Minimum altitude: 1,554 meters
Distance: 39.2 km
Slope Aspect: North-East
Vertical Climbed: 780 meters (2,559 feet)
Vertical Descended: 778 meters
I've never nordic skied at les Saisies but we alpine skied here a few years ago and it was very flat so seemed ideal for cross country. I started with a warm up around the green then onto the Challenge officiel Etoile des Saisies - 22 km - Justine Braisaz. This is a virtual race to replace the Etoile des Saisies cancelled due to Covid. This is a 22km piste with 220 meters of climbing. Now that sounds pretty flat really. I think it is the old Raphaël Poirée. Now both Justine and Raphaël are biathletes. Raphaël picked up a silver medal at Salt Lake City in 2002 but I guess he's old news now whereas Justine is the current local biathlon star with a couple of world cup golds to her name.
The Justine Braisaz starts off with a rolling down hill to Lachat, about 5km but some quite steep descents and a few ramps up. This is followed by a 9km, 200 meter climb back to les Saisies and up to the plateau de Palette. You spend quite a bit of time turning around the Palette and it is quite tiring in the end. I finished in 1h39m22s, then stopped for half a coke at the car then went on to the Julia Simon, the other local biathlon star. Julie's palmares are actually better than Justine's with a World Championship gold this year and 3 other world cup golds. Maybe they should swap the pistes around :-) ? Anyway this piste takes a more direct route down to Lachat and cuts out the faffing on the Palette but by now it was after 11am and the snow was very sticky. It is about 11km long with 150 meters of climbing, so climbing wise not much difference to the JB but it sure feels easier. Skiing down between light and shade it would be stop/go/stop. On the climbs it was a case of finding any shadows at all and the slippery snow they hid. But it was thankfully not too long and I decided to call it a day after this very slow circuit (1h01m44s)
Good snow until around 11 / 11h30 then very sticky in the sun.