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r.s.n in Haute Combes du Jura, France
Laurent Duparchy have discussed things on this newsgroup, like skating
technique, nanowax, and skiing in France -- and we finally got the chance to
He suggested we meet in La Pesse in the Hautes Combes area in the Jura
mountains. I've never been to that area, never known anyone who said they
skied there, not where the Transjurassienne race course goes -- so it was
kind of exciting to be driving up there in a rental car from the Geneva
airport, after the transatlantic flight arrived first thing in the morning.
First I saw just from driving that I really liked the scenery: the mix of
forests and open fields and farmhouses, ridges and valleys. Then I
discovered that they really take their cross-country skiing seriously:
really wide trails groomed by the biggest Pisten Bully I ever saw at a XC
center. So much snow they were having trouble finding space to plow it off
Laurent was careful in his Emails and phone conversations to set
expectations, but we were both surprised by the . . . rain. Sharon went to
the ski shop and rented classic no-wax skis, and Laurent and I headed out
skating. Good thing I had brought my poles: We soon got into some long
moderate climbs, and Laurent was strong on them. The mix of new snow and
rain was kinda sticky on my ski bases, which was disappointing especially on
the downhills. I stopped for rest on some of the climbs, which was a good
chance to talk.
Then Laurent suggested I try using his skis, which he had prepared that
morning with wet-snow structure and Cerax Pro 4 -- what a difference. And
with him on my sucky bases and me on his rockets, we were evenly matched.
Then he let me keep using them. We somehow skied together for I think 2.5
hours in the rain. My assessment: I hope to get to ski with Laurent
again -- and you should too.
Afterward (in dryer clothing) we had some hot chocolate in the bar across
from the ski shop, and Sharon told us how she enjoyed skiing to see the
P.S. Hautes Combes du Jura includes the villages of Giron, La Pesse, Les
Moussieres, and Lajoux -- mostly further south than the Transjurassienne
race course. About an hour's drive from the major international airport of
Geneva, Switzerland -- or it would have been an hour if we hadn't missed the
oddly-placed sign for the right turn in Mijoux -- we were glad we had rented
a car with real snow tires. Very pretty and inviting area for cross-country
skiing. Hope to go there again.
I've been very pleased to have some time skiing with Ken and Sharon in
Jura . That was my first "internet" encounter.
I expected to discuss a lot about technic, as Ken posted a lot on it.
But that was not the day for it : Although this is the best winter I
remember since mid 80's for cross country skiing in France (tons of
snow since mid-november, and counting.) we had the misfortune to ski on
the worst day of that winter. Rain, rain rain. The pity is there was
huge snowfalls less than 50 kilometers further north. There was a
strong cold/warm limite in the atmosphere and were on the wrong side.
So, yes Nanowax Cerax Pro4 was wonderful that day (along with Vandel
skis with "wet" pro-race bases).
I'm now confident to say that Pro 4 can't be beaten by anything on wet
snow. I had several experiences on races done in pairs together with my
brother who is putting fluoro powder : Glide was the same or better for
me, even though I'm lighter than him.
Skating in France had rapidly taken up over Classic and groomed trails
are always very wide. You'll see very few "fit" people doing Classic.
Although Classic is slightly fighting back thoses years. There is now a
50km classic event part of the Transjurassienne.
Jura may not be very well known, apart from the Transjurassienne, but
linked with the swiss part of Jura mountains this one the largest XC
ski area in Europe.
BTW, the term "Jurassic" derives from Jura moutains. But that
geological period was absolutely not a Dinosaurs period. More a clams
period. Less dramatic.
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|Tignes, Haute Tarentaise, France||Joe Hunt||European Ski Resorts||1||February 20th 05 06:45 AM|