Jetlag sucks. Somewhere between a hangover and a head cold, it’s a terrible thing to deal with when you’ve just landed in a new country and you’re trying to remember how to speak the language. Coffee and food help. But skiing, I recently found out, is even better when it comes to shaking off the cobwebs.
After almost 24 hours of travel I landed in Geneva, Switzerland, last week and then immediately hopped in a car and drove to the La Clusaz ski resort in France where I threw on my kit in the parking lot and then proceeded to try (emphasis on try) and follow 2014 Freeride World Tour Champion Loic Collomb-Patton around his home mountain. Seb Michaud, the freeride legend, also stopped by to show us around.
My legs were shot and my head was a mess, but after just a couple hours of slicing turns on hard pack, the world started to come back. Lots of beer and a burger with foie gras at the mid-mountain restaurant also helped.
The next day I went out on a tour above the small town of Arêches Beaufort, where a group of us climbed up to the summit of Point du Dard and then shredded down through a surprising amount of fresh snow after what had been a terrible start to the season in the Alps. With every step up and every creamy turn down, I continued to feel more and more human. Back at the chalet in town, where the beer stared flowing again, as did the bread and cheese, I finally regained full composure.
Unfortunately, two days later I had to hop in car at 4:30 a.m. and race back to the Geneva airport, trying desperately to keep my food down from the previous night as we flew down one of those classic, windy European mountain roads. Three plane rides and another 20-plus hours of travel later, and I was back home. Jet lagged.