Despite their selective amnesia about things such as military tactics, you have to give the French props for remembering how to enjoy their skiing. I’d like to visit this place! It sounds like they know how to design a resort.
What’s that have to do with backcountry skiing? Well, it reminds me that Chamonix, France is still there. It’s no secret that Chamonix is still THE ski alpinism epicenter. Check out this website to get started on a virtual tour.
Moving in a Teutonic direction, I got a kick out of the article about St. Anton (another center for ski alpinism). It’s politically incorrect to talk about, but the fact is that adventuresome alpine sports such as climbing and backcountry skiing are dominated by men. As a result, St. Anton life has become somewhat interesting. Check out this excerpt from the Times newspaper of London:
“By 8.45am, the cafe is packed with about 30 men, each methodically checking though a rucksack full of equipment, as if they belonged to some sort of special-forces unit. There are just three women in the room, one of whom is serving drinks.. just as a Swede to our right starts explaining that his avalanche probe is a metre longer than the average, an awed hush descends on the room. The cause? A German has trumped everyone by pulling out a metre-long snow saw, crafted from what looks like polished titanium…”
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.