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february 2006 articles

saturday 11th february

The last 2 weeks have been seemingly really busy - having met up with 3 distinct groups of people, and heard from many friends in between. Can't quite believe that its been such a short amount of time, seems far longer...

My dad and lifelong friend Martin Pope came over on Tuesday 31st at relatively short notice for a days skiing to Chatel-Linga, and a fat lunch. It was wonderful to see them both, they warned us they were going to be slow then hammered it down the slopes with reckless abandon... Moral: dont underestimate the silver surfers ;o)

A few days later, we had the pleasure of the arrival of Sonia's brother Malek and his friend Ruchi. In town for only 3 days over the weekend, we managed 2 full days of boarding, touring most of the Portes de Soleil in fine, sunny weather. It was great to see them both, and it looks like Malek may make it back in March...

Most recently, on Wednesday gone, we motored over to Chamonix to see my step-mum Jane, and little sister Pip. My 2 sisters have just started snowboarding, and while 'Cesca is currently in the UK, Pip remains in Chamonix - giving a perfect opportunity for an impromptu snowboarding lesson.

The night before, the Guides Centre next door on the Rue de Moulins had caught fire, meaning all the nearby residents had been evacuated - resulting in little sleep for Jane and Pip. Pip put in a fine effort however, bearing up with my nazi-instructor-technique for 3 hours, and even remaining calm at my outbursts at an aggressive idiot who smacked into me at mach1 when I was sat talking to her on the piste. A fine effort on her behalf...

It was great to see them both, topped off by the arctic-style snowfall which materialised as we started our journey home - thicker snow I have not seem in ages, a scary rollercoaster-ride to drive back through...

At this point I feel I must put a word in for our current chariot - a 1987 Suzuki SJ413jx 4x4. With a 2inch suspension raise, the front bumper removed, and shod with road-legal off-road tyres - this is the perfect transport for the mountains! Large enough to put all our kit in, snowboards on the roof, while light enough to get over any terrain and out of snow-traps.

With fully comp (mods declared) insurance of less than 200, this car has proved its worth 100x already. By far and away the best 350 I ever spent! Cheers Jon!

Recent website entries seemed to have been all snowboarding, no streetboarding - an inevitable consequence of being in the Alps for a winter season perhaps. Hopefully this will change during the next couple of months, when the weather improves a little...

For those who don't know however, Highland Streetboards have organised the first ever Streetboard Big Air World Championships, to be held in Aviemore, Scotland, during the Aviemore Film Festival. Take one 25ft roll-in, one 8.5ft launch ramp, and the worlds best big air riders - and you have a recipe for one of the best streetboarding events of the year.

I am trying to organise flights and travel in order to attend and support Luke Kinneavy, one of the Flipside Team riders, who has been asked to compete and represent the UK scene. More details on this as I know them...

So, until the next gripping episode, farewell and God speed...