Friday, November 07, 2008

Ski and sail

What happens to a retired Whitbread winner...

For a true mountain experience you need to escape the resorts and spend a night or two in the backcountry where the snow is pure, night skies leave the Blackpool illuminations in the shadows and the only noise you'll hear is soothing murmur of nature.

In 1986, L'Esprit d'Equipe won the Whitbread Round the World Race but has since been converted into a floating base for some of most inaccessible skiing in Norway. Sailing the fjords of the Lyngen Alps, the yacht drops guests off by dinghy to hike and ride the untouched slopes.

The 55ft yacht can accommodate up to seven guests in addition to the skipper, one-man crew and mountain guide. Everyone mucks in with the sailing, where throughout the winter and spring L'Esprit d'Equipe leaves Tromsø harbour on its eight-day tours. This has to be the most environmentally friendly way to get your skiing fix.

(thanks to Bill LeFevre for this story)

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