Picture: March 1998
is a ski resort 70km
south-east of Grenoble.
Until quite recently there was a unique lift,
starting 1400m-high and ending more than 3200m-high (shown above). About ten years ago a connection was established
3600m-high on the 'Glaciers de la Girose', with the other ski resort
Les Deux Alpes
There is never one single engine from 3200m down to 1400m, so that everything is nearly off piste! Besides,
the area is so huge as compared to the single lift that you often have the impression to be skiing alone.
Finally you are often surrounded by steep slopes, glaciers and rocks, although there is not special danger from
were you are.
These are the reasons why La Grave is a very special resort, not far from unique.
It is often considered as a 'Mecque' for skiers and surfers,
and is therefore world-wide known (see some links below).
As the place is special, a special race is organized each year. It is called 'Derby'.
The rule is very simple: ski down more than 2000m as fast as possible. There are no gates,
the slopes have not been smoothely prepared by machines, but rather roughly-prepared by 'tourists'
the days before...
and these 'tourists', not participating in the race, will also be enjoying themselves on the slopes
during your racing down: you have to do with them!
Finally I would have liked to tell you more about the
small history of this unique lift in La Grave, but I am busy these days. I will do this in some time.
- Official site of the tourism center
in La Grave.
- Official site of Les 2 Alpes,
the large ski-resort now connected to La Grave.
- The 'Derby de la Meije' described by
Kristen Ulmer, a skier and reporter member of
a Net-group of crasy skiers:
The fastest male skier with a rowdy time of 5
minutes, 47 seconds was Yannick Guerillot. The fastest female, Sandra
Reymond, finished in 7:52. The slowest time was just under two hours (...)
By the way, Europeans often joke that Europe is 20-years late in all fields,
as compared to the US. We mean that this is true for good as well as for bad things.
You should have a look at her (yes, she is a woman! Should I have said above a ski-PERSON?)
personal comparison of ski resorts in the US and in France.
To complement this, and to unfortunately evidence that the joke has some truth in it,
I must say that we begin to feel a similar tendency growing in France.
- An anonymous
day-trip story picked up from a GB travel agency.
- Two personal pages with a lot on montains, and in particular on La Grave: