Here is the story of how I fell in love with the 2748 metres of L’aiguille Percee in the Espace Killy region of the French Alps. My home mountain for the duration of the 2010 / 2011 winter season.
Admittedly, We got off to a shaky start when the mountain tried to ditch me before we’d even had chance to get to know each other. I just wanted to explore the mountain and the roads that wound their way up, down and around it. I guess it was just showing me who was boss by putting my car into a snowy ditch.
I love the way it had an abundance of natural features conveniently placed at the side of the piste so that I could jib along with my friends, hitting kickers and drops all the way down to the lift.
I love the way it led down to the two best eateries on the mountain; not for foie gras and champagne but for a bowl of noodles and a cold beer whilst I enjoyed the endless sunshine on the terrace and shared exaggerated tales of tricks I’d landed, tricks I’d nearly landed and tricks I was yet to try.
I love the way it looked after me when I missed the last lift home and provided me with a bar with a sunny terrace, cold beer and a spectacular sunset over a lake before guiding us into the crowded bar to enjoy the awesome après band that was playing inside.
I love the way it gave me things to remember it by; sunburn, hideous goggle marks, a camera full of memories and a variety of niggling injuries.
I love the way it knew when I just wasn’t feeling it; sometimes after one too many Jaegers the night before, sometimes because work had been a bitch and sometimes because I just wanted to stay in and watch a film instead. It knew this and it let me have a white out day, every time.
I love the way it rewarded my enthusiasm when I made the effort to go and see it. It knew I had spent thirty minutes battling my way through low cloud and low visibility and it always rewarded me with a little pocket of sunshine.
I love the way it knew when my day off was and gave me a bluebird or an epic powder day. Without fail.
I love the way it was just too far away from the main lifts for most tourists to be bothered to go there.
Most of all, I love the way it will always be there for me, no matter what.