HIGH AND HAUGHTY?
» I’m assembling my decade-old boots and
pants along with my five-year-old Völkls, while
checking the rates at Le Motel Six as well
as Le Super Huit Motels near the half-dozen
Canadian resorts I hope to visit this winter.
You know—The Dirtbag Tour. Fresh home from
touring on-the-cuff in France, “Ménage à Trois
Vallées” by Marty McLennan in your Fall 2010
issue gloats over five-star hotels, a hundred
euros a pop for dinner, vintage wines and, of
course—for ski writers—the indispensable
mountain guide, as real skiing is off-piste. I’ve
skied some of the best in Europe—St. Anton,
Kitz, St. Moritz—and did it all on-piste without
guides, staying in clean places for fifty bucks
a night, eating well enough and drinking the
local beer. Seriously, do you people think your
sort of high-roller skiing attracts skiers other
than the filthy rich? Those kinds of stories say
Europe is expensive, that skiing the groomers is
for pussies and the rest of the mountains can’t
be skied without Fritz der Guide.
GEOFF SMITH, Seattle
If it’s any consolation, Marty’s also written about
his skiing adventures while surfing couches he’s
found on Craigslist.
Your fall 2010 mag brought back many memories.
The first time I skied Méribel [Trois Vallées] was
January 1965. A friend and I arrived with no
reservations, drove through the village to the
end of the road and found a pleasant-looking inn
called L’Orée du Bois. We moved in and had two
weeks of great skiing and wining and dining. I
believe we paid $10 per night with full board,
I next read about Don Bilodeau and Panorama.
I bought a condo there in 1981 and skied
Panorama for the next 27 years. About 1995, I
took my grandson there for two weeks to learn
the sport. He was about 5 years old then. I
put him in the ski school with a young French
instructor and in one week he had the boy to the
top of the chair!
Next was the mention of André Schwarz of the
Post Hotel at Lake Louise. André was working
on his instrument rating to fly his airplane. I
happened to be the licensing inspector at Calgary
and gave him his first test flight and then each
year for many years after. We got along well,
talking about skiing and he invited me to ski with
him. My one of many mistakes in life was not
taking him up on the offer.
My hill of choice is now Mount Washington
at Comox, B.C. So tell Mr. Bilodeau that I’ll show
him the hill and maybe pick up a few pointers.
Glen Willett, Comox, B.C.
SKIERS WITHOUT BORDERS
» A couple of friends and I were thinking of
venturing to Europe last winter for a change of
ski scenery. Our problem was deciding where to
go since there are so many high-quality resorts
to choose from, and the week we had in mind
aligned with the U.K. school break. How do we
find a resort that’s not overly crowded?
In the midst of our decision-making, Ski
Canada’s Travel Guide 2011 issue arrived in the
mailbox, providing just the solution we needed.
The article, “The Great Unknown” by George
Koch, was about an off-the-beaten-path resort
by the name of Serfaus in Austria. This place was
amazing! It had more lifts than Whistler, with
an amazingly modern lift system, and we rarely
saw a lift line. Serfaus is a popular family resort
with Europeans, but little known in the U.K. or
North America. The skiing was fantastic due to
fresh snowfall when we arrived, and the Austrian
culture and food were so much different from
what we have in Canada. Lift tickets were far
cheaper than anything in North America of this
size, and moderately priced accommodation could
be found in B&Bs in the village. Thank you for
highlighting Serfaus, Austria. While your name
says Ski Canada, Ski Austria has a lot to offer, too.
NIGEL HEATH, Toronto
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
» Your mention of skiing Blue Mountain and
then golfing the same day at Monterra Golf is by
no way a small feat in Ontario (“Best of Skiing in
Canada Awards,” Winter 2011). I’d been waiting
to do it for 35 years so I could stroke this off my
Bucket List. Last spring on Good Friday I skied
Alpine Ski Club (which had five runs in good
shape open) and then shot over to Monterra,
which just opened that day, for a round of golf.
Wow, one beautiful day! Well, times a-fleeting—
off for some skydiving and hang-gliding. I need
to stroke them off my Bucket List.
JACK WINESTOCK, Collingwood, Ontario
SKI CANADA PC…SOMEWHAT
Regarding the reference to the “Safety-Nazi Fun-Suckers
PLC” in the piece on the final “Over the
Hill Downhill,” Short Turns, December (2010):
Brilliant! It must be headquartered in
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