Each year, La Clusaz holds a show to illustrate the history of skiing. This involves a torchlit descent by the local ski instructors who mingle with traditionally-dressed skiers to show how skis have changed over time. Free hot chocolate keeps the spectators warm and happy. Pictured above is some of the action, including a woman skiing in a long dress with one long pole to help her balance, and four ski instructors attached to one long ski (the two at the back fell off on the first attempt skiing downhill, much to the crowd’s excitement), and an early version of piste security, who pulled an ‘injured’ skier into their sledge without removing his skis — delighting the crowd once more.
Before the action really began, the dancers bounced around to three songs, then a fire fighters’ old water pump on a sledge was dragged into the lights. I wonder if it’s the same one that they use each Bastille Day in summer with the sledge bit removed.
After the dancing, the firefighters squirting cold water on the cold crowd trying to stay warm (who didn’t seem to mind), and the torchlit descent, the skiers and instructors did their things on different skis to show the progression of the sport from wooden planks to telemarking through to snowboarding and parabolic skis. Three local kids did some cool jumps off a big kicker and the ski instructors did some (mostly) less cool ones after. The fireworks signalled the end of the display.
I love watching stuff like this — local, historic, interesting and entertaining. And amazingly, all totally free.