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TMJ Guide to Terror Skiing! | The Mountain Jackpot News
If that's not enough to instil a sense of dread, the angle of descent will — it is so steep, you cannot see what lies ahead. Once you have completed the first half a dozen turns and rounded an overhang, the Wall is revealed as a steep but wide m slope. In fresh powder this is benign, but if you are a late riser you will find it heavily mogulled. In icy conditions it can even be fatal — if you fall you must try to stop yourself immediately.
Erna Low , www. Read the Avoriaz piste guide , taken from Where to Ski and Snowboard This is the domain of hard-core skiers; cognoscenti speak of it in reverential tones. The ski patrol adds to the hype by insisting you wear an avalanche transceiver and carry a shovel and probe before you are allowed on the lift.
Terror on Skis
In fact, the avalanche danger is carefully assessed and the run does not open if there is any risk. The main purpose is to deter intermediate skiers and confine the run to those experienced enough to own their own gear — you cannot rent safety equipment anywhere nearby. From the top you can't see what lies ahead. The first time I skied it, the visibility was low and I relied only on instructions shouted from below. The second time I spent a little longer on the lip, trying to work out how I had managed to do it. But once you build up the courage to take the plunge, you quickly find yourself in a pleasant bowl with a choice of exits.
The most direct one involves a push on the skis or a walk to the nearest lift, while a lengthy traverse to the right offers a further section of powder and a speedier return to the lift. Ski Safari , www. Read the Banff piste guide , taken from Where to Ski and Snowboard This is the widest and easiest of the infamous trio of Courchevel couloirs and the only one currently marked as a run on the piste map. The most difficult part is the path from the cable-car station at La Saulire.
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In icy conditions, you can't help wondering if your snowplough will end up doing an unscheduled ski jump into Sous Pylons or Emile Allais, the two more demanding descents. The entrance between bands of rock is not particularly narrow, but it can be made so by the size of the moguls that form and dictate your route. If it hasn't snowed for a week or two, these moguls can be enormous and the first few turns become a question of survival rather than skiing.
But the slope quickly widens and the second half can be glorious.
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Be warned: skiers on the main piste below can see how well you manage to ski it — or fall down it. Le Ski , www. Read the Courchevel piste guide , taken from Where to Ski and Snowboard Corbet's has a worldwide reputation as the run that every hard-core skier must do once in a lifetime. It is easily reached from the top of the new cable-car up Rendezvous Mountain. More people come to look than leap and it usually takes several visits before you pluck up courage. The run does not exceed an angle of 40 degrees and is a comfortable 15m 49ft wide — a piece of cake, relatively speaking.
The terror lies entirely in the start.
The "easy" way is a vertical jump from the left-hand side. If lots of snow has accumulated, this turns into a controlled slide and you are left wondering what the fuss is about. More commonly, you must leap three to four metres. Once your skis make contact with the snow you need to throw your weight forward immediately to regain control and turn sharply to avoid a large rock. The alternative entry is a jump of at least six metres 20ft. It is scarier, but you avoid the rocks. Ski Dream , www.
See a Problem?
It begins at the very top of the most challenging ski area in Austria. You are only allowed into the final sightseeing cable-car with skis if you are accompanied by a qualified mountain guide. Holding your helmet and rucksack and squeezing in among German and Austrian visitors in overcoats and walking boots, you receive some strange looks — and even stranger ones when you click into your ski bindings on the viewing platform.