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Salomon/Atomic MTN Pure Tech Binding Review

There are so many ski touring bindings in the market it can be difficult to know which ones to buy. Or which review to trust? As a ski teacher in France for 24 years In the video below, I give to you an honest review of the Atomic/Salomon MTN Tech Bindings. I explain how to use time and the pros and cons of the Atomic/Salomon MTN Bindings.

I have used and tested these bindings for two whole winters and with the lifts closed this year in France I have put them to test all winter.

PROS:
1) Convenience: The binding is simple to use and you can use your ski pole to easily adjust the raisers for going uphill on steeper terrain. You also can get the binding into a downhill mode with your ski pole and without taking off your skis. This is a big bonus as this method saves you time and safety.
2) Lightness: Each binding weighs 295G without the brake which is light!
3) Reliability: With its simple construction and minimal parts the binding is more reliable and less likely to break in the backcountry.

CONS:
1) My leash broke when using in the bindings. Which was then easily fixed by a shop.
2) As with most ski touring bindings I had some difficulty a few times to get them in downhill mode due to the ice in the bindings.

MY CONCLUSION:
These Atomic/Salomon MTN Bindings are great for the longer day ski tourers that like a lighter set up who want reliability and performance when skiing in the backcountry. They are not for the absolute beginner ski tourer as its a tech binding.

Fuel Your Adventure With Homemade Energy Balls

Home made energy balls

I love all sport. I love being outside. I love the freedom and the energy and the adjustments that your body makes. My biggest passion is skiing and when I am coaching my clients I am often asked ‘ What do you eat on your adventures…` Fuel your adventure with homemade energy balls. So here it is my secret homemade recipe for my homemade energy balls. You don`t have to stick to the rules you can adjust the ingredients. HAVE FUN and ENJOY.

4 REASONS TO MAKE THEM:

  1. Taste great and you don`t have to be a chef and they are easy to make.
  2. They are Affordable
  3. Gluten and Vegan Free
  4. They are great energy to fuel your next adventure

INGREDIENTS:

500G of soaked Dates
400G Peanuts grinded
200G or thereabouts on mixed nuts grinded
200G Coconut desiccated
2TSPs Cocoa Powder
400G Oats

Method:

  1. Mashup the dates without stones in a food processor
  2. Add nuts, oats, coconut powder and mix
  3. Place the desiccated coconut on a chopping board and mould the mixture to a bite-size ball.
  4. Roll the ball in the coconut and wrap it in cling film.
  5. Store in the freezer

Check out my video and how to make them on the FreeFloss YouTube channel. If you have any questions please comment on the video in the description box 😁



Online Ski Coaching/ Instant Success

Last March 2021 with the lifts not running in France due to COVID19 a client who I had taught previously approached me with a problem. He was getting frustrated with the lack of skiing time that he had done in the winter and he wanted to improve his skiing on off-piste and steeper terrain. Problem solved. I picked a good weather window, good snow conditions and an uphill route that wasn`t complicated and too long. I then found the right off-piste slope and I gave him instructions and filmed him after 12 turns. I then showed the skier the video and gave him three clear tips on how to improve. Watch the video below and you can see the instant results. In one pitch of skiing, he had improved dramatically. It was so exciting to see the great improvement by implementing video and with the right coaching. It was an instant success.

If you like this video and you want to share your passion for skiing and the mountains please hit the SUBSCRIBE and the bell notification so you don’t miss out on another video. Thank you and see you next Sunday in the next video.

Online Ski Coaching:
In my opinion ski coaching with video is the second-best teaching tool after the coach. Watching myself skiing on video and seeing what I do and matching my feelings to the actions has given me instant results. It has been a part of my success path which got me to where I am today as an International Ski Teacher and Coach living and working in France. Make changes today even if you are not on the slopes in your skiing and visit my website. I will look forward to coaching you.

Floss

#1 Ski Touring Route This Winter 2020/21- Rocher De La Davie, Tignes area, 3159M

With no ski lifts open this winter in France due to Covid 19 the only way to make some turns is earning them and ski touring uphill. The ski touring route to Rocher De La Davie is not only a beautiful touring route of wilderness and sheer beauty. But it is also a special route for me.

Rarely I get the chance to climb over 3000m. It must have been a couple of years ago before my leg was broken that I ski toured up such a height. Then lockdown with Covid stopped everything. So being up here on La Rocher De La Davie 3159m last weekend meant a lot to me. It was my first big vertical tour in a long time. Determination and grit are the reasons why I got here!!

If you put your mind to something you can achieve it!!! So I wanted to share this journey with you because whatever goal you have you can do it! You can succeed even if the journey is hard, difficult and will take a long time. This blog is the proof!

ski touring summit rocher de la davie
On the Summit Rocher De La Davie 3159M

This route is such a beautiful and stunning route with breathtaking views all around. It is a route where timing is everything. If you tour up in the springtime then make sure you leave early to reduce avalanche risk as lot of the faces are west and southerly aspects.

Watch the youtube video: Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE

Directions: You start by parking your car on the side of the road below the village. Then you walk up to the village and tour up follow the signs Orsiere village. Continue through the forest and before you get to Orsiere the forest will start to thin out and go east onto a wide and open face of Plan Du Geniviere. Work your way up until it starts to get steep then contour round to ridgeline and up to spot height 2819m. Then descend and a slight climb to the weather station. Once at the weather station contour round and the summit is in view in the background.

The view at summit de la davie
View at the summit of La Davie

Route: Le Villaret Des Brevieres to Rocher De La Davie
Off Piste skiing between: 1832m -3159m E/SE/S/W
Max Gradient: 38 degrees
Uphill: With good fitness 4.5 to 5 hours
Total Return Route time: 5.5/6hrs
Skiers Level: Intermediate/Advanced off piste
Ski Touring Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Start: From the road below the village Villaret Des Brevieres
Finish: Villaret Des Brevieres
Map needed: 3532ET

Powder Skiing Of La Rocher De La Davies, Tignes area
Powder Skiing Of La Rocher De La Davies, Tignes area

COMING SOON: If you want to get into ski touring and you don’t know how. Or if you have done ski touring a few times and you want to learn more then consider purchasing the Ski Touring Kickstarter digital course. Save time and money by making the right decisions and learn at your own pace. It is a lifetime course that you can always refer back to. For more info please email [email protected]

Ski Touring Kickstarter Course
Ski Touring Kickstarter Course

Avalanche Safety: 3 Terrain Selection Mistakes To Avoid

On the 12th of December 2020, 40cm of fresh snow fell over two days in the northern French Alps in the Tarentaise Valley. The snowfall fell on top of a weak fragile layer and nine avalanches were reported the next day. These avalanches caused many injuries and luckily no casualties.

In this blog I am going to share with you three terrain selection mistakes that riders made after a 40cm snowfall and how to avoid them. 

MISTAKE 1: SLOPE ANGLE 

The riders choose a slope after a heavy snowfall above 30 degrees. Avalanche danger significantly increases with slope angle as you rise above 30-degrees, but beyond 50-degrees (Tremper) or 60-degrees, (Fredston and Fesler) the likelihood of dangerous slab avalanches decreases.  

HOW TO AVOID: After a heavy snowfall consider a slope less than degrees angle.

MISTAKE 2: ASPECT OF SLOPE 

The majority avalanches on that day happened on northerly aspects. Depending on what direction the slope faces at what time of the year is vital information to how the snowpack bonds. It’s so important to check the forecast, the avalanche bulletin and get local information before making your route decisions. To understand which aspects are more dangerous than others. 

HOW TO AVOID: Find out which aspects of the slope in the area that you would like to ride in are more dangerous and avoid them.

MISTAKE 3: SHAPE OF THE SLOPE

The riders choose a slope with a convexity. Convex slopes statistically produce more avalanches and more avalanche accidents than other kinds of slopes, because they are inherently less stable.

HOW TO AVOID: Avoid slopes with a convexity all together. 

It’s so important to get the right training and education so you can make better and safer decisions when riding off-piste. If you hire an experienced guide and instructor its such an investment as they can teach you to make the right decisions in avalanche terrain and pass their experience. For more details or if you have any questions please drop me an email to: [email protected] or visit my website www.freefloski.com

TOP TIP: LET IT SETTLE

Don’t hike right after a heavy snowfall storm. Most avalanches occur during or just after a heavy snowfall when added weight and weak bonds between fresh and existing snow make slides more likely. Experts recommend waiting at least 48 hours but local variables can extend that time. Always check the avalanche forecast (go to avalanche.org to find a report for your area).

Check out the video on the Freefloski You Tube channel.

On this tutorial channel I share my passion for skiing and the love for the mountains. With 24years of teaching and leading experience I will share with you my secrets, tips and advice to make skiing easier and the mountains safer. Follow and subscribe 👍 .

Stay safe and enjoy the mountains.

Floss 

HOW TO AVOID MAKING SKIN TOURING MISTAKES

THREE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN PUTTING YOUR TOURING SKINS ON

In this blog, I am going to talk about the three most common mistakes Skiers and Snowboarders make when putting on touring skins in the backcountry. Malfunctioning of skins in the backcountry is one of your worst nightmares and is best avoided. Learn how you can avoid making these mistakes.

THREE COMMON MISTAKES WHEN PUTTING SKINS ON?
1) Transition Area: Choosing an unsafe area for transition and in the shade. The Skis or Snowboard facing down in the snow for a long time
2) Snow, Ice, Wet base: If you have snow, ice or a wet base the skins will stick for a short while but after a certain time they will come off and be unusable.
3) Skins over the edge: When skins are placed over the edge of the ski or snowboard you won’t be able to grip uphill and snow will get between the base and the skins. This will make the skins unusable.

HOW TO CORRECT THEM?
1) Transition area: When transitioning your equipment to uphill make sure you choose a safe area away from any avalanche dangers and ideally in the sun. Lie your skis or snowboard up facing the sky on the ground. This will allow the bases to warm up. Therefore the skins will stick on easily.
2) Snow, Ice, Wet Base: Make sure that the bases are dry and aware of snow, ice and moisture. Use a cloth, buff to dry the base and make sure that they are dirt-free and clean.
3) Skins over the edge: When putting touring skins on make sure that you can see the edges of the skis or snowboard.

To see exactly how to avoid these mistakes click on the video below. At the end of this video, I have also shared with you a top-secret of mine.

Don’t make these mistakes

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

Freeflo Ski Courses

How my ski dream turned to reality- My Story Freefloski

‘Ski teaching is not a proper job… Get a proper job…’ is what everyone would tell me.

My story is different from most other stories. The majority of ski instructors come from a ski racing background. They are people who are born in the mountains and on skis. Just like you, I was an ordinary British person who was born in England where there was no snow or large mountains to ski down. A career of being a ski teacher was not recognised as being a proper job.

My first ski experience:

I will never forget my first ski experience. I was on holiday at nine years old with my family. We started skiing in a small resort in Spain and the whole week was a total disaster and a bad memory for me. I hated every moment of it, carrying my skis, wearing heavy and uncomfortable boots and being cold.

My instructor didn’t speak any English and had very little patience. To make matters worse, my brother picked skiing quickly up and was zooming effortlessly down the mountain. Next was my sister, with a full face of make-up, who adopted the perfect ski technique. I was a total disaster. I couldn’t turn left, I couldn’t turn right and I couldn’t get up to the top of the slope on a lift. It was a real struggle and not easy. I was scared and I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know the ‘How to ski..’

skiing
Mastering the technique of falling over at 10 years old

At the end of my first week of skiing, the instructor did manage a sentence in English. He said to my parents, “Skiing is not for your daughter. ” Hearing that sentence just destroyed me and gave me no confidence at all. 

However, my Dad had other ideas. I wasn’t allowed to give up. Through his eyes giving up was a failure. Because of my Dad, I was back skiing again with the family on the next winter holiday.

A few years past, like millions of other people I found myself going down the path of getting a proper job. I finished my GCSE’s then my A’levels and started University in Nottingham. But I wasn’t motivated, fulfilled or happy and I knew deep down that something was missing.

After University:

After one teaching term, against my parent’s wishes, I left University. I started the next winter as a chalet girl in the ski resort of Courmayeur in Italy with Ski Inghams. The drinking and party culture of being a chalet girl had completely influenced me. One Sunday I was hungover and sitting on the chairlift in resort when I found myself talking to a stranger. The stranger’s name was Brian Fern. At the time he was a ski trainer for BASI which is the British Association of Ski Instructors. I remember thinking WOW, how cool is that he skies for a living. ! Working your passion.  I then saw him ski for the first time and I thought to myself that he was a SKI GOD…because he was amazing and made every turn with no effort. I was in love!

off piste skiing
European Mountain Safety in Chamonix     2007

That was the beginning of a fourteen winter struggle through the ski instructors system. I gave up everything and followed my dreams. I was a ski bum in pursuit of a ski teaching career in France! It wasn’t easy. Most summers I was working two jobs to finance the winter training and exams. I slept on some floors to save accommodation costs and sometimes I would sleep in my car. 

I remember starting my APC Level 3 Ski Coach course in a pair of twin tips skis and baggy pants. At the time I couldn’t afford the race skis and a nice shiny lycra race suit.

The ISTD level 4  is the last level out of the four levels of the system. It was the hardest and took me five winters to complete. The training and exams took their toll financially and physically. I remember the start of my 30’s being the broken years. I had encountered so many injuries, several broken bones, a couple of dislocations, torn tendons, concussion and a fused c8 vertebrae. Despite all the injuries and lack of funds I still had the drive and determination to finish the diploma. I didn’t want to be old in my rocking chair and have any regrets about life.

The turning point:

What was a turning point for me in this difficult time? I looked into how to improve different parts of my skiing. With research and speaking to others, I tested new strategies.  I developed ways of becoming a better ski athlete. I listened and made the changes and improved my skiing. From the inspiration of reading the book the Inner Game to Skiing and later the Inner Game to Tennis I also started to train my mind and to improve my mindset and as a result, my skiing and understanding went to the next level. I still coach these methods today and you can read another post on the Here and now in skiing that I have written.

It was the difference between night and day and in December 2012 with bib number 75 in Alpe D’huez I passed my euro test. I was the fastest girl in the race and .92 of a second inside the time. This achievement was the passport to my career in teaching skiing in France. I was so thrilled and overjoyed!!!! I was the 37th British woman to have ever passed this particular ski race. 

Today:

Now I teach people all the lessons I have learnt. The lessons. The mistakes. The secrets. The ski adventures. The ‘How’ …

If you’d like me to take a look at your skiing or give you some invaluable ski holiday advice drop me an email to [email protected]I have some free available one to one call sessions available.

I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best

Floss

P.S: For more skiing advice and tips subscribe and like us on youtube.

Ski Touring
Jocelyn Cockle, Director of FREEFLOSKI

P.S.S: Further reading that I recommend to help you to control your mindset is The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters. It is a fantastic read which can help you in your day to day routines.

 

Skiing for Prostate Cancer UK – A Great Man We Lost Due To COVID19

Skiing for Prostate Cancer UK – Plateau to Summit Ski Adventures
A Great Man We Lost Due to COVID19

Where and when will these events take place?
New and for a part of this winter 20/21, I will be skiing for Prostate Cancer UK. I will be offering guided ski touring adventures, ski coaching, charity events and ski lessons in the ski resort of Tignes and surrounding areas. All proceeds and money raised will go to one of my late father’s charities, Prostate Cancer UK.

Life can be so cruel sometimes and so erratic. Tragically and unexpectedly we lost our lovely strong and fit Dad, the late Terry Cockle to the indiscriminate pandemic killer COVID19 last May 2020.

https://terrycockle.muchloved.com

With a kind and caring soul, Dad approached everything in life with good thoughts and an abundance of good humour. As a family man, Dad showed immense love, unconditional support and allowed us to go on our journey, trusting in us as we did in him. Life without him will never be the same and I will always carry him in my heart forever.

In the honour of my Dad and to all those people that have been affected by COVID19 and cancer, I want to continue my support and to raise further funds for one of Dads charities.

Therefore, this winter I am offering selected guided ski touring adventures, ski coaching and lessons where a course fee will not be paid or a percentage will be donated to Prostate Cancer the UK.

Where and when will these events take place?

Selected ski adventures and events will run through the winter season 2020/21 in Tignes and surrounding areas. Time allocated will depend on the snow conditions and weather. The details and dates of these events and adventures will be advertised on social media networks nearer the time. Keep up to date with these events by following us on Facebook or dropping me an email.

I need your help to run these events!!!

If you are keen on supporting families that have been affected by Covid19 and cancer and you would like to help me to run an event. Or if you are a guide or instructor who can legally work in France and you want to give up some time to help to instruct or guide an adventure please get in touch. You can message me on Facebook or drop me an email to [email protected] ‘Together we can ski, have fun and make a real difference…’

For more details about Dad’s tribute and if you would like to donate please click on the logo below:

 

I will look forward to skiing with you. Together we can have fun and make a real difference.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Floss

Ski Touring

Jocelyn Cockle (Floss)
Director of FREEFLO
ISTD International Ski Teacher
MTA Mountain Leader

5 Tips to keep entertained through corona virus

Day 13: Corona Virus Lockdown in France 

I never thought that I would be writting and sharing my 5 tips to keep you entertained through the corona virus. We are in such times of uncertainty and choas.  In different countries worldwide we find ourselves in some sort of lockdown to stop the corona virus from spreading. On 14th of March 2020 all ski resorts in France closed and the tourist ski industry came to a complete halt. France is in a complete fixed lockdown. Fines have increased to €400; if you are outside your home doing exercise more than a 1km away for more than an hour. You can only leave your home once a day with your document and identification.

Skier: Craig Resort: Les 2 Alpes 13th March. My last day guiding and teaching for winter 2020.

Being the outdoor person that I am; these rules I am finding very difficult to adhere too. Especially as 2019 was a physical lockdown for me being a victim of a ski collision. I am often being asked by others, “what are you doing with your time..?” I have a constant flow of paperwork and administration to keep me entertained. This always comes with running your own business FREEFLO. A lot of my energies is also going into working out the next step. Outside that there is another world; this is what I have been doing.

1) What have I been watching?
YouTube:  For the last two years I have been watching Cody Townsend trying to execute his dream of skiing 50 North American Ski Classic ski lines.

My friend Jordan Tiernan has put together a blog with the best films from the Banff Film Festival. I will look forward to watching them.

2) What podcasts I have been listening too:
I have been working through the list of Outside Magazine for the Top 14 best Podcasts 

3) The best music I have been listening too:
My friends shared me this new 8D music technology. I put my earphones on and the volume up and the music blew my mind. A total different music experience.

4) In the Kitchen: 
With more free time I have been enjoying getting back in the kitchen and making my bread, soups, cakes etc: I found a great receipe for glutenfree pancakes. Try them with some chocolate spread!! They are delicious.

5) What I am reading:  I have am reading once again The Mind Management; The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters. This helps me to control my chimp inside. For more recommended reading in leadership and decision making. Sign up for free to my friend’s Richard Hughes-Jones newsletter. 

Stay safe and enjoy the time to slow down.

Floss

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

Refuge Turia, Villaroger Tarentaise, France

‘The mountains will have time to rest and to recuperate…before we can explore them once again…’ 

 

 

Part 1: Ski touring Col Des Fours, Val D’Isere

Part 1: Ski Touring the Col Des Fours in Val D’Isere

Ski touring the Col Des Fours in Val D’Isere is part 1 of my top five classic ski tours in the Tarentaise Valley in the Northern French Alps. It is also part one of the series Best Ski Touring Routes on my Freefloski youtube channel

Its a low intermediate ski tour with only a 480m of ascent. For your efforts, you are rewarded with amazing views and over 1000m of vertical off-piste descent into the Vallon Des Fours. It is a great introductory tour for skiers who have some experience in ski touring already. But it is a tour where your timing is everything! You need to make sure that you have big enough weather window and that you time the last traverse to perfection.

Ski touring Col Des Fours

Route: Fornet, Val D’Isere- Col Des Fours- Fornet, Val D’Isere
Off-Piste skiing: 2976m -1915m W/NW/N
Max Ski Gradient: 38 degrees
Uphill: 480m 1.5 to 2hrs
Total Route time from Fornet: 5-6hrs 
Skiers Level: Intermediate off-piste skier
Ski Touring Level: Low Intermediate
Start: Fornet cable car
Finish: Fornet cable car
Lift pass needed: Val D’Isere
Map needed: 3633ET

Depending on your size of the group and the speed of the group this tour in the winter you can actually start in Tignes and ski over to Fornet and ski back depending on your size of the group and the speed of the group. In springtime when the snowpack is warming I would advise you to start in Fornet in Val D’Isere so you aren’t depending on a ski lift home.

You start on the Col D’Iseran and ski down southwest to Pont de la Neige. At the bridge, you will find a flat area so you can transition to uphill skiing. From there you climb 480m to the col. If you are careful with your line you don’t need to be able to do a kick turn. The last two hundred metres of the tour is the most difficult and its when the timing is everything.  It’s a 200m traverse which is slightly exposed and often icy. As the pitch above the traverse is southeast facing it has the sun on it early and the snowpack warms and often releases some slides.

At the Col des Fours, Val d’Isere

After you reach the col you have endless options of skiing different lines to the Refuge Des Fours. Choosing your ski down after the refuge becomes a little bit more tricky as you are in more complication terrain. Depending on snow conditions you can then decide to keep left or right of the river des fours back and then back to the Manchet chairlift.

For more ski touring tips see blog:  5 Ski and Snowboard Touring Technique Tips

Ski tour in comfort and performance; I choose nothing but the best and highly recommend the backcountry selection from Floâ Sports,’ Jocelyn Cockle (Floss) Director of Freefloski

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.