting at the table hovering over a laptop…


"This lady is perhaps not so hot. She is an older lady. A German. But, well, you know..."

BLONDIN RULES.

truth
01-26-2004, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by bad_roo
"This lady is perhaps not so hot. She is an older lady. A German. But, well, you know..."

BLONDIN RULES.

Hey, no jumping ahead in my TR you English bastard!

bad_roo
01-26-2004, 08:01 AM
Heh - couldn't resist sliding that one in there.

Truth - you've either received some outrageous good fortune or are due some because having no bags, getting your bus cancelled, missing the biggest bluebird pow day of the season and then taking that unscheduled ride has to generate some positive karma points somewhere. ;)

truth
01-26-2004, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by bad_roo
Heh - couldn't resist sliding that one in there.

Truth - you've either received some outrageous good fortune or are due some because having no bags, getting your bus cancelled, missing the biggest bluebird pow day of the season and then taking that unscheduled ride has to generate some positive karma points somewhere. ;)

Karma my ass you story thieving bogey!;) I figure I was paying for bad things done. I'm just glad I'm still breathing if that's the case.

truth
01-26-2004, 02:16 PM
http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87236CAE4F5711D8.jpg

Despite our best efforts to front like hardcore super extremo mountian dudes our vast T-shirt collection was no match for the sharp witted nature tour guide who pegged us for snowshoing clients of the first degree. Ripzalot had been bamboozeled into opening the chalet door and a 2 hour laptop slideshow sales pitch by a very lonely "Paris meets Grizzly Adams" charachter was underway when we arrived. Accodring to Blondin, the man in the turquiose camo and funny hat; Chamois, Ibex, Marmot, Squirel and German Cougars abound in the mountains surrounding La Grave and a day long tour was the crowning jewel in any trip.

"This lady is perhaps not so hot. She is an older lady. A German. But, well, you know..." - Blondin describing one of the 5000 pics we were shown.


Having reached my wits limited end I headed for a long soak in the bath as quickly as possible so as to avoid any sort of international incident I might have been capable of in my hyper cynical state of mind. (see the Iceman cometh thread for my track record;) ) After an hour in the bath I emerged to find the slide show just winding down as the Euro maggots politely deffered their comittment to a tour to a later date. That duty would fall on my broad shoulders a few nights later when Blondin walked into the chalet unannounced as I emergred from the loo trailing a natural and earthy scent that only a diet of beer, cheese, advil and cereal can create. It proved usefull in assuring his rapid departure.


http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8726DEDE4F5711D8.jpg

1/19/04 08:00

After a much needed horizantal rest I woke to what can only be termed a bittersweet scene.

Views from the chalet
http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872384044F5711D8.jpg
http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8723E3274F5711D8.jpg
http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8724B8864F5711D8.jpg

The storm had finally broken, the mountain would be open to 3400m, the skies would be bluebird and over 50cm of untouched pristine icecold smoke would be up for grabs. The stoke level was rising and I had no gear. I was benched. Left to fight it out with the ever so helpful KLM representatives in Lyon.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8723F11A4F5711D8.jpg

As the crew left for what was to be the best day in recent years in La Grave (Brownmonkeys pics will attest to this as did almost every local) I settled in to find my gear. Running up a masive cell phone bill I can't wait to see next month I managed to find the KLM baggage claim rep in Amsterdam. Polite requests having failied miserably I resorted to the "ugly American" tactic and within hours my bags were on the way to La Grave. Woot woot! It was time to get out and see the sights of this 500 year old village nestled in the deepest crags of the Alps.


http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87246A364F5711D8.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872478464F5711D8.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8724833B4F5711D8.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872498914F5711D8.jpg

Not so bad, this place is magical in every aspect. For a skier it is the realization of life long dreams to touch the very soul of the sport that has transformed my life. I recalled my first crush with the sport, sitting in history class in 8th grade, never having skied, perusing the trail map a classmate had brought back from a spring break trip to Breck. I was hooked. It brought me to Durango and the best 6 years of college anyone could ever dream of, it brought me to LCC and a mentor named Mark Riley, to the Kootenay's, to the maggots, and now to La Grave.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8724AE094F5711D8.jpg

Sitting in a postcard setting, sipping espresso and rejoicing in the knowledge that my new friends were having the day of all days 6500 feet above me I was happy. Totally and truely happy.

http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2585.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87253D984F5711D8.jpg

Hell, my gear even found it's way to me. Tommorrow I would rip the shit out of something...


To be continued

bad_roo
01-26-2004, 02:33 PM
FKNA! You nailed it regarding the feel and soul of La Grave.

gincognito
01-26-2004, 03:03 PM
bad_roo and truth: two of our best trip reporters serving the La Grave stoke. All's we have to do is sit back and soak it up. Bring it on, boys.

Sick and ashamed and happy (and full props to truth for hopping the pond),
d.

tonghands
01-26-2004, 03:14 PM
Me no likey work now. Kick azz TR.

Odin
01-26-2004, 03:17 PM
Please sir, can I have some more?

Spamhelmet
01-26-2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by gincognito
bad_roo and truth: two of our best trip reporters serving the La Grave stoke. All's we have to do is sit back and soak it up. Bring it on, boys.

Sick and ashamed and happy (and full props to truth for hopping the pond),
d.

well, you dont include Sir Ripzalot because he is from this side of the bay or...?

Karl Stall
01-26-2004, 03:38 PM
That is phenomenal, Truth. Your words truly give the pictures life - one of the coolest trip reports I've read. Thank you for your efforts.


P.S. - I would never be that patient - I woulda lost my mind. Wait, I did have a similarly frustrating experience once in Valdez although it was caused by different circumstances.

truth
01-26-2004, 04:32 PM
KS...to be honest it was tough. The time period starting when my bags did not come on that 4:00 flight to when they showed up at the chalet was one of deep introspection. I feel I rose to the occaision and am quite proud of the way I allowed things to sort themsleves out. Sitting at the Grenoble depot with no gear, no phone and no ride to La Grave was a pretty low moment. I really questioned the decision to make the journey until I accepted the idea that the journey is what it is all about. After that it was like bring it. I have cash, credit cards and a plane ticket home in a week. I was not afraid and began to enjoy the process for what it was. This pic outside the Grenoble train station is one of my favorites as it really represents my turning the corner and finding the beauty in a really crappy situation. The lows define the highs and the peaks and valleys, much like the alps, were extreme.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872306194F5711D8.jpg

AH
01-26-2004, 04:34 PM
I really questioned the decision to make the journey until I accepted that the journey is what it is all about. After that it was like bring it. I have cash, credit cards and a plane ticket home in a week.

CaddyDaddy77
01-26-2004, 04:37 PM
Amazing, as mentioned more please. Way to keep your head up, travel isn't always a to b, there's a flow, whether you resist it or ride with it makes all the difference.
Great photos.:D

truth
01-27-2004, 01:40 AM
1/20/04 - 08:00

The crew was itching to repeat yesterday's epic conditions and in their view La Grave had been shralped. Combine this with clouds down to 1800m and the vast open expanses of La Grave would be skiing by braille. It was decided that Serre Chev would be a good bet as it's known for it's tree skiing. Lagging a few days behind I struggled to get my gear sorted and ready for departure as the euro mags were dialed into the rhythm and I was holding up the show. Rushing to get in the game fate was about tom throw another curve ball my way.

As I headed for the car arms full of gear the double black metal staircase leading down from the main lodge building to the road reached out and bit me in the ass, literally. I lost my footing and with a series of thuds dropped the staircase bouncing of my left hip again and again. It hurt, but I sprang up and onward glad that my digicam that was in my hand was unscathed. We crammed four of us into the Opel with the 60/40 rear split folded down to fit the stix. Ripzalot and myself got cozy in the back seat for the 90 minute drive over the Col.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87254B8C4F5711D8.jpg

At 6'1" 200# I'm but a phUnkdoll in comparison to Sir Rip. He's got me by 4" and 40# easy and after the torment of travel and my not so pillow drop down the steps my spine was growing less and less happy with me by the moment.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8725974A4F5711D8.jpg

Arriving at Serre Chevalier (http://www.ot-serrechevalier.fr/hiver/pistes/Images/plan2003a.jpg) we are greeted by clearing skies, much warmer air, and a breeze that would grow to gail force above tree line. After a gondola, a chair and a poma we arrive up top to find the mountain scoured of snow. Winds were moving every last crystal uphill and into the next valley and everything off piste was over the bars endo slab. The bounty that was harvested the day before was but a distant memory, and angst toward KLM simmered in the back of my mind.

To make matters worse the tumble and resulting hits to my hip were starting to render my left leg useless and my ability to pressure the ski with that leg was rapidly fading into a searing pain that shot from my ankle up into my back. After a paltry 4 runs and a leisurely lunch at a mid-station that featured a cd of Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson singing duets, I was done. I bid the crew farewell, tucked my tail between my legs and headed for the Opel. The boys found some fun billy goat action in a lift shot in the trees out of the wind and I nursed my wounds with a few beers soaking in the sun on the valley floor.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8725AE464F5711D8.jpg

Returning to La Grave we hit the chalet as Roo had a date witha special sausage he'd been working up the courage to get at. Affectionately named the "goat cock" Roo took great delight in circumcising the beast .

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-87262D294F5711D8.jpg

Roo's cel rang and we hooked up with Mulletizer and Glissuer at the "Swede Bar" where Glissuer is the bartender du jour and maggot pricing was in full effect. After some much needed libations we made our way to a pizzeria operated by a jovial fatman that served you what he thought you should eat rather than what you might have ordered. My hip was not getting much better with stretching and Advil and it weighed on my psyche. Returning to the bar we made plans for a tour of La Grave under the guidance of Mulletizer and Glissuer and headed back to the chalet for some much needed rest, ice and Lortabs. I needed to make a miracle recovery as my date with La Meije was only hours away.

To be continued

FLEX
01-27-2004, 02:09 AM
Good stuff....(your story , not the goat cock)............................

More please.........

gincognito
01-27-2004, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by Spamhelmet
well, you dont include Sir Ripzalot because he is from this side of the bay or...?

Oops. Sorry, my bad.

Sick and ashamed and happy (and just a little more accustomed to the former two),
d.

truth
01-27-2004, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by gincognito
Oops. Sorry, my bad.

Sick and ashamed and happy (and just a little more accustomed to the former two),
d.


Don't worry about it, he lives in Switzerland. What's he gonna do, threaten you with a pocket knife?

bad_roo
01-27-2004, 09:47 AM
Wait, wait, wait! Aren't the Swiss the most heavily armed nation on earth? I hear they're challenging the USA to a naval battle on Lake Geneva using a converted pedalo.

truth
01-27-2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by bad_roo
Wait, wait, wait! Aren't the Swiss the most heavily armed nation on earth? I hear they're challenging the USA to a naval battle on Lake Geneva using a converted pedalo.


No no, that was a problem in the translation from the secret morse code message. It's nothing more than friendly submarine racing on the lake. It's a huge spectator sport in Switzerland. Though sources are saying that it is just a ploy to sell more pocket dive knives.

gincognito
01-27-2004, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by bad_roo
Wait, wait, wait! Aren't the Swiss the most heavily armed nation on earth?

Damn right we are. I mean, they are. Not me. Nope. They don't employ overseas spies. Nope. No plans for world domination for them. Nope.

Really.

Ahem.

Good chocolate though.

Sick and ashamed and happy (and the cheese ain't bad either),
d.

frozenwater
01-28-2004, 10:47 AM
bump for the promised "to be continued..."

truth
01-28-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by frozenwater
bump for the promised "to be continued..."

Waiting on some pics to do it justice. Should knock it out tonight with some helmet cam video to boot.

brownmonkey
01-28-2004, 01:46 PM
Just a quick pic - Roo following Ripzalot down under La Meije in some schweeet powder - more to follow, I promise

http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2585.jpg

Odin
01-28-2004, 01:49 PM
This is all just a big TEASE!

brownmonkey
01-28-2004, 02:03 PM
Bad_roo demonstrates that man can fly...
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2599.jpg

Roo hucks a boulder just underneath the 'Beef Curtains' chair in Serre.
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2608.jpg

Truth gets out of his perpetual sick bed/baggage hell/wreck of a corpse to actually ski with me on the mountain. Not too many pics of truth, so it's good to see that he looks pretty loose & relaxed in the ones I did get ;) Of course I haven't posted the one of him trudging down the hill to retrieve his skis... :D
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2611a.jpg

brownmonkey
01-28-2004, 02:28 PM
From the La Meije side - the obigatory shot of the pulsed telecabine thingy.
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2620.jpg

This is a face on view of the La Bannane Couloir - if you look, you can see a couple of skiers making their descent
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2624.jpg

Truth shows me how skiing in the woodwork is really done. Even with this exclusive one on one coaching, I still couldn't get it - you're supposed to ski around the trees?
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2628.jpg

bad_roo
01-28-2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by brownmonkey
This is a face on view of the La Bannane Couloir - if you look, you can see a couple of skiers making their descent
http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2624.jpg


If you don't look, however, they're not so easy to make out.

truth
01-28-2004, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by brownmonkey


Truth shows me how skiing in the woodwork is really done. Even with this exclusive one on one coaching, I still couldn't get it - you're supposed to ski around the trees?



Now that was funny...I was teaching nothing at that point, just glad to be able to ski off under my own power.

truth
01-28-2004, 09:33 PM
1/21/04 - 08:30

Pain. Mind numbing immobilizing pain. My left hip and the muscles that surround, wrap, bisect, traverse it were screaming in spasm as I tried to put on a game face to meet La Grave for the first time. Knowing that Glissuer and Mulletizer were hatching a plan to show off the goods only added to my dilema as the pressure of a ripping crew and the unknown always do. For the second time in less than a month I knew I was in over my head and visions of my gaperdom at Alta denied me breakfast. Boarding the gondy I knew I was in trouble and by the time we unloaded and reloaded at the mid station my worst fears were coming true. crammed in the car everything tightened up and the act of standing up straight was in and of itself difficult work.

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/Bubble.jpg

Emerging into the bluebird at 3250m I followed Glissuer into the maw of La Meije. Within 2 turns he was 300m below me and a turn later I saw nothing but the contrails of the crew as I made tentative first turns. The snow was good carveable windbuff and the next 500m were spent chasing after the vanishing dot of Glissuer ignoring the issues every right turn presented. All to soon the joy was gone and it was survival skiing to get to the mid station.

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/Truth.jpg

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/MulletizerBeacon.jpg

After a beacon drill and an hour of coffee inside the refuge I called it a day and downloaded back to town for some ice and a bath. Bummin' that the body was not willing I did whatever I could to help ease the tension in my left side. A few hours and too many dollars spent on the phone with my better half later the call comes in from the crew. They had scored the Freaux Cooli and needed a lift back to town. After a struggle with the funky reverese gear engagement of the Opel I got is out of the drift it was parked in and made my way down the road a few clicks to the pick up.

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/Freaux.jpg

Returning once again to the friendly confines of the "Swede" bar we enjoyed the truly unique atmosphere as regulars rather than strangers. Imagine a good friends basement where you can stash your ski gear and buy a beer while watching ski porn and swapping tales with a rag tag crew of international maggots. It's a good thing.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872690D54F5711D8.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-872702284F5711D8.jpg

The day had taken it's toll. La Grave was all but hammered by sun, wind and ripping skiers. Ripzalot was bailing town as soon as he could get his car out of the drift it was parked in and Roo and Monkey were planning to drive to Alp Duez in search of gapers to terrorize. When Mulletizer confessed he had tweaked his ankle I knew I'd be skiing La Grave alone the next day.


To be continued

truth
01-28-2004, 10:32 PM
1/22/04 - 09:30

The chalet was silent as I took my sweet time with a long bath, a longer stretching session and some much needed mental regrouping. Mulletizer poked his head in and confirmed that he would not be skiing with me as he had socred alpine gear to help shuttle booze to a refuge 2000m up the mountian for a birthday bash later in the week. I geared up and assembled the helmet cam, a tricky and convoluted tangle of wires, cameras and battery packs. The body was feeling better but if I was not in La Grave I would not have ventured out.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/DSCN0115_1.jpg

In the gondy I ended up crammed in with a group of 4 40 something expat Americans and a dog. As the last one squeezed in the door jammed open and would remain so for the remainder of the ride to 3250m. Images of this pooch leaping to it's doom raced through my mind as we hovered 100m off the deck. Irony set in as I eavesdropped on the conversation. The women were bitching about a guy named Doug who was unsure if he should get off the mountain the day before to go join Emily who was in labor in a hospital in Grenoble. Word was they had the baby and Doug was in attendance.

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/Peak.jpg

Exiting at the top station I made the final preps to the helmet cam rig and pondered my options. I've skied alone at Jackson, Alta/Bird, Wolf Creek, T-ride etc, but nothing had prepared me for what spread out before my eyes. I had taken exactly one run from this spot following 9 seasons of collective experience and not paying much heed as to where I was. Having no idea where to go I chose the sunny side of La Grave and headed into the Chancel without a clue.

http://www.la-grave.com/images/visuelles/157ko.jpg

What followed was sublime. Staying close to the beaten path I found face after face of luscious crud basking in the sun. My body was working for the first time in days and I began to put my new B3's through the paces arcing faster and faster GS then super G turns across the endless canvass that only the Alps can provide. At each rollover or traverse I would bask in the sun, the view and the magic these mountains contain and then push on, further into the unkown.

http://la-grave.com/concoursphoto/reelle/fontaine/4.jpg

An hour later I was 2200m below strapping my skis to my pack and hiking the 100m back up to town. I missed the easy exit and followed a back alley path that spat me out onto main street about a mile from the chalet. Strolling though town in boots with skis strapped to my pack I reveled in what was the most enjoyable decent of my life. It was not extreme in angle or exposure nor was it pioneering for anyone but myself. I had come halfway around the world to find the heart and soul of skiing and in this hour of solitude I had found it. Life is beautiful. Returning to the chalet it was time for a well earned beer. I was on a high and not even the 32 minutes of black silence recorded by the helmet cam could phase me.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8726EC1C4F5711D8.jpg

Again we ventured out to the bar and for pizza and back to the bar, rejoicing in the aura of La Grave.

http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8726F77A4F5711D8.jpg

The trip was rapidly coming to an end and the realization was not a pleasant one at all. I needed more time, but that was just not in the cards. Hopefully the helmet cam and the light would co-operate tomorrow.

To be continued...one more time

Mulletizer
01-29-2004, 02:20 AM
Doood, you rock! Who are your spancers? :)

Awesome stuff. Putting a big smile on my face. Am really looking forward to the next time I ski with you guys and - after this - any other maggots.

bad_roo
01-29-2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Mulletizer
Doood, you rock! Who are your spancers? :)


http://www.healthellas.co.uk/_Database/ImgUploads/advil.jpg

truth
01-29-2004, 01:35 PM
more like...


http://www.prescription-drug-rehab.com/images/hydrocodone.jpg

Oslo T. Norway
01-29-2004, 01:52 PM
So, The Coombs had a boy or girl?

CaddyDaddy77
01-29-2004, 01:58 PM
Awesome, great TR. Makes me think I'm saving money (barely) for all the wrong things.:(

Please tell me you attempted some sweet-talk on the two girls at the bar??

brownmonkey
01-29-2004, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by CaddyDaddy77
Please tell me you attempted some sweet-talk on the two girls at the bar??

Sweet talk? Hell - we took them to dinner!

...and, they paid :D

truth
01-31-2004, 08:41 AM
1/23/04 - 10:00

Brownmonkey and I head up the hill for some final turns.

http://www.brownmonkey.com/snow/images/LaGrave2004/IMG_2611a.jpg


Words no longer matter, I'll let these vids do the talking.


Download Vids Here! (http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/FileSharing20.html)

Wreck Carnage here as well...seems to be working. (http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/Vids/iMovieTheater21.html)

bad_roo
01-31-2004, 08:57 AM
I love wreckage! In the meantime here's a few shots I found on the camera...

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/MonkeySerres.jpg
brownmonkey on the windswept pistes of Serre Chevalier

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/mirror.jpg
reflections on a beautiful inversion below Alpe d'huez

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/flophouse.jpg
the flophouse for the next La Grave trip? ;)

http://www.badroo.alivewww.co.uk/LaGrave04/cliffhuck.jpg
check out that for a cliff huck above the roof of the Vectra. That's definitely more than a 50 footer.


Jeez from your wreck footage it looks as if you stick the nut on your ski as you augur in! :eek:

truth
01-31-2004, 09:28 AM
One more coming if I can find the server space...

Crinkle
01-31-2004, 09:43 AM
That is some good shit. Makes the wanderlust of travel come back into the picture. That much more amazing cause it also involved skiing and travel. Great TR, pics, and footy. Speachless.

truth
01-31-2004, 09:49 AM
Thanks...took the big one down...uploading a better version. Also just allocated more server space so a second run will appear later today.


Edit...It appears .mac accounts don't like large movie files, if anyone wants to host a few hunderd MB for me that'd be sweet!;) Until then you'll have to download them from my public server folder.

truth
01-31-2004, 12:09 PM
Allright...vids are up here. (http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/FileSharing20.html) let me know if there are any issues.

bad_roo
01-31-2004, 01:06 PM
I get to the bit where brownmonkey lifts his skis out of the gondy and then it crashes the Quicktime player. Same place every time. Picture looks really good up to that point.

truth
01-31-2004, 01:20 PM
No clue...works fine on my mac and is fubar on the PC. I'll try to fix it later. Did you "save as" when you downloaded it?


What's really odd is that if you manually fastforward with the slider past the "crash point" it play fine.

Odin
01-31-2004, 01:29 PM
No go on the vid for me as well. I did a save target as. What I did see was very nice though.

truth
01-31-2004, 01:30 PM
It's something at the 5-6 second mark...slide the cue past it before it crashes and it plays fine. No idea why it's doing this.

Odin
01-31-2004, 01:31 PM
I tired your manual thing and it worked fine. I kept waiting for NFL films Voiceover on the slow mo crash scenes.

Blurred Elevens
01-31-2004, 01:37 PM
Awesome TR, awesome pics, incredible writing and detail of the place. I also like how you explained how you found La Grave to embrace the soul of skiing......very cool stuff dude. Makes me want to go!! Good work! (I too am wondering about those blondes in the bar...:) )

Mulletizer
01-31-2004, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Blurred Elevens
I too am wondering about those blondes in the bar...:)

Both Swedish. Both blonde. Both taken, both by great guys. Sorry. :)

gonzo
01-31-2004, 02:37 PM
sick wreck vid! looks like you nearly ate your knee...

solid helmet cam - that think took it hard!

truth
01-31-2004, 11:10 PM
Allright, I think I fixed the vids so they should play without issue.

Right click and save as or open in new window from the .mac idisk shared folder. (http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/FileSharing20.html)

Mulletizer
02-01-2004, 05:19 AM
Man, that crash segment is even better than I remember. When I have finished downloading the Milfhunter back-catalogue on Kazaa I'll get the big one too. :D

Brownmonkey - how's the video footage you've got coming on? Looking forward to it... :)

splat
02-01-2004, 09:17 AM
Thanx, guys. Killer TR. I'm gonna try to make it over there. I'm out now.

truth
03-18-2004, 04:39 PM
Bump for summit 2005 stoke.

mr_gyptian
03-18-2004, 05:36 PM
not in Chicago much lately??

Dexter Rutecki
03-18-2004, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by truth
http://homepage.mac.com/hakcds/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2004-01-25%2009.16.54%20-0800/Image-8724AE094F5711D8.jpg


I sat right there, five years ago, after skiing some of the hairiest stuff I've ever skied in a week that gave us over 5 feet of snow. Damn, those pictures are killing me right about now.
Every year I hope I'll get back there, and so far, every year I don't.

Mulletizer
03-19-2004, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by Dexter Rutecki
Every year I hope I'll get back there, and so far, every year I don't.

I suggest final week of January 2005. :)

bad_roo
03-19-2004, 04:54 AM
I'd certainly be up for that.

truth
03-19-2004, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by mr_gyptian
not in Chicago much lately??

Yeah...been a traveling fool this winter. Good times and money well spent.

Ripzalot
03-19-2004, 12:38 PM
trip out seeing this trip report pop up again. just today i booked a week+ in la grave for april. :D hope there is some snow left. :( but if all else fails i'll hook up with blondin and take pics of fat older german women. :eek:

btw, there's a nice la grave vid on the biglines main page!

truth
05-04-2004, 01:24 PM
^

Ripzalot
05-04-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by truth
^

Mem’ries,
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were ....

Superstar Punani
07-13-2004, 02:02 AM
^

Glisseur
07-13-2004, 08:09 AM
Gaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, cmon guys, stop torturing me will ya! Just realized where my heart and soul lies after seeing these pics all over again. My favorite café, my favorite village, my favorite mountain, not my favorite bar any longer (but the bartender looks like a nice guy ;) ), you even got a pic of my favorite girl there.

I should be able to be there by late January, got a bed Mulletizer? :D

Mulletizer
07-13-2004, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by Glisseur
I should be able to be there by late January, got a bed Mulletizer? :D

Should do, as long as Madame F doesn't pull any funnies. :D

truth
07-20-2004, 02:00 PM
92 degrees relief bump

Telepath
07-20-2004, 03:17 PM
Boink. Cuz this one is actually skiing related.

bad_roo
07-20-2004, 03:28 PM
A monster shot of Couloir Banane. How high can you start straightlining? ;)

https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/banane.jpg

bad_roo
07-20-2004, 03:54 PM
https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/ripzvallons.jpg

Ripzalot finding ample pow on the left flank of Vallons de la Meije

bad_roo
07-20-2004, 03:58 PM
https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/rooripz.jpg
Roo and Ripz

bad_roo
07-20-2004, 04:06 PM
https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/ploughing.jpg

Ploughing some trails near the moraine

bad_roo
07-20-2004, 04:21 PM
Denis - in answer to your question, it really depends on whether you prefer skiing hills or mountains. Compare and contrast. ;)

https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/hill.jpg

https://www.tetongravity.com/usergalleries/albums/userpics/10319/mountain.jpg

Glisseur
07-20-2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by bad_roo
A monster shot of Couloir Banane. How high can you start straightlining? ;)
From zee top of course :D

verbier61
07-21-2004, 03:14 AM
so you've a banane also at la grave. How does it compare with the mt'gele-tortin's banane? from the pic looks longer in LG.....:D

Hicks
07-21-2004, 06:24 AM
You hogs!:D

gincognito
07-21-2004, 02:03 PM
So, _roo: you tryin' to break me up from my girlfriend and alienate me from my friends and family?

Cause you're halfway there....;)

Sick and ashamed and happy (and I guess that makes me halfway there, too),
d.

truth
08-02-2005, 09:02 PM
Why the fvck not.

Dromond
09-11-2005, 03:54 PM
This thread rocks my world. I must have read through it 4 times by now. It just makes you dream.

ulty_guy
09-12-2005, 07:23 AM
btw, if anyone has gotten the october powder yet, i'm pretty sure the opening pic in the euro-trip article is the banane (as well as another one next to all the logistics).

Ripzalot
09-12-2005, 11:15 AM
crap. now you got me jonesin' again.

truth
03-02-2007, 04:35 PM
pics are back online...here (http://truth.smugmug.com/gallery/2533408#133129547)

The_Hobbit
10-14-2007, 05:38 PM
Why are all the links broken? And truth's Smugmug link broken too?

Not quite Hall of Fame worthy without pics....

truth
10-14-2007, 05:52 PM
Why are all the links broken? And truth's Smugmug link broken too?

Not quite Hall of Fame worthy without pics....


And who the fuck are you?

The_Hobbit
10-25-2007, 03:25 PM
If you would stop cunting up your own threads by deleting pics, I can return the favor.

Pay your fucking web utility bills or use something FREE - but you are way too cool for school for that.