When I was asked if I would like to do a reverse heli trip (something I would potentially be selling to clients), my initial thought was that I hadn’t had enough snowboarding experience to do anything like that. After being reassured that I was going to be with four instructors who (hopefully) knew what they were doing, I realised it was too good an opportunity to miss.
We took the Toviere bubble up the mountain and rode a short way down Tommeuses before hiking up the ridge line towards Mickey’s Ears. Looking down the first couloir, I was really nervous but knew there was only one way down.
Everyone was excited about the powder and making my first fresh tracks was an amazing feeling, as my nervous jelly legs eventually remembered how to link turns. We walked on to the Couloir de la Carriere and rode down through the trees to the half frozen Lac de Chevril, where the helicopter picked us up and dropped us in Val Claret.
I also had my first touring experience last week. After getting over the heavy and stiff feeling of my rented splitboard, I was really excited to get out beyond the lifts. My 5 minute tutorial in the rental shop on how to use the skins went out my head, but luckily I was with an experienced instructor who could help. We hiked to the Col de Palet and stopped at the refuge for a sandwich and crepe refuel. Having never really skied before, the most difficult part was sliding down slopes with two feet facing forward and poles in my hands.
I was also lucky enough to have a couple of lessons with our lovely snowboard instructors. Early on in the season James helped me to correct all my bad habits and I still ride with his tips in my head. I had been quite happy cruising around on my board all season, but at the same time knew I’d be rewarded by the feeling I would get from stepping outside my comfort zone. So I requested a freestyle lesson in order to stamp out my park fear. Rob guided me through the process of hitting a jump which really helped and gave me something to practise for my remaining weeks here. Trying these new things has been incredible and has given me some amazing memories (although- will continue to avoid button lifts for the rest of my snowboarding life).
Thank you Ultimate Snowsports for a fantastic 6 months.