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summitseeker

[TR] La Grave France Steep Skiing- 3/3/2006

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Climb: La Grave France Steep Skiing-

 

Date of Climb: 3/3/2006

 

Trip Report:

Just got back from an incredible week of steep skiing in La Grave, France. The place is phenomenal! There is a tram that climbs over 7,000 vertical feet, providing access to 100% backcountry terrain. There is no ski patrol, grooming, avalanche control, or the like. It's full-on ski mountaineering without all the work, as only the Alps can deliver. Had the incredible opportunity to ski with Doug Coombs, world renown extreme skier and totally cool dude. All in all a week I will never forget.

 

Trip report is here.

 

 

Gear Notes:

Skis, harness, rope, shovel, beacon, probe, guide, juevos grandes.

 

Approach Notes:

Plane to Lyon, France and buses to La Grave. Stay at La Chaumine hotel -- it's the best!

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Doug is Awesome! He is a super solid climber as well as one of the sickest big mountain skiers. If you have ever hiked with him...You would swear he was in his early 20's not in his 40's!

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Looks cool but where was the "steep" skiing? wave.gif

Not available at Skiers Lodge rolleyes.gifyelrotflmao.gif

 

looks like fun. still kicking myself I cancelled that trip....

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Sweet!

 

"There is no ski patrol, grooming, avalanche control, or the like."

 

Due, no doubt, to the fact that non-Americans seem to be able to take responsibility for themselves and don't hire a lawyer and try to sue someone(anyone) if they get into trouble.

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Hey Scott, sounds like a sweet time. I bet you tightened your bindings down for this trip, eh? wink.gif

Man, I have to check out La Grave before I check out for good.

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I bet you tightened your bindings down for this trip, eh? wink.gif

 

smile.gif Sure did! Had enough of that when I was out with you. It's quite a place, that's for sure. You'd go crazy there -- there is endless terrain to explore, not too mention launching off spots for tours and plenty of huts. I'm gonna head back again, that's for sure. I know the area pretty well now too.

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"There is no ski patrol, grooming, avalanche control, or the like."

 

I heard that this year alone there was 40 avalanch related deaths in France..any one else hear this

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That number doesn't mean much to me without knowing the sheer number of people frequenting that terrain.

 

It's similar to building a high-speed tram network into the North Cascades. There would be a hut perched on Mt. Fury.

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According to one avalanche site (csac.org), there have been 44 avalanche fatalities in France this season. hellno3d.gif

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Add another on 4/1 and then Doug Combs today and we're up to 46 for France. Damn, that just seems like an outrageously high number. frown.gif

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This is indeed a very,very sad day. frown.gif I've posted elsewhere, the following:

 

NO! That just can't be true. It can't be. What a fantastic guy. I just attended his steep skiing camp in March and had the unbelievable pleasure of skiing with him for a day. As I said in my post, it was a day I will never forget -- truly incredible. I was drinking beers with a friend of mine last night who was also at the camp and we were talking about how great a time we had in La Grave with Doug. Then, this morning, I hear this news. This is beyond sad. He was a totally cool, super enthusiastic, go for it guy. As one of the other guides said on the trip, "Doug has the enthusiasm and energy of a 12-year old." Every run, no matter how many times he had done it, was still new and exciting. His attitude towards life and love of the mountains and skiing, perhaps even more than his legendary skiing skill, was for me the thing that made the day so special.

 

La Grave is a very small place and a tight community. I am sure that folks over there are devastated, not too mention how his wife and baby boy must feel.

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Article about french sports minister's statement on the insane number of avy deaths this year in France. According to that article, 54.

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