A fete without the main attraction

<A plane flying over Lac des Confins, La Clusaz, France>
Pictured is one of the two planes that performed stunts at the Defi Foly in La Clusaz last weekend. After contestants slid down the snowy ramp and into the freezing Lac des Confins on Saturday, a group of us wheeled a BBQ up to Les Confins on Sunday to watch the finalists and the other entertainment.

<A dead portable toilet at Lac des Confins, La Clusaz, France>However, we were greeted by a relatively empty lake area, and this portable toilet, on its side, which had blown away at least 50 metres during a night of 150km/h winds. Its twin was out of sight. The competition wasn’t happening but music was still playing.

The pontoon end of the ramp, made of wood and covered with snow for the contestants to slide into, was another victim of the tempestuous weather, breaking overnight. No ramp meant no way for the contestants to transition from snow to water, so the competition was cancelled.

Contestants were refunded half of the €20 entrance fee. The announcer ensured the few spectators that the other entertainment would still go ahead. We decided to set up the BBQ since the sun was shining despite the forecast of rain. The wind helped get the coals ignited and people flocked as noon struck.

Normally, the entertainment involves acrobatic paragliding tricks and people in wing suits jumping out of helicopters. But this year, it was limited to a couple of pretty planes making a loveheart pattern in the sky and performing some impressive stunts. I’m not sure if the reduced entertainment was a result of the high winds or the money lost to refunding the contestants. Either way, the lack of rain and the end-of-season get-together of friends was enough to keep us entertained and happy all day.

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I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by wendyhollands.com, my other site.

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