From Paret to SNOOC: more than a century of skiing

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You probably know the SNOOC, this modern and comfortable paret. But where did he come from?

This article will enlighten you on the origin of this amazing UFO (unidentified sliding object)

 

Originally the paret of Manigod

The paret comes from Haute Savoie in the Thônes valley.

Lightweight, fun, easy to use, the Paret has traditionally been used by children (since the beginning of the 20th century), to get to the village school down snow-covered roads.

Paret Manigod 

Nowadays, paret is used for leisure purposes, although the object has remained the same.

Concretely, the paret is a small sled entirely designed in wood, with a single shoe (sledge), fitted with an inclined board allowing you to sit with one foot on each side of the sled, and a vertical handle allowing you to direct it all. Depending on the hamlets, the paret could be a little different, for example with a small horizontal bar instead of the vertical handle to place the trays of tommes or reblochons on the knees.

Located in Haute Savoie a few steps from the Thônes valley, is the Manigod valley. The village of Manigod claims the paternity of Paret. The practice of paret would then have spread to the other Haut-Savoyard resorts of Aravis.

Many anecdotes exist on the practice of Paret. Particularly popular in winter, and when the conditions were good, it could happen that some enthusiasts missed a few hours of school ... to do Paret!

But why did you sit inclined on this machine? maybe because the legend says that in Manigod nothing is flat! Even the village hall is sloping. Enough to force people in wheelchairs to apply the brakes or else they will cross the room while eating!

Some grandmothers say that the position of the paret with the feet forward tended to bring up the snow. The dress which at that time was the rule for young girls was not particularly suited to this practice.

The Paret has thus become the symbolic object of Manigod and its inhabitants, all generations combined ...

The first photos that testify to the existence of the paret date back to 1908.

paret luge ancien

And we can see that the Paret remains very present during the 20th century with photos in each era.

paret manigod 20 siècle

Each season, many free Paret demonstrations and discoveries are organized during the winter season.

It was in the 1990s that the first Paret championship was revived.

Today the Paret races are on Friday evening.

 

Paret World Championship

 

You might think the Paret is just a sled? Think again, the Paret remains today a semi religion in the Aravis.

With its annual Paret World Championship, competitors did not come to pick flowers or count snowflakes.

This friendly, but no less serious Paret championship is organized with stages that take place in the stations of Manigod: la Croix-Fry and Merdassier.

Some of the most beautiful paret bowls.

 

 

The experts in the discipline of paret compete at over 80 km / h.

 

During the winter of 2019-2020, for the 27th Paret Championship, around 160 participants competed in a timed parallel slalom at night, on the slopes of Croix-fry and Merdassier.

 

To be Paret or not to be

The definition of paret as said in the introduction is very strict. Regulations have tightened up with the arrival of modern parets to maintain the identity of the practice.

The material of Paret accepted at the world championship can only be wood, with a 4cm wide sledge covered with an iron of the same width.

Modern Parets, fitted with larger skis or runners, are not allowed in the competition. The suspensions and foam systems to better adhere to the seat either (except a little cushioning foam for "veterans").

We can only salute this finesse and this respect for the rule which makes a lot of sense from our point of view.

This strict rule allows:

 

  • to keep the spirit and the good-natured atmosphere of the paret competition,
  • to limit technological escalation and to keep a low budget for manufacturing Paret regardless of the participant-
  • to make everyone run with a fair chance
  • To keep a paret efficient enough to be fast and unstable enough to limit the risk of injury for novices. Clearly, the paret does not compensate for the lack of experience
  • And of course, to preserve the history, the tradition and the authenticity and the uniqueness of the valley and its paret.

 

So it’s not worth showing up with something other than an authentic Paret at a Paret Championship in the Manigod Valley.

 

 

You should know that when it comes to entertainment (we're not talking about the Paret World Championship), Paret is probably one of the only disciplines where there is no category. The 5 year olds run with the 70 year olds, the locals with the holidaymakers on a parallel slalom. The start is at the draw!

On the Paret World Championship, we find the categories.

Beyond the use for the Paret Championship, we must admit that the seat is quite rigid, the suspension zero, the skate has no lift, the ergonomics quite rudimentary.

 

 

paret rudimentaire

In short, it is also possible to change the practice of Paret for more comfort, accessibility, control and increase the accessible space with this fabulous machine. Here are some examples.

Find out where to make SNOOC paret:

 

 

Where to do Paret SNOOC

The Paret goes beyond the valley

Discover the map of stations which allow the practice and the list of stations where to practice

 

 

The Paret does not have at all the same characteristics as the toboggan as we know it and as it is defined in France. If the toboggan is by definition a machine which "turns flat and goes in the direction of the greatest slope", the Paret allows an edge grip.

From 2008, it is station after , testationst after test that the practice is accepted by modern parets. Little by little, the practice is authorized and certain authorizations then benefit the practice of the ancestral Paret.

Although the traditional paret like its cousins performs very well on hard snow, the modern Paret offers a wider runner and therefore better lift for soft or soft snow.

This is how we can find Jean Louis David Métral on a paret at the Derby de la Meije in 2008.

Then the SNOOC paret in 2019 for the 30 years of the Derby de la Meije!

 

 

 

 

The Paret changes gear

It was in 2007 that the first industrial manufacturer Yunaska launched a modern plastic Paret.

Cyril Colmet Daage, then in full development of what would become the SNOOC paret, joined forces and took responsibility for the commercial development of the practice.

It is by dint of perseverance and diplomacy that the resorts are gradually opening up to this practice of Paret, which until then has been considered a sledge.

Today, more than 100 stations in France, from the largest to the smallest, allow the modern Paret SNOOC on their slopes. Some even offer spaces for initiation into the practice.

Here is the list of stations which offer SNOOC paret.

The media widely relay the progress of this modern paret which makes skiing accessible to as many people as possible.

The Paret crosses the oceans

Driven by the energy of the mountains, and with a view to the next Olympic Games in 2022, Paret SNOOC is being exported to China.

 

 

Paret becomes hiking equipment

 

 

As early as 2007, the idea sprouted that the Paret could make hiking more fun. The discovery of a few memorable routes anchored the desire to create a hiking Paret.

Far from the groomed slopes and the world championship where the practice of Paret is democratized, the route from Montgenèvre to Briançon tested in 2007 allows you to descend 1300m of vertical drop over 17km through the Vauban forts. A Paret SNOOC outlet to put on your to do list!

 

 

The SNOOC paret outings around Chambery and Aix les Bains, in the bauges are also very suitable.

 

 

After discovering some exotic versions of Paret, the first SNOOC parets were tested in 2007, it was only from 2014 that the first Paret Snooc prototypes became transformable! At that time, the system was still quite heavy and cumbersome, the paret consisted of a ski and a folding ski that were stored in the bag

 

 

 

 

In 2016, after 9 years of development “in the garage”, Paret expands its practice space with the launch of Paret Snooc.

As in ski touring, the skis are used for ascent and descent, the equipment is lightened, we arrive at Snooc with the transformation as we know it today. A pair of ski-snowshoes that transforms into a sit-ski-sledge

This modern paret can be transformed into a ski touring and thus makes the activity lighter and more efficient for walking on mountain trails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Paret ... and next door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the paret originates from Manigod, you should know that the single-skate sled is universal. Each region of the world has its own paret.

Starting with the Vosges with the Girouette.

 

paret girouette

The Weathervane looks very much like a paret, but unlike the paret, the seat is horizontal and the handle much higher.

La Girouette, Paret des Vosges also has a continuation of the local tradition.

 

Towards the Paret ... beyond

 

 

One-skate sledging is universal. With an inclined seat or a goat milking stool mounted on a spar, each mountain has its own unique paret design.

In Slovenia, the oldest paret “Plejzuh” presented in the Maribor museum dates from the beginning of the 18th century.

 

Plejzuh

The first patent filed for a sit or paret ski dates back to 1883.

brevet ski assis

 

 

In the United States, the first patent that one could associate with a paret of the Jack jumper type dates from 1904.

 

 

jack jumper

 

The ancestor of the paret “Rennböckl” in Italy in Olang.

 

Rennböckl olang

The ancestor of the paret “Klumper” in Tulfes (North Tyrol).

klumper tyrol

It seems that the practice of paret that we knew ancestral is also global! And for proof.

More rustic than the Paret or the Weathervane, this paret from Kashmire seems rather robust, heavy but effective!

 

Made up of a beam or stack of cleats, the runner of this paret is made up of a fitting which ensures the homogeneity of the whole and protects the wood from the abrasion of snow.

The seat is a plank finished with cleats to grip.

Images that we probably could have seen in the development of the paret

There is little chance that the children of the Drung Valley will know that the Paret World Championship takes place every year to the delight of young and old from the villages around Thones.

Hats off to these kids, whom the pleasure of sliding makes practically insensitive to the bites of the cold and the snow !!

When will there be a twinning between this small village a little west of the Old Temple of Drung and the village of Manigod?

After having tested many versions, the Manigod paret will be chosen as the base for the hiking paret.

 

The Parets in madness

There is no real limit to the paret and especially to the imagination of the mountain people.

This is how you can find Paret tandems

 

Paret tandem created by Sébastien Roux (Montgenèvre). The driver’s legs in the front land on the puck.

paret montgenèvre

 

At the 2018 instructors challenge, the ESF des Carroz presents its tandem Paret pirates.

 

At the Défi Foly, it's a giant tandem with several participants on it trying to cross the lake.

In December 2010, the Manigod station offered itself a giant paret. This paret has a handle that is 3.2m high, has a 5m sledge and a 4.7m incline board on which to sit.

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