Friday, 23 October 2015

Ski pistes - does length matter?


Controversy rumbles on over allegations that ski resorts exaggerate the combined length of their pistes. Research in Germany suggested some were claiming twice the distance in kilometres than was the case when measured by the author of the research. One big areain France admitted it added over 50% to take account of the fact that skiers make turns rather than hammering straight down the fall line. Now the French resort of Serre Chevalier says its area has been precisely measured with the results validated by KALIBLUE, an independent body specialising in land and aerial topography. It has ditched the notion of runs measured in kilometres in favour of publishing its total pisted area and that also including uphill lift tracks and off piste skiing accessible from lifts. It invites potential and existing visitors to use Google Earth, superimposing the whole area, then the pisted area on top of that (http://www.serre-chevalier.com/en/ski-area-total-surface/). Will you bother?  I think the whole issue is a storm in a Schnapps glass. 

Above Serre Chevalier
You need to know is whether runs, on average are short or long and the proportion of difficult, intermediate or easy descents. In more general terms you need to know that   there’s enough of skiing in Serre Chevalier and its surrounding area to keep most leisure skiers occupied for a week or more – and that in vast areas such as Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne), Val d’Isère and Tignes, and the Trois  Vallées there’s probably more than you’ll need. As for those alleged exaggerations, I suppose it’s better if commercial organisations are brought to book for telling porkies, if only because it might discourage others. But, that said, does anybody really care? I doubt it. Life’s too short.

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