Posted by Roddy Willis on 01 April 2011
Not often can you escape work for a week to ski with top end skiers and test next years skis, so this was a week I was thoroughly looking forward to.
On arrival in Bormio after a relatively smooth journey from Verbier (especially in comparison to the return – Milan is quite possibly the worst sign posted city I have ever driven through) we were greeted by a very smiley faced Betony from The Ski Club of Great Britain. We were shown to our rooms and given a choice of ski clothes to wear during the week, quite unlike my usual boyish wardrobe; I was thrown into colourful girly kit, which I really enjoyed wearing, much to my surprise.
We tested on average nine pairs of skis a day from: Piste, All Mountain, Freeride to Big Mountain, and also on their intended target market: Recreational, advanced or expert skier. All the girls skiing for our team seemed to develop quite a liking for Scott, Dynastar and Nordica in particular. The piste skis from Head performed nicely, as did Armada and Storm for freeride and Big mountain. Rockered skis were all the rage for freeride and big mountain and wow do they make carving big turns easy. In the right snow conditions with the right ski technology (some companies still need to tweak a little) skiing became everything it should be…. effortless and fun. We gave a big thumbs up for the Armada VJJ and the Storm Temptress. These two skis even handled the cruddier conditions nicely, as they also did on the piste, which was the biggest surprise to me. Especially as being a short girl I was automatically given a short ski to test, i.e. 165cm for a big mountain ski – ridiculous. After calculating the rocker, I was ending up with only about a metre on ski snow contact underneath my feet, which didn’t fill me with joy or trust, but actually I was surprised at what could be achieved.
The terrain in Bormio was fantastic for our needs, nice pistes for all levels of skier, good variables with little trees to slalom and a nice open bowl for testing those big mountain skis. The Volkl Gotama and Scott Venture were awesome, these let you ski at mach 10 on essentially what is a fat GS ski. The Zag Maya Gold was great for off piste, although with a rather golden price tag.
There is even a world cup downhill run in Bormio, which was fantastic for testing out the advanced and expert piste skis. It was flood lit at night on the Thursday (a weekly occurrence-just like the weekly carnival in town which welcomes Tourists to Bormio) providing of a couple of extra hours of photographic opportunities for photographers Holly and Mark Junak
The Bormio local skiers kept us on tender hooks as they are quite possibly the most out of control skiers I have ever seen. After three hours sleep and night skiing until 10.30pm, Roddy and I were well and truly ready for bed, not together mind you. Pretty sure Sean could have carried on skiing for another hour and then hit the bars all over again, but not me, bed was my preference, so I could be “cosomos mentos” – that’s for you Ro - For our last test day before hitting the road back home to Verbier.
By the time I returned to Verbier I was well and truly pooped, a thoroughly epic week of work and play. I was ready for a good nights sleep, although somehow I got kidnapped by the New Generation instructors for a few cheeky ones in T-Bar, story of my life.
Thanks to everyone for such a great time in Bormio, until next time!