Black Diamond Test Centre opens in la Grave

American firm Black Diamond has opened a test center in the holy-grail of freeride skiing, la Grave. The French resort has a single main lift which carries backcountry sports enthusiasts from the bottom of the Romanche valley at 1400 meters to the Col des Ruillans à 3200m. With the glacier drag lifts skiers can enjoy over 2100 meters of vertical. What better test environment.

black diamond

The center is located in the Auberge Edelweiss and is run this season by local skier Colin Samuels. Colin is perhaps better known for his superb winter sports photography that has featured in journals such as Skieur and Powder Magazine. The test center will enable riders to test Black Diamond’s skis, safety gear including the AvaLung system and climbing kit. It will also serve as a focus for dealers.

black diamond
Dan Caruso working in testing conditions

Black Diamond were also present at the Swallowmania Ski Test event in February and you can meet them at the Derby de la Meije in early April. This, the 5th Swallowmania saw mixed conditions with 30cm of new but wind blown snow. Saturday was stormy but things got even more severe on Sunday when the cable of the one and only liftderailed and took a couple of hours to repair. Fortunately the visibility improved.

Further Info

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 25 February, 2007 at 12:06 AM

If you are in the Trois Vallees area check out the Freeride stores based in Méribel and Courchevel. Darren, the MD is a keen ski tourer so keeps backcountry gear in stock. You can also test free of charge from their dedicated range of test skis.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 25 February, 2007  at 08:41 PM
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