Saved by the lift!

05 December 2010

There was a huge temperature swing this morning with -5C in the village at 8AM compared to yesterday’s -23C. We were half expecting a sunny morning before the forecasted afternoon snow, but it was pretty bleak right from the start, although we were grateful for that ‘light-bulb’ for the first-half of the morning.

Mark, Paul, Derek, Johnny Alpine and I headed up to the Fornet with the intention of ‘skinning’ up to the top of the Signal Poma to access the Grand Vallon, but as I reached into my back-pack for my skins Paul said, “Why don’t we use the lift?” I turned around to see the lift turning and the attendant brushing snow away and inquired about the opening, which was one-hour away. (Totally unexpected as they usually save the Signal for just before the Christmas week. Bravo STVI!) While waiting we had two lovely rotations in the Combe du Signal with some variations off the piste down below, and then arrived for the opening of the Signal. We had an excellent run in the Grand Vallon (skiers-left) and were totally alone form top-to-bottom! We circled back around for a second run, this time way out skiers-right, where the snow was a little trickier and the light had deteriorated, but it was good skiing nonetheless. JM, Olivier and Oli’s son Sasha were also in the Grand Vallon by this time after arriving last night. After two in the Vallon we finished off with a great run from the top in the Combe du Signal, where the snow is still superb. Andreas was skiing with his Thai friend/client who’s apartment Andreas has been renovating all summer, and he’s over the moon with the work that’s been done.

It started snowing at the end of the morning and the forecast is for rain in the village and snow further up the mountain. What the snow/rain limit will be remains to be seen, but anything falling out of the sky will be good news. Fingers crossed!

Good luck to Ray who has an appointment with his surgeon today to find out when he can start skiing again. Hopefully Ray will be able to come out for some easy skiing and a ‘social’ at Christmas, but Ray doesn’t really do ‘easy’ does he?

I’m off to watch the Hammers match with Johnny Alpine so wish me luck, unless of course you’re Ian and a Sunderland fan. And what about those cricketers!

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