Wayne's Daily Diary

Wayne Watson

Wayne's photos

27 April 2015
Another lovely morning on the Motte!

It was +6C again this morning and Chris and I decided to head back to the Motte as he could save his client Dave, who’s staying Tignes, an expensive taxi ride. (Besides that the skiing is great upstairs) We skied the Rosolin twice and ‘skinned’ out to access bonus-turns across the glacier, and like Saturday it was excellent skiing again today. (See photos) Suzanne is skiing with Chris and I had Dave C along with Paul G and Louise, and because the cable car is closed we had the Motte to ourselves.

Andreas is down the valley playing in the Val d’Isere Open golf Tournament, as is Richard F. I’ll have some news on that later but chances are Andreas will probably win as he’s a proper golfer!

It’s raining in town, which means powder upstairs tomorrow, and we could see as much as 50cm’s over the next couple of days. It’s not over yet! Stay tuned!

26 April 2015
An ass-kicking performance from Louise!

I had a superb meal last night at Laura’s with Mike and Richard F, and when I left at 9:45 it was pouring with rain, and I expected 15 to 20cm’s and was raring to go this morning, but instead we had to settle for 5 to 10cm’s. Chris and I had a choice between the Grande Motte and the Fornet Glacier and chose the Fornet for two reasons: one, because we skied the Motte yesterday, and two, because Chris’ new client Dave had rented skis, skins and taken a taxi from Tignes to the Rond Point and turning around and skiing back to Tignes would have been just plain rude! Anyway, we had a fantastic morning around the glacier and stayed at altitude because the warm temperatures made going over the Col impossible. I must say that Louise skied brilliantly today and I was incredibly impressed by how dynamic she was. She totally inspired Paul and I, but unfortunately neither of us could respond and keep up with her. Bravo Louise, what a performance! (See pictures)

Thank you very much to Paul who invited Chris, Suzanne and I to the Perdrix for a last-ever meal, because after 42-years of great memories and meals (not to mention drinks) the Perdrix closes its doors as a drinking and eating establishment. We had a fantastic lunch, shared a magnum of Cotes du Rhone, and I walked off with a massive and beautiful house-plant for 10 Euros!

I’m off now to watch the Arsenal v Chelsea match and will continue later!

PS Andreas was playing in a team tennis match down the valley today and I haven’t heard what Thomas and Henry are up to.

PSS Thomas has just posted photos of his trip with Olivier to Switzerland, and the scenery is pretty spectacular. Bravo boys!

25 April 2015
Grey skies with flat light and drizzle, but blimey!!!!

It was +6C in the village this morning with overcast skies and a light drizzle, and with no direct sun getting through, Chris and I needed to ski somewhere that was perfectly ‘clean’ and high. The only place in the resort to fit the bill was off the Rosolin on the Motte and our teams enjoyed a fantastic morning skiing a perfectly smooth spring base with about 5cm’s of fresh snow on top. After 135-turns we ‘skinned’ out for 10 minutes to ski some lovely bonus turns across the glacier, and it was all so good we circled back around for another trip. We thought about a Familial on the way home but there wasn’t any support underfoot so we skied dynamically on the pistes, which were superb. It was a very satisfying morning, especially since it was the first day of grey skies after such a stunning run of sunshine, and the skiing was excellent! (See photos)

We’re expecting up to 30cm’s of fresh snow over the next couple of days and for the moment it’s just Chris, Suzanne, Paul G and I, so jump on a plane if you’ve got the time! Stay tuned.

24 April 2015
A lighter freeze but still excellent skiing!

There was a lighter freeze overnight and we needed to move on an exposure (starting more southerly instead of easterly) or stay high, and Henry and I chose to ski off the Motte. I opened with the bowl off the Fresse, which is virgin and not ski-compacted, and I needed to move way past east and all the way across the slope to get as southerly as possible to find good support, and knew then we were going to need to stay at altitude. I met Henry on the Motte and after skiing some nice steeps and cutting back to the chair we had a great run through the rocks under the glacier before ‘skinning’ out. Meanwhile Chris skied the Sachette but needed to give the Tourne a miss and head straight over the col, and his team had an excellent morning as well.

JM and Andreas finished up a great tour today with an atmospheric trip through the seracs under the Grande Casse and they all had a celebratory lunch with beverages at the Bar des Sports. It looked like trouble brewing as a few of them moved on to the Coin des Amis afterwards, and why not? The sun is beating down and after walking for a week a few beers with live music sitting on a sun-drenched terrace sounds pretty good! Bravo to you all!

Our wonderful two weeks of sunshine is coming to an end and we are now expecting possibly 30cm’s of snow. Hopefully we’ll enjoy a few days of fresh snow before turning back to spring conditions for the fermature. Stay tuned!

23 April 2015
Great skiing day after day!

We had a better freeze overnight than was expected and Chris, Henry and I took advantage and opened up with an excellent Face du Charvet. It’s getting a little trickier to get through the avalanche debris and rocks at the top but its well worth it for the decent. From there we all skied a brilliant run off the Borsat traverse into the Charvet valley and then followed that up with a great run from the Col de la Madeleine into the Super Arcelle. We all finished off another fantastic morning with various runs depending on rendezvous’.

Andreas has posted some photos from their tour on the Facebook page so check out their adventures!

We should hopefully have another sunny day tomorrow before some stormy weather moves in on Saturday, and we should see some snow down to 1000m’s during the weekend. That should clean things up a little for the grand finale! Stay tuned!

22 April 2015
Tignes for a change of scenery!

It was slightly warmer overnight and the sun was blistering hot so I gave the Face du Charvet a miss and headed straight to Tignes with Henry for another brilliant morning of clean spring snow. After ‘downloading’ to avoid the dreadful piste we skied a wonderful Tourne, which was absolutely perfect. Next up was a stunning Sachette, followed by some bits-and-bobs before an excellent finish with a Funky Familial. It was a pleasure having Henry along for company again today and his brother- and sister team of Andy and Sarah had a great time. It was another fantastic morning and I’m gob-smacked with the quality of snow, the fabulous weather and the terrain that we’ve been skiing over the past few weeks. Spring skiing doesn’t get much better and after a long hard season I must say I’m still thoroughly enjoying myself.

Meanwhile Chris was en route to ski the Col des Fours but changed his mind due to the heat and instead ‘skinned’ to the Gros Cavel and then walked out through the summer path above the gorge. (Check out his photos on Facebook)

JM and Andreas should be back in communication tonight and Andreas will probably put an update on the Facebook page so look out for that.

We’re not too sure what’s in store weather-wise but we’ll be ready in the morning. Stay tuned and bravo you Flames!

PS I’ve just heard from Tansy who reports that Andreas and JM are having a great tour with excellent ambience within the group, and they’ve skied the Mean Martin and the Sana and are planning to finish with the Col on the Grande Casse. Well done boys! So far I’ve had no news from Oli and Thomas who are in Switzerland.

21 April 2015
Wow, spring skiing doesn't get much better!

It was two degrees warmer this morning, which meant we needed to get a move on to ski the Face du Charvet. Over the past ten days the Face has been stunning and even more atmospheric than usual as you traverse above the big slab avalanche that went top-to-bottom. The big slide as kept people away, leaving the snow pretty ‘clean’ and making for some terrific skiing. From there we skied an excellent Kern, followed by a fantastic run towards the cabin off the Borsat traverse, then a brilliant Col de la Madeleine into the Super Arcelle, followed by a blast down the ‘L’ to finish. It was a wonderful morning of ‘classic’ spring slopes and it was nice to have Henry’s team ten minutes behind us all morning. Meanwhile, Chris had a fantastic morning skiing spring slopes in Tignes, including the always faithful Sachette.

After lunch on the terrace at Les Crozets Paul, Dave M and I skied one run in the Grand Vallon before having a belter down Oh My!, which I haven’t skied in ages. The snow was perfect at 2:45 and it was a real treat as it’s a bloody impressive slope. Bravo boys!

Andreas and JM will be back in communication tomorrow as their next hut will have a signal. The weather has been perfect for them and I’m sure they’re having a great time.

Katie is off to the fracture clinic this afternoon for her heel. Good luck sweetheart!

More good weather is forecast for tomorrow with a slightly lighter freeze and warmer temperatures, which will alter our timing and options, and we could see some rain/snow on Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned!

PS I forgot to mention that Thomas is in Switzerland touring with Olivier.
Good luck to you tow as well!

20 April 2015
Good freeze, great skiing!

It was much colder last night and we had a good freeze, which set us up for a fantastic morning of spring skiing. My team started off with the Kern, followed by the Super Santons, and then another Kern. From there we ‘skinned’ to the mini-Crete du Genepy before finishing off with the upper section in the Arcelle and a good piste blast. The snow was excellent and for the most part we could really work our skis on it, with the odd patch down low where a little finesse did the trick. Meanwhile, Chris ‘skinned’ to Mont Roup and finished with the Vallonnet and his team enjoyed a cracking morning as well. (See photos, thanks Jean as I’m using Crome now)

I skied the Vallonnet into the Grand Vallon this afternoon with Paul and I must say it is superb in the afternoons. I’m going to try and recruit some skiers for a session tomorrow afternoon as it’s forecast to freeze tonight with sunshine all day tomorrow. And this type of weather will certainly help JM and Andreas on their tour. Good luck boys!

PS And Happy Birthday Tony W !!!!

19 April 2015
+6C at 8AM, but still great spring skiing!

It was +6C and partially overcast this morning, so Chris and I were going to head to the Grande Motte for a guaranteed freeze and support. But the Motte sector was shrouded in cloud and with sunshine over the Aiguille Percee we changed our minds and ended up have a brilliant morning with beautiful spring snow, and pretty good support considering the warm overnight temperatures. We skied a mini-Tourne, a fabulous Sachette, some bits-and-pieces and finished off with a really good Familial. (See photos although I can’t see them and organize their order. Everything is going into the Photos of the Day file and not being moved into the April 2015 file)

This afternoon I skied with Michele and her son Cassius and we had a fantastic ski. We introduced Cassius to spring snow off-piste until the freeze disappeared then we skied dynamically on-piste. He’s a cracking good little skier at 7-years-of-age and a Hammers fan as well! Bravo Cassius!

Jean Marc and Andreas are off on a week- long tour and are staying in the Refuge des Fours this evening. Andreas reports light snow falling at the refuge and it’s now drizzling in town so we should all have some fresh snow in the morning. Yahoo!!!

Katie is still hobbling about on crutches, which is a real bore for her. I’m hoping she’ll be able to start riding soon while Millie has taken herself to the golf course 4 times in the last week! Good girl! Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

18 April 2015
Expected powder but skied lovely spring snow!

Chris and I headed up to the Fornet expecting 20cm’s or more of fresh snow but arrived to find only a few centimetres, and instead of skiing powder we enjoyed a great morning skiing spring snow. We had a little sun to start with but the clouds rolled in quickly and the vis was in-and-out, but plenty good enough to operate and ski comfortably. We skied a few in the Pays Desert and a couple in the 3300, but the freeze was minimal and staying high was a must.

I had a fantastic afternoon skiing with Michele and her son Cassius, along with Anna and Ellen Green. The sun came out and we skied hard all afternoon off the Marmottons Express.

I seem to be having trouble with my photos link and personally can’t see them, and I know Jean can’t either, but Richard F can. Weird! Anyway, I’ve posted some and they are accumulating on the Photos of the Day, much like on the April 2015. I can’t get in to them but think the lastest ones will be last. Hopefully it will be sorted soon but I haven’t a clue what to do. Any suggestions?

I’m off to watch Chelsea and Man U at the Pacific and stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

17 April 2015
What a cracking morning that was!

It was drizzling in town this morning and with people in the streets carrying umbrellas it wasn’t looking too good. But, we all know that rain in the village means some white stuff higher up and Chris and my teams enjoyed a brilliant morning. The pistes en route to the Motte felt like perfect spring snow and once upstairs we had three runs off the edge of the Rosolin in 10 to 15cm’s of lovely fresh snow. We then skied piste and mixed in some technique for a cracking morning in what looked like dreadful conditions. (See photos)

We should get a little more snow at altitude before tomorrow so I for one am looking forward to another great ski in the morning! Stay tuned and come on you Flames!

PS My photos don’t seem to be uploading but I’ve posted a couple on our Facebook page. And thanks to Tim and Gill for drinks in the Taverne last night!

16 April 2015
Our stunning wather comes to and end!

It was +5C and overcast this morning in town and it was also forecast to rain during the morning. Fortunately the rain stayed away, the freeze was better than expected, and the snow managed to soften to a nice texture with very little sunlight getting through. Chris, Andreas and I all skied the Sachette and Familial and the skiing was actually jolly good.

I had another good afternoon with Tim and we skied one in the upper Arcelle and one in the upper Marmottons before cutting back to the piste, then we finished off with some technique.

It snowed a little this afternoon and with any luck we’ll get enough snow tonight to make a difference. Stay tuned!

PS And the Calgary Flames scored with 29 seconds left on the clock to beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in Calgary’s first play-off appearence since 2009. Yahoo!!!!

15 April 2015
Another hot and sunny day!

The sun continues to shine and we had another great day of spring skiing. Chris and I skied the Face du Charvet and the Kern before ‘skinning’ up to the mini-Crete du Genepy. It was all excellent and we finished off a lovely morning with the Marmottons/Marmottes, which was a little rough but beat the piste. Meanwhile Andreas ‘skinned’ up higher in the Crete du Genepy and then skied the Col de la Madeleine.

I skied with Tim again this afternoon and we had a good ski up at the Fornet.

Katie had a scan and her heel isn’t broken but it’s still very tender and giving her problems and isn’t able to do a lot, while Millie asked to be dropped off at the golf course after school yesterday and hit three buckets of balls and practiced her chipping and putting. She was well pleased with herself and could hardly wait to tell me. Bravo Millie and get well soon Katie!

We may get another nice day tomorrow before some rain and perhaps a little snow move in. As much as we’ve all enjoyed this marvellous weather we really could use some snow to tidy up the Fornet and Arcelle sectors, which are pretty rough for the most part. Stay tuned!

PS Well done Derek for bringing Walter and Pierre along. It’s always fun to introduce new people to the joys of our wonderful domain. And we missed you Jean!

14 April 2015
Ahhhh Jean!

It was slightly warmer last night resulting in a weaker freeze, which made us all think a little about what was possible. In the end the freeze was plenty good enough and I opened up with a brilliant Face du Charvet, which now has the added ambience of crossing over the avalanche that goes all the way to the valley floor. Impressive! Next up was an excellent Kern before we headed to Tignes to ski a very good but modified Tourne and a terrific Toothy Rock. We finished off a fantastic morning with a surprisingly good and clean Familial.

Meanwhile Chris took his team to Mont Roup for a fantastic ski and they finished off around the Manchet, while Andreas had an adventurous hike and ski up to the Col de la Calabourdane and on to the Col des Fours. Bravo boys as everyone had a serious think because of the lack of freeze and decided to go ahead and everyone made a good call and found great skiing! (Thomas was on piste with Derek’s family)

Unfortunately our wonderful morning came with a casualty as Jean dislocated his shoulder again on the way into the Charvet. What a bummer as he’s had such a brilliant season. In November he was worried about his knee and asked me to take him out of the planning as he was going to only ski with good light a perfect snow. He’s ended up skiing almost every day of the season, rain or shine, perfect snow or ‘educational’, and he’s never skied better. He’s been so enjoying our spring run of big slopes and we’ve skied some new places as well and it’s such a shame he’s injured himself. We’re all going to miss you Jean and look forward to you being strong again for next season!

More sun and perhaps a weaker freeze are forecast. Stay tuned.

PS I thought my left boot felt a little wonky today and sure enough all the rivets had come undone and my inner boot is almost torn in half. Thomas has tightened it all back up and good old Wilkie is going to refoam my boots for me. Thanks boys!

13 April 2015
East facing slopes are starting to drop!

The weather has been absolutely stunning and it was so hot at lunchtime that I ate on my terrace in shorts and a vest. Fortunately we’ve been getting enough of a freeze to profit from the spring snow and this morning was no exception. My team started off and skied a great run in the Super Santons before hiking up the Charvet ridge for a fantastic trip down the big slopes into the Mont Blanc Couloir. Thomas and Muriel started with the Santons, then a Face du Charvet and caught us up in the bottom of the Mont Blanc before we all skied the Col de la Madeleine and Marmottons/Marmottes together. It was nice to see Muriel out enjoying herself as she’s been a full- time new Maman again this winter. Meanwhile, Chris and Andreas had a great morning in Tignes around the Palafour, Tourne, Sachette, and Toothy Rock.

The rotten dangerous snowpack that kept us cautious all winter is starting to show itself again over the past few days as the Face du Charvet, Mont Roup, above the Borsat traverse, and above the Familial traverse have all avalanched and for the most part right to the ground. All these slopes have an easterly aspect and have slide from around noon on. We’ll need to be careful and be on time or even slightly early, because once the support layer goes there will be danger lurking.

Stay tuned for more sun over the next few days!

PS Thanks to Laura for a wonderful evening last night with Bridgette, her lovely daughters Ghiselle and Isadora, her husband Mark, Richard F, and John and Margaret. Giles would have been very proud of his beautiful girls!

12 April 2015
Happy birthday Gill!

I was alone on the mountain today and thankfully it was clear overnight and we had a good freeze. It was Walter’s last day so I decided to take him for his first-ever ‘skin’ and we ended up using them three times! First up was a quick Crete du Genepy to access the steep slopes above the pond, and the snow was exquisite. We then headed for Mont Roup, which was excellent as well but we certainly didn’t want to be much later. Then a short ‘skin’ to the Col de la Madeleine, which turned out to be very good indeed and much better than anticipated, and we finished up a great morning with a Marmottons/Marmottes.

This afternoon I had a terrific ski with Tim up at the Fornet. We skied into the Vallonnet and back onto the big slopes leading back into the Grand Vallon twice, and managed a nice powder shot after a short skin. (See photos)

And a big happy birthday to my lovely wife Gill. I hope you’ve had a great day and brilliant lunch at your Mum’s!

More good weather is forecast and as long as it keeps freezing we’ll have good skiing. Mind you half the Face du Charvet disappeared yesterday afternoon as it avalanched, and some of the important strips in the Super Santons and Tour du Charvet are melting rapidly, so our options will narrow with each passing day, but it’s still cracking good skiing!

11 April 2015
Another brilliant morning of big slopes and great spring snow!

It was cloudy at 6:30AM and a little disappointing as I looked out the window but by 8 o’clock the skies had cleared, the optimism levels rose and we enjoyed another fantastic morning of spring skiing. I skied the Face du Charvet, the Super Santons, the Campanules, one off the Genepy, one on my shoulder, and the Familial to finish. Andreas started with the Face as well before skiing the Table d’Orientation, then he skied similar to my team, while Chris skied the Tourne and Sachette.

This afternoon Tim and I skied the Combe du Signal before having a little ‘skin’ in the Pays Desert.

It turns out Katie’s heel may not be broken and for the moment she isn’t in plaster but has crutches.

It clouded over this afternoon and even snowed a few flakes up at the Fornet but what we really need is a clear night and a good freeze as sun is forecast again for tomorrow. Either that or 15cm’s of fresh snow, but that’s not going to happen! Stay tuned!
And come on you Hammers!

10 April 2015
Poor Katie!

Last night was much warmer but we still had enough of a freeze to crack on with an absolutely brilliant morning of spring skiing on big slopes. Chris and I started off with an excellent Face du Charvet, which was spot on top-to-bottom. Next up was a 15 to 20-minute hike up the Charvet ridge for a long perfect pitch that was steep, clean and just the right texture and it led down into the Mont Blanc Couloir. Chris’ binding broke at the top of the Charvet ridge and he needed to walk back down so I had to take his clients along with mine down through the Mont Blanc and Jan from I-Ski was wondering what I was doing with so many people! Anyway, I continued on with my group of nine for a little ‘skin’ and a great run down from the Col de la Madeleine before Chris caught us back up with repaired equipment at the top of the Manchet chair. We then finished up a wonderful morning with an adventurous Marmottons into the Marmottes as the exit was steep and rather exciting.

Meanwhile Andreas was having a ‘Couloir Morning’ in Tignes with Derek, Peter and Walter. I’m not too sure where they all skied (radio break-up) but I’m sure it was steep and I did hear Andreas say they’d had a great morning. Our friend Walter from Texas is having a fantastic time with his Val d’Isere/Tignes introduction and has had two stunning mornings on the trot! It turns out that Walter has skied at Whitewater outside of Nelson, which is owned by my old friend Andy Kyle, just to remind you of how small the world can be.

I just phoned England and spoke to Millie who reports that Gill and Katie are at the hospital and it looks as if Katie has broken her heel. She took a huge jump on her last day and obviously wasn’t kidding when she said it hurt! Poor sausage.

I skied with Tim this afternoon and we skied the Marmattons/Marmottes followed by two in the Grand Vallon before finishing with the Solaise piste, which is more fun in slush than it is in ice!

It has clouded over now but I’m hoping for a good freeze and sunshine tomorrow. Stay tuned!

PS I’m a happy chap as the Calgary Flames have qualified for the NHL playoffs for the first time in about 12-years. Go Flames!

9 April 2015
On the road again!

Our trip to St Foy was cancelled as there is an hour walk out at the bottom due to lack of snow and I need to leave early to get the girls to the airport. Due to the delays because of the rock fall outside of Moutiers I’ll ski spring snow in Val d’Isere this morning and stop around noon and then leave for the airport around 12:30.

Poor Katie took a massive jump yesterday and injured her heel and Gill needed to drive around to Tignes to pick her up as she couldn’t ski. Thanks Laura for staying with her and also for a great ‘ good-bye’ dinner last night.

Thanks also to Simon for his supportive email and stay tuned for more news on Friday.

PS The road re-opened allowing me to have a full and stunning morning of spring skiing on big slopes. Thomas and I skied the Banane into the Super Santon, and then the Borsat Sud before hiking up the Charvet ridge to ski from the top down through the Mont Blanc Couloir. We then skied the ‘L’ before skiing the Super Santon from the Fontaine Froide, then some winter snow off the Mont Blanc piste and the Familial to finish a brilliant morning. Derek’s heli-skiing mate Walter, who’s from Houston, Texas loved his first off-piste experience in Val d’Isere. Meanwhile Chris had an excellent Mont Roup. (See photos)

I drove the girls and Ray down to Lyon and made it back by 7:20PM, which is a massive relief because this morning I thought it would take until midnight with the road closures.

8 April 2015
What a great morning that was!

We had a fabulous morning of powder skiing this morning as anything north-ish has stood up well to the sun over the past few days. First up were some great turns to set the mood off the Mont Blanc piste, followed by a fantastic run in the Lower Lavachet through Adrian’s Couloir. (Adrian H fell and slid down it head first a few years back) We ‘skinned’ out and then had a great run in the Sachette before finishing with the Familial. (See photos as the snow quality was excellent)

Chris skied similar to my team and Andreas finished up his week with Ian skiing spring snow off the Palafour, Glattier, and Super Santon, while Thomas skied spring snow around the Charvet before heading up to the Fornet, and both their teams had a great morning.

I’m off to the Foglietta with Chris tomorrow and then to Lyon to take the girls to the airport. Chances are there will not be an update unless Chris decides to do one. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me as I won’t be back until midnight. Stay tuned!

7 April 2015
Bring on the sun!

The sun was shining brightly again today and although it was warmer than yesterday there was still a chill, and true spring snow will take a little more time except at lower altitudes. With that in mind Chris and I headed to the Glacier Pers and had a fantastic ski in cold winter powder with the place to ourselves. (See photos) Meanwhile Andreas and Ian had a great run in the Lower Lavachet followed by a lovely run in the Sachette Couloir, and I didn’t see Thomas or Henry this morning. After a tough weather of late it’s been wonderful to have the sun back and it was a terrific morning.

Gill and the girls had a great time this morning skiing with Pietro, Sue, Ben and Lorenza and Pietro was well happy to have the morning off and let Gill do the guiding. Pietro is really missing the place and hopefully we’ll see more of him (and his family) in the future.

I skied with Deborah, George and the birthday boy Jacob this afternoon and we had an excellent initiation to off-piste session in nice winter snow. Happy 21st Jacob!

And thanks to Ray for buying us all lunch at the Burger Bar!

I’m really busy at the moment and the girls head back to England on Thursday so that’s it for today. Stay tuned!

6 April 2015
Please, nothing but north!

The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky this morning and we all headed to the Fornet to ski the only exposure that should have been skied today, and that’s north! After a quick warm-up off the Laisinant it was straight into the Combe du Signal for a stunning run (see photos) with clean and probably the deepest snow of the morning. Next up was a brilliant Col Pers (along with Chris’ team) followed by an excellent and funky run in the Vallonnet. I then finished off with Katie’s Run off the Signal poma.

Andreas, Chris, Thomas and Henry were all in the neighbourhood and all the teams had a fabulous day. Wow!

The only downside today was the mountain trashers who skied all the spring slopes to death. In two or three days time we won’t have any clean spring slopes because they’ll all have deep frozen powder tracks that will render the slopes un-skiable. I can’t believe people can be so unaware of the bigger picture and it’s a real shame, and apparently Radio Val asked people to give spring a chance this morning but to no avail.

Stay tuned for another sunny day tomorrow!

5 April 2015
Foggy but fun!

It was looking pretty foggy again this morning and fog is one thing I’m not too keen on at the moment. I followed Chris off the Verte and then into the Lower Borsat and the snow was excellent but the visibility was very poor at times and I was happy to have Chris in the lead. Thanks JC! From there we headed up to the Motte where the upper-half had great light and we profited with three circuits off the Genepy, and the snow was wonderful. Meanwhile, Andreas and Ian opened up the Chardonnet then circled back around to have a go off the Motte. We all had a really great morning and I had Mel and Steve with me for their first ever ‘Alpine’ experienced and they both skied really well and loved it. Bravo you two!

What a fantastic evening Graham’s memorial drinks party at the Cave turned out to be last night. There were so many of Graham and Carole’s friends there and the tributes by Jeremy R and Simon M-H were absolutely brilliant. Both speeches were warm, heart-felt, and summed Graham’s friendships up beautifully. The Cave’s hospitality was excellent with lovely wine and fantastic nibbles and they played their part in a wonderful gathering. Well done Carole, Simon and Jeremy!

The sun is forecast to return tomorrow so we’ll all probably ski north facing slopes before turning to spring snow in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

PS Photos to come later.

4 April 2015
Wow, what a brilliant day at the Fornet!

At 6:30AM it was looking pretty bleak but by ‘show-time’ there was a light-bulb hanging above the Fornet and for the first time since the storm everyone headed to the Fornet. After a couple of excellent runs on the piste with 10 to 15cm’s of fresh snow my team were the first up the Signal poma, which has been closed for days, and we opened the Grand Vallon. I was staring down into a fog at the top and thought to myself, ‘Blimey’, but knowing I had Chris and Andreas not too far behind we skied into the nothingness. After about 200 metres we broke out of the fog and had good vis the rest of the way and it felt great to be back in the saddle! It was a stunning run and we followed it up with the Combe du Signal, the Col Pers and then another off the Pyramid to finish. Andreas, Chris and Thomas all had superb mornings as well and although we had a few moments of fog here and there the visibility was good to excellent the rest of the time.

This afternoon I skied with Jonathan and his son Jordan, both of whom were on the epic adventure on Thursday, and we had another interesting afternoon as the weather moved in and it started snowing. Still, we managed three in the Grand Vallon and it was a cracking afternoon. (See photos)

Gill and I are off shortly to Memorial Drinks Party in honour of Graham Plant. Graham was a well loved character who spent many years skiing in Val d’Isere, and it will be great to see Carole and many of his friends.

It’s snowing at the moment and we should be in for another brilliant day tomorrow. Stay tuned!

3 April 2015
A long, long afternoon!

You all know me well enough by now to realise that when there hasn’t been an update that something has hit the fan, and that was certainly the case yesterday afternoon. After a fantastic morning I wanted to show my old friend Jonathan some great powder but unfortunately we became stuck in a total white-out. In the end I got them to a safe place, alerted the Pisteurs and we waited for help. My team of Jonathan, Leticia, Jordan, Andrew, Will and Tess were absolutely brilliant! They never panicked and showed great strength and character, and thought it was a fantastic adventure. They loved the ride in the rat-track and the ski down from the Motte in the dark was an incredibly unique experience with freshly pisted snow and three rat-tracks behind us lighting the way. We savoured three beers while waiting for our taxi and although it was an adventure, honestly it was a type of adventure I could do without.

I must say that the Pisteurs were brilliant! And Robert who came to get us with his rat-track was incredibly skilled and such a nice guy. It was eerie and a little scary driving up in the dark with all the snow blowing about. I skied over to the Motte this afternoon with Paul G loaded with five bottles of nice wine (one each for each Pisteur on duty and one for Robert) to say thank you and they were incredibly nice and appreciative of the fact that we came over. Anyway, that’s why you didn’t have an update yesterday!

I didn’t sleep a wink last night and the only one worse off this morning was Adrian who’d made the mistake of going head-to-head with his brother Derek last night. Good effort this morning Adrian! We enjoyed a brilliant ski this morning skiing the Lower Borsat, the Lower Chardonnet, the Sache, the Campanules and a rather funky Familial. Thomas and Chris skied similar to me while Henry was testing the waters at the Fornet and Andreas was off.

Thanks very much to Andreas for all his help yesterday liaising with the Piste service and contacting SIMS, he was brilliant! And to Pat Z for his help and encouragement this morning, and to Chris, Thomas and Henry for theirs, and to Paul G for skiing to the Motte with a back-pack full of wine! Stay tuned for less interesting news tomorrow! (Photos up shortly)

1 April 2015
Three tough days in a row!

The wind continued to pound the resort and 160kph gusts were recorded last night at the Fornet, and 101kph on the top of Solaise. It has definitely been three of the toughest consecutive days that I can remember in a long, long time, and bravo to the boys for braving the elements and getting on with it.

Chris and I ‘skinned’ towards Tommeuses and skied the Familial, which was creamy in places, and offered a few soft snow turns before we needed to look for strips of winded snow between the supporting rain-crust. (Believe me when I say supporting rain-crust was a welcome alternative to what was ‘quick-snow’ yesterday!) We then finished up with a good run down the Fontaine Froide and into the Santons and after three repetitive days it was nice to have a change of scenery.

The rest of the boys were in the neighbourhood as we had another very limited opening and I’m not too sure what everyone skied.

I skied this afternoon with Kate and Louis and I’m pleased to announce that the wind had died down and several more lifts were open. We managed some lovely deep soft snow around the Grande Pre and a good run in the Familial, which was much easier with a little sunshine. I saw enough to know that it’s not all doom and gloom and with some sunshine we’ll have some good skiing, which would be a just reward for those who have persevered over the past few days. Fingers crossed!

PS It was much colder today and the negative temperatures have done a world of good for the stability of the snowpack. The past couple of days have been extremely dangerous if one was looking for trouble, but after -12C last night and through the day the mountain is now a much safer place.

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