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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620

    My year in France

    In August, packed 250 lbs of gear, with my wife and two kids and moved to the French Pyrénées, luz Saint sauveur exactly.

    Mountain biked a lot. Which is long periods of meh trails, interspersed with steep switchbacks with crazy exposure.

    Spent two weeks in October in Romania, with the obligatory visit to the Bran castle.

    Sibiu Was beautiful.

    Anyway, last week it started to snow, and now we have 150 cm base and snow forecasted for the next 10 days.

    My first ski day today.

    Visibility sucked, but at least i got two hours of uphill.

    Lots of couloirs that I'm going to start skiing soon.

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    21,592
    Super cool! How old are your kids? Where did you come from and how did you manage this year sabbatical?
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    They are 7 and 10. I live in squaw.

    We want then to learn French and get the benefits of a French and US education.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Down by the river, Terrace, BC
    Posts
    3,098
    Tres bon! Sounds like great adventure for your whole fam. Nicely done!
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,340
    Cool, are the better mtb trails on the Spain side or just not in your area? People seem to claim there are good ones in those mountains.

    Would love to do a sabbatical with the family, I want kids to learn German, but wife wants Spanish, so Spain or south america might be my options.

    Interested to see what you find for skiing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Mtb trails are good, it's just that most were originally for walking, so the switchbacks are really tight.

    If you like hiking, the ski resort near me, bareges la mongie is the best I've ever been to.
    Counted 80+ couloirs in the ressort, most with a 10-60 minute approach, steep.

    And nobody skis them.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Keeps on snowing in the Pyrénées.
    Went today for a skin, skied familiar terrain in low visibility.

    We have well over a meter of snow, so I'm going to start exploring couloirs soon.

    Worried about stability, so tomorrow time to do some snow pits.

    Pretty stoked to be skiing so early.

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    743
    Subscribed. Keep the pics coming!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Romania, London, Pyrenees

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,589
    +++
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Skied a couloir on bedera in powder!

    Dug a pit, 120 cm to ground, pretty stable.

    By the time i got to the top, it started to snow. Visibility was good in the couloir, but when i got past the apron i entered the white room.

    2,500 vertical feet of disorienting, no idea where i was, skiing.

    I can see how people get lost.

    I knew to area, and i still had a hard time orienting myself.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,589
    La Mongie ?
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    La Mongie ?
    Yes

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    This morning at 7-30

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,589
    Have you skied off the observatory? That looks so rad.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Have you skied off the observatory? That looks so rad.
    Not yet. But there are a number of couloirs on pic du midi, ne, n and nw facing and they are on my list this year.

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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    On the list, couloir in the middle, barely visible.

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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Second fail on the Ourdegon couloir.

    Started early, good cold powder everywhere.

    Then after 3 hours, i see the couloir, and it's full of avalanche débris.

    But, like i learned from Jimmy Chin, "we go until it makes no sense to go any farther"

    So, skinning thru breakable crust, then booting up thru frozen debris, until i could see that i would have to ski almost the entire couloir in frozen chunky snow.

    So it didn't make sense to go any farther.

    This couloir is cursed. In the spring there is a runnel that makes very difficult to ski.

    Powder would be ideal, but it has to be followed by a cold, cloudy day, so the rock walls do not shed the snow in the couloir... Like it did yesterday.

    In the second photo you can see a nasty slide, all the way to the grassy ground.

    I would really really like to ski this couloir before my 71 st birthday.

    We'll see.

    Burly day though, almost 8 hours car to car

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,589
    props d00d, looks sweet.
    baste your domage in le fromage.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    260
    This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    No longer Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    1,329
    Excellent dude! I'm looking forward to seeing updates as the season progresses.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Basalt
    Posts
    3,624
    +++
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    Skied this couloir this morning. In the sun, great snow. As soon as the shade hit, frozen chunks, not do good.

    I know that a photo taken from the bottom doesn't go out justice, but still... This is a 45 degree couloir, and it looks like a blue run from the bottom.

    And what a difference a day makes, from whiteout to sun.

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,620
    This ridge is one of my favorites. Before the resort opens, it's a 4,000 climb.
    After this weekend, a 1,000!
    Crete de la Touatere.
    It's the screen saver on my laptop.

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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,482

    My year in France

    new life goal unlocked!
    .....I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

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