Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

31 January 2012
Cold and getting colder!

It was the coldest day of the season so far and my day started by finding that I’d failed to turn on my boot warmers last night! Bummer. Anyway my plan was to head up to the Fornet with Andreas this morning but at 8:50 Solaise was closed while the Olympique was open so I headed up Bellevarde with Chris instead. We had a nice cushion of fresh snow that fell during the night, (and it continued to snow lightly all morning), and Chris and my teams skied a couple of good runs in lovely snow off the edge of the pistes and on the piste themselves. It was jolly cold and Penny pulled out first as her knee was bothering her and Gill went next as she was frozen, so the rest of us continued on and had a great run in the Lower Borsat and meadows towards a hot chocolate in Val Claret. I took both boots off to rub my feet (damp boots from yesterday, what a berk!) and then put on my neoprene boot warmers which saved my morning. Thanks Doug for the team hot chocolates! Chris’ team joined us for drinks and a warm-up before we all headed up to ski the big Face Nord on the Grande Balme. It was a good adventure as it wasn’t evident how to get in and it took a little longer than planned, but we managed and the ski down was superb in 25cm’s or so, and it was a definite ‘morning winner’. By this time we were well late so we took the Col de Fresse and headed back to town as quickly as possible as Tilly had a plane to catch.

Meanwhile Andreas was up at the Fornet and had some cold moments as well and his team also had a hot chocolate stop. (It’s the first time all season everyone had sought shelter) Andreas then had a couple of ‘morning winners’ as well in the Grand Vallon and for a cold day with flat light everyone went home extremely happy.

It’s due to get colder as the week progresses but the fresh snow over the past 18-hours has helped and tomorrow’s forecast is for clearer skies and much better visibility. Today’s lesson, turn on your boot warmers!

Thanks Jean for your photos today as only a brave and dedicated man would take off their gloves in that weather!

PS Bravo Andreas for doing the torchlight tonight in memory of friends lost in the mountains.

30 January 2012
What a fabulous getaway!

Yet again it was clear at 6AM (don’t ask me what I’m doing every morning at that time) but by ‘show-time’ the sky had clouded over and the visibility had deteriorated somewhat. Still, there was enough light to navigate and at times the visibility was pretty good and we all enjoyed another morning of great skiing. Andreas, Thomas and Henry all skied the Lower Lavachet followed by the Glattier, the Cocaine Nord and then the Familial to finish. They had excellent snow most of the way and had a really good result for the morning. Bravo boys! (and nice to see Henry and Thomas back in action)

Meanwhile Chris and I headed towards the Motte. My team ‘sniffed’ around off the Mont Blanc piste to warm-up and check out my new team of Christian, Nick Giles and Douglas (who were joining Penny, Jean and Chris E) and found some good un-tracked snow en route to the Borsat chair. In the Lower Borsat we skied an excellent shoulder where the new boys got the hang of the track routine and we continued on down the meadows into Val Claret and up the train. We then skied a steep variation off the Leisse before continuing down across the meadows in lovely snow before ‘skinning’ out for ten-minutes. Next up was off the Genepy before ‘skinning’ again for another 10-minutes up under the Borsat West, but unfortunately the light flattened and we had our worst vis of the morning, but managed a good run down anyway. Chris and I finished off with a good alti-port in the Familial to finish of a good solid morning.

I must mention Jonathan’s exit from town yesterday and give him some award such as the ‘classiest exit’. It was superb free advertising for ‘Alpine’ as he had a bus full of YSE clients stop in front of the Gourmandine while Jonathan jumped out and gave high-fives to the blokes while kissing all the ladies in front of the waiting people watching out their bus windows. It was brilliant Jonathan, just brilliant!

It was -9C in town this morning and it’s forecast to get colder during the week, but unfortunately we won’t see much snow. There is plenty of good skiing to be done however and if we’re lucky with the light we’ll be fine.

29 January 2012
Ladies day on Chris' Birthday!

Wow, what a fantastic ski we had today for Chris’ birthday! And to add to the proceedings Chris and I both had ladies teams of five each, which is pretty rare these days. It didn’t snow as much as forecast but still enough fell to make a difference and with the light being much better than expected we profited with a ‘maximum-turn’ type morning. We warmed-up off the Verte followed by a nice Lower Borsat and meadows into Val Claret. From there we headed upstairs for two runs off my shoulder, which was the toughest skiing of the morning but still very good, followed by an excellent run down the Cairn. Next up was the best of the morning on the North Face of the Grande Balme. It was smooth underfoot with 10 to 15cm’s of light fresh snow on top and it’s always a slope with ambience. From there we finished off a great morning with very pleasant Familial.

Meanwhile Andreas and Henry decided to head up to the Fornet for a change of scenery and I’m not too sure how they got on. They did rope over the Col but decided against going through the gorge and skied the Grand Torsai instead.

Gill was along for a bonus ski as the girls had a sleep-over at Anna’s last night followed by swimming with Stephen and Kaye this morning. It’s rare that she gets to ski off-piste on the weekends so thank-you Kiera, Kaye and Stephen!

It’s forecast to get very cold this week with some in-and-out weather, but if we’re as lucky as we’ve been the past three days where the light has been pretty good, we should have another excellent week of skiing. Stay tuned!

And Happy Birthday to Chris and my father-in-law Fred.

PS Today’s photos are on my link as Jean had a day of rest. And well done Novac for a stunning victory in five-sets over Rafa.

28 January 2012
An excellent Sachette!

It was another day where we didn’t expect too much but were pleasantly surprised by not only the visibility but also the snow quality. It started snowing lightly around 6AM but by nine there was a nice cushion, which softened it up nicely, and the skies brightened leaving us with excellent visibility and moments of proper sunshine. Chris and I skied off the Verte and the Lower Borsat in really good snow before skiing an excellent Sachette in clean untracked snow. I went all the way into the bowl while Chris opted for the first couloir, then Chris cut a track to the meadows under the Glacier Suspendu. Andreas came in behind us after skiing the Chardonnet and just as we were exiting the Sache the fog started to roll in so our timing (with a little luck) turned out to be perfect. We were also treated to a great wild-life show as the chamois were up close on the cliffs and it was brilliant viewing. Chris and Andreas then skied the Familial on the way home while I skied some bonus turns off the Edelweiss. Thomas was working as well today and he had his group all day. He skied off the Borsat, in the Combe des Lanches, the Chardonnet and the Sache/Sachette plus some other bits and pieces.

It was Jonathan, Peter and Olivia’s last day today as well as Jean’s brother Bernard, all of whom have had a great week. It was also nice to see Andreas’ children Ness and Victor at the Rond Point this morning as Ness was going to assist Tansy. My girls skied with Gill this morning and they profited from the good light and fresh snow while skiing to Les Brevieres and back. (Also a mention for Dave who enjoyed his first week with us)

It started snowing again this afternoon and hopefully we’ll see 10 to 20cm’s by morning but there’s the possibility of a retour d’est, which means we could see much, much more than that towards the Fornet. If it arrives it’s from the right direction to cover the rocks on the entrance to the Col Pers, which would open up the Col itself plus the Glacier Pers, giving us some great options. Fingers crossed on that one!

Sports Report- Thanks John for hosting a great afternoon of football. His place was full of Man U season ticket holders and fans, such as Chris E and his wife Jannie, Dave, who’s from Manchester and John himself. Dave C was also there but I’m not too sure who he was cheering for, and of course me who was pulling for Liverpool, who won 2-1 on a late goal in the 88th-minute. They all took the defeat rather well but I guess that’s easier when your trophy cabinet is bursting. After returning home I logged-on to check the cricket score and was expecting some goods. But what a shocking result, all-out for 72! Dreadful, absolutely dreadful! Andy Murray came ever so close and can be proud of the way he played against Djokovic, and the final should be fantastic with Djokovic vs. Nadal.

27 January 2012
Just enough light for a pretty good morning!

The forecast wasn’t very good for today but when I awoke to clear skies at 6AM there was a chance for decent visibility. By nine o’clock it had clouded over but we could see enough for a team ‘Alpine’ trip to the Crete du Genepy, and the light remained good enough for us all to enjoy a really good ski on a potentially tricky morning. Henry joined, Chris, Andreas and I as we all ‘skinned’ up and after some slightly tricky snow on the first pitch the snow just got better and better as we skied down. I ‘sniffed’ out some bonus turns off the top of the Manchet Express then a few more turns off the Tete du Solaise, and after that we skied some lovely piste to finish off. (I’m not too sure how the rest of the boys finished off their morning)

Chrissy’s friend Annelie, who Chrissy met on a riding holiday in India, skied her first-ever morning with ‘Alpine’ this morning and I was very pleased at how she applied herself. She was a little nervous at first skiing with such an experienced group but she did extremely well and settled in nicely. Well done Annelie! (It was also nice having Gill along as she hasn’t been off-piste all week as I’ve been very busy)

I finished my hours of community service (I haven’t been arrested or anything like that, it’s hours for our free ski passes) this afternoon after spending some great time with a group of local 4-year-old school kids, and I must say the entire team was made up of real characters. It was jolly good fun but I’m looking forward to a rest tomorrow afternoon at Johnny ‘Alpine’s’ to watch Liverpool v Man U in the FA Cup. And what great tennis today if you had the chance to watch it.

Hopefully we’ll get the 10 cm’s that was forecast for today as a new blanket of snow would be lovely, especially if we’re dealing with flat light!

PS Great photos Jean! Merci.
PPS I forgot to mention that Tansy had her first off-piste ski of the season with Andreas this morning.

26 January 2012
Bravo Christian and Hugo!

Wow, what a brilliant day! The sun was out in full force without a cloud in the ski all day, and the skiing was superb. Colin needed to be back for a 1 o’clock bus out of town so we needed to stay somewhere where he could peel out, which eliminated the Fornet, so we headed up the Olympique and started with an excellent Face du Charvet. From there we had a lovely pitch in the Lower Borsat followed by a nice shot under the Fresse chair before two runs in more ‘educational’ snow off my shoulder on the Motte. (Colin needed to fly after the first one) On the way down from the Motte we skied a cracking good Cairn and finished with a good piste cruise. Ten-out-of-ten I’d say!

Meanwhile Chris headed back up to the Fornet and his team had three great runs in the Pays Desert (see Jean’s link) before trying to go over the Col Pers. After looking at the entrance his group was split about doing it or not, so they pulled back and skied a fourth Pays Desert. (Remy from Snow Fun took one hour to rope his team in)

Andreas wanted some exercise combined with good snow so he took his team up to the Col des Fours and they had a wonderful ski down. He’s off in ten-days to the Pyrenees to tour with JM and Oli and is trying to get himself in shape because with all the good snow of late we haven’t needed to ‘skin’ all that often.

I had a wonderful afternoon with my group of 4-year-olds this afternoon as we skied four runs using the Marmottes Express. (Andreas’ team’s tracks look good in the afternoon sun from the top of Bellevarde) We skied the Acti-cross run and then skied some lovely powder of 5cm’s between the pistes, and it was jolly good fun. Stephen and Ben came along and their sons Christian and Hugo both skied brilliantly after struggling on Tuesday. Bravo boys! (And thanks Stephen and Ben for your help)

Ten to twenty centimetres of snow is forecast for during the day tomorrow but hopefully we’ll get some during the night.

25 January 2012
Just enough light and 'maximum-turns'!

It was similar to yesterday as far as following the visibility and again we did a pretty good job of skiing with the best of the light. I dove onto the Kern straight out of the Olympique with Andreas right behind has it was being bathed in glorious sunshine and we had a cracking good warm-up. Peter B said, “Great warm-up Wayne, now let’s get down to the serious stuff”! Anyway, Andreas then headed to Tignes and climbed into the Chardonnet with Thomas’ team and they had an excellent ski followed by a great trip to the Sachette.

Meanwhile I had a team of gentlemen with Terry and Ian at 64-years-of-age, Peter B and Jean’s brother Bernard at 67, Jean at 70 and John E at 74, and the boys seriously did the business. After our warm-up we skied the Borsat front-side, followed by the Lower Borsat and the meadows and a good steep pitch under the Fresse chair. We then followed the sun to the Col du Palet for a beautiful run to the bottom, and by this time it was clearing on the Motte so we took the train upstairs, where we skied two brilliant runs on-and-around Wayne’s Shoulder. By this time it was getting late so we skied a lovely Cairn then cruised to the bottom of La Daille as I needed to work this afternoon. Well done boys as they left great tracks everywhere and enjoyed a ‘maximum’ turn morning! (Well done Peter B as I’ve never seen you ski so calmly!)

Chris was in need of a change of scenery so he headed up to the Fornet and had some good skiing in the Combe du 3300 and the Pays Desert and his team thoroughly enjoyed their morning. Chris gave Hanna a ‘skier of the morning’ award’ and said she’s improved dramatically over the past few days. Well done Hannah! Looks like a job well done Team Alpine!

It closed back in this afternoon and snowed lightly but hopefully we’ll get a break in the clouds and see some sun tomorrow. Fingers crossed! (I skied a little off-piste this afternoon with Greg and Lisa in the flat-light, and for a five-week skier she skied brilliantly and hopefully we’ll see them in a group soon).

24 January 2012
Much better than expected!

What was looking like a tricky morning at 7AM turned out to be an excellent ski with great ambience and very good snow. We were still deciding what to do while riding up the Olympique but on top there was a clearing around the Charvet/Mont Roup area so we took a gamble on Mont Roup. Chris and I went from the Borsat traverse and enjoyed some lovely snow while Andreas skied some nice snow down form the Borsat to the Grand Pre and arrived from the Grand Pre traverse. The ‘skin’ up was very atmospheric with wind, snow and deteriorating light but we had the ‘light bulb’ hanging above us to light the way. Once on top it cleared again and except for the odd ‘sticky’ bit the snow was very good indeed and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We all took various routes to finish off the morning and it’s always satisfying when a potentially tough day turns out to be a cracker! (Jean was back in action so there will be some photos and his brother Bernard is here this week) Thomas was in action again today but I’m not sure what he skied and I haven’t seen Henry for a few days now.

I skied with the school kids again this afternoon and Kaye came along to help as her son Christian was in my group.

I’m off to dinner at Joy and Al’s with the girls so I must run. A demain!

23 January 2012
First Face of the season!

It was cold enough overnight to lighten up the snow a little and some of yesterday’s ‘educational’ snow was pretty pleasant this morning. Chris and I skied off the Verte en route to a good Borsat before skiing a great slope under the Fresse chair. We then worked our way over to the Sache and the entrance to the Sache is a mess, not as messy as the Col Pers mind you, but still a mess. Anyway, after negotiating our way in, the top slope was great, considering the wind, and the rest of the way was pretty good but not as well protected as it normally is.

Meanwhile Andreas had a great ski with Olivia, Peter and Robert as they skied the Face du Charvet, Tour du Charvet, Combe du Signal and the Grand Vallon. Nice one! Thomas was also working today but I’m not too sure what he skied as he had a boarder with him, which limits the options. I didn’t see Henry this morning so he’s probably spending some time with his family as Nancy is visiting from Boston.

I spent the afternoon skiing with 4 year-olds from the local school. There were some real characters in the group, including Tallia who shot off across the Rond Point on her own at the end of the session. Mama Mia!

Tomorrow’s weather could be iffy as rumour has it we’ll have some cloud cover without new snow. Bummer! I’m remaining positive and cheering sunshine without new snow as a cloudy day without good light won’t be easy.

Sports Report- There were two fantastic American Football games yesterday with the winners making it to the Super Bowl. Marty’s New York Giants upset the San Francisco 49-ers in a great game while Michael Rosen’s New England Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens in a thriller. Good luck Michael as I’m an AFC fan but what a story the Giants have been! (Check highlights on NFL.com)

22 January 2012
'Educational' but great skiing!

The resort opened spot on time this morning and Chris and I tried the Triffolet first thing as it was stunning yesterday, but it became evident that today was a totally different day to yesterday. The snow was much more compressed but it cleared giving us great visibility, and the chance to ski positively, which was absolutely necessary as the snow had some ‘technique’ in it today. With all that said, I thought it was superb this morning as we had a wonderful mix of snow, all of which was very ski-able and most of it was very enjoyable. After warming-up (more like heating-up) with the Triffolet we skied some nice snow off the Verte and some good snow in the Lower Borsat, then across the meadows down into Val Claret. We were first into the Combe des Lanches, which was deep but needed a good pole plant and to be skied with some welly before we cut a track under the couloirs where the big pitch to the bottom was the best deep-snow of the morning. Then we headed upstairs and skied some great compressed snow off the Genepy before cutting over to the Cairn, where we had pockets of powder as well. The Familial was a good finish to a very satisfying morning where John E skied himself to a ‘skier of the morning’ award, closely followed by Penny who didn’t miss a turn all morning. Bravo you two!

The rest of the boys had the day off and Andreas was up in town skiing with Victor, who at three is skiing really well. Chapeau Victor!

Sports Report- I was well pleased with the Hammers moving into first-place with an unconvincing win yesterday, even it if only turns out to be first place for 24-hours as the Saints play today. I tried to watch some of the City v Spurs match but when I stopped by Johnny ‘Alpine’s’ he hadn’t arrived and when I passed by Guffy’s (Pacific Bar) the match hadn’t yet started. (No wonder John wasn’t at home!) Anyway, I’ll be a sad git and follow it on my computer.

PS While at the Pacific I met Henry’s Mom (American/Canadian spelling) Nancy, who is a delightful woman. She’s here visiting her Grand-daughter and is babysitting so Ginnie can get some skiing in. Nancy was trying to work out when she could watch Rafa play in the Australian Open and of course I had to pipe-in that I’m a Federer fan, so we had a good discussion.

PSS Wow! What a second-half that must have been with City winning 3-2 after a scoreless first-half!

21 January 2012
Absolutely brilliant!

Yesterday was a pleasant surprise and fantastic skiing, but this morning was extraordinary! We had 50cm’s in the last 24-hours and the resort was slow to open, but once up the mountain it was a real treat. Everyone bussed down to La Daille and waited for the Funival, which opened around 9:25 (the Olympique opened at 10:30), and our opener was down the edge of the Diebold, then the Semanmille and across the bridge to open up the Triffolet. My team were first in with Chris’ team right behind and we had knee-deep snow of high quality right to the bottom. It was wonderful with Chris saying he’d never skied it in such good snow and we could have gone home happy then and there. Meanwhile Andreas and Henry were doing rotations on Bonnevie’s drag, which had outstanding snow as well. We then skied under Mont Blanc and down the Triffolet again before arriving for the opening of Tommeuses where Andreas was first in to the Familial followed by myself then Chris’ team, and Andreas said, “Well, that had to be the best Familial of the season”! The lifts were a little temperamental at times so we didn’t have quantity today but we most certainly had extremely high quality! (The wind died down significantly and we had good visibility all morning, which made a huge difference)

This afternoon Gill and I took the girls out with Kiera and Anna and we skied some gentle off-piste and the girls had a real giggle. They all wore beeps (for effect) and it was jolly good fun.

Sports Report- The games are on at the moment and I won’t say anything yet as it’s too early and I don’t want to jinx my boys, but come on you Hammers!

PS I unfortunately forgot my camera this morning but I did get some shots of the girls off-piste this afternoon.

20 January 2012
Foul weather but big smiles!

I could hear the wind moaning through the chimney around 6AM and knew then that we were in for a potentially tough day. And I also could feel that one or two extra glasses of wine had been consumed at John and Margaret’s last night (brilliant evening thanks!) and I was feeling a little sorry for myself while looking out the window at the brewing storm and wondering how the morning was going to pan out. We bussed around to La Daille and got the first Funival and decided to start the morning off in the lee so we headed down the Face du Bellevarde and had a great first run to wet the appetite. From there it was back up the Olympique and straight into the wind as we skied down the 3J before having three excellent runs on Bonnevie’s drag. Then we cut under the Mont Blanc chair and skied down via the Triffolet in lovely snow before coming back up to ski three more Bonnevie drags, which by this time had filled back in and we had it to ourselves. Everyone was grinning away and it’s rare that you get so many adults having such good fun in such windy weather, and Harriet, Ruth, Penny, Walter, Stephen, Mark and Robert were a pleasure to be with. Anyway, we skied back down through the Triffolet where we ran into Thomas and his team before riding the Funival one last time to find the information board at the top showing gusts of 86kph. We then skied the Verte and back up for another Bonnevie’s drag and down to the bottom for a 12:45 finish.

I never expected such a good morning and was really pleased about the positively brilliant attitude of all the ‘Alpine’ groups this morning. Andreas was skiing with Peter B, Chris was skiing with Charlotte, Dom, Myles, Stuart, Sandy, Mick D and Suzanne, Henry was with David H’s team as well as Wynne, and Thomas had three new English clients. Bravo everyone and to Ruth for a well deserved ‘skier of the morning’ award, she was really giving it some welly!

Up to 50cm’s of snow is expected before the morning but high winds are also forecast.

PS The avalanche risk had dropped to 1/5 over the past few days but it was starting to swing back the other way as goblet has been forming during the cold nights of the past ten days. Add the fresh snow that is now falling with the strong winds that is transporting even more snow onto a weakening base and we’ll be back up to 3 or 4/5 by morning.
(I took one photo today, which is on my link)

19 January 2012
Good skiing on a day of transition!

It was a transition day while we await some fresh snow and this morning started off grey with flat-light, and you knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Chris and I started on the Kern, which is pretty smooth with nice chalky snow and being an impressive slope it was a good ski. From there we followed the best of the light and skied the Little Lavachet where the snow improved the lower we skied so we ended up leaving some good tracks to the bottom before ‘skinning’ back out. By this time it was starting to clear back towards Val d’Isere so we headed back that way and skied the Familial followed by another Kern in the sunshine. We then skied the Face du Bellevarde piste to drop Peter off at his hotel and I must say that the Face piste, as well as the piste down Solaise, are in the best condition they’ve been in for years because there is enough natural snow in the mix that the artificial snow isn’t much of a factor. Anyway, for a tough morning we made the most of it and kept ourselves in the best visibility possible with some pretty decent snow. I’m not too sure what Henry skied with Wynne and Barbara but he was planning on an easier day as he’s been working them quite hard in preparation for their upcoming tour. (Thomas and Andreas had the morning off) Jean didn’t ski this morning so today’s photos are on my link.

Fingers crossed for some snow tonight and hopefully the snow will fall without too much wind, which unfortunately is also forecast.

18 January 2012
Steep and great ambience!

Well, it was a funky old day today as we’re trying to entertain the troops while waiting for a much needed snowfall to give us a fresh canvas, and I skied some slopes I haven’t skied all season. The Signal Poma re-opened yesterday afternoon so I headed up to the Fornet for a change of scenery and hoping for the best. We started off with a Grand Vallon, which was a little rough but good skiing and very interesting as the wind damage was quite incredible. From there we traversed through the Grand Vallon to the Vallonnet, and it was like being on the moon. It was absolutely ravaged during the storm and almost unrecognisable, and it was an adventure just working out how to get down! The bottom slope, which is steep and very impressive, was superb and that brought a smile to everyone’s face. After being on north-facing slopes in the shade all morning we headed to the sun and skied an excellent Kern followed by a steep couloir above the Face du Bellevarde, which I haven’t skied in years and we finished of with a nice piste ski down to La Daille.

Chris took his team down to Ste Foy to ski the Foglietta and they had great ambience and a superb lunch at the Monal. Andreas had a cast of characters and they’re staying in Tignes, which throws Andreas’ rhythm out of sync, but he’s done very well with his team this week. Today they started (instead of finished) with the Familial then worked their way up to the Fornet and skied the Pays Desert, lunched, then skied back to Tignes. Meanwhile, Henry is training Barbara and Wynne for a week touring with Oli and JM, and last I heard they were heading towards the Crete du Genepy and Mont Roup. Thomas is still off but should be back skiing soon.

This afternoon Gill took Millie shopping in Bourg for a promised denim skirt while I ripped it up with Katie, Anna and Kiera. The girls are seriously good fun to ski with and it’s amazing how fast and controlled they are. My legs always feel like they’ve had a tough workout as we ski pretty much non-stop top-to-bottom and really work our skis. Brilliant fun and I’m really proud of them!

Tomorrow’s snow may be delayed and if we’re lucky we’ll get some sunshine in the morning before the weather moves in.

17 January 2012
A 'sniff of the morning' award!

It was -12 in the village at 8AM and although it was fresh in the shade it was warm on the sunny exposures. My team ‘skinned’ up to the Crete du Genepy and while climbing up I ‘sniffed’ out a wonderful line (if I say so myself) that I’d never skied before and we had a great ski down with good ambience. We then climbed back up for another 20-minutes and skied lovely snow all the way down through the meadows. Stephen was fist-pumping again, his mate Mark made really impressive progress during the morning, new man Thomas was entertaining to say the least, and Gill, Robert and Jean all skied well. We finished off an excellent ski with a good run down the piste on Solaise followed by a mini-Spatule. (Great photos Jean)

Andreas is skiing all-day with Mike Taylor’s team who are based in Tignes, (I’m glad you enjoy the diary Mike) and Henry wanted a mention for Wynne and Barbara who ‘skinned’ for nearly four-hours this morning. Bravo you two, but don’t you think Henry’s a bit hard on you? (My man Thomas thought a 30-minute followed by a 20-minute skin was tough and asked why we don’t use snowmobiles to pull us up?) Meanwhile Chris skied his team to the Sachette and back and Stuart managed to lose his Blackberry on the bus at lunchtime. Ouch!

I had a fantastic afternoon doing technique with Joy and Al. We did ‘string pulling’, side-slipping, pivoting exercises, grip and project, and some ‘power-wedging’. I don’t know about Joy and Al but I certainly felt better afterwards!

Sports Report- Michael Rosen’s Pats are a game away from the Super Bowl, and it’s a very win-able game at that while the happiest man in town must be Marty Heckleman who’s NY Giants upset the defending Champion Green Bay Packers and now face the San Francisco 49-ers. Brilliant stuff! (If you want a sample go to NFL.com and watch the highlights)

PS Jean took a good photo of a group of parapenters re-packing their bags under a huge ‘creeper’ in the bottom of the Tour du Charvet!

16 January 2012
Two more days to go!

With each passing day it gets a little tougher to find soft snow but relief is on the way with snow forecast for Thursday and Friday. Yahoo although this sunny weather hasn’t been too hard to take! I went for a change of pace and skied my first Sachette of the season and we were totally alone and managed to ‘sniff’ out some good skiing. We stayed low on the dreadful traverse then ‘skinned’ to the little Col and left tracks most of the way down before cutting out early as the bottom has been skied to death. Jean needed to get home early so he skied down to La Daille with Margaret and Gill while John E, Richard F, Robert A and I skied the Spatule. It was pretty good with great ambience but it certainly wasn’t a place you’d want to fall. Henry and I spoke about it yesterday because although the avalanche risk is now 1/5 the ‘whipper-factor’ is 4/5 pushing 5/5. (A ‘whipper’ is Henry’s term for a fall on smooth slippery snow on steep slopes where stopping yourself can be a serious problem) If you’ve ever experienced or witnessed a proper ‘whipper’ you know they should be avoided at all costs and knowing the Giles Green ‘self-arrest’ is imperative.

Meanwhile, Chris and Henry ‘skinned’ to the Crete du Genepy and then on to Mont Roup and they had good skiing but Chris says it’s pretty much done and he’s getting ready to do a snow dance! Stay tuned as we’ve two more days to entertain the troops before we hopefully receive a fresh canvas.

Andreas and Thomas had the morning off and Jean managed to get his photos up before heading down to Moutiers this afternoon. Good work Jean!

15 January 2012
Biffed by a boarder!

The sun continues to beat down and besides the fact that some snow would help enormously, everyone is thoroughly enjoying the weather. After ‘skinning’ all last week I thought I’d take it easy today and he Tignes-way and just see where we ended up, and it turned out to be a really good morning. We started in the lower Borsat and skied a shoulder of soft snow before heading up the Funicular, where we skied my shoulder in soufflé doux. On the traverse back to the Leisse chair some lovely snow presented itself so we continued on down the meadows and ‘skinned’ back up for ten-minutes to the chair. We then skied some good steep slopes on the edge of the glacier from the chair as the Motte seems to be under repairs again, and it was so good we skied it again. (Henry arrived and skied the same area but we didn’t see him again after that.) From there we skied off the edge of the Genepy, which wasn’t the best of the morning, but we continued on and ‘skinned’ for fifteen-minutes towards the Borsat West and skied some really nice strips of frisset. The avenues of good snow were narrow so the team needed to keep their tracks close and if you wandered into the plaque you could easily get ‘wish-boned’. We finished off with a cracking good piste cruise and I was hit by a boarder. Fortunately I heard him coming and managed a decent shoulder block to protect myself and gave him an ear-full when we arrived at the Les Tufs chairlift. Jean decided to ride up the chair with him and educate him on the rules of skiing/boarding and I was worried that Jean might get thumped. The boarder warmed to Jean when he found out he wasn’t from Paris and they seemed quite friendly by the top and Jean extracted an apology. Bravo and brave Jean!

This afternoon Gill and I had a fantastic blast with Millie, Katie, their pal Anna and her Mum Kiera, and Doctor Laura. It’s hard work skiing with them now as they can really go and I give Gill a ’skier of the day’ award for keeping up!

PS Andreas had a good ‘skin’ towards the Crete du Genepy with Peter B’s team.

14 January 2012
A good adventurous morning!

For the first time since the storm I returned to the Fornet to see first-hand the damage and to have a change of scenery. We arrived at the Col and it looked pretty rough but being optimistic gits the team dove straight into the Combe du 3300 and we ‘sniffed’ out some great snow skiing a combination of soufflé doux, soufflé dur and some nice pockets and pitches of lovely soft snow. After the Combe we headed into the Pays Desert, which had a similar mix of snow and was very good skiing as well. Then it was time for an adventure so we headed over the Col Pers, which was interesting to say the least. The entrance was totally bare and isn’t recommended for the faint hearted, but my band of merry men were up for it and we managed to get in. We had soufflé dur at the top, followed by some nice frisset through the middle section, then back to soufflé dur with some softer strips here and there. All in all it was a jolly good morning and our beloved Fornet has taken quite a beating during the last storm where 200kph winds were recorded. The Cascade Chair had de-railed at seven pylons and eight chairs were totally destroyed. On one section of the glacier the only snow left is where the piste bashers had packed the snow down hard enough to withstand the wind. (Check today’s pictures)

Meanwhile Andreas finished an excellent week with the Robertsons, who travelled all the way from Australia and the rest of the boys had the day off.

I had a fantastic afternoon skiing with Gill, Millie, Katie and Laura. I was gobsmacked at the progress Katie has made since I last skied with her. She’s absolutely flying and picked up a ‘skier of the day’ award. Bravo Katie!

I haven’t checked the sports yet but come on you hammers!

13 January 2012
A wonderful Crete du Genepy!

It was sneaky-cold today as a brisk northerly wind was blowing, and yet again we have wind trying to work over the snow. Bugger! Anyway, Chris and I headed up to ski the Crete du Genepy with our teams and it was excellent from start to finish. We both skied the first section before putting our skins back on to climb back up for more! Andreas was skiing around the Charvet area before heading up to the Fornet this afternoon, and hopefully the Cascade will open after being shut down for repairs due to the storm. That would give Andreas and the rest of us some needed options as the resort is getting pretty tracked, or winded, or touched by the sun. Bravo to the entire Alpine team for finding such good skiing in fairly tough circumstances. (Thomas and Henry were off today)

Gill and I are taking the girls and their pal Anna to watch the Polo tonight, so that should be good fun. I’m also looking forward to a family ski tomorrow afternoon as I haven’t seen Katie ski for a couple of weeks and Millie is trying out some new skis.

Besides the wind whipping up there is no sign of a change in the weather and for the moment we’ll need to make the best of what we have.

PS Stephen was rather pleased with himself this morning and could be seen pumping his fist and saying, “Yes, Yes, Yes”!

PSS Louise did her first-ever ‘skin’ today as she climbed up the crete du Genepy with Chris’ team and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

12 January 2012
A cracking good Glacier Suspendu!

It was incredibly warm today and Chris and I decided to give the Glacier Suspendu (Terre Rouge) a go so we skied at high speed over to Tignes and had our skins on by 10:05, which was pretty good going. Unfortunately Chris’ team struggled and Chris turned back about half-way up but managed a really good ski anyway. My team of Peter B, Stephen, Kaye, James, Dawn and Gill continued on and we made good time and had a fantastic ski top-to-bottom. (I’ll post some photos as Jean had the day off) Meanwhile Henry was skiing with Dave H’s team and they skied a cracking good Sachette. They were the first in since the storm, which always adds to the ambience, and it was Dave’s first day skiing in 14-months as he had a bad leg-break last December. Welcome back Dave! Thomas took his team down to Ste Foy to ski down to the Pigettes in the morning and the Col du Granier in the afternoon. Good effort Thomas! Andreas was skiing with the Robertson family in the Sache and Familial and then skied with their son Jack in the afternoon, taking the Chardonnet from the top couloir. Bravo Jack!

I skied with Mark, who I haven’t seen since 1992 so we had some catching up to do, and his two pals Jonathan and James. We skied a mix of fast piste along with the big North Face on the Balme and the Cairn. It was a great afternoon and hopefully the boys will get themselves some off-piste skis and come back and visit us soon. (They did well on their slalom skis however)

Some high cloud appeared this afternoon but hopefully it will be gone by morning as clear skies are forecast until al least next Wednesday. We all enjoy the sunshine but a fresh canvas would be welcome anytime now.

Derek’s lovely three-bedroom apartment is available from the March 4th to March 30th. If anyone is interested get in touch and I’ll let Derek know.

11 January 2012
An excellent Crete du Genepy!

The stunning weather continued again today and with it we all had another great ski. Andreas, Thomas, and Henry skied the meadows from the Borsat en-route to Mont Roup, and they all had an excellent ski. Chris had TJ’s daughter Ailsa along, with Louise from the office, Suzanne and a new client Tim, and they had some nice skiing in the Sache. Meanwhile, my team ‘skinned’ to the Crete du Genepy and Jean again captured the skiing and ambience with his photos. Bien fait Jean! I had a new client named Phil this morning and he slotted in and made some solid progress during the morning, bravo Phil!

This afternoon Thomas skied Mickey’s Ears with some reps while Andreas was heading towards one of the couloirs off the Balme with his mate Alex P, who has returned from New Zealand for a visit. Great ambience all-round there then! Millie wore me out as she and I skied three runs down Solaise and two Manchet’s top-to-bottom. It was really good fun and she’s getting stronger and faster each time out.

Chrissy returns home tomorrow after a fantastic month of powder skiing and she’ll be back near the end of January. And thanks for a lovely dinner last night.

Must go as I’m taking the girls to see the Polo ponies then to the Perdrix for an ice cream while Gill goes out with Suzanne, Laura, Margaret, Dawn, Kaye and Chrissy for a girls drink at the Taverne. Sounds like a good crew!

PS I’ll post some photos later.

10 January 2012
Alone on Mont Roup!

It was -9C in the village at 8AM but the sun was shining and we enjoyed a beautiful day with great skiing. I took my team to Mont Roup and we had excellent skiing all the way, starting with the meadows after the Borsat traverse and then Mont Roup itself. I had Jeremy along, who I introduced to ‘skinning’ 8-years ago, and it was nice to see him again. (but don’t leave it so long next time Jeremy!)

Andreas, Thomas, Chris and Henry all headed towards Tignes with thoughts of the Little Lavachet and Sache. Henry was talking about the Super Cocaine and Glattier at the Gourmandine but I’m not too sure what he skied in the end. I’m sure they all skied the Familial on the way home to finish off their morning.

Katie has ski school in the afternoons this week and I saw her on the mountain and got a little “Hi Dad” out of her as she zoomed past. They were having a brilliant time and she has her friend Anna in her group and the two of them are thick as thieves.

Sun is forecast for the rest week so we’ll need to get our ‘sniffers’ going!

PS Great photos again today Jean. Merci!

9 January 2012
A wonderful first morning!

After the 200kph winds we had during the storm I thought that whatever wind-damage we had snow-wise was already done, but last night the wind worked over the snow yet again. There was still some great skiing to be had but my little stash off the Motte from yesterday had ‘stiffened’ slightly and turned from brilliant powder to lightly compressed with, as Chrissy said, “ a bit of technique in it”. Anyway, we skied some nice snow warming-up off the Verte followed by some very good snow in the Lower Borsat. (The Borsat has been closed due to bent safety bars, which were damaged by the wind and it finally re-opened this morning) We then headed up the Funicular and skied some good but trickier snow off the Leisse before cutting a trail back to the chairlift. The second time round was excellent and we had some good steep skiing on Wayne’s Shoulder, and the ambience was captured in Jean’s photos. Bravo Jean! We then skied some lovely soufflé off the Cairn with some fantastic pockets of powder in the gullies before heading up the Col des Ves for some good bits and pieces. It was Gill, Stephen and Kaye’s first off-piste morning of the season and it was a cracking good one!

Meanwhile, Henry headed off for the Tour du Charvet and I haven’t had a report, while Andreas and Thomas skied some good snow around the Col du Palet, the Lower Chardonnet, and the Grand Huit, and Chris skied the Sache. The sun was out and everyone enjoyed the visibility and to be able to spread our wings a little as we’ve been hemmed in of late. The sun is forecast for the next few days so it will get tougher as the resort gets tracked out. The Pissaillas took some wind damage as well and we’re not too sure at the moment the state of the Cascade chairlift. Fingers crossed that it won’t be out of action for long! Stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

Sports Report- My Steelers lost to Denver in over-time yesterday so I’ll be pulling for the New Orleans Saints and their outstanding QB Drew Brees. I’m traditionally an AFC fan but I’m now cheering for the Saints.

8 January 2012
What a morning!

It was just Chris skiing with Greg, James and Suzanne and myself with Chrissy and Jean and we all had a brilliant morning. About 5 to 10cm’s of fresh snow fell to give us a nice cushion and we had moments of sunshine and great visibility during the morning. They were slow getting the Olympique running so we started on the lower Bellevarde chair and had some lovely snow on-piste to warm-up with. From there we skied off the Verte en-route to a superb Familial complete with ambience at the bottom when we ran into a misty fog. We then skied some good strips in the Campanules before skiing the Combe des Lanches, which was very good up top and fantastic lower down. It was time then to head upstairs and my team skied outstanding snow off the Genepy piste while Chris’ team skied similar on the Cairn-side. By the time we arrived on the summit of Les Tufs Familial was in a fog so we skied bits and pieces to finish off a wonderful morning. Gill took Millie and Katie out and both girls are totally into finding fresh snow and leaving their own tracks. I wonder where they got that from?

It closed back in around lunchtime so hopefully it will stay that way and help preserve some snow for tomorrow.

Sports Report- It was nice to see the Calgary Flames bounce back from their 9-0 drubbing at the hands of Henry’s Bruins with a good win last night. The Saints looked good against the Lions and my Steelers play in Denver today. Come on boys! City vs United should be fun as well!

Please help!

My friend Dave Stevenson is cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in May to raise money for the Smile Train Charity. Smile Train provides operations for children from the poorest countries on earth who are born with cleft lip and palate. Dave’s aim is to raise £20,000, but to show how serious he is Dave will match your donatation pound for pound! Please get behind Dave and his incredibly worthwhile and life-changing charity. www.justgiving.com/stevenson-smiletrain and to have a look at Smile Train check www.SmileTrain.org.uk

7 January 2012
We made the most of limited options!

It was wonderful to have the sun shining this morning and everyone was raring to go. We bussed around to the Funival and got underway on time but unfortunately the rest of the lift system was very slow in opening leaving us with very few options. The skiing was brilliant however and we did our best to make the most of the conditions, skiing a mix of creamy soufflé and some pitches of nice powder in protected gullies and on the lee-side. We warmed-up off the Verte and had some lovely strips and had a great run down the Triffolet to the bottom. When it became evident that Tommeuses wasn’t going to open Thomas and I cut into the Familial from the Mont Blanc chair and had a superb run in the Familial before cutting high into the trees at the bottom. We then skied the Fontaine Froide, the Grand Pre and the Epaule du Charvet to finish. It clouded over around noon and it’s trying to snow so hopefully we’ll get some fresh snow for the morning. Jean was back in action so there will be some skiing photos on his link. (The avalanche risk was 4/5 again today.)

I’d like to thank Marcella and Derrick for a fantastic meal last night, and Millie and Katie really enjoyed themselves as well. Unfortunately the rest of our group complained that Derrick and I smelled of Thai curry. Sorry folks but it was worth it!

PS When skiing L’epaule we spotted a load of skiers and boarders bombing down the Banane all at the same time. They were all over the place and some of them tripped up in the huge ‘stretch’ marks, or fracture lines where the snow is creeping away from the snow above. At the bottom they turned out to be a team of Russians without a beep or backpack among them. Incredible really!

Sports Report- Michael R will be looking forward to the American Football Playoffs, which kick-off this weekend. He’s a Pat’s fan while I love my Steelers and admit to a soft-spot for the New Orleans Saints.

6 January 2012
What a fabulous couple of runs!

Yesterday afternoon and last night was some of the wildest weather I’ve ever encountered. The wind speed was measured at 200kph on the top of Bellevarde and all the bars were shut down at 9PM for fear of drunks dying in the streets. Wow! Needless to say the opening today was almost non-existent and it was a pretty frustrating day. I first met my group at 11 o’clock and we waited around until 11:45, then we met again at 1:30 and most decided to call it a day. Tilly, Murray and Iain decided they wanted to ‘skin’ up so we climbed up to the Triffolet and skied a lovely run down through the tree leaving great ‘Alpine’ tracks behind. Just when we were about to call it a day the Etroits chair started turning and at 3:35 we had our first lift of the day. It was absolutely brilliant as we skied compressed snow and we flew down top-to-bottom. We went back up and crossed the bridge and had first tracks down the Triffolet to the bottom, and it was excellent. When I left Tilly, Murray and Iain they were giving themselves high-fives and heading off to Tilly’s for a cup of tea. Andreas and Henry were there as well and both were right behind us going into the Triffolet.
After all that waiting it turned out to be a very satisfying finish!

Thanks to Dom and Stephen for digging out the terrace for Gill and the girls this morning. Bravo boys! (Must go as we’re going up to Derrick’s for an early dinner)

PS Millie was fantastic as school yesterday and was complimented by her teacher for her handwriting, reading and maths. Well done Millie!

5 January 2012
Another wonderful morning in tough conditions!

The wind of yesterday afternoon certainly rearranged things and after a clear night the weather moved back in and it started snowing around 7AM. With wind transported snow, added to a few centimetres of new snow it was just enough to make for a great morning of skiing, even with flat light and a pretty punchy wind at altitude. Everyone headed up the Olympique, which opened on time, and my team did a top-to-bottom on piste with a nice cushion of fresh snow and we perhaps only stopped once. With warm legs we then skied off the Verte before heading down off-piste the Fontaine Froide. From there we skied the Grand Pre poma twice in great snow before skiing the Grand Pre chair twice. We had the place to ourselves and it was excellent skiing but we thought we’d better get back up the Fontaine Froide before the lift closed so we arrived to ski Bonnevie’s Drag twice, then under Mont Blanc followed by two off the Triffolet to finish another surprisingly good morning. Chris, Thomas, Henry and Andreas all skied around Bellevarde and had some brilliant skiing around the Triffolet area. (Gill unfortunately missed her first off-piste of the season as Millie threw a wobbly and needed help getting to school, but she skied with Kaye, Stephen and Dom on piste)

Derrick picked up the ‘splat du jour’ award with a beauty early on, but fortunately he was fine and didn’t miss a beat. Chris has had a new client James B join us over the last few days and he’s slotted in well and is really enjoying himself, and Sue D and her nephew Aidan are also skiing well and having a great time. It’s nice to see Wynne back while Penny left yesterday and Red Ray bussed out this morning. Gill and I missed him on the terrace this afternoon and thanks for your help with the girls Ray!

The snow has intensified during the day and 50cm’s are forecast. Hopefully it will all calm down a little so that we can get in another brilliant ski tomorrow. Stay tuned!

PS I must say Tilly was amazing as she skied all morning in the howling wind and snow with just her seeing-eye glasses as her goggles were useless. And she never complained once. Bravo Tilly!

4 January 2012
Totally unexpected!

I thought we were really in for it this morning when it was blowing at the bus-stop and it was snowing and looking like we were in for extremely flat-light. And when Jean started taking photos at the Rond Point I realized he thought it was going to be his best option for photos. Chris and I bussed around to the Funival and they opened it as we arrived and although it was blowing a gale at the summit, it was nothing compared to last week. My team started with a top-to-bottom form the Funival on piste with a nice cushion of fresh snow on top. From there we skied off the Verte and arrived for two runs on Bonnevie’s drag. At this point it was clearing up and instead of no skiing because of weather we’d already had some great turns and the visibility was improving drastically. After Bonnevie’s we had a lovely run under Mont Blanc then skied another off the edge of Bonnevie’s en-route to a superb run off the Fontaine Froide. The chair was closed so we continued down the Epaule du Charvet, which was excellent and definitely provided the adventure for the morning as there was a lot of snow to deal with. We then came back up and skied the Familial to finish off a very unexpectedly good morning.

Henry and Andreas headed up to the Fornet and skied around the Mattis trees and the Pyramid and they too had a great morning. (Thomas skied around Bellevarde and the Grand Pre.)

I skied this afternoon with Iain and Murray (pals of David B) and we had a fantastic afternoon and endured some huge winds in the process. Andreas phoned to say they were shutting things down on La Daille because of wind so we headed up Solaise instead, and what a blessing that turned out to be. We skied one in the Mattis before battling the wind to get back to ski a very good Super L. We then went up to the Fornet and I was thinking of a Combe du Signal from the Pyramid, but the Signal Poma was open so we skied the Grand Vallon to the bottom. Again the wind was really blowing and the transported snow covered all the tracks leaving us to ski wind rolls of soft compressed snow with wonderful ambience. Wow, it was good fun! Andreas was up at the Fornet as well this afternoon with Peter B’s team but we didn’t cross paths. Anyway, a day that looked quite dismal turned out to be a cracker and thoroughly enjoyed by all!

Isadora who is the daughter of ‘Alpine’ co-founder Gilles Green, skied her first off-piste yesterday afternoon with Chris up in the Pays Desert and she skied brilliantly. Bravo Isadora !

And thanks to Geoff and Inga for a fantastic meal last night. Great food, brilliant music and stunning wine as usual! And thank you Ray for babysitting and to Stephen and Kaye for taking the girls swimming this afternoon>

3 January 2012
Way to go Millie!

We had perfect blue skies this morning and the fresh snow that fell yesterday made a massive difference and everyone profited with a stunning morning of powder skiing. The avalanche risk was set at 4/5 so we all headed up to the Fornet thinking about the gentle Pays Desert to minimise the risk and also to avoid the crowds in Tignes. My team was first into the Combe du Signal from the Pyramid and it was excellent so we skied it twice. As we came around for the third time they opened the Signal Poma and with everyone diving into the Grand Vallon we were first in to the Combe from the top, and we skied that twice as well. Brilliant! It was great to be in there with Chrissy and Jeremy and with the rest of our team of Jerry, Gian, Penny, Jean, and Ray, they really did the business.

After the Combe du Signal we headed up to the Pissaillas Glacier to join Chris, Henry and Andreas and there was some wonderful skiing upstairs as well. The boys had already skied the Combe du 3300, which was fantastic, so I followed Chris’ team into the Pays Desert, which looked fairly winded but in the lee the snow was superb and Chris’ team left perfect ‘Alpine’ tracks. Mark, who was skiing with Chris said it was the best morning’s skiing of his life! Thomas arrived to get in on the action as well as he’d skied the Combe du Signal and the Grand Vallon before coming up to the Glacier. It was a wonderful morning that was savoured as more snow is forecast for tomorrow.

It was Millie and Katie’s first day back to their French school today and Millie was extremely brave and we’re very proud of her. She usually has a wobbly starting back but today she stayed strong and kept herself together. Bravo Millie! (Katie takes it in her stride and has never had a problem going back into the French system.) Hopefully Christian will have had a good day, which will make Stephen and Kaye’s lives much easier.

Sports Report- It was a great day for the Hammers yesterday as they beat Coventry 1-0 while both Southampton and Boro lost 3-0. The win moved us into a tie for first place with the Saints while leap-frogging Boro, but it is really tight at the top. Bummer about Arsenal as no one could take advantage of United and City’s losses over the weekend.

PS Penny survived a horrible crash on piste this morning. She looked like she’d been taken out with an assault rifle and she went down extremely hard. Ray hurried to her rescue and helped dust her off and she was back in action immediately. Nice come back Penny!

2 January 2012
What a tough lower section!

At 6:30AM those who were up were teased by clear skies and the thought of a bright sunny day. By 8 o’clock it was still clear towards the Fornet but already darkening Tignes-way, so the team decided to head to the Fornet and take advantage of the day’s best visibility. Most of us skied variations in the Combe du Signal for a good opener before heading up and over the Col Pers. By this time it was starting to snow lightly and the last of the light was disappearing but we had good visibility all the way to the bottom with the ‘light bulb’ doing its best in the distance. The entrance is interesting to say the least, but it is passable without being dangerous. The snow up top was good enough and the middle section was excellent, but from the Grand Torsai down it was ‘educational’ (and I mean educational) and it became a ‘travelling safely in the mountains’ experience. It’s a shame really because no one was over the Col yesterday and if the snow was kinder we would have had a brilliant ski as there wasn’t a track to be seen. C’est la vie! Anyway, it was nice being out there and it was a good outing.

Henry came up to the Glacier but skied the Pays Desert, which had the last of the sun and Thomas had a boarder along and needed gravity-fed slopes so he headed towards the Cugnai. Haven’t heard from the boys but I’m sure they enjoy a good morning.

It has snowed since around 10:30AM and at times it’s been coming down quite hard. At 3:20PM it shows no sign of stopping so hopefully the sun forecast for tomorrow will materialize and we could be in for a good one. Fingers crossed!

Millie and Katie had a fantastic ski with Gill, Kiera and their friend Anna this morning, and Katie picked up today’s ‘skier of the morning’ award. No bias there then and bravo Katie!

Sports Report- Sunderland’s last minute winner against Man City will have salvaged Sir Alex’s weekend birthday celebrations. Seems no one really wants the title at the moment and it is up for grabs when six weeks ago Man City looked like a safe-ish bet. Brilliant!

PS And what a brilliant afternoon for the Hammers with both Southampton and Boro losing 3-0 while we won 1-0. Bliss!

1 January 2012
Happy Birthday Clare!

First off I’d like to thank Penny for another brilliant New Year’s Drinks Party last night. It was a lovely evening and I’ve posted a few photos. Thanks Penny!

It cleared up a little this morning and as the day progressed it became brighter and brighter, which after a couple of difficult days was well appreciated. The snow was much lighter compared to yesterday and everyone had a great morning. We all headed up to the Fornet and after a bit of a delay they opened the Pyramid poma and the Glacier, both of which offered excellent skiing. The snow wasn’t perfect and much of it was ‘skiers’ snow, but everyone skied well and after the tough conditions no one was complaining. Thomas opened up the Combe du Signal from the chair and we had three lovely runs there before going up to the Glacier where Chris and I were first into the Combe 3300. We all did the 3300 twice and finished up a terrific morning just after 1PM. Jean R and John did the over-70’s proud this morning as they both skied incredibly well and really enjoyed themselves. Bravo boys! And Rory C came along today to ski with his Mum Clare on her birthday and young Rory slotted into the group beautifully. Well done Rory and Happy Birthday Clare!

There was some good lunching going on this afternoon as Jeremy, Jerry and Chrissy went to the L’Arolay, Andreas ate at the Fruitiere, and Ray and I were taken to the Billabong Burger Bar by Gill, Millie, and Katie. What a way to finish a fantastic morning!

We continued work on the terrace after lunch and our Bobsled track now boasts a corner and the trench-work resembles Vimy Ridge. Ray, Gill and I are now shagged! (Can I use that word?)

Sun is forecast for the morning so no one is going to complain about that!

PS Clare had a better birthday today than Sir Alex did yesterday!

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