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Yobeat’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Boarding: France

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Felix Carlier handplanting with a view.

Words and photos: PJ Rueda/Fluofun

Warm weather, snowboarding in the morning, tons of activities in the afternoon and crazy parties at night : that’s what Les 2 Alpes will treat you with. As the only french resort with a decent park in the summer, most of the scene gather there. Frenchies but also tons of noisy Italian and Spanish guys, with a few Swiss riders.

Remember France is almost a socialist country, so there is no such thing as “Private park”. Once you have your lift ticket, you can ride 100% of the features.

Les 2 Alpes is a small mountain city with easy access to the lifts. Once there, you won’t need your car to ride, eat, shop or get drunk, and it’s only one hour drive from Grenoble. Here is what you need to know.

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Thomas Delfino, Anouck Grau and Tom Picamoles eating baguettes and drinking water.

Live:

Camping can be an option, but be warned: nights can be cold at 1650m. Just rent one of those cheap apartments and spend your day (and night) outside.

Eat at the “Creperie du centre” for cheap and good stuff (or “Les Sagnes” if you have more money) after riding, and try the best raclette in town at “Le Paellou”. Avoid the glacier restaurant : super expensive and not so good.

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Victor Daviet Handplanting

Work:

The snowpark crew used to give free tickets for the next day against a few hours of shaping, but those days are gone. If you want to work up there, just go hassle the bars, camps, shops and restaurants, but it might not be an easy task if you don’t already know someone up there.

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Kazu killed the hip (2010).

Ride:

PROS : The park is pretty cool with several lines, from beginners mini-jumps and boxes to pro features. Two lift lines run through the park. Snow harvesting is forbidden here, so people do not get ecoli in their water.

French people tend to complain about the price of the lift tickets but you know frenchies : complaining is what they do best. €37,50 ($51) is what you will pay for a day, with full access to the parks. Snowboarding is shut down at 1pm, but your pass will give you access to the lifts in the afternoon for mountain biking if that’s your thing. If you buy your pass after 9am, it will be only 30€, a good option.

CONS: The lifts can break down and get crowded. Do not expect a mid-session reshape. On very windy days, the glacier might not open at all. Tons of freestyle skiers.

Party:

The party scene is pretty easy to navigate through. Start your evening at “Les Bleuets,” then get a few drinks at the “Smithy’s” before getting wasted at the “Avalanche Club.” The three joints are only a few meters away from each other.

Try the arranged rhums at Les Bleuets, and it might already be your final stop.

Local knowledge:

- Count on a good 45 minutes travel between the time you get in the first gondola to the time you hit your first rail.

- Early in the summer, you don’t need to get to the park early — everything is just hard-blue ice until 10am. After July 10, get yourself early on the glacier, or the whole park will be already melt down when you arrive. Avoid late August.

- Kumi Yama, the only event of the summer, is going on July 4th to 6th. It’s a cool team contest, parties, free stuff, decent riders (Danny Kass, Kazu Kokubo, Sage Kotsenburg, Victor de le Rue were there the previous years). Note that the biggest jumps are closed to public during the Kumi Yama weekend.

- If you speak Spanish, check out the Dalton camps managed by former Burton pro rider Iker Fernandez. Es el hombre de la situation.

- Take a minute to watch the view from the top of the glacier. Tons of mythic mountains around and on clear weather day, you can see the Mt Blanc, highest European peak, more 100km away.

- If you want to chill in the sun in the afternoon, there is a small artificial lake by the entry of the resort. Bring your own beers.

- Do not buy bread at the supermarket. Bread MUST be bought in a boulangerie.

- Bring water and your own meat, there is a disposable BBQ in the chill zone.

- Respect the locals.

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Comments (8)

  1. The shaping on the rails used to be terrible but that was probably due to the free lift passes for shaping. You wanna go to le takeaway too. Owned and run be a English woman. Dirt cheap and tasty. Completely missed out the devil karts and luge in the valley which are fast, a little bit dangerous and obviously very fun. Also It is not a city… Barely more than a village

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  2. As Rob said you must stop at “Le Takeaway”, which is basically an american-style burger joint. Also you gotta try “K-rè” a bar where they have a fuckton of different kind of shots for cheap (try “shot #1″ also called “La chambre de combustion” it’s spectacular, believe me). They also have what they call “Le grand mercredi” or “the big wednesday” which is when all the locals go out to party. Good chance you’ll get some french pussy. Even though you are in France there are more Italians and Spanish people than the actual frenchies.

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  3. I almost forgot, watch out for “La Gendarmerie” or sherifs, if they catch you cruising around with your skateboard along the strip (which is the main street that crosses the village) you’ll get a ticket.

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  4. Yeah Le takeaway and the luge (which you get like 10 free goes on a weekly ski pass) is sick, the pool is also free if you get a week or more ski pass which is where everyone goes to chill after riding, they have pool parties every week. I think archery and stuff are also free as well.

    If you don’t like the smell of weed though the chill zone might not be for you haha, its like 4/20 every day up there, expect to hotbox at least one gondola down in your time in 2a.

    In terms of jumping you can only hit more than one jump in a run before about half 11, and the 70 footers landing is argubly a bit small. The rails are the best in europe for the summer though, loads of options and you can hike till like 2pm well after the lifts close.

    make sure your fucked up before you get in l’avalanche, its like 8 euro jegerbombs in there. la rhumerie (on the main street) is sick for pre drinks, all kinds of flavoured rum. Cos its france you can also buy shots in the bowling alley, shit can get crazy.

    To get there, you can get like a 5 euro bus up from grenoble train station. But if your driving make sure you stop off at bourg d’isans on the drive up to make sure you get all your food/beer in for like half the price.

    One end of the village has a big drop, its sick to go and bbq up there or make a firepit a little down the hill in the evening, dont let the gendarmie catch you though. In the afternoon you can ride the lift from there down the valley and walk up to a sick waterfall.

    If your a tramp jock loads of camps have trampolines you can poach, and there’s a olympic one which is like 8 euros for 45 minutes, speak to the old dude in the shed next to it. The pipe is pretty good too, but skiers left wall is always in shade so its icy as fuck, good luck with your backside airs haha.

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  5. Also check the weather before you go out, the party is the best when the mountain is closed the next day (wind over like 30mph).

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  6. 5 comments and not a single one about boobs?

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  7. I am disappointed the titty boarding did not have its own feature post I almost didn’t see it

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  8. …I’d go there just to beat my meat

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