At the end of February, I flew to Geneva to spend 5 weeks in the Alps. Yet again I was rolling all-chips-in, without a huge buffer. But I had some work lined up for my return, and I was confident that the experience gained would be worthwhile in the long run. It was my first trip to Europe, and I have long anticipated and desired the cultural experience. On my father’s side I am first generation American, so I was psyched to be going to the land of my ancestors.
So while I have quite a bit of foot-launched speedflying experience (which feeds off my paragliding experience,) plus a lifetime of ski experience, I have had little opportunity to combine the two.
I started my trip in Chamonix, which is known as one of the birthplaces of this sport. Expecting to encounter speedriders in hoards, I was shocked instead to learn that they are very few and far between. A young French athlete that I joined for a few laps told me that there are roughly 10 highly active and competent speedriders remaining in the valley! Very few. So aside from time with a couple friends passing through town and some brief new acquaintances, I spent the majority of my time riding solo laps trying to stack up vertical experience.
A write-up from my time in Chamonix, with more pictures and also a short head-cam video, is posted on Black Diamond’s Ski Journal. Check it out 🙂