Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

30 April 2011
What a fabulous way to finish!

What a brilliant morning! I’ve decided to head back to England tomorrow morning at 5AM so today was my last ski of the season, and I was determined to finish in style. It was overcast but we had a good re-freeze last night and with yesterday’s fresh snow there was a nice cushion, which was welcome as the sun wasn’t going to be a huge factor. Gideon, Derek, Suzanne and I warmed-up with a little shot down from the Col before heading into the Pays Desert, which was excellent. We then dove over the Col Pers, which was equally good and we caught the 11:45 bus. Next up was some really steep pitches in the Grand Vallon before cutting back to the chair-lift before finishing with a Grand Vallon down to the valley floor. It was a great morning to finish my season and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Meanwhile Chris and Andreas ‘skinned’ up to the Col des Fours, where they had some great skiing. Rupert forgot his back-pack, which of course housed his ‘skins’, so Suzanne gave him her pack and joined my team.

Andreas, Tansy, Peter C, Derek, Jeremy R, and Fay are all going to the annual piss-up for the closing of the Folie Douce. It’s a bit breezy and cool this afternoon so they may come away in better shape than last year, when everyone was absolutely slaughtered! No wonder with Derek and Colin leading Peter C, Paul W and Andreas astray.

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to my packing. Chris is skiing tomorrow and will post an update and I’ll write something next week once I’ve settled in back in England. (Mind you I’m off to Canada to see my Dad next Friday) Sunny skies are forecast for tomorrow morning so all those who make the last day should be rewarded.

See you tomorrow afternoon girls!

29 April 2011
Better than expected!

I had a great meal at Peter and Claire C’s last night along with Derek and Claire Burns, and I didn’t get into bed until 1:30, which is a little late for me. (Thanks P and C for a lovely evening) Anyway, I felt pretty good this morning and Andreas and I both headed up to the Fornet for an excellent ski. It froze well overnight and with 5cm’s on a smooth base we skied the Pays Desert with good visibility, followed by an equally good Col Pers as it was closing in and starting to snow.

Derek and Peter went off to the Edelweiss for lunch while Claire returned home to watch the Royal Wedding at 12:30 and the rest of us stopped early as well.

Mixed weather is forecast for tomorrow but I think we should get in some more good skiing and Sunday’s forecast is for a sunny morning to finish off the season. Sounds good!

Wish me luck as I’ve my Co-proprietors meeting tonight, and it promises to be long and very interesting with a lot at stake. Fingers crossed!

PS Chris is in Lyon today and Henry and Thomas started their tour and will be in the Refuge des Fours this evening.

28 April 2011
A morning off and mixed weather!

I’ve had the day off and have been busy doing paperwork (sounds like Henry!), banking, packing and generally getting ready to leave on Sunday. It snowed a centimetre or two overnight and I think the re-freeze was light, and the morning started brightly enough but became overcast fairly quickly. I’m sure Andreas and Chris will have found something nice to ski up at the Fornet and Henry and Thomas started a hut-to-hut tour together this morning. Good luck boys!

Gill is missing Millie, who’s on a overnight school trip, because Katie has been so badly behaved! Katie had a little pal over and they drew all over her chest of drawers with crayons. It must have been her friends influence!

Hopefully we’ll get some decent weather to finish the season as we’ve three days to go.

Sports Report- Great goals from Messi last night. Jean will have been pleased!

27 April 2011
Covering some ground!

We had another good freeze last night and although the morning started of with clear skies, clouds seemed to appear from nowhere and I was worried that the snow wouldn’t soften. Fortunately there was a little dusting of fresh snow during the night, which help soften the surface giving us good skiing straight away.

I had Jeremy Robinson and Gideon this morning and I had hoped to open up with a couple on the Kern, which would have been perfect, but they closed the upper chairlift yesterday afternoon so plan ‘A’ was a no-go. Instead we went straight up to the Pays Desert and aided by the dusting we had an excellent ski. From there we skied a lovely Col Pers followed by the top half of the Grand Vallon, and then the Grand Vallon again to the bottom to finish at 1:30. The sun reappeared around 10:30 until 12:45 so the snow ended up softening quite nicely and we had pretty good visibility most of the morning. (Chris also skied the Pays Desert and the Col Pers with his team.)

Andreas and Peter C had a great trip to the summit of Mont Blanc and there are some photos on Facebook. They will be returning today and I’ll see Andreas tonight at our Jean Sports drinks party. Well done boys!

Millie is off for her first-ever school trip with one night away. She’s really looking forward to it and I hope she has a brilliant time.

There is a rumour of some snow over the next couple of days, anywhere from 10 to 30cm’s, so that will certainly change our nice little routine that we’ve got going at the moment. I’m happy with that as long as we’re not in a white-out. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow as we’ve only four days to go!

26 April 2011
Happy Birthday Matt!

It snowed a centimetre or two overnight and we had decent freeze so it was another fantastic morning of perfect spring snow. The fresh dusting of new snow gave the spring surface a nice feel, even first thing without the sun and I took my team of Claire C and her children Tara and Rory, Chris E with his off-spring Rachael and birthday-boy Matt, who is 23-years-young today, and Penny up to the Fornet. We skied a wonderful Pays Desert with two initiation ‘skins’ for Rory, Tara and Rachael, followed by a great trip over the Col Pers, then a cracking good run down Millie’s route in the Grand Vallon for a 1:30 finish. (People are rather impressed by your route Millie!) Everybody skied brilliantly, behaved in the steep, and walked well. Bravo team!

Meanwhile Chris took his group of Myfanwy (thanks for the spelling correction Ray!) Gron, Benoit and Janet up to the Glacier Pers. Janet counted the steps and it took 1,931 to reach the top! They had terrific snow top-to-bottom and arrived nicely for the 12:45 bus back to the Fornet cable-car. (Henry started around the Jardin du Borsat before joining us at the Fornet.)

It looks as if the weather held for Peter and Andreas’ trip up Mont Blanc. We haven’t yet heard from them but they should be down by now and I’ll give you a report when I’ve some details.

Millie and Katie started school back in England today so hopefully they’ve had a great time getting back with their English friends. It’s a good re-start for them starting on Tuesday and having Friday off for the Royal Wedding, followed by Monday off as well. Sounds like a typical Canadian workweek to me!

Hopefully the weather pattern will continue because it’s been absolutely perfect!

PS Thanks for a great meal last night Jannie.

25 April 2011
+6C this morning but outstanding skiing!

There was cloud cover overnight, which affected the re-freeze and when radio Val reported 6C in the village at 8AM, we needed to make some decisions. The overnight cloud had dispersed and the sun was shining again so it was going to heat up quickly, but I thought we could ski a quick Kern to get started. It turned out to be excellent, as the main slope was perfect but the exit was ‘limit’, and Henry had just enough time to come around behind us about twenty-minutes later.

Meanwhile Chris was heading to the Crete du Genepy but once he tested the snow on the traverse he wisely changed his mind and had some great skiing on the meadow down to the Grand Pre and then skied the Santons.

From there we all headed to altitude at the Fornet where we skied a superb Pays Desert (with two ten-minute ‘skins’) and my team finished off with a lovely run in the Grand Vallon down Millie’s route. Many of us were tempted to finish off a fantastic morning with the wonderful dandelion salads at the Crozet so Claire C, Jonathan and his mum Judith, Marcia, Gron, Myfanwy, and Janet all savoured their first salad. Just as we were leaving Carla, Will and Jim were arriving for one as well as they had their first yesterday, and couldn’t help themselves!

Thomas was off this morning but will be back in action tomorrow and Andreas has gone off to Chamonix with Peter C and Didier P for an attempt at the summit of Mont Blanc. (I say attempt as they’ll need a little luck with the weather) Good luck boys!

We’ve fallen into a summer-type weather pattern where it’s sunny in the morning and with the heat of the day the clouds are rolling in during the afternoon. As long as it continues to freeze this is absolutely fine by me as the skiing is still excellent but unless it snows, a refreeze and sunshine are essential. Stay tuned!

24 April 2011
What a wonderful spring!

What a spring! We’ve had the worst winter since 1949 snow-wise, yet we’ve skied good snow all season long, the pistes have been excellent, and I can’t remember better spring snow than what’s been on offer this April. It’s necessary to walk out here and there but that’s been part of the enjoyment and a small price to pay for ‘clean’ slopes and solitude. The walking out on summer tracks is something we may never experience again because if this is a 62-year cycle, the next time we have so little snow will be 2073 so I for one am enjoying the novelty of the situation. Anyway, everybody who has passed through here this spring has come with low expectations, but left happy and satisfied. (Bravo Chris, Thomas, Andreas and Henry for making the very best of what’s on offer)

As for today’s skiing, it was back to sunshine, fantastic snow, scenery, and great skiing. Chris’ and my teams skied the Pays Desert out wide where we had a trackless mountain, then I went over the Col Pers and skied wonderful spring snow on the ridge between the Vallonnet and the Col Pers before exiting via my funky route above the gorge, which had softened nicely. Meanwhile Chris had an afternoon lesson and didn’t want to risk missing the 12:45 bus from the Pont St Charles so he skied the Super L into the L to finish.

Andreas and Peter C are in training for Mont Blanc later this week so they climbed up to the summit of the Grande Motte along with Didier P, who will be going with them to Chamonix. Nice work boys and we hope to see some photos of the views. I’m not too sure how the got down but I’m sure it was interesting!

I skied with Penny, Claire C, Will, Carla, Liz and their pal Jim. It was Jim’s first time with us as well as he first go at ‘skinning’ and he thoroughly enjoyed the ‘skinning’, and the entire off-piste experience. Liz (from South Africa) had her first lessons years ago with Andreas when he was still at Snow Fun and has followed him to Alpine as well as bringing her friends along. Thanks Liz and well done Andreas for being nice to a beginner all those years ago!

I’m not too sure about the weather but we’re all taking it a day at a time, and I’m sure we’ll come up with some great skiing again tomorrow. (Nothing like sticking your neck out!)

I had a lovely chat with Millie and Katie this morning. They’re missing me and the skiing but they’re also having a great time getting back with their school friends, seeing their grandparents, riding their bikes, and basically switching over to their ‘other’ life. See you soon girls!

23 April 2011
Momentarily back to winter!

The weather changed drastically yesterday afternoon and through the night and we awoke to grey skies, wind and 6C in the village. From my window I could see fresh snow on the rocks at altitude and although it was socked-in towards the Fornet I felt there was fresh snow in that sector and we had a chance of a decent morning. Chris, Henry and I were the only ones working and we all decided to head into the wind because of the fresh snow and smoother surfaces, and we had a great morning. The light improved as Chris and I headed over the Col Pers and we ‘skinned’ up to the Glacier Pers where we had strips with 10 to 15cms’ of fresh snow and patches of spring snow that had softened with a dusting of new snow on top. We ‘skinned’ back up to the Grand Torsai and the ski down from there was the best we’ve had in quite some time as the snow was pretty smooth and the surface had softened nicely. Brilliant! We then crossed over the river by the pond and had a ten-minute wait for the bus, which ended up with only ‘Alpine’ people on it.

I spent my afternoon at the Brussels for my annual lunch with Blue, Nina, and their friend Bill. Penny came along as well and we had a lovely time, but I protected myself not wanting a repeat of the alcohol poisoning I suffered four-years ago at the same venue. I still shudder just thinking about it! (If you find my update a little flaky I’m trying my best but Blue is a dangerous man)

Thanks to Andreas and Tansy for a fantastic BBQ yesterday evening. It was a great effort and thoroughly appreciated by everyone. Andreas’ brother Mathieu did a great job cooking and young Victor entertained the gathering with his left-footed Messi impersonations. Bravo Victor!

Sports Report- I’m watching the scores come in and am thankful the Sunderland have come back from 1-0 down to go up 3-1 against Wigan, and Fulham have just equalised against Wolves. I’m going to be brave and go up to the Pacific to watch West Ham try to get something against Chelsea, but …..

PS I had Jonathan Salmon skiing with me this morning for the first time in a few years and I’d like to give Ben Stockill a mention for a good performance this week. Well done Ben!

PSS What a match! The Hammers lost 3-0 in the end after two late goals, but we were in it, created chances, and played with pride. I had Gron, Myfanwy, Graham B, and Gideon cheering my boys on so it was good fun and an excellent game, but ever so cruel!

22 April 2011
An absolutely brilliant Crete du Genepy!

Finally there is a change of weather brewing but not before we snuck in another fantastic morning. Radio Val reported 5C this morning but the Foehn wind continues to blow, and in exposed areas it was jolly chilly at times, so the freeze held up really well again today.

Chris, Andreas and I decided on the Crete du Genepy so we all headed up that way. Chris and I skied a strip near the Kern beforehand, which was just about perfect, then we followed Andreas towards the Crete. Andreas’ team ’skinned’ all the way to the top as there was time to let the snow soften, and they had great views and excellent skiing. Chris and I took our regular route but went up another 100 metres, which opened up a route I haven’t skied before. The snow was perfect top-to-bottom, the exit was a breeze, and although the walk out at the bottom gets a little longer each time, it’s easy and pleasant walking. From there Chris and I ‘skinned’ to the Col de la Madeleine to ski the top section on very nice snow before traversing and ‘skinning’ out for 15-minutes. We finished off a great morning (1:40) on the Marmottons before traversing back to the Solaise piste. Andreas was behind us as he climbed higher on the Crete du Genepy and I’m not too sure where he finished up. Thomas has a private group this week and he was heading to ‘skin’ up the Pramecou, which is a good variation that non of us have skied this year. I’ll find out how he got on at Andreas’ house later as we’re meeting up for a BBQ early evening.

It’s clouded over this afternoon and we could easily get some snow tonight, and 10 to 20 would go down a treat!

PS Sports Report- Well done to West Ham’s brilliant Scott Parker, who has won the Football Writers ‘Player of the Year’ award. Hopefully he can keep us up!

21 April 2011
Brilliant all-day long!

It was 4C in town this morning and the good re-freezes continue, and as a result it was another stunning day of spring skiing. I started off with the Kern and it was slightly on the firm-side, but pleasant firm and it was a good opener. We then circled back around to ski a ‘clean’ strip that Mika and I had ‘sniffed’ out while traversing the first time around, and it was absolutely brilliant. There was a wind blowing so I wasn’t in a hurry to leave great snow so we came back around for a third Kern and it had softened to perfection. Result! We then headed up to the Fornet and climbed up from the Col poma for five-minutes to access a good pitch down above the little pond, then we skied way-out wide in the Pays Desert, which was excellent as well.

Meanwhile, Andreas started in the Borsat area and worked his way over the Fornet, where we met up in the Pays Desert, and they had a great morning as well. Chris was heading to the Col des Fours but when he saw the traffic (it seems to be popular at the moment) he changed his mind and ’skinned’ up the other side instead. Nice one JC!

Thomas and Henry we also in action but I’m not too sure what they skied. (Sorry but I’ve been a bit useless on that front over the past couple of days)

I enjoyed a terrific afternoon with Jane and Jumbo and their boys Angus and Stuart, along with my niece Rosie and her dad Rob. We skied the Combe du Signal followed by four trips through the Grand Vallon, and the last one we skied right to the bottom for a panache at 4:30. It’s great fun having young people out their, and neither Jane nor Jumbo has had much of a chance to ski off-piste the past few years. Rob hardly ever skis off-piste either and he picked up the prestigious ‘most improved skier of the week’ award. Bravo Rob!

I had a good run back from the airport last night and my darling Millie had a good cry as we said goodbye. They both had a wonderful time this winter and you can tell they’re getting to the age where they are really appreciating their environment. I’m a proud daddy!

I’ve heard a nasty rumour about 1metre-plus of snow next week. In February it would have been welcome but that much snow now would just shut us down. Five to twenty would be fun though, but anyway, it’s going to stay sunny!

20 April 2011
Goodbye to my girls!

Radio Val announced 5C this morning but I’m sure they got it wrong as we had another good freeze that held up well all morning. Chris and I went to the Sachette for a cracking good ski but it’s getting tougher by the day to get out at the bottom. Meanwhile Andreas, Henry and Thomas went up to the Fornet to ski down to the refuge and walk out on the summer path.

I’m taking the girls to the airport this afternoon and I’ll miss their smiling little faces as they’ve had a superb season. School has gone really well, in fact it couldn’t have been better, they’ve loved the skiing and mountain walks, the social life, and the wonderful sunny weather that we seem to have had all winter long. Last night Millie said, “I hope there’s another volcano Dad!” as last year they stayed on for another 5 days.

Anyway, Chris took some photos and he’ll send them to Jean and I’ll write a longer update tomorrow.

PS Ness came up today to help Tansy out with her group. She’s a top assistant and did a great job. Bravo Ness!

19 April 2011
Jean's last ski of the season!

It was a little warmer today but we still had a good freeze and everyone enjoyed a great morning. It was Jean’s last morning and he chose Tignes so we headed up to the Motte for some excellent skiing. We skied Katie’s route first but instead of crossing the rocks we continued down and ‘skinned’ out, then we skied my shoulder and continued across the flats at the bottom before another short ‘skin’, next up was a perfect Familial before finishing up off the Mont Blanc piste. I’ll miss Jean and we wish him great diving and golf, but we’ll pester him with photos over the next ten days or so.

Meanwhile, Chris and Andreas had a fantastic morning in the Sachette, where they skied all the way to the bottom before jumping from snow patch to snow patch on the Sache piste. I’m not too sure what Thomas skied this morning but the skiing continues to please, even with the lack of snow.

Andreas and Peter C ‘skinned’ up the Face du Bellevarde this morning as they’re in training for Mont Blanc next week. Top effort boys!

Rob, Rosie, Millie and I had another superb afternoon up at the Fornet skiing the Grand Vallon three times. We skied the steepest slope out there and it was really good fun and a fine finish to our daddy-daughter season.

I’m off to the airport tomorrow afternoon so it may be a short update. Stay tuned!

18 April 2011
Wow, another terrific day!

After another good freeze Andreas, Chris, Thomas and I took our teams up to the Crete du Genepy, which again was brilliant. It’s wonderful to have ‘clean’ snow and the surface had softened to perfection and the escape route out couldn’t have been better. There is some walking at the bottom to get to the Manchet lift, but it’s easy and pleasant and a small price to pay for the great skiing.

From there I headed up to the Pays Desert for another terrific run and had a picnic at the bottom of the Signal with Gill, Katie, Jane, Jumbo, and their boys Stuart and Angus. Meanwhile Andreas came up to the Glacier as well and Chris kept skiing until 3:15, when he caught the last bus down from the Pont St Charles.

I continued this afternoon with the McLaren clan after our picnic and we started with an excellent Combe du Signal, followed by three Grand Vallon’s. The snow held up beautifully right to the bottom, even at 4:30!

Sun is forecast for tomorrow morning but there is a nasty rumour of some rain in the afternoon. I wouldn’t mind a few centimetres of snow but we’ve organised to catch up with a few people on our terrace in the afternoon, so on this occasion I’d prefer the sun.

Thanks for the photos Jean and we wish you are great morning tomorrow for you to finish your season on. Your photos have been a great hit and a huge addition to the website. Merci beaucoup!

17 April 2011
Well done girls, stunning performance!

I had an unexpected day-off, which worked out well as the girls are leaving on Wednesday afternoon, and Rosie is here with her dad, so we took the opportunity to go for a family off-piste excursion. We started with a little warm-up in the Jardin du Borsat down to the Grand Pre before heading over to the Grande Motte. Off the Motte was excellent and pretty exciting as we skied the gulley, and slope, skiers-right of my shoulder then cut back to the Leisse Chair. Just as we were arriving at the last section, surprise, surprise, the snow had disappeared and there was about 20 metres of rocks to traverse, which wasn‘t an option. After weighing up the possibilities I decided to ‘boot’ it up about 20 metres to where it was about five-metres across on a nice ledge and we crossed quite easily. Just before crossing Katie said, “Is this the only way down Dad?” After replying ”Yes”, she said, “I’d better just get on with it then”. Brilliant! Anyway, at the top of the Leisse we ran into Kiera and Anna so they joined us for a great run on my shoulder and out before we all finished off with a perfect Familial. What a morning!

Meanwhile, the rest of the team was up at the Fornet. Andreas and Peter C are in training for Mont Blanc so they skied down to the refuge then ‘skinned’ up to the Col de Galise, then walked out on the summer path. Nice one boys! Chris skied to the refuge as well with some new clients and while walking out witnessed a helicopter rescue as some people were stuck in the gorge. They’d been taken in a slide on the steep slope leading into the gorge. (I‘ve never seen anyone ski there before). Chris has sent the photos to Jean and Henry so you should be able to see them. Good work JC! I’m not too sure what Thomas skied be he was at the Fornet as well.

I had a great afternoon with Angus and Stuart, the sons of Jane and Jumbo, and it’s lovely to have them back in town. They may come out en famille tomorrow afternoon for an off-piste session, conditions permitting.

I won’t do a Sports Report after yesterday’s heartbreaker. But well done Lewis and what a drive from Webber who finished third after starting 18th on the grid.

We’ve had great re-freezes these past few days and it should continue again for tomorrow.

PS Andreas has just informed me that the avalnche happened a few days ago and the skiers tried to side-step up out of the gorge and arrived on the debris. One of the skiers froze and wouldn’t move, and waited for the rescue services, who were superb as usual.

16 April 2011
A wonderful morning, a lovely lunch, and a brilliant afternoon!

Radio Val announced -1C this morning but it was another solid freeze, which held up all-day long. I was the only one working today and I gave my team of Bob, Jonathan, Victoria, Mark, and Jean a choice between a couple of options and they chose the Glacier Pers. We were the only ones out there and it was beautiful with a trackless mountain and sunshine. It was excellent from top-to-bottom and we then ‘skinned’ out and took my funky route down the Grand Torsai. The sun had much more punch in it today so it was softer, and safer on the lower slopes.

The entire team went to the Crozet where I met Gill, Millie, Katie, Rosie and her dad Rob, and everyone treated themselves to a gastronomically delightful dandelion salad. They are absolutely wonderful and it was a great finish to Jonathan and Bob’s holiday, and Mark and Victoria’s season.

After lunch I took Millie, Rosie and Rob up to ski some off-piste and we had a fantastic afternoon skiing the Grand Vallon all the way to the bottom, followed by the Combe du Signal beside the impressive avalanche debris, then a second Grand Vallon to the valley floor. Brilliant! With the cold weather over the past couple of days it was perfect all the way to the bottom at 3:45 and really great skiing, with no one else about. It’s amazing how Millie takes these vast areas and potentially intimidating slopes in her stride and skis confidently and without fear. Bravo Millie and Rosie! (Rob as well for that matter)

Now all I need to top off a perfect day is for the Hammers to score a winner in the next 15-minutes. Fingers crossed!

It looks as if we’re in for some great weather again this week, which suits Gill and the girls perfectly.

15 April 2011
Jolly chilly with wonderful skiing!

Chris whetted our appetites by saying he skied in 10cm’s of fresh snow on the Pissailles Glacier yesterday afternoon so we all headed up that way this morning. It was forecast to close in and at first it looked as if we’d have a problem with the clouds, but fortunately they stayed away all morning long and we profited from great visibility. Unfortunately Chris may have been exaggerating about the depth of new snow, but there was enough to make an important difference as it was jolly cold again today and as the sun wasn’t going to soften any slopes the few centimetres of fresh snow gave us a good ‘feel’ underfoot.

Chris and I skied an excellent Pays Desert out wide, Thomas was out that way as well with the Parker family, and Andreas skied a ’classic’ Pays Desert. We cut back towards the bottom to avoid too much of a walk and then we all went over the Col Pers, with Thomas and I skiing a lovely Tour de Lechoir before ‘skinning’ out while Andreas and Chris skied the regular route in great snow. The bottom was still really firm as the sun hadn’t put a dent in it so you needed to be extra careful getting out above the gorge. Chris had second thoughts as Rob was uncomfortable with it all so Chris ‘skinned’ back up over the Col. Bravo to 12-year-old Helena who was ‘skinning’ for the first time and she skied and walked brilliantly! I took my funky route very carefully as it faces the sun and because it doesn’t get skied it wasn’t as hard. Both during my route and the ‘classic’ exit at the bottom there were sections were no turns were allowed and we just side-slipped as a ‘whipper’ would have been disastrous. It was a fantastic outing and a really good finish to Gill’s off-piste for the season as the girls are now on school holidays before they leave next Wednesday.

Jonathan invited Gill and I for lunch today but he forgot his wallet and Bob had to pay. Thanks Bob! And thank you to Kevin and Jane for a lovely lunch yesterday, it’s been great seeing you both again.

We may have a few flakes floating about tonight but the forecast is for sun during the next week, although it will be much fresher than the past two-weeks, which is great for conserving the snow we have left.

PS Great photos again Jean, merci beaucoup!

14 April 2011
An unexpectedly great outing!

Because it was so cold on Tuesday night and it didn’t really soften on western and northern slopes yesterday, we had another good re-freeze even though it was cloudy during the night. It was cloudy this morning as well and with only a few flakes of snow overnight, it was potentially going to be a tricky morning. Our best bet was gentle slopes that hadn’t been skied, and lower altitudes where the warmth of the day would help soften the surface because the sun wasn’t going to be a helping factor. The perfect place today was going to be the Sachette so we had an ‘Alpine’ outing in that direction with Thomas, Chris, Henry, Andreas and I all heading that way.

The piste skiing en-route to the Palafour was really good as the snow was much softer than over the past week or so, and instead of enduring frozen pistes that shake your fillings the ski down was very enjoyable. Getting into the Sachette is much harder work now as we needed to traverse much lower then either ‘skin’ or ‘boot’ it up to the little Col. The Sachette itself was excellent and although it was firm it was smooth, and in some places there were strips of fresh snow that evoked some sighs of delight from ‘Whistler Bob’ and Jane. About halfway down the surface started to soften up with the warmth of the day and it just got better and better towards the bottom. Thomas decided to try skiing all the way down and then deal with the Sache piste, which turned out to be a great call. After radioing to say that it was only a short walk between patches of snow Henry and I decided to come down as well. Bravo Thomas!

We then finished with the Familial and a potentially tough morning turned out to be a very good ski with great ambience, solitude, and with the characters we have here at the moment, some good laughs as well.

It has snowed lightly this afternoon and we should have some good skiing again tomorrow. The snow will smoothen out the spring slopes and if we’re lucky we might even get enough fresh snow to leave some ‘Alpine’ tracks in.

Recent quotes: When learning that Andreas had ‘skinned’ up the Face du Bellevarde this morning starting at 6:15AM, Henry said, “What did you do that for!”

Jonathan loved this morning’s outing and when we were most of the way down the Sache piste said, “That was my favourite run of the week”. Thirty seconds later he managed to ski off the only strip of snow onto the mud, where he threw himself to the ground and rolled over a few times, covering himself in gooie mud. Once Bob realized that Jonathan was uninjured, he said, “Jonathan, aim for the white stuff!”

My 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter Katie asked, “Why did Jesus make the sun so that it hurts your eyes?” There is a little confusion there between Creator and Son but I thought it was a good question.

There were a few other quotes but since this is a family site they weren’t really printable.

13 April 2011
Wow, what a brilliant morning!

We temperature dropped dramatically last night resulting in the deepest re-freeze of the spring. It was so hard this morning that the timing we’ve been used to for arriving on the spring slopes at the perfect moment over the past two-weeks was between one-and-a-half to two-hours later. Instead of rushing to get places and skiing slopes at the ‘limit’ of support, today we were taking our time willing the snow to soften.

Henry, Thomas and I opened with the first Kern of the season and although it was still on the firm-side it was good skiing with great views and ambience. We spotted our escape route from the Olympique and managed to hit it as the strips of snow of ski out on are few and far between.

From there we headed up to the Crete du Genepy (Andreas and Chris were already on their way up) and arrived at just the right time. I started skiing down around 11:20, which was one-and-a-half hours later than a couple of days ago, and the snow was outstanding top-to-bottom, and because the snow was supporting so well we could ski different routes as well. The route out at the bottom was much easier and it was a cracking good ski.

Andreas then took the Browne family up to the Fornet to go over the Col Pers for a late finish, Chris skied the L, Thomas and I skied across the top of the cliffs in the Marmottons for ambience and Henry skied the piste to finish off a fantastic morning.

Jean was back in action so we should have some great photos.

Although it’s still sunny without a cloud in the sky a possibility of some snow, especially towards the Fornet is forecast for tomorrow. We’ll just wait and see what the day brings!

PS If we do get some new snow the fact that we’ve had a seriously good re-freeze will greatly improve the quality of the new snow as well as help stabilize the mountain. Great news really!

PSS Sharon M skied off-piste today for the first since breaking her ankle on the first day of the season when after spending a brilliant morning off-piste she was taken out in the tunnel on the Verte. Great to have you back Sharon!

12 April 2011
Not the easiest morning of the season!

It was one of the toughest mornings of the season so far with 5C in the village at 8AM and overcast skies. There was cloud cover during the night so there was very little freeze to speak of, except at altitude, and with no sunshine to soften the frozen surface, the spring slopes weren’t going to be very pleasurable. So after testing the snow and deciding that the big slopes hadn’t taken enough of a freeze to be safe so we all thought it might be better to go skiing and save the walking for tomorrow when we hopefully will have a better freeze and good visibility.

We all skied the smoothest pistes we could find and worked our way to Les Boisses and back finishing up around 12:45, which was a pretty good effort from everyone aboard. Bravo everyone! Tejina then carried on the Chris while I skied with Julian and his daughter Jemima.

(Jean didn’t ski today so there won’t be any photos unless he’s taken some about town. Nice timing on your day off Jean!)

Kiera’s taking care of the girls tonight so Gill and I can go out for dinner to celebtrate Gill’s birthday. Thanks Kiera and Happy Birthday Gill!

Hopefully the weather will sort itself out and we’ll be back in business tomorrow.

11 April 2011
Brilliant spring skiing with intersting exits!

Chris reported 4C at his place this morning so we had another minimal freeze to work with, but at this time of year any freeze will do. Chris, Henry and I returned to the Crete du Genepy and it was absolutely superb top-to-bottom. Even the exit through the avalanche debris held up but once we hit the road we needed to take our skis off several times and then again at the bottom to get across to the Manchet lift. Henry swears he saw a Gypaete with a baby marmotte in it’s claws, although some think it must have been an eagle, but hopefully the debate can be settled through Henry’s photos.

We then skied over to the Fornet to finish with a wonderful Pays Desert and we ‘skinned’ out for five-minutes at the bottom. I had Jane F along for the first time in a few years and she was a big hit with Jonathan. Jonathan’s friend Bob from Whistler is also here this week, and he’s a jolly good sport leaving the best season Whistler has had in years to keep Jonathan company during our worst winter since 1949. Bravo Bob, that’s friendship!

Meanwhile Thomas took the Parker family over to Tignes for a change of scenery and Andreas had the morning off.

I had a great ski this afternoon with Julian G’s crew of Jemima, Ellie and Fred. We had a technique lesson but skied lots of good spring snow between the pistes and I was surprised at how good it was. (I’ve been spending my afternoons of late either mountain walking or sitting on the terrace and I’ve lost track of afternoon skiing).

Tomorrow’s forecast of snow has been changed to a cloudy night with little or no freeze and maybe some snow on Thursday. Bummer as I was getting use to the idea of skiing some powder in the Glacier Pers. Still, we’ll wait and see what the day brings and we’ll do our best to make the most of it. (It’s Gill’s birthday tomorrow so fingers crossed for a nice day!)

Sports Report- I woke up a 6AM to check the Masters results and was bummed to see Rory had disintegrated on the back nine. Andreas stayed up to watch it and said it was a sad sight. Still, it was a great tournament with some thrilling drama, and Rory still played three wonderful rounds and will bounce back for the next major. He’s a class act and getting better by the day.

10 April 2011
Sun again tomorrow before a chance of some snow!

It was 3C in the village again this morning and having just Jean and Penny we decided to take it easy and have a look around. We started off the Borsat traverse and skied the meadows down towards the Grand Pre en-route to the Santons, then we skied the L, followed by an atmospheric trip over the Col Pers. The avalanche at the bottom of the Grand Torsai needs to be seen to be believed, with a fracture line of 2 to 3 metres. Scary!

Meanwhile Andreas was skiing with a new client Paul and his girls up at the Fornet while Chris, Tejina and Suzanne ‘skinned’ up to the Glacier Pers. I could tell when Chris was coming through the Grand Torsai because out of my radio came, “holy Moses”! Henry was also in action but I’ve no idea of what he skied.

Gill, Kiera and I took the girls for a trip up the summer path above the gorge towards the refuge and it was fantastic. Stunning scenery, beautiful weather, and great ambience, especially for little people who are just experiencing this sort of adventure and exposure for the first time. Bravo girls!

Our last sunny day of this extraordinary run of outstanding sunshine is forecast for tomorrow before a little snow (rain in the village) on Tuesday and more snow again on Thursday. It would be nice to get enough snow to clean up the spring slopes and dare I say, maybe even give us a couple of days of powder skiing!

Sports Report- Can Rory hang in there and win his first Major at Augusta at the tender age of twenty-one? It’s going to be a great finish and I’ll be checking the scores (like a sad git) on the computer before bed and first thing in the morning. I’d love to see him win it!

9 April 2011
Surprisingly fragile, but still jolly good!

It was one degree colder this morning and we all thought we’d profit from a better freeze so Andreas, Chris and I headed up to the Crete du Genepy for the perfect spring snow we‘ve skied there of late. The moment we touched the snow on the traverse from the Borsat however, it was evident the re-freeze was minimal and we’d need to hurry along. We cut the walk short by 5-minutes to save time and the snow was perfect and held up beautifully all the way to the bottom. The exit was ‘limit’ but worked all the way out and it was a cracking good result.

We knew that the Arselle-side should be left for another day so Andreas and I headed up to the Fornet for a stunning Pays Desert. It is really good value out there as it’s a long run from the top, you’re high enough altitude-wise to have supporting snow, and it’s only a 5 to 10 minute ‘skin’ out at the bottom. Then the pistes from the Col down feel like great spring snow and everyone went home happy. It was Victoria and Mark’s last off-piste of the season and they thought it was a wonderful last morning, and for Richard it was his one-and-only off-piste morning of the winter, and he said it made his season. Result! It was also the Nelson’s last morning and we wish Alex and Henry good luck on their upcoming exams.

(Henry headed towards the Motte but I’ve no idea how he got on and Thomas had the morning off)

Gill took the girls for a ski this morning then we all went for a walk this afternoon around La Daille searching for frogs. The afternoon walking is superb and it’s a one-off weather and snow-wise as most winters we’re still skiing powder as well as spring, and the walking paths are still covered with snow.

More sun is forecast but we should see some colder weather early next week. Fingers crossed!

Sports Report- Well, Wolves have lost in the early match, which is great news (sorry Mick D) and the Hammers have yet to kick-off against Bolton. Come on boys and hang in there at Augusta Rory!

PS Nice work on the photos today Jean as I didn’t really give you much time!

8 April 2011
'Limit', but perfect 'limit'!

It was even warmer last night and Radio Val reported 4C this morning at 8AM. With the record-breaking heat forecast for today the freeze wasn’t going to hold up too long so we needed to get on with it this morning.

After spending the past five-days in the Val d’Isere-side of the resort, it was time for a change so JM, Chris, Andreas and I all headed up to altitude around the Motte. JM went up the cable-car and worked his way down the glacier skiers-right then skied over the edge of the tongue of the glacier and ‘skinned’ back up. Meanwhile Chris, Andreas, and I did two excellent rotations on the other side of the Leisse and skied variations around my shoulder, and on the second trip we skied down across the meadows and ‘skinned’ back to the chairlift. The snow was on the perfect-side of ‘limit’, meaning it supported and kept us on top, but we wouldn’t have wanted to be any later as another 15 to 20 minutes and the support would have disappeared.

Jean Marc and Chris then ‘skinned’ up towards the Borsat West for some west-facing spring snow while Andreas and I skied the Cairn (perfect but limit), followed by the Familial (ditto) and then some west-facing shots in the Jardin de Borsat. It was another really good morning of spring skiing and I must say this past week has been as good as it gets on the spring snow front, and I personally have really enjoyed it.

Thomas and Henry were both in action but I’m not too sure where they skied. Last I heard Thomas was skiing something around the Charvet and probably stay on the Val-side.

Andreas was a little stiff this morning after playing tennis in Bourg with Lyndsay yesterday afternoon. He thought it was pretty good fun so he joined the club for the summer and will get Ness and Victor swinging a racket before too long.

Gill and I walked along the Balcon again this afternoon as this weather needs to be enjoyed, even if you watch the snow disappear in front of your eyes. Still, have no fear as the piste skiing is absolutely fine and so far the off-piste has been outstanding.

PS: I forgot to mention King Prawn setting off his airbag by accident today ! Mind you he needs to do it 3 more times to match JC’s record and become King Papillon !

7 April 2011
Perfect spring again!

It was warmer again last night by about 3C, but it was still cold enough to give us another morning of superb spring snow. The forecast was for no re-freeze to speak of but Radio Val reported 3C in the village this morning, and from past experience you know that 3 or 4 degrees around the Office du Tourisme in the morning means that it froze just enough up the mountain.

I had four new skiers this morning and Chris had a new group so along with Henry, we decided to return to the Crete du Genepy because it has been fantastic. Unfortunately Henry had a client dislocate his shoulder and needed to get him some help so Chris and I carried on and we had stunning snow top-to-bottom. There was a little breeze to help keep the snow cold but it was getting towards the ‘limit’ while exiting through the Mont Roup/Charvet junction so instead of trying something on the Arselle-side we headed up to the Fornet for an outstanding Pays Desert. (After taking care of his client Henry skied the Chalet des Gardes and ended up about 20-minutes behind me in the Pays Desert. Chris’ radio went dead so I lost track of him coming out the path under the Charvet). All in all, the snow was perfect all morning long, and it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed three consecutive mornings of such high quality spring skiing.

Meanwhile Thomas and Andreas headed straight to the Fornet for some great skiing and started with the east slopes down to the Pays Desert poma before heading up for a couple of circuits in the Pays Desert. Jean Marc was skiing with Mark G and his boys but I’m not too sure what he skied as they couldn’t find touring kit for an 11-year-old.

Jean Marc is here skiing again tomorrow before heading back to the Pyrenees as his son Johann has some races he wants to see. During his tour JM and co skied the Mean Martin, but Jean Marc was nervous of the north facing slope, and with jolly good reason, and opted to ski the southern side instead. Good call JM! The following day they ‘skinned’ up to the Pointe de la Sana and were on the summit by 11 o’clock. It was Jo’s husband David’s first taste of touring and he did really well. Bravo Dave!

It is ridiculously hot at the moment and I’m plastered in sun cream while sitting out on the terrace in just a pair of shorts. The weather is absolutely stunning, except of course if you’re hoping for a little bit of powder. The spring skiing is still brilliant but each day the exits get a little trickier and we’ll just take it one day at a time and hope it gets colder again before the end of the season. Fingers crossed!

PS I just checked my stats (it’s the baseball player in me) and today was the 70th morning I’ve used my ‘skins’ this season. It’s not all long walks as often we ‘skin’ for ten-minutes here and 20-minutes there, but the option of short walks makes an enormous difference. On average we use our ‘skins’ around 60 mornings per season.

6 April 2011
Absolutely brilliant spring skiing!

It was several degrees warmer overnight but it still froze enough to give us great skiing again today. Chris and I headed up to the Crete du Genepy, which was absolutely superb top-to-bottom, without a mark on the mountain. There was some added ambience as some big slides have come down across the exit but fortunately it happened a few days ago and people have made a good track through it.

Once out it was decision time about what to do next and after weighing up the options I decided on the Col de Madeleine, which we ended up ‘skinning’ to avoid a nasty traverse. The top section was excellent with smooth snow and perfect texture and just when we were about to cut out and traverse back towards the piste, a lovely strip of clean snow presented itself all the way to the bottom so we continued on. Thomas was down below and he steered us towards a little strip of snow to escape on at the bottom, as I couldn’t see the exit from above. Merci Thomas! Then the ski out past the buvet was good as well and it turned out to be a fantastic result. We finished off a wonderful morning of spring skiing down the Marmottons towards the cliffs before cutting out back to the Solaise piste.

Andreas and Thomas started off towards the Chalet des Gardes before Andreas headed towards the Col de la Madeleine followed by the Mattis and Thomas skied the Cugnai with Adam P and family. The Parker’s then took a parapente trip after lunch, which my five-year-old Katie is dying to try. Well done Adam!

Jean Marc returned safely from a three-day tour and they had a great time after a pretty tough start on Monday. Bravo JM!

Gill and I took the girls down to the Villaret des Brevieres for a lovely walk this afternoon. It’s so warm that Jean skied part of the morning in a t-shirt and the girls walked in t-shirts and their knickers. And the sun is forecast to continue but without a good freeze tonight, which may make things a littler trickier tomorrow. Stay tuned!

5 April 2011
Wow, back in business!

It was back to business after yesterday’s tough conditions and after a great re-freeze last night we enjoyed some outstanding spring skiing. My original plan was to ‘skin’ to the Crete du Genepy but I ended up skiing ‘Plan C’, which was wonderful. After finding some good snow off the Mont Blanc piste I though I’d head up towards the Motte but in the end skied the Lower Chardonnet en-route to the Sachette, which was magnificent. Chris joined me and with the solid freeze last night we could ski perfect spring snow all the way to the bottom. The traverse out doesn’t exist anymore as a few slide have taken the snow away so we needed to ski the Sache piste to the bottom.

Meanwhile Andreas did ‘skin’ up to the Crete du Genepy and I’m sure he had superb snow as well and last I heard he was going to ski all day with the Nelson family, minus Henry who stayed home to study. Henry was on-piste and I’m not too sure what Thomas skied today. And the brilliant freeze last night will have made Jean Marc’s life much easier as he spent last night in the Refuge des Fours.

It’s amazing to look around and see the various signs of avalanche activity. Since I was last in Tignes a four or five days ago the Lavachet has had three big plaques pop out, same in the Chardonnet, the Cocaine Nord and Jardini have had slabs go, plus a couple more mid-altitude towards where you ‘skin’ up to the Glacier Suspendu. Also the traverse to the Altiport in the Familial had had several slides across it. Sad to say we are running out of spring options as the big spring slopes are dropping off daily, but have no fear as there is plenty of good skiing to be enjoyed.

We’d like to wish John and Margaret’s daughter Dawn a very happy birthday today, Gill’s trip to the foot doctor paid off as she felt great in her boots today, and thank-you David C for sorting out our electrical problems.

Sun is forecast for the rest of the week with lighter freezes as the nights pass by.

4 April 2011
Good luck Jean Marc!

I don’t have too much to report today as Radio Val announced +7C in the village this morning. Our only hope was up high, and it was a 50-50 call, either the Grande Motte or the Pissaillas Glacier. We all decided to head to the Fornet hoping it froze enough at that altitude to ski the Pays Desert, and at the Gourmandine it looked a little brighter Fornet-way. Anyway, we arrived in a fog and after testing the snow the signs weren’t good so for the first time in years I spent the morning doing technique. We stayed out until 12:30 and it turned out to be a productive morning, although we didn’t get far off-piste.

Jean Marc headed to the Refuge des Fours for the night with Jo H, her husband David who is new to touring and another friend. As they say, bonjour Dave!

I spent the afternoon down in Chambery with Gill as we went to visit a foot specialist to see if we can get her boots sorted. Fingers crossed! Thanks Tamsin for taking care of the girls, as usual, they seem to love it at your place.

It turns out that yesterday’s massive avalanche on the steep bottom slope of the Vallonnet was triggered by skiers. It makes everyone feel better that it didn’t go unprovoked, but at 11:30 in the morning on an exposure that was still supporting well, you have to feel sorry for those involved as it would have been a frightening experience.

It’s clearer tonight so hopefully we’ll get a good re-freeze and be able to get off-piste on gentle slopes tomorrow.

And Happy Birthday to you Kiera!

3 April 2011
Still skiing powder snow!

We had another decent re-freeze last night and the boys spread out to take advantage of the various options. Andreas and I headed up to the Glacier Pers and had great powder up top followed by spring snow towards the bottom. Andreas then ‘skinned’ up towards the Gros Caval and skied to the refuge before walking out on the summer path. Meanwhile I skied my funky descent above the gorge to finish off a wonderful ski.

When we arrived towards the bottom we could see some debris coming from the Vallonnet. We crossed over to it to have a look and were shocked by the enormity of it, and believe me the photos don’t do it justice. It came from way above and at it’s deepest the fracture line must have been close to two-metres deep! We all assumed that it slid yesterday afternoon but it was frightening to learn that it had avalanched on it’s own between 11:45 and 12:15, just minutes after some skiers had passed that way. It has been a very tricky winter and during this heat-wave the big slopes continue to purge themselves, with or without people standing on them. (I think back to my write-up of March 20th, and how this season is about taking it easy, enjoying gentle skiing and regrouping during the summer to be ready for next winter.)

Jean Marc is back in town and he skied the Col du Montet with Jo and her husband David, while Chris and Suzanne also made the trip on Chris’ day off. They had powder up top followed by spring snow & then walked out on the summer path above the gorge.

Thomas and Henry both skied some fantastic spring snow on the Crete du Genepy then we saw Thomas at the bottom of the Grand Torsai where we studied the debris at the bottom of the Vallonnet.

Gill and I had a great nature walk with the girls this afternoon. They had so much fun yesterday that they wanted to do it again today, after a good lunch at the Quicksilver/Billabong Burger Bar. Sophie did it this morning after she and a pal had run into Arnold -the-Terminator-Handsome-Stranger-Governor Schwarzenegger. Cool!

It’s clouded over late this afternoon and a warm night with some rain/snow is forecast. Wish us luck and stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

2 April 2011
Great skiing and a change of scenery!

It was 2 degrees warmer this morning but without any fresh snow insulating against the re-freeze, we profited from a better freeze than yesterday. We all decided on a change of scenery so Chris, Andreas and I skied the Crete du Genepy for the first time this season and enjoyed superb spring snow, without a mark on the mountain. It had set-up well and for the most part we didn’t leave any tracks behind and where we did it was minimal and will heal nicely in the sun.

We passed under yesterday’s avalanche around 10:50AM and it was a pretty impressive sight, and looking from the Manchet Chair it was even worse as it came right from the top. I haven’t heard any more news but Henry has some interesting video on his website.

After the perfect spring on the Crete du Genepy the Arselle and Marmottons looked absolutely un-skiable with frozen ruts and tracks everywhere so we all headed up to the Fornet thinking of a ‘clean’ Pays Desert. Once up there Chris thought the Vallonnet might be worth a shot and since I haven’t skied there all season I decided to give it a go with JC and Andreas. It turned out to be a great call as we had a few powder turns up top before turning to spring snow mixed with some strips of winter snow that fell two nights ago. At the bottom we came across where the avalanche that passed into the Belle Combe started, and I must say it was much, much bigger than I had imagined. To think that the skier who triggered it got out with just an injured knee is incredible because I haven’t seen that big of slide in quite some time.

I had another new ‘Alpine’ skier today named Phil, who is a Ski Club Member, and it was nice to have him along with Richard (on his stag weekend), his pal James, and of course Jean. (The boys missed Sophie this morning who was out at the Pisteurs Annual Ball last night, and missed today). Andreas had Tansy along for their first ‘off-piste’ ski together of the season, as well as Bumble and John D while Chris had Tilly, her son Andrew, Michael C, and Suzanne along. (I’m not too sure what Henry was up to this morning)

Gill and Kiera skied with the girls this morning then took them on a great walk along the Balcon from the Fornet back to above the Hotel Moris, so they’ve had a very energetic day. Meanwhile I watched my beloved Hammers lose a 2-0 lead after 65-minutes when that little runt Rooney scored a hat-trick in fifteen-minutes to break West Ham hearts. We ended up losing 4-2 in the end. Bummer but thanks for the game Johnny Alpine. I’m just hoping that the rest of today’s result go West Ham’s way.

More sun is forecast for tomorrow with a change of weather on Monday.

1 April 2011
I really can't believe it!

Radio Val announced +2C in town this morning, but with the fresh snow last night insulating against a good re-freeze, it was going to be a delicate morning for those searching out spring snow on the ‘classics’. With that in mind we all headed up to the Fornet looking for the last of the powder mixed with some spring snow at altitude and we had another great morning.

Andreas, Chris and I all headed up to the Glacier Pers and enjoyed some excellent powder up top and towards the flats, where it turned to spring snow. Andreas and Chris then doubled back and ’skinned’ up again towards the Gros Caval and left some lovely tracks in soft snow on a supporting base. Chris was promised a shandy by his clients, which spurred him on towards the top. Nice on JC! Meanwhile, Thomas skied in the Pays Desert and Col Pers with his initiation group while Henry started at the Fornet and finished up with some nice spring snow up high off the Marmottons.

Henry then witnessed an incredible sight when a group of skiers lead by a professional were avalanched over the cliffs on the Face du Charvet around 11:30 to 11:45. The mountain has been unstable all season and after a minimum freeze on a slope that hasn’t yet transformed properly to spring snow, skiing it at 9AM is a bad call, let alone at 11:30. Outrageous really! Henry had to ski down the Arcelle side and came to help as the Pisteurs had their hands full. They were also in danger as a couple more slides came down on their own, and at one time the Pisteurs all dispersed heading for cover. I’ll stop there as Henry will be writing it up on his blog tonight. (google Henry’s Avalanche Talk)

Along with Jean, Gill and Sophie I had a couple of new characters today, James and Richard, who drove over from Tignes. They are here on Richard’s stag do and it was great to have them along. We’ve had a lot of new clients over the past three years and we continue to have new people showing up on a regular basis, which during a financial crisis is really encouraging. (Richard came via my book, and besides word-of-mouth most new clients are coming through the website)

Gill and I are sitting on the terrace in shorts and vests soaking up the sunshine and we can hear the delightful sound of children playing across the street in the school ground. It’s amazing how quiet it gets when they get called in but it’s lovely to listen to their joyous play and know your children are having a great time.

Ridiculously warm weather is forecast again for tomorrow.

PS Great photos Jean and I’m sure Chris will be sending a few later!

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