A few winters ago I was staying in a chalet in La Tania and some of the guests invited me to ski with them.
We covered a good deal of ground that week and they were always talking about how far they’d skied that day.
At that time I knew nothing of the available apps they were using.
Their conversations made me wonder how far an average skier covers in a day and how far could be skied in one day?
I researched. No conclusive answers emerged so I contacted Guinness World Records and they too didn’t know however, they did say that there was no world record for the greatest distance skied in 8 hours and invited me to set a record.
I was eventually convinced to undertake this ‘challenge’ when it was suggested that I could use the exercise, not finished yet, to raise funds for Walking With The Wounded.
As the British Army had first taught me to ski up Mount Troodos in Cyprus in 1975 I was happy to oblige.
And so it began.
I chose a date in late March 2019 for the following season and set to work.
Extra gym hours, quizzical looks from the chaps and chapesses on the lifts when I spent the whole day on only two lifts, usually Florets and Bouc Blanc, training my body to have a very early breakfast in preparation for eight hours without removing my skis etc etc.
Coincidentally a young friend, Lewis Russo, was working with the British Army in VT during the week leading up to the chosen Saturday and he asked if he could join me. He was young, (under 60) a good friend and in the army. Fall in!
That week in March 2019 was unseasonably warm and my chosen route turned out to be too low. It was melting.
I spent most of the week trying to find a suitable replacement and eventually settled for the Aiguille du Fruit piste.
Luckily the weather was good, the piste was quiet and the local authorities knew what we were doing. (minimal queuing)
As you can imagine, it was a fairly uneventful day! Luckily the company was good.
The underfoot conditions were great to begin with but deteriorated as the day progressed.
At the end of the eight hours, we started skiing at 9am and finished at 5pm, we’d managed to cover 129.4 miles (208.2k) with 81.4 (131k) of those being skied.
The maximum speed was recorded early in the day when the piste was quiet, the snow was good and the wax was fresh!
I raised over £3k for WWTW but rather sadly it transpired that Guinness measured their distance in height! I know. (See below)
So although we covered more ground in eight hours (on an open piste) than previously recorded Guinness chose not to verify this as a record as they said it failed to meet their minimum requirement.
(I’d always believed their minimum requirement would be measured in distance, not height.)
Guinness ‘distance’ is measured in ‘height’, this being the difference (vertical drop) between the top of the hill and the bottom, multiplied by the amount of runs!)
Lewis and I had a great day skiing on the day and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
It gave me another great excuse to keep fit and we appreciated all the support we received.
So, ever wondered how far you can ski in a day?