SCUK Bash 2010

by on Jan.27, 2010, under Holiday

Only took me 2 weeks to write this…

A week in Tignes, France, thats left me with a small shopping list of “upgrades” to my current snowbaord gear, more on that in another post As I didn’t mention in a previous post, I managed to get there no problem, dropped off at Newcastle airport, checked my bags and hung around for a little while till my flight was ready. For some reason this was delayed by 25 minutes when I checked in but was only 5 minutes by the time they announced the gate. A quick flight up, over priced snack and a drink, and I’m in Geneva. Collected my bags and headed out, looking out for my pickup, didn’t see it but that didn’t matter they spotted me. Good job I was wearing my SCUK hoody to travel šŸ™‚ Out we go to the bus and load up, I’m sure they managed to find the only French person that doesn’t speak English, anyway off we go about 3 and a half hours and a break later we arrive in Tinges, the driver got directions to the Loop Bar to meet everyone and then took us up to Dragon Lodge.

We were greeted and assigned rooms, then up to the room, home for a week. The room itself was actually a small apartment, with fully functioning kitchen and 2 bedrooms, one with a triple-bunk-bed and a normal bed, and one with 2 normal beds that were justĀ mattressesĀ on the floor. In an (failed) attempt to avoid snorers I went for one of the singles in the twin room, thinking that I had a good chance of a decent nights sleep,Ā unfortunatelyĀ my room mate turned out to be the loudest snorer I’ve ever heard, more on that later maybe.

So we get our stuff into our rooms, we’ve picked out beds so its back downstairs to mingle and have our first meal. Having only had airplane food and a Mars, I was ready for something to eat. And once the room had been converted from a lounge to a dining room, out comes 3 courses of the best food anyone could ask for on a holiday, its been such a full week its hard to remember every meal, but they were all good, we had a few soups, cheese, pate, and pasta for starters, beef stew, chickenĀ casserole, chilli, lasagne and bangers and mash for main, chocolate mouse,Ā orangeĀ cheesecake, bread and butter pudding, fruit crumble, crepe and banana. I’m sure I’ve missed something from that but nevermind they were all good and well presented too. At some point before dinner it had started snowing, and I don’t think it stopped until some time on Sunday, which meant we had lots of good snow just waiting to be played in. Anyway after that first meal, andĀ someĀ minor unpackingĀ itĀ was time for bed.

Now I don’t sleep that heavy at the best of times and sharing a room makes it harder to get to sleep due to the extra noise of someone else being there, so I came prepared with headphones, but within seconds of the light going out, it sounded like well I really don’t know how to describe it, it was loud, snorty and at times sounded snotty too, with only small breaks to exhale, then the snoring ended and the loud Darth Vader breathing started, I swear I wouldn’t have beenĀ surprisedĀ if he’d randomly say he was my father, then more snoring, in a perpetual loop. It was also really hot in the room, considering the heating was off, this could only be blamed on the fact I was sleeping next to the hot water tank for the room. Later in the week, we discovered that -10 outside just meant the room cooled down a bit with the window open and it was still quite comfortable to sleep, once the snoring stopped anyway. The first few nights were rather poor, but with the window open and the threat of sleeping outside or maybe being hit by something, the snoring was less bad and I managed to sleep. Leading up to the better nights sleep I experimented with listening to music to drown out the thundering snores, this didn’t quite work out that well when I left my music on shuffle and after playing something a bit slow and peaceful that I was just dozing off to it switched to playing Metallica, giving me a bit of a shock and waking me up, I think I ended up falling to sleep with Muse playing one night, and Dragonforce (very effective at blocking noise as its almost solid noise itself) another, no surprises with them and I just set it to play albums.

Back to important stuff, the snowboarding šŸ™‚ The lodge was only a couple of minutes walk from the slopes, up the hill then a gentle ride down to a lift, or down the hill to the main area with easy access to 3 lifts, one easy, one still pretty easy but longer and theĀ gondola up to a few more slopes, one route coming out in Val desire, its quite a large area and I’m sure there’s loads I didn’t visit.

After the constant snow of the first night it was still snowing the first day, visibility wasn’t great and the gondola was closed, but hitting lots of fresh untouched (until we fell in it) powder was awesome, if a little hard work when it was two feet deep and I’d just fell over, due to lack of practise, yeah lack of practise on powder was why I fell over not total lack of ability šŸ™‚ After a short break up by the closed gondola station, and not knowing the easy way back, took part of a black run back down into Tignes for food šŸ™‚

Most days involved get out on the snow between 9 and 10, stop for lunch, then back out till tired, and back to the lodge for cake, chill then dinner.

A couple of days guiding was included and meant we got taken to places weĀ probablyĀ wouldn’tĀ have chosen to go normally and a klittle bit of technique improvement, this included a couple of gullies that are basically natural half pipes, and great fun to ride through, and a couple of runs that lookedĀ likeĀ there was a big cliff down the side, not my favourite, but some were huge wide and open, and hardly seemed to have other people on.

About half way through more snow was forcast and it arrived late afternoon, unfortunately we decided to get another run in while the clouds were coming in and the light turned a bit flat, by the time we reached the bottom it was imposible to pick out anything no shadows, up and down looked the same, and I only knew I’d gown down a dip when I felt myself drop, and then came back up the other side, no idea how fast I was going and no idea what the snow was like up ahead, made things interesting.

On the last day we had a small race, I say small, there was supposed to be about 40 of us, I’m sure it was only 20 all waiting to strap our boards on after the last lift. A short run to our boards, strap in and race down to the bottom as fast as possible, I figured IĀ wouldn’tĀ stand a chance of winning so set off after the biggest group, dodging all theĀ peopleĀ that managed to fall after the first corner and going as fast as I was comfortable, dodging skiers who’d also fell over, I do wonder if they fellĀ becauseĀ some fast snowboarder passed them. It was probably the fastest I’d gone down that piste but as expected I was nearer the back rather than anywhere near the front but it was fun šŸ™‚

A good week, even with the bad sleep at theĀ beginning, I’d almost certainly do it again, and hopefully I’ve managed to improve my snowboarding a little šŸ™‚

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