As a regular sponsor of the event, MPI sometimes also participates in the two-day challenge. The aim is for teams of skiers or snowboarders to clock up at least 150km of GPS-tracked skiing or boarding across the 15 resorts of the Portes du Soleil area, and reach as many of the checkpoints as possible. The team that covers the greatest distace and visits the most checkpoints is the winner.
There's a lot of skill and stamina involved, but it's also a fun event involving creative team names and colourful outfits – as shown in our picture of the Red Devils team. Why the Red Devils? "We used to be angels, but the wings fell off!"
The event also has a serious side, which challenges the particpating teams to raise £750 per person for Snow Camp, the UK youth charity. Snow camp strives to empower inner-city young people with snowsports, lifeskills, qualifications and vocational oportunities.
After the recent heavy snowfalls, the weather turned fair for this year's Alpine Challenge. Pistes were described as hard and icy, but skiers could usually pick a line on the edge of the piste whetre the snow was sodter. Off piste, the snow was springish "wher eyou can find it" – otherwise hard-packed, but skiable. By midday, quite slushy on the lower slopes.