Skiing the Milky Way

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Last Sunday Peter, Speedy and I flew out of Gatwick and made our way to Torino, Italy. The mission was to ski the Milky Way area of Italy. The Milky Way ski area consists of Claviere, Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, and Montgenevre in France. We were stationed in Sestriere at the “Villagio Olimpico”. We stayed in the actual apartments the athletes stayed at during the 2006 Torino Olympics. It was really cool. A little basic but comfortable. Anyhow, we were not there to lounge around, we were there to ski!

After some unpacking and renting our skis we just walked around the village and looked around. The little village of Sestriere is quaint and quite nice. Great vibe and lots of Biungiornos and ciaos everywhere you go.

Monday, we finally hit the slopes. Great ski day but we were confined to the Sestriere side due to high winds on the Claviere, Sauze d’Oulx and Montgenevre sides. That’s okay. We made the best of it, discovered that part of the mountain with the hopes that Tuesday would be a gorgeous day and we could make our way to the French side.

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Lunch in a little chalet midway on the slopes. In this part of Italy, all Italians speak French. Wonderful, I got to use my “langue de Mollieres” and speak with the locals.

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Speedy posing. I decided to nickname her Speedy for the ski trip. Over the years Sarah has become an excellent skier. She is fast and doesn’t mind steep hills (she doesn’t like ice, but who does?). She was always ahead of us. She also has youth on her side…and a good set of knees. That’s okay, Peter and I can still follow her, so far we are not cramping her style too much.

Tuesday we woke up and noticed the gondola going over to the other side of the valley was working. YES! that meant one thing, we were going to France. While at breakfast we read the conditions, they were going to be awesome and we were going to have a great sunny day on the slopes. I was giddy.

My partners in crime at the top of the gondola.

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sestriere ski map

This was our terrain. We grabbed the gondola promptly at 9 am and made our way to the top of Sancicario and headed down to Cesana. The first run took us almost 30 minutes…Then we took one double chair, a gondola and a quad (I think, I got confused after a while, I just followed Speedy who seem to have memorized the map. We skied down, went up, skied down, went up all the way to France.

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Speedy taking a break.

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Site of the 2006 Olympic luge and toboggan competition.

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Speedy showing her Daddy, “We were in the middle and now were are here on the right, overlooking France”.

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DSC_2347 France is right there!

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“I fart in your general direction”.

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Me and Daddy.

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I don’t know what Speedy was doing here? What to do during an avalanche?

We just skied and skied, it was wonderful. Around 1 pm we decided to stop for lunch. We picked another little chalet in the middle of the slope on the Sauze d’Oulx side.

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It was amazing to be eating in the middle of the Milky Way. We were having such a great day. I really hope I can ski till I am 90 years old. I love this sport. I love the fresh air and to be able to see these beautiful mountains.

After lunch and some drinks….we slowly skied back to the Olimpico Villagio. I took some “Ski action shots” on the way down.

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Wednesday we skied some more. This time I did not bring my camera. Fujimoto was taking a day off. The conditions were once again amazing, the sun was out and we just enjoyed the mountain for our last day.

Sadly at the end of the day we had to return our rentals and head back to our room to pack. Yesterday was a travelling day for us. We came back a couple of days early in order for Speedy to study for a midterm that she has on Monday when she returns to Montreal.

Today is laundry day for me. Peter returns to the salt mines and Sarah will be spending her last day in London with her nose in her books. I wish I was still in the Milky Way…with that sun and those conditions, I would go back anytime.

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