Friday, 27 February 2015

3 runs, 6 buses in glorious Megeve

It was snowing hard but we were on the first bus to Jaillet (bus no 1) together with Jonny, Ben and Hannah.   Run No 1 was through the trees and down the face to bus no.2.  The snow was good but there were still some bumps underneath from previous tracks.  Then back up for run no.2 through the trees and back to the bus stop for the bus from Chattaz (bus No.3) which dropped us to get the bus No 4 back to Jaillet. The snow was variable but we got some good turns in on the lower meadow.  Then it was up Christomet, over to Le Giettaz and up the two chairs, turn left and along the ridge to ski down to Praz Sur Arly.   Though the visibility wasn't great the snow was perfect, and noone had skied through the trees so that was fun.  We went a slightly different way from yesterday, which meant that we had a short walk along the road at the bottom to bus No5.  This is the ski shuttle at Praz which goes round by the ski lifts.  We had missed the 1pm bus but there was another in half an hour (bus No 6) which took us back to the bus station at Megeve.   Jonny got a 7th bus up the hill to Rochebrune but the rest of us walked back to our homes.
Afterwards Hannah and Ben went up to Folie Douce and spent the afternoon there with the rest of the staff.   By all accounts they were the only ones there so they had the music and dancing to themselves.  Should be a great powder day tomorrow.  
That's 40cm of snow fallen this week on a great base.  It's a super time to book a last minute ski weekend or short ski trip and we've even got some space for the Easter hols w/c 5th April!                                       

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thursday - Praz sur Arly


John and I got the first bus round to Jaillet and then skied straight over to Le Giettaz.   We stood at the top in the sunshine debating whether to ski down to Praz.  Noone had done it so we had no idea whether the snow was skiable.  We hummed and hawwed and then said let's give it a go.  And we were delighted we did.   The snow at the top was good and OK through the trees.  The track out was not nice, lots of snow shoe tracks, but I snow ploughed it.  Surprisingly, the snow at the bottom was pretty good, nearly spring snow when I expected breakable crust.
When we got to the bottom we saw the bus disappear.  Fortunately the next bus appeared pretty quickly.  But we were sure we'd missed the bus from Praz to Megeve, which meant a two hour wait, a taxi or a walk to Chattaz to pick up the midday bus.  However, when we got off the bus we just missed the Megeve bus, but, to our surprise, another bus appeared.   There are two different bus lines whose buses go at identical times, so we got lucky.  This is me skiing down to the stream and the track out.



video

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Back again in Megeve

We came back yesterday evening.   Today was bright and sunny so everyone was out on the slopes.  We skied with Jonny.   We decided to do the Emil Allais run which used to be the Men's Downhill Championship course until they decided it was too dangerous.  You start on the black run below the Alpette restaurant. then go behind the Forestiere restaurant where it is unpisted.    It winds round below the cliffs on Alpette.  It is narrow with cliffs on the right and a steep, wooded drop off on the left.   Eventually it widens out into meadows.   Someone has cut down a lot of the scrub which makes the last part easier.  Because it is never pisted it tends to have big moguls, so it is really only worth doing when there has been a big dump of snow.   However, it wasn't too bad today, though the snow on the meadows was a bit crusty and hard work.  The idea of skiing it at speed is quite alarming, as it is narrow, steep with several sharp bends and nowhere to attempt to slow down.  They must have been brave in those days!
We then skied through the trees on the Olympic which was fun but the snow was tricky.
We met Hannah and Tracey for lunch at the Dahu.   I tried the Plat Du Jour, which was a sausage filled with tripe.  It had a nice sauce but I don't think I'll be trying that again.   Everyone else played safe with hamburgers and the like.  There is more snow forecast for the weekend in Megeve.www.stanfordskiing.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday - Jaillet

Today John and I skied at Jaillet.  We caught the first bus, which was late as usual.   We skied four runs down to the Pertuis chair before the queues built up and then skied the red Jouty run.   They were great fun.   We then decided to go over to Giettaz which was a big mistake.   The top chair had two speeds, slow and stop, so there were huge queues.  We were quite excited a few years ago when they announced that they were replacing the old slow chair lift, only to find that the fast drag lifts had been removed and the slow chair had been replaced by two slow chairs.   Progress??  There are two nice runs which used to go down to the second drag lift.  That is still there but no longer working, and one has to ski down to the bottom of the second chair, meeting the crowds coming up from the bottom.  I think we shall be giving that a miss until the French holidays are over.
We did find a little bit of off piste to ski, but it involved walking up hill to a track to get out, so it wasn't really worth it. In addition, we were on our piste skis and not powder skis so that added to the challenge.
It turned out to be another glorious day.  However, the valley was under a dense cloud of fog, which must have been depressing for those in Sallanches and St Gervais.  OK for those of us in Megeve.      
We are back to UK for a few days on Thursday so will not be blogging for about a week. Have fun!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sunny Sunday

According to Snowforecast it was supposed to be snowing all day today in Megeve.www.stanfordskiing.co.uk   However the sun came out and it was a lovely day.  John had things to do first thing so I got an early lift and did five runs on Mont D'Arbois, before coming back to meet John at the top of the Chamois lift.  I like being one of the first down the groomed slopes.  There are few people around and you can practise getting on your edges and carving turns.  It's more difficult when you are trying to dodge others.
Anyway, we went straight to Cote 2000 and did a run there, and then came back and skied Lanchettes twice because it was so nice.  Considering it was the first day of the Paris holidays the slopes were relatively quiet.  We had a bit of a queue the first time at the Lanchettes drag lift but after that everyone had presumably moved on to Cote.   John had to get back to do a transfer so we only skied for a couple of hours but it was very enjoyable.  I gave John a ski tuning kit for his birthday so we did the edges on our skis and waxed them.  We should be flying tomorrow!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Off piste in Megeve

It is nearly two weeks since the last snowfall and we are still finding untracked snow.  This is John on the final descent yesterday to Intermarche.  Gordon was filming him and skiing behind him.
Intermarche is off to the right top end of the picture.   Carol met us as before just before the main road, and we had a beer in the Intermarche.
Today we skied with Jonny, Tracey and Hannah.   We had lunch at the Alpage at the bottom of the Communailles drag lift.  We sat inside but most people were sitting outside.   They have a covered area which gives some shelter.  We had a very good lunch and then skied down the Epaule ridge to Chatterix.  Next week is the beginning of the Paris holiday so I expect the resort will be busier.   It has been quite busy this week but the queues are no longer than five minutes and move quickly.
So far the worst fashion disaster is the portly gentleman in a white ski suit, white gloves and a black fake fur hat.  I would have preferred a snowman.  There do not appear to be any consistent fashion themes so far but maybe that will change when the Parisians hit town.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Another trip to Intermarche

John was doing a transfer so it was just Gordon and me.  We skied the bottom of the Mon Rosset field heading for the Princess lift, and then decided to keep going down to the valley.   The first part was fairly well skied but after that we could make our own tracks.
We had an interesting trip through the trees, with patches of nice snow and then crust where the snow had fallen from the trees.  However, when we got out into the fields the skiing was tremendous.  The frost on top of the snow glistened like granulated sugar.  It was beautiful.   We had fewer fences to climb over than the other way, about 3 we climbed over and the same number we crawled under.  We didn't quite make it to Intermarche as we got stuck among some houses but Carol came to find us.  It was a splendid day, bright sunshine and we both steamed as I was definitely wearing too many clothes.  Gordon went home but Carol dropped me at the Princess lift and I did all the black runs that side.  Bridans and the black run by the Mandarin restaurant were unpleasant but the others were lovely and noone on them.  I came home via Pylons and Calvaire.  What a morning.
Tom had to go back to Sallanches hospital for a check up but was given the all clear so should be back to cooking in a few days' time.  What a blessing no tendons were cut.   John says he has bandages all up his arm.
Anyway here is a photo of Gordon, Jonny and me from yesterday.  Can anyone guess where it was take?  And I won"t accept Jaillet.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

John's birthday

Yesterday was John's birthday and it was a beautiful sunny day.  We decided to ski off piste down to Praz Sur Arly, though when we tested the off piste we had reservations.   However, it turned out to be great fun and we found some untracked snow.  In the evening we went out for dinner with Gordon and Carol and Jonny and Tracey to the Coin Au Feu, which is up near the Sylvana.  We had a really nice meal in a quaint restaurant, which used to be the cellar.   Because it is under new management and has only just reopened it was not busy, in spite of the French holidays.
Today we went out with Gordon and Jonny.  We skied on Jaillet down to the husky farm near Praz.   It involved rather a lot of tree skiing and I ended up with a split lip from a contretemps with a branch.
But we had a lovely ski out at the bottom which made it all worthwhile. Unfortunately Jonny got a call to say Tom the chef had fallen down the stairs at the Sylvana and put his arm through a window so we all gave up at that point.   Santa had taken him down to the medical centre but they said he had to go the hospital in Sallanches so John took him down there.  They hung around for hours as they wanted to x-ray him to make sure there was no glass before stitching him up.  But he's OK, thank goodness.
It was such a lovely day that after I'd cleaned the flat and done the washing I thought I'd go for a walk.  I'd laced up my boots when I thought I'd rather go skiing.  So I put on all my ski gear (the stuff that hadn't got in the wash) and had a splendid couple of hours on Rochebrune.  So rather a mixed day altogether.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Megeve holidays

The French holidays start this weekend and suddenly there are others in our apartment building Usually we are the only occupants.  I'm not sure I like it.
Yesterday was Andrew's last day so we skied down to the Facilly bus at St Nicholas.   Usually it is a minibus but the one that turned up was for school children and definitely not for skiers   It had three high steps and a luggage rack so you couldn't hold your skis vertically.  The driver was lovely and dropped us just by the ski lift, although that is not a recognised stop.  We managed to get a table at the Gouet but they were rushed off their feet.   You need to get in there by midday.  After lunch we went tree skiing which meant fighting through scrub. No wonder all my ski clothes have holes in them.
Today I went out for two hours but got very cold.   The sun was out but it was -9C at the Mont Joux chair. So I did some runs int he sun and came home.
Tonight we are hosting the Music Mazot.   There will be 15 crammed into our apartment which will be cosy.  Three people choose music to play but it must be no longer than 30 minutes.   Everyone brings something to eat and drink and it is very jolly.  This is the first of the season as the first one got snowed off!  So Megeve www.stanfordskiing.co.uk is not just about skiing.

Friday, 6 February 2015

More Megeve powder

Yesterday we had a cold band of freezing fog but today was partly sunshine. John and I skied with Gordon and his friend, Andrew, who is a Ski Club of Great Britain rep, and a very good skier.  We skied down to the St Nicholas bus but got there half an hour early.  The alternative was to walk up hill, in ski boots and carrying skis for about a mile to the ski lift.   I opted to wait.   By the time we got up to the top again I was cold and John and I decided to ski home back to Megeve via Planelet.   The snow was lovely but it was freezing.
Today was staff day off and John offered to show staff the off piste if they caught the 8.50 bus.   Only Hannah made it.   We had a brilliant morning, making fresh tracks in some places.   We skied the Face of Jaillet and then through the trees to the Chattaz bus.  We had to change buses and while we were waiting saw Gordon and Andrew skiing down the Face.  They missed the bus.  However, by the time they got to the restaurant by the Jaillet lift their beer and food was waiting.  What service!  We then skied a different route down to the Chattaz bus which failed to appear.   John decided to walk into town, the rest of us got rescued by Carol in the car.   By that time it was a bit late to do another run so we ended up in the St Paul bar.   What a great day in Megeve.

Still short ski breaks and weeks available w/c 22nd Feb.  Do e-mail us for details.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Megeve Powder

The last three days have been amazing.   Tom Hardes turned up from New Zealand.  He had to return to renew his passport and at the last minute got a lift to Megeve.www.stanfordskiing.co.uk You may remember him as the chef at the Sylvana for ten years.  He broke his arm badly and decided to go to New Zealand.  We skied with him on Monday, skiing all the way down to St. Nicholas off piste.  We then had lunch at the Gouet, our favourite restaurant.   I was hoping to have a photo of him but I have not been sent the link, so if I get it I'll post it separately.
Then Tuesday we skied on Jaillet.  We started off from the top of Christomet, skiing to the knoll which you have to walk up and from there you can ski down to Giettaz off piste.  Several people had skied it but it was not too chopped up.   You ski out along by the stream, which is rather hard work and sweaty.  After that we skied down through the trees which brings you out by the the Auberge du Christomet (now a sushi restaurant called Finger's).  However, the snow shoe trail had not been walked and that was really hard work walking out along that, more sweat and tears!  We skied down the face of Jaillet and had lunch at the bottom at the 540 restaurant.  We went up again and skied through the trees and down the meadows to the bus, which brought us back home. What a day!
Today John decided to have a day off which was a mistake.  Gordon, Neville and I skied off piste down to the Intermarche supermarket at Le Fayet, which is right down at the bottom of the valley.  It takes about an hour and involves quite a lot of tree skiing, as well as climbing over fences.   I think we must have climbed over about six.   On the upper fields the farmers tend to take down the wire fences but they don't bother lower down.  It had been skied, probably by Alex Perrinet who is a mountain guide but is very knowledgeable about the off piste round Megeve.   The first time we skied that run we looked back and saw 6 people coming down, and it was Alex and his clients!   But we got own before him that time.  Carol came and picked us up and we had lunch at the Intermarche cafe which is excellent value. 
So what shall we do tomorrow?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Wonderful skiing in Megeve

We had the best morning's skiing of the season so far yesterday.   There's huge amounts of snow in Megeve now.  Well over a metre, maybe two and it just keeps snowing!  John and I caught the early bus so we got on the Mont D'Arbois lift as soon as it opened.   Gordon and Rob chose to come up the Princess lift.  We were first down the black Princess run and Bridans and the boys let me make the first fresh tracks on Voltigeurs.  We did that twice and decided we had trashed it.
We then went off to Etudiant and skied through the trees and down to Planellet.   No-one had been down there and the snow was perfect.   We skied back along the road and caught the bus back to Mont D'Arbois and did it again!  8 tracks in perfect snow.
Carol came up on the bus and we had lunch at Le Theleveux, the cafe on the road by the Mont D'Arbois lift.  Cheap and cheerful.  By then it had started to snow again so John and I skied down the Calvaire and home.
Great time to book a short break or full week's holiday.  We've still got a little bit of space for short breaks next week or week bookings for w/c 22nd Feb in glorious Megeve.