23 February 2009

Ski La Dôle!

I had the distinct opportunity this weekend to get out and do what I like best. Though I'm still not at 100% I figured I'd better get after it. The chores were finished. Mom and niño were warm and comfy and content at home.

There are roughly two-trillion ski resorts in this corner of the world that range in size from massive complexes to a single T-bar or two. I had no idea where to go touring so I picked the place closest to home with the highest elevation, the idea being that I could have a look around, scope out a few peaks and passes, and acquaint myself with my surroundings. Fine. The Jura Mountains are about ten-minutes away and that's close enough. I'm still not totally sure the name of the resort I chose. I've seen three names that range from EspaceDôle (one word?), St-Cergue-La Dôle, or just La Dôle. We'll go with #3.

Saturday was beautiful. Clear, sunny skies with 360-degree views. Perfect. Sunday? Not so much. Here I am at the top of La Dôle ready to make my first ever set of turns in Switzerland!

Here I am ready to make my second ever set of turns in Switzerland! Some French guys got in the way just as the camera took the picture. Damn French guys.

I had no idea where to go touring in the Jura. I had no idea where to ski at the ski resort. I poked around for a while until I had a glimpse of some steeper lines off the top where no one seemed to be skiing. I made my way over to find nice, untracked, windblown powder. The line kept going and going and I thought: La Dôle is great, why isn't anybody over here? I skied it out into the trees. Then I found la forêt and I understood why people don't ski over that way much.

I wallowed through that for a bit until I rejoined the pistes. Then the clouds broke and I could see again.

Then I could see that my steep, long, untracked lines weren't all that steep and they weren't all that long. They were still untracked, though, and they are the steepest things around, so I kept skiing them, alone, for the rest of the day, only traversing over before I skied into the trees.

La Dôle sort of reminds me of my beloved Beav except with more T-bars, more to drink in the slope side chalets, and a giant bubble at the top of the mountain.

Still no idea where to tour in the Jura but at least some boards are back on my feet. Good times.


Bob Clawson said...

I think that if you keep looking, you'll ski through that dense forest and pop out on the back side of Lone Pine. I seem to recall doing the opposite once... or maybe I just fell into a tree well and hit my head...

Jeff said...


The number of ski areas there just seems bewildering. Love it.

steven hatcher said...


No, that was me falling into a tree well on the front side of Lone Pine and dividing my crotch between a seedling Fir. But if that's what it takes to get you over here then, by all means, knock yer brains out!


Yes, two-trillion ski resorts is a bewildering number. And they are perfectly suited for T-bar freaks like you.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of a "T-bar" freak and have "ridden a few in my day.
I really enjoy your blog.

steven hatcher said...

Welcome, Anonymous Mother of a T-bar Freak. Thanks for reading!

Lea said...