Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

28 February 2013
What a change in conditions!

It snowed more towards the Italian Border at the Fornet but with cloud cover and strong Foehn winds from that direction, Thomas, Chris and I all headed towards better vis and protection from the wind in Tignes. Enough snow fell overnight to make a massive difference. The fresh snow was just dense enough to cushion any underlying tracks, especially on gentle to moderate slopes, and we enjoyed a ‘maximum-turn’ type morning. We skied off the Verte, Borsat, my shoulder, Rosolin, Cairn, Familial and Spatule, while Thomas headed to the Sachette after the Borsat from the top. It made a nice change to not ‘skin’ for the first time in ages as the fresh snow allowed us to just ski. (After checking my diary I’ve ‘skinned’ 17 of the past 19 mornings, so no wonder my legs are a little tired!)

Tchenko (the star) piled Millie’s Club des Sport group into a Snow Fun van and took them down to Villaroger today to ski into Les Arcs and La Plagne. Millie was really looking forward to it and went off with her picnic, snacks, hot chocolate money, and enough extra to buy Tchenko a beer at the end of the day. Thanks Tchenko! Millie really enjoyed yesterday’s race, which she was absolutely dreading, and we were very proud of her performance. She fell with three gates to go on the second leg, but beat a girl on the first leg who skis in the Competition Group above her, and who came third overall. Well done Millie but she certainly didn’t get it from me as I could never get my feet far enough apart to be any good at racing!

It’s still snowing lightly as of 2:30PM and although the visibility out there is decent, the cloud cover should give us some protection from ‘track abuse’ this afternoon. Fingers crossed as sunshine is forecast for tomorrow and the Fornet is going to be hit hard!

27 February 2013
Wonderful snow and well done Millie!

We were half expecting cloudy weather today but the sun was shining this morning, which opened up our options and was much appreciated. My plan was to head up to the Fornet but I changed my mind at the last minute as Les R told me they skied the Glacier Pers yesterday and that it was ‘rubbish’. Thanks Les ! Anyway, on to about Plan C and we started up to the Borsat West and spotted a flock of six Perdrix Blanche pecking away at the exposed grass on the ridge, and I can’t remember seeing so many of them in one place before. (See photos) The walk up was pretty easy considering, and once in we ‘skinned’ up for about 10-minutes or so to access a lovely clean slope with great snow. We then took the Funicular and ‘skinned’ again to the Little Borsat West, and that too was excellent. From there we skied regenerated snow in the Familial then finished with a funky Spatule.

On the way down we saw Tchenko (Millie’s coach) at the start of the race and he told me Millie won the first leg of her group by two seconds, beating the boys! Bravo Millie! Unfortunately she crashed in the second run but Gill and I are really proud of her.

TJ was in action this morning but he’s not feeling very well and it must have been a struggle. I’m not sure what he skied but he’ll have turned ‘pro’, no doubt! Meanwhile Andreas had a family of Vikings with a couple of 12-year-olds and they skied the Little Lavachet, Sachette, Cocaine Nord and Familial. Skoal! Chris had an afternoon off-piste private and good luck to him as the weather moved in causing flat-light, and at 5:10 it is now snowing lightly. Yahoo! Hopefully we’ll get enough to make a difference.

There has been an amazing amount of goblet forming during this cold spell and although the risk is rated at 2/5, there will be some dangerous slopes after the next snowfall. Anything steep needs care and attention and I feel the stability, which was 1/5 last week, will be up to 3/5 in the next day or two. Stay tuned!

26 February 2013
Deep goblet on Mont Roup!

The sun was shining again this morning and it was several degrees warmer as the past few days have been jolly chilly. I had some company today as Chris and Thomas were working and with the good vis we decided on a little walk. I headed up the Crete du Genepy for twenty-minutes en route to Mont Roup, and we had some fantastic powder snow for our efforts. It was good all the way down to where we start ‘skinning’ for Mont Roup, and at this point we’d already won the day with some excellent skiing. About two-thirds of the way up Mont Roup it became evident that a punchy wind was blowing and I was slightly worried about the snow being damaged, and when arriving on top we wasted not time getting our ‘skins’, our jackets back on, and getting started with the decent. After arriving around the corner it was much calmer and although the wind was starting to work over the snow, it hadn’t yet succeeded and we had a fabulous ski. Between 5cm’s of fresh snow over the past day or two, the wind, and the cold temperatures the snow has regenerated and I was surprised at how deep the goblet has become and it skied beautifully. (Goblet is wonderful to ski and one of my favourites, but dangerous stuff after the next snowfall) Bravo to John and Margaret for walking so well, especially Margaret who has been injured and hasn’t ‘skinned’ much at all this season. And John absolutely creamed the goblet on the last pitch, where some technique and a positive approach was a must. Chapeau John! (see photos)

Chris had Tripp along for his first ski with ‘Alpine’. Tripp’s from California but has been living in London for the past five years, and for someone who’s new to off-piste, he skied brilliantly, slotted straight into the tracks, and really enjoyed the walk. It was great to have you along Tripp! And nice to have my French friend Olivier back as well. Thomas was a ways behind with an initiation group, and what an initiation they will have had. Well done Thomas! Andreas’ clients didn’t show so he went off for a scouting mission off the back of the Col des Ves, while I’m not too sure what TJ is up to.

No new snow is forecast so hopefully we’ll get some good light to take advantage of the regenerating snow. There is more to do than people think but visibility is a must!

Bummer about that Gareth Bale bloke!

25 February 2013
A cracking good 'sniff'!

There is no new snow to speak of so we didn’t get our much needed fresh ‘canvas’. But the good news is that this morning the sun was out in places making it possible to ‘sniff’ out clean snow that wouldn’t have been possible in flat-light conditions. I tried the Sachette for the first time in a couple of weeks hoping that it wasn’t hit too hard during the 10-day sunny spell and I was rewarded with some great snow. In tight was skied out, but further over was ‘clean’ so I started to cut a high traverse to reach it. About halfway across it became apparent that it was going to be a long slog so we dived down a trackless strip for 15-turns or so before putting on our ‘skins’ for a ten-minute hike to access some excellent snow. It was a good result in these conditions and we were all pleased with our morning, which we finished with the Familial.

Chris is out again this afternoon with an off-piste private and he was heading up through the rocks for the Borsat West from the top. TJ has arrived and is skiing with Joe Powder (alias Russell) today. Now there’s a pair for you!

The girls are out with the Club des Sport again today while Gill skied with Laura this morning. Speaking of Laura, we had a fantastic meal at her place last night with some stunning starters, fantastic lamb, and her delicious homemade ice creams and dried fruits for dessert. It was great to see TJ again, especially after Scotland’s victory, the girls had a lovely time, and thanks very much Laura for another wonderful meal!

I’m not too sure about tomorrow’s forecast but I’d be happy with some visibility as it doesn’t feel like it’s going to snow.

24 February 2013
Not the easiest of mornings, but we had a go!

I was feeling a little sorry for myself this morning as the resort is tracked out, instead of 5 to 10cm’s of fresh snow there was only about 1cm, the light was flat, it was -20C, and I was on my own as the rest of the boys were comfortably tucked up at home with the morning off. Gill reminded me of the saying, “when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”, so off I went. After a little test off the Verte it was evident that the new snow hadn’t helped much and then I managed to lose Dave on Bonnevie’s Drag. The best chance of any light was up high so I skied piste down into Val Claret, where Richard F managed to miss the Funicular and I was thinking that a tough day isn’t getting any easier. While waiting for Richard we took the cable car to the top and skied the glacier skiers-right, which was pretty good up top but a little ratty on the steeper section. Then we had a short ‘skin’ to the little Borsat West, which was excellent and by this time the visibility had improved enormously and my spirits were on the rise. We then finished off with the Familial where the snow was surprisingly much deeper, which bodes well for tomorrow. It was Dave and his boss Simon’s last morning and Simon has really enjoyed his initiation to off-piste. He survived yesterday’s ‘splat du jour’ without any stiff neck muscles and we look forward to seeing him again with Dave next season. I also had the pleasure of skiing with Richard B today, who has done a lot of touring with Olivier over the past 12 years. Richard works for the IOC and you know me, give me the chance to talk sports and I’m away. Eventually I asked him what other sports he’s into and he replied that he used to do a lot of rowing. After asking him about his back (rowers normally have bad backs) I asked him what kind of level he rowed at and he simply relied, “I went to the Olympics”. My next question was, “how did you do?” to which he humbly answered, “I won a gold medal!” It turns out Richard was in Sir Steve’s coxed-fours gold medal boat in 1984. Talk about ‘turning pro’, bravo Richard!

The light has remained pretty good so far this afternoon and Millie and Katie are both out doing some race training for their Ski Club Race on Thursday. I might need to put some rocks in Katie’s pockets to weigh her down a little to help her glide! They’ve a week with the Club des Sports during their two-week half-term break, and they are both really enjoying it. (Shame about the massive row when I announced that I’d signed them up for it back at Christmas)

Thanks to Dom and Sarah for hosting a brilliant party for the children last night. Millie and Katie loved it and we look forward to seeing you all again at easter.

TJ has arrived and last night’s dinner has been moved to this evening, so we’ll be seeing TJ tonight chez Laura. Hopefully Scotland will win this afternoon, otherwise TJ won’t be in the best of moods as he takes his rugby about as serious as Jean Ribart.
Sorry Jean!

Hopefully we’ll have enough snow by morning to give us a fresh canvas, as the last one is truly done! Stay tuned!

23 February 2013
Unexpected sunshine makes the day!

Thankfully we had a beautifully sunny morning when we were expecting cloud cover, and everyone appreciated the visibility. We did have a moment of temporary mist when exiting the Funicular on the Motte, but it passed quickly and didn’t spoil our day, and by the time it clouded over around 12:30 we were on our way home and already satisfied. We had some great snow off the Mont Blanc, in the gulley under my shoulder, on the Little Borsat West, on the meadows to the Lavachet, and in the Familial to finish. In fact the snow was terrific everywhere we skied, and the pistes were superb as well. It was Stephen, Kaye and Dave’s last day of a brilliant week and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

I was the only one working today but Chris was out with Suzanne and Louise and last I heard he was heading for the Barmes de l’Ours. Hopefully they didn’t have trouble with the cloud cover as the weather was moving in from that direction and the light disappeared earlier.

We had a great après-ski at the Petite Danoise last night with Stephen, Kaye, Christian, Dave, Sarah, Dom, and their kids Millie and Harry. The children had a fabulous time running about and Millie played her first game of pool. Grandpa BG will be pleased to know that she has his eye for the pocket, as my Dad played a mean game of pool. Happy Birthday to Millie, who is seven today and my Millie and Katie are looking forward to your party.

TJ arrives this evening and we’re looking forward to seeing him at Laura’s for dinner tonight. TJ is here until the 16th of March and is available to ski with you.

I’ll sign off as I’m about to get stuck in to an afternoon of Six Nations Rugby!

PS. Five centimetres of snow is forecast for this evening, which is better than nothing.

PSS. I forgot to mention Simon’s mighty ‘park-and-fly’. He flew horizontally for a good ten metres and I feared for him, but he bounced up and dusted himself off, much to my relief. It was a real beauty, the best of the season so far, and I hope no one tries to top it!

22 February 2013
Last of the sunshine?

It was another stunning day of bright sunshine and we made the most of it as cloudy skies are forecast for the next week. Andreas headed up to the Col des Barmes de l’Ours for a great ski with his team of Tash, Philip and Peter and Clare C on their last day, while Chris took his team for a trip way out in the Pays Desert. I must say well done to the boys for showing their groups excellent skiing with fresh snow all week, because the resort was pretty tracked before the week even started. Bravo boys! Thomas finishes up his week with Philip’s family today and Henry was in action again this morning.

Meanwhile, Dave had such a good time last season that he risked bringing his boss Simon this year, so I was under a little pressure to perform this morning for Dave’s sake as well as my own. Simon is new to off-piste and he did really well as we threw him in at the deep end. We had some lovely snow to warm up in off the Mont Blanc before I finally made up my mind about what to do, and chose Plan ‘C’ in the end! We decided to stay in the sun and away from the crowds and did a short ‘skin’ up the Crete du Genepy, where we had to ‘sniff’ about a bit as the wind had touched some of the snow higher up, but the snow lower down was terrific. We passed under the avalanche from a couple of days ago and it was pretty impressive and the three skiers were very lucky to have escaped with only a bollocking from the man’s wife. Anyway, we finished our morning with the ever faithful Familial, and I received a bollocking for not getting home until 1:45. Sorry Gill!

Wils and Rosie’s team left this afternoon after a wonderful five days skiing and general all round fun. Millie and Katie will miss them and it was great to have Wils along for our off-piste session to the Glacier Pers. See you again in golf season Wils!

Stay tuned for more news tomorrow as it’s a big day in the Premiership, the Six Nations is back, and of course I’ll have the morning’s skiing news.

PS. Stephen, Kaye and Dave took Christian and his Nanny down the Piste Perdue on my recommendation yesterday, and I’m pleased to announce that all went well. I skied it in the afternoon with Ron and Doris and it wasn’t nearly as easy as a couple of days earlier, so I was worried that I’d might have planted them in it! Bravo Christian, you saved me!

21 February 2013
What a stunning week! (Winter for that matter!)

After a couple of days in the Fornet it was time for a change of scenery so Chris and I headed to Tignes for the first time in ages. We warmed up with some great snow off the Mont Blanc piste while waiting for the Borsat to open and it was a lovely start to the day. From there we climbed up into the Borsat West, which was the easiest I can remember but it’s still impressive and evokes a reaction from most people, especially those who’ve never been up there. Top marks to Dom for carrying his wife’s skis, she owes you Dom! Anyway, once in, the snow was excellent and no one had been across since Andreas was there a few days back so we had plenty of clean snow. Next up was a nice trip near the Rosolin and across the glacier before ‘skinning’ up for 15-minutes to the Little Borsat West, which was fantastic. We then finished off a wonderful morning with some quality ‘bonus’ turns in the Familial. (See photos)

Meanwhile Andreas headed to the Fornet and was thinking about skiing the Point Pers followed by the Glacier Pers or Gros Caval. Nice one! I’m sure they had a terrific morning wherever they ended up, as we’re in a patch of stunning snow combined with brilliant sunshine which we haven’t seen for quite some time. It turns out the gentleman who was involved in the avalanche yesterday was a colleague of Philip’s for about 15-years. Small world!

I finished off a great week of afternoons with some lovely Dutch people, Ron and his daughter Doris. We worked hard on technique but also mixed in some lovely off-piste, and with the sunshine and high quality of snow, it couldn’t have been better. See you next year you two!

I’ll sign off as we’re off for drinks with Viv, Cliff and the clan. Stay tuned!

PS. Thomas has been skiing and boarding all week with Philip’s family and friends and Henry was in action today with a group of Vikings. Thanks Thomas for doing the shop tonight.

20 February 2013
An Adventurous morning for Andreas!

The forecasted blue skies didn’t materialize this morning and we all headed off in various directions in slightly flat light, which after so many days of sunshine was a bit of a letdown. But, the light did improve and by the end of the morning we were all skiing in sunshine, and it remained sunny all afternoon.

I had a cracking morning way out skiers-left in the Pays Desert where we had a mountainside of clean snow, which is always pleasing. We ended up skiing right down to the summer road before ‘skinning’ out for 15-minutes and then had some ‘bonus’ turns on the way home, as Sarah, Dom, Kaye and Stephen needed to be home for 12:45 due to parenting duties. It was Sarah’s first off-piste excursion of the season and she skied really well. Bravo Sarah! And Kaye made a great recovery from her ankle injury with the help of some ‘second skin’. Marvellous stuff that!

Chris returned Glacier Pers-way and ‘skinned’ towards the Gros Caval and they had a terrific morning while Andreas ‘skinned’ to the Lores. They were having a wonderful ski down and were on the lower slopes when Andreas spotted a ‘creeper’ letting go just opposite in the Tour du Charvet. He couldn’t see if anyone was involved so he radioed the Piste Service to let them know. Several minutes later they witnessed another slide, but this time they clearly saw three skiers taken. Andreas kept track of two of them but couldn’t see the third, but fortunately Clare C spotted them so everyone remained on the surface. They skied down to find a father with his two teenagers uninjured, but they did manage to lose all their equipment in the slide. Andreas pulled them out and walked them to a safe place while they waited for the Pisteurs to arrive, and it turned out that they were totally unequipped and very lucky! Andreas was a little worried that he’ll be associated with the avalanche because he called it in and was there helping being the first one on the scene, because we all know how rumours fly about here. Someone sees you helping and the next thing you know is you had three clients buried, all of whom lost their equipment, and not to mention skiing the Tour du Charvet in full sun at 1:30! Well done to Andreas and his team for a job well done! (Andreas took some photos, which I’ll post tomorrow night.)

Gill and the girls had a fantastic day skiing with their cousins and co. They went down to Les Brevieres for a lovely lunch and returned via the Piste Perdue, which was a first for Wils, Rosie, Viv, Cliff, Tim and Sam, so it was all a bit exciting. Tim and Sam have only skied a couple of weeks and Cliff’s skiing experience is limited, so bravo to you all. It was Katie’s longest ski day ever starting a 9AM and they didn’t return until 5:15PM. That’s a pretty long day at seven-and-a-half! Gill nicked my camera this morning so today’s photos are of the girls day except for one photo sent by Kaye.

Better sign off for dinner, stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

19 February 2013
Another perfect day!

The wonderful weather continues and so does the absolutely superb skiing with outstanding snow conditions. We’ve been incredibly spoiled so far this season and long may it last! My 15-year-old nephew Wils was skiing with us this morning for his first-ever ‘Alpine’ morning, and he skied beautifully and did both Gill and I proud. Bravo Wils! Unfortunately Kaye pulled up lame with a sore ankle at the end of the traverse into the Col Pers and had to pull out. We missed you Kaye! The rest of us carried on and ‘skinned’ up the Glacier Pers, which is in fantastic condition and trackless except for one set of perfect tracks that were left yesterday. (Maybe it was PZ? ) Chris’ team was in front of me while Lolo and Fabrice were quite a ways behind us and all the teams kept it tight and took up very little space. (Meaning it’s still looking pretty good back there!) Anyway, it was another brilliant morning of clean and perfect powder, top-to-bottom, and what a start to Wils’ off-piste career! (Thanks very much to Richard F who did a great job taking care of Wils, much appreciated Richard!)

We know that skiers are coming out of the gorge and various reports from trusted people say that it passes but there is one spot in particular where a mistake would be very costly. Today Chris and Suzanne went on a reconnaissance mission through the gorge while I took both of our groups over the Grand Torsai. Chris verified what we already knew, which is that the gorge passes but don’t make a mistake or it’s a seven metre drop into a hole, and you need to think twice before taking a group through.

Meanwhile, Andreas went down to St Foy with the Campbell’s and Philip and Tash and although I haven’t heard a report I’m sure they had a stunning day as conditions are excellent down there. Well done you guys!

I’m out to dinner tonight with the girls, their cousins, Viv, Cliff and Cliff’s boys Tim and Sam, and I’ve worked up an appetite after ‘skinning’ this morning and skiing with Doris and Ron this afternoon.

Another sunny morning at least is in the forecast but rumour has it that we may have a change on Thursday. Stay tuned.

18 February 2013
A wonderful Crete and Mont Roup!

I looked out my window around 7:15 to see clouds but thankfully they dispersed by ‘show-time’ and we were left to enjoy a stunning day of sunshine. After debating with myself about where to go this morning I stuck with my plan and was rewarded with a fabulous ski on the Crete du Genepy followed by Mont Roup, and in fact it was as good as I‘ve skied it for quite some time. (Mind you it was jolly good last week as well!) Much of the mountain is now tracked but we managed clean pitches all the way with top quality snow top-to-bottom. (See pictures) It’s starting to heat up now and the sun has enough punch in it to start to ruin the sunny exposures so we were well pleased to get in a great ski before the sun combined with holiday-tracks takes Mont Roup away as an option.

Chris was behind us with his team so I know he had a wonderful day while Andreas had a great morning skiing the Borsat West through the rocks, which wasn’t as hairy to access as he feared, followed by Couloir#3 off the Balme, then the Lavachet before finishing with the Couloir Centrale. Nice one! And Thomas is skiing and boarding with Philip’s family for the week, most of which will be on piste.

My nephew Wils is joining my team tomorrow for his first real off-piste excursion and I’m really looking forward to having him along. We’ve played around in the afternoons over the years but he’s ready now for the skiing, as well as the sights, ambience, and to be part of a team.

I had the pleasure of running into Pat Z this afternoon while swapping places on the bus and he had a huge grin on his face and was obviously pleased with his skiing this morning. I also met Laurent (of Lorenzo’s Couloir) and warned him that TJ was arriving on the 23rd of Feb. See you soon TJ! And I met Rory Campbell who’s doing some race training this week, and I must say he was sporting a seriously scary looking pair of skis. Rock on Rory!

We’re expecting more sun again tomorrow.

17 February 2013
First morning off of the season!

After 78-straight mornings I finally had one off! I dressed to take the girls powder skiing but Katie was still unwell so I spent the morning doing some Pilates to stretch out and mobilise my back while Katie slept and watched movies. (I also sat in the sun and read my kindle, but I’m missing Shantaram, which was brilliant) Gill and Millie went out for a ski together and Millie was extremely pleased with the new skis she received from Jean Sports yesterday. I took her in to change skis as her coach told her the others were too short, and because I didn’t have my glasses with me I didn’t notice that the new ones were totally brand new GS Racing skis. Merci beaucoup Serge and Didier! Anyway, she loved them!

I did ski this afternoon with Ron and his daughter Doris and we’re skiing together for the next four afternoons. Wils and Rosie’s team arrived this afternoon and we’re looking forward to spending some time together, although I won’t get much of a chance to ski with them.

Chris had a great morning in the Pays Desert this morning with Francisco (friend of Pedro’s from Brazil), Aji, Natasha, Claire, and Simon. Yesterday we had the first tracks out there but Chris said it was hit hard in the afternoon and today he needed to go way out for fresh snow. Thomas was also working today with Philip’s team, who he’ll be skiing with all week.

There you go, short and sweet but I’ll be back in business tomorrow!

PS. I added some photos to yesterday’s that Chris sent me over the past couple of days.

16 February 2013
Wonderful sights and snow at the Fornet!

After a testing day yesterday the sun returned and we had an absolutely stunning morning up at the Fornet. I was skiing with Margaret on her first day since injuring her ankle 7 weeks ago, along with John, and Johnny ‘Alpine’, while Chris was skiing with a delightful couple from Quebec, Manon and Martin. After some lovely snow off the Laisinant Express and the Signal Shoulder, we had a fantastic ski in the Pays Desert. We ‘skinned’ up to access the lower slopes and it was a great ski top-to-bottom, with wonderful views for our Canadians. Margaret peeled out and the rest of us continued on over the Col for an alternative route down, which was ‘clean’ and a nice change. (See photos) It was a terrific morning with brilliant snow and fabulous scenery, and Manon and Martin both loved it. They undersold themselves and told Louise that they were intermediate, but the truth is they ski five-days-a-week at Mont Tremblant, have had race training, and ski beautifully with power and finesse. Bravo and Oh Canada! (Thank you Babette for sending them to us.)

Gill missed this morning as Katie is still ill so she’s out skiing with Laura this afternoon. Katie’s on the sofa watching The Sound of Music while I finish the blog, then I’ll be joining her singing along with Maria as well.

Wils and Rosie arrive tomorrow night along with Viv, Cliff and his two boys, so we’ll be having a bit of a social, which the girls are looking forward to. The resort will be filling up as our blissful period of calm will be coming to an abrupt end with the start of the holidays, and with sunshine forecast for the next few days at least, we’ll be needing to walk pretty much daily. Stay tuned!

PS My camera has had some condensation on the inside of the lens so there are a couple of water spots on the photos, which I apologise for but can’t do much about. Chris suggests a new waterproof camera for next season. Ouch!

PSS Baye emailed to say that Canadians came first and third in the jumping last night. Well done boys!

15 February 2013
Feeling a little exposed!

After good vis the past couple of days it was back into the gloom this morning, but the good news was some fresh snow fell overnight, which freshened things up quite nicely. Chris skied with Jack, and I ended up with just Jonathan as Paul had family and work commitments while Gill had to return home to pick up Katie from school because of a tummy bug, so the four of us went off into what turned out to be a bit of an adventure. Chris climbed up to start with the Borsat Nord from the top (as did Thomas who had a half-ski-half-boarder’s team) while I cut in halfway up from under the chair, and we all had a great first run. After the meadows Chris and I bussed around to the Palafour en route to the Sachette. Once off the Aiguille Percee chair our adventure started as a huge amount of snow had accumulated overnight, mostly by the wind. A soft slab had come down over the traverse so we stayed high on the ridgeline to avoid putting ourselves at risk and we then ‘skinned’ up to the Sachette entrance. When we arrived we couldn’t see very well but it was obvious that there was a serious amount of snow that wasn’t there last visit and we decided to sneak carefully down the couloir instead of traversing around into the Sachette. The couloir was good but once out of the mouth of it the snow was knee-deep and absolutely brilliant. Although the avalanche risk was rated at 2/5, I felt more exposed this morning than at any other time during the season, even on 4/5 days. (Most 4/5 days we’re skiing gentle slopes where you hardly need to put in your handle) It was a good day for a small team and I was grateful to have Chris there to keep an eye on me and help with decision making.

Just as we were finishing in the couloir Thomas radioed to say he was in the Chardonnet and was surprised, like us, to be dealing with 40 to 60cm’s of fresh snow, and was having a great time with his ski/boarder team. Thomas finished with the Familial where he was caught up with a fog bank that was moving through, but ‘sniffed’ his way through. (Andreas was off today)

I thought it was going to be a pretty easy morning after skiing some lovely snow in good vis off the Verte and in the Borsat, but with the flat light and the surprising accumulations of snow in certain places, it was satisfying but fatiguing, and I was happy to get back home to relax for the afternoon and recharge for tomorrow.

Hopefully Katie will be well enough to go to see the jumping competition tonight under the lights on the Face de Bellevarde. If not, it would be nice for her to recover in time for the Club des Sports in the morning, which she loves. Stay tuned!

PS Did anyone see the goals in the Tottenham vs Lyon match last night? Stunning they were!

14 February 2013
Happy Valentine's Day!

We started off with clear blue skies but it was forecast to cloud over as the morning progressed, which is exactly what happened. Chris headed to the Col des Fours while Andreas took his team to the Terre Rouge (Glacier Suspendu), and I’m sure both teams enjoyed superb skiing as both itineraries were waiting to be skied. Bravo boys! Hopefully the boys skied their slopes before the light started to flatten out as it started to go around noon.

Meanwhile, my team had timing commitments with baby-sitters and aeroplanes so I headed up to the Fornet for a more classic-type morning. We had some great snow to warm up with off the Laisinant Express and Thomas’ team were right behind us. I then decided to traverse all the way across the Combe du Signal for the first time and the shoulder on the other side was excellent. Well done Chrissy! From there we joined Thomas in the Pays Desert and the top section had changed drastically overnight after being worked over by the wind. It was still good skiing but slightly ‘educational’ compared to what we’ve been skiing lately. Still, it got better and better lower down and was a good result. Jonathan (bad back) and Chrissy (airplane) peeled out so Patricia, Alistair, Gill and I headed over the Col Pers for an alternative route down, which was clean with great snow. From the Grand Torsai we took my ‘funky’ route down and Thomas came along with his team of Isabella, John, and John. We managed to get Patricia and Alistair back just in time to pick up their 10-month-old baby, so it was a top result all around. (Check photos)

Thomas was just in front of us in the Pays Desert when Thomas was explaining to his clients about what to expect snow-wise and how to try to ski it, and Gill said to me, “ Thomas’ explanation was absolutely perfect!” It was really good work and well done Thomas!

Katie presented me with a lovely hand-made Valentine’s card this morning, which was a great surprise and then Millie gave me a poem that she’d written during her English work session with Gill yesterday. It almost brought tears to my eyes so here it is:

My Daddy is the greatest,
He’s always there for me,
Wherever we go,
he makes it fun to be.

My Daddy’s very sporty,
He really loves to ski,
The other place you’ll find him,
Is on the seventh tee!

My Daddy is the best,
He always makes me laugh,
And when he has a treat,
He’s bound to give me half.

That’s why I love my Daddy,
with every part of me,
He really is a superstar,
Of the very first degree!

Wow, what a way to start the day!

PS I bet Geoff D had fun in Madrid last night!

13 February 2013
Another fantastic day at the Fornet!

We had such a fantastic day in the Fornet yesterday, that Andreas, Chris and I decided on a return visit. I started out in falling snow and flat-light in Henry’s Gulley in the Combe du Signal, which was excellent, but we knew we were heading to sunshine on the Pissaillas and it stayed with us for the rest of the morning. Chris and I skied a very good 3300 before skiing a wonderful Pays Desert, and then we went over the Col Pers for a brilliant ski from top-to-bottom. From the Grand Torsai down was a much appreciated bonus as we had fresh turns all the way down. It was Sandy’s first trip over the Col and he absolutely loved it, like we all still do!

Andreas also had a superb day and went over the Col first thing before coming back up to ski the Vallonnet, followed by something off the top of Bellevarde, where he unluckily got caught in a fog bank. Last I heard he was waiting for it to clear. Thomas was back in action and was skiing all day. He started around the Charvet and Cugnai before working his way towards the Fornet for the afternoon. Good to have you back Thomas!

I skied with Adrian and his 12-year-old son Louis this afternoon, along with 13-year-old Harry. We skied some great snow around the Borsat before finishing with an outstanding Familial. The Familial was ruined by the wind a couple of days ago but out of nowhere it seems to have received about 30 to 40 cm’s. Wow! And bravo boys for a top effort!

Gill took the girls for a ski this afternoon with Caroline and her young 4-year-old daughters Grace and Emilia, and they had a great time. Millie and Katie were into some afternoon powder as well as some jumps and Ness skied with Tansy’s team this morning.

Stay tune for more news tomorrow!

PS It was Jean’s last day until mid-March. I’ll miss you Jean!

12 February 2013
A wonderful ski at the Fornet!

After a couple of days of Foehn winds we were expecting more snow towards the Fornet so Chris, Andreas and I all headed in that direction. My team warmed up in the ‘L’, which was perfectly pisted with a few centimetres on top, and very pleasant indeed. From there we dived into the Grand Vallon with Andreas’ team not too far behind, and it was a very nice surprise with a perfectly clean mountain in front of us. It was so good we circled around to ski it again, but this time we continued down to the valley floor. The visibility was pretty good, adding to the experience and allowing everyone to ski positively, which is always appreciated. From there we had a terrific run in the Combe du Signal before heading upstairs to join Chris on the glacier. (Chris had gone straight up via the Combe du Signal) After a great run in the 3300 we then skied an excellent Pays Desert from the top before finishing up with some ‘bonus’ turns on the way home. We were hoping for a good covering of snow but were rewarded with 20 to 30cm’s of wonderful powder and just enough vis to light the way to a fantastic morning.

Gill missed this morning as Millie’s teacher is on strike and the two of them skied with Caroline before Millie went back to have lunch with Caroline’s girls. Katie’s teacher is working so poor Katie had to go to school while her sister had the day off. Bummer Katie but we’ll sneak off for a naughty milkshake at the Billabong Burger Bar!

It’s still snowing lightly at 3:30PM but clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow, so we should be in for another brilliant ski!

11 February 2013
A much tougher day but decent skiing!

Unfortunately the Foehn wind started to blow last night and this morning it was cold, windy and grey, making for a much trickier day. A few flakes fell overnight, which helped enormously in places as a little fresh snow, mixed with wind, smoothed over the surface leaving a clean and pleasant feeling underfoot. It was just Chris and I this morning and we warmed up off the Verte before skiing a great run in the lower Borsat. From there we took the Funicular to ski a lovely 125-turn pitch on the Rosolin before ‘skinning’ back out. We managed a few bonus turns across the glacier en route to the Combe des Lanches, which unfortunately was rougher underfoot than anticipated and not the best. Next up was the Col du Palet, which had some lovely snow followed by a few turns across the meadows under the Balme, and we finished with the Familial, which has been ruined by the wind. Bummer as the Familial has been superb for quite some time and a great finish to many a morning.

Henry was doing one of his HAT days and I’m not too sure where he ended up. Henry and Chris R did another Live Broadcast last night, and if you missed it there’s a link on his website.

A few flakes are floating about, which is going to help, and more snow is forecast over the next few days. With the strong wind last night today the avalanche forecast has gone from 2 to 3/5, but it is an ‘active’ three as compared to the fairly stable 3/5 that we’ve been dealing with over the last week or so. Chris and I kicked out two little plaques today that we knew were ready to go but it’s the first time in a while that slopes have triggered so easily and the risk levels have definitely changed, especially on ridges and cols at altitude on the lee side. Watch out and stay tuned!

10 February 2013
-23C but who cares?

It was -23C in La Daille this morning so we all put on extra layers and headed to Mont Roup to stay in the sun. Once off the Borsat we started shedding layers and everyone was more than comfortable. The snow was cold enough at that temperature to be slow but we had some good pitches en route to Mont Roup off the Borsat traverse, and Mont Roup itself was superb. I traversed all the way across like we do in the spring to access the combe skiers-left and it was delightful. In fact Jean said he doesn’t remember ever skiing Mont Roup any better than it was today. Chris had Catherine and a lovely new American client Sandy along, and Sandy thoroughly enjoyed the outing. He was a pilot in his working life and has spent time in Calgary over the years on lay-over’s.

After being out for over four-hours in pretty cool temperatures I was starting to feel the cold by the time I arrived home for lunch and looking forward to some warmth, but the first thing I heard when walking in the door was Katie yelling, “Dad, can we ski the Piste Perdue this afternoon?” So after some quick refuelling Gill, Katie and I had a great afternoon with a little off-piste, some good hard piste skiing and two trips down the Piste Perdue. So much for a relaxing afternoon but it was fun. Meanwhile Millie was off having a wonderful time with her Club des Sports group, which has worked out brilliantly for both the girls.

Jonathan dropped off some lamb chops last night from the Taj in Brighton and we enjoyed a feast. I marinated them in garlic, ginger, soya sauce and fresh rosemary, along with potatoes, broccoli, and fried courgette and mushrooms with chillies and garlic. Katie said, “Nice and pink Daddy, just the way I like it!” as she cleaned her bones bare like a cave woman. Well done Katie! Such a meal deserved some nice wine so I opened a bottle of 2002 Vosne-Romanee, 1er Cru Les Suchots. Bliss! Thank you Jonathan and I thought you skied pretty jolly well today!

I’m going to watch the rest of the rugby match and won’t be mentioning the Hammers. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

9 February 2013
Cold but excellent skiing!

Yesterday’s sunshine led to the resort being hit hard track-wise and we need to work a little harder for our turns today. Chris and I warmed up off the Verte and Bonnevie’s Drag giving the lifts a chance to open before heading into the Lower Lavachet for an excellent run across the meadows and down through the trees. The snow got better and better so we continued on as far as possible before ‘skinning’ back out. From there we skied a lovely Sachette before finishing up another great morning with the Familial.

Meanwhile Thomas was skiing the Tour du Charvet via the Mont Blanc Couloir and Cugnai and Andreas was skiing all-day starting with the Borsat, Chardonnet, Sachette and then he was planning on heading Thomas’ way this afternoon.

Gill missed the morning as the Club des Sports phoned to say the Millie didn’t have anyone to ski with as her session had been moved to tomorrow, so Gill had to peel out and pick up Millie. The two of them then skied for a couple of hours but Gill said that Millie skis so fast that the wind-chill factor was unbearable and riding the lifts was warmer than the skiing! Burr! Katie skied with the Club this morning but we’ve given her the afternoon off as she has a cold and doesn’t need to make it any worse.

It was jolly cold this morning but we managed the session without seeking shelter, and the temperature did drop as the morning went along. At 9:30 it was -10C on the top of Tommeuses but by 12:45 it had plunged to -18C.

Enjoy your rugby this afternoon and Jean plus the Noble brothers are a little nervous about the French and Scots chances. Good luck boys. I’ve time to relax this afternoon as the Hammers don’t play until tomorrow.

PS. I forgot to mention the Noble brothers, Harry and Ian, who just finished a superb week, complete with some of the best ‘park-and-fly’s’ of the season. So far only Penny and Chris have flown further and landed harder, and they were both ugly!

PSS Victor and Ness stopped by the Gourmandine this morning for a nice chat. It was great to see them and they’re both on top form and looking forward to their ‘Daddy’ day tomorrow!

8 February 2013
Fabulous follow up!

It was -23C this morning with the wind factor, but the good news was the sun was making an appearance, and after days of in-and-out vis everyone was looking forward to it. And after yesterday’s phenomenal extravaganza, which was always going to be a tough act to follow, the sun at least gave us a chance and the entire team did a great job entertaining the troops.

Chris’s team were adamant about walking this morning so they headed off to ski Mont Roup, which was excellent top-to-bottom. It took Chris some time to cut the trail across the Borsat as the snow was sticky to walk on at -23C, but the skiing was worth it in the end. Andreas started out with a ‘cheeky’ Face du Charvet before circling back towards Tignes via the Little Spatule, Little Lavachet, Sache and then home via the Palafour and Familial. Thomas was behind Andreas going into the Sache and came across a load of randonneurs who couldn’t ski and were traversing back and forth across the lovely big slope. Thomas had a sense of humour failure, as you do in these situations, but I’m sure a good lunch will have sorted him out. Well done boys for following up yesterday with another stunning morning!

As for my team, we warmed up off the Verte and Lower Borsat before heading upstairs to the Motte where the entire sector was totally clean, and my shoulder was in excellent condition. We skied four rotations and during that time not one person followed us in, which is really quite extraordinary, and made me look good! After filling our boots we returned via the Cairn where the lower section was particularly good and then finished off with the Familial, which has been superb all week.

Katie finishes her week of ski scolaire today and they are having a slalom race, which Katie is dreading, mostly because Millie keeps winding her up about it. Good luck Katie and have fun!

Congratulations to Physio Lou’s husband Gav, who passed his test technique this morning. It’s great news for Gavin and we wish him the best for the Euro Test!

Stay tuned for more news tomorrow and a sports report if the Hammers fare well.

PS Sorry I missed you Ian but Jean managed a shot of you.

7 February 2013
Wow, I can hardly believe it!

I was expecting a decent morning today but I didn’t imagine perhaps the finest day of the season. We skied big impressive slopes all morning long with the snow ranging from wonderful to exceptional. Chris and I headed up Bellevarde first thing into clearer skies and when the Charvet was bathed in sunlight we bee-lined it for the Grand Pre to open up the Tour du Charvet. I skied it last Sunday and felt it was the best tour I’d skied in ten-years, but today it was perhaps the best ever through 31-years here. It was quality top-to-bottom, with sunshine and not a track on the mountain. It just doesn’t get any better snow or ambience-wise! From there headed up the Manchet to ski a fantastic run in the Arcelle followed by two equally good runs in the Marmottons where we cut back as late as safely possible to the chair. After each run I kept wondering, ‘what next?’ but we finished off a terrific morning in style with the Marmottons into the Marmottes. George’s son Alistair was skiing with me for the first time and kept muttering, “awesome” under his breath so I think he was suitably impressed, while Jean was certain it was the best day of the season. (Top 5 anyway)

I took 183 photos and had them cut down to 35 when somehow most of them disappeared from my computer. I had photos of everyone so I apologise to George and Alistair as their photos were amongst those that are floating about somewhere, and my computer skills aren’t good enough to retrieve them. Sorry boys! (Do check photos as I did manage to post a few and Jean took some good one too)

Meanwhile, Thomas was skiing around somewhere behind us and was heading to Tignes for lunch while Andreas took James and Richard down to St Foy to ski the trees. I haven’t heard how they got on but I’m sure they had a fantastic morning with superb snow and they’ll have enjoyed a change in scenery.

Physio Lou is here having a coffee with Gill and it’s great to see her. If you have a niggle don’t hesitate and make sure you go and see her. (047906 0727)

Good luck to Suzanne who’s off for a week to Normandy to check on their Gite. Bonne route Suzanne!

I’m so pumped I don’t care about the forecast so stay tuned for tomorrow adventures!

PS Andreas checked in on his way to serve Vin Chaud for his sins and reported a brilliant day in St Foy skiing the front side. There was no point going over the back and wasting time on buses. Well done boys!

6 February 2013
'Plan B' but wonderful skiing!

It was a funny old start to the day this morning as the sky was clear around 7:30AM and I started to get excited, but by the time we left the Gourmandine it had already clouded over and sunglasses were exchanged for goggles. Then we waited for the Olympique to open but fortunately Andreas heard on the Pisteurs channel that a couple of dynamite charges hadn’t exploded and it would take some time to deal with it, so we quietly snuck out of the massive queue and slipped onto the Solaise Express, which meant a change of sector and ‘Plan B’. We started off with the Super L, which was very good indeed and then worked our way up to the Fornet for a couple of excellent runs in the Lower Combe du Signal. After one under the ‘bubbles’ I was just about to change sectors when we found some great skiing down low in the trees where we had a couple of runs before heading upstairs to open the Combe du Signal from the top, which was wonderful.

Chris did change sectors around 11:15 and joined Andreas on Bellevarde where they had some great skiing around the Familial, which has been faithfully terrific of late, and Chris finished with a Fontaine Froide and Epaule du Charvet. (Chris managed to pick up Johnny ‘Alpine’ and Chris A while sneaking out of the queue, which was a good result.) Thomas is working with his wife Muriel with a three-day private, which could include some gastronomic delights. Bon appetit!

I skied with Millie this afternoon and we had a great time skiing off-piste mixed with a few good piste cruises. (Check photos) She was trying out her new slalom skis and was pleased to find out they work in the powder as well. Just like the old days Millie! We arrived home to some stunning muffins, which Katie had baked all by herself. Brilliant Katie!

It’s forecast to get colder and Thomas has promised me a few days of better visibility. I hope you’re right Thomas!

5 February 2013
Good light late on helps make the morning!

Very little fresh snow fell overnight, which meant we needed to find slopes that weren’t skied yesterday afternoon while the sun was shining. Chris, Andreas and I all headed to the Fornet via the Mattis, but Chris decided early on to backtrack towards Bellevarde where the terrain would better suit his clients, while Andreas and I continued on to ski a pretty good Combe du Signal. I then skied one nice run off the Pyramid before changing sectors and heading Bellevarde-way as well. Andreas hung in there and skied a Grand Vallon before coming back to ski the Tour du Charvet while I skied the Kern for the first time this season (first time in twenty-years for Nick) before finishing with a 75-turn pitch in the best snow of the day in the Familial. (Chris and Henry had skied a couple in the Familial by the time I showed up.) We had pretty flat light for the first half of the morning but everyone’s ski finished really well as the sun shone through and the visibility was vastly improved allowing us to pick our snow.

Chris and I worked this afternoon and by the time we got started the weather had deteriorated drastically and it was a pretty rough afternoon as most of the mountain shut down around 3:30. Well done for hanging in there JC and boy was I glad to get home! And well done to Brian who came up from St Foy for his lesson!

Wind and 40cm’s of snow are forecast for this evening so who knows what tomorrow will bring? Stay tuned. (Short one tonight as I’ve been out all day and I’m now about to cook some lamb)

4 February 2013
Just enough light for a wonderful morning!

Another 10cm’s of snow fell late yesterday afternoon and during the night and it was just enough to make a difference, especially with the help of the wind. It was a flat-light morning but we had just enough light to ski and navigate comfortably, and everyone was pleasantly surprised with the quality of our morning. In fact, it was excellent! Andreas and I opened up with the Borsat from the top and despite the wind on the ridge the snow was fantastic. From there Chris, Andreas and I all skied the Chardonnet, which wasn’t the same quality but was still pretty jolly good. (We ran into Henry’s team who came in from underneath) We then skied variations of the meadows under the Face Nord of the Balme before heading upstairs to ski a lovely Cairn before finishing up with a cracking Familial. (Chris managed a Combe des Lanches as well and said that the entire ridge-line above had avalanched and he needed to avoid impressive rubble most of the way down.) Thomas was skiing with his lovely wife Muriel this morning and they had a great ski together in much the same neighbourhood as the rest of the team.

Jean had the morning off and I bet he was crying in his red wine last night after the Italians beat the French in their opening Six Nations match. Ouch Jean, that must have hurt! (But it was entertaining for the neutral)

Henry used our photos from yesterday in his live internet broadcast last night. I think it’s Henry’s second transmission of the season and you can check it out on his website. Henry answers questions that come in live and talks about conditions as well as safety, and it’s an excellent addition for his growing audience. Well done Henry and thanks for the mention!

A storm is forecast for tomorrow so we’ll wait and see how bad it is and what effect it has on our skiing. We don’t need a storm as the skiing has been brilliant of late and no one wants any ‘down time’ due to wind. Stay tuned!

And what a Super Bowl result last night. Besides the power failure it must have been a fantastic game, and what a win for the under-dog Ravens.

3 February 2013
A stunning Tour du Charvet!

At 7AM the skies were clear but by ‘show time’ it was starting to mist over with a few flakes of snow floating about. Andreas and I went up Bellevarde and headed straight for the Tour du Charvet, which didn’t have a track anywhere and was a truly magnificent sight! I went left and Andreas went right and it was stunning right from the top, and was superb all the way to the bottom. The top pitch was brilliant, as were the meadows, followed by TJ‘s Shoulder and below, and the last shot down to the traverse was divine. (See photos) It was Baye’s first trip out that way and she was suitably impressed, and it was a wonderful opener for James and Richard who were skiing with Jeremy and James in Andreas’ group. The Manchet Chair wasn’t working and we ended up pushing out, but it was a small price to pay for one of the best Tour du Charvet’s that I can remember for quite some time. After our push we skied off the Mattis in a fog, as by this time our sunshine had disappeared, followed by a lovely run in the lower Combe du Signal, and then a great run in the 3300 as the mist was lifting. Marvellous skiing is about all I can say!

Meanwhile, Thomas had some boarder-boys who need gravity and Thomas obliged with some steep couloirs around Bellevarde and in the Chardonnet. Thomas is still out there as he’s with them all day. (Chris had the day off)

My great friend Pete (who’s responsible for my West Ham problems) took his seven-year-old son Luc to Upton Park yesterday to watch the Hammers for Luc’s first time. Fortunately for Pete West Ham won, the crowd went wild, and Pete’s hoping Luc will now stop going on about Liverpool and will wear his Hammer gear with pride. And I hope Luc didn’t use his new football vocabulary at dinner last night! Well done Pete!

After skiing TJ’s Shoulder and thinking about him during Scotland’s pasting by England yesterday, it reminds me that TJ is coming out on February 23rd and is staying until March 16th. TJ will be ready for business so please let me know if your dates match TJ’s and you’d like to ski with him.

I hope all my North American friends, plus Michael R and Chris and Mikka B, enjoy the Super Bowl tonight as it’s one of the biggest events on the North American sporting calendar. Being an AFC fan I’ll be cheering for the underdog Ravens, but the 49-er’s are going to be tough to beat.

2 February 2013
What a meal! (and great skiing as well)

It snowed 10 to 20cm’s overnight with strong winds but the Olympique managed to open at 9:25, which for a Saturday wasn’t too bad. We had a great first run on, or just off the edge of the piste before needing to push a little further afield with each new run. Once the Mont Blanc opened Penny counted 72-turns under the chair before heading up Tommeuses just as it was opening. The first pitch at the top was superb and we then followed Andreas into the Familial, which was good top-to-bottom. Jean’s brother Bernard had to leave to catch his train (after a brilliant week) so the rest of us carried on to ski a very good Fontaine Froide before finishing up with a fantastic Epaule du Charvet. Chris was in the neighbourhood as well and we all had a great morning without risk as the rating was 4/5. ( Andreas continued on and finished up his morning at the Fornet.)

Our meal last night at Geoff and Inga’s was absolutely exquisite! We started with thin slices of smoked duck with orange, carrot and beetroot, followed by perfectly pink rack of lamb that melted in the mouth, accompanied by a stunning mildly spiced aubergine dish, gorgeous lentils, courgettes with leeks, and polenta fries. Next up was cheese followed by pears poached in red wine. This wonderful food was enhanced by these fabulous wines:

2011 Pinot Noir d’Alsace-Henry Fuchs
1990 Mme Faller Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive
1999 Carraudes de Lafite (2nd wine of Ch Lafite Rothschild)
1999 Barolo Nei Cannubi Luigi Einaudi

What an evening and thank you both ever so much! And thanks from John and Magaret as well.

Now all I need is three points from the Hammers this afternoon to round off a great day! (It looks as if I’m on my way to the swimming pool)

1 February 2013
Ten centimetres but what a difference!

About 10cm’s of fresh snow fell overnight but with the warmth it had a density that cushioned the base underneath and was lovely to ski. In many places it seemed much deeper than reported, making for a cracking morning. Chris, Andreas, and I all headed up Bellevarde and we received a face full when exiting the Olympique so I turned left and skied a great opener on the Face de Bellevarde, which was smooth underfoot and had collected a nice amount of snow. From there I joined Andreas off the Fontaine Froide for a good run, before heading to Bonnevie’s Drag and under the Mont Blanc. It was excellent skiing and I spent my morning around La Daille while Andreas finished up joining Chris off the Mattis en route to the Fornet.

The local ‘ski bums’, if that term still applies, have been raving about these Black Diamond skis, which are about 6 feet long and a foot wide, with rocker tips and tails. Andreas was curious about them so he tried a pair this morning and when he tried to return them to the shop in question, they were closed. There was an avalanche on the road to Bourg this morning and with a big storm moving in this afternoon Andreas wanted to get back down the valley and home as soon as possible so he asked me to return the skis, which or course I said yes to. But, I hadn’t appreciated that I’ll need to walk through town carrying a pair of the largest skis I’ve ever laid my eyes on, and would never be caught dead on. I’m now working on a disguise and I’ll make a run for it!

Gill and I are looking forward to dinner tonight at Geoff and Inga’s, who are two of my favourite chefs in the world. Besides stunning food, Geoff’s cellar is superb and the perfect wine will accompany every course. I’d best be careful as 50cm’s of snow and flat-light await in the morning!

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