Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

31 December 2016
Thanks Chris!!!

Without any afternoon commitments Chris and I had the time for a Col des Fours and we had a really good outing and didn’t get down until close to 2 o’clock! I’d like to thank Chris who did a super job taking care of Michael (who’s couteaux didn’t fit) and Robert (who didn’t have any couteaux) and getting them to the top. The track was icy and without couteaux it was nearly impossible unless you were a mountain goat, and even then it would have been tricky! Bravo Michaerl and Robert and thanks again Chris!

As for the skiing, we all know times are tough but we ‘sniffed’ out some patches before heading over the little Col and finding a few more options. (Andreas and Thomas had been that way yesterday so we knew we’d be able to find some clean snow.) Millie loved the ‘skinning’ and she and Dan lead the way, and well done Penny who is walking much better this season. Meanwhile, Andreas, Thomas and Henry were all in action and they were trying out some sectors that we haven’t visited for a while so I’m waiting on a report, and if they scored I’d be in ‘code-mode’ anyway!

Have a Happy New Year and stay tuned for more news tomorrow. My update will be late because I’m taking the girls down to Lyon right after skiing. Boo-hoo!

PS Go West Ham!!!

30 December 2016
Where did that come from?

I didn’t really expect anything more than a nice outing in the mountains with some decent strips of snow that worked to get us safely down our itineraries, but boy oh boy, what a cracking morning! The snow wasn’t good everywhere but we found some fantastic snow between the plaque and the team did a great job on their tracks. (see photos) To top it all off we found another unexpected area of wonderful skiing on our way back towards lunch, and all in all it was a terrific morning! Chris was in the neighbourhood although we didn’t see much of his team and Millie was back in action on my team!

Meanwhile, Andreas and Thomas, like us, went off hoping for the best and ended up with a similar result and well rewarded for all their efforts. They had a fantastic morning and I thought the ‘Alpine-sniffers’ were at their best today in tough conditions. Bravo boys! Henry was up at the Fornet and I haven’t heard from him but I’m sure he put on a good show as well.

It seems as if some snow is coming around again, which is great news as we were starting to lose our mojo’s a little bit, but today was promising as far as some options starting to open up again. I was going to come out of ‘code-mode’ because it didn’t seem like there was much to protect but after today I think I’ll stay quiet. Stay tuned!

29 December 2016
An adventure with Katie!

We enjoyed another day with brilliant sunshine and Andreas, Chris and I returned to the Fornet for more of what we did yesterday. The entrance over the Col has deteriorated quite significantly from yesterday and we had an interesting time getting in this morning. I’m not too sure what Thomas and Henry skied but hopefully they found something of interest because after two straight days at the Fornet I’ll be need a change of scenery tomorrow!

Unfortunately Millie felt unwell this afternoon and couldn’t come on an adventure over the Col with Gill, Katie, Ray and I. (See photos, which are at the bottom of the file) It was wonderful taking Katie to such a cool place and she really enjoyed it! Hopefully Millie will be feeling better by tomorrow as she’s hoping to ski in my group for her last three days before they head back to England.

More of the same is forecast for tomorrow and a little snow is expected on Monday and Tuesday. Stay tuned!

PS. I met Simon on the Signal terrace today as he overheard me speaking to Henry on the radio and asked if I was Wayne? It turns out he is from Jersey and reads my blog regularly and hopes to ski with us in the future when he children are a little older. It was a pleasure to meet you Simon!

28 December 2016
That was fun!!!

The beat goes on as far as the sun goes and we enjoyed another fantastic day in the mountains with good snow, great scenery and some brilliant ambience. All the teams were up at the Fornet and everyone had a big smile on their face at the end of the morning.

The girls and I had a lovely lunch at Bananas with Caroline and her twin daughters Emilie and Grace. It was great to see Ricki again and he seems to be on top form.

Katie is off visiting friends, Gill has been out for a walk on the Balcon and Millie and I tried to get into the gym, but she didn’t look old enough! Being a bad liar it didn’t take the receptionist long to get Millie’s real age out of me, and that was that!

More sun is forecast with the possibility of a little snow next Monday, and fingers crossed on that one! Stay tuned.

27 December 2016
Tough but smiles all around!

All the boys were in action this morning and we spread out around the resort looking for options. It’s tough out there but the skiing is still fun, there is no one else about, and it’s miles better than the crowded pistes, and everyone seems to be having a good time. I missed my ‘skinning partner’ Millie today but hopefully she’ll be able to do a couple of more mornings before she has to leave.

I spent the afternoon off-piste with Trevor and his family, and we had a cracking good time up on the Pissaillas. I’m not normally up there in the afternoon and the light was stunning as we skied in full sunshine. After hearing about our trip last year Trevor took his family to India and his adventure was organised by Mary-Anne from Mahout, and they had an absolutely brilliant time. It was fun talking about our trips on the chairlifts and if you fancy a trip to India don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mary-Anne.

It was a great win for the Hammers yesterday and after 10 points out of the last 12 everyone in Hammerland is breathing a little bit easier!

Stay tuned for more sunshine and news tomorrow!

26 December 2016
Bloody wind!!!

We had a fantastic Christmas with a great ski in the morning followed by lunch, presents, drinks, dinner and games, but it was back to reality today, and the reality is that times are getting tougher after the past few days of wind. It has dried up out there and for the first time all winter I was looking for strips of soufflé to safely get us down the mountain. It’s still good skiing with great scenery, ambience and the fact that no one else is around, but it’s not the soft powder snow we all know and love. It has been brilliant having Millie along these past four days and she’s loved every minute of it, and thoroughly enjoys the ‘skinning’, but as of tomorrow she’ll be back on piste with Gill and Katie. I’ll miss you Mils!

My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers won their division with a stunning come-back victory over the Baltimore Ravens last night with a great final drive leading to the winning touchdown as time ran out. Check out the NFL highlights even if you know nothing about American football, because it’s a great intro. West Ham have a huge should-get-a-result type of game a Swansea today and another will would make 10 points from the last 12 and see us in a much more comfortable position. And good luck to Big Sam today as he starts his time in charge of Palace this afternoon. He’ll do a fantastic job there and I’ll be pulling for him as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Hammers status in the Premiership.

Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

25 December 2016
Merry Christmas!!!!

Chris and I were the only ones working today as everyone else was enjoying Christmas with their families. I had a wonderful ‘Christmas’ ski with Millie, Red Ray, Penny and Michael and we skied beautifully prepared and empty pistes en-route to the Sachette. The Sachette was great ambience as we ‘sniffed’ about for various types and strips of good snow to get us to the bottom. Much has been ravaged by the wind over the past 36-to-48-hours and the Sache area is no exception, but there are workable routes down, which is significantly better than no workable routes down! (See photos)

I kicked out a little slab this morning, which certainly got Millie’s attention, and Penny commented, “well reacted Wayne” after I skied out to the side. We haven’t had any new snow to speak of but with the ferocious winds some snow has been transported in the wind and the Tignes area certainly has a more ‘hollow’ feeling underfoot compared to the Val d’Isere-side of the resort.

Gill and Katie have been skiing with Michele’s son Cassius the past couple of days and they’ve had a great time together. Michele is unfortunately out of action after breaking her ankle this summer in Spain.

We’re getting ready for presents now so enjoy the rest of your Christmas and stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

24 December 2016
Merry Christmas to you all !!!

Chris and I decided on a change of scenery and sector today and we had a really good morning. It was in two stages with a stage one being a 30-minute ‘skin’ with wonderful views and pretty good snow, and stage two was another 30-minute ‘skin’ with patches of great snow and places where we needed to ‘sniff’ around to find the best way down. I needed to wait for Ray at one stage so Millie took over the lead and cut her first-ever track to the top. Well done Millie! Stage two wasn’t as good as we were hoping for but it was a fun outing anyway and bravo to everyone who participated! (See photos at the bottom of the file and hopefully I’ll be able to get them in order soon!) Meanwhile Andreas and JM headed towards the Fornet ‘skinning’ and they reported another successful morning out!

I skied with Gill, Millie and Katie this afternoon and the wind had really picked up. Hopefully the wind won’t ravage too much snow as we need all the help we can get! Have a very Merry Christmas and stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

PS We were invited by Michele to eat in the new YSE chalet Isere last night and it was absolutely brilliant! Stig and his team put on a stunning meal starting with lovely canapés, followed by a Moroccan tomato soup, then perfectly cooked breast of duck with fabulous veg and sauce, and we then finished off with a wonderful chocolate tart. (Katie guessed the secret ingredient of rosemary) It was a top performance and you’d be hard pushed to find a better meal anywhere in town. Bravo to Stig and his team and thank-you very much Michele!

23 December 2016
Great to have Millie along!!!

It was another beautiful day and JM, Chris, Andreas and I all headed towards the Fornet and went off ‘skinning’ in different directions. I’m in ‘code-mode’ again as the last snowfall helped but our options are still limited and it’s tough out there! It was the Cook’s last day today and we had an excellent week together, as their skiing is rapidly improving and they are great company. I had the pleasure of my daughter Millie joining the group this morning and she had a wonderful time and along with Sophie and Caroline put on an impressive pace ‘skinning’!

Unfortunately I forgot my camera this morning so you won’t be able to play ‘Where’s Wayne?’ It’s a bit of a bummer because we had some lovely snow and great scenery and all the participants enjoy seeing themselves on the big screen! Chris promised to send some but I haven’t received any yet.

I skied with Gill and Katie this afternoon while Andreas had a ski with Ness and Victor, and for the next few days we need to maximise on our family ski time before the crowds arrive. For the moment it is still pretty civil out there but that will change on Boxing Day.

More sun is forecast for tomorrow and stay tuned as Santa gets those reindeer revved up for his big night out!

22 December 2016
Welcome back girls!

My trip down to Lyon went extremely well last night with ‘Rewind’ by The Rolling Stones blasting away and it was fantastic to arrive and find the girl’s plane was 15-minutes early. Yea EasyJet! The last flight of the day is always potentially late but it was nice to get back home early.

The sun was shining again after a few tough days on the mountain and we all headed up to the Fornet to make the best of what little snow fell. The Pays Desert didn’t look appetising enough for a trip so we headed over the Col. Andreas was first and paid for it by setting the boot-track up, and the snow was deep and jolly hard work. Thanks Andreas! Andreas did a great job opening the slope as a lot of new snow had fallen and blown in, and his and our reward back-side was wonderful with deep snow on the Col and great strips of lovely creamy snow all the way down to the Pont St Charles. The bottom from the Grand Torsai down has been really good so far this season, and today was no exception, especially when we all had clean lines to ski. Afterwards we went back up and skied a nice run in the Combe du Signal followed by a run in the Grand Vallon to the bottom to finish the day. (see photos)

Today’s photos have a few ‘people’ shots with JM, Chris, and Pat and Mike and a weird shot on the Grand Torsai and have a guess at what it might be?

I’m trying to get my writing done so I can hang out with the girls when they return from their first ski of the season. It’s great having them back and it will be great to have some sunshine for our afternoon skis, which we’ll start tomorrow. Last year it was grey and miserable in the afternoons with bumpy icy pistes and it wasn’t very inspiring, especially after spending the morning off-piste in flat-light, but it looks like we’ll have some great skiing together this holiday.

I saw Jean R on the bus and he’s skiing but not yet ready to come back off-piste. He was skiing with his grandson today, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Millie misses you Jean, as do we all! Stay tuned!

PS Jean Marc and his team went off ‘skinning’ and I’m sure they had a fantastic time!

21 December 2016
The girls arrive this evening!!!!

The wind dropped significantly overnight and we all headed to the Fornet hoping for a decent accumulation of fresh snow. Due to power cuts, blasting and I’m not too sure what else we endured a pretty slow and at time frustrating opening, but we played our cards pretty well and made the most of it. There wasn’t as much snow as we were hoping for but there are some lovely gullies and slopes that have taken a nice covering of snow, but there are still places where old track is visible and these areas need to be avoided. The skiing is much improved and we enjoyed some excellent skiing this morning and definitely have some options in the days to come, especially with improved visibility. (see photos, bottom 12 starting with Santa!)

I’m just getting some chores done before heading down to Lyon to pick up the girls tonight and as you can imagine I’m really looking forward to it! They aren’t scheduled to arrive until 10:25 so it could be a long night. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

20 December 2016
A good morning of technique!

The wind was blowing again today and from my bedroom window it wasn’t looking very inspiring this morning. After being cold yesterday I put on another layer and ended up to the Gourmandine for coffee with Chris and Jean Marc. I thought that off-piste conditions today would have improved but after diving off the Verte to test the waters it was evident that the off-piste wasn’t really worth it, and how often do you hear me say that? The only show in town was the Funival and Les Etroits chair and after a couple of Funival’s we spent the rest of the morning on the Etroits chairlift working on technique. The pistes first thing were magnificent and it’s been a long time since I spent an entire morning doing technique on piste. Everyone hung in there, as did Chris’ team and we made the most of a difficult morning.Bravo everyone! ( I’m not too sure what JM did in the end as we didn’t run into him again.)

Wils and Rosie have arrived with their friends Jamie and Elliot and I had a great time at their place last night. Thanks Rosie for a lovely pasta and we had some good laughs!

I’m off to get organised for the girls arriving tomorrow. I need to get skis sorted, tidy up and hopefully have a chance to go to the gym for a quick session this afternoon. I did a huge shop yesterday afternoon so that’s at least sorted.

It’s been snowing and blowing at the Fornet and calmer weather is forecast for tomorrow so hopefully we’ll be back in the saddle. Stay tuned!

19 December 2016
Blimey, that was a tough one!

I was hoping for some sunshine this morning before the weather moved in but when I opened the curtains to 1cm of snow, grey skies and ferocious winds I knew we were in for a tough day, and it turned out to be one of the trickiest days we’ve had in a couple of years. We’ve had lots of cold days, countless days of flat-light, and who knows how many windy days, but it’s rare to have so few options. After 4 weeks of sunshine the resort was tracked to death and we didn’t have enough snow overnight to have any impact whatsoever, and with fierce winds, -16C at altitude and flat-light I think you get the picture! Bravo to all who braved the elements as Chris, JM and I did our best to conjure something up. (see photos at the bottom)

With some luck we might see a significant snowfall towards the Italian border at the Fornet over the next 24-hours or so but the wind is forecast to pick up and gust to 105km/h! Don’t forget your neck fleeces and facemasks as today we had our first cases of frostbite this season.

I’m off to Bourg for some shopping as the girls arrive on Wednesday night. Stay tuned and wish us luck for tomorrow!

18 December 2016
Time for bed!

I’ve had a pretty busy day and after a lovely morning for Michael Rosen’s first day I had another afternoon (4 in 6) followed by football and supper at Johnny Alpine’s, then home for a bath, blog and Valdinet update. The girls are coming on Wednesday night and I’m in final preparation mode and need to get some shopping in to go with tidying up! With any luck I think I should just make it!

With the fantastic weather it has been a pleasure teaching in the afternoons, especially with the quiet pistes. After today I’ve another afternoon on the 27th but will try to ski with the girls as much as I can during their stay.

Millie had her lesson with Dame Laura Davies this afternoon and really enjoyed it. Dame Laura complimented her on her swing and said she was a natural, and Mille thought she was really nice.

Chris and I skied at the Fornet this morning while Andreas, Thomas and Jean Marc had the morning off. We should have a decent morning weather-wise tomorrow before some snow accompanied by high winds arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday. Winds gusting to 105km/h are forecast for Tuesday and after such a stretch of wonderfully sunny and calm weather it will be a shock to the system. Imagine suddenly needing goggles? I think I’d better have a look for mine! We are in desperate need of snow and a couple of stormy days would be a small price to pay. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

PS Thanks for another great meal John!

17 December 2016
An interesting trip over the Col!

Chris and I headed up to the Fornet this morning and went back-side for a little ‘skin’. Getting over the Col is getting interesting and not nearly as easy as it was ten- days or so ago. We had some tougher snow up high that needed some application and the snow improved the lower we skied. Getting down from the Grand Torsai is actually pretty pleasant with smooth but firm chalky snow most of the way down. It doesn’t get any better really unless it’s fresh powder so that was a bit of a result to finish off the morning. Meanwhile, JM was off ‘skinning’ in Tignes, while Thomas is helping with the World Cup race and Andreas had the morning off.

Katie is riding today while Millie has two different golf lessons. That should keep them both busy and out of trouble!

The ‘Photos of the Day’ now come up without all the other files in the way but for the moment the most recent files are still found at the bottom. (Today’s are the bottom four or five.) We’re still working on a better option but at least it’s a bit less messy than yesterday!
Come on you Hammers and stay tuned!

16 December 2016
Now that was funky!

Chris and I headed up to the Fornet with a couple of plans in mind but once we arrived at the Col we ended up going in the other direction and doing something we’ve never done before. Olivier had had a ‘sniff’ that way yesterday and it turned out to be a really good option with great snow, fairly steep slopes and the little ‘couloir affect’ thrown in to up the ambience. Meanwhile Andreas was back in action and headed to the Col des Fours with Gary’s team, and Oli and JM went off for the day touring with 12 new French clients. Now that’s a result!

I had another afternoon today with my friend Paul’s two daughters and after a little technique I started to up the pace and by the end of the afternoon we were flying. Bravo girls! We ran into Thomas who was helping with the races today, and he’ll be doing the same tomorrow.

I’ve some tidying up to do as the girls arrive next Wednesday so I’d better get started. Stay tuned for news tomorrow!

PS I’m hoping to have an option with the photos up and running soon. It won’t be perfect but it should be an improvement on the current state of affairs!

15 December 2016
East start, adventurous finish!

My plan today was to go for a ‘skin’ and adventure with Chris but I decided to take it easy and consolidate with Nick what we worked on yesterday afternoon. Ros had a blister problem so she came with Nick and I and we had a lovely morning working on some technique before skiing some wonderful snow on the gentle slopes. We then finished off the morning with an adventure of our own and didn’t get down until 1:35. Naughty me but it was great fun and very good skiing! Meanwhile Johnny Alpine and his pal Ivan went off with Chris and their expedition didn’t finish until about 2:30. Well done boys!

Andreas was helping with the race this morning while Oli was helping out at Top Ski and Thomas and JM skied their last day with the Ski Club. They’ve done a fantastic job with the Ski Club because times are tough enough when you’re just skiing the morning but all day is a different story altogether. Bravo boys!

I had a wonderful hour-long Facetime session with Katie last night and she was reading to me some of her English essays that she’s been writing at school. They were about the future after some end-of-the-world sort of events and I was gob-smacked at her hidden talent. I had no idea she was capable of such descriptive writing and when I asked her when all this started she just said, “I just start writing and it just comes out Daddy!” Bravo Katie! (Don’t you just hate boastful parents?)

What a great result for West Ham last night. Last Sunday we were in the drop zone but have moved up three places to 15th in the past two games. We’ve a couple of more ‘should-win’ games coming up so fingers crossed as it’s a stressful time in Hammerland!

And sun, sun, and more sun is forecast for the next few days. Stay tuned!

14 December 2016
That was easier!

After a tough morning yesterday I took it easy on the troops and we enjoyed a lovely morning in Tignes. The pistes getting over there are immaculate and once off-piste we had some great skiing without anyone else around. (See bottom 5 photos starting with chamois tracks). It’s obviously getting tougher day-by-day but we’re still managing very satisfying skiing and the beautiful weather doesn’t hurt either. (Although really it does as we need some snow desperately!)

Chris was back in action for his first morning today while JM and Thomas are skiing with the Ski Club, Andreas was helping with the races and Oli is skiing with his lovely wife Claire and some faithful French clients. Henry is around somewhere but I haven’t seen him yet.

I had another afternoon today with Nick and we worked on some off-piste technique to get him back into the saddle again. Conditions are perfect for afternoons at the moment with clear blue skies and pretty quiet pistes, which makes teaching possible. Once the crowds arrive it’s really difficult to use exercises that cross the slope and some people are so tense because of other skiers that they find it hard to concentrate. Anyway, I love my technique and it’s always easier when the sun shines.

We’re in for a few more sunny days with some possible drizzle in town next Monday and Tuesday, which is good news because anything that falls out of the sky will help. Fingers crossed and stay tuned!

13 December 2016
That was a tough one!

I had a tougher day today as I went for a change of sector and although we had some great skiing it was difficult at the bottom and we paid the price. The avalanche debris was truly impressive and I’ve never seen slides like that before at this time of year. After battling our way out we finally made it to the Manchet chair at 1 o’clock! We did have a lovely ‘skin’ and some excellent snow (see bottom 15 photos) but what really got up my nose was 15 skiers trashing a slope that would have accommodated 150 skiers making an effort to conserve the snow. What we have is what we have and we won’t be getting anymore for awhile and to see such a wonderful slope ruined was sad and frustrating. Idiots!

This afternoon I skied with Johnny Alpine’s friend Ivan and we had a great technique session. Conditions were perfect with clear blue skies and an empty Verte and Ivan did really well and applied himself. Well done Ivan! (After getting down late I had about a 15-minute turn-around before my lesson with Ivan and just made it!)

The skiing has been fantastic with stable conditions that have allowed us to ski steep slopes in winter snow and it has been a lot of fun. Slowly (and not so slowly when people trash mountainsides) we are starting to run out of tricks and a little fresh snow would be greatly appreciated, although we’ll probably see another week of sunny weather.

Have fun a gymnastics club tonight Katie! Stay tuned for more news and Chris’ first day tomorrow!

12 December 2016
A pleasing and funky Arcelle!

After a great day in Tignes yesterday I returned to the Fornet to start my morning. Quentin needed to be down by 11:30 so we went over the Col Pers and had a short ‘skin’ to ski a lovely variation of Oh My!( I’m out of code-mode on this one because after today it is now officially done!) After dropping off Quentin we skied some great slopes in the Arcelle and managed to ‘sniff’ our way to the bottom as the snow started to turn due to the early-season rain-crust and subsequent sun transformation. It skied well all the way and we were rather pleased with ourselves as we decided to go for the adventure instead of cutting out half-way down.

Thomas, JM and Oli started up at the Fornet and were going off in various directions for some touring. I’m back in code-mode as most of the easily accessed skiing is pretty much done and we’ll need to start looking further afield now.

Thanks to Johnny Alpine for a fantastic afternoon of football yesterday followed by a superb supper. After a brilliant result for Man U West Ham kept me on the edge of my seat with sweaty palms as we hung on for a 2-2 draw, and a massive point. All was well in my world after that and thanks again John!

Today’s photos are the bottom eight starting with the shot of going over the Col. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

PS Chris and Suzanne should be arriving tonight! And my French mobile should be working by this evening in case you wonder why I haven’t answered.

PPS Andreas is still with his Thai friends before doing a couple of days community service with the Ladies World Cup and my French phone still isn’t working due to a locked SIM. If I wasn’t a dinosaur I could probably work it out!

11 December 2016
A lovely return to Tignes!

With the Aiguille Percee sector opening yesterday it was time for a change of scenery so I headed towards Tignes for only the second time this season. I’d better stay in ‘code-mode’ although the photos are a dead give away! Anyway, it was another fantastic morning and Louise came along for her first outing of the season and skied beautifully (as usual), and I also had Quentin, Mike and Ken, who’d never ‘skinned’ before. We skied some steep slopes and the team acquitted themselves really well. Bravo everyone!

Jean-Marc was out touring while Olivier and Thomas are skiing with the Ski Club and Andreas is skiing on-piste with his Thai clients. I hope JM gets Johnny Alpine down in time because I’m going to John’s for a double header this afternoon. First up is Man U v Tottenham, followed by Liverpool v West Ham, and then Aberdeen Angus burgers!

We had some high cloud today that diluted the sun a little and after over two weeks of clear blue skies and full sunshine it was a little annoying. Just kidding, the light was still very good but Mont Blanc did develop a ‘hat’ during the morning so maybe we’ll get some snow. I’m not too optimistic about that but it would be nice. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow, and come on you Hammers!
PS Today’s photos are the last 14 starting with a photo of La Grande Casse.

10 December 2016
Welcome back Quentin!

We had a very adventurous time this morning and it was cracking good fun. I had the pleasure of Pietro skiing with me along with Doug, Robert, Tilly and Quentin on his first day of the season. After a fantastic first run up at the Fornet (code-mode) we headed back to the sun and because the Manchet chair opened today we skied the Cugnai. It was excellent for the most part and became increasingly more interesting as we approached the bottom where we needed to deal with some pretty impressive avalanche debris. We then skied a wonderful run on the Marmottes-side of the Manchet (out of code-mode because the opening of the chair has exposed my stash) and then circled around to do another. At this stage I’d skied down followed by Tilly and Robert and after about 30-turns or so I turned right and started the traverse back above the couloirs towards the Solaise piste. Quentin missed the cut-out and continued on with Pietro calling him from behind. Anyway, we became separated and Pietro guided Quentin and Doug back to civilization. It was a brilliant morning and it was nice to have Pietro along again.

The races went well although I have no idea who won. Pietro and I need to get to the gym before the racers show up as they took over the place yesterday. With bodies everywhere we just got on a cardio machine and watched these guys working out, which was pretty entertaining as they have come up with some very funky exercises, and you can see their competitive spirit even when they’re working out! Because of the races the buses were full this morning so I had to walk to the Gourmandine and arrived just in time for a quick coffee. I’ll leave earlier tomorrow as it will be the same with the Slalom race.

The skiing is still great but with more lifts opening in the past two days some of our stashed have taken a hit. There is still some easy-to-get-to skiing left but it will be walkies-time soon. Stay tuned!

PS The photos of the day are at the bottom starting with a photo of the race course. I’ve left them for another day so that Tilly can see them when she gets home.

PPS I forgot to mention that because of what happened to Michael Rosen all those years ago I ‘skinned’ back up to the junction where I figured it all went wrong. I wasn’t worried about them getting down because Pietro was there but I needed to cover the possibility of someone being injured. It was steep and long enough to get me off the cardio at the gym! Thanks Pietro.

PPPS Thomas started his season today with the Ski Club and is working alongside Olivier, while JM was touring today and Andreas was entertaining his lovely Thai clients. Chris and Suzanne arrive tomorrow and thank you to John and Margaret for a lovely evening last night!

9 December 2016
Brilliant but one day at a time!

They opened the Signal poma yesterday, which is a bit of a bummer because much of what we’ve been skiing with a short ‘skin’ is now accessible to anyone with a lift pass. We’ve had a wonderful run at the Fornet over the past week but it will now get skied out quite quickly although we’ll still have a day or two before we need to look elsewhere. Doug has arrived and it was his first day skiing with Alpine this season and he kicked his winter off with a belter as we had four fantastic runs. Jean Marc and Olivier were also in the neighbourhood and their team’s have had a brilliant week with a nice mix of touring and easily accessed skiing.

Andreas is on piste for a few days and hopefully his knee will settle down while Thomas starts next week with the Ski Club, and Chris and Suzanne arrive on Sunday. Jamie skied gently on-piste yesterday afternoon and didn’t think his knee was too badly injured, but I haven’t yet had a report today. Fingers crossed! And hopefully Jean will be back in action sooner than later. He’s joined the gym and has been strengthening his knee with daily sessions for the past week.

I’ve mixed today’s photos in with yesterday so that Oli’s team has a chance to see them before they are forever delated.

Thanks to Tilly and Catherine who hosted a brilliant evening last night with drinks and lovely food. It was well attended by JM and Oli’s touring faithful, who are a bunch of great characters, and it was a cracking gathering!

PS Thankfully Jamie’s knee is fine and it was Pietro’s last day with Fiona today.

8 December 2016
Back for more!!!

It was another absolutely fabulous morning skiing, and like yesterday one of the better days’s that we’ll have all season. We’ll have better snow at some stage but we won’t have such wonderful itineraries to ourselves like we have at the moment. I hooked up with Olivier and his team today and it was a real pleasure to ski with him again. It was just like old times and we all had a cracking good time! (See Photos of the Day, there are a few but I wanted everyone to feature)

Unfortunately Jamie hurt his knee half-way down our first decent but he managed to ski to the bottom. After his knee stiffening up during a bus ride he sensibly decided to stop and not take any chances. I haven’t heard back from him yet but fingers crossed that he hasn’t done too serious of damage! Speaking of knees, Andreas twigged his knee last week (not skiing) and took the day off today to let it settle down. Good luck Andreas!

We had a team meeting at my house last night followed by dinner and it was a brilliant evening. There were no arguments as we are trying to build a new website and we were only missing Chris and TJ.

The latest rumour is for the sun to shine until December 27th, but that seems a long way off to be making predictions like that. Anyway, all we can do is take it one day at a time and make the best of it. Stay tuned!

PS Chris skyped to say that it’s difficult to find the ‘Photos of the Day’ file. On my computer the file comes up quite easily but on Chris’ computer he needs to sift through Canada, India, Spain, Out of Season, and various other files, which is a pain. I’m really struggling with the files and no longer have any control over them so please excuse what looks like a totally mess! I bummed about it because Picasa had worked beautifully for years and was so easy manage my photos and files. Fingers crossed that I find a solution!

7 December 2016
My oh my that was good!!!

Conditions were just right today to ski something I haven’t skied in a long, long time in winter snow. The risk is 2/5 and has been for several days and Andreas and I both felt today was the day. I’ve skied this sector often in the spring, and with Millie and Katie a few times, but it’s been many years since my last trip in powder. Andreas and I were both travelling light so we teamed up for a stunning run with wonderful ambience and fantastic snow, and it was so good both Robert and Jamie wanted to ski it again. It was a no-brainer really so we circled back around for another ‘skin’ and soaked it all in again. Wow!

JM and Oli had a great day Fornet-way yesterday and today they were heading towards Tignes. Again we’re in ‘code-mode’ so that’s all I’ll say. And Pietro and Fiona were skinning and skiing up at the Fornet today.

I boobed again and couldn’t get that last two days of photos off the ‘Photos of the Day’ file so today’s are the last 13, starting after the icicle shot somewhere half-way down. I promise to be more organised tomorrow.

I’m having the boys over for our annual meeting and an easy supper afterwards. We’re trying to prepare our new website so it should be interesting. Stay tuned!

PS You might notice that Andreas is sporting our new uniform!

6 December 2016
Another cracking morning!

Andreas and I had another excellent day and we started by climbing up into the Borsat West, where we skied some lovely snow with good ambience.( I can give that one away because it’s pretty much done now!) From there we moved on and found great snow for the rest of the morning and one slope you can probably work out through the photos. I’m still in ‘code mode’ as times are tough and I don’t want to give any of our stashes of good snow away as we’ve a few more days of beautiful weather ahead.

Jean Marc and Olivier went off with their teams for a day tour up to the Col du Montet, so they’ll have had a great day and will feel that they’ve earned their beer at the end of the day!

I made a boob with today’s photos so they are underneath yesterday’s. I think I have it worked out and should have it under control by tomorrow but time will tell? I’m experimenting with flickr but I need some coaching to be able to move the photos about and I’m not ready to make a switch quite yet.

I’m off to the gym and then to do some shopping as we have our annual Alpine meeting at my place tomorrow night and I need some supplies to whip up a meal for the boys. Stay tuned!

PS Pietro has arrived and is skiing with Fiona for five days. And I’m missing Katie’s gymnastics session tonight as I used to take her every Tuesday night. Have a great time Katie!

5 December 2016
Happy Birthday Tansy!

It was another wonderful day weather-wise and we all enjoyed extremely good skiing this morning. Andreas headed over to Tignes for a change of scenery and to have a look around on Derek, Paul and Peter’s last morning while Jean Marc and Olivier also headed to Tignes with their groups to ski off the Grande Motte.

As I had a new group of Adam, Tom and Robert I headed back to the Fornet where Andreas and I had such a brilliant day yesterday and enjoyed more of the same today. We then went exploring and were rewarded with a lovely stash of snow, but I won’t mention where! ( I even made sure the photos wouldn’t give it away as we’ll be needed it in the days to come!)

Thanks to Johnny Alpine for the footie yesterday followed by a fantastic steak dinner. Your regular diners Dave C and I salute you! I’d like to say a big hello to Millie’s school friend Connie who reads my blog almost every day, and a big happy birthday to Tansy!

Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

4 December 2016
Wow, that was pretty good!

Andreas and I took our teams up to the Fornet and had a brilliant morning. I won’t say where we were exactly because times are tough and we don’t want to give the game away, but it was excellent skiing with wonderful ambience. (You might be able to figure it out from the photos?) Jean Marc and Olivier are in town and are skiing with some of their faithful ‘touring’ regulars, and they were up at the Fornet as well.

I’ve posted some photos and today’s are the bottom seven. Ideally they’d be at the top but unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it until I find a better solution.

Thanks to Derek, Paul and Peter for a great evening out last night and I’m looking forward to football and steaks at Johnny Alpine’s tonight. Stay tuned!

PS I managed to delete the past two days photos and today’s are up on their own.

3 December 2016
Well done Millie !!!

The sun continues to beat down but no one is really complaining because this weather is not too hard to take, and the skiing is pretty jolly good as well! Andreas and I both skied up at the Fornet after our morning in Tignes yesterday and although it isn’t good everywhere we did manage to ‘sniff’ out some excellent snow. The ‘L’ is closed and after riding a chairlift above it where I could look down and check it out my team decided on an adventure and we had some great pitches on the top third before paying the price lower down, but to be fair it was only the last third that was tricky but we side-slopped that section without any problems. Bravo Penny and Tim for embracing the situation and dealing with the tough bits!

Unfortunately Jean twigged his knee yesterday and will be out for a week or two. What a bummer as he was skiing well and it was his first day!

Fab at the Gourmandine asked Derek, Paul, Andreas and I to pose at the bar for some filming. We sat there trying to look and act cool but I’m not too sure we pulled it off, but we did make the National news! Hopefully we looked cool enough and not like a bunch of dickheads!

Jean Marc and Olivier arrived this afternoon and will be in town for a few weeks and Pietro will be arriving in the next day or two. We’re just missing TJ but he’ll be out early January for about 4 weeks.

Millie had her Bramley Junior Golf Club Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony last night and she came home with a lovely trophy for the Most Improved Player. She had a great summer as she won the Ladies Championship (on handicap), won the Bramley Junior Open with her partner Jack, and she also represented Surrey Girls in an Inter-County match. Gill and Katie went to watch the presentation and Millie was totally shocked at winning the award. Bravo Millie!

The girls are out tonight with Ray to see the new Harry Potter film so Gill will be having a nice quiet relaxing evening at home. They are a handful so enjoy your quiet time Gill! And thanks John F for the football this afternoon, what a match! Stay tuned!

PS Tansy was up skiing with Ness and Victor this morning and they had a nice family ski this afternoon.

2 December 2016
A change of scenery!

It was another beautiful day and even though we need snow as there are tracks everywhere, we enjoyed some great skiing with brilliant sunshine and the resort to ourselves. Andreas was back in action with Derek, Peter, Paul and Jerry while I was skiing with Penny, Richard H, Tim, and Jean on his first day of his season. After a couple of consecutive days at the Fornet it was time for a change of scenery and to have a ‘sniff’ about to see what else was on offer. We started off on Bellevarde and made our way to the Grande Motte and back and had some lovely skiing off the Borsat meadows, the lower Borsat Nord, off my shoulder and a little ‘skin’ to the Little Borsat West. The snow making has done the trick and the skiing into Tignes is well covered and I would imagine that many other runs to the bottom will be open for the weekend.

Thanks to Paul Gains who came up with a suggestion for a service provider for my daily photos updates. I’ll look into it and hopefully have a new system in place soon. In the meantime there will just be ‘Photos of the Day’ and no monthly file that the photos would normally be moved into.

There are Men’s World Cup races here this weekend and today there was a downhill, which we totally missed as I thought today was training and the race was tomorrow. Mind you we would have still missed it as we had our own skiing to deal with! Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!

PS Peter’s morning was cut short when he pulled his toe-piece out of his ski. Bummer Peter but as least you weren’t on a do-or-die slope! And I haven’t yet received my new French SIM card so my French mobile isn’t working.

1 December 2016
Sunny days ahead!!!

Penny kicked off her season today and Richard H came along as well as we had a lovely morning in the Pays Desert skiing a variation of yesterday’s itinerary. The off-piste is limited at the moment unless you want to go ‘adventure’ seeking and be ready to deal with whatever you find. The top half of the mountain has a fantastic base but the lower part of the resort has a very thin snow cover to say the least. Still, the sun is shining and the weather is absolutely stunning!

Unfortunately the weather forecast calls for clear blue skies until at least December 9th so what we have is what we have, but the snow cannons are blowing constantly and the lower pistes should be open soon, and hopefully by this weekend!

Since I started posting daily photos I’ve used Picasa but they have stopped supporting that system and I’m having trouble with my photos. I can post them but once posted I can’t move them around to change files, I can’t put up captions, and I can’t delete them either. Does anyone know of another service I can use? At the moment I’m putting up just the ‘Photos of the Day’ but not the monthly file that you can look back on once you’ve returned from your holiday. Photos will be up for only one day before being replaced so you’ll need to look the same day if you have a starring role! Any help would be greatly appreciated because at the moment it’s not very satisfactory and a real pain!

Derek, Peter and Paul arrive tonight and Jean R will also be starting his season tomorrow. Stay tuned!

PS Thanks to Johnny Alpine for a fantastic curry last night. It was one of your best and that’s saying something! Unfortunately West Ham sucked but United looked as if they are starting to find another gear and brighter days may be around the corner for you Man U fans. The same can’t be said for us long-suffering Hammers fans!

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