This week has been a bit more random! On Sunday 11th Jan Dave and I found ourselves watching the Portes du Soleil Husky Race, La Grande Odyssée, after a day of park riding in Avoriaz. The race kicked off at 4.30pm from Avoriaz and sees 25 sleds with 8 huskies per sled battling it out for the $100,000 prize money. The mushers and huskies race through the Portes du Soleil region over the four days visiting both France and Switzerland and covering; La Chapelle, Abondance, Chatel, Les Gets, Praz de Lys, Morzine, Morgins, Champery and Avoriaz. The race does not finish here and will end on the 21st January in the Mont Blanc region.
Watching the sleds get started is a very noisy affair; the huskies are so excited that they are jumping all over the place, pulling hard on their harnesses and trying to out bark each other. I joked to Dave that they must all be on Speed, and one particular husky was behaving like it had been upgraded to Coke as it kept jumping over its pairing husky which delayed the sled from starting the race. It was great to see so many huskies so crazy with excitement, all 308 of them (including the reserves)!
I was expecting all of the huskies to look like the Siberian Husky, with the wolf-like look and the wolf-like howl but I was surprised to see a wide mix of mongrels, with some of the huskies looking more like Labradors. Dave informed me that a husky is actually a working dog, bred to pull sleds and therefore can be several breeds whereas the Siberian Husky is the breed.
Dave and I were due to follow the race on the Tuesday 13th Jan and take part in the off-piste ski trip but on route Dave had a massive stack and dislocated his shoulder and pulled his ligaments. This is gutting. The accident has been blamed on me for filming him as he said he can not help but to show off. At the doctors he said; “at least we have the stack on film”, I said; “god, I hope I have got it.” Looking through my recording, I made a stupid error and had filmed the whole run with mega zoom, so we do not even have any evidence of his mighty crash. Luckily Dave is doing the majority of the filming this season.
La Grande Odyssée is a yearly event so I would definitely recommend watching the race if you are in resort at the right time, it is a great atmosphere and something that you don’t usually get to see.