Joined by Tom Kirkman, I drove to France on Friday 14th in the faithful Landrover. We were loaded up with the brand new 11/12 Never Summer snowboards and were headed to La Clusaz. This is where Avant Premiere was to be held. This event allows retailers from across Europe to come and test the following seasons boards before attending the trade shows over the next few months where they have to make their buying decisions. Armed with 10 sandwiches we drove through the night. We made it there alive with a bunch of anecdotes but nothing major.
La Clusaz looked distinctly un snowy on arrival. The lower pistes were death traps with exposed rocks and sections of polished ice. The higher up areas and the sludgy areas were fun to rip around on though. Seeing as neither of us had snowboarded for a while it took a couple of runs to find our feet. After a successful few days at the test and a wild night in town we headed on to Morzine.
Morzine had even less snow than La Clusaz. It essentially had no snow. Luckily Avoriaz above it was still in good condition. We hooked up with Paul from The Rider Social (Never Summer test centre) who showed us round and rode with us for the day. Our favourite spot was the stash. That evening we met up with Toby and hit the town. Morzine is a wild night and highly recommended. The following day we didnt feel so hot but decided to hit up Avoriaz once more. I played it safer today seeing as life was a struggle to start with. Toby almost nailed himself by totally misjudging a wall ride and shooting out of the back of it and dropping onto rocks and ice.
That night we drove to Leysin, Switzerland for a meeting. Tom Tom failed us again by leaving us half an hour too far down the mountain. Upon our arrival Tom locked the keys inside the Landy but lady luck was on our side, and we had left the back door open, allowing us to scramble over the kit to the front and retrieve the keys. Our meeting the following day went well and then it was just a case of spending the entire day and night driving. We thought we were doing excellently by getting to the ferry port at 8pm meaning we could technically be home not long after midnight. This didnt pan out as there were no ferries until midnight meaning we wouldnt be home till very late.
Eitherway it was a fun trip and provided plenty of time for watching the entire season one of Breaking Bad (highly recommended) and I got to read more of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on my Kindle.