Wayne's Daily Diary
- 10 March 2014
- Great effort all round boys!
Ray’s forecast of some light cloud cover was correct this morning, but whatever thin cloud we had disappeared pretty jolly quickly and was never really a factor, and it ended up even warmer than yesterday. It was another fantastic morning of powder snow with Chris heading towards the Fornet, my team skiing towards Tignes, and Andreas hanging around in the middle. Thomas has returned for his trip to Norway and was working this morning but I’m not too sure where he skied. Henry had an intro to touring day and I’m not sure where he was either, although I could take a guess!
Check the photos and Facebook page and as Trevor, who’s from Newcastle in Northern Ireland and skiing with Alpine for the first time said, “that was a high-five kind of morning!”
Relentless sun is forecast and it seems ages ago when we were skiing in fabulous snow in flat-light and hoping for some sun to give us a little relief. A day of snow and flat-light would be extremely welcome now! Stay tuned as the boys continue to ‘sniff’ out great skiing in tough circumstances. Bravo boys!
- 9 March 2014
- Ridiculously stunning weather with great skiing!
The sun continues to beat down and the resort is totally tracked out, but we are still ‘sniffing’ out fantastic snow and great skiing. Maybe I should start using code for where we’re skiing as each little stash becomes more precious with each passing day. I’ll let the photos do the talking and Chris and Andreas will post some Facebook shots, but I thought this morning was excellent with my team skiing in Tignes and Chris and Andreas skiing up at the Fornet.
Millie and Katie are skiing all day every day this week with their Ski Loisir teams, and my old beau-frere Pav is in town and I’m about to meet up with he and his pals to watch a little rugby. Speaking of rugby, I hope TJ survived Scotland’s agonising defeat yesterday. It would have been excruciating for him to watch!
Full on sun is forecast again for tomorrow although Ray’s site seems to think it may be cloudy without any new snow. I don’t like that the sound of that site much! Stay tuned!
PS Just watched the England vs Wales match and thought it was fantastic. And boy, that Leigh Half-Penny bloke has a serious boot on him!
- 8 March 2014
- The Pers comes through again!
With the high temperatures the sun is damaging just about everything that isn’t north and this morning a strong north-easterly wind started to blow, which is exactly what we don’t want as the wind is attacking what’s left of our precious powder. Andreas and I headed up to the Fornet for an excellent Glacier Pers while Chris and Tejina skied the Borsat West and Sachette. The Pers has so far survived the wind and was still beautiful and I’m waiting to hear from Chris about what’s going on towards Tignes snow-wise.
West Ham have the weekend off so it’s a relaxing and stress free Saturday afternoon!
Sun is forecast for the next week so anyone skiing powder could you please show some respect to your fellow addicts and keep your tracks tight! Stay tuned!
- 7 March 2014
- Fabulous weather, wonderful snow!
After dealing with flat-light and wishing for sunshine, after a few days of blue skies we’re suddenly finding ourselves wishing it would snow again. We’re in for another week of solid heat and we’ll need to be using our imagination to find soft snow as this sunny spell continues. We that said we all enjoyed another great day of skiing today as we milk whatever the mountain will give us.
I headed towards Tignes for a change of scenery and found some excellent skiing in the Borsat West. We spotted two Perdrix Blanche on the hike up and fortunately the entrance was the easiest it’s ever been, but first-timers up there still find it impressive and it’s always good ambience. After the Borsat West we worked our way to the Sachette, which was superb up high, great through the middle sections, and we found some good ‘scraps’ at the bottom. We finished off with a good Familial and I stopped off at the ruined farmhouse to have a picnic with the girls.
Meanwhile, Andreas and Henry headed up to the Glaciers Pers, which is still wonderful, and Chris, Tejina and Suzanne ‘skinned’ up to the Col Des Fours, which was great skiing but coming to an end due to tracks. It would be nice if people made a bit more of an effort to conserve the snow but most people just don’t get it, and besides spreading out and wasting snow some skiers and boarders seem to ski across the fall-line, which compounds the problem and is extremely annoying.
There was a one to a one-and-a-half metre plaque pop out on the traverse towards Mont Roup from the Borsat Chair. Someone on ‘skins’ set it off between 2 and 2:30 in the afternoon but I don’t think anyone was injured.
Stay tuned for heat and blue skies for the next week!
- 6 March 2014
- A stunning Vallonnet and Lechoir!
It was another stunning day on the weather front and I returned to the Fornet for a fabulous morning in great snow. Gideon, Jerry, Alan and I started off taking the high road into the Vallonnet before ‘skinning’ for about five-minutes to access ‘clean’ and deep winter powder snow pretty much to the bottom. The views were wonderful (see photos) and it’s been a while since the last time I visited that part of the Vallonnet. From there we took a high-line into the Combe du Signal to ski above the shoulder on the far side, where the snow had taken a little heat but was still good skiing and the boys handled it really well. Next up was a trip over the Col for a Tour de Lechoir, which was excellent top-to-bottom, and we managed ‘clean’ snow from the Grand Torsai down, which was a real bonus!
Meanwhile, Andreas and Chris went off to Bonneval this morning and I haven’t heard from them. They should be returning in an hour or so and I’m sure there will be coverage of their adventures on the Facebook page this evening.
There was a tragic accident yesterday and a 22-year-old Frenchman was killed and his companion is in critical condition in hospital after they were swept off a cliff by a small avalanche. The slide took place between the two chair lifts on the Face de Bellevarde.
Thanks to Laura who’s taken care of Katie today while Gill and Millie have been down to Lyon to take Nana to the airport. Liz had a great time and thanks to all those who helped with the entertainment!
More sun is forecast for tomorrow so stay tuned!
- 5 March 2014
- A brillaint day at the Fornet!
It was cold overnight and with clear blue skies we were all chomping at the bit to get going this morning. We all headed up to the Fornet and my team started off with an excellent run in the Combe du Signal, followed by two short ‘skins’ to make the most of a beautiful Pays Desert, then a terrific run over the Col Pers to finish a great morning. Andreas meanwhile, ‘skinned’ to the Col des Fours for an fabulous run down followed by some bonus turns over the little Col. Bravo to his team for their efforts!
Unfortunately everyone’s mood was dampened by an injury to Clare who was skiing with Chris. She injured some knee ligaments and needed to be carted off the mountain by the Pisteurs, who did a fantastic job rescuing her from way out in the middle of the Pays Desert. Clare, Tejina, Chris and Suzanne were enjoying a hot chocolate and rum when I last spoke to them and Clare’s injury may not be as bad as originally feared. Good luck Clare!
Clare’s rescue makes you think about the chances we take during periods of flat-light, when we’re all skiing way off-piste in the middle of nowhere. Injuries in these circumstances would greatly increase the complications of the rescue. It also emphasises the importance of constantly finding the best snow possible, especially in poor vis, because besides being more pleasurable, good snow is much safer and less risky to injury.
Henry had a HAT day down in St Foy with a focus on beeper training and Thomas should be back from Norway soon.
Gill, Liz, Laura and the girls had a brilliant lunch in Tignes Les Boisses at the Hotel le Marais. They had a lovely table in the sunshine, the food was excellent and Gill definitely recommends it. (Booking is a must)
Sunshine is forecast for the next few days but we may have some clouds floating about in the morning. Stay tuned!
- 4 March 2014
- Surprise sunshine upstairs makes the difference this morning!
I skied with Rory, a relation to TJ, and his pals Kit and Barney today and we benefited from some unexpected sunshine that really made for a stunning morning. After a quick Verte we skied the steep pitch under the Borsat chair and into the lower Borsat, followed by an excellent run in the Hourglass Couloir on the Balme, then three rotations on Wayne’s Shoulder. The clouds by this time had crept back in and we needed to ski the Cairn and Familial in flat-light to finish the morning.
After a good lunch at the Gourmandine we headed up to the Fornet but it was pretty foggy and after a run in the Combe du Signal we took the up-and-over and finished off a great day into the L.
Meanwhile Chris, Tejina and Suzanne skied the Borsat en route to the Chardonnet before opening up the first Col in the Sache, then he finished up a wonderful morning with the Familial. He then skied on the Pissailles with Clare and Tejina this afternoon. Andreas had a fantastic morning up at the Fornet and after skiing off the Signal poma had a couple of runs in the 3300. The fog rolled in, which put him off going over the Col, but the snow on the glacier was so good it didn’t matter.
Thanks Ray for taking the girls skiing this morning while Gill and Liz went to Cache 2000.
Sunshine is forecast for tomorrow so stay tuned!
- 3 March 2014
- What a change from yesterday!
After a stunningly beautiful day yesterday it was back into the ‘white’ today, and visibility was pretty poor at times. I had Gill’s friend Alex along with Nick and Gill this morning, and we worked on some technique and skied some off-piste as well. We skied off the Verte, Borsat, Tignes Alti-port and meadows, one from the Grande Motte cable car, one off the edge of the Genepy and a Familial to finish. On hind-sight, we didn’t do too badly!
Chris is skiing with Clare and Tejina and they took it easy on their first day and headed down to Les Brevieres for lunch, while Andreas started with the Borsat Nord and I’m not too sure what he ended up doing.
I’m planning on a trip to the pool with the girls this afternoon and Nana entertained them royally this morning, allowing Gill to ski with me. Thanks Nana!
More snow is expected for the rest of the day and during the day tomorrow, with sunshine returning on Wednesday.
PS Thanks for taking care of the girls Laura and for another amazing dinner!
- 2 March 2014
- Happy Birthday Mom!
I had a relapse with my back yesterday afternoon and this morning had serious doubts about being able to ski today. I knew it was going to be good and didn’t want to let anyone down so after a superb physio session from Gill on the kitchen table and some drugs I went off to give it a go, and what a stunning morning we had up at the Fornet. We had Eric, a telemarker from Oregon on his first visit to Val d’Isere, and he had an incredible morning and couldn’t believe the views. (It reminded me of Andy’s visit last spring) He was great company and an excellent telemarker, and had no trouble keeping a perfect track. Bravo Eric and we look forward to your next visit. It was a maximum turn morning of high quality and we rose above the sea-of-cloud and started with a wonderful run off the shoulder in the Combe du Signal, followed by 2 belters in the 3300, a fantastic run in the Pays Desert and down through Chris’ Chimney, then another in the Pays Desert with a ten-minute ‘skin’, then a run home from the up-and-over chair down into the Super L. Blimey, what a morning!
Meanwhile, Henry was entertaining Sandy, Rosemary and Penny, and believe me, these ladies are seriously good fun! They had a fantastic time and after two sessions in a row in flat-light they were rewarded this morning with brilliant snow and beautiful sunshine above a stunning sea-of-cloud. Bravo ladies and thanks Henry!
Nana has arrived for a five day trip and the girls have dragged her off to watch them ice skate. It’s their first session since watching the figure skating at the Olympics so it should be interesting as they try out their new moves!
And a huge Happy Birthday to my most wonderful mother Ruth, who is 80-years-young today. Happy Birthday Mom!
A little snow is forecast this evening and into tomorrow morning with it clearing during the afternoon, but with any luck we’ll have some decent vis in the morning. Stay tuned!
PS Chris was out with Suzanne this morning and spotted four skiers stuck in the gorge with sluffs from the slopes above starting to slide into the gorge, and he phoned the pisteurs to let them know. The helicopter has been busy the past ten days rescuing stranded people who for some reason have ignored all the signs and reports on the radio about the gorge being closed.
- 1 March 2014
- Lovely snow with a 'light-bulb' overhead!
We were expecting some bright sunny periods this morning but instead it was overcast with light snow falling. Fortunately a little ‘light-bulb’ showed itself through the clouds for most of the morning and the visibility for a flat-light day was actually pretty decent. After our ritual warm-up in lovely snow off the Verte Andreas and I started with the Borsat Nord from the top, which was excellent. Andreas did a nice job ‘cutting’ the entrance then it was full steam ahead. (Chris came in underneath with his team of Sandy, Rosemary and Penny.) The meadows into Tignes were very good as well and from there Andreas headed to the Chardonnet, I went upstairs to the Motte and Chris tried the Combe des Lanches. Unfortunately the Motte was closed for blasting so I skied back down in great snow off the Genepy before skiing the meadows under the Alti-port, then the big slope of the Grande Balme, and the Familial to finish.
Andreas finished with the Balme and Spatule as he was eating at the Fruitiere with Peter, Olivia, Sky and Sean to finish off a terrific week celebrating Peter’s 60th.
Clare B broke her ankle last week and Wilkie from Surefoot injured himself as well yesterday in the Couloir des Pisteurs. The injury list this season is pretty long so fingers crossed that that’s the end of it. Get well soon you two!
More light snow is forecast this afternoon and clear blue skies are expected all day tomorrow. Nana’s arriving in the morning so some sunshine will go down nicely with her as well!