Fantastic ambience and no people

27 December 2009

The ski was cloudless this morning and with the great visibility Clive was ready to rock and roll. We all headed to the Fornet to avoid the crowds in Tignes as much as any other reason because with the start of the holidays it would have been very busy. After a nice few turns off the Col we had an excellent Pays Desert where I traversed out further than we’ve needed to so far this season. The scenery and ambience were stunning, and the snow was pretty good as well. The top looked winded but it hadn’t toughened-up yet and it had a ‘creamy’ feel to it. From there we found some great snow in Margaret’s Gulley, where we filmed Snow Job six or seven-years ago, and it really was good skiing. The bottom section, like the top, looked winded but skied nicely and all-round, it was a very satisfying result. Olivier, Andreas, Thomas, Chris, and myself all skied the Col Pers next and it had some good snow in places and was rather ‘educational’ in others. John E had a problem with his bindings and was incredibly lucky to not loss a ski in the gorge. We were on a steep pitch above the gorge when someone shouted, “Ski”. I looked up and John’s ski was hurtling straight down the mountain so I tried to cut it off but never had a chance of getting there in time. I was also thinking it was going to be impossible to stop and probably stupid and dangerous to even try. Anyway, just as the ski was about to launch itself over the cliff and into the gorge, the tip dove and it just stopped. It had travelled about 200m’s so John had to slide down on his backside. It came off a couple more times and turned out to be exhausting and not John’s best-ever Col Pers. (Memorable but not the best!) There were several big slab avalanches over the Col and many of the slopes above the road have purged themselves, which is good news. The clear skies slowly gave way to clouds and around 3PM it started to snow lightly, which is wonderful news except I’m driving to Lyon tonight to pick up Millie, Katie and Gill, and I’m hoping to avoid needing chains at 1AM. Still, some fresh snow will help enormously as we start the busiest week of the season. Stay tuned!

Sports Report- If I wasn’t going to the airport you’d find me at the Pacific watching Arsenal and Villa. It should be a great match and it’s very important to both teams.

Tragic news- Last night a local man was killed in Tignes when his piste-basher broke through the ice. He was preparing the cross-country track on the lake and they found him 22 metres deep. After weeks of -25C at night you’d think the lake would have been frozen and since they’ve been doing it for years, it came as a total shock.

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