Confessions of a ski addict
11th September 2009
It may be only September but PlanetSKI reader, Xavier Adam, has just booked his first ski trip. It’s going to be in November, but he doesn’t know where. He’s got a few other plans too.
“I don’t know exactly where I’ll go in November. I have the flight booked and will simply see where the snow is falling.
In reality, being an avid skier from 5 years old , my thoughts are never really far from winter and this summer I have been doing some serious (ish) training in the gym and swimming pool and what has kept me going is imagining how fit I’ll be for the winter!
Last season was awesome, the best ever with amazing conditions across Europe from November onwards, so I’m off again in November.
Maybe to Verbier as I spent a lot of time there last season.
The skiing, restaurants and nightlife were excellent.
I also visited Zermatt, Formigal and Port del Compte and made many, many new friends.
From the Spanish junior ski champion I spotted taking a Friday off school for training, to retired jovial friends, with lots of ski experience between them, acting as if in their youth again.
I hadn’t skied in the Alps for over ten years prior to last season.
Being part Catalan and based in Spain, it’s easier to throw the gear in the car, and just drive two hours to Baquiera,Taull, La Molina or Val d’Nuria up in the Spanish Pyrenees.
All fantastic ski resorts, if a little overrun like everywhere, at the peak time of Christmas and New Year.
Being based in Europe makes it possible to track when and where the snow is good and just head off. Very, very easy.
Having spent a lot of my youth in the Pyrenees, for me they are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges.
The Savolyeres area in Verbier has a Pyrenean aspect with fir trees and flowing, rounded mountain tops. The added bonus of it being quiet and off the badge collector ski trail, means it is a very tranquil and picturesque environment.
Ski-wise it can also be challenging too, if you know where to look.
Last November, I upgraded my skis, boots and various other bits of gear, going for quality over aesthetics.
The new skis were so radically different to what I was used to, I hated them at first, and it seemed they hated me but perseverance and the fact they cost nearly £1000 saw me get them dancing after a few weeks.
Going back to my old skis now is like hopping in a steam driven vehicle c.1900.
This season again, I will be partly based in Verbier, with plenty of trips planned to the Pyrenees.
What a flight Geneva-Barcelona is in winter, the snow capped Alps merging quickly from the air with their Pyrenean cousins.
Breathtaking and worth it for the flight alone.
In Spain, I am hoping to go back to Baqueria after a six year break, try Formigal on a good weather day and explore La Molina, with the local Barcelonenes.
Austria is another option, having been to Kitzbuhel for a mountain party pre-season, it must look even more beautiful with a picture postcard dusting of snow.
The opportunities are endless…… roll on November.”