2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 61

to Val Thorens. "Zere are no more buses at zis
time of zee evening," he replied, "but if you wait a
few minutes, I can give you a lift. I am just picking
up my girlfriend on zees train."
Patrick Berthon not only gave me a lift,
he also put me up in his apartment in Val
Thorens, where he and his brother Eric were
both ski instructing. Eric had a couple of days
free from the ski school, and within a few
hours of my arrival in Les Trois Vallées, I had
a free bed and guide. This, of course, was long
before one could print "Couloir St. Pères" onto
the Google website and have a few thousand
entries pop up on the screen. It was a time
when only the locals knew the special runs in
Les Trois Vallées.
Eric led me on a 40-minute hike over the
Glacier de Chavière and down this beautiful
ravine on my second day in Val Thorens. It
was apparently a test of my abilities-and fortunately I passed.
The next day, I was again behind Eric
and a couple of his friends, as we followed a
similar route but hiked even higher up the
mountain. After about 90 minutes, I found
myself staring down one of the steepest and
most nefarious slopes I have ever, to this very
day, skied. It is simply called North Face.

The descent is about 50 degrees steep at
the top and the snow was very firm, windpacked powder. Worst of all, the convex nature
of North Face made it impossible to see all the
way down, but Eric was quick to inform us
that a crevasse at the bottom of the slope
swallows skiers who make mistakes. Only
after one had successfully negotiated the steep
upper section could one traverse out to the
side and continue the run beyond the grasp of
the crevasse.
Eric tied a 50-meter-long rope around my
waist and looped the other end around his
skis, which he pushed firmly into the snow.
This allowed me to make my first few turns
without danger, but soon I was on my own. It
was the first time I had ever used a climbing rope.

Trois Vallées had reopened a door that had
been closed for too long. When I got home
and had a bit more time, I tried to find Eric
on the Internet, and it did not take long to locate his website.
Moments later, I was involved in another
nostalgic conversation - this one on the telephone. Eric was now raising a family, teaching his two young children to ski, instructing
at a few freestyle camps and guiding people
off-piste in Val d'Isère. As I had seen his name
now and then through the years because of
his exploits in the ski world, he had also seen
mine.
"I have thought on many occasions about
those few days we spent together," said Eric. "I
would be reminded of that time whenever I came

Carl Mårtensson enjoys a spring dump of fresh powder.

I survived the North Face intact, and for
the next few days, Eric continued to show me
his favorite off-piste runs interspersed with
some mogul bashing. If Eric was fearless in
the face of off-piste dangers, he was a maniac
of the moguls. In the bumps, I had not the
slightest chance of following him.
Eric's considerate guiding was one of my
early experiences with the ski-bum code of
sharing. Whereas surfers, for example, are extremely territorial and would rather kill a
stranger than share a wave, real skiers are
very magnanimous.
Little did I know that Eric was practicing
for his future profession. Some years after, in
1986, I read a name in a ski magazine that I
recognized very well. Eric Berthon had become the world champion of mogul skiing. In
2002, I again came across his name. He was
the freestyle coach of the French Olympic
team at the Salt Lake City Winter Games.
Carl and I finished our beers and our
Carl Mårtensson ponders and plans his route
nostalgia
session. This was the end of our
before entering a couloir high up in Les Trois
short stay, but reacquainting myself with Les
Vallées. Jimmy Petterson, photographer

across one of your articles in 'Ski Français' or one
of the other ski magazines."
Ski bumming is a youthful pastime. Of
the many avid skiers who spend a season or
two devoted to their love of the sport, most of
them are ultimately swallowed up by the
mainstream. In the words of songwriter
George Thoroughgood, they "get a haircut and
get a real job." It was a reassuring moment to
get on the phone with Eric Berthon over 30
years later and realize that he, like I, was a
chronic ski bum. ss
Jimmy Petterson is an author, photographer,
musician, entertainer, travel arranger, ski bum,
Lebenskünstler, Renaissance man, and philosopher.
He has skied in more than 600 ski resorts in 74
countries and his ski articles have been published in
20 countries. His accumulated work includes more
than 600 published articles, more than 30 cover
photos, the TV series - Raider of the Lost Snow, the
film documentary, Putin's Olympics, and his seminal
work on skiing, Skiing Around the World. Jimmy
is currently working on a documentary series called
Skiplomacy, a novel called Coming of Age, and on
Skiing Around the World: Volume 2. When he is
not skiing, he is performing together with his son,
Erik, in their Father & Son Band.

Far West Skier's Guide 2O17 - 2O18

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide

2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - Intro
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover1
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover2
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 1
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 2
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 3
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 4
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 5
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 6
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 7
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 8
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 9
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 10
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 11
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 12
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 13
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 14
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 15
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 16
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 17
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 18
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 19
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 20
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 21
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 22
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 23
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 24
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 25
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 26
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 27
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 28
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 29
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 30
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 31
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 32
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 33
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 34
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 35
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 36
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 37
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 38
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 39
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 40
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 41
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 42
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 43
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 44
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 45
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 46
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 47
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 48
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 49
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 50
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 51
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 52
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 53
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 54
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 55
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 56
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 57
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 58
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 59
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 60
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 61
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 62
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 63
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-1
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-2
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-3
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-4
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-5
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-6
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-7
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-8
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-9
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-10
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-11
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-12
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-13
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-14
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-15
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-16
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-17
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-18
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-19
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-20
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-21
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-22
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-23
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-24
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-25
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-26
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-27
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 64-28
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 65
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 66
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 67
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 68
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 69
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 70
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 71
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 72
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 73
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 74
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 75
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 76
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 77
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 78
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 79
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 80
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover3
2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover4
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