The year of 2009 has so far been good, if not a little odd. For example, I saw this car wedged in some trees after it skidded off the road between La Clusaz and Saint Jean de Sixt, backwards. This happened in the afternoon when the roads in the Aravis were completely dry from sunshine all day. The car is from this area (the 74 in the number plate gives it away), as was the car in my front yard in La Clusaz one morning last year and the one in the creek opposite at 2am one morning. Maybe they’re just bad drivers here.
Meanwhile, in the La Clusaz snow park on Monday, I saw a snowblader land in a heap after trying a small kicker. He didn’t move in time and the next jumping blader then landed on his mate. They were then landed on by a third blader. Where is their common sense? Most of us check that a mate has landed safely and cleared the area before we take the jump. A kid barely old enough to be on skis somehow dropped off the huge red kicker in the park, much to the disgust of some La Clusaz team dude who was training teenagers how to do big tricks off it. Everyone had to wait while this kid zigzag-snowploughed down the landing zone, while his mother apologised profusely to the La Clusaz team dude who just shook his head.
Over in La Balme, the cool kids were trying out next year’s snowboard range. Their presence meant that bling came to La Clusaz. I missed the public testing day without realising, and was told I could not enter or try any boards. However, a ski technician friend was allowed in, so together, we shared inverted camber snowboards, double inverted camber snowboards, and a few other boards too. While I waited for him at the gate with my own snowboard, a man asked me if I liked my board. I said I wasn’t sure as I had just bought it off a friend, and he said “Oh, it’s just that I’m the head of Rome snowboards in France, so I always like to ask people if they like their Rome boards.” Actually, I wish I could now tell him that I do quite like the board.
At the end of the day when the testing in La Balme was over, the man at the gate let me in. However, my snowboard — a 2007/08 model – was not allowed. I had to leave it at the gate. Did he think I was planning on dumping it? What on earth was that about?
La Clusaz is now returning to normal with the bling snowboard tests over and this week’s bladers all too tired to keep going or injured from doing stupid things. This means I can write part two of the blog post on French bakeries very soon. Tasty.