A French driver in his 80s found himself in for a snowier and steeper drive than planned this week when he managed to drive onto a red ski slope.
Skiers at Le Markstein ski station in Haut-Rhin, Grand Est were surprised to see the white estate car emerge onto the piste at around 16:00 on Monday, January 24.
How the driver managed to make it onto the piste is still somewhat of a mystery, but the driver said he had not done it deliberately.
Director of the ski station, Thomas Cron, said: “In winter, the [summit road] Route des Crêtes is closed to cars, and we also have a little snow wall that separates the road from the pistes.”
He added: “Luckily, the snow was not icy, so the car didn’t slide down too far and the driver got out fine. The gendarmerie were called on-site, and they requested a hospital check-up [for the driver] anyway.”
Le Markstein ski station is crisscrossed by the main road, the Route Departementale 430 (D430), also known as the Route des Crêtes. It is possible that the driver accidentally came off the main road and instead turned onto a red piste.
The ski station called a snowplough to tow the car, which was not damaged despite its ski adventure.
Skiers on the slope quickly filmed the scene and it was shared on social media.
This is not the first time a car has made a break for it at the Markstein station.
Mr Cron said: “It’s the third time [since I’ve been director]. Sometimes at the weekend, under the influence of alcohol, some people think it’s funny to have a go…and sometimes we find empty cars, but that’s usually on a green slope…”
Le Markstein is a winter sports station in the Vosges mountains in Haut-Rhin (Alsace), between 1,020m and 1,268m. It has four green pistes, four blue, two red, and two black.