Friday, 27 March 2015

Vallee Blanche

Today was our staff trip to the Vallee Blanche.   It was touch and go as the weather forecasts were conflicting but in the end we went for it.  The arrete was fairly nasty as it was very windy but once we got off the top it was fine.   There had been a little new snow over night so we  were able to ski some powder.  And though there was cloud as we drove over this cleared as we got closer to Chamonix, so, all in all, it was a brilliant day.   Here is a photo of us at our lunch stop.
Many thanks to our guides, Sebastian and Stephan, for a superb day.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


John and I skied to Cote 2000 this morning and back.   It was sunny but not as warm as yesterday.  We were very impressed with the condition of the pistes considering how warm it had been last week.  They were in excellent condition as this photo of Petit Fontaine from the Jardin chair shows.
There appeared to be a Giant Slalom race at Cote though I am not sure what it was.   The racers all looked like teenage boys so it was probably something local.  It was still amazing to watch.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring Snow

John and I went to Les Contamines today as it is on our lift ticket.  It was a lovely day and it is only worth skiing there if you can see as there are no trees.. In a whiteout you would be skiing from one piste marker to the next.  We found a but of spring snow and then decided to ski down one of the slopes that Alex had taken us down two weeks ago.  Sadly, we ran out of snow and had to walk up and out across a steep, grassy slope.   I slipped and now have a very muddy jacket and trousers.  I have tried to sponge it off but the trousers could do with a wash.   I usually do all the ski stuff at the end of the season so I may just be skiing with a muddy backside but as I can't see it I shan't worry.  That's why I don't wear white.
There's still plenty of skiing in Megeve if you want a last blast.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Staff lunch

We all went to the Gouet today for the staff lunch.   Sadly, Hannah missed it as she is chief bridesmaid at her friend's wedding this weekend.   The last week has been brilliant sunshine, and yesterday we sat on our balcony for lunch.  But today it was a bit overcast, even with the eclipse. and we opted to sit inside, which was probably better as we were quite noisy.   We had an excellent lunch,and then some of the staff opted for the Folie Douce, some to ski, and some to come home.
Some of the staff turned up in their onesies.  We had Superman, Pooh, Elmo. a bat, a tiger and a unicorn and some others.   Danny was in a rather fetching yellow outfit though I have no idea what it was supposed to be.  As usual, we forgot to take a photo.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Today we skied on Jaillet with Ian and Deirdre who are guests at the Rond Point.   We skied down Jourace to the Jouty chair.  On the left hand side we spotted someone building an igloo so John went to investigate.   It is a frame covered by snow and the guy digging out the entrance said that it was available for bed and breakfast. He said there were comfy beds and duvets.  John wasn't sure about an evening meal but you couldn't get up there after the lifts had closed so possible that's included.  It's called Village Igloos.  John didn't enquire the price but if you go, do let me know what it's like.  So far, I have had no proposals of a romantic night spent on the Jourace piste.   But I think I'd prefer my own bed.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

World Cup

This weekend it is the World Cup for Skicross and Moguls, which they are holding at Cote 2000.  I skied over there yesterday but arrived too early, as they were doing the individual time trials which was a bit boring.  John was mending the boiler at the Rond Point, which you do when you are semi retired and 74!  He would never have managed it without Will, who came and helped though it was his day off.   It was his strength that got the joints unfastened.
Anyway, both days have been bright and cold which means that the pistes are in excellent shape.  We met up with David Stewart, who runs Snowcoach that owns the Terminus Hotel in Le Fayet and skied Mont D'Arbois   We then got the bus to Cote.  It was packed and I was next to the door.   The driver was very grumpy and swung the bus round the corners so I thought I was going to be  a statistic on the road.   Fortunately the doors open inwards.  We found ourselves a good position to watch the races.   They seemed to be behind time so we weren't quite sure what we were seeing, but it must have been the Semi Finals and Finals of the Men's and Women's races.  The skicross set off four abreast, but after about the first two jumps there are usually two in the lead.  It is very exciting.   One lad had a nasty fall near us and the blood wagon came down, but eventually he stood up and skied down to applause.   Tomorrow is the Finals of the Moguls.  We saw them practising.   It is very technical and looks seriously hard on the knees.   They have two jumps, one at the start and the other at the end.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Skiing with Alex

Alex Perrinet (mountain guide) said he had a free day and would we like to go to Les Contamines to ski spring snow.  So Gordon, Jonny, John and I piled into his car this morning.  We went up to the top, and did a rather nasty hard, rutted traverse on a steep slope.  After about 4 turns we found some slightly better snow.   We skied all the way down to Haut Luce off piste, with snow varying from hard and icy, to nearly spring snow to rain crust and wind crust.  At the bottom we had to take our skis off a couple of times to cross the road.   I have  also now learnt to ski on grass,  hands forward and lean back.   Might come in useful again. 
The next run was shorter and the snow had softened up so was easier.   The last run before lunch we skied over to the top drag lift which is all off piste.   We did another rather nasty traverse (bits of it were alright) and then skied down, crossing two avalanche falls (very small ones, just where the snow had melted and slipped) and down to a track.  The snow was the best we found and great fun.   We then stopped for lunch.   After lunch, we skied all the way down to Haut Luce again but by a different route.  The snow was pretty good on that, except for a section through the trees which was dire.   Still, as Alex said, we all survived, and it was a brilliant day.  We forgot to take the camera so sorry, no pics.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Deserted pistes

We are back to normal in Megeve  ie noone else on the pistes.    Gordon and I got out early and had the Monrosset and blue Princess pistes to ourselves.   Later I joined up with John and two friends and we skied down to Chatterix on the Grand and Petit Epaule.   It was a beautifully  sunny day again and Mont Blanc looked magnificent.  We had lunch at the Gouet in the sun.   Skiing back, we were virtually the only people on the mountain.  There are plenty of people in town, probably here for the World Cup Ski Cross and Moguls which start on Friday.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sunny days

The last three days have been brilliant sunshine.   Friday was cold and bright but it has been getting steadily warmer.   Friday we skied all the Croix De Christ runs and the Epaule before heading home.  On Saturday we went over to Cote where they are building the ski cross and mogul courses for next week's World Cup races.  The tourist office gave us a revised programme as Squaw Valley races were cancelled because of a lack of snow (so it happens in America too) which means there is a big programme of races.   They start on Wednesday and go through to Sunday.   They are usually good fun to watch, particularly the ski cross.  Then today we found a couple of off piste runs to do which had not been skied too much.   It was not quite spring snow but very nearly, and that was enjoyable.  It's the end of the French holidays so we are hoping everything will go back to being as quiet as usual, although it was not particularly busy today.   Here is a pic of the Coq run on the Croix de Christ

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A Challenging Day

We met Gordon at the Chamois lift at 8.45 and then went straight over to Mont D'Arbois.   It was a lovely clear morning but when we got out of the lift at the top we were hit by the wind.  We looked at Mont Joux with the snow blowing over the top of the Folie Douce and decided on Plan B.   We skied down to the Etudiant drag, up that and through the trees to ski down to Planellet, where we caught the bus to take us to Jaillet.  Everyone else had had the same idea.  There was a huge queue.  We went up Christomet and went off to the right, walked up the knoll and skied down to Le Giettaz.   The snow was wind crust and very difficult and, as far as I was concerned, I went into "get down it any way you can" mode. 
At Giettaz we went up the first lift to discover the second chair was closed because of the high winds.  So no way back to Megeve!   We were intending to ski down to Praz and Carol was waiting for us there, so Gordon called her to drive round and pick us up from Giettaz.   We had a beer while we waited and who should turn up but Alex Perrinet, the mountain guide.   He had done something similar to us so had also missed the sign that the chair was closed.  He had one client with him.  So we ended up with five of us crammed into Carol's car, with me sitting on John's knee.  It is quite a long way round and I was so cramped that my leg went to sleep.   After we dropped Alex and his client off we went up again and skied back down off piste to the Chattaz bus.  The snow was not the best and was hard work.  Rather a shame as it looked so promising.  So all in all,  not one of the best day's skiing.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wednesday snow

It snowed a little yesterday which allowed us to make some fresh tracks.  However, today it started snowing about 8am and snowed all morning, with some snow showers this afternoon.   There is about 10cm and hopefully some more to come.  We went out after lunch and had great fun in the fresh snow.   On one of our off piste runs we bumped into Ben and Nathan, who had been tipped off about it by Elizabeth.  However, they were on boards and we left them standing!  Tomorrow we will get an early start. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Fresh fields

John and I spent yesterday and today trying to get into a particular field between the red and blue Princess pistes.   John downloaded a photo of the area from Google Earth and today we managed it from two different access points.  Afterwards John decided that the gain was not worth the pain, particularly as we had to climb out of a ravine (a small one), so we probably won't be doing that again in a hurry.
Anyway, the highlight of today was meeting a couple on the shoebox who said how much they liked our website, particularly the mountain restaurant guide, which is my baby.   John and Gordon get fed up with me, at the beginning of January, insisting on stopping at every single restaurant to check the menu, the prices and see if it has changed hands.   It makes it all worth while when I get feedback.  So thank you to Bruce and Jo for your kind comments.