This is a familiar sight outside bars and restaurants all over the Alps. Everyone piles their skis up against a wall or fence and someone accidentally knocks them all down. The guilty person usually scurries away hoping nobody has noticed, despite the huge clatter as the skis hit the deck. What I love about this photo is that someone came along after the skis fell and still leant some skis against the fence, unperturbed by the skis strewn between him/her and the fence.
I took this photo last week at the restaurant at the base of the La Balme ski area of La Clusaz. The restaurant is right next to a car park, making it easy for thieves to roll up in a car, load up the skis while the owners are too busy eating to notice, and drive off with thousands of euros-worth of skis and bindings. It’s just too easy. I’m not aware of any insurance policy that covers stolen skis unless they were locked up, which means if someone pilfers your skis, you’re left out of pocket. So, last year, just metres from this fence, somebody installed these great ski lockers that are free and simple to use. Each person’s electronic ski pass acts as the key for a lockable ski or snowboard slot, and only their pass will re-open the slot. The skis are in full view of prospective thieves, but they remain secure and safe. Let me say it again: it’s totally free to use!
It baffles me as to why people prefer to leave their skis against this fence, practically inviting nasty people to steal them, or at the very minimum knock them over as pictured, when the ski lockers remain mostly empty. If you come to this part of the French Alps, don’t forget to try them out.