Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mont Joli, Megeve

The last few days have been beautiful, clear skies and sunshine.  Yesterday we skiied at Jaillet.  Today we skied Mont D'Arbois and went up Mont Jolie for the first time this season.  This is me looking at Mont Blanc.  The pistes are in wonderful condition, good for cruising, and no one around.  We go home on Thursday for a week so the girls and their husbands can come skiing whilst we look after the grandchildren.  John goes to Norwich to look after Emily, Tommmy and the dog and I stay in London with Anna and Lizzie and play tennis!   I have 8 games organised over the 6 days we are home.  Makes a change from skiing.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Staff lunch

Yesterday we had our staff lunch at Chez Tartine, which is the restaurant just above the halfway station on the Princess lift.  There were 17 of us in all.  We had a good lunch except the service was slow.  Richard managed to miss the photo shoot by being in the loo.  His brother, Chris, just managed to make the lunch as he overslept.  It was a good day.
In the evening 9 of us went to La Galeta restaurant in St. Gervais.  Phil volunteerd (!) to drive as he was driving back to the UK this morning.  They cook steak  etc over an enormous open fire.  Just the place for carnivores.  Gordon had pork ribs which would have fed about 3 people.  It's very good and not too expensive but you do need transport.
This morning was one of those days when we made all the wrong choices.  We caught the 9am bus to Mont D'Arbois but they were having electrical problems so we abandoned hanging around until they sorted them out and caught the bus to Cote 2000.  The cloud was down and it was miserable so we had a coffee at the Radaz and decided to ski home.  Whereupon the sun came out!  So here I am, looking out of the window at the sunshine whilst the washing machine does its job.  Oh well.  There's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

How to buy toothpaste in Megeve!

We needed a new tube of toothpaste so decided to ski down to the Intermarche in La Fayet, and Phil could pick us up as he was going to Metro.  This is me negotiating a tricky stream.  We had four roads to cross and at least 12 fences to climb over or under.   Some of them were barbed wire which seemed most unfriendly.  It took us about 11/4 hours to get down.  The snow was a bit thin at the bottom and we were going through to the grass. Fortunately it is all pasture.  Still, I bought the toothpaste!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Last 2 days

Jonny and Tracey are here for a week, staying at the Rond Point.  I skied with Jonny and Gordon yesterday in clear conditions.  Sadly John was working.  We skied all the way down to the very bottom of Combloux (below the bottom chair) which we rarely do and the snow was perfect.  We did two off
piste runs down to the road and got on the Chattaz bus.  Some English skiers got on with a French guide and I asked whether they had skied the Emile Allais run.  I got a rather patronising reply.  I don't think people should underestimate little old ladies.
Today John joined us and we skied off the back of Christomet down to Giettaz.  Along the track at the bottom we got overtaken by a horde of faster skiers, 16 in all with two guides, one of which was Alex Perrinet.  The skiers were from Chamonix so I assume that conditions there are not good.  Alex told us the way he was taking his group down to Praz Sur Arly so we could go the other way.  He has shown us both ways in the past.  On the top it was windy, the cloud was down and it was snowing but once we got in the trees it was fine, and the snow was great.  Carol and Tracey met us at the bottom and we all had lunch in Praz.  Annoyingly the bus timetable has changed and it does not run so frequently, so without Carol we would be struggling.  
Not sure where we shall go tomorrow but hope the Chamonix skiers stay in Chamonix!

Sunday, 17 January 2016


Yesterday we skied with Alison, the daughter of John's best man at our wedding many years ago, and her three friends, Eleanor, Fiona and Nancy, who were all staying at the Sylvana.   They had abandoned their husbands and children but the men are coming to Chamonix next weekend.  I doubt if they will get better conditions than we had.  We showed them some of our off piste favourite areas, finishing off with the trip through the trees to Planellet.  We had lunch at the Gouet, so altogether had a lovely day.  This is the first time I have skied with a telemarker.  Nancy said it was very tiring on the thigh muscles.  Also it is much more difficult going through trees as they find it hard to do tight turns.  It does look elegant but I think I will stick with my standard skis.
Today the conditions were not so good, as it was foggy and cold so the visibility was poor.  Yesterday started off like that but cleared but today we had the odd lifting of the cloud but mostly it was cold, windy and snow showers.  So we came home early.  However, we had a hot chocolate at Le P'tit Ricquet which is the best hot chocolate anywhere.   They give you a huge jug and bowls and it costs €3.  To reach it you go up the Epaule chair, ski down past the Porcherry restaurant and it is off the piste on the left, on a knoll.  Usually they have a sign on the piste but there wasn't one today.  They do simple meals also.  They have a very interesting book showing before and after photographs.  It looked originally like a cow shed but was taken down and rebuilt.  However, they have used a lot of the old timber so it looks authentic.  They had a lovely wood stove.  David, who joined us, but his hat on it to dry and it melted!  The fumes set off the fire alarm.  That was the high spot of the day.  

Friday, 15 January 2016


We were on the 8.40 am bus with Rory, our resort manager, and a boarder who works for Ski Royale.  Gordon had caught an earlier bus although the lift does not open until 9.  We got home at about 2.30, having skied continuously, and most of that off piste.  The snow was perfect and we had sunshine, so it was a perfect day.   Unfortunately Rory got a ski stuck under a branch and took a tumble, which resulted in him dislocating his shoulder.  He was not sure whether it was the 19th or 20th time he had done it.  He managed to get it back but it was obviously very sore.  Luckily we were near the bottom of St. Nicholas so it was just a question of getting back up and over and skiing home.  We left him at the Ideal lift and we went up Etudiant and skied home via Planelllet.  One or two people had done it since we skied it two days ago but it was still great snow.  Now we just need some more snow to cover our tracks so we can go and do it again!

More old friends

I forgot to mention Ben yesterday, who stayed at the Sylvana over New Year with his wife, Christine,and son Hugo.  He worked for us 18years ago and now works in Formula 1.  He has the biggest and most infectious grin.  Sorry, Ben.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Old friends

Glen and Vanessa, who worked for us in 2003, called round for tea today, together with their two little girls.   They are renting an apartment on a  working farm on Jaillet which looks lovely.  Phil and Becs (they were at the Rond Point for two seasons about 6 years ago) are also here and renting an apartment, with Bertie, who is 14 months and is adorable.  At Christmas Andy was out with his family,as was Peta who did the admin about 8years ago.   She is now working on luxury yachts with her boyfriend, who is an engineer.  Ricky, tall Australian and worked at the Sylvana some years ago(sorry, I can't remember when) pitched up for two weeks and is threatening to stay for the whole season.  That would be great as he is good company.  Jonny and Tracey are out next week for a week so we are looking forward to seeing them again.  Jonny is also back in February.   Hannah is coming in March.  It is so lovely to see everyone again and catch up with their news.  This year we have been particularly fortunate.  So keep coming back! 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Magic Day in Megeve

Check, Avalanche bleeper, Avalanche probe, shovel, 8.40 am bus.  We are all ready for our off piste day!  And then the bus is late and the police close the road because a dead piste basher is being transported down the hill.  So our aim to be on the first lift is thwarted.  Still, we were first down Bridans, then put some tracks down the Croix de Christ bowl before heading off to the Communailles field.  This is at the top of it and you can just see Gordon's yellow backpack beneath my right ski pole.  Sadly the streams had not filled in so we had to take skis off to cross them.  But the snow was  the best ever, light, fluffy, blowing up into your face.  When we got to the bottom the drag lift appeared to have broken down so we decided to have an early lunch at the Alpage.  We weren't too sorry to have a rest.  Then back to the Etudiant lift and ski home via the off piste field.  Sadly I got too low so we had to go round again to come out at the right spot.  That field was bliss.  As I danced down it (well that's what it felt like!) a whole group of guys came in from my left.  We reckoned there were several guides over from Chamonix with clients.   I suspect a lot of lifts were closed there, as our top lifts didn't open.  Just goes to show you don't always have to go high to get the best snow.

Monday, 11 January 2016


Today was very windy and all the top lifts were closed on Rochebrune and Mont D'Arbois so we took the guests for the ski club over to Jaillet.  We had a really good morning in spite of the weather, which was not great, with the wind blowing ice particles in your face.  We had a hot chocolate at Bonjornal but couldn't ski  to La Giettaz.  I suspect the top lift there was closed.  It just goes to show that you can have a good time, even though the weather is horrid.  Chamonix was closed as we met some people who had come over to ski here.
In the afternoon most of the staff went down to Quecha in the valley to buy ski boots.  

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Restaurant guides

The weather has been inclement the last two days, so I have been trying to get my restaurant guide up to date.  I have pretty well finished the town, but that's not difficult.  The mountain restaurant guide is more of a challenge, trying to ski down the right piste to get to the most resturants at one time.  Yesterday, John and I went to Jaillet and did most of them there.  Today I went to Rochebrune with Gordon, but he got bored and went off to ski with someone else! What is interesting is that over the years the prices have not (on the whole) changed that much.  The expensive resturants remain expensive, the others alter their prices fractionally, usually the drinks.   So the price bands for the restaurants stay pretty constant.   My main concern is checking that the restaurant is still there (the Alpette burnt down in the summer) that is has not changed hands and gone up market (as has the Auberge du Christomet and not for the best to my mind) or radically altered its menu.  On the whole, the old friends stay the same.   What we have noticed is more of a proliferation of snack bars.  However, a number of these only open at peak times which makes it hard if you do not want a slap up lunch.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Let it Snow

On Sunday Elizabeth and Emily (granddaughter) serenaded us in the Caboche lift with the song from "Frozen", "Let it snow".   I do not know who else was listening but it has been very effective.  I could have missed out the bit about the storm raging.  We were coming up on the chair from Communailles today and I thought they were going to stop it because of the wind.  However, that has died down now.  John measured the snow in the field that we cross to get to the Chamois lift and it was about 60 centimetres.   And more to come.  Someone is definitely making up for the lack of snow at Christmas.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Just another Tuesday in Glorious Megeve!

We had an awesome day yesterday. John, Gordon and I caught the 8.40 bus to Mont D'Arbois and skied 3 off piste runs until we had to stop to meet up with the staff.  Because of the late opening of some of the runs in the resort we have not been able to show them the itineraries for the ski club.   So we have been doing orienteering for them the last two days.   Anyway,  John was keeping an eye on the ski boards as they showed a provisional opening of the Croix de Christ chair. As soon as it came up green we zoomed off to the Clementines run and then did four runs through the off piste.  On two, one person had been down before us, on the other two we put down first tracks.  It was magic.  Usually that bowl gets skied out pretty quickly, which happened yesterday, but for once we were the lucky ones.  Afterwards, John and I shared a crout de Gouet at the Gouet restaurant.   That was the first day they had been able to open and they were busy.  As I type this the window is dark so I can't see if it has been snowing again, but the church clock chimes were muffled so I think it has.  We are off to Cote today.

One room only left for next week in any of our accommodation or see our special offers for other deals in January!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Powder day in Megeve!

The snow has arrived in Megeve!

This is a picture of the Finance piste on Mont D'Arbois, Megeve on Sunday morning.  We had a lovely time skiing some bits of off piste by the side of the pistes in fresh powder.  John, Elizabeth's hubbie, had a quick roll in the snow just to check it's as soft as he remembers! Then Elizabeth and family had to leave for the airport.   We met Roger who is a pisteur and paramedic on Rochebrune and used to work for us years ago, and he said they are hoping to get the runs open there this week.  Cote 2000 should be open tomorrow.  So it's all looking good.  Weekends and short breaks still left for Jan so check out our website for last minute deals.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year

We had a lovely Christmas in Putney with all the family, and then came back to Megeve on 27th.  Elizabeth and her family have been here all week as well.  The sun has shone and though the skiing has been limited we have been skiing every day.  The guys who prepare the pistes have done a magnificent job in very difficult circumstances. But today it has been snowing all day and the village is white.  I look out of our window at the roofs covered in snow.  They had no new runs open this morning but I expect that by tomorrow they will start machining the pistes and opening up the remainder of the resort.   It promises to be a very good week for skiing next week.  Sorry to our guests that they leave as the snow arrives, but perhaps you can come back again and experience what we are enjoying. See you in 2016.