Day 109: Planchettes
After the long ski yesterday I wanted again to return to practicing my gliding along the flat which I had so enjoyed down at the bottom of the valley the other day.
To that end I headed down to the meadow at the bottom via the field below our house to have a few loops around the flat. It was a nice ski. I fetched up at the Planchettes and, after some rest and thought, decided to have a crack at my current goal: to ski Les Planchettes without stopping.
As a reminder, Les Planchettes is a long difficult red piste with lots of steep-ish hills and swoopy descents with some nice loops. I have skied it a few times slowly, stopping after most of the hills for breath. My goal is not necessarily to ski this fast, but at least to do it without stopping (fast comes later).
I went for it. It was going pretty well, although it was knackering. since working on my gliding, going up hill has become a lot easier. What I have realised is that you don’t need to push especially hard. In fact you should I think be doing the same amount of work as along the flat, just at a different angle. I don’t think I’ve mastered this yet but I managed to get up the hills without feeling as knackered as before.
Descents are good for a rest before you have to start skating again and I held on tight down them. In fact descents are things I need to start working some more on so that I am more stable, less likely to fall, and more in control when I turn corners.
In fact I made it most of the way without stopping. On the very last loop of this substantial piste there was a reasonably steep descent at the top of which my lungs were on fire and my heart was leaping out of my chest. I decided to allow myself to fail on this one, this time. I had a break, drank some water, calmed down, and then headed down the rest of the piste, which was pretty much all downhill.
Afterwards, and after another swoop along the flat, I had a nice chat with Bruno, one of the pisteurs. I had been practicing my french a lot recently and it was nice to have a subject to try it on. I made lots of mistakes, but had a nice chat nonetheless.