Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

28 February 2009
It was another warm sunny day and Andreas and Henry teamed up for a trip down to Bonneval.....

It was another warm sunny day and Andreas and Henry teamed up for a trip down to Bonneval as Richard and Bumble are living it up on their honeymoon. Well done boys! Meanwhile Chris and I ‘skinned’ up to the Glacier Pers and all in all it was decent morning out as we await some new snow and a fresh canvas. Fortunately five to ten centimetres are forecast tonight with some more snow on and off over the next few days. Yahoo! Millie had a brilliant ski from 1:30 until 5:15 and Katie had her biggest outing ever and was exhausted this evening. Stocky will be well pleased with Boro’s 2-0 win over Liverpool and too right as it was a fantastic result and may just spur them on to safety. And come on you Hammers tomorrow against that hot-and-cold City outfit. (hopefully Bellemy will have a ‘stinker’)

27 February 2009
The sun continued to shine and the last couple of days have been much warmer resembling more seasonable temperatures

The sun continued to shine and the last couple of days have been much warmer resembling more seasonable temperatures. Chris and I ’skinned’ up to Mont Roup and skied an excellent mix of spring snow and warm powder, which was a great result as we took an educated risk heading up that way. Andreas hiked up the ridge to the Col de la Calabourdane en route to the Col des Fours, and Richard and Bumble who were married last Saturday and chose to come to Val d’Isere for their Honeymoon , were in his group. Henry went to Italy for a piste-and-pasta day out and had lovely piste and superb pasta. Mission accomplished Henry! It was Tony N‘s last day of a great two weeks, and Clive and Amanda skied last morning of their holiday today. Well done Amanda! The strong winds of the past two days have died down and another sunny day is forecast for tomorrow.

26 February 2009
Although we’ve enjoyed the best snow season in twenty-years we are definitely enduring a dry spell......

Although we’ve enjoyed the best snow season in twenty-years we are definitely enduring a dry spell, but the boys are doing the business and making the best of each day and today was another good result. Andreas skied the Little Lavachet en-route to the Sachette and had excellent snow in both, while Henry entertained a group who were ‘skinning’ for the first time taking them towards the Borsat West. Chris and I headed up to the Cols des Fours and had a great ski and well done Penny for a big effort after arriving at 1:30AM this morning. Andreas wanted a mention for Neil P who is new to ‘Alpine’ and managed the Glacier Pers yesterday on borrowed skinny skins and without touring bindings. Bravo young man and well done for signing on for more! The weather looked like it might turn this morning as the wind picked up significantly and the sky was black towards Mont Blanc, but it brightened up again so who knows? The forecast on the web calls for a sunny day with 30 kph winds from the north.

25 February 2009
Wayne's new wi fi network is down and Red Ray is arriving at 11pm so it should be fixed for tomorrows update

Wayne’s new wi fi network is down and Red Ray is arriving at 11pm so it should be fixed for tomorrows update. Another blue azure day for us in the Fornet sector. Looking forward to a change in the weather to top us up. Glad we are mostly off piste as we have a few inconsiderate skiers on the piste skiing dangerously close to others. I feel very sorry for Guy Bonnet who was run in to by a helmeted child at Christmas and broke Guys arm and shoulder. For those who do not know Guy helped us out in the past and has also been fighting cancer. Looking forward to tomorrow. JC

24 February 2009
For the second day in a row we had a cloud bank in the valley.......

For the second day in a row we had a cloud bank in the valley but today it cleared rapidly leaving us in beautiful sunshine. There was a nice dusting of snow again so Chris and I aborted our walk and skied the front of the Borsat to the Grand Pre followed by the Borsat Nord en route to the Sachette. Henry was also in the neighbourhood while Andreas took a team of Vikings up to the Col des Fours, which is still excellent. He had the head of the Swedish Tour group we’ve been working with so the ‘Main-Man’ will have enjoyed that! Although it clouded over during the afternoon fine sunny weather is forecast for the next few days so we’ll definitely be doing some walking until the next snowfall arrives. I’m looking forward to the Champions League games tonight and have Lyon vs. Barcelona on TF1 at home this evening. (Have fun in Milan Geoff!)

23 February 2009
The morning started off with a sea of cloud in the valley.......

The morning started off with a sea of cloud in the valley with the chance of clear skies above 2500 metres and from the Rond Point the best chance of good visibility seemed to be towards Tignes. As it turned out the cloud level was higher than forecast but the Grande Motte itself was in sunshine so we all headed that way. Chris and I skied a nice run off the Leisse en route to a little ‘skin’ to the Petit Borsat West, which was very good. From there my team skied the big northern slope on the Balme for the ambience and the snow wasn’t too bad either. Andreas skied off the Genepy and Cairn and I’m not too sure where everyone ended up after that. Henry is busy with his ‘Hat’ clients and skied in Tignes as well. All in all, it was another good morning although only two or three centimetres fell last night. Light snow fell during the afternoon as we saw the best of the sun this morning, so hopefully a little more will accumulate before tomorrow morning. Last night’s dusting mixed with a little wind did help and another few centimetres would smoothen out enough of the mountain to give us some options. Sun is forecast for tomorrow and although it is much warmer there is still a chill in the air.

22 February 2009
I had a brilliant day off with the girls............

I had a brilliant day off with the girls starting off with goodies from Chevallot for breakfast, followed by a ski, a lovely lunch, and some tobogganing. Meanwhile, after a bright start the clouds thickened and it snowed very lightly from about 10:30AM on. Depending on what forecast you listen to we may see as little as one centimetre (we’ve already had that) to as much as four cm’s tonight and another 10cm’s on Monday night. It’s not much but it would help enormously. On today’s skiing front Chris ’skinned’ up to Mont Roup and had a really good ski in decent light but unfortunately Henry and Andreas’ trip to Bonneval was cancelled because of the deteriorating visibility. They instead skied around the Pissaillas before skiing the Point Pers and I saw them in the street around 4PM on their way to ’whip’ each other Swedish-style in a sauna. Nice one boys! Anyway, fingers crossed for some snow tonight and stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

21 February 2009
It was only -8C overnight with Radio Will promising warmer temperatures, and he wasn’t wrong!

It was only -8C overnight with Radio Will promising warmer temperatures, and he wasn’t wrong! After what seems weeks and weeks of cold weather the sun had some strength in it today and the businesses with terraces prospered. As for the skiing, Chris and I ’skinned’ up to the Col Des Fours and were rewarded with fantastic snow top-to-bottom. We then climbed up over the next little Col and skied excellent snow before dropping through a lovely couloir with good snow and great ambience. It was eighteen-year-old James’ second-ever ‘skin’ and he thoroughly enjoyed himself even though he was totally ‘shagged’ as you English would say. Well done James! Andreas finished up his on-piste week today and is planning a trip to Bonneval tomorrow with Henry on a recognisant mission. I’ve the day off so I’m having a Chevallot breakfast with the girls before a little family ski. Millie and Gill had a brilliant morning with Anna and her Mum Julia before they invited us to lunch at Bananas. It was great to see Ricky and Amid again and the girls loved their burger and frites followed by ice-cream. Thanks Andy and Julia. There is a rumour of a few flakes tomorrow afternoon, which would be brilliant but we’re not holding our breath. (I was going to wait for the footie results and do a Sports Report but the Hammers are down 2-0 after eleven minutes so I’ve lost my enthusiasm).

20 February 2009
We put on another great morning of soft-snow skiing in a resort that is becoming seriously tracked-out

We put on another great morning of soft-snow skiing in a resort that is becoming seriously tracked-out. Chris, Thomas, and I all started with the Borsat West, which excellent after a very interesting entrance. Those of you who have been there before will know that the rocky passage on regular ski boots can be tricky, but today was the trickiest I’ve experienced yet. With that said, everyone dealt with it (with various levels of enjoyment) and I was proud of the way every ’bucked’ up and got on with it. Fourteen-year-old Mikka said, “that was cool!”. Anyway, the snow was great and we then headed to the Sachette, which was also very good but we needed to traverse around quite a long way to get to the fresh untracked snow. Hopefully it will snow now, if only a little to spruce things up as this past week the holiday-makers have been everywhere and they’ve been the busiest group of ‘trackers’ we’ve had all season. I arrived home at lunchtime and heard Katie giggling with glee in the front room and found her with her trousers and pants down around her ankles with this buzzing massage/physio device in her hand. You can guess the rest! It was incredibly funny as she squealed, “it really tickles Daddy!”. Millie and I skied with her pal Zak and his Mum Vicky this afternoon and they had a great time. It’s wonderful to watch them in action and drag them over little jumps and bumps and through gullies and basically playing with the terrain. Andreas finishes his on-piste week tomorrow and Henry is skiing privately off-piste this week. Another mainly sunny day is forecast for tomorrow and although we may have some clouds it isn’t likely going to snow.

19 February 2009
What a stunning day!

What a stunning day! Radio Will announced -14C and we had clear blue skies and very little wind. Chris and I headed up to the Glacier Pers and it was absolutely brilliant. Besides being the first teams up the snow although not deep, was lovely and creamy top-to-bottom. In fact it was deeper and softer towards the bottom and we skied almost to the refuge before cutting out through the gorge. Then this afternoon I skied with Fergus and his Dad Eric again and we skied the Tour du Lechoir and retraced our route from this morning. Fergus was beaming as we left perfect ‘Alpine’ tracks and at the bottom he said, “isn’t snow a wonderful thing”. (It was definitely a statement, not a question!) I was very impressed that a 12-year-old could be so happy to walk as far as we did to gain access to the best un-tracked snow and then be so appreciative afterwards. Bravo Fergus and boy is Mum going to be jealous! Thomas, Andreas and Henry were all in action today although I don’t know what they skied. A similar day is forecast for tomorrow with slightly warmer temperatures.

18 February 2009
I awoke expecting bright blue skies and felt a little ‘flat’ when looking out the window at grey clouds

I awoke expecting bright blue skies and felt a little ‘flat’ when looking out the window at grey clouds. Fortunately there was a promise of blue skies at altitude and this was confirmed by Radio Will, who was convinced that the sun was shining upstairs. Chris and I decided to give the Fornet a go for a change of scenery and we weren’t disappointed as we had some excellent skiing. We were still in a mist for the first run in the Pays Desert as the clouds were taking their time in dispersing, but by our second run it was much clearer and we had good visibility for the rest of the morning. After two in the Pay Desert we went over the Col and through the gorge and then my team finished off the morning with a Spatule. This afternoon I skied with Eric B and his 12-year-old son Fergus and young Fergus picked up a ’splat du jour’ award for a wonderful ’header’ in deep snow off the Leisse. He skied really well and made his Dad proud, bravo Fergus! Andreas is still eating his way around the resort while Thomas had the day off. There is a rumour that one of our competitors had an avalanche on Mont Roup this morning and did some damage to a leg, either a knee or a possible break. The avalanche risk is only 2/5 at the moment and it just shows that you must stay aware at all times and not get complacent. Sun is forecast again for tomorrow and although it is still chilly the really cold weather seems to be behind us.

17 February 2009
The day started off grey with flattish-light, light snow and a gusting north-wind, which made it feel much colder again today

The day started off grey with flattish-light, light snow and a gusting north-wind, which made it feel much colder again today. Needless to say it was looking a little uninspiring first thing but we ended up having a really good session. The sun poked through from time to time giving us decent visibility for the most part and the wind blew in some snow making for some good pockets of soft snow. Chris and I started next to our tracks of yesterday in the Borsat, followed by a good run off the Leisse, then we ‘skinned’ up for an excellent little Borsat West, followed by a run off the Cairn and a Familial to finish. It was cracking good stuff really, especially for a day that started out rather dull. Thomas was in action, Andreas was on-piste with his team and I’m not too sure what Henry is up to at the moment. We are all working afternoons this week as typically at this time of year the resort is full of people who haven’t booked early and we end up skiing with kids and beginners. It seems to happen every year at this time and no one is complaining as work is work, especially during the tough times everyone is experiencing. Ray is off to England for a week before returning next Wednesday, perhaps for the season. Nice one Red! Another cold night is forecast with a bright sunny day tomorrow.

16 February 2009
It was much warmer again today and even though it was cold first thing the sun has some ‘punch’ in it again.......

It was much warmer again today and even though it was cold first thing the sun has some ‘punch’ in it again, to the point of warming up and damaging snow down low. Gideon is back along with Tony N (my Vietnamese friend) and Alistair C and Alex are back with Chris, and we had a very good ski today out wide in the Borsat followed by an excellent Sachette. Julia and Andy from ‘Snowman’s Larder’ were also along and well done Andy for a great performance and a ’skier of the morning’ award. Thomas had an initiation group that went very well while Andreas is skiing on-piste and sampling the resort’s finest on the gastronomic front. Lucky boy as there are some wonderful smells wafting about as we ski past some of the finer establishments. We’re not too sure of the forecast but hopefully it will remain sunny as no real snow is on the cards.

15 February 2009
Radio Will reported -18C in the village this morning at 8AM.......

Radio Will reported -18C in the village this morning at 8AM, so fearing the worst I stuffed my back-pack full of extras to keep me warm. Fortunately the sun had some power again and it warmed up very quickly, to the point of shedding layers, which is a first for quite some time now. Anyway, Ray and I skied two good runs off the Leisse before ’skinning’ up over the Balme to ski Couloir #3. The snow above and below the couloir was excellent, but the couloir itself was just a means to get to the next powder pitch. Our tracks resembled one skier on fat skis with their legs apart and weren’t nearly as impressive as when we have a full team’s worth of art to look back on. Chris skied on-piste with a nice Russian couple this morning, Thomas helped on the World Championship Slalom, Andreas had the morning off, and TJ left to return to Scotland. Gill and I took Millie and Katie for a little family ski and hot chocolate, and it was great fun having Katie along on the rope. The Championships finished today with a Canadian winning a bronze in the final event and looking back it was a successful couple of weeks for the town and the racing crowd in general. The girls loved the animation in the street in the afternoons and there was a good ’buzz’ about the place. Sun is forecast for most of the week but we could use some snow after the wind did it’s best to ruin what we had. Still, there is some excellent skiing to be had!

14 February 2009
Bloody hell, it was cold again today!

Bloody hell, it was cold again today! There is no doubt that we’ve enjoyed the best snow in 15 to 20 years, but it has also been the coldest winter in a long time. (Still, a little cold is a small price to pay for the snow quality we had this season.) Ray and I had a funky ski today starting with the Face du Charvet, followed by the Borsat en route to the Sachette. We decided to give the Familial a miss on the way home and skied piste to get back home to warmth sooner than later. TJ skied his last morning today with Andrew and Fiona and I’m not sure what he got up to although he was talking about the Cugnai. It’s been great having TJ back and to see him ski so well after the trauma his knee suffered. Bravo TJ! TJ also caught up with some of his great friends from his early days in Val d’Isere such as Russell, Delores and Jeff, Philip G, Charlie G, Min, and Olivier L to name a few. Thomas helped out today on the Woman’s Slalom, which was great from the comfort of the sofa this afternoon, and the rest of the boys had the day off. Our quiet period is thankfully coming to an end as the planning is starting to look better after a couple of very under-populated weeks. The cold weather will continue for another day or two and some more light snow is also on the horizon.

13 February 2009
Friday the 13th turned out to be lucky as we had a stunning sunny day instead of the forecasted clouds

Friday the 13th turned out to be lucky as we had a stunning sunny day instead of the forecasted clouds. I woke up ready to go but Ray was ill in the night again so I ended up going down the valley with John E on a bricolage mission. Meanwhile, Chris, Sharon and Suzanne had a great ski in the Sache and TJ skied with his pal Russell finishing in the Tour du Charvet around 2:15PM. I’m not sure what Andreas skied today and Thomas was skiing privately with a young lad and they were heading to the Snow Park for some jumping when Millie and I saw him this afternoon. Hopefully the sun will return again tomorrow as although the skiing has been fantastic we’ve had our share of flat-light over the past week or so. Stay tuned!

12 February 2009
We endured another seriously cold day.....

We endured another seriously cold day, but the wind had died down and it wasn’t unpleasant. We all headed to Tignes and skied some great snow in the Borsat, the Combe du Lanche, and off the Cairn and Genepy. I took a nasty ‘splat’ as I missed my navigation in the flat light by about ten metres and skied off a 3 metre cornice, landing like the ‘roadrunner’. Ugly! Anyway, we had the odd moment of good visibility, which help enormously and the snow was excellent all morning long. Ray made a miraculous recovery although he felt weak and really felt the cold. We passed Ness and Tansy on the piste having a great time in -18C temperatures. Good girl Ness! The animation in the streets was particularly good tonight and the girls thoroughly enjoyed the rock music with old favourites such as ‘Born to be Wild’ and ’Stairway to Heaven’. A similar day is forecast for tomorrow with sunshine on Saturday.

PS Boy, France and England were taught footballing lessons last night, n’est pas?

11 February 2009
It was -18C at the top of the Funival this morning.....

It was -18C at the top of the Funival this morning and with strong north wind blowing it was going to be a chilly one. Andreas ended up the only one working as Red Ray has succumbed to the dreaded ‘lurgy’ and Matt decided he had work to do so I had the morning off and went to Bourg with the girls. I felt human again for the first time in days after fighting off the ‘bug’ and have my appetite back so I’m ready and raring to go again tomorrow. I’m not too sure what Andreas and John D’s team skied this morning but I’m sure they had a good time as more lifts were open today and the light was decent. Bravo boys whatever you skied! I took Millie out for a couple of Funivals this afternoon and chapeau to you too Millie! Today’s racing was cancelled and hopefully they’ll have better luck tomorrow. The cold weather is set to continue for a few more days with little snow and enough wind to make the even the hardy seek the lee whenever possible.

PS Just heard that TJ and some mates did a sneaky Marmattons in the gullies then walked out this morning. Nice one TJ!

10 February 2009
Our run of fantastic skiing came to an abrupt halt today......

Our run of fantastic skiing came to an abrupt halt today as there were 150kph gusts of wind overnight and although it was calmer this morning, only the Funival was open. Just! Still, we had a pretty good morning skiing 5 to 10 cm’s on piste mixed in with a few runs off-piste and through the trees at the bottom. We all skied to around 12:45, which shows it wasn’t all bad. There were no races scheduled for today, which was just as well because any racing would have been impossible. Very little snow is forecast although there is loads of snow being blown around and -18C is promised overnight with an extremely cold day in store tomorrow.

9 February 2009
For the sixth day in a row I headed up to the Fornet

For the sixth day in a row I headed up to the Fornet along with Chris, and it was another absolutely brilliant day! We skied two Grand Vallons and a Combe du Signal in flattish light, then a Pays Desert, and a trip over the Col through the Gorge in sunshine, and all in superb snow. Along with Ray and Gill I had Sacha and Jeremy with me, and Jeremy wanted me to give his Mum Shira a mention, who follows their skiing on the site. Chris had Sharon who is a first-timer to ‘Alpine’, and she had a wonderful time and slotted in beautifully with Pascale. Andreas headed to Tignes, Henry had a group of Vikings, and TJ ‘skinned’ to Mont Roup. I haven’t had a report but I’m sure all the teams had great skiing. I took Millie out with her friend Zak and his Mum Vicky this afternoon, and it’s incredibly good fun and satisfying to see such little people ski so well and enjoy it so much. Bravo! Meanwhile Katie was off in town with Ray drinking hot chocolate, having a horse-drawn sleigh ride, and an ice cream at the Perdrix. Thanks Ray. We finished the afternoon off watching the Slalom portion of the Combined on the Face du Bellevarde, and the ambience was festive and exciting. It was another great day and hopefully tonight’s forecasted wind won’t ruin the great skiing that we’ve been treated to. And Happy birthday to Liz and a be-lated Happy Birthday to my sister Wendy.

8 February 2009
Yesterday’s feel-good factor was dampened with news that Richard H needs to return to England......

Yesterday’s feel-good factor was dampened with news that Richard H needs to return to England to sort out a hopefully minor eye problem and Clive is also flying back as his house has been burgled in his absence. Gill picked up Katie’s bug, followed by Millie who I was up most of the night with, and I’m trying to convince myself that I’m fine. So far so good although I felt tired and weak this morning. On the positive side, it snowed around 20cm’s overnight. Andreas and I headed to the Fornet hoping our luck would hold visibility-wise, but for the most part we were skiing wonderful snow in thick cloud. We did manage some sunshine on the Pissailles but it was very cold and my team opted for a hot chocolate before continuing on in the Combe du Signal. TJ headed towards the sun in Tignes and had some great skiing, but like the Pissailles there was plenty of evidence of last night’s wind. Fortunately the clouds thickened everywhere during the afternoon, and although the Ladies Downhill was cancelled, the good snow in protected areas will be awaiting us tomorrow. (I’m about to watch the rugby and then might brave the Hammer versus Man U match later on. Come on boys!) No snow is forecast but I’m sure a few flakes are still floating about up at the Fornet.

PS. Our present thoughts are with the people of Victoria, Australia…….

7 February 2009
What a day!

What a day! Radio Will reported a high of -12C at 3000metres and cloud cover all morning long and instead we had great visibility, a fabulous ski, and a Canadian from Calgary winning the Gold Medal in the Downhill. TJ, Andreas, and I headed to the Fornet (fourth day in a row for me as it’s been so good) and we weren’t disappointed. After a couple of excellent runs on the Glacier (and I mean excellent), Andreas and I decided to ‘skin’ up to the Point Pers, which was absolutely stunning. The snow was perfect all the way to the gorge and we started with a 86-turn pitch in forty centimetres of great snow. The entrance was intimidating but we managed without any problems and then it was memorable skiing to say the least. I must say how proud of John and Margaret I was, handling the entrance then laying perfect tracks from top-to-bottom. Ray said, “God, I hope I’m capable of that type of skiing when I’m 71-years-of-age.” Andreas had Sacha and Jeremy Robinson (David’s children) and it was their first time to the Point Pers and they were similarly impressed and their smiles said it all. Then to top it all off, Geoff D radioed me on the way out of the gorge to tell me a Canadian had won the downhill! Brilliant! I sang ‘Oh Canada’ to myself walking down the high-street and was absolutely buzzing. What a day! PS Weather report – It has snowed most of the afternoon and tomorrow is looking good.

6 February 2009
Yet another tough looking morning from the bedroom window......

Yet another tough looking morning from the bedroom window turned out to be a really cracking good ski. TJ and Andreas headed Tignes-way towards the better visibility and TJ had a great ski mixing piste and off-piste on a confidence building mission, while Andreas gave Roger and Wendy C heaps skiing the Borsat, Chardonnay, Sache and Spatule. Chris and I turned into the storm as it has been snowing more at the Fornet-end of the resort and we were rewarded with decent visibility and really good snow. We skied the Grand Vallon and Combe du Signal before heading over the Col and through the gorge. We then doubled back for some bits and pieces en-route to Les Tufs. Unfortunately Gill missed the morning as Katie was ill during the night a couldn’t go to school today. The girls are on holiday now for two weeks and Millie has started off by bringing her new boyfriend home to play on the terrace. (Better than the bedroom I guess) Anyway, good girl Millie! The forecast has been revised and only 10cm’s are forecast tonight, but anything will do as the skiing has been very good of late and each little top-up helps.

5 February 2009
It was blowing a gale this morning with 90kph forecast at altitude combined with grey skies.....

It was blowing a gale this morning with 90kph forecast at altitude combined with grey skies, but there were enough breaks in the cloud cover to give us hope. Chris and I headed back to the Glacier Pers where we would be protected from the wind and ski the best snow on offer in the resort. In fact, the snow was excellent this morning and although we ‘skinned’ up in falling snow the light improved drastically for our ski down. Chris and I were the only ones working today and we each had just two clients, which is a sad state of affairs. If you fancy skiing in small groups in an empty resort this is your chance. Next week is extremely quiet as well so don’t be put off by the World Championships, which are entertaining anyway. Another reminder that Tansy will be skiing again from mid-February if you’ve children you want skiing with the best. Ten centimetres are forecast for tonight with another 25cm’s tomorrow night, just in time to disrupt the Men’s Downhill! But twenty-five centimetres would put us back in business so cross your fingers!

4 February 2009
After a slightly murky start the skies cleared and we ended up having a great morning.

After a slightly murky start the skies cleared and we ended up having a great morning. We all headed to the Fornet again as there is no doubt that the best snow in the resort is in that sector after the big winds. Chris, TJ and I all took our groups to the Glacier Pers, where we started with a 110-turn pitch. Considering the wind we’ve had the snow was excellent, ranging from 30cm’s of lovely soft snow to slightly ‘stiffer’ snow in places, but nothing that stopped us from skiing through it and leaving great ‘Alpine’ tracks. Chapeau to Jean R who left round tracks without ‘rail’ marks in some of the trickier snow. Bravo Jean! Jean had some injections as well in his touring boots and is extremely pleased with the results. Andreas had an all-day private with some Vikings and he started off at the Fornet as well and will have been pleased with the sun appearing to make his day more enjoyable. Tonight we have a ‘drinks and nibbles’ party at the shop with the Jean Sports crew, which should be good fun. On the Sports Front, I’m over the moon with the Steelers 6th Super Bowl and also the fact that West Ham went through the transfer window without selling off our team. What a relief! In fact we even made a potentially shrewd and significant signing. Anyway, four hours later, the Jean Sports evening went really well and a demain.

3 February 2009
Today turned out much better again than forecast and TJ, Chris and I headed to the Fornet....

Today turned out much better again than forecast and TJ, Chris and I headed to the Fornet hoping for some fresh snow as that end of the valley has been socked-in over the past couple of days. After a ‘sticky’ Combe du Signal we had much better snow up on the Glacier and profited from the good visibility. We skied a couple of really good runs on the Pissaillas we went over the Col Pers to find 20 to 30cm’s of great snow, which was especially good on the top two-thirds. The Championship’s started today and Millie’s class had their faces painted with French flags and were taken to watch the Ladies Super G. Great stuff! Millie has started speaking French in school and is proud of her new boyfriend who seems to give her kisses and cuddles and they were reprimanded for dancing in class today. (Good girl Millie!) Anyway, Gill and I are very pleased that she has suddenly sparked and is getting involved with her French classmates. Katie is also showing signs of participation at school, which is a huge relief. I’m not too sure of the forecast but we’re not expecting snow and hoping for visibility.

2 February 2009
If yesterday looked like a possible ‘stinker’, this morning didn’t exactly inspire either.

If yesterday looked like a possible ‘stinker’, this morning didn’t exactly inspire either. But, true to ‘Alpine’ tradition, we all made the best of it and actually had a really good morning. TJ and Chris took Bonnevie’s drag (everything else was closed due to wind) and skied the Lavachet en-route to the Sache, where TJ did a short ‘skin’ to ski some lovely snow. I had Ray and Gill so we skied some great piste mixed with a little technique, a hot chocolate, and viewed some race training from the chairlift before skiing home via the ‘avalanche run’. Funny that the ‘avalanche run’ has avalanched since we skied it yesterday. Anyway, I guess it has its nickname for a reason! It was only a little slip about ten metres wide but it was plenty deep enough. Andreas had a carving session this afternoon with some Vikings and that’s all folks on the skiing front. TJ injured himself yesterday but true to form, he shook it off and got on with it again today. As Rob would say, “he’s a major dude”. And my day started in terrific fashion when Millie and I logged-on at 6AM to watch the highlights of the Steelers brilliant last-minute win against Arizona in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately Gill’s Mum Liz was snowed in in Surrey with 35cm’s of fresh powder in her garden, and didn’t make her flight. She’d planned to visit and catch the ambience of the World Championships but she may be able to come later in the week. Hopefully she’ll bring her powder with her!

1 February 2009
When I looked outside first thing this morning I immediately thought, ‘this could be a real stinker’.

When I looked outside first thing this morning I immediately thought, ‘this could be a real stinker’. It was grey with very flat light and light snow falling but by the time we arrived at the Gourmandine there were some breaks in the cloud cover and we knew then that we had a chance of a pretty good morning. The best light in the resort was, as it often is, around the Borsat/Mont Roup area, so we stayed in those sectors for the morning. TJ skied an excellent Mont Roup while Chris and I great snow around the Borsat before skiing the Lavachet and ‘skinning’ out at the bottom. The preparations for the World Championship are heating up as the opening ceremonies are tomorrow night and all of a sudden there seems to be more people in town and a totally different sort to what we are used to. There is more fur and glamour, and certainly more make-up about and I think we are in for an interesting two weeks. Andreas injured himself in the torchlight descent a couple of nights ago and has a nasty swollen leg but fortunately it’s just above the boot-top and he will be able to continue working. He was lucky as it could easily have been much worse. Warmer weather and light snow are forecast over the next few days with heavier snow towards the end of the week. Tune in for nightly televised reports of the Championships as Val d’Isere should feature in most countries sports reports.

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