Well into October now and starting to get into skiing mode (mentally that is!). Keep telling myself to do some knee bends, but, so far, have resisted temptation! Instead I have been dreaming about some of my favourite runs and today the long drop from the top of the Becoin chair out of Plagne Centre descending to La Roche where one of my favourite restaurants sits alongside the chairlift (great steakhouse). Off we go to the right off the top of the chair and schuss along the top of the ridge putting in the occasional shallow turn to keep the speed reasonable. At the very end bearing right and into the steep red which overlooks almost every part of the whole of La Plagne. Great view and a good photo opportunity. Carve down the red and two big turns and you’re onto the flat bit at the bottom. Choices here with a modest blue to the right and my own route to the left and into the steep and wide red (should be a black really) going down towards the huge Aime 2000 building (designed to look like trees from a distance, but failing miserably). Keep an eye on your speed at the end section as there will be people standing about at the top of the Golf chairlift. Then it’s into Golf itself taking care to give some of the beginner skiers plenty of space. But here the snow is always good and the area is a great confidence booster…. down to the bottom going past the restaurant Les Bonne Vie Temps (Good Old Times) where the lazy ones can stop for a great mid-morning hot chocolate and to the right of the Golf chair entrance. Now you’re at the edge of the drop into the Andre Martzolf route towards La Roche. That first drop is one of the most exciting and exhilerating sections in the whole run. Rounded and gullied with (if you choose it) a drop so steep half way down that you feel as if you’re flying, the back of your ski’s off the snow and head and shoulders hanging forwards…. great. You have to stop at the bottom just to get your breath as for sure you won’t be breathing normally on that section. Then it’s a left turn and onto the easy bit of the run, undulating and smooth with very few other skiers around to annoy you. But it lulls you into a false sense of security as you turn at the end where it joins the Emile Allais red and suddenly it’s steep again. Reach a long way down with your poles here to make sure you can turn as you need to, pausing for a moment on the narrow track that crosses the run before diving into the final steep section. Here the snow can sometimes be patchy so you need to pick your route with care. A final swoop to the bottom and then it’s off with the ski’s and into the Roche restaurant for a great steak lunch… you’ve earned it….
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