Any photographer who has ever had a passing interest in the mountains and who has also had the fortune to go skiing must have marvelled at the stark beauty around them so high up. They probably also noticed just how cluttered and busy the mountains are in winter around a ski resort. Seriously, there is stuff everywhere that just loves to ruin your photo’s, including, but not limited to; Ski lifts, Cable Cars, People, Mountain Restaurants, Piste Signs, Piste Markers, Pistes(!), Piste Bashers, Snow Cannon, Ski/Snowboard Tracks, everywhere you look there is something in the way, it’s a mess….but it’s a wonderful mess. I love to Ski.
In March 2016 I took my third skiing holiday since I’ve been taking Photography seriously. The first to Austria was ruined photographically when I slipped on some ice on the way to the cable car and I fell on my rucksack smashing my 70-200 lens. The second to Andorra last year was a mixed bag. A few poor days with near zero visibility, and a few very warm blue sky days that melted the snow quickly. Photographically I just couldn’t get it to work. This year we went to Les Menuires which forms part of the 3 Valleys network of resorts in France. With over 600km of piste to pick from it’s a winter sports enthusiasts delight.
France has had some good snow over the winter and so when we arrived the slopes were in perfect condition.
The second day there it snowed for about 24 hours and then the remaining time it was very cold (-18C at night) but with blue sky days. The perfect combination for great skiing and surprisingly great conditions for photography.
Even with 600km of pistes and the odd queue for lifts lasting up to half an hour, I managed to ski further than I have done previously, and it was relatively easy to find interesting subject matter for photos that wasn’t compromised too much by distracting elements.
All in all a great trip and a resort I would highly recommend to anyone.
For more pics take a look at my Behance collection at Ski Alpine