Wayne's Daily Diary Archive

20 June 2007

30 November 2017
A new Wintersteiger at Jean Sports!!!

It was jolly cold this morning with -18C on the top of the Olymipque and it felt colder than the past few days. Fortunately there wasn’t much wind so that helped enormously because it the wind had of been blowing it would have been a bitter day.

A few centimetres of fresh snow fell overnight but the piste skiing wasn’t a patch on yesterday’s as everything was pisted much later and there really was not much of a cushion underfoot to leave tracks in. Still, Derek and I skied a mix of piste with off-piste as it was brighter this morning and we had decent visibility for most of the morning.

Derek had some bad luck yesterday when on the last run of the morning his ski just popped off while cruising the Verte piste just before the tunnel. I heard him hit the deck and stopped immediately to see Derek had piled in and looked to be in some pain. As it turned out he landed on his metal water bottle and put a significant dent in it, and he’s lucky he didn’t do himself some serious damage. (See photos) Derek showed up this morning nursing sore ribs and he didn’t have much luck skiing this morning either. If there was a rock to be found he found it so eventually we called it a morning around noon to save ourselves for Peter and Paul who arrive this evening. Better luck tomorrow Derek, I felt bad about the ‘hits’ you took today!

Speaking of arrivals, Chris and Suzanne should show up sometime today, Pietro is arriving any minute now, and Jean Marc will be here tomorrow to start a touring week on Sunday. Andreas is back today after spending a couple of days in Paris watching a concert and Thomas will be back in action on Sunday as he’s helping JM since Olivier is away. Henry has just returned from his HAT tour of the UK so we’re a pretty full team for the week ahead.

We really need some snow now as the snow-cover off-piste is very thin and although it has tried to snow the past couple of days very little snow has fallen. Meteo France doesn’t forecast any significant snow although if you look hard enough you can find slightly more optimistic forecasts, although it doesn’t feel like a big snowfall is around the corner.

Thanks for a great curry last night John, but what a shame the Hammers were so badly beaten. It doesn’t look good in Hammerland!

PS I have some great news as Didier has bought a new Wintersteiger and my service the other day was absolutely brilliant. Thanks Didier but it’s a shame I trashed my skis after just two days!

29 November 2017
Five to ten of fresh snow!

It was overcast today so skiing off-piste wasn’t really an option but with 5 to 10 cm’s of fresh snow Derek and I had a great time on the piste with a lovely cushion of fresh snow and we clocked up a lot of mileage. Towards the end of the morning the sun started to poke through and we benefited with some nice powder turns and ended up finishing at 1 o’clock, which you wouldn’t have bet on at 8:30 this morning!

I’m having trouble up-loading the photos again and yesterday I finally succeeded around 11:30PM but hopefully today’s won’t be so stubborn. Fingers crossed as it’s a real pain and fairly frustrating!

Thanks to Johnnie Alpine for another great curry last night followed by Watford v Man U. United scored some stunning goals last night but Watford are a very organised team capable of causing any team problems and Man U really needed to work for their win last night. Hopefully the Hammers can come up with a desperately needed win tonight.

Millie is ecstatic today as she heard that we have tickets for Taylor Swift next June in London. I can hardly wait as I’m a massive ‘Swifty’ myself!

There are a few flakes of snow floating about but I’m not too optimistic about getting much more, although we can live in hope. Snow was forecast but Meteo France have backed off and are now predicting cloudy skies with precipitation. Let’s hope they’re wrong! Stay tuned!

PS I’ve tried another method and finally uploaded today’s photos!

28 November 2017
Much better than expected!

The forecast was for a grey overcast day but we awoke to blue skies and Radio Val announcing that clouds were on the way. Pascale joined Derek and I this morning and thinking the clouds were on their way we hung around the Fontaine Froide to take advantage of the sun and enjoyed five really good runs in narrow strips of powder and creamy compressed snow. (see photos) We then headed to Tignes for a change of scenery and towards darker skies and had two excellent piste blasts on the Piste H, which is significantly better that it was a couple of days ago. From there we finished off a lovely with a very good Familial and exited via the bridge.

We spotted a rather confused looking chamois under the Fontaine Froide chair and it’s rare to see chamois so close to town in that area. After working out that the ski season has started I’m sure he’ll find his friends further over the back of the Charvet. The poor thing looked lonely!

Didier at Jean Sports replaced both my heel pieces for me yesterday and he mentioned that he’s had problems with a few pairs of the Dynafit pin bindings last season so stop by the shop and have yours checked if you’re worried about them. Thanks Didier, and thanks also for a great service as my skis were perfect this morning!

Clouds are forecast for tomorrow with a chance of light snow on Thursday and Friday so fingers crossed that we have some sun tomorrow followed by snow. A grey day without snow isn’t that appetizing but today was certainly much better than forecast. Stay tuned!

PS I’m having trouble loading today’s photos. Hopefully it will be sorted later on.

PPS I’m having absolutely no luck with the photos. I’ve managed to post 1 of 15 but that’s it. Hopefully it is a tempory problem and not one that will shut me down for a while photo-wise. Fingers crossed!

PPPS I’ve finally manged to upload a few photos!

27 November 2017
Welcome back Derek!

Derek has arrived and opened his season this morning and he and I had a cracking ski. We started off warming-up trying to get the last dregs off Bonnevie’s Drag and after booting up for a few metres the heel piece on one binding broke and it was a two-man job getting my ski back on, but once on I had to keep it on for the rest of the morning, That meant no buses, no trains and staying on my feet but we managed to finish the morning without any complications. After a Piste H into Val Claret we had a fantastic run on the Lognan picking our way down through little gullies and meadows that worked quite nicely. That gave us the confidence to try the Campanules, which was pretty good as well but a touch trickier to exit, then we finished with a Familial down to the first big bridge. It was a great start to Derek’s season and with these conditions sunshine is essential to try anything off-piste, and a small team doesn’t hurt either as the strips of good snow aren’t that wide in places.

Thomas’ team skied the Lower Chardonnet before ‘skinning’ up to the Grapillon des Merles for the first serious ‘skin’ of the season. (The Aiguille Percee sector is still closed so the only way to ski anything in that direction is to walk) Thomas said the snow was slightly ‘touched’ but still great skiing and they had a very satisfying morning.

I’m off to Jean Sport to get my bindings fixed then heading down to Bourg. Stay tuned for more news and photos tomorrow!

PS We missed you today John and Richard.

PPS A massive Happy Birthday to Wils and Rosie, and if you want to watch some stunning NFL highlights go to nfl.com and click on the Green Bay Packers v Pittsburg Steelers game. Brilliant!

26 November 2017
That was more like it!!!

After persevering in flat-light and wind yesterday we were rewarded with some sunshine today, and the visibility made a world of difference. (Nothing new there!) It was a chilly -16C on the summit of Bellevarde first thing and it was cold enough to want to stay in the sunshine, and fortunately the sun shone all-morning long in the Bellevarde sector. I had a wonderful morning with Johnnie Alpine and Richard F skiing stunning snow around Bonnvie’s. Very few lifts are open so we needed to access our stash via Tommeuses and we had it to ourselves for most of the morning but once people saw our tracks it did become skid-out by the end of the morning. Meanwhile Andreas and Thomas skied the upper section of the Familial before skiing the Lower Chardonnet, and they finished up sniffing their way down the Lower Familial to exit via the first bridge. Well done boys!

It was a cracking morning and the team did a great job as there really aren’t a lot of options at the moment. The snow-cover is very thin so there are rocks lurking and choice of terrain is crucial. There are gullies that work, wind-drifts that support, slopes with grass underneath but the critical factor is the sun because without great visibility the pistes become the only option. Fortunately the snow cannons are blowing non-stop so the piste skiing will improve each day and it won’t be long until the piste skiing is brilliant, which is always a huge help when the ‘piste’ option is needed.

A sunny day is forecast for tomorrow and then we have a chance of some much needed snow during the week ahead so fingers crossed, but today was pretty jolly good and everyone went home happy! (See photos) Stay tuned!

PS Thanks for a great meal again last night John and a very entertaining 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Chelsea.

PPS Come on you Stamperders as Calgary play Toronto in tge Grey Cup later today!

25 November 2017
Off and running!

I arrived Thursday afternoon after a good drive and spent Friday doing some pressing paperwork, unpacking, getting organised, getting some new boots, and then going to the gym for my first session, followed by a great evening at Johnnie Alpine’s eating curry and watching a promising Hammers display in a 1-1 draw with Leicester. Thanks John!

And moving on to the opening day of the season! Andreas, Thomas and I met at the Rond Point and it was great to see the boys. Andreas and Thomas are skiing with the Gladman team while I was skiing with John and Richard Finlay and we all headed out to start the new season. It was raining lightly in town with wet snow further up the mountain and with the flat-light and lack of a trustworthy snow-cover skiing off-piste really wasn’t an option. I had a great morning with the boys as we found our legs while working on some technique and as the morning wore on the temperature started to drop resulting in bigger snowflakes and a nice cushion of snow that will help for tomorrow. It was a pretty good opening day and with some visibility forecast for tomorrow we may be able to test the waters off-piste.

There is less snow than I’d anticipated but it did snow nicely today and with any luck we’ll get some more before tomorrow morning. It was forecast to snow most of next week but it now looks as if we’ll get less snow than we’d expected a few days back. The good news is that it will be cold enough to keep the snow cannons going! We can ski to the bottom and the link to Tignes is open but many of the pistes are fairly narrow and some more man-made snow to widen the main runs would be a great help. Still, it could be a lot worse! Stay tuned!

PS I forgot my camera this morning so no photos, sorry!

22 November 2017
Off first thing in the morning!

I’ve packed the car and have been preparing a roast dinner for the girls before leaving tomorrow morning at 3:30, ouch! It’s a long drive but I’ve Doctor Karl to get me started and maybe even some Ashes cricket before cranking up the music. Hopefully I’ll arrive late-afternoon and get settled in before organising myself for my first gym session on Friday and then hitting the slopes on Saturday. Fingers crossed for some decent vis to get us started but snow is forecast, which is better than the rain that was predicted earlier in the week!

It will be sad saying goodnight to the girls tonight and I’m really going to miss them but it’s that time of year again and ‘show-time’ is just around the corner. Stay tuned!

20 November 2017
The Killerbeez!

I’ve some bad news as Tilly informs me that Ben (the Beez bass player) isn’t coming back to the Alps this winter so the Killerbeez as we know them won’t be playing this winter. What a bummer! But, the good news is that Hugo and Paul will be playing together on Thursday nights at Le Petit Danois so all is not lost! I’m not sure if they have a new bass player or are playing but even if it’s just the two of them I’ll be happy.

I played my last nine holes of golf today and finished with a nice par putt to sign off for this season. Millie will be playing regularly during the winter and has really turned a corner lately with her rapidly improving game, and I’ll be escorting Katie to Aerial Hoop followed by her gymnastics club tomorrow before packing the car on Wednesday for a 4AM departure Thursday morning, and Gill and I are taking the girls out to dinner tonight to our local pub, which has been renovated and now serves some fantastic food. I’m cramming it in now and stay tuned as the daily diary will be starting on Thursday!

12 November 2017
Looking good!

I don’t want to jinx us but conditions according to the webcams are looking pretty jolly good for this time of year! More snow is forecast for Monday and if it stays cold enough to use the snow cannons we could be in for a stellar opening weekend.

It’s quite incredible how quickly my life will change now as I’ve another ten-days or so with the girls and just enough time to finish up my household chores and get in a few more rounds of golf, then presto, I’ll be jumping into the car, cranking up my music and driving towards another winter. I don’t really think too much about it now but the moment I start driving it’s like flicking a switch and it will be full steam ahead and it doesn’t take long to appreciate how lucky I am to be able to spend so much time doing something that I seem to love more and more as the years roll by. But that’s enough of that!

Gill is still in Toulouse and Millie had a lovely round of golf this morning with her friends Daisy and Sophie, accompanied by Mark Allison who coached the girls for several years. He’s a wonderful coach and has had a lot to do with Millie’s love of golf, and today was a ‘good-bye’ session as Mark is moving back to South Africa. We’ll all miss Mark but thank goodness for James Johnson who is now taken over the girls coaching duties (and mine) and has softened the blow. James is a great young coach and the juniors absolutely love him as well, and some of you may meet James this winter when he comes to visit. Unfortunately James bats for the ‘dark’ side but I’m not going to hold that against him! (I’ve posted a couple of photos)

The daily updates will start November 25 with the opening day of the season! Stay tuned!

6 November 2017
Bravo Katie and Naomi!

Katie went to her friend Naomi’s on Sunday afternoon and the two of them spent 5-hours outside working on their gymnastics, and only came in for 15-minutes to have a hot-chocolate and warm-up their feet! They helped each other out with technical tips and spotted one another and ended up both making huge improvements while succeeding in performing a handstand into a back-handspring-stepout, linked into another back-handspring-stepout. (Katie assures me that gym people understand that!) She came home with a massive smile on her face and was really pumped up at being able to link back-flicks and some other new moves, and it’s been a while since I last saw her so animated!

Meanwhile Millie was playing golf against the Burhill girls and she needed to give her first speech as Girls Junior Captain. For her first go it went pretty well and she was happy to get the first one out of the way.

My friend Paul (Men’s Captain this year) helped me find some new clubs and I bought a ‘like-new’ used set of Mizuno 850 forged irons with graphite shafts and managed to trade-in my old set, which was a real bonus. I’m taking a few lessons and looking to come back next summer ‘re-tooled’ and ready to make some progress. (man, I’ve got it bad!)

Gill is off to Toulouse this weekend to visit her friend Catherine and she’s looking forward to a fantastic weekend while Millie plays golf both Saturday and Sunday, and Katie and I will be hanging-out together. Stay tuned!

5 November 2017
Snowy days ahead this week?

Every time I’ve checked the webcams over the past month or so the weather in Val d’Isere has looked beautiful and perfect for locals who enjoy their walking, biking, hunting and other outdoor pursuits, but finally there is some snow on the ground and more forecast this week! Let’s cross our fingers and hope for a fantastic start to the season, which kicks off November 25th.

Andreas, Thomas, Chris and I will all be there for the opening so if you get a window of opportunity come on out and celebrate the start of another season. It’s a fantastic time of year with wonderful light, good moods all round as people are pleased to be back to work again, and if the snow is good it’s a massive bonus.

Maybe see you on the 25th and stay tuned!

2 November 2017
Thanks Dave!!!!

Just a quick one so you don’t have a blank page! I had a great day out at the Surbiton Golf Course hosted by Dave Downing along with Richard and Deborah Finlay. Dave and Deborah won 2-up as I let Richard down going down the stretch, but it was a great day out with excellent banter, great company and everyone had moments of ‘clarity’ with the clubs! Thanks very much Dave and I look forward to hosting you all at Bramley next summer when Richard and I will be looking to even up the series! Stay tuned!

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