Posted by: martinworster | April 6, 2003

11. SHED A TEAR FOR THE SNOW DOTH MELT

I don’t believe it but the snow doth fade, Cham Jam thank you mam, 22K of unpisted glacier aka the Valle Blanche, a bit more waffle about music and no more digressions on chicks…

 Cham Jam’s just been and gone too. For those that don’t know it’s a big event on the pro snowboarder calendar with a music festival thrown in for good measure. Halfpipe, boarder cross, big air etc. Let me tell you these guys and gals rip. The big air was awesome dude and I was well and truly stoked – I won’t bore you with this expcept to implore you to check out the pix in the Action section on this site. Town was very busy and I had one of the best nights in Dicks DJing when it went absolutley mental with my tuneage. Which was nice as part of why I was leaving was due to creative frustration. Ie half the time it felt like there could have been a robot playing ‘The Best Of’s Now 50-60′. I catered for this but also mixed in quality too and generally I know I’ve done a good job and they’ve been impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I had no illusions. It’s a smalltime Alpine discoteque. On a career trajectory my position was like that of the failed opera singer who has to endure the humiliation of belting out Tom Jones’ back catalogue to blue rinses on a cruise ship night after night.

Musically it’s been interesting though. I was also never under any illusions about the type of music people wanted to hear and I hopefully delivered. I learnt a lot about music and creating an atmosphere through technique. You could say the music was varied. In the space of an hour I might jump from hip hop, pop, salsa and house via a bit of disco and funk. They’re mad for drum and bass here too. I understood from the outset that the punters wanted to be entertained and although I could go on twisted house druggy vibes for hours on end, Van Morrison, Steelers Wheel, Tom Jones, Madonna, Punjabi MC, Prince, Wham and Kylie were more my musical bredren out here.

At last I have completed the Valle Blanche. Basically this is 22K of un-pisted mountain by the side of Mont Blanc which you need a guide for. You go up the Aguile De Midi (the world’s fourth most visited natural wonder at 3800 meters high, fact fans ) and board / ski / blade from a great height. First though you have to trek across a ridge where if you fall one way it’s see ya later fella. Luckily I was harnessed in with the group and there’s a hand rail (made of rope). One of our group started to panick as it’s quite hairy but I won’t mention any names. After this it’s a glorius descent through the most breathtaking scenery you’re likely to get on this side of the Elephant and Castle. Breathtaking mountain ranges, clear views (we saw the Matterhorn in Switzerland), glaciers, La Mer De Glace, ice caves etc. You also had to watch out for the crevices on the run which our guide would point out from time to time, which, being 50-200 metres deep, we did our best to avoid. I’m currently in training for my climb of Mont Blanc I plan for April.

The snow’s melting. This is quite saddening to me when where I once used to see snow tipped pines there’s none of the white powder which is really golden to me. Admittedly the blow will be softened once spring blesses us with flowers and the scent of new life. That’s the thing about here, you become very in tune with the rhythms of nature and the cycle of the seasons. Snow, like sun, brings good moods. It’s been more sunny than snowy recently but I feel we’ll have a few more dumps. Which takes me back to the melting snow. I suppose it also signifies the end of the season and the main reason I came here. In a slightly winsome mood, I pondered how all good things – beauty, love, passion, youth – inevitably fade and I was dealt with an inescapable confrontation with my own mortality and a simultaneous spasm of existential angst as I contemplated the ephemerality of existence. Just teasing. It just means the snow will be gone soon and it’s nearly home time.


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