Sunday, 29 December 2013

#Megeve powder

Brilliant skiing today.  New #powder, groomed pistes and sunshine.    We skied the field down to the intermediate lift at the Princess, then the Mon Rosset field twice.  After that we did the Communailles field which was almost perfect. We decided to ski all the way home, the first time this season.  We go through the woods from the top of the Etudiant lift and eventually ski off piste down to the road which leads  to Cote 2000.  We cross that and ski home under the Chamois lift.  We can almost ski to the door of our apartment. We only had to take our skis off to walk up hill for about 80 steps.   Normally we have to take them off to walk along and across the road so that was a bonus.   Because it is high season the pistes are busy and the restaurants full.   For those of you who know #Megeve this is unusual.   We expect to walk straight on to a lift without queueing, so to have to wait 10 minutes to get on a lift is anathema.   Thank goodness Megeve is only busy for a few weeks of the year;  New Year and the Paris fortnight in February.   Outside of these times we have the pistes to ourselves, virtually.  Come and see for yourselves!          

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Team Stanford Skiing in #Megeve


This is most of  us on Saturday at the top of Mont D'Arbois.  Tim, Grace and Hannah from the Sylvana and Sam and Emma from the Clochettes are missing.   From the left is Chris, Sarah B, Megan, Jonny, John, me, Dave, Santa (no jokes) Tim, Emma and Sarah P.  Tracey is lying on the ground ( she has had a tiring week.)  You will notice we have 2 Emmas, 2 Tims, and 2 Sarahs (both in the RP).  No confusion there then.  We had a really good ski around and then lunch in the Espace Mont Joux.   In the afternoon the staff skied but I started updating my mountain restaurant guide.  It is surprising how long it takes to go round everywhere and check the prices and what has changed.  It should be ready by middle of January.   I have finished the town restaurant guide for #Megeve.   Snow is forecast for Christmas Day.  Then the whole family is out for New Year.
Happy Christmas to you all!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

#Megeve welcomes the #snow

Our first guests arrived today in Megeve and so did the snow. 

There is more forecast for tonight and tomorrow and then should be fine at the weekend.  Today John and I had a lesson with Will from BASS together with another couple.  He gave us some useful  tips.   He has a very nifty app on his IPad which allows him to download his film and then point out to you what you should be improving.

Jonny and Tracey have nearly finished the training with the new teams and everything looks great.  There is talk of  running  a competition for the best Christmas tree at the Chalets Sylvana, Rond Point and Clochettes so come and add your views.  Emma and David (the managers at the Sylvana and Rond Point) are looking forward to meeting you and introducing their teams to you.  Sam and Emma at the Clochettes already have guests so they are in the swing of things.  We are full over Christmas and New Year but there are some rooms available in January for short ski  breaks so come and see us!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

#Megeve Inauguration of the new equipment

John, Elizabeth and I were invited to the inauguration of the new snow machines on the Mandarins piste on Mont d'Arbois, followed by the  opening  of the new Rocharbois lift.   Great news as the extra snow they can make will keep the link back to Megeve open right to the end of the season. There were only 3 speeches so not too bad, and we each got a very pretty bobble hat.   The new Rocharbois lift is very smart, the same size as the old one but a gleaming red livery.  After that we all moved over to Rochebrune.  It was the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Rochebrune cable car.   This was the first cable car in France just for skiers.   There are some amusing photos of the first cable car:  an open tray rather like the lifts they have to take equipment etc up to the top.  There were drinks and nibbles and a brass band wearing Savoyard clothing.   A few more speeches (the poor mayor had 3 speeches at different locations)  and then down to the Dahu and a very good buffet lunch.   Later, there were a lot of parapenters,  a display of skiers jumping and landing on a large airbag, a torch light descent and then fireworks.  It was a hugely entertaining day and Megeve celebrated in style.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Ski Cross World Cup in Megeve

The weekend of 9th to 11th January, Megeve is host to the World Cup Ski Cross races.  

If you have never seen it, it is a must.   Four racers start abreast, and they have a number of jumps to conquer whilst going flat out, trying to get the best line and avoid falling.  It is very exciting and very fast.  The best thing to do is stand by the fence as close to the starting gates as possible.  Then you can move slowly down the slope beside the jumps and ultimately see the race at the finishing line. The first day is a training day, the second training and qualification and the quarter final, semi-final and final races are all on the last day.  There are teams from all over the world, both men and women. The course is as at Cote 2000 and usually starts just below the top of the first chair.   This is a pic taken in Les Contamines in 2010.

If you fancy a go yourself, there is a tamer course at Rochebrune with jumps and rails to contend with.  That's plenty for me although rather disappointing when you see the six year olds careering over it with no fear and in far better style than myself.  Oh well, I'll keep practicing!

We still have a little bit of space left for a short ski break in our catered chalet/hotels Sylvana and Rond Point from Wednesday 8th or Thursday 9th Jan to Sunday 11th Jan.  Prices start from just £340pp excluding flights and transfers.  So, if you want to see some fast and furious action book now!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

First arrivals off to Megeve

We waved goodbye to a laden van and Jonny, Tracey, Megan, Hannah and Chris yesterday, our first staff off to Megeve this season.

They drove through the night, picked up the new minibuses from Bourg en Bresse and arrived in Megeve this morning.  Here is the team photo - taken before they left!   Jonny is the new resort manager, Tracey admin and deputy resort manager, Megan is resort rep, Hannah chalet host at the Sylvana with Chris, driver, handyman, barman snow clearer etc.   everyone else, plus the most important people, us, arrive next week.   We failed to get everything in the minibus but the two hotel managers are driving out next week and we will force the remaining items, somehow, into the car.   Whether there will be room for a driver is questionable!   We will report.   Not possible to get the minibus up the drive to the Sylvana when they arrived, so the first job for Chris is to get petrol for the snow blower so he can clear the drive and get the minibuses parked.  What an introduction to the season!  

We've just had a cancellation for a triple room for Christmas.  So if anyone fancies escaping from grey UK for snow covered Megeve give us a call, 01603 477471, or an e-mail asap.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas In Megeve

Christmas is a wonderful time to visit Megeve!

On 7th December the Megevans celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree.   The only time we have been there for the ceremony it was cold and an awful lot of people had to say something but there was a saxophonist and the bars are all open so it is good fun.  The huge Christmas tree dominates the medieval village square and is brilliantly lit with different coloured lights changing through the evening.  Some years it is covered in Swarovski crystals.  However they decorate it, it is spectacular.

On 23rd and 24th the ice sculptor prepares the nativity scene.  Years ago I remember watching the nativity play when all the children in Megeve must have had a part not to mention the real life ass and oxen.  It was very entertaining.  Now it's got rather more sophisticated but still very beautiful.  Father Christmas visits his grotto on the evening of 24th Dec and there is vin chaud in the village square to keep the grown ups warm!
On Christmas day there is a parade when everyone can wave goodbye to Father Christmas and his elves.   The Megeve website makes no mention of reindeer so Rudolph fans may be in for a disappointment!
Finally on New Year's Eve the ESF ski instructors do their usual torch light descent and parade through the town.  Again, they roll out the vin chaud in the square so everyone gets very jolly.  It is worth going down to the square at midnight.  Everyone turns up with bottles of champagne and you'll find yourself kissing some very attractive (if you play your cards right) strangers.  And then, back to the party.

Sadly, Stanford Skiing are fully booked for Christmas and New Year but the Christmas tree stays up all season and the town sparkles with festive lights so come for some belated Christmas cheer in January - short ski breaks or full weeks in catered chalets, self-catered apartments or hotels.  Or book early for next year!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Winter wonderland of Megeve

Check out these photos taken in wintery Megeve a couple of days ago!  

Andy and Hannah (both worked at the Sylvana last season) are refurbishing our apartment in Megeve.   They have been there for the last month and, as you can see, there has been a lot  of snow.   There should be an excellent base  up the mountain.

They have nearly finished the work and Hannah comes home today.  The internal walls have been taken down, the bathroom is now the kitchen and the bathroom has been moved to opposite the bedroom, which is larger with fitted wardrobe.  It is going to be lovely.  The other weekend Andy said hey had a troop of residents coming in to find out what they were doing.  One lot came back twice! 

Jonny, Tracey, Megan and Hannah all go out on Monday for the start of the season,  the two managers of the hotels go out the following week and the rest of us all turn up on Thursday 12th.  Not long now!

We have special offers on short ski breaks at the beginning of the week in January.  Should be a great time to head out - cheap flights, great snow and good food, what could be better!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

Snow is falling, all around, children playing, having fun!  Yes, snow has been falling in Megeve off and on all through November.  Very early for Megeve but great to see!

Here's some pics taken first thing this morning.  They're a bit blurry but amazing snow cover in the village.  It will mean the ground is really getting frozen and they'll be able to start building up a good base for the start of the season.  Can't wait!  The staff are heading out in the next few weeks and we'll be ready for guests from Thursday 19th Dec.

Megeve has fantastic skiing spread over a wide area through tree-lined runs with fantastic views of Mont Blanc.  It's also an extremely pretty resort with cobbled streets, horse drawn caleche and a medieval central square.  So, it's time to book that ski holiday asap before the flights get expensive!  Stanford skiing offer short ski breaks, ski weekends and longer ski holidays in superior catered ski chalet, larger chalet/hotels and self-catered apartments.

Monday, 18 November 2013

New snow cannon and reservoirs in Megeve.

The new reservoir on Mont d'Arbois, Megeve should be ready to provide water for the snow cannon on the green Mandarine piste this winter! 

When we were out in the summer they were doing landscaping around the reservoir.  You can see it from the Ideal chair on the left hand side, below the Oratoire run.  The Mandarine piste goes from the top of the Mont d'Arbois bubble to the bottom.  This will be a huge improvement and will ensure that the snow stays good on the main link back to Megeve.

There's also reservoirs servicing snow cannon on the Bettex side as well as at Rochebrune by the Petit Fontaine chair lift and at Jaillet.

As soon as it gets cold enough they start making snow and stockpiling it for repair of the pistes. Some piles are in the trees, and there is a big mound on the Grand Champs at Rochebrune.  I remember when they repaired the pistes by putting down straw!   The snow cannon are a big improvement.
The management of the pistes has become a very skilled job.   You only have to look at the big machines and the numbers that they employ to appreciate the work that goes into keeping the pistes in good condition.  In addition, they have the specialised machines to make the jumps and pipes for the snow parks.   Some pistes are deliberately  left ungroomed for those who want to try a bit of off piste, but without the risk of actually being off piste.  Thanks to the pisteurs and the hard work they put in, Megeve's pistes stay in tip top condition all through the season.

Stanford Skiiing offer short ski breaks, ski weekends and longer stays in catered chalets, self-catered apartments and hotels in the picturesque resort of Megeve, France.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Dog sledding in Megeve!

The Grande Odysee Savoie dog sledding race takes place on 17th and 18th January.   Megeve is one of the eleven stages of this dog sledding race which covers over one thousand kilometres of the Alps.  The teams come from all over the world, although primarily Europe.

The dogs arrive in the afternoon and there is a competition, the "Megeve Challenge"' which is a 5 kilometre race by the Palais de Sports.   After this you have a chance to talk to the mushers and to pat the 250 dogs.  They are all tied up in their separate teams.
The next day the dogs start from the altiport at Côte 2000 and follow the cross country ski trails round Mont d'Arbois and Livraz, returning to Cote 2000.  From there, the teams ascend the green track and the blue Pre Rosset track to the top of the Lanchettes lift.   They then cross to the Col de Very and down to Les Saisies.
You can stand by the side of the cross country  trails, but I think the best place to see the teams is the top of the Lanchettes lift.  The dogs are going slowly as it is steep (often the mushers walk beside the team)  and you get a very good, close view of the dogs and sled before they go over the top and pick up speed over the other side.
So, why not come for a short ski break and see the teams in action and cheer for your favourites!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wet Feet Update!

Ski Boots Tested in Megeve!

For those of you who have been keeping a close watch on my woeful tales of wet feet the news is...... My ski boots leak!    Jonny subjected them to technical tests over the summer (stood them in a bucket of water) and then poured water out of them.  He believes that the seam along the side has split.  So, it's official, I do not have sweaty feet.   I am hoping that Davide, from whom I bought them, can send them back to the manufacturers, or at least, I might get something  off a new pair.  They are about four years old and have had a bit of a bashing but I have never had boots that leaked before.  Anyway, John now knows what to get me for Christmas!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Did you know?

Jean Stanford, who started the business, won the Ladies' Downhill at Val d'Isere in 1956

John bought Stanford Skiing from her and it is now his 19th season running the business with Elizabeth & Caroline, his daughters and Kathryn, his wife. 

When we took over Stanford Skiing we had the Sylvana Hotel in the picturesque resort of Megeve which we rented.  We bought this about 16 years ago and it is a firm favorite with all our returning guests with it's welcoming and friendly ambience.

We rented our catered chalet/hotel Rond Point in the centre of Megeve for about 12 years and bought it 2 years ago.  It's great for short ski breaks and ski weekends.

Our superior chalet Les Clochettes, next door to the Sylvana, was offered to us and to two French gentlemen when the owner died.  Fortunately for us the other parties did not want to buy it.  It consisted of 8 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, none en-suite.  We renovated it to 10 en-suite bedrooms all en-suite and an apartment on top with a further two en-suite bedrooms.  It is now a very comfortable chalet in a great spot and we've run it for 6 years.  After the renovations the staff finished cleaning everything about 3 hours before the arrival of the first guests.  An exhausting start to that season!

Jonny and Tracey, our new resort manager's and their team having been working hard over the summer to redecorate everywhere.  I'm sure all our guests will appreciate the difference.

Our staff are the jewel in our crown being friendly, welcoming and helpful.  Guests often cite the friendliness of the staff alongside the specialness of Megeve, with it's cobbled streets, medieval village square and fabulous ski area as reasons for returning year after year.  

We have a super team in place for this year along with excellent chefs (all important!).  Roll on the season!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Did you know?

That Megeve tourist office was opened In 1914 and celebrates its centenary next year.  It now occupies the building by the stream near the St George hotel.   

That in 1933 an entrepreneur by the name of Charles Viard built the first cable car  in Megeve  specifically designed for skiers.  The old cable car has since been replaced but the old one can be seen at the entrance to the village. 

That Allards, the smart clothes shop in the square, designed the stirrup type ski trousers which were all the fashion 50 years ago.

That the local boy, Emile Allais, who won all three events at the 1937 World  Championship and the gold in the combined event in 1938, died last year at the age of 100.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Beautiful day!

Couldn't resist this shot.  What a beautiful day in Megeve!  Shame the lifts aren't open yet - only two months to go.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Snow Has Fallen!

First snow of the season, always nice to see.  There's 10cm forecast for tonight down to 1400 which is just about the Sylvana level.  It's early days yet but a little bit of early snow always puts us in the mood for a great season.  Here's some photos taken yesterday.  Jonny said it was still snowing this morning, big flakes!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Extreme Kayak World Championship

Congratulations to Joe Morley who beat an Italian and Russian to win the Extreme Kayak World Championship.

Joe worked for Stanford Skiing as driver/handyman at the Sylvana last winter.  We are hoping for great things for Joe at Rio as he just missed selection this last time.  He was first reserve for the kayak team.

Joe is the second member of Stanford's staff to become a world champion after Tom Stallard, who won a gold medal in the World Rowing Championships in a four and silver at the Beijing Olympics in an eight.   Our staff are obviously experts at the wet stuff.  All we need now is a world class skier!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Peak Weeks Nearly Full!

According to Where to Ski and Snowboard, snow has already fallen in the Alps this year, so now's the time to start thinking about this seasons holiday! 
We have very limited availability for peak season weeks of Christmas, New Year and Half Term.  At Half Term we have only one room available for the full week in our catered Chalet/hotel Sylvana otherwise short breaks only in that chalet and the Rond Point.  Our superior chalet Les Clochettes is still available for the whole week so get in there quick!  At Christmas we only have two rooms in the Sylvana and a couple for short breaks in the Rond Point.  New Year, is full everywhere with just a few rooms still available in the Sylvana. 
 So, if you think you may want to get away, don't leave it too late as things are booking fast and we'd hate to disappoint!

Monday, 29 July 2013

RSPSoc Student Award MSC

Congratulations to Ricky Martin who has just been awarded the above for his 2012 dissertation.  For those of you who remember Ricky he is that tall, good-looking Australian ( he might be reading this) who played cricket, and Aussie Rules Football at a very high level.  He was always enthusiastic and cheerful and huge fun to ski with.  I took him and Tim (New Zealand Chef at the Rond Point) to Argentiere and we skied all day without stopping, except for queuing for lifts.  I didn't dare  suggest we stop as they were two fit young men and they didn't like to as they thought that the boss's wife wanted to keep going.  So we were all exhausted by the end of the day.
We are thinking of having an honours board for achievements by ex members of staff.  So, that's Ben for his award for best pies in New South Wales, Tom Stallard for a gold medal in the World Championships and silver in Beijing for rowing and an honourable mention to Jo for being first reserve atI the London Olympics for white water kayaking.  We're hoping to hear more of him in Rio.  Who have I forgotten?  Please let me know.
Anyway, good luck and congratulations to Ricky.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

That Was The Week That Was

Monday.  John and I leave London in brilliant sunshine, arrive to cold drizzle.  Not good
Tuesday.  Lovely morning. John,Gordon, Phil and Becks and I walk over to the Radaz for lunch.  We have a thunderstorm and Jean-Marc has to pick us up in the minibus.  Gordon and Carol's boys and their friends do a via ferrata at Passy with Johnny (resort manager and climbing instructor).  They come back on a high
Wednesday.  Gordon,  Carol and I go to the lake at Passy for a picnic and swim.  The boys go downhill mountain biking with Johnny and have a competition to see who can go over the handlebars the most times or In the most spectacular fashion.. It is won by Johnny, who chooses his moment with care to perform at the bottom of the Petit Fontaine chair In front of everybody.  There are quite a few cuts, scrapes and bruises.  Lots of people arrive and we are 40 plus for dinner.
Thursday.   John and I go for a  5 hour tramp with 5 others.  We see lots of gentians and some lovely orchids, particularly the lesser butterfly orchid.  The boys had a quieter day but spent part of it at the summer luge.  There was only one who came off it so another scrape.
Friday.  We have a quiet day and meet David and Jane Redwood at the Passy lake.   Elizabeth (our daughter) and husband John and children arrive from Geneva and join us for a quick swim.  The boys split in two groups, one white water rafting and the other downhill biking again.   In the evening the Jazz Competition starts so we go and listen to the bands.   After dinner we go down to the Caleche bar where a lot of the musicians are having a jam session.  They pack up at about 1am
Saturday.  The night of the party.  We have a walk with grandchildren and then listen to more bands.  The boys are exhausted so only a few a manage the rock climbing with Johnny.  There are about 80 for the party.  Becks and Phil produce a fantastic buffet with an amazing birthday cake.  Then there are fireworks.  We go down to town but sadly there is no jam session.
Sunday.   Surprisingly most people manage to stagger down for breakfast.  About half go home, the rest go tomorrow.  Sadly, the band we all liked and which was staying at the Rond Pint did not make the final.
It has been a fantastic week, with glorious weather.   We managed to park 15 cars and a motor home outside the Sylvana.  Those who have not wanted to walk or swim, bike or rock climb, have visited Annecy, or wandered round Megeve.  The ages have ranged from. 5 to   70 plus and everyone has mucked in and enjoyed themselves.  Thanks to Carol for organising such an amazing birthday party for Gordon.  We can't wait for the 70th!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Gordon's 60th

Here we are in Megeve again for a BIG party.  Carol and Gordon have taken over the Sylvana and Clochettes for the best part of a week.  The party is on Saturday and about 90 guests are expected. So watch this post.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

porridge and teabags

John and I have just come back from Megeve, having driven the minibus out loaded with (inter alia) porridge, teabags, scaffold tower, paint, carpet, fridge, tools, plants.   It was drizzling when we left London but hit sunshine through  the Jura and then it was beautifully sunny and hot in Megeve.  Tracey and I planted out the planters at the Rond Point and we found lots of pots etc for the Sylvana and Clochettes.  Hopefully everything will survive and bloom.  I did go overboard on what I bought but then they were so cheap at B&Q.  
Johnny and Tracey are working really hard to get everything spick and span.  All the little things, such as varnishing the clothes knobs in the rooms, are being done.  They are off to do some mountain biking and a via ferrata with friends this weekend.  There is still snow on Mont Joli as the temperature has only warmed up in the last day or so.    The shops and restaurants in town were starting to open in time for the summer season.  The  council were planting out their planters (not as good as ours!)  We are out in July  and looking forward to it.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Summer in Megeve

Johnny and Tracey are out in Megeve, beavering away at maintenance or taking in the joys of `Metro.   Last week there was snow in the village but summer has arrived at last. They had a  lovely walk yesterday round the lake at the Javen restaurant which was alive with tadpoles.  We are out in July for the jazz competition and Gordon's birthday.  We have 2 bands staying at the Rond Point this summer.   3 years ago we had a Dutch band staying with us that won the competition which was very exciting.  If you haven't been to the jazz competition you should come.  It is huge fun, particularly late at night with the jam sessions at the Caboche bar.  
Jean-Marc and Nicole will be running the Rond Point this summer on a B&B basis so if you haven't experienced Megeve in the summer why not find out what you've been missing!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Superior self-catered chalet Roseau now available for next season!

New Year is not available but Christmas is from Thursday 19th to 26th Dec in this chalet.  Christmas and New Year are proving popular with the Rond Point already fully booked and the Sylvana is filling up.  The Clochettes is still free but now is the time to book.  Flights are already out and we are holding last season's prices for this season until the end of June. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Still skiing

It snowed heavily on Tuesday so Wednesday was a brilliant day. As usual, we ended walking uphill in deep snow. We skied the field at Communailles and I did not remember until we were on the track that the bottom button lift was closed so we had to walk up to the chair. Mont Joli was good in parts but there was quite a lot of wind crust. Most of the lifts are open except for the Princess, Mont d'Arbois and lifts from Chatterix and St Nicholas. That means you have to drive round to St Gervais which is annoying. Every year John speaks to the lift office to ask why they can't keep the Mont d'Arbois lift running but they never do. Cote 2000 is staying open until the 21st but everything closes this Friday. There is no one around so they must be losing money but it seems such a shame when there is still a lot of snow. Anyway, today was raining and all the staff have now gone home. We leave on Sunday which is going to be a sunny day. That's life.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Last day

Cloudy and cold this morning but the sun came out this afternoon. We have had a fantastic week with the grand children who are now all skiing blacks, even Tommy aged 5. We had the staff barbecue tonight and tomorrow is the French dinner. Then it's cleaning and packing everything up and home to tennis. We are feeling a little bit sad but looking forward to next seaon.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Family skiing

All the family arrived on Sunday together with 2 other families, so there are 8 adults and 9 children in the Clochettes.   John and I are sleeping in the Sylvana!   T he weather has been good, particularly the first 2 days, and the grand children are doing amazingly well at their skiing.   Emily and Anna (both aged 10)are having lessons with Katie Campbell.  She has been teaching them since they were 5.   Lizzie and Tommy (8 tomorrow and 5) are sharing a lesson with Maya.  In the afternoon we are skiing with them which is hugely rewarding and good fun, particularly as they like following Grandma "because she skis fast". 
On Tuesday evening we had the works outing to the luge at Les Saisies.  Not only did all the staff go but also most of our guests.   There were about 60 of us with a long convoy of vehicles looping up the mountain.  It was snowing quite hard (just like last year).   The luge is a roller coaster and is very exciting - it's obligatory to scream as you hurtle round the corners.  Most of the lifts close this weekend although the lifts at Cote, Lanchettes and Petit Fontaine stay open.  There are very few people around. We ate at the Gouet yesterday and the Radaz today and in both restaurants virtually all the guests were English.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Snowing again!

Where are all the spring flowers?   The poor primroses are covered in snow again.  There are no crocuses (the French word is pierce-neige which seems most appropriate) and I don't think I'll see them this spring.  Usually I sit on the Ideal chair and spot them - they look like confetti or tiny snow flakes.  Anyway, John and I went out first thing this morning.  There were only about 10 people on the Rochebrune ridge and I probably counted most of them twice.  The snow was lovely, about 3 cms but it was snowing hard and I could have done with windscreen wipers on my goggles.   It's been snowing hard all day but it's just about stopped now.  We were planning to do the Vallee Blanche tomorrow with the staff but I don't think the weather is going to be good enough.   There is more snow to come.  What a season it's been for snow.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


The bad news is that we still have our whistle, and it is now sounding off at night.   I think it gave up last night at about 3.30am.  Diego (the concierge) says that the plumber can't trace the problem.  I bet he could if he was listening to it at 3.30 in the morning. As we're the only people in the building I doubt if he can be too bothered to sort it.  I feel another bottle of scotch is on its way to a worthy recipient.
Anyway, Diego has had a hair cut and lost all his curls.  I don't recall seeing him after a hair cut before so guess that it's an annual occurrence.
Today was a beautiful day, sunny but chilly in the wind.   Where the sun hit the piste the snow was soft but not slush and on some pistes was just perfect. The Calvaire is still open and we skied home via it.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tennis at the Hurlingham club

It wasn't a problem getting a court today, though not a covered court. Those had gone a week ago. No, the problem was the weather. According to the car thermometer the temperature was 0C but then there was the wind chill factor. We wore hats, gloves, coats - I'd have worn face mask, goggles and boot warmers if I'd had them. And there was the odd snow flake. Still we persevered and played two sets before deciding to go home and warm up. Megeve seems positively balmy.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Snow in Putney

well we're back home and brought winter with us. We went to the Royal Academy yesterday to see them Manet exhibition - thanks to Glen for providing the tickets. We found it a bit disappointing but then went to see the paintings by George Bellows which were a revelation. I had not heard of him before but I shall definitely look out for his work. Anyway the sun has been shining in Megeve if not in Putney and we'll be back there onTuesday.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Praz Sur Arly

For a change of scene we went to Praz with Johnny and Tracey.  The snow was lovely but the visibility was poor as it was snowing.  We went as far as Les Saisies but turned round as the weather was bad.  We had lunch at a lovely restaurant in Notre Dame De Bellecombe and then skied home.  Of course, the weather cleared as soon as we got home and it should be good tomorrow.  We are coming home for a few days but it should be nice for our guests. I thought you might like to see this photo which John took yesterday.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Snow and water

When we got back after skiing Diego (the concierge) told us that the plumber had been and cut the water off.   I have 8 people for dinner this evening.  The good news is that they had it back on in the afternoon, the bad news is that we still  have the whistle, though not as frequent as before.  So no doubt we won't have water again tomorrow.
The skiing was brilliant today.  We had about 60 centimetres.  We skied with Johnny and Jean-Marc.  We put down fresh tracks under the Mont Joux and Epaule chairs (how often can you do that?) then went over the back to St  Nicholas.   the snow was heavy at the bottom  but perfectly skiable.  By the time we got back up the Mont Joli chair had opened so we hopped on that.  There were several people ahead of us but we skied Mont Joli and the Grand Chamois.  It was a bit crusty under the snow at the top but was lovely further down.   A ski instructor set off a mini avalanche above us but luckily it went past us. By the time we left the whole slope had been trashed. More snow is forecast tonight.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Caroline's birthday today

We woke up to about a foot of new snow this morning, Caroline's birthday today (younger daughter).   The visibility was poor because it snowed on and off most of the day.  We saw the odd glimmer of sunshine but it disappeared as soon as we got excited about being able to see. We played around between the trees at the Lanchettes lift and had lunch at the Radaz ( we shared a tartiflette).  Who would have thought we would have this amount of fresh snow at this time of year.
We have a very annoying squeak in our apartment.   It started on Saturday afternoon and we cannot trace the source.  We have turned off the electricity and water but that makes no difference.     We think it emanates from one of the other flats but none of them is occupied.  Fortunately it has been quiet at night, which is a relief as it sounds about 4 times an hour for 2-3 minutes and is incredibly irritating.   Anyway, the concierge tells us that a plumber is coming tomorrow so hopefully he will do more than scratch his head.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Great tits

I went over to Jaillet this morning.  It was cloudy and supposed to be milder with a foehn wind.  You could have kidded me!  I ended up putting on my undergloves, mask and boot heaters and was still chilly. The first time I went up the Christomet chair I am sure there were great tits calling to each other.  (That's what I concluded they were after I'd googled them).  The next time I went up they were silent but it was snowing and very windy.  I went over to Giettaz and there was scarcely anyone there.  The snow was lovely and if it hadn't been for the wind on the top it would have been perfect.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

We're back

We've just had 2 days staying with friends at La Tour, just outside Argentiere.   We skied Argentiere Thursday and Friday.  Thursday started off fine and cold but the cloud slowly crept down the mountain and we came down for lunch and then went home.  Friday was a beautiful day - clear, cold and sunny.  Argentiere. like here, as had only a dusting of snow over the last 3 weeks and everything is hard.  For those who haven't been it is north facing and quite challenging skiing - there are very few blue pistes.  Most of the skiing is off piste as it is a large bowl.   However, my knees won't take much more of hard icy moguls and it was nice to get back on to groomed pistes in Megeve today.  It was busy this morning as the weather was beuatiful but it is the end of the French holidays and I suspect next week will be very quiet.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

new ski trousers

I now have a brand new pair of black ski trousers.  Elizabeth and I went to Vieux Campeur and, as Elizabeth said, bought the cheapest adult black trousers.   The girls' XL were a bit too tight!  Anyway, they have no holes in as yet.
We went out this morning.  Cold and thick cloud.   We decided to have an early lunch at The Radaz (tartiflette and lasagne) to allow the sun the chance to break through.  No such luck.  It was thicker when we came out than when we went in so we skied home.  It was a nice lunch though.   Elizabeth is back to Norwich tonight to husband and children.  All the family is out for Easter so it's not long before we see them again.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better.   we're going to see friends in Chamonix on Thursday and Friday.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dry feet

Yesterday I poured water out of my left book but my right boot was dry.   so John applied more duct tape - and result - dry feet!  I think I've had the problem for some time but I just assumed that I had very sweaty feet.  I'm rather relieved to know that that is not the problem.
Elizabeth (our daughter) is out for a few days so we skied with her, Gordon and Johnny.  There had been a little fresh snow overnight so the pistes were good, though we need more for the off piste.   It's supposed to be getting colder and more snow forecast.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mother's Day

John came skiing with me until he was recalled to do a transfer, because a flight was delayed which meant that a minibus would not get back in time to take the next group of guests to the airport.   I did the run in the afternoon to take guests to Le Fayet and Alpybus.  It was a beautifully sunny morning but clouded over in  the afternoon.
However, I lost one of my new ski poles which John gave me for my birthday.   I was crossing the road to ski down the Calvaire and thought I had both poles looped over my wrists.   I only had one and realised immediately that I was missing one.  I recrossed the road to where I took my skis off but it wasn't there.  A car had been parked there (illegally) and I suspect the driver picked it up.  He must have known it was mine because as far as I was aware he had packed all his belongings in his boot. I don't suppose they sell them individually.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Wet feet

John was working so I skied Rochebrune.  I had to wait for the Alpette chair to open and was first down Petit Fontaine and Jardin pistes.  I met a queue at the bottom of Lanchettes - 4 people ahead of me.  I then went over to Cote 2000 and skied the Ladies Downhill twice and most of the other runs before coming home for lunch.
However,  I have come home with wet feet the last two times I've skied.  Not only have the linings been wet but I have poured water out of my boots.  I took them to Davide at Technique Boots who is the Megeve expert.  He prescribed duct tape (what else?) and hopefully the problem is solved. It seems surprising as I have been skiing through all types of snow this season but have only just had the problem.  I'm reluctant to buy new boots as these are only about 4 years old. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Market and rants

I went to the market this morning and bought some lovely cheeses.  It's not cheap.  I seemed to pay €20 at least for everything.  To cap it all, I bought half a cabbage and left it on the stall!  
Why don't the French clear up after their dogs?  I think they are supposed to but even in the main square there are piles of dog s***.    We walk up a snowy slope to our apartment (in summer it's a grassy area) and I counted at least 20 piles.  They allow their dogs to defecate on the paths and I know that it's snow but even so.......The caleche horses wear bags under their tails to catch the droppings so why can't dog owners tidy up after their pets. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Crout de Gouet

We had a rather lazy ski today with Gordon and Rob.  We stopped for hot chocolate at Le P'tit Ricquet which is off the Marmottes run down from Epaule.   It is an old farmhouse that has been refurbished and has some interesting photos and items such as children's hob-nailed boots. We then had lunch at the Gouet and had to have the crout.   You will see how Rob has decorated his.  Gordon was good and had an omelette.  It was cloudy this morning but the sun came out this afternoon.  There was noone around which is surprising as it is the Paris holiday.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

"Blackbird has spoken"

Since the beginning of the month the blackbird has been greeting the dawn;  or perhaps he is telling his lady friends that he's around and his rivals to clear off.  It seems bizarre as the ground is still snow covered and although it's warmer than it was it's definitely not spring weather.  Today was cloudy again, though the visibility was better than yesterday.  We even had a few flurries of snow.  There were fewer people on the slopes which was great as the snow was good and we didn't have to share it with so many.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

At last a picture

This is me skiing on Jaillet on Sunday with Mont Joli in the background.  Sadly today was cloudy and not good for pics.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Caleche v traineau

John and I went over to Jaillet this morning and skied down the front face to the road.   It was not as nice as 2 days ago and I suspect it may be the last time this season we can ski it as it is south facing.  It was lovely and sunny but turned warmer than the last few days.  John went home but I stayed and skied all the black runs before returning for lunch.
I got the caleche back.   This is the 12 seater, 2 horse carriage that runs from by the outdoor ice rink in the centre of town to Jaillet.  I was the only passenger so I sat there like the Queen, practising my royal wave and regal smile.  Sadly, noone waved back.  If I'd had Prince Philip (aka John) it might have been different.
The driver told me that his carriage is a caleche, the one horse carriages are traineaux.  The French word for sledge is traineau and before roads these were used for transport.  They are now known as traineaux aux roulles when the wheels were added.  But the ride is a must and great fun.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Ladies' downhill

John and I skied with most of the staff this afternoon.  It was cloudy first thing but it was a beautiful sunny, warm afternoon.  We went over to Cote 2000 and did the Ladies' Downhill course a couple of times.   Some of the staff exceeded 100kms an hour (or so they said).  It was great fun and no collisions.  It's the Paris holiday for the next 2 weeks so I expect the resort will be busy.

Friday, 1 March 2013


We skied over to Giettaz today from Jaillet.  Whoever redesigned the lifts can't be a skier.  In place of the one, very slow old chair there are now two slow chairs!   The second one is supposed to be faster but today was going at half speed.  There are 2 nice runs down to what used to be the second button lift which is no longer working. You now have to go back to the second chair and join the queue of people coming up from the bottom.  The third button lift is working but the run down to that is usually icy and unpleasant.  So, all in all a bit of a shambles.  We all got very cold because the lift was so slow.
We then skied back off piste to the road.  The snow was in surprisingly good condition considering there has been no new falls and we even found some spring snow at the bottom.  After that we called it a day (or a morning) and went for lunch at Le Loup Blanc in town.

Thursday, 28 February 2013


We skied through the trees today.  Gordon has 2 scratches on his forehead, John and I have one each on our noses.  I also have a scratch on my cheek from yesterday's collision, plus a very large bruise on my thigh.  The plus side is that I have no more holes in my ski trousers - as yet.  So I still have one pair of trousers that has no holes.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Just next to our apartment building is a small line of earth next to a wall where the snow has receded.  I like to keep an eye on it as the first primroses appear there.  And there they are!   There is thick snow on the ground and the temperature this morning on our balcony was -10C but the tiny first flowers have appeared.  It gets the morning sun and that encourages the primroses. 
I managed to break my sunglasses today which is very annoying as they are prescription lenses.   I have broken off one of the arms but can still wear them with one arm pushed under my helmet.  I was skiing down the Ladies Downhill course at Cote 2000 and collided with a gentleman who skied suddenly into my path.  I slid some way down the hill and just managed to avoid the netting and the 2 pisteurs who were mending it.  The other skier was OK and I'm just bruised and annoyed.  Still, it could have been worse.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Back again!

Sunshine but cold yesterday and today so the snow has been good.  Yesterday we skied on Rochebrune and there were few people about but today we were on Mont D'Arbois and we hit some queues.   It's the French holiday so to be expected.  They were only about 5- 10 minutes so not too bad.  It was warm enough to sit outside at lunchtime.  I failed to buy any new ski pants when we were home so I've found some very fetching blue iron-on patches.   They'll look good on black!  The only trousers in black were too large, and the other colours were white (impractical) or a horrid mustard yellow.  I don't want to look as if I've just sat in a fresh cowpat.  So I'll have to go down to Vieux Campeur and see if they've got anything.  (John still hasn't got his new minibus either.)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Fashion tips 2

Aallards have a man's ski suit in Easyjet orange- the same colour of the foam wraps they put round the skilift legs to prevent injuries.  I am waiting to meet the man who wants to be mistaken for an Easyjet employee or a foam wrap.
John and I skied with the accompanied skiing groups today which was fun.   It was another day of glorious sunshine.  Sadly, there were more people on the slopes though none of the lift queues were bad. 
We are home tomorrow for a few days but back on Sunday so watch this space!

Monday, 18 February 2013

London Fashion Week

As it's London Fashion Week i thought I would add my observations from Megeve.  The in colour appears to be white, which is completely impractical.  Camouflage perhaps?  I have a  pair of grey trousers and I know how much they show the marks.  Carrying skis would not be an option if you have a white jacket.  Perhaps you have a man to carry them for you.  I'm still looking for one of those.
Anyway, the last two days have been cold and sunny.  John and I skied the Ladies Downhill this morning which was in terrific condition.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


I skied with Gordon in the morning and John joined us at lunchtime.  It was a brilliantly sunny day but cold so the snow was in perfect condition.  We found plenty of untracked powder.  I thought the slopes would be crowded but there were few queues for the lifts.  John went shopping this evening and said there was a long queue of people coming in to Megeve.   I expect it will be busy tomorrow as it is the start to the French holidays and it is going to be sunny.  Still, we can't complain as we usually have the slopes to ourselves.

Friday, 15 February 2013

staff lunch

Today we took all the staff to lunch at the Bachais restaurant on Jaillet.  We skied with Johnny and Jean-Marc in the morning and got too low on an off piste run.  We ended up climbing out of a ravine which was exhausting and then skiing down the road to the bottom.  We were only half an hour late for lunch!  We skied with everyone in the afternoon and it was great fun.  It was snowing in the morning but cleared in the afternoon and we had sunshine.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Clear round today

I skied with Gordon and Rob Houlder today.  We came down the front face of Jaillet to the bus which was not too bad and then came down it a different way which was horrendous.  It was breakable crust which I loathe so I was doing long traverses and then a kick turn.  I got down eventually.  The others had to hold the bus for me because I was so slow.  I was having a horrendous day.  If there had  been a fence to knock down I'd have done so.  As it was I concentrated on falling into tree wells, hugging trees and losing skis.  I stopped early and left the men to get on with it ! I should have stayed on the pistes which were in lovely condition.
 Yesterday evening 9 of us went ten pin bowling in Sallanches.  Men against women.  It was pretty even.  The men got 1st and 3rd positions and women 2nd and 4th.  I got a strike with my first ball (beginners' luck) and then it all went pear shaped.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

that supermarket again

John and Gordon spent yesterday evening studying google earth and the map and planning the best way down to Intermarche in Le Fayet.  It worked.  No walking down a nasty, icy, rocky, track carrying one's skis.  David Stewart (who owns Snowcoach) joined us.  We were getting down to the grass on the last 2 meadows but it was a good run. However, for the second day running, I managed to demolish a fence.  Yesterday, it was the pisteurs' fence at the end of the track, and I ducked under it and my rucksack caught on it.  Today, it was a farmer's single strand wire fence which I didn't see (fortunately not barbed wire).  So I'm feeling rather guilty.  I also now have 4 holes in one set of ski pants and one hole in another and John tells me I can't have a new pair as a new minibus has priority.  Oh well, I'll look out the iron on patches.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Today we skied to Giettaz and went up the first lift, where John dropped his glove.  That's what happens when you try to demist your goggles on a ski lift.  As Gordon was the best skier he opted to go down and retrieve it, but ended up on the wrong side of a gully and had to climb out with everyone on the lift shouting encouragement and advice.  There was about 25cms of new snow but it was quite dense and not as fluffy as I would have liked.  Still, it was very skiable.  However, it made walking uphill difficult.  I have had a pair of skins for about 10 years and for the first time I used them.  John walked uphill carrying his skis and beat Gordon and me to it, even though it was considerably easier on skins.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Skiing to the supermarket!

We skied down to the Intermarche supermarket in Le Fayet this morning.  You go from the bottom of the Mon Rosset chair lift and keep going.  It was great apart from the middle section.  We had to walk down an icy, rocky path with insufficient snow, carrying our skis.  I couldn't decide whether it was better to wreck my skis or fall over.   We saw 3 chamois very near the bottom.  They must have come lower for food.  Carol, Gordon's partner, came to collect us in the car.
When we reached the bottom we realised there were 6 skiers coming down behind us.  We decided the only person it could be would be Alex Perrinet (the mountain guide we ski with) and John phoned him and, yes, we were right!  He has shown us a lot of the hidden off piste runs round Megeve.  It's still snowing hard so tomorrow may be another interesting day.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Petit Fontaine Sunday morning

This is me (wearing 5 layers under my ski jacket!) at 10am Sunday morning.  Where is everyone?

-15C on our balcony this morning!

Very cold today but bright and sunny this morning. a bit cloudier this afternoon.   John and I skied through the trees and got a bit lost.  The trees' revenge was to dump  snow down our necks.  There was still plenty of off piste through the trees on Lanchettes which was great fun.   Now for the rugby.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Yesterday we skied with Gordon and Johnny and Jean-Marc from the Rond Point.   I don't think we skied any pistes except to the get to the lifts. We skied the front face of Jaillet down to Megeve 4 times, catching a bus back to the lift each time.  It was a fantastic day and the sun shone.There appeared to be a race or something similar of hot air balloons from the Flaine area as they were all landing at Praz sur Arly, just down the road from Megeve.  All the accompanying cars with trailers were following them, so the balloons could be packed up and transported back.
Today was John's birthday and we skied off piste again.   The snow was not so good where the sun had caught it which made it more difficult than yesterday.   However, we saw a mountain goat eating some lichen off the branch of a tree as we were skiing off the back of Le Giettaz down to Praz.  Carol, Gordon's partner, picked us up at Praz and we all had lunch there so it was a lovely day.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Disaster day

Wednesday was not a good day.  The skiing was good because we had fresh snow, but in the afternoon it started to snow very heavily and the visibility was bad.   2 of the minibuses slid into each other on ice on the Sylvanva drive.    One was the old VW  and it's battered anyway but the window now needs replacing.  The other was a rental vehicle which John and I swapped yesterday.   The side of that was damaged but it also transpired that the roof was badly dented.   We believe that ice fell off the roof of the Sylvana and caused the damage. So on Wednesday evening we had to borrow a vehicle from Ski Royal to get our guests to the airport. Anyway the vehicle situation is now sorted.  What a nightmare!
Yesterday we had some sunshine and fresh snow so the skiing was fantastic.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Skiing cancelled

Alex Perrinet rang us to say that the off piste day was not happening because the weather was too bad.  It was raining when I looked out of the window but it turned to snow so we decided to go out.  It was VERY windy.  I thought they would stop the chairs because of the gale.  I needed my face mask - frozen snow lashing into your face isn't fun.   But we had a great day.  We skied the off piste both sides of the Lanchettes button lift and then the stream down to the track at the bottom of the lift.  That was very hairy - bouncing round corners, not knowing if you were going to meet a sudden up or (even worse) a vertical down.  I don't know how I avoided falling into the stream.  My screams are still reverberating round the gully. We had lunch at the Radaz (John and I shared a tartiflette).  It snowed off and on all day so hopefully there will be some more nice snow tomorrow, if it hasn't all been blown away.  Two of the friends we skied with are off to Verbier, but said that they would not have had so much fun as they had today, as they wouldn't have been able to see.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Fresh snow

We woke up to about 6 ins of fresh snow and still snowing.  I went to Jaillet with Gordon and Neville.  We skied a couple of pistes which were lovely and then through the trees off piste to the road to Praz Sur Arly.  It was fun but a bit crunchy underneath lower down.  I finished early because we are skiing with Alex Perrinet, a mountain guide tomorrow and it will be a long day.  What a hard life!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

cold and cleaqr

We skied from 9 - 5 with a stop for lunch.  Although there had been a sprinkling of snow only overnight we found some off piste pitches, particularly off the Epaule ridge.   We had lunch at the Gouet which was heaving.  People were even eating outside though it was very cold.  In the afternoon we found a perfect off piste field which was heaven.  Mostly it was wind crust or lumps of ice underneath the new snow.  I now feel exhausted and am going to have a cup of tea!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday snow

It was snowing lightly when we got up so we got out early.  The off piste was not good, a covering of snow over rain crust and in some places the fresh snow was wind crust.  Still, we have been very spoilt up to now and it's good to try the challenge of skiing something difficult and staying upright.  It was very windy and all the top lifts were closed, as were the fast chairs, Mont Joux and Mon Rosset.  The sun came out in the afternoon but we had got cold and packed it in at lunch time.  More snow is forecast for tonight so maybe powder tomorrow??  

Thursday, 31 January 2013

St Orson's Fair

We went to Aosta today (in Italy through the Mont Blanc tunnel) to the St. Orson's Fair (no I don't know what he did).  There were 17 of us so rather a big party.   Angie had arranged lunch for us all otherwise I am sure we would all have gone hungry.   There were lots of stalls, some food stuffs, sausages, cheeses, honey, but mostly wood carvings.  It was fun but I feel that I do not want to see another wood carving for some time.  I was looking for a salad bowl but they were all the wrong size, too shallow, too ornate, too expensive ..... so I bought some cheese and some honey.   Interestingly. there was a lot more snow the French side of Mont Blanc than the Italian.   MB is the divide, and often one country gets the snow and the other is bare. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Accompanied skiing

I was looking after the relaxed group and managed to lose 4 people on the first run!
i went up the Mont Joux chair thinking I may have missed them but they were not there so I skied down and met them at the bottom.   Two had crashed and one had had huge problems in getting her skis back on. Fortunately, everyone was OK and we regrouped and had a lovely morning.  We had coffee at the Gouet where we met Bill who had lost his intermediate group and his mobile phone.  One of our party rang his phone and it was answered by a French man but the phone kept cutting out.  Eventually Bill decided that it was probably gone for good but when we got outside there was the Frenchman holding his phone!   He hadn't realised where we were but was trying to contact us.  How nice was that!  He was the man who looked after the skis at the Untitled Restaurant at the top of the Mont D'Arbois lift.  So that was a good end to the morning's skiing with Bill reunited with his phone.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Back again!

I drove back from Geneva in fresh snow and sunshine.  Today (just my luck) it's cloudy and visibility was poor and off piste heavy.  It is now snowing lightly.  The grandchildren were very good and easy.  We had fresh snow and sunshine in Norwich on Saturday and it was a beautiful, crisp, cold day.  It then rained overnight and all the snow went.  The puppy was not so good.   I'd prepared pigs' cheeks for supper and put them in a bag with seasoned flour to cook later.  Rufty managed to get them off the counter and eat 8 of the 14.   John had to go to Waitrose again to get us something else for supper.  The puppy spent the afternoon sitting outside the back door, looking forlorn.  He is not in my good books. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


We had 3 hours skiing this morning and now we're off to Geneva and home to look after the grandchildren.  It was bright blue sky, sunny, cold and about 10-15cms of fresh snow.  Let's hope it's as good when we get back next week.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Jimmy's 75th

Yesterday was our friend's 75th birthday.  About 30 of us had lunch at a lovely restaurant just outside St. Gervais.  We arrived at 1p.m. and left about 5p.m.  It was a beautiful day and the sun shone on Jimmy.  Today was grey and cold and snowing off and on.  Tomorrow John and I return to England to look after the grand children whilst Elizabeth and Caroline and their husbands come skiing.   I'm in Putney looking after Anna and Lizzie (10 and nearly 8) and John goes to Norwich to look after Emily and Tommy (nearly 10 and 5) and Rufty ( the cockapoo who is not yet a year old).   At the weekend the other grandmother takes over with Anna and Lizzie and I go up to Norwich to help John.   We are back here on Monday.  I expect they will have brilliant conditions and we'll have cold, grey rain!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

snowing again!

We skied this morning but the temperature has risen and the off piste was heavy.  The snow on piste was perfect.  We did rather a lot of walking, including climbing over a fallen tree, and then had to wait 20 minutes for a bus but it was worth it.  It is now snowing again.  Still, you've got snow at home.

Friday, 18 January 2013


John and I skied today with Gordon and Johnny (the manager of the Rond Point).  It was very cold but sunny and the snow was perfect.  We found lots of untracked powder which was great fun.  We all had tumbles:  Gordon into a tree well, John onto a piste de fond track, me with a tree and Johnny into a stream bed.  We started at about 9.30 and got back about 2.30.  The temperature on our balcony this morning was minus 13C and the streams in the centre of town are freezing over.  It's supposed to get a bit warmer over the weekend with some more snow.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The way home

John admiring our tracks.   As you can see there is still lots of powder if you know how to find it.

Sun and snow

It was a beautiful day today but very cold.  John had to go shopping at Metro this morning so I skied with Gordon.  We went off the back of the Epaule ridge down to St Nicholas De Veroce off piste, and then came back up and did half of the ridge again.  We then skied off the back of the Petit Epaule down to get the facilly bus which took us back to St. Nicholas.  The snow was perfect and there were few people about.   John then phoned to say he was coming up.  We tried the Gouet for lunch but people were queuing so we went to the Alpage which was lovely.  I had the fish soup as usual - it is delicious.  We then skied home off piste to the door of our apartment.  You don't get many days better than that!  It was very cold and in spite of wearing lots of layers we all suffered, particularly my hands.  I don't seem to find gloves that are warm enough.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ski Cross

The World Cup ski Cross is being held at Cote 2000 this week.  We watched some of it today.  It appeared to be the individual time trials.  We were told that the Finals of the 4 abreast was today but it has been snowing most of the day and they've now been postponed until tomorrow, though we don't know the time.  The course starts from the top of the first chair lift to the bottom down the Ladies downhill course.  There must be about 15 high jumps with very sharp angled turns between them and then a steep run off at the end.  It's exciting to watch though there were few spectators  (it was snowing and cold).  We then skied home off piste (I managed a face plant in a ditch and lost both skis.)

Monday, 14 January 2013


Freezing fog this morning and trying to snow.  I skied for a couple of hours and then came home.  It now looks to be clearing!   The snow was lovely but visibility was nil. It's my Book Club this afternoon - we are studying Dylan Thomas.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Another 10 cms of snow.  Cloudy at first but the sun came out later.  John and I skied with Gordon McNeil and Rob Holder ( the Australian who used to work in Ski Concept)in the morning.  We were too exhausted to ski in the afternoon.   We went over to Jaillet and skied off piste to Giettaz.  I missed the climb up to the piste so we decided to go along what we thought was the piste de fond.  After walking up hill both on skis and carrying skis we decided that that was not a good idea, but it was too late to go back.   We got to the lift in the end. We then went up the lift and skied to Praz Sur Arly.  We took a route that John last did with a guide about 7 years ago.  Consequently we got too low and ended up walking up hill (yes, carrying skis in thigh deep snow) then discovered we were walking up the wrong hill and retraced our steps to walk up the hill on the other side of the stream.  Apart from the walking up hill we had a great morning's skiing.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Today was an almost perfect powder day - light, fluffy and sunshine. The only drawback was that it was Saturday and therefore quite busy (for Megeve). We skied off the back of Epaule, Mont Joli and back home via Planelet and La Maz. The only questionable snow was on the way home where the sun had caught it. Tomorrow more snow is forecast.

Friday, 11 January 2013


40 cms in town and more up the mountain. We had a splendid morning skiing through the trees off the Princess and Etudiant lifts. It was deep and hard work but great fun. We had a staff lunch at the Espace Mont Jeux and everyone made it ( except for Jason who went to the airport to pick up his cousins.) We have quite a few beginners and they were all enjoying themsleves.
It's supposed to be nice tomorrow so we're hoping Mont Joli will be open.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


I skied in Contamines (for a change of scene) with Phil and Rebecca who worked for us at the Rond Point two seasons ago. We saw 11 chamois racing across the top of the ridge. They move so fast! It was a lovely day and very few people around. Some snow is forecast for Friday.

Sunday, 6 January 2013


We skied at Jaillet yesterday with the grandchildren. It was brilliant sunshine at the top but cloud in the valley. We skied over to Giettaz to try out the new chair lift which is a big disappointment. It is in 2 stages and no faster than the old one. We had lunch at Bonjournal. The children all had a ride home in the new horse drawn taxi from Jaillet to the square. John and I (boringly) got the bus back.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Powder & Sunshine

Snowed on Jan 1st and overnight.  Yesterday had about 15cm powder.  Cloudy and snowing lightly.  Poor visibility but great tree skiing.
Today bright and sunny.  Nobody about first thing - see pic below taken from Petite Fontaine chair.  Crowds came out later but a lot of Parisians are going home.  Looking forward to the next six weeks of deserted pistes until they come back again.
Lots of powder still unskied if you know where to look.


Beautiful day today. We skied powder at Cote 2000 and then had lunch at The Staduel. After lunch we skied with the grandchildren who insisted on skiing powder and then fell over. Great fun.