Like other companies, Jöttnar must have its corporate meetings. Is the venue important? We think so.
Where better for a technical mountain clothing company to have a meeting than Chamonix, recently blessed by a huge dump of snow after a dry and warm January?
We could test next year’s gear protoypes, hook up with our Chamonix based Pro Team members, do the necessary corporate governance thing and look for fun in the amazing conditions.
But huge snowfalls bring problems and the snow pack’s instability led us to seek some tame and fun options. Earning our turns on the Grand Croisse-Baulet, 2236m sitting out the back of Combloux, was one of our chosen safe options. And what an option it was. Skins on and climb easily and steadily. Through and then above the trees and over the Petit Croisse-Baulet. Then 200m more up to the summit of its Grand neighbour.
Trail already broken by that morning’s early birds. Tommy, first time back on skis in twelve years, wishing for his snowboard for the way down. Steve wondering how and when and why Telemark rigs became heavier than randonée skiing set-ups.
Fantasy conditions. Beautiful powder, azure skies, snow loaded trees, crisp temperatures, no wind, endless vistas of the Massif. Alison Culshaw (Jöttnar Pro Team and our local guide) patiently witnessing perhaps less-than-beautiful off-piste skiing techniques.
Back down and on to the Combloux pistes to the Jeep, racing down perfectly groomed, empty runs at high speed, Tommy looking very much converted to two planks.
Back at our accommodation that night, spreadsheets out, plans presented and approved, prototype data logged.
With huge thanks to Alison Culshaw of Off Piste Performance. Thank you also to Al and Breezy of Ski Breezy Chalet in Chamonix for their outstanding hospitality. Normal Jelly Babies no longer cut it.