29 Mar Pascal’s Snow Sense
Does Pascal smell snow coming?
No, no of course not. Then again I can’t help wondering if he might have some sixth sense for Alpine weather.
After a quiet coffee together before everyone wakes, he informs me that we will not be taking the helicopter as planned this morning. But not to worry—he has another spot in mind. A SwisSkisafari in Europe is a little like that. You plan a route and then things change. What you do get each day is incredible skiing, even though the names of the places may be different from the scheduled itinerary.
We are in Switzerland today, but perhaps tomorrow Italy, and then why not France. In this region of the Alps, three countries border each other, so you can find yourself speaking different languages and eating different regional specialties all in the same day during our luxury ski trips in the Alps. This makes for much more than just a ski trip. This sort of skiing involves a combination of off-piste skiing accessed by the ski lift system and backcountry skiing where a helicopter drops you off in the middle of nowhere.
Heli-drops here offer a choice of routes from each landing spot including more than 2,000 metres of vertical descent. And don’t be fooled into thinking that you will only ski powder. Runs are long (three hour descents are not uncommon), which means that the snow conditions are constantly changing. The skiing is varied; from glaciers to forests, untouched summits to isolated descents, stumbling onto charming, snow-clad cobblestone streets in ancient mountain villages to cap off the day.
The Alps in this region benefit from microclimates: when conditions are not favorable in one valley you can find good conditions in another. This is why you might unexpectedly find yourself knocking on the door of an inhabited monastery, only accessible by skis, on the border of Switzerland and Italy. The tea here seems to taste better than any you have had before and the adventure is only beginning. It’s at this moment that you admit it—you too have let yourself be seduced by Pascal’s sense for snow.